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February 17, 2011

John Senden


COLIN MURRAY: John, thanks for joining us, 4-under par 67 this morning, looks like five birdies and just the one bogey. If you could talk a little bit about your round this morning, how the golf course played, and then we'll go to questions.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, the golf course played extremely well this morning. It was quite a cool start to the morning. Warming up in the dark wasn't the greatest of experiences, especially early when we got to the putting green and putting a few without just seeing a blemish of the white hole was a bit different.
Anyway, got off to a good start with the 10th hole. My second shot was into about probably nearly three feet and tapped that in.
You know, I didn't drive the ball excellent on the back nine, but by the time I got to about 17, 18, I started to drive the ball better. So during that back nine, it was a little bit of a scramble from the rough on a lot of shots. And then I hit a great shot into 18 to about four feet and then just sort of felt good from that point on.
I have been -- today I sort of didn't strike the ball extremely well, but my iron shots even out of the rough were pretty good. This year I think the rough isn't as high as it's been. It's playable out of the rough. I think previous times I've been here, it's been -- you hit into the rough and it's a real challenge to get the ball on the green. So I'm thinking that that gives you a lot of chances from -- you've still got to drive the ball well and come out of the fairways, but today I sort of was lucky enough to get some nice lies in the rough and play my way onto the green, so had a good day.
COLIN MURRAY: Do you mind going through your birdies and bogeys on the front side?
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, the 1st hole, No. 1, I hit driver and a 7-iron onto the front where I wasn't quite on the green, I was only like a half a foot off the green, and two-putted there for birdie.
And then birdie on No. 4; I hit a 3-iron into about probably 25 feet, maybe a bit longer than that, and rolled a nice putt in from above the hole. That was probably the longest putt I holed all day.
And then I missed a short opportunity for par on 5, which was kind of a soft bogey because I sort of felt like I was -- my ball landed on the green, spun just back off the left edge and I had a tricky little putt up the hill, but it went on the high side of the hole, so had a downhill putt for par from about probably three feet and just sort of lipped out the bottom line.
Bounced back on No. 7 with a 3-wood and 8-iron onto the green to about probably three feet, three and a half feet, so that was good to bounce back from that soft bogeyed on 5.

Q. The Aussies seem to be doing pretty well here. Is there a reason why that is?
JOHN SENDEN: I think that maybe looking at all the big gum trees around the golf course makes this feel like we're at home. No, it's a fabulous golf course. I really enjoy it. You know, my results here haven't been fantastic, but the nature of the golf course here is similar to what we have in Australia where there's a lot of subtleties. Even though the greens are sort of -- some greens are small, some greens are large, so there's a good variety, and that's what we have at home.
And it's just a great piece of property for a golf course. I think it's in a valley but it's got a lot of slope, a lot of uphill, a lot of downhill shots. Very unique; every hole looks very different. You see a lot of the modern golf courses these days look very much the same every hole, but Riviera is very unique, and it's been great to see that they basically have not changed it over the number of years, well, I've been coming here, but probably go way back and it's hardly changed at all, and that's because it's just a great design from the beginning.
I'm sure every golfer that's out here enjoys walking around Riviera, but it's a tough test. You have to -- you know, I had some nice birdie holes out there today, but I think within the whole week going on, you've got to minimize bogeys. I think you really need to get it somewhere between 10- and 15-under par, and I think that if you can do that, and basically if you have 16 birdies and three or four bogeys, you're in contention, no problem at all.
That's the goal for the week, and I think that's where everyone should be trying to aim for.

Q. You mentioned you hit it tight there at 18. That's a tough hole, so are you pretty happy that you did that around the bend?
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, that's right. I knocked a pretty good putt in there for birdie after hitting a driver and a 5-iron, and that got -- walked up the hill and felt good on the first tee.
And then I played really well through basically 16 through the fourth hole, and it was, you know, one of those days where it was just feeling good, especially on the greens. I had a good feel for the speed, good feel for the nice light feel on the greens. Sometimes you can get -- these greens, if you get in the wrong spots on the high sides, it's defensive putting all day.
I think tomorrow there might be some disruptions with weather, so we've got to be patient with that. And the golf course was -- with the little bit of rain yesterday, it was a little bit softer than it was Tuesday. I'm thinking that it can be another soft day again probably tomorrow and Saturday, so it might even be more target golf on the weekend. So the scoring might be a little bit lower than expected.

Q. Can you go into a little more detail about maybe what time you got here and just on the driving range in the dark? Were you walking around by the light of your cell phone? Can you talk about that?
JOHN SENDEN: No, no, there was one guy there with a torch he was shining on the hole. Well, I got here at about -- I stepped onto the putting green at about 6:15, and we couldn't see. Basically there was no lights up there on the putting green. So all we saw -- I mean, there was very dim light coming up from the sun at that time, but I don't think the sun gets up until after 6:30.
I hit a few putts on the green at that time and then walked down to the -- the lights were on the range, so that was fine. And then we went down there, and I was teeing off the 10th hole, so by the time I warmed up and was able to walk back up to the top of the putting green and hit a few more short putts and then go to the tee.

Q. There was really a guy out there --
JOHN SENDEN: There was a guy out there with a torch, but he was only joking. He's saying, "here you go, here's the hole right here." But you don't have to write that.

Q. Did the weather surprise you today? It was supposed to rain.
JOHN SENDEN: I saw on Monday on the weather report it was supposed to rain today, so yeah, you know, who knows what we're going to get tomorrow.
COLIN MURRAY: John, thanks for your time. Play well.

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