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August 6, 2004

Tom Pernice, Jr.


TODD BUDNICK: Thanks, Tom Pernice, Junior, for stopping by. 2001 champion here at The INTERNATIONAL. You played another great round and have yourself in contention through 36 holes. Talk about the 25 holes today to start.

TOM PERNICE, JR.: Well, we're a lot better off than a lot of people to only play 25, so we are fortunate.

You know, obviously, it's soft out there. Mr. Vickers redoing the greens, the greens are in phenomenal condition. So you're able to hole some putts. I just saw walking in DiMarco is at 28 points, he's off to his old shenanigans running away with it. And Olin played beautifully, I think Olin had 18 points this afternoon. So it's out there.

I played pretty solid. I had a few bad shots and was able to survive with some pars and just a couple bogeys at times, but all in all I played pretty solid.

Q. Didn't DiMarco inaudible?

TOM PERNICE, JR.: He was playing in front of us, which I think he chipped in for eagle, took a pretty good big lead and birdied nine. Then he hit it in the water at 10, 15, I think, or 14, and I think he doubled 16, so he kind of let us all back in the game, actually. But he kind of got off to a fast start on Sunday and nobody really ended up with very many points that day for some particular reason.

I think Ernie made a late run, eagled 17 and got within three or four. But for some particular reason that year, not too many people tore it up on Sunday.

Q. The fact that you had to play 25, not what you're looking forward to, but good conditions for longer holes, is that a little bit of a break?

TOM PERNICE, JR.: Yeah, I mean, probably can go to the gym and work out with Joey and Vijay and play an extra seven or eight holes, should be able to do it. It's a good walk around here, but I never really got fatigued, I didn't feel any other day. Walking up the hills to some of the tees you get rest catch your breath and ready to go. My legs felt pretty good. At 15 points, you know, it's a good , it's not great, but it's going to be a ways back but we have two days left.

So, hey, play good the next two days, you've got a chance to get to somewhere near 40 or so. It may take something like that; it usually does.

Q. Davis just mentioned something in passing yesterday about, to win, you need to have that one great round where you knock 15 or 16 points up, do you think that's true?

TOM PERNICE, JR.: It sure helps. I don't know the stats but if you look probably over the years, the winners, if you took their scores without the system, they would probably still won the tournament if it was a stroke play event.

Just like any tournament, if you go out a great round and shoot a 64, it's obviously going to be easier to win. To go out and shoot four 67s, make ten points every day, you're going to be there, too.

Obviously when you get going in this format, you can make some points. I think in this format when you get some momentum going, momentum feels like it's even greater because your gain doubles points almost every time you make a birdie. So you can be in a lull all of a sudden and feel like you're losing ground, but make three birdies in a row, you feel like you've really picked up some momentum and gained some ground.

Q. Having been out here a lot, how would you compare the course conditions, considering how much rain we got?

TOM PERNICE, JR.: Well, the par 5s are basically unreachable other than 17. I would consider myself average length out here. I would not say I was short, but I think I'm, I don't know, 60th or 70th driving distance, and there's no way that you're you're hitting it on 1, hitting it on 8, hitting it on 14. So from that aspect, it's playing quite a bit different just because those holes, you're having to hit a wedge in there because you have to lay back on those holes and hit wedges in, where before you're either knocking it on the green or up in the bunkers or somewhere around there.

So the par 5s are going to make quite a bit of difference, I think, in terms of the length and how they are playing. You've got holes like No. 10, really they are playing long and it makes a difference when you're hitting a second shot like that over the water. Not an easy driving hole if you happen to catch that hole into the wind, as well.

But the greens are softer, so even though you're hit something longer shots, the greens are going to accept it and I think the putting is better. Since Mr. Vickers came, they resodded 12 or some of the greens and they are spectacular.

They do all the right things here. Mr. Vickers doesn't leave anything unturned to where it's obvious that his goal is to have the best tournament out here on the PGA TOUR. And I think the players respect that and realize it. You know, he feels bad I think probably about the rain delay, but that's just part of it. You can't control Mother Nature. Some years we don't have much of it. This particular year, we have a lot of water and a lot of rain. For the golf course to be in the shape it was the last two days after the two storms that came through here, every bunker was in perfect shape and didn't wash out.

The staff here is remarkable for what they have done and how they have gotten the course in shape. Our hats are off to them. We're not even playing lift, clean and place on the fairway, so that tells you they know what they are doing in terms of growing fairways, as well.

TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your card starting with the birdie on 1.

TOM PERNICE, JR.: I hit a wedge about six feet and made it for birdie.

2, hit a good shot, the pin was in the back of the green. I just flew it over the back of the green and it bounced over. I had a tough chip and left it just short. Had about a 12 footer, made bogey.

5, drive, 6 iron, pin is in the back. I was on the back fringe about 25 feet and made it.

7, the par 3, I was just short of the green and I pitched it in for 2.

9, 8 iron about seven feet left of the hole.

12, 6 iron about three feet.

15, right in the middle of the fairway with a sand wedge, twisted it, spun it in the water and made that for bogey. Ridiculous.

17, just right on the right fringe, pitched it up about five feet and made it for birdie.

End of FastScripts.

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