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August 3, 2001

Tom Pernice, Jr.


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Tom Pernice for joining us today. Another good round today. Great position going into the weekend with plus 24 points, leader in the clubhouse at this point. Why don't you make a couple comments and we'll go into your round.

TOM PERNICE: A little more up-and-down today. Yesterday, I didn't have any bogeys, so I got that taken care of on 10. I drove it just into the right rough and had to lay up and made bogey to start off. I bounced back with a birdie on the next hole. It seemed like when I made a bogey, I was able to bounce back with a birdie or something so, kept my momentum going through the course of the day. But the eagle was the thing that sparked the day, obviously, in this format. I did hit two really good shots on 15 and 16, close, both of them, and missed them for birdies. 17, I hit a good drive and a 6-iron right at the flag. And I thought it was close and got up there and it was just over the back of the green and the pin was at the back; and I had a difficult chip and hit it and it trickled right in for eagle. That put me in a good position, and good frame of mind, even though I hit bogey on 18. I played solidly, I think.

Q. Tom, you said you hit it close on 15 and 16 prior to 17. Do you feel like maybe those birdie putts helped to jump-start your round, or was it the eagle on 17, because you seemed to kind of get it going at that point.

TOM PERNICE: I birdied 14, the par 5, and I just bogeyed 13, I had a sand wedge in and it hit the left edge and spun downhill and I didn't get the up-and-down. I hit two shots in there and hit two good putts and neither one of them went in. 17, I got up there and it was over the green and I thought, what do you have to do. I stayed patient, and I hit a really good shot and it went in. So that really jump-started me up there. I was in good shape and felt good going into the last nine holes.

Q. How close were the putts on 15 and 16?

TOM PERNICE: 15 was probably 12 feet and lipped it out. 16, the pin was over in the back right corner and I hit a beautiful 5-iron and it landed short and rolled right past the hole, almost went in, but ten feet. They were both uphill putts. One lipped out and the other one rolled right over the top lip.

Q. Any others that were close?

TOM PERNICE: Those just stuck out primarily in that sequence after birdieing the par 5 and kind of got it going. But No. 1, I had a reasonable chance for birdie. It was 12, 15 feet and I missed it. But not really. I pretty much took advantage of the opportunities. I didn't make any long ones, but I hit some good shots and made some birdies.

Q. Were you in that collection area, behind 17?

TOM PERNICE: No, just over the back there. I thought it was going to be left of the pin and short; instead it was left of the pin and long. It was tough where the pin was. I didn't want to be long there. I was surprised that the club went that far. I carried a 63-degree lofted wedge. I carry four wedges. That extra loft helped and fluffed it up in the air and it just trickled right in the hole. That was, really, like I said that was the key. In this format, obviously, the eagles can just make a huge difference.

Q. How far away was it?

TOM PERNICE: It was probably just three or four yards over the back edge. So I was probably 25, 30 feet, but it was straight downhill from there.

Q. Can you talk about, like you said, the format with the eagles, being so important, does that change the way you approach par 5s, are they a little more nerve-wracking because there is such a difference with that one stroke now?

TOM PERNICE: You just lick your chops a little bit and go after the opportunities when they arise. But you still have to hit two good shots in to approach them if you can reach and have to make the putt or the chip or whatever. But, I think, you know, you just get excited a little bit at the opportunity of picking up five points. One stroke makes a big difference and it's worth three in that aspect. I don't think you can try any harder or something, but it's a nice opportunity when they do happen or they do occur. They have a tendency to jump you right on out.

Q. Can you summarize your year and how you were feeling coming into the tournament?

TOM PERNICE: Actually, I felt like I've really been starting to hit the ball well. I played well at Hartford and had a chance there coming down the stretch the last day; and I mis-clubbed at 16 and made a bogey, and Phil went on and made a birdie. I missed the next couple of cuts, actually but felt like I was playing good. I looked back and think I was playing a little too aggressive, and a little too anxious, I think. I talked to David Cook, who I work with, a sports psychologist down in Fort Worth and talked to him for a couple hours on the phone last week. He said, "Maybe you need to be a little more patient and take your opportunities to be more aggressive and do so." I've been trying to take my time and not rush, I have a little tendency to be impatient, and try to make fewer mistakes. I've been able to sustain my momentum throughout the course of the day, which I think to me as has been important in a round of golf, to be able to keep some momentum going.

Q. Do you always wear a Coors Light shirt?

TOM PERNICE: I always do. Andrew Magee and I wear their logos all year long and they are one of our sponsors. So this is a nice week.

Q. Do you get anything special for coming to Colorado?

TOM PERNICE: We have the Charity Pro-Am that we are playing at the course, but no. Andrew and I represent them out here, and it is great to be playing well, here, obviously in their backyard. It's a great opportunity for us.

Q. Obviously there's so many people bunched --

TOM PERNICE: Yeah, it's going to take 40-something. Everybody knows that probably. The course is in good shape. You've got to keep going. You've got to keep plodding along and making your points every day. You're only halfway home. But I like the opportunity that I'm playing better and feel better about my game.

Q. So you would take 12 points every day?

TOM PERNICE: I think 12 points every day would be a good number. If that's not good enough to win, then maybe it's not good enough to win, but you would think 48 points would usually do pretty good here, so I would never complain. 12 a day.

Q. I haven't had a chance to check the record here at the INTERNATIONAL, what's it been like?

TOM PERNICE: I've always enjoyed coming here. Coming from Kansas City, I am very close with Jimmy and Jack Vickers and I've always enjoyed coming and spending some time here. I've always enjoyed it here. I feel comfortable here and I've played pretty good here at times. The format is kind of fun and different and unique. Some people don't like it, but I kind of think it is interesting and something different.

End of FastScripts....

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