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April 15, 2011

John Cook


PHIL STAMBAUGH: John Cook joining us in the interview room this afternoon. John, 35 on your first nine, and then you come back with 31, and it included five birdies in a row, which matches the best birdie streak of the year. In fact, you did it at the Mitsubishi event, as well.
5-under 66, your low round ever here at TPC Tampa Bay. Couple thoughts about the round.
JOHN COOK: Yeah, it was a nice way to start, obviously. It's a good golf course. Got a lot of the good holes, good quality holes that you got to hit quality golf shots on.
Right out of the gate at No. 10 is a pretty good hole with great pins today. Pins were pretty good. Kind of Sunday pins, so we got out there on No. 10 and went, What day is this? This is Friday.
Nice par there, and then had chances for birdies. I actually 3-putted 12 for par. I hit it real close at 13, couple of inches. Just a little 70-yard wedge shot.
Made a nice up and down at 15. Made about an 8-footer for par.
Then just made pars. I 3-putted No. 1. Had it on the wrong side, wrong ridge, and then I played really well from tere on.
I hit a good shot at 2 but then didn't make a putt.
Birdied 3; made about a 15-footer after hitting 8-iron in.
Birdied 4 from two feet. Hit 9-iron in.
Birdied 5 from two feet. Hit just a little sand wedge.
Birdied 6 from about five feet. Hit 8-iron.
I birdied 7 from about eight feet. I didn't get a chance to go for the green in two, so I laid it back and hit a nice wedge.
8 I hit a bad iron shot into the green but made a nice two-putt.
Had a decent chance at 9 from about 20 feet.
Overall, I either was putting from 40 or 50 feet or tapping in. It was one or the other. I made some nice 2-putts, a lot of good 2-putts. A lot of good two- and three-footers. It was tough getting the ball close to the hole on a lot of holes today.
The course played tough. I thought it played difficult this morning.

Q. If it played with Sunday pins today, then that bodes well for the weekend.
JOHN COOK: Right. Yeah, couple holes I don't know where they're going to put the pins. No. 10 was certainly a Sunday pin; 12 was a pretty good pin; 15 certainly was a good pin; 17 was a good pin. The front side had some good ones as well.
I'm sure they'll find some other spots that will be a nice test.

Q. Is this indicative of how you've been playing so far?
JOHN COOK: I've played okay. Obviously I started out well at Hawaii. I played okay at Boca; finished just out of top 10, a shot out of the top 10.
Then I played average at Naples. Didn't play great, but I played okay. Then I played good at Cancun, a regular tour event, and had a chance to win there. That was a nice bonus.
Then I had a real setback at Newport where I didn't get the chance to start. The course is good a mile from my house, and that was really, really disappointing. Just had a health issue that was not going to allow me to play. It crept up on Thursday afternoon, and I was really, really disappointed. I really felt like winning close to your home or the place where you grew up, you know, it's pretty important.
But then I came back and played okay at Biloxi. I've had a nice week off practicing, and I'm healthy again and have had a nice warmup for this.
So we have a nice schedule from here on out. Couple of off weeks, but a lot of good tournaments. It's a good flow to the schedule. You're not on a week, off two. Now we're playing golf. We're into the meat of the schedule. From here through the end of the year should be very fun.

Q. Is there nay explanation for the Florida drought that you have?
JOHN COOK: Going into a drought?

Q. No, not having won in Florida.
JOHN COOK: Oh. Really out here you give yourself opportunities. You know, I didn't win last year until the last week, but I felt like I was competitive every single week. Just didn't do the right things or capitalize on some good opportunities.
I played very well the last three weeks, so I knew going into the Schwab that I had a chance to win. I played great there. The next tournament in Hawaii I played well, so...
There are a lot of good players out here. That's the only thing I can equate it to. It's not easy to win. But if you're giving yourself chances and playing and competing, you're going to get your chances. It's not like you wait your turn, but you just got to give yourself that opportunity every week.
I feel like I've done that 90% of the time since I've been on the Champions Tour. Six wins is good. I'm happy with that. I've let a few slip away. You learn from those. But I feel like I can be competitive most every week.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Thank you, John. Good luck.
JOHN COOK: Thank you.

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