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April 16, 2011

John Cook


PHIL STAMBAUGH: John Cook with a seven birdie, no bogey 65, low round of the day, I believe. At 131, 11-under, you have a two-shot lead on Russ Cochran right now. Little more wind today. Quite a round.
JOHN COOK: Yeah, it is testy out there, no doubt. Certain holes played much more difficult than they normally do, and then other holes you got -- the good, long, tough holes actually were played in our favor and played downwind. So it kind of balanced out.
But very pleased with it. I struck the ball solidly. I made a couple nice putts. I did leave a couple out there, believe it or not.
But overall, any time you shoot 65 when the wind is blowing like this, very satisfied with that. I drove the ball nicely and hit some really nice iron shots. I wedged it around the golf course nicely.
Made a couple of putts, but missed couple, so adds up to 65. If I like it or not, that's the way it is. That's fine with me.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Give us details on the birdies and any really good saves you made.
JOHN COOK: Yeah, missed about six-footer at 1 starting out for birdie.
On No. 5 I missed about a four-footer for birdie.
I made about an eight-footer for birdie at 7.
Made about a 25-footer for birdie at 9.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: What did you hit in there?
JOHN COOK: I had wedge in there, and didn't hit a very good shot. Just on the right edge of the green, and hooped that somehow.
10 I made a nice putt, about an eight-footer. To that 10, I actually this had it on the correct level. A lot of times you can hit that ball over the green, down the hill, and up into the stands. I hit a really nice controlled 8-iron in there and made about an eight-footer.
12 I hit a hybrid just in the front left part just off the edge of the green and hit a real nice pitch just inches.
13 I hit a sand wedge from about 78 yards to inches.
14 I hit a sand wedge from about 75 yards to about two feet and made that.
I did make a decent save at 17. Hit a 5-iron that just rolled off the left edge of the green pin high. It was actually a pretty good shot. If it was a little bit more right it would have been real close.
And I hit a nice pitch; almost made it. It was just down the hill just a little bit. Wasn't a difficult pitch, but sometimes you can get some dicey lies and it can be a little tricky. But I drew as decent lie and hit a nice pitch, so...
And then 18 I had about an eight-footer for birdie there that I didn't capitalize on. Very, very happy with 65.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Questions. Wait for the mic.

Q. You lead Russ Cochran there, or is it the other way around? You guys are real close in points in the standings, and as it stands right now you guys could be paired tomorrow. Talk about the head to head there, what that might be like.
JOHN COOK: It's a year-long thing, so it's not really an issue tomorrow. I want to win the golf tournament. That's what we're out here for. We're champions. We like to win golf tournaments.
The rest of that takes care of itself obviously. I've done well in the Schwab Cup the last three years because I've played well, won tournaments, and had consistent finishes. But there's nothing like winning, especially here with Outback and the great people around here that we're so close to and the format here, playing with the amateurs. This is a very special event.
I was fortunate enough in 1981 to win the Bing Crosby, and it was very similar. It's a great win to have on your resume. Any win is a great win, and Russ will be battling again tomorrow and plenty of guys will be chasing us.
My amateur team is doing well with Todd Wagner. Todd played very well. He's a good nine handicap, but he's a nice player, so that helps as well. You have a guy that knows what he's doing, that helps out.
So I think we'll have a nice day tomorrow.

Q. You ran off I think five in a row yesterday; today it looks like six out of eight holes. Do you tend to be that kind of player with a flurry?
JOHN COOK: I can do that, yeah, at times. If I get -- just get the right situations I can be very streaky, yeah. (Laughter.) I'm glad I'm streaky that way and not the other way. I don't like to get on a bad roll. I like to be able to right the ship.
But definitely you get some momentum going, you get some shots that look comfortable to you, and I've been able to kind of put things in the past so I'm not looking at making a lot of birdies. They just kind of happen.
You put yourself in the right positions and those things can happen. It's not like I'm trying to, but, you know, like I said, if you hit quality golf shots, enough putts will go in.

Q. Are you more proud of all the birdies or the fact you only have one bogey in two days?
JOHN COOK: Yeah, one bogey I'm pretty proud of. And it was a bad bogey. It was a three-putt on No. 1, which is not that hard of a hole. Maybe that kind of spurred me on. It was my 10th hole of the day yesterday.
So I don't like bogeys. I don't like making bogeys. I don't handle stress very well, and I'm fine with making not as many birdies as other guys; but I'm just as fine not making as many bogeys.
That's normally my game, is I don't make a lot of bogeys. But you just don't know. This golf course is very, very good. You have to respect it. There will be some good pins out there tomorrow. The greens are firm. They're getting quick. It's going to be dry.
It's just kind of like what -- it's what we remember golf being. You know, just have to adjust with the conditions of the golf course. This afternoon it got dry. Those greens got a little skiddy, got a little firm, and that's the way we like it.

Q. When you tee'd off this afternoon, did you think a 65 was out there or did that kind of surprise you?
JOHN COOK: I really didn't. Not that I'm surprised that I did it, but I just thought the conditions were going to be good. 1, 2, and 3, played very difficult.
And then like I said, you got like 8 and 9 downwind, but, 10, was into the wind; 11 and 12 were into the wind. They were difficult holes.
Then you got 15 downwind; 16, 17, and 8 was left to right and the second shot was downwind. So it kind of was a balance. Even the downwind holes, it was tough to get the ball close.
Good pins. The greens are firming up. I had it in some spots where I had the perfect yardages into the wind or downwind and I could take shots at the flag. But I didn't. I thought 65 would be a really good score, definitely.

Q. Do you look at the leaderboard at all during the round?
JOHN COOK: Not normally early, but tomorrow for sure. Yeah, I like to know where I am. I don't get the mindset that I don't look at the board. I don't want to know. How do you know if you can win or not? You just don't know. That's crazy.
I don't know how -- why guys don't look at the board to see where they are and see what they need to do or what they don't need to do. I want to know. Especially with nine holes to go. Maybe not so much the front side, but certainly the back side. How else do you know what you need to do when?
PHIL STAMBAUGH: John, thank you very much.
JOHN COOK: Thank you.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Good luck tomorrow.

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