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July 1, 2011

John Cook


DAVE SENKO: One of the members of the group to make 27 birdies today. So, John, as I said to John Huston a few moments ago, you guys tied the course record that da set last year with a 63, but maybe just some thoughts on your day, you got off to that great start with six birdies and in the first seven holes.
JOHN COOK: Yeah, it was a nice start obviously. I don't know if I've ever started a tournament quite like that. But made a nice birdie at 10, hit a 3-wood up to the right of the green and pitched it up three feet and made that.
Fortunate on the next hole, hit a pretty good drive but ended up in a bunker in a horrible lie. I kind of thinned a 6-iron up on the green about 50 feet and made that. That's a month's worth of putts on that one putt.
Made a nice birdie on 12. Hit driver and a 9-iron about 15 feet short of the hole and made, that nice putt.
Next hole was a good birdie. I hit a real solid 4-iron about the same, about 15 feet and made that.
Didn't birdie the par 5 and came back with a nice drive and a 7-iron on 15. Made about a 6-footer.
16, I was surprised that the tees were up today, being the first round but I was kind of in between driver and 3-wood and I figured that short was not very good. So I hit driver right at it. I mean, it rolled right by the hole about 20 feet past the hole and 2-putted.
I birdied 1, 3-wood kind of up the right side and hit an 8-iron about four feet. I hit a real nice shot there.
I bogeyed 3, drove it in the left bunker and did not hit a very good shot out but it was on the green but it was a long way away from the hole.
Obviously that green on No. 4 is much slower, and I left it about six feet short and missed it.
I birdied the par 5 No. 5. Laid up and hit a wedge in there about eight feet and made that.
Then driver and a hybrid on 7 just off the right side of the green in the rough. Hit a nice pitch down about a foot.
Hit driver, 9-iron on 8 to eight feet and made that.
And I had a chance at 9. I hit a nice drive and a wedge about eight feet and missed it just on the left side of the hole.
Ten birdies. I can't really add to that. But I hit some really good quality shots. I didn't hit it great, great but I hit it well enough, and I drove it well enough. I hit 18 greens, and one par 4 in two, or in one. So actually I hit 19 greens and didn't miss a green.
So overall, pretty pleased with that ball-striking round. It was great to play with John Huston, played about the same as I did, and Tom Lehman, shooting 5-under, that looked like 10-under. So we had a good day.

Q. How much are last year's memories of the tournament a boost for you coming in?
JOHN COOK: Definitely. I enjoyed myself a lot last year. I knew the golf course. Today was a perfect day. There was barely any wind. The greens were soft. They were a beautiful speed. I mean, it was really ripe for some good scoring and there's some good scoring out there.
But any time you come back to a place where you had a good experience last year, or any time, is good.
Larry played a great round of golf on Sunday. Usually when you have a couple-shot lead and shoot 68 on Sunday, you have a good chance to win, and didn't. But good memories is always a good thing coming back here.

Q. Did you know that putt was for the course record?
JOHN COOK: I didn't know. It broke a little more than I thought. I thought that it was going to break pretty good to the left but I didn't think it was going to swing quite that much, and it swung across the hole. I hit perfect speed. So I hit a nice putt.

Q. Do you have any course records?
JOHN COOK: I do own a few, I don't know exactly, but they are always good, especially in tournaments. That's what you like is to shoot or break course records in tournaments, so that's nice.

Q. If it is difficult tomorrow --
JOHN COOK: It will be hard definitely. The key to playing tomorrow is erase your memory and hit as many quality shots as you can. The greens are in such great shape, perfect speed to make a lot of putts. They are not overly fast, but they roll so true and so nice.
So the key to playing tomorrow after a good round is, it's easy to get stuck. You don't go out trying to shoot a score. You just go out and try to hit more quality golf shots and that's a game plan for tomorrow. Stay aggressive and take advantage of those good opportunities.

Q. You've already won twice this season, do you feel this season is shaping up as a special one for you out here?
JOHN COOK: It's hard to say. I have won twice early. But my other finishes are all 12th to 20th. So that's not -- I've had years where I couldn't finish out of the Top-10 and by this time of the year I'd had eight or nine Top-10s, and this year I've had two. They have been wins and I'm proud of those wins, but I really haven't played up to my expectations since Tampa. And so that's a little disappointing. But I haven't had good and obviously this is a good start.
The weeks that I have not won or played very well, I've had not very good first rounds. So you're behind going in -- three rounds, it's hard to make up six, seven shots in three rounds when guys are just shooting the lights out. A win's a win, though. That's what we play for. Any wins to have in your record are great. We are only half done. We have only played half of our year and we have a great stretch of golf coming up from here on out.

Q. What happened on the slow starts?
JOHN COOK: Mental mistakes, lots of them, every day. Kind of like Groundhog Day. Wake up, every day, it's the same day, played pretty good, made some mental mistakes. I didn't do that. I think that was a good sign today that -- except the 3-putt, but that's from a bad shot I don't really call that a mental mistake. It just was golf.
But I know in the past, from the Traditions on, it seems like two or three, four shots a round have been mental mistakes. And we all do that, I know. But I just seem to have done it more than I should.

Q. Did you and John feed off each other?
JOHN COOK: I they we all fed and Tom was included in that. We made a lot of birdies. We made 27 birdies between the three of us.
Yes, you can definitely feed off. I know John birdied the last five I think and I got off to a good start and they made some birdies, as well. I think with the exception of maybe two or three holes, someone made a birdie on every hole.
So you know, to get that tee, you had to make a birdie, so we did feed off each other, definitely.

Q. You were 7-under after six or seven holes --
JOHN COOK: It was a nice start obviously. Those are not easy holes, and I didn't get to the second par 5 -- I didn't birdie 14. So the birdies I made at 11, 12 and 13 were real good, and 15. Those are good holes. Those are good, quality golf holes.
16, there's a lot that you can bring, you can 2, 3, 4 or 5 on that hole. It's great a great little short hole. That's what you're going to make, you're not going to make a 10 going for the green but you can make a 2. It was a nice start.
And then the key is, how do you keep going? You don't think about it, you just keep going and try to create some more opportunities.

Q. Were you disappointed 16 was not drivable today?
JOHN COOK: I figured Sunday certainly would be. So I was a little surprised at today. It's a nice little short hole from the back tee. It's not a gimmie birdie. It's kind of a funny little lay-up, and then you have a funny little second shot. It's short. But I was surprised. Maybe we'll see that again on Sunday but we won't see it tomorrow I don't think.
I had plenty of club to clear everything. If I just hit a normal driver -- I didn't have to kill it, because I knew if I could tag one, I could hit it over the green. But it was playing a little into the wind so I think that was kind of nice. That helped out. But I couldn't get 3-wood there, the other guys hit 3-wood, Tom and John but I couldn't get 3-wood there.

Q. A hole like that, a critical point in the tournament in your round, do you see a lot of that on the Tour?
JOHN COOK: Not on our tour. There's a couple holes. I know in Seattle, there's one on the back side, a real downhill par 4 that is a gamble like that. But that hole you can make a big number if you don't hit the green, 14.
There was one this year at the PGA, they moved the tees up on No. 4. So there's not many. But I love them. I think it's exciting, especially around the last three holes, I think Sundays will create a lot of excitement, because most everybody's got the length to get it on that green, so that's -- I know that one of my good friends that's a course designer, Tom Weiskopf, he always has a drivable par 4 on his golf courses, and I like that. I agree with that.

Q. How far was the putt on the last hole?
JOHN COOK: About eight feet.
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, John.

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