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July 2, 2011

John Cook


DAVE SENKO: John, thanks for joining us. You followed up your 9-under 63 yesterday with a 6-under 66 today and right now you're at 15-under, one back of Mr. Lu, but maybe just share some thoughts on your day today.
JOHN COOK: Actually pretty happy with 66 after a 63. It's not easy to come back and play a quality round. But like I said yesterday, yesterday was forgotten last night, so I knew I had to give myself opportunities, because there's lots of birdies to be made and you can't just spin your wheels and get run over.
So I did hit some nice shots today. Made a couple little mistakes in the middle of the round, but other than, that I actually played quite well, and gave myself a lot of chances at birdies. I mean, I think I probably -- I hit it as good or better today. I didn't drive it quite as good today, but I definitely hit it as close today. And then I just didn't make a lot of putts. I'm not complaining with the 6-under. I am okay with that.
DAVE SENKO: Just go through your card real quick, you started at No. 4?
JOHN COOK: Yeah, I hit a nice 4-iron on No. 4 about six feet past the hole.
DAVE SENKO: Eagle at 7.
JOHN COOK: I hit a nice drive and hybrid to 15 feet. Made a nice putt there.
I hit a bad drive at 8. Actually hit it in the left bunker somehow. Shouldn't even be in play but I hit it in there. Didn't have a very good lie. Hit a bad shot out. Hit in the wrong place. Looks like bogey all the way, so that's what I made.
9, I got away with not a very good drive up in the left rough. I hit a nice sand wedge, 2-putted. From then on, it was pretty decent. I hit a good drive and a 3-wood just to the right of the green on 10 and pitched it down about four feet, made that.
I hit a nice 7-iron at 13, four or five feet to the right of the pin.
I hit it up next to the green in two on 14 and hit a nice pitch to just a foot.
And then hit a nice drive and 6-iron at 15 about four feet, made that.
So I had a lot of -- as many opportunities as I did yesterday. And I had chances coming in. 17, I hit a beautiful 5-iron right at it, about eight feet short, or eight feet past the pin, missed it.
18, I had a good look at it from about 12 feet and missed that. But as I said, overall, to follow up 63 with 66, very happy with that.
DAVE SENKO: Conditions yesterday and today much different?
JOHN COOK: A little more breeze today. Definitely had to pay attention to what the wind was doing. But it was similar to all of last year. It was the same wind that we had all last year, so it's a familiar golf course.
But the greens are rolling so good, so nice. Like I said yesterday, they are not fast, but they are so smooth and nice that if you give yourself chances, you can be aggressive and make some putts, there's no doubt.
So the golf course, it's right there. The fairways are fairly wide, and the fairways are fairly soft. So balls are not bouncing all over the place. But semi-soft greens, and makeable speed, you can shoot some scores. These guys, might be a little grayer and softer than we were, but certainly the skills are still there. You get conditions like this, and we'll shoot some low scores.

Q. What do you know about Mr. Lu?
JOHN COOK: He's world class, he really is. He surprised us a bit last year. I did get to play with him a couple times. He can hit it very far at times. Not all the time, but every once in awhile he'll sneak one out there pretty far, and he putts and chips like would you think. Just seems like the Asian population has good short games, and he definitely does.
But he was in contention quite a bit last year, and you know, made it to our Schwab Cup, which is no easy feat being a rookie like. Like I said I did get to play with him a couple of times last year and he was impressive. We'll get a chance to see him up close and personal again tomorrow. I played with John Huston again, which Johnny Ray and I go back a long time, so we are good friends. So these guys will be hitting bombs all day.

Q. You talked about following up, you had such a good day yesterday, can you talk about -- do you forget that, or is it easy?
JOHN COOK: It's not easy. But like I yesterday, I'm not going out to try to shoot a score. So I'm just trying to hit good quality golf shots again tomorrow, and if I do that, and give myself opportunities, that's all you can do. If you get wrapped up in thinking about what you did yesterday, you're going to be behind the 8-ball. So you know, it's a matter of -- you know, I will have kind of a little mental level in my mind on what I think might have a chance to win, and that's kind of that score.
So you've got to hammer down all day tomorrow, because they are going to come flying, someone might do what Larry did last year, shoot 64 on Sunday, and next thing you know, you didn't even know he was there and he's holding the trophy. You can't just kind of sleepwalk your way around. You still have to put the hammer down and be very aggressive tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a very aggressive day.

Q. How will the rain affect conditions tomorrow?
JOHN COOK: I guess in the morning it's supposed to rain and then maybe be okay? If the golf course grains and those greens get soft, boy, going to be firing right at it again. We'll see. I'd like to see the golf course play as hard as possible; firm, dust bowl. That's my game. I love that ball bounding, just bound it down the fairway. That's good with me.
But doesn't look like we are going to get that. So I'm going to have been on my game. I'm going to have to drive it solid, and with a little bit of heat tomorrow, and take dead aim. This is a golf course you can play right -- the numbers are exact numbers, because you can fly -- your distance control has to be spot on. And if it is, you can shoot good scores.

Q. The greens, were they identical to yesterday?
JOHN COOK: Identical to yesterday, yeah. Just the same. They are rolling at a comfortable speed. You're really not going to have a putt get away from you. So they are the perfect speed where you can be aggressive and know that if you catch one really flush, it's not going to go but a couple feet by. But you can kind of take that low line and hit it nice and firm, and be aggressive. I'd like to see it quicker. I just came from Pine Valley the last three days, and those greens are quick. So I'm better on fast greens, but this is what we get, so you have to adjust.

Q. Would you like 16 moved up?
JOHN COOK: I think that would be fun, definitely, and everybody in the field could give it a shot if you want. Especially coming down the stretch, the guys in the last stretch are easily going to be able to take a shot at it, if it comes down to it. Yeah, absolutely. I think it would be fun.
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, John.

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