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July 29, 2011

Joey Sindelar


Q. Good way to finish a good day, birdie on the last hole.
JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, I think in the middle of that back nine you hang, you hang, and you try to get to a place where you get close enough to have something happen. I got a nice drive and an 8-iron close enough on 17, a 12-footer. And then on 18 today just a 3-wood and a wedge -- you've heard the guys talk today about a pin placement that it funnels to, so threw a pitching wedge in real close. Fun way to end the day.

Q. What was the key to your round today overall?
JOEY SINDELAR: You know, I'm driving the ball pretty well, and I'm putting the ball well. You know, I think you -- although the rough isn't as torturous as some Senior Opens or a regular Open would be, there's still plenty of it.
The greens are soft so you can get away with it a little bit, but it's still just far, far easier if you're in the fairway. If you're going to make a birdie, it's going to be from the fairway unless you just plain old get lucky, so driver and putter for me.

Q. How does it feel to be where you are on the leaderboard with two days to go?
JOEY SINDELAR: Oh, fun, very fun. Although I don't know how much fun it is because I got within a couple of Funk at Crooked Stick, and he just went on fire, and then Eduardo and Funk the year before that went on fire when I got within a couple. I don't know whether I've got to try to join the party a little earlier or what, but I'm very happy for sure.

Q. How much do you attribute the good vibes to being back at a course you like and the fan support and the Ohio State connection?
JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, lots of fun reasons for me, four great years at Ohio State, two or three prior fun championships here, golf in this part of the world, this kind of grass. You know, I only live six and a half hours' drive dead east of here, so it feels like the same kind of golf. All in all, it looks like home to me here.

Q. Are you surprised at all how maybe easy the course is playing for a USGA event?
JOEY SINDELAR: No, because you've got -- let me say this first: Easy and hard, you know, score wise is not troubling to me as long as the test is good, and I think this is a very good test. These greens are a little bit soft. I'm sure they're softer than they would like them to be, plus the rain on top of that, and whenever they get like this, shots, you just heard me say, you can play from the rough and save yourself. You can short-side yourself on a green and maybe have a chance, and certainly if your irons are dialed in and you're hitting the fairways, the ball is not jumping forward and it's not spinning backward.
Whenever we can play a golf course, as Crooked Stick was, when the ball just stops right where it hits, it just makes it so much easier on us.
You know, at Sahalee last year they were able to get them firm and fast, and it changes everything. But it's a really tough time of the year and a tough temperature week to ask for that. But the test is still magnificent. It's a cool, fun golf course, and it's very good golf, and I think that's all that matters.

Q. What do you think about the back nine and the rerouting, like 13 through 16?
JOEY SINDELAR: Okay, so you understand that we're Champions Tour players, and our memories may be a little foggy, mine in particular. I couldn't have told you -- I might have said -- if I wasn't playing with some guys who had already been through it once and mentioned it, about tomorrow afternoon I might have said, didn't we used to go from over there to...
I don't know, I remembered the flavor. I think the last time I was here I broke my hand the week before, the hook of hamate bone, and I had to withdraw after the first nine holes and I was a couple under right on No. 9, so I didn't get the full flavor of it last time, so it was really a jump to before that. So I'm remembering flashes of what's out there, but I couldn't have told you.

Q. What about the difficulty of those holes back to back to back?
JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, it's a tough stretch, but the team is thinking it through. They're not going to -- you know, we saw up tee -- we're seeing some jockeying of teeing positions, so there's just not a bloodbath out there. It's not a bloody nose for an hour. Yesterday 15 tee was up a little bit. They'll play around with 13 I'm sure a little bit. But yes, you're right, that's a lot of golf course, but it's fair, and this is the U.S. Open, and it's what we expect.
You know, I think that in a championship like this, your nose is to the grindstone and you really don't pay attention to that stuff. You're just trying to keep afloat, keep hitting good shots and maybe get away with some murder in between, get a birdie here and there in that last hour.
And then of course 18 -- if the greens were firm and fast, 18 changes, you know, like a back right pin becomes a deflection pin instead of a doable pin, although I bogeyed it yesterday. So it's the nature of what we have this week. But again, it's just really good golf.

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