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June 9, 2004

Jonathan Kaye


CHRIS REIMER: Here with defending champion Jonathan Kaye. Jonathan, you talked at media day about your fondness of this course, how much you like coming to the area. What's it like coming back here with the phrase "defending champion" before your name.

JONATHAN KAYE: It's nice. You know, I've always loved coming here, it's my favorite city in the country to come to, and it's my favorite course to play.

Hopefully some of the good vibes from last year will come back to life this year.

Q. Little bit different weather today than when you won on Sunday last year. Is the course playing differently with the hot conditions?

JONATHAN KAYE: Yeah, it's not anything like it was last year, but it's still fairly soft. The greens are -- I'm sure they'll firm up as the hot weather continues, but it's in great shape. It'll be a good event this year.

Q. When was the last time it was this firm, do you remember, or has it been a while?

JONATHAN KAYE: Gosh, I don't know, maybe four years ago, three years ago. It seems like it always rains. I kind of like it when it rains.

Q. You obviously can be a lot more aggressive than you would be with hard and fast greens?

JONATHAN KAYE: Yeah, especially coming into the greens you can be more aggressive. Off the tee I think it's not quite as penal as when it's wet. Of course we were playing lift, clean and place, you always want to be in the fairway so you can be cleaning it off.

Q. Can you expand a little bit more? Some people don't like to come to New York, it's like their least favorite city. What sort of things appeal to you when you come here?

JONATHAN KAYE: Everything. I mean, it's the center of the world. You've got great shows, good entertainment, great food, lots of good people-watching, good shopping, great golf courses. What else do you need?

Q. You've addressed this before, I think, but is your routine all different because of the fact that the U.S. Open is next week?


Q. Anything?

JONATHAN KAYE: No. I mean, I haven't played Shinnecock, so I don't know anything about it yet, but I'm more focused on this week right now than next week.

Q. Is that kind of the way things are right now in your career? The majors aren't like something separate, aren't something that you gather up for more than other tournaments?

JONATHAN KAYE: No, I gear up for them, it's just that I'm here right now, and this is what -- I'm playing this week, I'm not playing Shinnecock this week. I'm sure I'll adjust to next week, but right now I'm focused on Westchester.

Q. Can you talk about the mindset you have to have for this type of certain course, and are there a lot of courses on Tour that are similar to this or people talk about the northeast old type of course?

JONATHAN KAYE: Yeah, there's nothing similar to this on Tour. The closest I can think of is Wachovia, Quail Hollow, a little bit longer, not as many elevation changes, a little bit bigger greens.

This is a treat. This is something we don't ever get to play really, once a year.

Q. A treat why?

JONATHAN KAYE: Because it's an old-style golf course. Everything we play is TPC, shaved-down rolling hills. We don't play really severe greens like this too often. We play fast greens but not as pitched, and I think there's a premium keeping it below the hole and keeping it in the fairway out here, not such a power golf course.

Q. Are you a more confident, much more confident golfer than you were before you won on Tour?

JONATHAN KAYE: I don't know. I've been playing well, so yeah, I mean, I have some confidence. I was injured earlier this year. I'm kind of in a little rut but hoping to bounce out. I mean, I have confidence.

It helps coming back to a play that you've had success at.

Q. Since you won here last year, are you going to kind of take that mentality through the rounds or are you going to have a wipe the slate clean and just forget about last year kind of approach?

JONATHAN KAYE: I'll try and forget this last year. You can't live in the past. You've got to live in the present when you're out playing golf.

It's always nice to have that memory and recall the good things that have happened to you and remember the read, I had the same putt last year and made it, things like that you'll take, but in general it's a clean slate.

CHRIS REIMER: Jonathan, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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