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May 24, 2012

John Cook


KELLY ELBIN:テつ John Cook, in with a 2‑under par 69 in the opening round of the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.テつ John is currently one shot out of the lead.テつ It looks like a pretty clean looking round, birdies on 4, 5 and 14 and a bogey on 12.テつ I'm guessing that a 69 on this golf course any day is probably a pretty good score.
JOHN COOK:テつ Very happy, yeah.テつ Looking at this golf course the first three days of practice I thought a round of par would be great.テつ And you would be very happy with that.
With that other wind blowing on Monday and Tuesday it was pretty brutal.テつ But yesterday it was a nice day and we got to feel a bit more comfortable on the course.テつ It wasn't that windy, it was a little bit warmer, ball started to travel, you started to see things a little bit better.
Then today the wind decided it was going to switch completely on us right from the first tee ball.テつ We were trying to figure out what to do there.テつ But I was patient all day and Tommy, my caddie, Tommy Anderson and I, I normally work really quickly and I don't carry a book, I don't carry anything, I just listen to him and decide what I'm going to do.
Today we took our time a little bit more and just exactly how far was it to a bunker playing this wind.テつ It was ‑‑ really, it was a first time we had seen the golf course play like this.
So I was patient, which I'm normally not very patient, and I hit a lot of good quality shots that ended up on either the right level completely or I only had to go up and over one ridge.テつ I didn't have to go over two or three ridges very often.テつ Couple times, but not very often.
So I actually, my distance control was pretty good today and I think that was a big key.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ If you could just go over your three birdies.
JOHN COOK:テつ Number 4, I hit a nice‑‑ the tees were up, thank God, because we were trying to figure out how we were going to play that hole from 210.テつ And I hit a nice 7‑iron about 20 feet to the right of the hole and just had one little bump to go over and negotiated that pretty well and it went in the middle.
5, hit a good drive, laid up perfectly, hit a nice little sand wedge in there to about four feet and made that.
6, I actually drove it too far into the hazard, which I couldn't quite figure that one out.テつ And then I actually hit an 8‑iron in there about eight feet and made it for par.テつ So one of those round keeping going things.
7, thank God, played downwind.テつ Nice drive and 9‑iron and had a nice 2‑putt to get out of there with four.
Then 8, I had a chance, about 6‑footer I missed.
12, I made some good second putts, which you have to do around here.
Number 11, I made nice 4‑footer.
12, I actually hit a good shot that went just over the back of the green, which was not very good.テつ And I putted it down there about five feet and missed it.
14, I hit a nice drive, a good 7‑iron about 25 feet, made that.
Then had chances every hole coming in.テつ 15 feet and in coming in every hole.テつ And didn't quite get any of them in there.テつ But happy to have them, again, with one ridge or no ridge putts.テつ That was the big key today.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Open it up for questions.
JOHN COOK:テつ I made four of my five, 5‑footers.テつ Which was, that's a big key.

Q.テつ You were saying you like to play quick.テつ Was it something that you said on the first tee to yourself and your caddie, let's not play quick today, let's look at this?
JOHN COOK:テつ We got on the tee and, not really.テつ We just took our time on the tee.テつ I kind of was asking, how far is it to that bunker because the previous days you couldn't come close to reaching that bunker with a driver and so we figured that out.
So we just kind of settled into it.テつ It wasn't something we talked about, but when it was time to figure something out, we took our time.テつ I normally don't take very much time at all.テつ But I wanted to make sure that we got things right because it, if you don't have things figured out and if you're not committed out here, you will shoot a very high score.テつ I'm sure there will be some high scores.

Q.テつ I know you talked about the wind when you teed off, except it seems to have really picked up as we have gotten later in the day.テつ Do you think it was a huge advantage to be able to play in the morning today?
JOHN COOK:テつ I'm sure that the early, early morning it was very nice.テつ And we really didn't ‑‑ it was blowing pretty good on No. 1, to where it was, you had to start thinking about it.
I think that when we got to number 7 it started, it was really starting to blow.テつ And maybe it might blow a little bit harder, but it was blowing about as hard as it could blow.テつ Which made 7, 8 and 9 pretty interesting.
Then the back side, when you got back into the woods, it got real tricky, the wind was kind of swirling in and out.
But it made 15 play very difficult, the par‑5.テつ It made 16 play very difficult, the second shot.テつ And 17 was hard to judge.テつ It was so hard downwind that we didn't know what to hit, really.テつ The numbers just didn't compute out.
So you had to be careful all around.
It could pick up more.テつ I would, I think maybe we did get a bit of a break.テつ But it wasn't like it wasn't blowing this morning at all.

Q.テつ Are there a set of greens somewhere else that these resemble at all?
(Laughter.)テつ No.テつ If you hit a really good shot and you hit your spot within two or three feet, that's not very big, hitting some of these clubs we're hitting into, you'll have it on the right level or just a one section putt.
If you miss your spot by a foot or two, you'll have a two or three section putt.テつ Or you'll be off the green.
But that's the way it is.テつ And you know that you have to be spot on and you have to accept, when you don't hit it just right, you have to accept the consequences or you're really going to have a problem all week.
And that's what we have figured out the last couple days is, the golf course is what it is.テつ Tee to green it's phenomenal.テつ It's really one of the best eye catching golf courses we play.テつ It is gorgeous.
The greens are what they are.テつ They're, even the short holes where you think you might have a chance to get something back, if you don't hit your spot exactly where you're supposed to hit it, you're going to have a two or three section putt.テつ And that's the way it is.

Q.テつ Assuming this part of the state ‑‑ I'm from Michigan, this wind will change, it will blow‑‑
JOHN COOK:テつ I'm sure it will.

Q.テつ ‑‑ all weekend.テつ What's, what do you think?テつ 5‑under, 6‑under, or is that a number?
JOHN COOK:テつ I would take that right now and I would sit right up in that clubhouse.テつ Start polishing that trophy.
(Laughter.)テつ I think if you're under par at all you will have a very good opportunity to win.テつ I really do.テつ I know the wind's supposed to be different almost every single day.テつ I know it's supposed to be hot on Sunday.テつ So it just, it just adds those variables.
But we have played practice rounds in all the wind that you can pretty much play in.テつ So we'll be ready.テつ But we thought too that you might have one day where a lot of good things really happened and then you could shoot 2, 3, 4‑under.テつ There might be a score of 4‑ or 5‑under, but it won't be all week.テつ It might be one a day.テつ And then if your other rounds are around par, I think you've done a pretty good job.テつ So I'm, I would be happy with anything in the red.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ John Cook, thank you.
JOHN COOK:テつ Great.テつ Thank you.

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