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May 27, 2012

John Cook


KELLY ELBIN:テつ John Cook, ladies and gentlemen, the runner‑up in the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.テつ He's joining us here at Harbor Shores.テつ John in with a closing 2‑under par 69, two shots behind the champion, Roger Chapman.テつ This is John's best finish in five Senior PGA Championship starts.テつ John, comments on the play today and the way things all shook out.
JOHN COOK:テつ Yeah, it was an interesting day.テつ I felt really good warming up.テつ I felt fantastic.テつ I just thought that if I could put a little pressure on early, you never know what would happen.
I hit a really good shot at No. 1 that just crept over the green somehow.テつ It was kind of the way that the front nine went.
Then I really hit good shots.テつ I hit two that missed my mark by four or five feet and I paid the price.
On No. 2 I didn't catch the right ridge and I had a one of those three section putts.
Then on number 4, I pulled a 3‑iron about oh, five or six steps. テつI mean, that could be one of the hardest par‑3s we'll play all year.テつ And I pulled it.テつ It was a pull.テつ But it was hit pretty solid.テつ After he had hit a hybrid in there about 12 feet.
So I was kind of battling it around and I got it back at 5 and kind of misread the speed on number 7.テつ And 3‑putted there.
Then hit two good shots at 9 and almost made three.
Then from then on I really, I hit it good.テつ I hit it close every hole it seemed like.
And then I missed my mark on 17 by about two feet and had a nasty 2‑putt there.
And then 18, of course, I was trying to hole it from the fairway and just got a little too pumped up.テつ I hit it over the green.テつ But I made a nice up‑and‑down.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ How about a quick recap of the eagle on 5 and then the two birdies on the back, 13 and 14, please.
JOHN COOK:テつ I hit a nice drive and a hybrid and I had 240 to the front.
And 16, I think 256, but it was playing downwind and out of the left and I knew if I got a hybrid up in the air it would be just right.テつ It came off just perfect.テつ Right at it, hit in the bank, rolled up there about eight feet.
And he hit a horrible, he had a really nasty looking 2‑putt and which he unfortunately 3‑putted for par.テつ And I thought, oh, well, maybe, maybe.
But he came right back with birdies at 6 and 7 and that was pretty much game, set, match right there.
But we battled on and No. 9 I hit a nice drive and hit a 3‑wood up there about 15 feet right of the hole and just a beautiful little hooking putt that I didn't quite get high enough and it just missed on the low edge.
I had a good chance at 12.テつ 5‑footer.テつ Missed it.
Par on 13, hit a 5‑iron about 15 feet left of the hole, made that.
14, hit 9‑iron about four feet, made that.
15, missed about a 5‑footer.
I had my chances.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ Thank you, John.テつ All four rounds in the 60s this week.テつ Open it up for questions for John Cook, please.

Q.テつ I'm wondering when you realized how good the scoring was today and I guess the realization that not only were you going to have to shoot a low score, but you were going to need some help, which is probably unlikely.
JOHN COOK:テつ Yeah, I told Tommy, my caddie, on the ninth hole, I said, we have got a tournament within a tournament here.テつ Roger's thing is going to play out as it's going to play out.テつ We have to win this other tournament, because guys were shooting 63s and 62s and 64s all over the place.
I'm going, well, we said all week that you're going to have one round where you can make a lot of birdies.テつ And those guys all did on Sunday.テつ That was pretty impressive, if you ask me.テつ The course wasn't that easy, I promise you that.
But that's exactly how I approached the last 10 holes was a tournament within a tournament.テつ I have to win this tournament (Indicating), that other tournament will play out.テつ And it's so hard to play with a huge, huge lead like that.テつ But he played, for I'll promise you, for 70 holes, it was pretty impressive, ball striking wise.
He missed one drive on 14.テつ Hit it in the water.テつ Other than that, it was, I tell you what, it was, I can't say it was fun to watch, but it was impressive to watch.
(Laughter.)テつ He's a good man though.テつ I'm happy for him.テつ We know what he's been through.

Q.テつ I know you don't come out to play for second place, but can you just talk about your play for the week and how you feel about having this strong of a finish in a Major.
JOHN COOK:テつ I hit it great this week.テつ I really did.テつ I made some big strides last week at home or in the other home in Newport.テつ I played golf with my friends at 6:30 in the morning on old golf courses we used to play as kids and walked and carried my bag and didn't hit many balls, just played a lot of holes.テつ I played some golf with Patrick Cantlay, I played some golf with some old friends.テつ I talked with some old buddies.テつ And just kind of tried to get back to ‑‑ I hadn't had the greatest start to the year.テつ I had three good weeks, but some other not so good ones.
So I had to go back to the roots.テつ And I hit it really good at home, I felt comfortable, felt confident.テつ When I came here on Monday the wind was blowing 40, it was about 50 degrees, I'm going, wow, all that work and I got to play in this now?
But the minute we stepped on the golf course and played the front nine on Monday afternoon late, really late, I said from tee to green this is phenomenal.テつ And we're going to, someone's going to win the trophy at the end of the week and a hundred guys are going to eliminate themselves already.テつ And we might as well not be one of those guys.テつ Because I was hitting it too good and I was thinking clearly for a change.テつ And I didn't beat myself up this week, which was good.テつ So I'm happy with that.テつ That's a big stride for me.

Q.テつ Just talk about what you thought of Harbor Shores as host for a first Senior PGA.
JOHN COOK:テつ It was fantastic.テつ It couldn't have gone any better.テつ If you can guarantee weather like this in 2014?テつ That would be awfully nice.テつ But the facilities were really good, driving range was great, the golf course was in wonderful shape.
The greens and the pins they set were, I thought, very fair.テつ They could have got pretty silly.テつ And then they didn't.テつ So it gave you a chance.テつ And we got a good break on the weather.テつ It wasn't ever cold.テつ Yesterday morning kind of it was a little bit, but if it would have been like Monday and Tuesday, it would have been a slaughter.テつ That would have been no fun.テつ I would have been in a whole different mood, I promise you.テつ Unless I had the trophy, then it would have been all right.
But we play a great course next year at Bellerive and then come back here and I think that the course will mature, I think the greens will get better.テつ Maybe they will be, you know, you don't want to get all of them too softened up, but at some point they will.テつ And that will be fine.テつ And I thought tee to green it had a look that I really enjoyed from the first tee ball I hit on Monday afternoon.テつ I loved it.

Q.テつ You talked about how you felt all week coming into the week today on the range, you had two early bogeys today.テつ Did that change your mindset at all.テつ Did you still feel like this was going to be a good round; and talk about the eagle one more time about what that did just to get you mentally back into it.
JOHN COOK:テつ It didn't get me down.テつ I hit a shot on No. 1 that looked like it was going to be, right out of the gate, going to put pressure on him.テつ And it just went by the hole and caught the ridge and went off the green.
I missed my mark on No. 2 by four or five feet and I paid for it.
3, I just kind of, I mean it was playing into the wind and I had to get on this 3‑iron and I just tugged it a little bit too much.テつ I tagged it, but ‑‑ and I didn't get too upset just because if I just kept doing what I was doing all week, same pace, same talk, same everything, I've been okay.
And I hit a real nice drive at 5.テつ I had 240 to the front, downwind.テつ Perfect hybrid.テつ Hit it right at it.テつ I said, this is it.テつ This is going to be, I'm either going to get back in this game or it's going to be a day where it could be very frustrating.テつ And I said just step up and be a man and hit a shot.テつ And I hit it right at it.
So my mindset then was good.テつ I hit a good shot at, two good shots at 6.テつ Left a very makeable putt just a couple inches short and then he made birdie.テつ And that's kind of when things went, we thought that the tournament might be over, but there's a whole another one going on.

Q.テつ You're feeling good, said hitting the ball well and great tournament, by the way, you have a lot of Majors coming up the next whatever month and a half, it must feel good to know that you're feeling that way and all these big shows are coming up.
JOHN COOK:テつ Yeah, it's quite fun.テつ It's like a sprint now for, we have got the Major in two weeks and then another one a couple weeks an of that and two more a couple weeks after that.
So we have all five here in a matter of eight weeks.テつ And I knew I had to, I had some work to do.テつ Not so much game wise, just more mental than anything.テつ I do tend to beat myself up a lot.テつ I've had three really good weeks so far and I've had three other weeks that are really, I shake my head.
I don't know how I do that sometimes.テつ But I got back to kind of ground zero last week at home in Newport, played with some great old friends of mine from high school and college and actually played a little bit with, we call him the kid, with Patrick.テつ And he was really good.
And I needed to get back into that fun zone.テつ And I tend to do that every year.テつ Usually about this time.テつ I'll either go to Pine Valley and go play with some buddies there for a few days and then kind of find yourself there and I did that at home last week.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ You were tied for second at Bellerive in the '92 PGA Championship.
JOHN COOK:テつ I was.テつ That's right.テつ I had a chance.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ So good memories there.テつ Looking ahead to next year, right.
JOHN COOK:テつ Definitely.テつ Yeah.テつ Yeah.テつ Definitely.テつ Bellerive was one of those very close ones.テつ After the British Open there in '92, I came back and finished second again at the PGA and had chances at obviously chances at both.テつ Nick Price kind of clipped us down the stretch there.テつ That was about it.テつ But, yeah, great memories, it should be a lot of fun.テつ It will be great.

Q.テつ You were saying that the weather was great, it wasn't cold, but it was still really hot.テつ Did that have any impact on you?
JOHN COOK:テつ No.テつ I lived 30 years in the desert, so heat's fine with me.テつ I don't have any issues.テつ We live at the beach now, but Orlando and Newport Beach, you either get one or the other.テつ And I'm fine with heat.テつ These old bones, they, these old muscles, they like the heat.テつ They don't like that cold, 40 mile an hour breeze blowing.テつ That's, that north wind blowing from anywhere is no good.テつ They don't like that.
KELLY ELBIN:テつ John Cook, runner‑up in the Senior PGA Championship.

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