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August 9, 2012

Darrell Kestner


Q. テつDarrell, after 18 majors you had a little bit of jitters, you said, on the opening tee?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ Yes, if you're not nervous on the first tee of a major you must not really care about it.テつ Well, I must have really cared about this because I was as nervous as I was in my very first major.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ It was fun.テつ I tried the whole way.テつ I got off to a little shaky start.テつ But I hung in there and did what I had to do to play golf.テつ It's a long, long golf course for me.テつ Like I said, I had more three‑digit yardages that started with a 2 than started with a 1.テつ I had 200, 230, 220, 215 all day long.テつ But I hit it well, and it was a nice round.テつ I could have had maybe a couple strokes better, but all in all, I'm happy.テつ I need a nice day tomorrow.

Q.テつ You certainly had preparations for this well.テつ You played an event at Bethpage?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ Yeah, I actually used that as a springboard test for this, and I thought it was a good mental challenge because Bethpage was a 7,400 yard par‑70, so I said, well, that would be just about like playing this one as a 7,600‑yard par‑72.テつ I finished top 10 in that one in New York, so I felt like my game was mentally good enough, and so I went up.テつ But I am playing the PGA instead of the state open, so my nerves did get the best of me starting out.

Q.テつ You also mentioned your harbor shores competition.テつ That was a great golf course, as well, and here you are now back at a course you've seen before twice now, in テや05 and テや07.
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ Yeah, I think only two people in the field have seen it as much as us, and that's Jeff Coston and myself.テつ We both played the Club Pro here in 2005 and the Senior PGA.テつ We played real well in the Club Pro here, I think it was top 5 or something like that, and then I did miss the cut in the Senior PGA by just a little bit, but it was terrible winds and everything.テつ But it was very challenging.テつ It's a wonderful golf course.

Q.テつ Tomorrow you've got an early morning start, right?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ Yeah, 7:30, so I'm totally exhausted, so it'll be a good night's rest and up early, and excited for tomorrow.

Q.テつ Out of the 18 majors, can you talk about the ones that you really reflect back on and say, that was maybe the best time I ever had?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ All of them right around the metropolitan area where I'm from and playing in front of the hometown crowd, the PGA at Baltusrol, the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, the PGA at Winged Foot, playing those right around there and the local fans cheering you on, those were the exciting ones.テつ And being able to‑‑ I made my only cut in the one at Baltusrol.テつ So that's exciting for me.テつ But then the one at Inverness where I played with Arnold Palmer for the first time in a practice round, and then made a double eagle on 13 the next day, which was the first double eagle in PGA history.テつ I've got a lot of fond memories.

Q.テつ What do you remember about your very first ever PGA in '79?テつ Who did you play with?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ '79 was U.S. Open.テつ Yeah, it was a U.S. Open.テつ I just remember Freddie Couples on the range, that young kid Freddie Couples, and hit it over the fence with his long swing and big, strong grip.テつ I said, that'll never work.

Q.テつ You've had some pretty good preparation coming here, haven't you, Harbor Shores and everything?
DARRELL KESTNER:テつ Yeah, that's exactly right.テつ You know what prepped me most, I kind of used this as a mental add‑to was this, was playing in the New York State Open at Bethpage, 7,400 yard par‑70, so I kind of say, well, that's not that much different than 7,600 par‑72 here, and then I finished well in that one, was top 10 or something like that, so I kind of used that as, okay, you're capable of playing this golf course.テつ But it is a little bit‑‑ it is the PGA as opposed to the state open.

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