home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 8, 2001

Bob Estes


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you so much for coming to spend some time with us.

BOB ESTES: I love being here. (Laughs.)

LEE PATTERSON: Very good first two days. You've gotten yourself in excellent position as we head into the weekend. Maybe just a couple thoughts about that and then we'll open it up for questions.

BOB ESTES: Knowing the past history of this tournament at this course, you know, you have to keep going. I remember when John Cook shot 26-under, and I guess a lot of times, it takes 20- , 22-under to win this thing. 10-under was a good start yesterday; but I probably wasn't even halfway there, so I had to make sure that I realize that and basically just started over from scratch today. Just tried to make as many birdies as possible.

Q. Great playing. You shot 61 in competition one time before, and the next day I think you came back and shot 73 in Chattanooga. Did you think about that today?

BOB ESTES: Oh, that was so long ago. That was like another career ago. What was that, like 1990 or '91? 1990? So that was a long time ago. No, instead of thinking about that, I was maybe thinking more about, like, the Texas Open, when I opened with a 62 in '94; and then I was able to come back in round two with a 65, to really post a good 36-hole score to set myself up for the weekend. So, yeah, try to focus a little more on the positive. I beat myself up a little too much sometimes, anyway. So, just trying to start over and I sure didn't want to finish 36 holes 10-under or less. I needed to keep going.

Q. If you could just compare the two days and the two rounds, how was today in terms of how the course played, how you played?

BOB ESTES: It probably played about five shots tougher, I guess. (Laughs). You know, when you're out there playing, like we talked about yesterday, kind of staying in the present and not really thinking too much about the past. I'd have to kind of go back over the round a little bit. Thinking about some of the -- you know, as far as the length of the golf course, I think it was fairly similar. I think it is playing long, just because the fairways are so wet. I'm just trying to quickly go over some of the pin placements in my head, relative to yesterday. You know, it might have been just a little harder today than yesterday, but I can't say for sure. Still trying to think of some of the pin placements -- yeah, I think about No. 1. The pin placement on No. 1 was much tougher. 2 was much tougher. 3 was tougher. 4 was tougher. So, if I keep going, yeah, it played tougher today. The pins were just tougher to get at. So I think the scores are probably overall not going to be quite as good as they were yesterday.

Q. Yesterday you gave a lot of the praise to your new putter. Was it the same situation today?

BOB ESTES: Yeah, I used the same one.

Q. Is that where the praise goes, though?

BOB ESTES: Yeah, I putted pretty good, too. I hit some putts that didn't go in, but I did that yesterday, as well. So, yeah the putting is solid right now. I just need to continue to gain confidence in my ball-striking. I haven't driven the ball well the last six or seven years, and now I've got a driver just about where I want it. If I just go ahead and turn it loose now, I'm going to hit it good. Like in the past, you know, the specs were not quite right. If I hit the ball hard, it would go left, and sometimes if you hang on, the ball goes right. So I played for a long time without being able to hit it hard, play aggressively off the tee. Now I will let myself, but it take as while. I'm not just going with real high expectations. I'm just trying to continue to work through the problems that I've had for the past six or seven years. You know, it's hard to just automatically step up there and hit it hard and know it is going to go where you want it to. After experiencing so much poor driving in the past, it takes a while to overcome that. So, if I just let myself hit it, I'll hit it good, but that's easier said than done sometimes.

Q. Along those lines, working on things when you are not in contention or working on things when you are in the lead, it's a totally different mindset. So what do you think about for when you tee up tomorrow?

BOB ESTES: Well, the good thing is that I don't really have to think about anything. Now, the less I think, the better I'm going to hit it, the better I'm going to putt. Whereas before, I had to try to time it, guide it around and just having to play defense too much. Now I'm in a position where I can play offense. I can hit the ball hard and it is going to go where I want it to. So it is actually a good problem to have. Whereas, before, I was having to think. Now I'm not having to think. I'm almost having to stop thinking and just turn it loose and hit it hard and go find it.

Q. Did you get a good night's rest last night for a change?

BOB ESTES: No. I was up at, what, 4:40. We had to tee off at 7:30. It's hard to get to bed at 8:30. I don't think I had dinner until 8:45 or 9:00. You guys kept me here for a long time, so there was no way I was going to get eight hour's of sleep. I had a chance to get a nap this afternoon after I did a little practice. So surely, after a nap, a late tee time tomorrow, I'll finally be caught up.

Q. What kind of driver are you playing now and what are the differences in the specs that you have now, as opposed to when you were not driving the ball very well?

BOB ESTES: Good question. That's what I've been working with my friends a lot on also, trying to get them autumn fixed up. I've gone to a -- it's a Cleveland driver, Quad Pro. It will be available in November, so you can't get one yet, but I've got one of the few. But it's got a little flatter lie. A little more open face angle. And I've got a Diamond Gold X100 and I'm playing at 43 and 1/4 inches long. Like everybody else in the past -- you know, almost everybody, you know, they came out with these graphite shaft, big titanium heads, almost everybody was playing a 45-inch driver, and I was doing that, too, as recently as two years ago. I think when I finished fourth at the Masters in '99, I was playing a 45-inch Titleist driver, with a graphite shaft, and you don't have to drive it that straight at Augusta, so I was able to get away with some tee shots. But basically, I had to kind of find my own specs, and I think there's still a lot of guys out here really struggling with the driver. And there's guys that I think have been knocked off the Tour, lost their exempt status because of that one club. I talked about that doing an interview last week at the Kemper Open with Peter Costas, and, you know, he was kind of saying the same thing. Just he can't hit a hook-faced driver, and all of these titanium drivers are designed for lower -- I mean, higher-handicapped players. They are not designed for the good player and the professional. I think some of them are finally beginning to realize that, some of the players and the reps, and hopefully the technician, also. Anyway, I'm just about to get a special batch made up as well, of the same driver I'm playing where we don't have to try to bend it; that it already has the perfect specs when they hand it to me. So I'm really looking forward to that, because it's been a long struggle with the driver for quite a while. But going shorter and heavier is just -- once you play the long driver and then you go it a short driver, you feel like you can't miss a fairway, but, you also have to have everything just right, and I still haven't had that until maybe last week.

Q. Your game is obviously in good shape. So what do you work on when you go to the practice tee?

BOB ESTES: Well, I still need to keep popping that driver. I'm still hitting plenty of tee shots where I'm just kind of hanging on like I've been doing last six or seven years when you keep hitting the ball left, and when you do that, you usually hit it to the right. So for the most part, just continue to work on just freeing it up, just turning it loose. I pretty much have my setup and my grip pretty much squared away. Just keep on working on your alignment a little bit and just keep hitting balls and know that if you keep hitting hard -- just keep seeing shots; go where you're looking when you hit it hard. And that was not the way it was for a long time. So I'm still fighting that a little bit, and I'll still struggling with struggle with it some tomorrow because I know I'm not going to fix it overnight. I've just got to keep convincing myself that I can hit that ball hard, it's not going to go left, and if I do that, my iron game is usually pretty good, as well as my short game, and now the new putting. So I'm still going to make some putts. It's just too easy for me right now, as far as that goes, but the driving is still the part that I'm struggling with, and so, I've just got to keep hitting that driver. So I'll be out there about 2:00 hitting a lot of drivers.

Q. You mentioned how wet it was out there. Do you think it will be lift, clean and place tomorrow, or do you think it will dry out enough to play it down?

BOB ESTES: I think it is still going to be -- it's still so wet and muddy in places that I would still think we would need one more day to play lift, clean and place. I also saw the radar, looked like there was some stuff popping up around us. I don't know if we are going to get more rain or not. I hope not. We sure don't need it. Just knowing how wet and muddy it is, I would still think at least one more day, but you never know.

Q. You said last week that I guess you got the new driver last week. You've been to situations where you've played even Persimmon 3-woods out here not too long ago?

BOB ESTES: And driver.

Q. Has that been a constant struggle for the last six or seven years? Has that been the problem?

BOB ESTES: That's been a lot of it, yeah. The driver, that one particular club, maybe the 3-wood, either steel or titanium 3-woods. And to tell you the truth, I've got a wooden 3-wood and a wooden 4-wood in my locker right now, and they are close. They are not that far from possibly going in the bag at some point. I need to get them refinished. They don't look too good but they sure hit good. But that's it, yeah. The specs on the driver, in particular. I shouldn't even talk about it too much because the guys I'm trying to beat are finally going to wake up and realize that their drivers point left, too, and that's why they hit it left. But I like to help people. A lot of my friends, some of my friends on TOUR. I've worked with them on that. Mike Hulbert told me after the qualifier at Colonial on Tuesday, he didn't even use a driver. He's been fighting the driver for so long. He's a big Titleist guy and I'm sure he's been playing a Titleist driver, solely, for the last six or seven years, or ever since he quit playing a wooden driver, and I think he understands now what the problem is. It cost him his exempt status. I would imagine, I don't think he's had too much else going on with his game or his life that would have cost him his exempt status. But one club can do it to you. That's the one that you're going to, you know, probably spend the most time with as far as the full swing, is the driver, and what you'll do is you'll start adapting your setup or your swing to that one particular driver, and I think he's one of the victims.

Q. Is the pressure to hit it harder and to get it longer partly or mostly because of the guy who is No. 1 in the world right now?

BOB ESTES: Well, I guess yes and no, because guys always want to hit it further. But what good is further if you didn't hit it straighter or as straight? You can't give up that many -- hitting that many fairways if you're hitting it further, but you're hitting it further off-line. You're going to find yourself in the water or inn the woods or out of bounds. But yeah, guys certainly want to be at least within sight of Tiger's tee shots. I don't think many guys expect to hit it up with him or John Daly or Davis Love or Phil, but at least stay close enough to where you can beat them. You can only give up so many yards before you just don't have a chance. But there's something to be said for still playing out of the fairway, as well.

LEE PATTERSON: Why don't you go over your birdies for us real quick.

BOB ESTES: I started on 10 today. Made a good up-and-down on 10 out of the bunker, which is what you want to do. I didn't want to bogey the first hole today after shooting 10-under yesterday. Anyway, hit a good 8-iron about 15 feet on No. 11. Made that for birdie, so that kind of got me going again. Then I stalled for about seven holes, just trying to remember some of those other holes. Again, I had some good chances on the back nine, but just didn't convert any of them. So making the turn -- and the front nine is usually where most guys do their damage. That's where you're going to have a chance to shoot your lowest nine-hole score. Anyway, that pin was tucked back in the back right on No. 1, and I think I had 159 to the hole, a little downwind and I hit a little 8-iron in there about four feet and made it. No. 2, I hit driver, and then I had 120 to the hole. Hit a wedge about six feet behind the hole and made it. No. 4, I hit 6-iron. I think it was 172. I was trying to play just past the flag because there's plenty of room behind the flag because the water was close on the front left. It landed about hole-high and it rolled about six or seven feet by, maybe eight feet. I think I had about an 8-footer downhill left-to-right and made it. No. 5, good drive down the left side. I pulled my 3-wood left of the green pin-high, but I had a little pitch shot between the bunkers, and it came up a little short. An 18-footer down the hill left-to-right and made it. Then my first bogey of the two rounds on No. 6. I hit a decent drive, but I probably aimed a little too far left and caught the edge of the rough and drew one of the only poor lies in the rough that I've had for two days and the ball came out left on me. I was in the bunker. Hit a decent bunker shot up there about four feet. I think I misread the putt slightly and then pushed it a little bit, as well, so I missed that one. I wasn't worried, only making bogey. It was disappointing, but, you know, I wasn't too worried about it. 7, it was really good to come back with a birdie after that bogey. I think in past years, I've been really good in that statistical category as far as bounce-back, and I bounced back again. I didn't hit a real good tee shot. I pulled it over in the left bunker and hit a 4-iron about 20 feet past the flag and to the left. I had a downhill right-to-lefter and knocked it right down the middle.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297