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


May 3, 2003

Bob Estes


TODD BUDNICK: Like to welcome Bob Estes to the interview room. After his third consecutive 66. Talk about it, Bob. There's been a lot of low numbers this week on this course.

BOB ESTES: Well, my first or the round in general, yeah, we have relative fast fairways this week and greens are soft. So that's a good combination for low scores. A lot of times what we see is soft fairways and rock hard greens. And so the greens, when they're that firm it's hard to get the ball close to the hole. So the greens -- if you don't want your scores to be as low, then they need to firm those greens up. A lot of times the superintendent has to be real careful not to kill the greens or kill certain spots on the greens and whatever. But the greens are real receptive right now to most mid and short irons. So guys are having lots of opportunities to make birdies and eagles.

TODD BUDNICK: There are some places you can get in trouble out here. 18 especially got a couple guys today. But I think you played the last 40 holes without a bogey. That's got to help too.

BOB ESTES: Yeah. And a lot of times that's because I make good decisions. Not just firing at every flag. You can get in trouble, short side yourself, come up short, you're in the water, something like that. Yeah, you have to play smart as well as aggressive. There are certain shots where we're just not aiming at the flag. We're playing right of it or left of it or short of it. So if you make a bogey, then you got to make another birdie.

I had plenty of chances out there. If I was putting better, I could have easily shot 62. There's a lot of guys that can say the same thing, I suppose. Yeah, the rough's not too penal and the fairways are wide and there's plenty of short holes. I would have to go back and start counting but there's probably at least two holes I'm hitting my 2-iron off the tee. Nine and 13. And maybe a 2-iron off number 4. So there's some short par-4's out here to go with some short par-5s. So unless you really firm those greens up, guys are going to hit it close and make birdies.

Q. Was your putting off today?

BOB ESTES: Well it's been a little off every day. But I've just had a little bit of trouble getting the right ball position, getting the ball on line. So that's the main thing. I'm going to go work on it tomorrow. I'm just not getting it on line as well as I need to. That's just one of those things. I'm still playing well. Hitting lots of tee shots and iron shots. I need to make more of those 10, 12, 15 footers. If I want to shoot the really low score to have a chance to win tomorrow.

Q. Do you feel like you can win with another 66?

BOB ESTES: Probably not, but I don't know how those guys are finishing up on 18. Well what did they finish? What did they do?

Q. (Inaudible).

BOB ESTES: Brian made a double bogey? Okay. Good. So am I the only one -- he's still 21 -- I mean good that I'm in the last group. Don't you write that. I didn't mean it like that. No I meant -- because what I was trying to do is I was trying to birdie 18 to get myself in the last group tomorrow. So it turns out I didn't have to. But, yeah, I sure would rather be at 19 than 18. Because the leader would always be one more up than what he is so -- but I wanted to get to 19 and that wasn't going to guarantee me being in the last group, because Brian Gay still could have finished birdie, birdie or made a birdie or whatever on one of those last two holes. But that was the plan. My birdie came up just short right in the middle of the hole on 18.

Q. Do you watch the scoreboard?

BOB ESTES: Yeah. I had a pretty good idea of what's going on. On Tour it's almost hard to -- I can keep myself from looking, especially on Sunday, if I feel like I'm going to stay more focused and play better by not looking. But there's so many score boards out there on Tour that it's hard not to notice. They keep running the scores through. It's so fast. It's pretty easy to keep up with how you stand. So tomorrow of course I'll be in the last group -- not that Scott would necessarily even be leading when he tees off. Somebody could really get hot teeing off a couple hours before us, but it just depends. Sometimes I watch and sometimes I don't.

Q. Has the key been managing your golf game this week?

BOB ESTES: Well I've been striking the ball fairly well and managing my game and my short game's been real solid also. Yesterday I made it twice from off the green, I pitched in once, I made bunker shot on the last hole, number 9. And I had like three other shots from around the green that almost went in. Just walk up there and tap it in. So it's not like we're hitting every green and putting for birdie or eagle on every hole. You still got to hit the shots. Like I was saying, with the greens that soft, you're going to have -- not that they're soft, they're soft enough to be receptive to players of our ability to spin a ball enough to stop them. We're going to have a lot of birdies and eagle chances. And yeah, if you can avoid making mistakes, then you're going to have plenty of chances to make birdie and eagle.

Q. What is realistic for someone who wants to come from behind with so many birdies being made?

BOB ESTES: To win obviously a lot of it has to do now based on how Scott plays. He's at 21, I'm at 18. And what? One or two guys at 17? Two at 17? So it's really up to Scott. A lot of times you can look at the leaderboard and the leader doesn't play that well on Sunday, but then you can almost look at 18 being the number and then you can probably start looking down the leaderboard four or five shots below that. It's going to be real tough on anybody to win that -- because Scott's tough. He always has been. We grew up playing against each other. Don't expect him to fold tomorrow. He's going to make birdies like he was today, probably. So anybody below 15-under, you know, as soon as I say that somebody that's 14-under is going to read that in the paper and get upset and come out tomorrow and birdie the first six holes.

Q. Did you guys play the last group at the Canadian Open?

BOB ESTES: Right. No, I think he was in the group behind me. He was in the group one back. But, yeah, so Scott and I both go way back. He was the man back in golf, high school golf and college golf. He had some tough times early in his pro career. But, yeah, we had a bunch of really good players growing up in Texas. Playing those junior tournaments and competing against each other. And college golf as well. Jeff Maggert and Billy Ray Brown, others. Mike Stanley. He's won here before. Brian Watts and it seems like there's a bunch of guys. So it was real competitive in our high school golf and our junior golf and our amateur golf. So we kept pushing each other to do greater things. So Scott was a motivating factor for me when I was younger, seeing how well played at such a young age. I was playing basketball also through high school, which I love basketball and glad I played through high school, but -- so I was having to play catch-up once basketball season was over. With other guys who were playing golf full-time. But I remember one when Saturday morning -- I worked pretty hard at my game for sure when I was younger. I was one of the most motivated kids on the planet. But I remember my dad coming in one morning, on Saturday morning, and I hadn't gotten out of bed yet, I was kind of sleeping in. And my dad was a coach too, don't forget. And he said, I'll bet Scott Verplank's already out there practicing. So there is lots of guys that can tell you a Scott Verplank story. Especially guys that know him better than I did that maybe went to college with him. But, yeah, he was always the guy for the most part that we were chasing and it feels good to see him playing a lot better the last five, six year, seven years.

Q. Have you played with him lately?

BOB ESTES: I can't remember. I think I played with him a couple times last year but I don't think so this year. I can't tell you for sure.

Q. You mentioned wanting to get in the final group. Are you working to get on top of the crowd at 16, 17, 18 or to get where Scott was?

BOB ESTES: Well starting that right off he's three shots ahead. Oh, today? I was just trying to -- I can't control it, obviously, but I knew that if I could get it close to 20-under then I would be in good position to have a chance tomorrow. That was kind of the number I was thinking. If I could have gotten it to 20-under, I might have been in the top, three or four. But being in a good position and if you get to 20-under more than likely you're not going to be too far out of the lead. So it turns out I would be one back. Which is nothing. That could flip-flop on the first hole. But I just wanted to at least give myself, get myself in a position to at least have a chance to win. It's going to be fun.

TODD BUDNICK: Go through your card, Bob.

BOB ESTES: No. 2 I hit driver 3-iron about 30 feet. High right, 3-putted.

I hit a good drive down the left side of the fairway and could have gone for the green, but it wasn't really a comfortable shot where the pin was. The carry over the water. So I hit 5-iron down the fairway to get an angle. And then I scooted a sand wedge back from the flag four feet and made that one for birdie. That's one of those situations I was talking about where 10 is just go, go, go. And sometimes you got to play smart. You put yourself in position where the worst score you're going to make is par and you might make birdie or eagle.

But No. 11 I hit a good drive, 5-iron on the front. About 25 feet away. 3-putted that one for birdie. As you can tell -- I had a bunch of other chances to make birdie up to that point. So I'm 3-under through 11 and I haven't made anything yet. Just one short putt and two, two-putts. So I missed a bunch of good birdie chances through those first 11 holes.

Then I ran one by the edge on 12 for birdie to make par.

13, same thing. Caught a corner of the hole, lipped out for.

And then finally, the most difficult putt I had all week, I made it. I hit it in the center of the green and I had about a 22, 25 footer with about five foot of break. I made that one. That will make up for the one I missed on 10, I thought. I hit it close there but didn't convert.

Then on 15 I hit a nice fade down the center of the fairway and knocked a fire iron -- probably landed somewhere around the hole and ran to the back. I putted that one for birdie.

16, I hit driver, 50 degree sand wedge, made that from four feet for birdie.

Then 18 was the one that I kind of wanted to make. I came up just a little bit short on that. That was about 10, 12 feet there. Uphill right-to-left. I left it short. It was a six.

Q. What did you hit on 18?

BOB ESTES: 6-iron. 172 to the front, 180 to the hole.

Q. How tough was that hole playing today?

BOB ESTES: 18? Pretty tough. It's always plays tough with the wind blowing harder. The wind wasn't blowing quite as hard as the last couple days when we were hitting our approaches in there. But any time the pin is somewhat towards the front -- actually in that right corner, I mean, there's just about no shot to that green. You would much rather be coming in with a mid iron than a long iron. So a full 6-iron. It was spinning, I had to hit it perfect. I landed in the fringe, I think. But for the most part it depends on where you hit your tee shot and where you hit your second shot. So there's some guys make it look easy and some guys make it look hard.

Q. Have you always played using that same grip?

BOB ESTES: Putting or hitting? I got all kinds of grips. But I went to the 10 finger grip at Colonial, 2001. And then I won a month later at Memphis. Then I won again in October in Vegas. And then the following year it was June at Kemper so I won three times in 15 months or -- no, three times in 12 months after switching to the 10 finger grip. My hands just stick together better that way. And I've had to go through a lot of trial and error. But I changed my game, and my equipment, a lot of times, has to adjust with my grip or as my game adjusts. Still working hard with my teacher to improve my golf swing. Still got a few things to experiment with or try for next week when I go back to Austin.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Bob.

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