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April 12, 2001

Doug Dunakey


LEE PATTERSON: Doug, wonderful start to the tournament. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about your round today and then we will open it up to questions.

DOUG DUNAKEY: Starting the day I didn't know really what to expect. The last time I was here I think I finished next to last, so, I wasn't expecting a whole lot. My game is starting to come around. I happened to hit it well off the tee which helped.

LEE PATTERSON: Any questions?

Q. No 59, but pretty good round, right?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Yeah, it was a long ways from 59 but it was a pretty solid round. I think I made one bad swing on No. 7 coming in and made bogey there. But otherwise, I was real pleased with what went on today.

Q. You are obviously famous for that 59, even infamous for the 3-putt on the end. Can you talk about that a little bit? Some of us don't know that story that well.

DOUG DUNAKEY: I was hoping to forget that story (laughter).

Q. Sorry about that.

DOUG DUNAKEY: That is all right. It was one of those things it was Nike Tour 1998 and I wasn't having that great a year. I was first off like I was today, Friday morning, and went out and everything started going in. Ended up birdieing -- all I remember is I birdied 17 and I came walking off the green I knew I could bogey the next hole, still shoot in the 50s, which is probably a bad thought. But hit a good drive and knocked a 6-iron into the green about 20, 25 feet, straight uphill putt, and the whole day I was -- I guess, I would be in the zone, but I mean, I didn't get in my own way. And then only time I really second-guessed myself, I hit a good first putt and left it just short. It was starting to rain and the rain had gotten probably about two, two and a half feet short. I had to mark my ball because my playing partners and I had to wait for them. And I looked around and all the players coming off the range coming over to watch. It kind of clicked in. I turned blue for a second; then it was all over, (laughs), but Golf Channel was nice enough to send me that tape so I got to look at my putt about a million times, so I did -- I guess I took from that, I learned.

Q. Did you miss it left-to-right?

DOUG DUNAKEY: I missed it right. But I guess I tried to take a positive off it, under pressure what my putting stroke actually does, so I have kind of learned from it a little bit.

Q. Are you going to petition for an early round tomorrow then?

DOUG DUNAKEY: I wish I could. I really can't complain about the tee time I got this week. Especially with the way the weather is, I am hoping the rain will hold off. They are talking about rain, I guess Friday afternoon or Saturday afternoon, so if I can get out there and the wind is not too bad on those Open holes it should be a pretty good day.

Q. Favorite part of this course? What do you like about it the most?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Well, if you would have asked me that two years ago I would have said nothing, (laughs), but I came back here and after having a whole, I guess, another year and a half on the Tour, and getting used to the golf courses, the great part about this golf course is that you got to drive it in certain parts of the -- certain areas, doesn't necessarily have to be in the fairway, because the rough is only maybe an inch and a half long. You can miss it on the right sides and have shots into greens where you could actually be in the fairway on other sides and not have a shot. So you really have to learn where to position off the tee and where even to miss it off the tee because it is so crucial because the greens are so small that it is real important. This year the course is in, I mean, perfect shape. The greens are for me, perfect speed. I think they are rolling probably around 9 and a half, 10 and a half somewhere in there. They are not too fast where I get a little jittery.

Q. Any advantage playing with Tommy who is just as hot as you were?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Yeah, actually Steve played pretty well too. He got off to a bad start with a couple of bogeys, but both those guys are kind of the same personalities as me, pretty quiet, maybe joke a little bit during the round, but we pretty much take care of our own business, so everybody felt comfortable out there. At least I did. That was the first time I had played with Steve and I had played with Tommy, I think one other time.

Q. You said you didn't have some high expectations coming into this course because of what happened. How about your game in general, could you see a round like this coming and do you feel like things have been improving for you?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Yeah, it has been a slow start but I have been a slow starter all three years out here. But I have actually seen some progress in the last, maybe probably the last three weeks, three weeks to a month. Hard part for me, usually on a golf week I don't come back and play well after an off-week. But I worked real hard with my instructor last week and I feel pretty good.

Q. Who is your instructor?


Q. You mentioned missing it in the right place. How do you find the right places to miss it in when you play -- do you go out --

DOUG DUNAKEY: Sometimes you know where those right places are from, you know, being out here long enough to know where those places are. And sometimes you find those spots like I think I did a couple of times I had maybe not hit the shot I wanted but I missed it in the right spot. Now I kind of bank that in the back of my mind to know. So it is a learning process for me only being, I think this is only the -- maybe the 6th time on the golf course for me. So I am learning as I am going. Luckily I missed in the right spots you know, to get a good round today and hopefully I can keep banking that to use that later on.

Q. Do you think obviously coming in not looking at it now, having a round like this tomorrow, how does that change your perception?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Yeah, I don't think -- I never -- I don't think I never not liked it. It was from a standpoint of I have never been a great driver of the ball and from growing up watching this on TV, I always thought it was a tight golf course, that I thought: Well, I am long enough, I can hit irons off the tee. But with them moving the tees back and with some new tees you have to hit driver on a lot of holes. And I don't feel comfortable -- I feel like I am in a bowling alley when I am out here a lot of times. But my driver has been getting better, so I guess I am just feeling more comfortable with playing the golf course.

Q. How many drivers did you hit today?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Let's see, I'd say 11.

Q. Having gone low like that one time do you ever, when you start a round and everything is clicking, and you get a little string of birdies together, do you ever think that again, that it is possible that you have done it once?

DOUG DUNAKEY: I haven't had that thought in my head since that time. I haven't had that kind of round. I think at that point I mean, when it happened to me before I think I was 8-under after nine holes. It is nice to be 2, 3, 4-, 5-, 6-under after nine but you still got a ways to go to 59. You got -- you have got to get a couple of breaks and you have got to have those par 5s where you have a chance to make eagle on.

Q. What kind of golf course was that?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Pretty good golf course. It was probably I think 6,800 but it was a par 70, so from my standpoint I think it's pretty good 59 because there is 2 less par 5s out there so you really have to make your birdies on other holes. The rough was pretty high but I hit a lot of 1-irons off the tee.

Q. With some time between that and now have you been able to put into words what it was like to go through a round like that, what you are feeling? Was there a different kind of feeling? We are never going to shoot 59s. Tell us what it is like?

DOUG DUNAKEY: I think it was a combination of a lot of things. I think first of all, I got the right kind of pairing where both the guys, I knew both the guys, they were very much like me just kind of hanging out, we joked along a little bit then we played. And it is just one of those things you get going and when it starts happening and you get maybe 3-under after 4- or 5-under after 6, I mean, you keep telling yourself: Don't get in your way, just let it, you know, run its course. You try not think too much. It is almost like you are flying a plane but you have get to keep it on auto pilot. As much as you'd like to go and push some buttons to do something you have just got to let it go.

Q. (Inaudible)

DOUG DUNAKEY: I was playing with Steve Hart, who is an off-and-on Tour player, and Jeff Sisk who is a buy.com player.

Q. I think this is your best round this year (inaudible). Did it feel like one of your best rounds this year?

DOUG DUNAKEY: Yeah, actually from the standpoint -- usually when I drive it well I play well. Any time -- I thought coming in here if I could hit you know, 10 fairways a round, I feel like I'd have a good chance. I think I was averaging about of the last time I was here. So (laughs) I made an early exit

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