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June 3, 2003

Michael San Filippo


JULIUS MASON: Mike San Filippo, ladies and gentlemen at the 64th Senior PGA Championship. Mike is the 2002 Senior CPC Winner. Mike, welcome to Philadelphia. Some opening thoughts on being here, please.

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: Well, thank you, Julius. I am glad to be here as I am sure all my fellow club professionals are. It is a great opportunity to play a wonderful golf course for a lot of money, you know, what can I say? (Laughs) - beats being back at the shop, you know, running the whatever -- let's not go there to be politically correct. It's certainly a wonderful opportunity for us club pros to play with the best players in the world, playing here at Aronimink I think is just a little something extra special for us. This is one of the great golf courses that I have had to the pleasure to play and I am sure you are hearing a lot of good things from most of the other players.

JULIUS MASON: What is your history here? Have you played the course before?

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: No, actually, I have never played Aronimink unfortunately. This is my first visit.

JULIUS MASON: Have you got 18 holes at least at this stage?

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: Yeah, I have. I actually played 16 holes yesterday and then I played 14 holes this morning, but I have played them all, and they are all definitely challenging holes. I think the golf course is set up very well. There's plenty of room to drive the ball, but if you don't, you are going to pay a price. I think you are going to have to play some really good middle iron game this week because 7 -- I have hit so many 6s and 5-irons into par 4s, I don't even think I have used my 9-iron yet, quite frankly. So I think someone like maybe Hale Irwin who is well known for excellent iron-play would be a person to contend with. And then finally, I think one of the most important things about negotiating Aronimink is just being in the right place on the greens. There's a lot of little subtle flows and bends and bumps in the greens, and you are going to have to do your homework and know where to hit the ball, and keep the ball in a position where you can putt aggressively up to the hole otherwise you are in trouble.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you.

Q. Back in October you turned 50 and I am going to ask you about your general feeling about your future in senior golf and just go over what your plans are and what you think you can accomplish in the years ahead?

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: Well, right now I am just a rookie on the SENIOR TOUR. After a 20-year career as a club professional when I was nearing the age of 50 I thought well, I have always enjoyed the competitive aspect of playing and have always tried to keep my game at a high level. So when I went to Q-School it was actually a bit of a surprise to get through and become a conditionally exempt player. Right now I am just trying to get better at playing this game. I am having a whole lot of fun trying to do it. I'd like to get a few more starts, but that will take care of itself if I just play good when I get my chances. But I am having a lot of fun. I know that some day I will probably go back and become a club pro again somewhere. I enjoy teaching. And I enjoy being part of a club and the environment at a club. But I thought that this was a wonderful time in my life to take a couple of years off and get this playing thing out of my system so that when I am an old man I can look and say, well, I gave it my best chance and, hey, I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I am having a good time with it.

Q. The Champions Tour has been a great stepping stone for so many of the club professionals. You have watched them come out through the years. Have you sort of taken a look at what they have done to try to get to that level?

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: Yeah, absolutely. There's no doubt that -- there's a lot of talent in the club professional ranks but we just don't quite get enough time to work on our game. One thing I have learned out here is these guys are very focused and they are working awfully hard everyday on their game even the top players and I don't think it was like that years ago. I think that it's become a lot more competitive, and the guys are spending a lot more time on the range hitting balls and working on their short games than they used to in the past. So Bob I think I have lost the gist of the question.

Q. Have you looked at the careers of people like Mason and Quigley ---

MIKE SAN FILIPPO: Wargo, Mason, Quigley are certainly inspirations to us as club professionals. They come out here and have shown that it can be done and I certainly have watched their careers there and tried to learn from what they have done. Certainly I am inspired by their successes.

JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts...

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