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


March 2, 2004

Heath Slocum


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Heath Slocum into the interview room, our winner last week in Tucson. Congratulations on that, Heath.

HEATH SLOCUM: Appreciate it. Thank you.

JOHN BUSH: Talk a little bit about the experience of finally breaking through and winning for the first time and also coming here and trying to win two in a row.

HEATH SLOCUM: It was obviously a great experience for me. I mean, it's what I've been really working hard for, and for it to come last week, it felt great.

This is a new week. I'm playing well. I've played well here last year, so I was really looking forward to coming here and see if I can't keep it rolling.

JOHN BUSH: The victory, has it sunk in yet?

HEATH SLOCUM: A little bit, just from coming out and everybody congratulating me, it's kind of starting to hit home. I think maybe next week on my week off, it will be really nice and probably sink in a little more then.

Q. How much does winning a tournament change the way you look at your schedule; do you get more of an opportunity to pick your events? Some people scale back because they know they don't have to fight for the 125.

HEATH SLOCUM: I'm not 100% sure yet. I love to play. I mean, so I played probably two or three more tournaments last year than I would have liked and I played 32. So, I mean, I definitely might scale it back two or three, but I think that's it. I really enjoy playing. I enjoy some of the tournaments. So I don't think it's going to be a real big change for me. Hopefully I can add a couple, maybe majors or something in there this year if I continue to play well, and still make up and play 29, 30 events.

Q. Will winning change the way you feel about yourself in terms of confidence on the golf course?

HEATH SLOCUM: I've always been pretty confident in my ability, anyway. But yeah, this is definitely going to help because, yeah, just going into each week, now I can tell myself that I've done this before and I would love to do it again. So I think it's definitely going to help the confidence.

Q. What was the key in your mind, in this particular instance? I know you birdied the first four holes on Sunday, but now that's over and you've done it and have a chance to look back, how did it feel different, getting it done?

HEATH SLOCUM: There's really not a whole lot of difference. I closed well. I've been in contention a few times and still been in really good frame of mind. This week, it just continued all week. I mean, I still made putts. I still hit good shots. I think it helped a lot, too, with Aaron, both of us making a lot of birdies and kind of feeding off each other. It just kind of it was almost like a match play match then because we had pulled ahead of the field. So I think that we were just concentrating on hitting good shots and I knew I had to keep hitting good shots to have a shot at winning.

Q. How important was your experience on the Nationwide Tour?

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, it not only taught me how to win or helped teach me how to win because I've won many tour events but at the next level it definitely teaches you I think most of all on tournaments like this, that you continue out there, you have to keep shooting good numbers, even on Sunday to win. I mean, because on the Tour, a lot of times if you have the lead it's not very often that you can shoot an over par round and win. I think Daly did it like a couple of weeks ago but it doesn't happen very often. Usually there's always somebody that makes a run. So playing the Nationwide and winning out there definitely teaches you. You need to put your head down, keep making birdies, stay aggressive, keep with your game plan or you will get passed and not only may not finish first but may not finish in the top 5 or 6.

JOHN BUSH: You said you've had some success here last year; what is it about the course that you like and also comment on the conditions of the course since you've played this morning.

HEATH SLOCUM: The course is in great shape. I think I grew up on bermudagreens and I like the East Coast, just because of the weather, it's warm. But I think the course sets up pretty good for me. You have to drive it fairly straight here. The greens are fairly big, but they can hide these pin placements. Last year I played it very well. I didn't get too aggressive with the golf course; just played it how it was laid out. If I continue to make putts, I don't see any reason why I won't be successful this week.

Q. How noticeable are the changes at the five holes that they made?

HEATH SLOCUM: Pretty noticeable. On 3, definitely makes it a lot tougher. I played it this morning and it was right into the teeth of the wind, as well as 18. I hit driver, 3 iron into 18 and had not gotten there yet. There's a couple of these changes that are very noticeable.

11, I think they did a great job on 11. It makes it a really good hole now that it kind of brings a few different options in and gives you a longer iron into that green.

I think there was one more, maybe even two more.

Q. 3,8,11, 14?

HEATH SLOCUM: 8 is definitely one that it's definitely out of my reach now. I think last year I got there in two three of the four days but it would have to be straight downwind my best drive to get there now so it just made it a three shot hole for me.

And 14 was straight downwind today so it was really hard for me to tell how that's actually going to play, but it didn't seem to be too terribly long that hole.

Q. You figure most players will hit 3 iron into 18? I know wind has a lot to do with it.

HEATH SLOCUM: They are definitely going to hit longer irons. I don't know if it's going to be 3 irons. I was talking to some of the players that played it yesterday into the wind and they were hitting longer irons. So that green is pretty tough, anyway. I think that was it's not a hole that you want to have to hit 3 iron, 4 iron, 5 iron into a lot. I think that right bunker is going to get a lot of work this week. Hopefully that's still it's still a good hole and hopefully the wind is not as strong all week. If it's not as strong, I think it will play just about just about right.

Q. And this event, the wind on 18 is decided so many of them; how much of a difference does it make when you've got the wind blowing, trying to hit that green with a 7 iron as compared to a 4 iron?

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, it makes a huge difference, especially getting it close. I mean, you've got the left side of the green shaved. The right bunker of the green already slopes toward the water. If you get into the bunker, you're getting into a green that's going away from you.

That makes a huge difference between a 3 iron and a 7 iron, something like that. The 4 iron, one of your best shots you may get it 15, 20 feet and 7 iron you can actually stick it in there and almost get yourself a good look at it.

I still think it's a good hole. I mean, it just makes it now, it's going to test everybody's ability to get up there and trust their swing. Same as before. Just a little longer.

Q. Where do you stand with regards to Masters?

HEATH SLOCUM: You know, I'm not 100%. I'm outside of the Top 10. I think I have to be in the Top 10 by TPC or Top 50 worldwide. I don't know if I can quite get in the Top 50 in that time span. I think I have a better chance of finishing Top 10 on the Money List. I'm definitely going to play this week and hopefully have a good week many I'm definitely going to play TPC. I'm not playing Honda and Bay Hill I'm not 100% yet. Try to hopefully get some rest on my off week and go from there.

Q. How much would it mean to you to get into Augusta?

HEATH SLOCUM: Also, another lifelong dream. I mean, that's one of my favorite tournaments. Just grew up watching it. I would love to play there. I went to college I mean, I went to college, we played in Augusta State's tournament and I got to go to two Monday practice rounds, and I said, I will never go back unless I get inside the ropes. It was kind of like a challenge for me. I don't want to go back and kind of watch. When I go back I want to be inside the ropes playing. It's definitely a goal of mine.

Q. Do you feel like you understand the World Rankings, and the reason I ask that, there are players that are in the sort of 40, 50, 60 range that at this time of year it gets close and they are very carefully trying to determine where to play, where not to play and how not to hurt their ranking if they are inside of it and so forth and so on. Some of them have said that it's just hard to understand it.

HEATH SLOCUM: I don't understand it at all. Honestly. I understand that you get points and if you play so many it's divided by that.

I don't really get caught up in it. I figure if I play well, it will take care of itself; otherwise, I'm not going to really alter my schedule for events. I feel like I'm going to play my best golf when I'm fresh. If it happens to be a good week for me to play or a bad week for me to take it off, it's not going to matter with the World Rankings. I'm just going to do whatever I feel like is going to be best for my golf.

Q. Would you like to see the system changed; just simplifying it a little bit?

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, the things that I do know about it, I understand that it can hurt a player, like Vijay from what I've read, that it hurts him to play so much. I think there could be some modifications and I wouldn't know where to even start. Like I said I don't understand it. If he's definitely hurt by playing more events than, let's say, Tiger Woods, then there could be something to change in that. He loves to play golf. He plays more golf and if he plays great golf 60 percent of the time, he should be rewarded for it.

Yeah, I don't fully understand it. After a few weeks of trying or looking at it, I just figured, you know, I'll just go play golf.

Q. Would you advocate, then, having a system where you would take the Top 20 finishes in a year or Top 30 finishes a year and you get to drop anything below that?

HEATH SLOCUM: See, I don't know if that would work, either. Like I said, I don't know a good way and I've never really thought about it.

I mean, it's kind of hard just to take your best, I guess, I'm not even sure. It's such a hard thing to rank somebody in the world against each other. I think it is almost impossible. I think that Tiger Woods obviously has made the case that he is the best. Just look at his past performances, the last six years, five years. Other than that, you may say, yeah, this guy is two or three, but beyond that, it's very hard to tell. There's so many good players and they play different tournaments. I think it's very difficult to say somebody is 50th and somebody is 52nd. It's pretty hard to distinguish between those two.

Q. The cast of characters that you beat Sunday was pretty extensive, John Daly and Lehman and Mize, did they give you the confidence to play and beat those guys?

HEATH SLOCUM: Obviously it gives me just as much confidence to beat anybody on the PGA TOUR, not just the big names or whatever. I mean, I understand golf, it's a day to day game, it's a shot to shot game. They are great golfers, don't get me wrong, and they have won big tournament, majors. But at the same time, I feel like the guys that you may not hear of all the time, I mean, I think I was in that category. So, you know, they weren't really worried about, yeah, "I beat Heath Slocum this week."

They understand, too, that any given day the guys out here can light it up, any given week. It's just giving me confidence just to know that the quality of the whole field that I was on top that week is going to give me just as much confidence, even say if it was a full field of all the top golfers in the world were there, I think I would come away with the same exact feeling that I was the best in Tucson that week.

Q. You talked about the Masters and how you followed it when you were younger. Seve is here this week. He obviously has been a big figure at Augusta. Did you watch him and is he one of the guys you looked up to?

HEATH SLOCUM: Sure. He was just so exciting to watch. I mean, his short game was incredible. I mean, obviously, there's not very many people that have that kind of imagination and that kind of touch around the greens.

I think more than anything, it was just his pure grit, his will to win, his determination to get the job done no matter what.

I think that's the way he was he was definitely one that I definitely admired and looked up to and wanted to try to emulate because of that part of his golf game and that part of his mindset. Yeah, I remember watching Seve and Nicklaus and all of them. All of these tournaments, but definitely the Masters and like the U.S. Open, PGA, the majors, they were just long time goals and dreams. Definitely want to try to play those events and play well in those events.

Q. When you were younger and you had heroes like Jack and Seve, was there more of a difference in games back then? Jack was the high ball cut and Seve was all over the place to get out of trouble, kind of like Arnie had it, was there more diversity and different kind of games then than there might be now or are we just not paying attention now?

HEATH SLOCUM: I still think there's plenty of diversity out here. There's obviously different ways to get it done. I think that you take the best player in the world, Tiger Woods, and my game, and obviously they are completely different. He hits it much longer. I think I definitely hit more fairways. He hits more greens. He's got the all around package. But there's a lot of diversity out here. I think as a whole, players are getting better all around. So it may be a little harder to distinguish somebody from maybe a great ball striker and he's just got a great short game and imagination.

It's still there. It's just maybe a little harder to see. There's definitely a lot of different ways that people get it done out here and get the job done well.

Q. Is it maybe because of the way courses get set up nowadays, is it more of an emphasis on playing target golf than there is in a guy like a Seve who can survive and even win by recovery shots, short game and putting?

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah, golf courses could have something to do with it. I mean, golf courses definitely are getting longer. They linked in this course four, five, six holes out here. So it definitely maybe makes the game where you have to hit it you don't have to hit it longer but it definitely helps just to be able to hit it long, bomb it and hit it up next to the green. A lot of the courses we are playing have the thick rough just surrounding the green and it takes away a little bit of the imagination around the greens. I noticed in the last couple of years that some of these courses seem to be shaving some of the edges and bringing back some of the imagination and that touch around the greens.

I still think there's lot of different ways and a lot of the guys get it done different ways out here.

JOHN BUSH: Good luck this week at the Ford Championship.

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