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September 8, 2009

Heath Slocum


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Heath Slocum, thanks for joining us here before the third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, currently third in the standings through two events. It's been a great couple of weeks for you. Maybe just some thoughts on the FedExCup, and also you've been able to play the course a couple times. Maybe some comments about the golf course.
HEATH SLOCUM: Obviously the last couple weeks have been pretty good, obviously, winning the first one, kept hold in the third. Last week was a bit of a blur. Everything seemed to go by pretty quick.
But getting here and seeing this golf course in fantastic shape, very anxious to see the changes. They've definitely added some length, lots of bunkers, redid the greens. I think the greens are quite good, most of them. Going to have access to a lot more pin placements.
I think if we avoid some rain, it plays somewhat fast. It's going to play well. It's going to be difficult but fair.

Q. This is kind of an in-between, but do you look at this Cog Hill as a new golf course, or is it more of an alteration, minor alterations, of the old one?
HEATH SLOCUM: Well, it really is kind of a new golf course. Obviously the holes go in the same route, but there is a lot of new things. I mean, they've put plenty of bunkers that you have to work. The tees, you're going to have to be accurate. You get in some of these bunkers, it's going to be difficult to get the ball close and on the green in some instances.
But yeah, I think I'm just looking at it as a new golf course. The layout is the same. There's a few holes that visually are much the same. But I think that even though -- if you've played here in the past and had success in the past, a lot of the targets are really similar. You know, good sights, if you have good memories, you can still use those memories on this golf course.

Q. Speaking of all that and targets, on No. 7 where there's now a pond, do you envision trying to blast it over that?
HEATH SLOCUM: (Laughing.) If I'm playing from the red tees maybe. But no, I think -- yesterday I played it from the back, and I think it was 329 or something carry. No, I'm looking at going left. If it firms up, 3-wood possibly. You're just trying to get in position there, I think, just to have a look at the green.

Q. I think Tiger won this tournament two years ago at 22-under. Do you see anyone -- I mean, is that doable with the changes, or is it much more difficult?
HEATH SLOCUM: I'd never put anything past anybody out here to shoot a good number. I think it's going to be difficult.
Again, I think a lot of it depends on the course setup and where some of these tees are. If you play all the back tees on all the par-3s and all the par-4s, yeah, I don't think we're reaching that number. But if they move the tees around, and I think there's a chance of some rain, keep things soft, yeah, you can still shoot some really good scores out here. I mean, I don't think there's any reason -- everything is in perfect condition. The greens are fantastic.
So I think there's going to be some good scores, I think, if the tees are -- if we don't to play it at full length.

Q. I know you had a couple of unscheduled days off here in the last couple that you probably didn't anticipate, but given that long stretch of play that a lot of you have been in here from the PGA on, were you doing anything to kind of conserve energy, maybe hit fewer golf balls, not stay out as late, things you might do if it was just a week where you might be -- you know, off last week and off next week and kind of hit and missing your way through the schedule?
HEATH SLOCUM: Well, looking back, I obviously wanted to play better golf last week, and I felt better than I played. It was probably a blessing in disguise. I played the two weeks prior to Barclays. After everything that went on, just a long week there.
It was funny because after the first round Friday, I was beat. And I got a really good night of sleep, and I actually felt really good going into Saturday, and I just didn't play very well.
But the last two days it has been a blessing. I put my feet up. I came out and played nine yesterday, but no extra shots. Just played nine holes. Today played nine. A little bit of work with my coach who's in town. I hit a few putts, and that's it. I got a late start to the day, so yeah, trying to conserve, definitely, for the rest of the week.

Q. Does contending take a little more wind out of your sails? Tiger says that he's had a stretch of weeks here where he's been kind of in the Sunday vicinity, and that's every shot grinding.
HEATH SLOCUM: Obviously I wish I could do it more often, but yeah, we're just definitely -- I think just from the mental aspect, just so into it, so into it, and then kind of last week -- I felt good, but it was funny how all of a sudden -- I mean, because I hit it all over the place on Friday, but I still shot a pretty good score, 2-under, from where I hit it. Again, another thing where you're grinding and grinding and grinding, and I just hit the wall hard. I was asleep by 8:00, 8:30 that night.
Yeah, I think definitely playing a lot of golf and then contending, yeah, it drained me pretty good.

Q. After Friday are you going to be sick of playing with Tiger?
HEATH SLOCUM: I doubt it. I mean, I think it's a good thing. I mean, obviously in this situation if you're up there -- I haven't got to play a lot of golf with him, and like I said last week, I think it's good to play with those two. I really feel like you're going to see some good shots. You're going to see good tempo. You're going to see two good golfers, and a lot of times if things aren't going as well, it is easy to kind of look over and try to just get in their rhythm, either one of them or both, and kind of let them maybe pull you along, and if not, just -- if you're playing well, they're a good pair to play with.

Q. You've got your different pools, the winner's category and the whatever. What would you think about doing this every week depending on what the Money List is or the FedExCup standings, whatever, during the year? That way you could get a rookie who's -- Webb Simpson would be a good example, wouldn't be stuck in the last group on Thursday afternoon and that type of thing.
HEATH SLOCUM: I don't think it would be necessarily a bad idea. I just think that -- I know obviously I think they try to keep all the winners -- obviously, I don't want to say it's all for TV, but it is for TV trying to get the winners in there. I don't think it would be a bad idea.
But I think there is something to be said for -- to win and to be in those groups, you know your pairings you're not going to ever be last out. When I first got on TOUR, I fully expected to be last out, and it's kind of one of those things where the better you play at the end of the year you're hoping that you can get moved up, but sometimes as a rookie you're just going to have to bite the bullet and play at the back of the pack the whole time. It would be a good idea. I don't know if it would work every week, but I'd put in my vote for it.

Q. Could you talk about since you've seen the golf course here, how much is it like or not like any of the other Rees Jones courses that you've played of late that he's either designed or renovated?
HEATH SLOCUM: You would have to absolutely tell me some Rees Jones courses. Honestly I'm not that -- you'd have to name them.

Q. Torrey or Bethpage or Congressional or --
HEATH SLOCUM: I'm worst to ask about this question, but --

Q. Bellerive, Hazeltine, Medinah --
HEATH SLOCUM: All good golf courses. I just don't know a lot about -- I look at a golf course, and I just look and say, okay, I like the way it looks, I like the way it feels, I like the way it plays. I do like this.
I think it's a little bit soft right now, but I know they've had a lot of rain. If it firms up, it's going to be a beast. It's going to be somewhat difficult to hit some of these fairways, even though they're pretty generous. But you have to work the ball into them, a lot of shots, and like I said, if you miss some, you can get in some bad spots in these bunkers. And from there it's difficult to not only just hit the green but for sure to get it close. Depending on where the pins are, it's going to be tough to two-putt.

Q. Which course did you grow up on as a kid?
HEATH SLOCUM: Quite a few, but Tanglewood in Milton, which was about 6,300 yards.

Q. Who designed it?
HEATH SLOCUM: No idea. I couldn't tell you one course I played growing up that was designed by anyone.

Q. Muirfield Village?
HEATH SLOCUM: Nicklaus. I know a few. (Laughter.) Not very many, though.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Heath, thank you. Good luck this week.

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