The PGA Championship

Round 1 Quotes: August 14, 2003

Quotes from: Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh: I played okay. I drove the ball nicely, at times. I just played a regular round of golf. Could have been a few less, could have been one or two more.

Q. Could have been a little better, little worse?

Vijay Singh: Could have been two shots better. I 3-putted twice. Got unlucky a few times. On 13, I thought it was pretty unlucky. It was okay. It was a good round. I feel I can do better, though.

Q. The key is getting it in the fairway?

Vijay Singh: You know, you get it in the fairway, but you've got to take some risks. I think it's bad to hit a lot of drivers out there, to hit it way out there, where if you don't hit the fairway, you can't get it on the green.

Q. A different strategy than other guys who are so worried about hitting the fairway that they are backing off driver?

Vijay Singh: Well, I know. If you miss it with an iron or 3-wood, then you're really screwed. I hit a lot of drivers today and I will probably do the same tomorrow.

Q. Does the golf course set up well for you?

Vijay Singh: I think it's perfect. I think the greens are a little slow. A lot of balls are short.

Q. 4-under is leading; is that about right, do you think?

Vijay Singh: Yeah, I think so. I think the greens will be a lot better in the morning. But, you know, it might be my chance tomorrow morning. I think 4-under is a good score I wouldn't have thought anyone else would have gone lower. I was surprised to see Mickelson -- that's a good score. That's good shooting.

Quotes from: Jay Haas

Q. Talk about your round today.

Jay Haas: Sloppy. Was not terrific tee-to-green but my bad shots were far enough along the line where the people walked, a couple times I got a break there. I played well. Made some nice putts. Disappointed with a 5 at last hole. It's a tough course. I just feel pretty good with a 70, really.

Q. The finishing holes on both sides, are they as tough as we have been hearing?

Jay Haas: Pretty much. So I played 7, 8, 9 even, and 16 to 18 even. I feel like I picked up two strokes on the field there. My irons were good today. I need to drive it a little straighter but I'm pleased with 70.

Q. The news with the power situation, when did you become aware of it?

Jay Haas: Just right when we got off the 18th hole walking to the scorer's tent, there was no power in the whole northeast, all the way to Detroit or something like that.

Q. What went through your mind?

Jay Haas: I guess it was terrorist attack or something. I guess I thought of the Twin Towers and all that. I don't know. I guess it's just right there on the edge all the time. I saw a news show last night about how nothing has happened since then and we have been trying to do everything to avoid it. I guess if that's the case, it's kind of scary.

Q. They are saying it isn't. When you're playing, it's not a problem but when you're out there it's odd to get news?

Jay Haas: Right. I guess that was the first a spectator said, terrorist attack. That was the two things I heard. Puts it all in perspective, if that's the case.

Q. Someone said that?

Jay Haas: Yeah, just as we were coming off the 18th green.

Q. You didn't know about it?

Jay Haas: No. Nobody didn't hear anything.

Q. And there was no indication?

Jay Haas: The sun was still out, so we didn't know if the lights were out. No, I guess if it had been electronic scoreboards like they have on the regular tour, we would have known something was up maybe. Wouldn't think the whole northeast or whatever.

Q. How was it playing with Hank?

Jay Haas: He had me by 73 on No. 9 and 18. He probably had me by about 60. He hit on the green and rolled off the back. I thought it was -- he didn't need a full driver there. I thought the advantage was a little right-to-left and I thought he could cut it up, but he didn't cut it quite enough. He was only 30 feet from the flag and didn't hit a very good chip. He didn't have a great lie.

That's the thing about the edges of the greens. I didn't chip one within 10 feet, 12 feet. Unless you have a decent lie, which you don't usually get, then you've got nothing.

Q. Do you like setups like this, where there's no recovery shot out of the rough?

Jay Haas: I guess early on in my career, it seemed like they were always setups like this. So I guess I didn't know any better. I've noticed in the last few years the Open has been a little more lenient on the rough, but with the fast, firm greens, it almost gets worse because now you can shoot at it, you go over the greens and things like that. Yeah, this is different than we play any week. You kind of just blast away.

Q. Is this the worst rough you've seen?

Jay Haas: Bermudarough is so different, ball kind of sits down in there. But this is some of the worst bluegrass, bent, gnarly stuff that I've seen. Winged Foot wasn't this bad when Davis won.

It's just so thick, heavy, you just can't get a club through it. I had one just over the green on No. 12, and I couldn't identify it hardly. The guy said it was mine but who knows. Half a dozen balls are still up there.

Q. How did you play 17 and 18?

Jay Haas: 17, I hit a good drive and missed the green to the right with a 2-iron. Chopped that out about 15 feet and made it. Then 18, I drove it in the right rough, laid up and then hit a not very good shot, had about 18, 20 feet and 2-putted.

Q. How is it playing compared to the Ryder Cup?

Jay Haas: It seems a little shorter.

Q. Sergio, talk about your round today.

Quotes from: Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia: Well, I'm pretty happy about it. It's a tough day and the course is playing tough. It's difficult out there. It really feels like a U.S. Open type of championship. So, you know, definitely it could have been a couple of shots better. You know, 2-over is not that bad of a round. The course is playing tough.

Q. Is it the rough that's making it difficult?

Sergio Garcia: I think everything, everything. The rough is thick. It's tough. The greens are very little and they are getting firm and quite slopey. So if you miss a fairway, it's tough to get it on the greens. I think that they build up and they make the course play tough by the end.

Q. Is it drying up?

Sergio Garcia: It's the greens were a lot firmer this afternoon and tomorrow they are just going to be firmer and firmer. If the weather does what it is supposed to do, by Saturday and Sunday it's going to be -- this is going to be a struggle out there. A lot of guys are going to be struggling.

Q. 4-under is the lead right now; do you think the score will be higher?

Sergio Garcia: Definitely, with the weather, definitely.

Q. What do you think you need to do tomorrow? Are you going to work on anything tonight?

Sergio Garcia: Not really. I felt pretty good about it. I hit a couple loose shots, but I felt like I hit some really good ones. I probably wished I got a little better start but other than that I think I'm not too unhappy about it. So we'll see about tomorrow.

Q. Any tough holes?

Sergio Garcia: 17 is tough, 18. There's a lot of good holes out there.

Quotes from: Mark Calcavecchia

Q. How are you feeling and what happened?

Mark Calcavecchia: To make a long story short, I got pushed in a pool, throwing back a little basketball back to the kids who were shooting hoop. I was by the edge of the hoop and got pushed, I had my cell phone in my pocket, fully clothed and everything. I tried to save myself, grabbed the side of the backboard and I swung around. My best guess is I just caught the rim flush with my wrist and my forearm, and then I hit my knee on the side of the pool.

So, you know -- my back doesn't feel too good, either. This course is hard enough. It actually felt fine. I only played four holes yesterday, hit no balls because it was starting to swell up worse. It's gotten worse day by day. It was really pretty good today until the eighth hole. Then it started hurting pretty much on every shot. It's not killer, but I'm anxious for a bag of ice right now, I'll tell you that.

Q. Was there any point out there where you thought you might not be able to make it?

Mark Calcavecchia: No, definitely not. But if I keep hitting it in the rough, that's not good. They say it's going to be worse tomorrow, so I'm a little worried about tomorrow. I'll fight through it somehow.

You know, the good news is, I'm just going to try as hard as I can. If I miss the cut, I'll have that extra couple of days to rest before I try to tackle Firestone next week.

Trying as hard as I can, and like I said, I would love to play good and start making putts all over the place and get interested. But on the other hand, it's pretty tough to hit it with this. It hurts.

Quotes from: Aaron Baddeley

Q. Talk about your round.

Aaron Baddeley: I started pretty well. I made birdie, hit it to about three feet with an 8-iron.

I drove it pretty good, especially the front side. I drove it well. A little scruffy coming in, but overall, 1-under, I'm right there. So it's a good result.

Q. At 18 you had to wait quite a while. Did that throw you off a little bit?

Aaron Baddeley: It gave me a chance to look at where I could drop it and what sort of shot I could play.

I feel great. Like I said, I feel like I played well today. I didn't hit it as great as I wanted, but I feel like I'm still hitting very nicely and I'm putting well. I can't wait for the rest of the week.

Q. What happened at 18?

Aaron Baddeley: I just hit a pulled second shot. It was up against the fence, and I took a drop. I got a ruling but I had to make sure. Last thing I want is to get a penalty for the long drop or whatever.

Q. Did you hit driver today?

Aaron Baddeley: I didn't pull driver out until 6, I think it was -- actually 5. I really didn't hit a lot of drivers. I hit a lot of 3-woods. But if driver is a play, I'll hit driver. It's the same shot.

Q. Winning the '99 Australian Open as an amateur with some big-name players, what was that like, and what did it do for your confidence?

Aaron Baddeley: It gave me a lot of confidence. I learned that if I play well, I can beat the best in the world; Norman was there and Montgomerie. That gave me a lot of confidence to know that if I beat them, I knew I could win.

Q. How did the course play today?

Aaron Baddeley: The greens, it's just hard because the course doesn't let up. You have to remain so focused the whole 18 holes, not like 16 holes. Every hole is a possible bogey opportunity.

Q. You're one of the more colorful dressers out here, is that your personality?

Aaron Baddeley: This is what I wear off the course. I like to wear brighter clothes and louder clothes. I have some good outfits for rest of the week.

Q. What's your color for tomorrow?

Aaron Baddeley: I can't tell you that. (Laughing).

Quotes from: Mike Schuchart

Q. Mike, does it feel good to be back out here?

Mike Schuchart: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. It's good to see a lot of guys that I came out with and played a little bit with. Kind of like reunion week a little bit. It's been fun to see guys that have had success and been out here for a long time. Good to get back and play in this arena again.

Q. Where did you finish?

Mike Schuchart: I finished at 7-over. It's just brutal. I didn't putt great. I hit the ball okay, but just okay; not good. I don't know how many times I hit it one or two steps out of the fairway and you've just got nothing. Chipping out, chipping out, having to get it up-and-down from 100 yards, 150 yards, it's just relentless, shot after shot after shot after shot. But that's the way it should be. If you go out there and take care of your business and get in the fairway, get some good shots in there and make a few putts, you can shoot a good score. I played with Aaron Baddeley, who shot 69, and played great, really solid.

Q. How is the course, PGA Championship style?

Mike Schuchart: Very much. So there's some difficult holes out there, 17 and 18 are just brutal, and 1, right at the start. There's some good opportunities to make some birdies. Just one of those that you just cannot let up and you just cannot hit any wayward shots. You're going to pay the price out there.

Q. How did you feel out there today?

Mike Schuchart: Surprisingly I felt pretty good. I was a little nervous Tuesday and Wednesday, but I got out there and I felt really pretty good. Just kind of go out there do the same thing did I today, hit a few more fairways.

Quotes from: Hank Kuehne

Q. Hank, talk about your day.

Hank Kuehne: It was a good day. I'm a little bit drained. I hit it in the rough and had to get up-and-down and try to save some shots. I got off to a pretty good start. I hit a lot of good shots on the front nine and I holed a couple of putts there on 8 and 9. Got to the back nine and that's where I struggled a bit. Really just didn't give myself the opportunity. I didn't keep the ball in the fairway or get it to where I had an opportunity to get it close to the pin. I feel very pleased. I think the greens have been faster than they have been. I'm pretty pleased. Going around the golf course, I see a lot of pins I saw in the Amateur, so I knew where not to hit it, kind of which side of the hole to keep it on.

Q. How were the fans?

Hank Kuehne: Going around, the crowd has been great, the people have been great, a lot of support here. They kind of help pull you along.

Q. What happened on 14?

Hank Kuehne: I flew it just to the top of the hill and it just trickled over the green. It was dead. That was the worst lie I had all day. I chipped it about 30 feet by. I had a perfect drive, just kind of one of those things that I wish they had the blower out there to get the rough straight up and down. It would have been easy, but what can you do.

Q. How did you approach today with all of the talk about the rough, to hit driver, to hit iron?

Hank Kuehne: I hit driver a lot. I think I hit driver every hole but one. I didn't hit driver on 13, the par 5. Other than that, driver every hole. The way I look at it, if I make a good golf swing, it's going in the middle of the fairway with a driver anyway. If I make a good swing with a 2-iron or make a bad swing with a 2-iron, if it's going into the rough, it's going to be to the point where I probably can't get it to the green. I hit a lot of drivers out there, because with all of the average length and it's still pretty soft, I feel like that's the way for me to play the golf course.

Quotes from: Fred Funk

Q. Fred, talk about your round.

Fred Funk: It was really, good to finish with par. I didn't want to finish bogey, bogey. It was a little disappointing at 15 where I hit my shot on the par 3 and really almost -- I had a birdie putt on 16 and 17 I made bogey. I could have made a great par save there but then 18, it did make me feel a lot better, yeah.

Q. You seem to feel comfortable out here, is it the course?

Fred Funk: It's just a major and I'm just comfortable -- usually I'm comfortable at the U.S. Open and PGA type setups, where it is more of a premium on getting the ball in the fairway. Assuming I'm playing my game and I'm hitting the ball solid; if I'm not hitting the ball solid, then I'm really in trouble.

Q. Why do you think you are such a favorite with the gallery?

Fred Funk: I think this is a little bit of carry-over from last year. The fans all week in the practice rounds remember last year, and they remembered last year and they were reminding me of last year.

I've really struggled last four weeks since royal St. George with my ball-striking. I went and I had a good session with my teacher in Austin and that really, cleared my mind and I hit the ball exceptionally well on the front nine today. The back nine, I hit a few goofy shots. Overall, it was really good. So, I was pleased. The fans really kept me going. I really did have that in my mind to give them something to cheer about like I did before. I'm not trying to be a clown out there or anything, but I am trying to enjoy myself.

Q. The fact that you scored well this afternoon, with the course conditions maybe softer in the morning, is that an advantage?

Fred Funk: Well, I think the greens, they are still a little soft, but they are firming up compared to what they have been. I think by Sunday in the afternoon times, they will be a little firmer conditions green-wise. The fairways are still soft, they are not releasing very far. I would say it was tougher in the afternoon just because the greens are releasing a little bit. Hopefully that will help me tomorrow when I'm out there with the softer conditions in the morning, I hope.

Q. When did you see your teacher?

Fred Funk: Saturday and Sunday. I went from Denver to Austin to see him and spent a lot of time.

Q. What is the key to playing this golf course?

Fred Funk: You have to keep it in the fairway. That's No. 1. And I'm very comfortable with the golf course. I just like the golf course. I went around it the first day on Monday, I just thought, "Man, I really like this." I played it in '89, but I didn't remember that much about it. The tees are so much further back. I remember 9 not being near the length that it is and 17 and 18 and numerous holes, I don't remember what I hit in back then.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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