The PGA Championship

Pre-Championship Quotes: August 13, 2003

"It's quite an honor to even be considered in that group. But if I don't win here, I've probably got to win two or three more times. It's hard to compete against the guys who win the majors. Davis has played well, Tiger's won four times, Jim (Furyk) won the (U.S.) Open. This is the week, though, that will make someone stand out above the others. If I do somehow pull it off this week, I'll be the leading candidate, but it's a tough tournament and you have to have a lot of things go this way to win this golf tournament." -- Kenny Perry, on his status as a Player of the Year candidate

"He's by far the superior golfer; I've always said that. He's just so talented and I enjoy watching him. The human spirit has a way and a will for certain guys. Jim Furyk - I love his will and his spirit and his fight and he's going to be tough to beat. When you believe you can beat somebody, it's amazing what you can do out there." -- Kenny Perry, on whether the gap is closing between Tiger Woods and the rest of the field

"It's been the highlight of my life. . . of my career. I've played consistently week after week. In the past I would play good one week and they I'll play sorry the next two. I've been very sporadic throughout my whole career. This year, I've been able to string it together." -- Kenny Perry, on the way he's been playing this summer

"(The course) seems quite a bit different. I remember most of it from 1989, but it is obviously longer. With the wet weather we have been having and the thickness of the rough, it is playing tough, for sure tougher than in '89. The great thing about this course is there won't be any fluky winners here. In other words, I think clearly the guy who plays the best, especially to the greens, will be the winner." -- Mark Calcavecchia, on the course

"The PGA has had tough rough in the past, but this is definitely the worst we have seen in a long time for sure. They are trying to cut it down a little bit, but it doesn't matter whether it is six inches or nine inches, you still have to chop it out." -- Mark Calcavecchia, on the rough

"Two things I was worried the most about obviously were my driving and putting. My iron game is pretty good, and my driving game is good, and I just putted great for an hour on the greens. I just have to clear the mechanisms, and if my brain doesn't freeze up, I think I will play OK." -- Mark Calcavecchia, on his game coming into the PGA

"I think we all know who the best players are. But I think the gap between the players is definitely narrowing. Those guys need to be on their game to beat a Mike Weir or to beat a Ben Curtis. The best players need to be on their game to win or they're going to get beat. Let's face it; if someone like Tiger (Woods) or Ernie (Els) plays their best, they're going to be hard to beat. If they don't play their best, someone else is going to win. I just think the course is difficult enough, and you have to hit it straight. Even if you are the best player and if you're hitting it crooked, you're going to have a tough time." -- Tom Lehman, on the field

"It's a little soft. It's in great shape. The greens are holding and that's probably the one thing that will tend to let the scores come down a little bit. If it firms up, which it could - I don't see how with all the humidity - but it could, the scores are will definitely start rising. It really all depends on the greens and how firm they get. Even with soft greens, at the tough courses, scores will not be super low." -- Tom Lehman, on the course

"(This week) is foremost on my mind right now. I want to play for my country; I want to be one of those guys. You know...an Olympian-type scenario. That is number one in my head. I want to win a major, but the President's Cup in a big career goal." -- Jerry Kelly, on being ninth in the President's Cup points standing and how important this week is

"It's a fantastic golf course, its in great shape right now and the rough is up, to say the least. You have to keep your ball in the fairway, and you have to putt your ball too. All facets have to be working to win, I think that's why we've seen such great champions." -- Jerry Kelly, on Oak Hill

"I'm pretty disappointed with the year, actually. I haven't put anything together for a full tournament yet. I'm looking forward to when that happens. If it's at the end of the year, that's fine. Just so that it happens sometime this year and get a couple Ws, something like that." -- Jerry Kelly, on his game

"Look at Ben Curtis, he is a great player. I have never met Ben but he plays well enough to get himself into a position to win and that is what you need. Jim Furyk has always been a great player and it was just a matter of time until he was going to win and Mike Weir is just the same as Jim Furyk. So there you have three great players, all three different types of players, but they all got their just deserves because they are good enough to put themselves into position. The PGA has notoriously been the (best) for first time winners and the odds are that this week that will happen too because you look at the first three major championships and they say, 'Hey, these guys did it why can't I? I haven't won a major let me go do it.'" -- Greg Norman, on why there are so many first-time winners at the PGA

"I'm not a genius to answer all of that. Mike Weir is a known winner, and he was just due. Sooner or later he was going to win one and maybe he'll win more. (Jim) Furyk is a great player and he's very consistent. Ben Curtis, I don't know. Nobody knows. I played with him a week before (The British Open) and he was driving the ball well and he went out there with nothing to lose." -- Vijay Singh, on why there are so many first time major winners this year

"It's a tough golf course this week. It's like a U.S. Open golf course, and I don't really see a first-time winner this week I think there will be a past winner coming up this week." -- Vijay Singh, on his predictions regarding who will win this week

"For my game it's just a tough course in the sense that there's really no recovery. The rough is huge, so a lot of guys aren't hitting it more than 100 yards out of the rough. Obviously, you have to hit a lot of fairways and greens. It's a ball striking golf course in that sense." -- Len Mattiace, on the course

"In the last couple of weeks they've had a lot of rain and a lot of heat, so the rough has really grown. The course right now is trying to dry up. Right now, there are a lot of mud balls so it's good that we're not playing today. Just about every fairway you're going to have players have mud on their ball, so hopefully it'll dry up and play shorter once you hit the fairways, but it's still going to be a fairways and greens kind of golf course." -- Len Mattiace, on the conditions

"The greens are tricky as well. The course has got everything. Not only a huge rough, but a lot of sloped greens. If you're pin high at 20-30 feet, you're going to have to play a lot of break; like six to 10 feet of break. And the greens are probably going to get faster as time goes on." -- Len Mattiace, on the greens

"(My game) is good. I am coming off a tie for second in Flint and a fourth place finish in Colorado (The International), so I am looking forward to (the tournament). This course is obviously a lot different than those courses, a lot longer than Flint, but tree-lined like Flint. I have had some good finishes the past couple of weeks, so my confidence is high." -- Chris DiMarco, on his game heading into this week

"I have found for me if I over do preparations, I tend to over do it in the major. I just need to come out and do my normal routine that I do every week. I am playing good, hitting the ball good, putting good, and doing everything good. I almost wish the week was shorter for me because I am coming off two good finishes and am ready to get back to it." -- Chris DiMarco, on his preparations for a major

"You need to hit the fairway and that's it. If you miss the greens you have to leave the ball in the right spot because the rough around the greens are brutal." -- Chris DiMarco, on the best way to attack the course

"My game is OK. I'm putting better and I am hitting (the ball) a little more solid. I have been struggling for most of the year and have gotten a little help." -- Paul Azinger, on his game

"This seems more like a U.S. Open instead of a PGA Championship because the rough is so deep. It is a very good golf course. It is very fair, right there in front of you, yet extremely difficult. So far when I have hit the ball in the rough, I have used a sand wedge or a 9-iron to get the ball out. I have used the 9-iron more so than the sand wedge, trying to get the ball back in the fairway. I have not had one single chance to go to the green from the rough." -- Paul Azinger, on his impressions of the course

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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