Senior PGA Championship

Interview with Bobby Wadkins

June 5, 2003

Note: The news conference was moderated by Julius Mason, the Director of Public Relations and Media Relations of the PGA of America

JULIUS MASON: Bobby Wadkins coming in after the first round at 2 under at the 64th Senior PGA Championship.

BOBBY WADKINS: My day started off pretty -- I bogeyed 2 and 3. 2, I hit perfect 3-wood off the tee and had it in a divot hid hit a bad shot, knocked it up over the green, chipped up, missed about 8-footer.

3rd hole, they had the tees up a little bit. I knocked it over the fairway bunker, hit a 9-iron, left it about 40 feet short, kind of worried about knocking it over the back of the green, 3-putted.

The very next hole I hit a real good 3-iron. 210 into the wind, hit 3-iron about four feet, made the putt.

Next hole was playing about 175. Pretty good little pin on the right side. Little 5-iron about a foot.

Parred around to 11. I hit a good drive. Pitching wedge about 10 feet, putting straight up the hill. The next hole I hit another little 5-iron about 12 feet, made that for birdie.

A bogey on 15, hit a good drive, that was in the divot, great 5-iron in there about 15, 18 feet, 3-putted.

And then 18 hit a good drive over the bunker, hit a 9-iron about 12, 14 feet right of the hole, made that.

JULIUS MASON: How about some opening thoughts on your overall round today?

BOBBY WADKINS: Very pleased. I know the golf course was going to be playing long and the whole key was keep it in the fairways. I drove the ball good today. Started off putting kind of shaky; then I made some putts on the back side. Very pleased. After getting off to 2-over after 3 and bringing it all the way back to 2-under, when I got here and saw that Lanny (Wadkins, his brother) was playing good, I saw that 1 or 2-under par was leading, you could kind of tell that it was going to be -- anything close to par today is not a bad score.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.

Q. Do you think it's going to get tougher with the greens drying out, wind blowing?

BOBBY WADKINS: The wind blew pretty good this afternoon. They had some pretty sporty pin placements out there today, so it depends on what they try to do with the keys. They were very kind to us - they had some tees moved up. I agree with their decision because it was so wet and stuff. A couple of holes that I was laying up short of bunkers in the practice round Monday and Tuesday, the way the wind was blowing this week today, I hit it over the top of the bunker; I went ahead and tried to take those bunkers out of play.

I think our forecast is supposed to be nice tomorrow and then a little shaky on Saturday and Sunday, so they just need to remember that we're over 50, you know, give us a chance. But Firestone was a great test last year. This golf course here is just absolutely fantastic. If you keep it in the fairway and hit some good iron shots, you can get around this golf course. You just got to have some patience. It's playing good. The fairways are soft so if you can land it in the fairway it's going to stay in the fairway. I think that's a big advantage right now.

Q. Your latter comment, there was that a big key hitting 13 out of 14 fairways, or was this just as truly pure ball-striking day for you off the tee?

BOBBY WADKINS: No, when I am playing well that's usually my best club is my driver. 13 out of 14 is very good. I think the one that I missed, that was on the first hole, about six inches, so, you know, I kept it in play all day, and just looking at the rough Monday and Tuesday you just realize that you have to keep it in play. There is just no way around it, you have to hit a lot of fairways this week.

Q. Do you feel the guys going off like yourself in the afternoon were at a disadvantage?

BOBBY WADKINS: No, you know, I don't know. My group played well. James Mason could have been under par, Stewart (Ginn) played well. The wind -- I know the wind blew harder this afternoon than it did in the morning, but it was also a little warmer and the ball might have been flying a little bit better, so I think it all equals out. I was sorry to see the wind blow but maybe it helped to dry it out a little bit.

Q. How tough could it be if they move the tees back and they get a little tricky with the pin placement?

BOBBY WADKINS: It could be like a "Rocky" movie, the last one standing wins. I don't know if they will go to the back of every tee, but if these people want to get rude it can be real funny on Saturday and Sunday, yes. We had some -- like I said, today there were some pins out there today that were very, very sporty and you shouldn't have been shooting at. So I think they are smarter than that.

Q. Talk about coming back from -- you had a rocky start.

BOBBY WADKINS: I kept looking -- I remember last year that you know, I shot 70, 70 the first two rounds and then I shot 68 or 69 and had the lead going into Sunday and I just knew that this golf course reminds me a lot of last year that anything around par, you know, going into the last nine holes is probably going to be in good shape come Sunday. And I felt like that I was swinging pretty good in the practice rounds. I played Monday and Tuesday with Lanny and we both were pretty pleased with the way that we were swinging. I just had to have a little talk, said, you know, just trust what you are doing, you have got a lot of holes left, and I had a pretty good practice session before I teed off. I felt pretty good. So it was just -- kind of just to slow down and say well, wait a minute, you still got 15 holes to go, let's see if we can get something started.

Q. Any extra motivation from last year?

BOBBY WADKINS: You'd like to say that, but I try to win every week. That's a great storyline that you let one slip away last year and you are dedicated your whole life to winning this year, but that would be BS, so I mean, -- I am just out here trying to play hard. I like the harder golf courses. That's usually where I play a little bit better - where par is a good score, that kind of fits me better than 20-under, so I look forward to these kind of tournaments.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Bobby.

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