Senior PGA Championship
pga.com

Interview with Fuzzy Zoeller

June 6, 2003

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

JULIUS MASON: Fuzzy Zoeller, ladies and gentlemen, after a 70 today. Some general comments about the round and we'll go talk about the birdies and bogeys.

FUZZY ZOELLER: Not many birdies, not many bogeys. Just one of those days where I didn't make anything with the putter. I hit the ball very, very well. I could have got her down there today. I was in the right area in a lot of greens, I just missed the putts -- as far as the rounds, it was just kind of like sitting in the round room watching the paint dry. I was hitting fairways, hitting it on the green 2-putting. I hit it on the fringe roll her down there a foot from the hole make that for a one putt. But it's fun. I don't know this golf course is difficult. As we have said over the last couple of days, there's not a lot of birdies out there. You feel like you can birdie damn near every hole, but it's just very difficult to make birdies.

JULIUS MASON: Birdie on two.

FUZZY ZOELLER: I made it from about 20 feet, 25 feet on two. But again, it was a lag putt trying to get it down in two coming over a little hill, went right in the hole.

JULIUS MASON: What happened on 7?

FUZZY ZOELLER: That was my driver, drove it in the right rough, missed the fairway by a total of three feet, I think, and I was just in the edge about that far (about eight inches). I was in about that much grass (about a foot and a half) 100 yards from the green, I couldn't hardly move it. I shot it at 4. Got it within five feet, lipped it. That was my only bogey.

Q. When you talk about courses that don't lend a lot of birdies, that's Championship condition, isn't that what a championship is supposed to be like and --

FUZZY ZOELLER: Trust me, it will try your patience.

Q. Would you like to play more courses like that?

FUZZY ZOELLER: No, this will wear you out. Hell, we wouldn't have any golf fans if we had to play a course like this every week. People like to see birdies. In a major Championships, it's supposed to be tough. You know par should be the number. If you shoot par or 1-under, 2-under you have played a hell of a round of golf.

Q. What's happened so far, does this kind of remind you of last year at Firestone because we're talking at some similar scoring out there?

FUZZY ZOELLER: Talk about the scoring or looking at the weather coming in (laughs)?

Yeah, it is very similar. Nobody really got hot there either. Everybody kind of hung around par, 1-under, 2-under, just -- but that's just the type of golf courses that they are. It's not that the players are doing anything different. It is just very difficult to make birdies.

Q. Saying that it is difficult to make birdies, what kind of mindset do you have for the next two days because obviously you could probably go around here at even par and have a pretty good chance depending on weather and if somebody gets hot or not, so at what point do you say I am just going to continue this stretch and is there a point where you might say I think there's a possibility I could see something here or there; maybe try to get one or two?

FUZZY ZOELLER: Yeah, that's the time you shoot 76 or 77 and blow yourself out. I will be honest with you, you have just got hit the fairways try to put the ball on the green give you an advantage where you have that uphill putt. These greens are really very undulating, it's kind of sneaky, if you get it on the wrong side of the hole, woof (sic), you can have some brutal putts out there. The greens -- got to hit fairways and greens, same like almost in every major; especially here.

I will tell you, on Sunday, if we're like one or two back and the time comes up and you have to squeeze one in, then you might take a little finer line at the holes, yes.

Q. Just following up last year, obviously you played well and won. This year, you are right there. What is it about your game or I guess the strength of your game that you play well on these type of courses versus -- I am not saying that you haven't played well this year -- but obviously you seem to be a person that stands up when you get to these type of courses?

FUZZY ZOELLER: I have been very fortunate. I am one of these guys that enjoys the challenges, like most of them, but I don't panic. If I hit a bad shot, you know, bogey is not a bad score on some holes. Bogey is not bad at all. You can rebound from bogey but it's harder than hell to get back those doubles and triples when you are trying to make that par. That's the one thing you really got to stay away from. If you can make bogeys, you can rebound from that.

Q. Was there any particular holes that you felt like you definitely let some birdies get away putting-wise and second part of that question, is there any frustration level you have to deal with when you keep giving yourself chances and don't convert?

FUZZY ZOELLER: Well, again, it is kind of somewhat frustrating, but on the other hand, you have got to remember what tournament you are playing in, and it's a major tournament, things are very, very difficult. So as long as you can keep that in the back of your head, that should keep you motivated enough to not push the panic button too early.

But yeah, I left quite a few birdies out there on the table today. I haven't birdied 9 yet. In my eyes that's two birdies I should have, today I drove it in the bunker like a big dummy. And all it was just a driver and 3- or 4-wood up the hill. Yesterday I missed a green with a 4-wood, made par. So there are a few out there that I possibly could have. I missed a 4-footer on 13 in the back there. Hit a beautiful 8-iron in there about four feet and lipped it. Let's see -- 11 missed about a 10-footer. I hate to even think about it. I kind of forgotten about it but I left a lot out there.

Q. Wayne Levi was in here earlier complaining about a couple of extreme pin positions. Any stick out in your mind today?

FUZZY ZOELLER: I think No. 10, if you all get the chance you ought to go down and see that one. It's one of those spots you look on a green say, hell, they will never put it there. It's right back there in that corner. Where the two hills comes together, it's right in the ravine. I have never seen it as long as I have played the game, I have never seen a pin like that. It's right up, I guess what do you call it the fall line or something in the green. It is set right in the back corner over one hump and right before another. It's the wildest thing I have ever seen. As a matter of fact, my putt that I had from 20 feet there, went up beyond the hole about four feet, then rolled backwards two feet. Basically that was really the one, that stood out because we thought that they forgot the boards because it's on the side -- it's in there. It's hard to get to.

Q. He mentioned 8, long downhill --

FUZZY ZOELLER: No. 8 is a hard God damn hole, I am going to tell you. You stand up on that hill -- you have to wait because there's always one or two groups up there. That's a very difficult hole because of the undulation that you have to hit; then you have got the wind blowing, it was in our face again this morning, today it's kind of calmed down since the back nine. But it's a very difficult hole. The green is suited for the shot that the guy has to play. It is a 3- or 4-iron shot is what it is or 7-wood or whatever the guys want to hit, a nice little 5-wood. But it's a very intimidating hole when you have to stand there and keep staring at it. It's like starting at No. 10, that's the hardest damn tee shot when you start on that hole.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks, Fuzzy.

by ASAP Sports

©2003 PGA/Turner Sports Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
Send all feedback / comments to webmaster@pga.com. Sales inquiries contact sales@pga.com.
PGA.com Privacy Policy / Terms of Use.