Senior PGA Championship

Interview with Wayne Levi

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: Ladies and gentlemen, Wayne Levi with a 69 today after the second round of the 64th Senior PGA Championship. Wayne, some thoughts on your round, we'll go through your card and we'll go to Q and A.

WAYNE LEVI: Well, I played reasonably well, I guess. I hit the ball in the fairway like you are supposed to, and that's what you have got to do here for starters. I hit a few good iron shots. There's not too many pins out there that you can attack. You have got get the ball out in the middle of the green. They had some really questionable pins out there and you know, it's very difficult really to string a bunch of birdies together because the penalty for missing just slightly off the edge is very severe. You have got to play very conservatively. That's basically what I did. That's my game here. That's why I am up at the top of the leaderboard here, because I hit the ball straight. I got reasonable distance and hit the ball very straight. Had I putted better, probably I'd be lower.

JULIUS MASON: Talk about your birdies and bogeys.

WAYNE LEVI: I think I birdied -- second hole. Right. I hit a great drive right in the center of the fairway and hit -- I think it was -- what was it? I can't remember that hole.

JULIUS MASON: Next birdie was on 7.

WAYNE LEVI: Let's see, No. 7. It's hard to remember these holes. I hit a really nice drive, but I mis-hit my second shot a little bit and the wind got it, the hole was right into the wind. It was blowing pretty hard, too, when we played that hole, came up short of the green in the rough kind of down an embankment. I drew a reasonable lie and hit it perfect, the putt trickled in the hole.

Bogey on 8. I hit it over the green there just on the back a couple of yards beyond the green and that pin there is ridiculous, it's right on the up-slope there and a few yards from the very back of the green and it just (laughs) -- you want to see some funny stuff, go out and watch that hole because you are going to see some really weird stuff there. The putt is from above the hole. The putt is so fast if you hit anything from above the hole or to the right of the hole anywhere pin-high, you just -- funny golf. It really is. I putted it from off the edge of the green there and made about an 8-footer and ran that about six feet past and I made that one for a 4. I was lucky to get away with a 4 there, just off the back edge of the green.

No. 9, hit a good drive there, hit 3-wood just up in the rough on the right-hand side about 10 yards short of the green, hit pretty good pitch right there about two feet past the hole, made one for a birdie.

I bogeyed No. 14, the par 3, got it playing about 215 yards there, I hit it dead pin-high. I must have had 40 feet to the left of the hole, putted it right off the green, right off the green. So made about 10, 12 feet coming back to the hole, just missed it. I 3-putted that hole, bogey.

Q. How did the course play today?

WAYNE LEVI: Same as yesterday, soft, real soft, ball drives, lands, just plugs just about. I think I was within a foot of the ball marker of my tee shot, I don't know how many times. Must have been five, six times.

Q. Still is wet?

WAYNE LEVI: Very wet, yeah. Like it drew mud. Now the ball is starting to get mud on the ball. It's a little tackier. Before, yesterday it was just so wet that there -- you didn't even get mud. Now it's just dry enough where the mud is starting to cake on the ball, three, four shots with a lot of mud on it. You have got to be careful. Then you have got to kind of even aim more to the center of the green, whatever, because you can really hit some bizarre looking shots with that mud on there.

Q. You mentioned questionable pin placements. You talked about 8. What other holes?

WAYNE LEVI: No. 10 is another one. It was in this little bowl back there, way the heck in the back of the green. Must have been only like three steps from the very back of the green in the corner back there somewhere. I was down in this little hole. Had some other ones too that were on an awful lot of slope. Greens are getting faster now. You have got to be very, very careful.

Q. Would it be questionable or unfair how would you characterize the placements?

WAYNE LEVI: I don't know about unfair, but it's not -- I don't think would you want to put a pin there, just, you know, it's not to the point where you can't play, but, you know, you can -- 10, the two I am talking about No. 10 and No. 8, very difficult holes. You are 200 something yards, like same with No. 10 I was like 206 or eight yards from the top of the hill to the pin back there, and the thing is in some little bowl, I mean, some little hole back in -- it was weird. Awful lot of slope right around the cup, that's what I am, you know, talking about.

Q. (Inaudible)?

WAYNE LEVI: Was playing about 210 yards. But it's downhill, so it played a little shorter than that. Still got the wind in your face.

Q. Much wind out there today?

WAYNE LEVI: When we first started it was, yeah. It kind of died down now.

Q. You mentioned your putting, just a little bit about your opportunities at 11 and 12.

WAYNE LEVI: No. 11 yeah, hit a good shot in there, and just misread the putt there a little bit. Nice putt, though, hit it the way I wanted to, just misread that one; just missed it on the right-hand side.

12, hit a good 7-iron, that was a good chance for a birdie there, right in the valley there, just played that one to where I wanted to, it broke off more than I thought it was going to.

Q. Obviously you were in contention last year in the same championship. How much do you play off of that, preparing for this year?

WAYNE LEVI: Oh, yeah, this is what I am waiting for. I am waiting for stuff like this, where this kind of sets us apart from the other tournaments that we play, on the Champions Tour that -- most of the tournaments we have played this year they let the fairways get so dry and hard that no matter what you hit, you are hitting a wedge almost to every hole. The ball rolls so far. Here you are not getting this roll. Now we're playing golf now. This is -- we have got some holes with some length and you have got to hit the ball straight. You can't be spraying it around, hitting it out of the rough, coming out of nowhere and making birdies, you are not going to do that here. Same with Firestone last year, same thing.

Q. Everyone has talked about how difficult this course is and it's fairly long. Two par 5s, what is about as low a number you can imagine out there even today with conditions that are probably as good as they are going to be all week?

WAYNE LEVI: If you can hit the ball well -- the greens are perfect, and the pins that you can get to and other than a couple of those weird ones that I was talking about you can shoot a good score out there, somebody can really get it going, 5-, 6-under, probably. But you have got to play well. You can't be messing up to often. But there's holes out there you can make birdies on. They are short enough where you can get yourself out there and hit a short iron to them.

JULIUS MASON: Questions? Thanks very much, Wayne.

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