Senior PGA Championship

Interview with Bobby Wadkins

June 8, 2003

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

JULIUS MASON: Bobby Wadkins, folks, finishing second in the 64th Senior PGA Championship shooting a 70 today. If you wouldn't mind giving us some of your thoughts on the round then we'll go through your card and take questions.

BOBBY WADKINS: Obviously a little disappointed. I feel like I played halfway decent today and felt like I had a chance to win the golf tournament up until the 16th hole where I 3-putted for par and JJ (John Jacobs) turned around and made birdies to take a two-shot lead. He parred 17, 18. First of all, let me say congratulations to him. He played -- 4-under par out here is a helluva score. He played some great golf.

JULIUS MASON: Your card.

BOBBY WADKINS: I can't remember any of that stuff today.

I came back today started on the 8th hole. 29 holes to play. I was 2-over when we left Saturday and I came back and played the backside, got it back to a couple under with no bogeys and really felt that I was in good shape. I was 2-under, I think, Dennis was 4-, 5-under -- so I was only 3 back going into the last round. On this golf course anything can happen. I just tried to play a good solid round and I kind of hung in there until 16. That's going to be the one that's -- that I will be thinking about back on the plane tonight.

The birdies, I started off with a birdie on one, hit a 6-iron probably about 10 feet.

Bogeyed 3 where I missed a fairway. Seemed like this week every time I missed a fairway I made a bogey, which is their idea and they did a good job on me.

I came back -- that's a birdie -- came back birdied 8. Our whole group birdied 8. 4-iron probably 20 feet from the hole made that for a two.

Drove it in the right rough again on 10. Played a great shot just to the right of the green and chipped it up there about six feet, missed that one. But at that time I was looking at the leaderboard I saw Leaky (Bruce Lietzke) was playing good but he was 2-under; Dennis kind of started to backup. Even with that bogey I thought I was still one shot out of the lead, and knowing that anything can happen on this golf course, I played pretty solid from there on in, except for the 3-putt, I birdied the par 3, 14, 5-iron probably 12 feet.

16, knocked it on the green had about 25-footer for eagle and 3-putted.

Hit a good shot on 7. Pretty good putt there.

18, probably the two best swings I made all week, hit a real good 3-wood off the tee trying to take that bunker out of play 205 to the hole, hit 3-iron about, I don't know, 12, 14 feet behind the hole really and really thought I made that putt. I kept -- that's about the same putt I had to win Long Island (the Long Island Classic on the Champions Tour). I kept trying to conjure up some magic "just do the same thing you do a year ago" and I almost did. I think if I had made a birdie on that hole, JJ would have had to make par it might have been a little different.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.

Q. You played a lot of U.S. Opens and PGAs over the years. The difficulty of this course after four rounds, how did it stack up?

BOBBY WADKINS: Beat me like a stepchild. It is a very good golf course. I think all of us would love to come back and play under a little drier conditions. Where they had some of the pins with the greens being so wet, if you didn't quite fly it past the hole what's only left you a step or two before you went over the back of the green, then you sucked everything back. It was hard in that respect. But with all the rain that they had this week, the golf course was just fantastic, and I had never played here, but I love Donald Ross golf courses. I grew up playing a lot at Pinehurst No. 2, Lanny and I did, and it's just a fantastic golf course. It's just a shame that we had so much rain.

Q. You kind of answered part of my question. Did fatigue become a factor today with the number of holes and the conditions?

BOBBY WADKINS: No, not for me it didn't. My back got tight. The guys that work in the trailer, they caught me when I got done on the first-- after we finished the eight holes or the 11 holes this morning and they came in there and worked on my back a little bit before we teed off this afternoon. My back got a little bit tighter, but not -- I pride myself, I can walk 36 holes. I think we should be walking everyday we play out here. That's just my opinion. I think it looks for like golf. I think we play better when we walk. I am glad that the U.S. Open and the PGA makes us walk.

Q. I think for the eight par 5s over the course of the tournament, you didn't have any birdies?

BOBBY WADKINS: I know, I was thinking about that when I walked off -- at least I didn't think about it before I 3-putted on 16. But after I walked off I thought about it.

The par 5s were marginal reachable this week. They had the tee up on 16 this afternoon where most of the guys who hit it long enough could get there. I just didn't -- I had a couple of good chances to make some birdies. I just didn't make the putts on the par 5s. That's going back over the stats on the computer and stuff, I think I am in the top 10 on the Senior Tour, birdieing par 5s so, that was the par 5s were costly to me this week.

Q. The birdie putt on 16, did you push that or misread it?

BOBBY WADKINS: No, I just hit it too damn easy. Not the first time I 3-putted and it won't be the last but it might have been the one of the worst time for me to 3-putt in a while. But you know what, I can -- if I make the putt and then JJ pars in and shoots 4-under and I shoot 3-under I'd a been just as happy because I'd a played the last four, five holes as good as I have played. You will never know if that one shot made the difference and stuff, but it was just -- I had just hit two good putts the holes before that. I made a nice birdie putt on the par 3 and made about a nice 6-footer for a par on 15. So my putter was starting to feel a little bit better and I don't know what I did. I just didn't do good.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much for coming in.

BOBBY WADKINS: Okay, boys.

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