May 25, 2004
Note: The news conference was moderated by Julius Mason, the Director of Public Relations and Media Relations of the PGA of America
JULIUS MASON: We'd like to welcome Bruce Fleisher to the interview room, ladies and gentlemen, joining us at the 65th Senior PGA Championship. Bruce is playing in his sixth Senior PGA Championship. He's a two time winner already this year. Welcome to Louisville, to Valhalla. Some opening comments and then we'll go to Q and A.
BRUCE FLEISHER: You better be on guard this week. This is truly a wonderful test of golf. I got a chance to play last Monday prior to the Allianz. And it was kind of nice. There was nobody in front of me, nobody in back of me. I was all by myself, so to speak. I realize then it was my first, certainly my first experience with Valhalla and it's a tough golf course. I remember Bob May and Tiger coming down the stretch there playing off and of course television doesn't give you a very good view of it, but it's there. It's all there. So I think it's like any Major. You've got to keep it in play and hit fairways and greens. And it depends on how the PGA sets these greens up pin wise. I think local knowledge is important. I don't know if I can, myself, can get that much knowledge the next couple days. I'll certainly try, but I think par's going to be a very good number. I also feel that they could probably set this course up where par is a very good number. So we'll see. We'll see what happens.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you.
Q. You've obviously had great success on the Champions Tour. You've won a senior Major also.
BRUCE FLEISHER: How did I do that? I don't know.
Q. We saw it.
BRUCE FLEISHER: Thank Jim Colbert, right?
Q. Is there more of a difference moving to from the regular stops on the Champions Tour to a senior Major because the formats are different, a little different?
BRUCE FLEISHER: Well, it's obviously different for the mere fact that there's, what? 144 players? 156. And we have a cut. So that's a little different mindset there. But as far as conditions, you know, I think the Champions Tour has stepped it up quite a bit the last couple years. Certainly since I've been out here six years now. Last week was a great example of U.S. Open conditions, really, as far as the rough's concerned, the severity of the rough, speed of the greens, the pin placements. So I think we're seeing more and more. I can only think this particular TOUR is getting ready for that next bunch that is going to go addressing us in the near future. But the other hand it's wonderful competition, good competition and as a baby boomer, certainly can understand the name following out here that I think it's strong, very strong. And just getting stronger as certainly the months and the years go by. The format as it may be, because of the cut, you still got to play. Even having no cut on the Champions Tour, to finish in the top?5, top?10 is very difficult. You have to play golf.
Q. Anything about last week's set?up that would help you going into this week?
BRUCE FLEISHER: Well, I drove it well last week. I think I was third in greens in regulation or hit. My putting was failing though last week. So I think striking the ball tee to green felt very, very good, so I think that will help me. Absolutely.
Q. A question about just the two different nine's, the front nine seems to be a wide open links?type style, the back nine with the trees. Did either side suit you the best or is it still too early for you to tell about that yet?
BRUCE FLEISHER: There's a couple of holes ?? I've actually play the front twice, the back once so far. Actually I think the front gives you a better visual tee wise for some reason. Even though you got more trees on the back. I don't quite understand as far as feeling comfortable, I know that my mine's eye view kind of sees a straight ball, a little bit left?to?right off the tee, even though I draw my irons. So I'm not quite as comfortable on the back. I can't quite pinpoint it to be honest with you. But whether it's left center, right center, you just better be in this fairway, because it's a penalty stroke if you don't.
JULIUS MASON: Bruce, we thank you very much.
BRUCE FLEISHER: It is my pleasure.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports ....
by ASAP Sports