The 2004 Senior PGA Championship
A PGA of America Event. Click to learn more

Quick Quotes from the
64th Senior PGA Championship

Saturday May 29th, 2003


(36-hole cut at 7-over-par 149)


BOB FORD (2-over-par 73 - 147 total)

(On his round) "I played about the same both days. I made one birdie the first day and two the second day. It's pretty hard to shoot a good score with only making three birdies. But, I played solid and I get a chance to play the rest of the weekend and hopefully make some birdies.

(On what it means to play in the championship) Well, it's a thrill for me. I was actually given an exemption to play, so I sort of borrowed one, because I wasn't old enough to qualify at the time of the qualifying. So, it's a little fun for me to be here and be around my idols."

DARRELL KESTNER (5-over-par 76 - 150 total)

(On his second round play) "It was a fun place to play. The golf course is fantastic. I mean the grounds crew - they've won the tournament. What they had to do to get this place in shape. All of the players are talking about how great they did. I played well. I just missed too many opportunities with my putts. I putted just poorly. I hit the ball nicely. I needed that last putt (on 18) to make the cut. It was one of those days where every putt lipped the cup and none went in. It's been a fun week."

LONNIE NIELSEN (1-under-par 70 - 144 total)

(On his second round play) "It was a little better than the first. My iron game hasn't been very sharp and I still manage to fan a few balls to the right. But, I got better this afternoon and managed to shoot 1-under-par, which I'm pleased with."

(On what it means to play in this Championship) "I've been a club professional for the past 20 years and now I'm currently playing on the Champions Tour, so The PGA has a special meaning for me, being a PGA Professional for 20 years. And, this is my first time doing it, it's quite a treat. Especially at a fantastic course like this."

If you had a message to send out to all your fellow club professionals across the United States, what would it be?

"Spend time working on your game. I think we sometimes get sidetracked a little bit. That's probably not the best way of putting it, but we service, we spend so much time servicing our members and teaching and merchandising and running tournaments and on and on and on, that we do have to spend some time on ourselves. Book a couple hours every day just to go out and play nine holes, practice a little bit, keep your game sharp.

You'll earn the respect of your membership by doing that. You'll set an example for them. You want them to work on their games, you got to work on your own. So, I think it's important for all club professionals to do that."

PAUL PARAJECKAS (Finishing with a 71 - 152 total)

(Thoughts about his second round play) I thought I kept my composure pretty good in the second round. I really did not have a good start again. I went 2-over and then the next hole I made a bogey to fall 3-over. Then, on No. 13, I hit my second shot in for an eagle and I said to my son, Jason, that this will probably get me going. I did shoot one-under on the front side, I shot even par today. I played a lot better today and just hung in there. Never gave up. I was disappointed that I shot an 81 in the first round, because I was very prepared for the tournament. I am pretty proud of myself that the way I cam back.

(On Valhalla Golf Club) The first couple of holes were pretty wet. My hat is off to the golf course superintendent (Mark Wilson) and his whole crew and the volunteers. They did a great job.

(Competing in the Senior PGA Championship) This is my fourth Senior PGA Championship and my seventh major being a club professional. Playing the Champions Tour for the last three or four years on just a temporary or part-time basis means a lot. I am representing all the PGA Professionals around the country. I had fun here all week. You have to take the experience that I have and go forward.

(A message to fellow club professionals) To my peers around the country, It's a great honor to play in your own PGA Championship. It's a major, you're playing with the best in the world. It's a hard event to get in because we have to go to Section qualifying, then we go to national qualifying and they take the top 35 out of 288 players. Work and practice hard on your game and hang in there. When you get here you are among the elite and you're the best in the world for a week and enjoy it.

JEFF THOMSEN (4-over-par 75 - 146 total)

(After finishing second round play) "Yesterday was a long day. Everyone is pretty tired. The course is quite a bit drier (today). It's pretty nasty in the rough. It's hard to get a clean lie. The pin placements are good. Even though we have no wind today, the course is every bit as challenging as when we played lift, clean and place. I'm looking forward to the next two rounds, and maybe we can get in red figures."

JERRY TUCKER (15-over-par 86 - 168 total)

(After finishing second round play) "I played so poorly, it's a little disappointing. But that's OK, this is a great place. It's a neat experience to be in these things. I've been in 10 or 11 of the majors, and my worst round ever was today, but that's OK. It means I've got to go home and practice."

(On being a club professional and playing the PGA events) "It's such an experience to hit balls next to and have played three rounds in the past with guys like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. How can you even put a value on that? Every club professional should aspire to play in a PGA Championship."

Quickie Quotes from Saturday Second Round


Jay Haas

Q. Talk about what happened out there?

JAY HAAS: Very similar, eerily similar to last night. We finished at dark. I played nine holes. I putted, two putted in the dark, last night 3-putted in the dark. So it was a bonus the way I finished there. But the course is drying out incredibly after yesterday morning looking at it and the way it is right now. Itís pretty incredible that weíre playing golf.

Q. Is this to some degree survival of the fittest in terms of holes and a squeezing stuff in?

JAY HAAS: In a way I think it can weigh on you a little bit. I think some guys handle it better than others. I was fortunate, I guess, to finish nine holes this morning. I went back and laid around this afternoon and I had a little bit of a break. So I felt pretty good tonight. But itís just the way it is. We canít worry about it, I canít anyway. And I canít change it. So Ijust got to keep on showing up and hopefully I can play well tomorrow.

Q. To be two off the lead you seem to be in great position. Talk about that.

JAY HAAS: Yeah, thatís right. I played very well. Hopefully I can continue to do that. If! drive it in the fairway, I have a chance. I need to make some more putts. But I like my spot.

Q. Youíve been playing on TOUR, does that help you a little bit tomorrow, having to play 27 holes?

JAY HAAS: Possibly. I feel like Iím in pretty good shape. But I think we can all be in better shape. And Iím no exception there. But 1 feel comfortable doing that. I donít think Iíll be -- I think Iíll be able to make it, letís put it that way.

Q. But stamina seems to be more of a factor than you thought when you started?

JAY HAAS: Yeah, 1 think too it being wet itís tough walking through all the stuff. And some of the guys maybe arenít used to walking. They have the carts or the option of the carts. And itís a pretty hilly golf course in places. But I think if the guys are up there near the lead, the adrenaline is pumping, I donít think there have going to have to have anybody push them around.

Gil Morgan

Q. Talk about what happened out there?

GIL MORGAN: I donít know, nothing. For me I started with a birdie and then I played just kind of decent. I had a couple of opportunities and missed those putts and made one bogey. I hit it over the green at six and made a bogey. But I thought I played all right out there. It seemed like everybody is stacked up a little bit right now. I looked on the leaderboard and thereís about seven 4s. So itís getting kind of tight. So weíll see what happens tomorrow.

Q. What does that do going into the final, I guess, 27 tomorrow?

GIL MORGAN: Yeah, probably 27 tomorrow. I guess weather permitting and that type of thing. So I donít know, itís still a long ways away. Thereís a lot of holes out there and thereís a lot of trouble. You just have to keep playing basic golf. Put it in play and try to put it on the green where you have an opportunity to make a putt or have an opportunity to putt it for a birdie here and there. You try to minimize your mistakes. If you get the ball off kilter, just donít make a big number and then go on.

Hale Irwin

Q. Talk about it out there. Lots of pars?

HALE IRWIN: I had lots of them. Nine straight pars. I donít know, I guess I improved the position some, but itís kind of hard to play in the dark. So letís go home and eat. Why are you guys still here?

Q. I get the sense it was a grind out there?

HALE IRWIN: Yeah, itís a grind. Youíre sort of lead footed on every hole. And Iím not saying anything against lead footed people, but itís a little difficult because you donít know when the hornís going to blow, and you know itís getting dark and youíre anxious to get in and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. What, am I checked out, not checked out. Is there room service? Will it be too late? When do I have to get up? Oh, Iím playing golf. Thatís right. So.

Q. You got 27 more to go.

HALE IRWIN: Thank you for reminding me.

Q. Do you feel good about being in the lead?

HALE IRWIN: Well, of course. I always want the lead. But as you say. thereís a lot of golf to play.

Tom Watson

Q. It looks look you found some consistency out there. You talked about your swing a little bit in that last round.

TOM WATSON: Yeah, I played pretty well the first nine here. I had four good opportunities and made one. So it was a good first nine holes. Iíll see what I can do with this back nine here. And hopefully we can keep the thunderstorms away from us tomorrow afternoon.

Q. How nice is it to get nine holes in?

TOM WATSON: Well, itís good for the old body, you see. Because 36 on this golf course is not very good for a 54 year old body. This isnít very good.

Q. Any reluctance -- you get kind of a rhythm, did you feel like you had a kind of a rhythm?

TOM WATSON: Actually, there is a reluctance, because I played very well the front nine here. But thereís no reason why I canít donít it the back nine tomorrow.

Q. Pretty good, you were able to stop that back swing.

TOM WATSON: Yeah, that was pretty good.

Tom Watson (1-over-par 72 in second round, 3-under-par 139 total)

Q. Talk about the day a little bit.

TOM WATSON: I got off to a good start. I made three or four bad swings and they all cost me. A bad swing off the tee at number 6 that put me in the heavy stuff to the left and I didn't extract myself very well, made double bogey there. I hit the ball in the bunker with a bad swing at 13, didn't hit a very good shot, not a very good lie out of that bunker, and ended up making double bogey there. So those two holes they hurt me, they hurt me badly.

Q. Talk about how you feel where you stand right now. You had the lead and you gave it back. You made a birdie, you gave it back. You're fighting out there.

TOM WATSON: I'm fighting, I made a little bit of a change in my golf swing, my golf swing is a little bit loose right now, but I feel like the change is the right thing to do. And I feel pretty confident that if I can just work out a couple of the kinks that I had in today's round, with some practice before I go out --I hope I get nine holes in -- and I get a good feeling and a good confidence level on those nine holes, then we'll see what happens.

Q. The issue of playing a lot of holes today, how does that suit you?

TOM WATSON: Well, I prefer to play 27 today and 27 tomorrow. Rather than just 18 today and 36 tomorrow. This is a long course to be walking that many.

Q. Is it a lot tougher because it's so wet?

TOM WATSON: Not really. No, we got a couple breaks out there, a couple of cart breaks today on the long walks around the areas that are, that we couldn't walk across the water, No. 9, number 6 there. So that helped a little bit so we didn't have to walk -- it cut off about 500 more yards right there. So we're all right there.

Q. Is it a long golf course to walk?

TOM WATSON: The golf course is not that tough to walk, really. The only tough hole to walk is from 16 green to 17 tee. You go straight uphill like that at the end of the round. But that's about it.

Q. Is there any advantage then to the younger golfers, the guys who are in better shape?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, there's an advantage to the golfers that are in better shape, obviously. The golfers who are not in very good shape, you get -- and your golf swing suffers because of it. That's most -- that's the case most of the time.

Q. Some guys have been able to put numbers on the board here, in terms of being able to score, as hard as it is, there is the potential to score here.

TOM WATSON: Well, I can tell you with the soft conditions it's pretty easy scoring conditions. Because the ball doesn't roll off the fairway. If you hit the ball in the fairway, it stays there. If you hit the ball on the green, it stays there. I think the scoring conditions are really actually pretty easy because of the softness of the golf course. It gets tough when the greens get firm. And the fairways get firm. And right now after all the rain we had, this golf course is playing very soft and maybe a little bit longer than normal, but it plays easier.

Q. How do you think this venue has been for a senior Major like this?

TOM WATSON: It's been great. The fans -- I was talking to Jack on the way up here, "Boy, it's just great to see fans out here supporting us." And he said, "Yup, they do that in Louisville". And that's been my experience the last, my three times playing here.

Q. Talk about changing your swing. Was that something because of the course conditions or --

TOM WATSON: No, something because I was playing cruddy when I came in here.

Q. Were you kind of fighting with your driver all day?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, it's just the timing is not quite there. It was there yesterday and it wasn't quite there today, so. I still believe in what I'm doing that it's the right thing.

Jack Nicklaus (1-under-par 70 in second round, 3-over-par 145 total)

JACK NICKLAUS: I had about 8 or 10 putts I missed from inside three feet.

Q. Thatís a pretty good estimation of your round.

JACK NICKLAUS: Man, I putted bad.

Q. Youhititgood.

JACK NICKLAUS: No, I played pretty well. Itís a hard course to walk.

Q. Guys who are in good shape have an edge?

JACK NICKLAUS: Younger guys. Younger guys better be in better shape

.

Q. Wait a minute, youíre in pretty good shape.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, Iím in good shape, I havenít been walking, I havenít been playing any golf.

Q. Did you get tired the last few holes?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, no, Iím not tired. My legs feel tired tonight, but then I got to go ahead and play tomorrow. But your legs get tired, but thatís how it is.

Q. You played well, I know 70 is just a number, but was that pretty much the number that you felt you had, given how you hit the ball?

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I turned a very easy 64, 65, into 70 today.

Q. So you put stock in the number?

JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, it wasnít a very good number. 70 wasnít a very good score for the way I played. I played pretty well today.

Q. For a guy who said he hadnít played very much.

JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I havenít played a lot, but I played enough golf in my life to know how to play golf. Ijust did not get the ball in the hole. And when youíre playing a pretty good round of golf and you donít play that many rounds where you get that many balls close to the hole, you got to make some putts. I think my birdie putts -- I did make a putt at the first hole from about 12 feet. I donít think I made another putt after that, did I?

Q. Not that I can think of.

JACK NICKLAUS: I missed a three footer for birdie at 3. I missed about a 12, 13 footer for a birdie at 4. Made about a 10-footer at 5. I think that was the last putt I made. Then a long putt at the next hole -- no, I made a good par putt at the next hole, didnít I? Actually, I did.

Q. 10, I think you had about 10, 15 footer there.

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, good try at 10.
I had a good try at 12.
I had a good try--I had a tap in at 13.
I had agoodtryat 13.
I had a good try at 15.
Missed my par putt at 16.
And I had it closest 17 and 18.

So thatís a lot of putts to have missed. Oh, well.

Tom Watson (1-over-par 72 in second round, 3-under-par 139 total)

Q. Talk about the day a little bit.

TOM WATSON: I got off to a good start. I made three or four bad swings and they all cost me. A bad swing off the tee at number 6 that put me in the heavy stuff to the left and I didnít extract myself very well, made double bogey there. I hit the ball in the bunker with a bad swing at 13, didnít hit a very good shot, not a very good lie out of that bunker, and ended up making double bogey there. So those two holes they hurt me, they hurt me badly.

Q. Talk about how you feel where you stand right now. You had the lead and you gave it back. You made a birdie, you gave it back. Youíre fighting out there.

TOM WATSON: Iím fighting, I made a little bit of a change in my golf swing, my golf swing is a little bit loose right now, but I feel like the change is the right thing to do. And I feel pretty confident that if I can just work out a couple of the kinks that I had in todayís round, with some practice before I go out - - I hope I get nine holes in -- and I get a good feeling and a good confidence level on those nine holes, then weíll see what happens.

Q. The issue of playing a lot of holes today, how does that suit you?

TOM WATSON: Well, I prefer to play 27 today and 27 tomorrow. Rather than just 18 today and 36 tomorrow. This is a long course to be walking that many.

Q. Is it a lot tougher because itís so wet?

TOM WATSON: Not really. No, we got a couple breaks out there, a couple of cart breaks today on the long walks around the areas that are, that we couldnít walk across the water, No. 9, number 6 there. So that helped a little bit so we didnít have to walk-- it cut off about 500 more yards right there. So weíre all right there.

Q. Is it a long golf course to walk?

TOM WATSON: The golf course is not that tough to walk, really. The only tough hole to walk is from 16 green to 17 tee. You go straight uphill like that at the end of the round. But thatís about it.

Q. Is there any advantage then to the younger golfers, the guys who are in better shape?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, thereís an advantage to the golfers that are in better shape, obviously. The golfers who are not in very good shape, you get -- and your golf swing suffers because of it. Thatís most - - thatís the case most of the time.

Q. Some guys have been able to put numbers on the board here, in terms of being able to score, as hard as it is, there is the potential to score here.

TOM WATSON: Well, I can tell you with the soft conditions itís pretty easy scoring conditions. Because the ball doesnít roll off the fairway. If you hit the ball in the fairway, it stays there. If you hit the ball on the green, it stays there. I think the scoring conditions are really actually pretty easy because of the softness of the golf course. It gets tough when the greens get firm. And the fairways get firm. And right now after all the rain we had, this golf course is playing very soft and maybe a little bit longer than normal, but it plays easier.

Q. How do you think this venue has been for a senior Major like this?

TOM WATSON: Itís been great. The fans -- I was talking to Jack on the way up here, ďBoy, itís just great to see fans out here supporting us.Ē And he said, ďYup, they do that in LouisvilleĒ. And thatís been my experience the last, my three times playing here.

Q. Talk about changing your swing. Was that something because of the course conditions or --

TOM WATSON: No, something because I was playing cruddy when I came in here.

Q. Were you kind of fighting with your driver all day?

TOM WATSON: Yeah, itís just the timing is not quite there. It was there yesterday and it wasnít quite there today, so. I still believe in what Iím doing that itís the right thing.

Quickie Quotes from Saturday morningís Second Round


Mark James (even par 71 today) -2 overall
(thoughts on second round play) I was disappointed to shoot 71.

(on the course) This morning the course was a little drier but still picking up a little mud but not too serious. It was airight, but itís such a tough course anyway.

(his activity between rounds) I will go lie by the pooi or go to the gym.

Sam Torrance (even par 71 today) +5 overall
(thoughts on second round play) Not a very good round. I made the cut and thatís about you can say. I finished five, four, seven, so Iím not really doing good right now.

(what he will do between second and third rounds) I donít know what Iím going to do. Probably go the movies.

Paul Parajeckas (even par 71 today) +10 overall
(thoughts on second round play) I thought I kept my composure pretty good in the second round. I really did not have a good start again. I went two-over and then the next hole I made a bogey to go three-over. Then on number 13, I hit my second shot in for an eagle and I said to my son, Jason, that this will probably get me going. I did shoot one-under on the front side. I shot even par today. I played a lot better today and just hung in there. Never gave up. I was disappointed that I shot a 81 in the first round because I was very prepared for the tournament. I am pretty proud of myself that the way I came back.

(on the course) The first couple of holes were pretty wet. My hatís off to the golf course superintendent and his whole crew and the volunteers they did a great job.

(playing in the Senior PGA) This is my fourth PGA Championship and my seventh major being a club pro and playing the Champions Tour for the last three or four years just temporary on a part-time basis means a lot. I am representing all the PGA professionals around the country. I had fun here all week. You have to take the experience that I have and go forward.

(message to fellow club professionals) To my peers around the country, itís a great honor to play in your own PGA Championship. Itís a major, youíre playing with the best in world. Itís a hard event to get in because we have to go section qualifying, then we go to national qualifying and they take the top 35 out of 288 players. Work and practice hard on your game and hang in there. When you get here you are among the elite and your the. best in the world for a week and enjoy it.

Friday May 28th, 2003
Quickie Quotes from Saturday morningís Second Round


Wayne Levi (3-under-par 68 in second round, 137 total)
(on his second round play) "Well, last night we got done pretty late, so I was playing all right, nothing great. I hit a few squirrely shots, but I made a few, dropped a few good putts late yesterday. Then of course coming out here first thing this morning, really there was a lot of dew on the grass and the air was fairly heavy, so the ball didnít cany very well this morning. I came up short on a number of shots. But I managed to get it around okay and played the last few holes quite well here. I birdied number 8 and may a nice solid par on No.9. So thatís very encouraging."

Q. To be in the clubhouse at minus 5, to be in the lead, especially with that kind of number on this kind of course, how does it make you feel?

WAYNE LEVI: Good. Any time youíre up near the lead itís a good feeling. You donít want to be down there, 4, 5, 6, 8 shots behind, you know. So this is a course that itís hard to make many birdies.

You just got to play pretty solid, hit the ball out in the fairway, get it on the green. And thereís only a few holes out there that you can really attack.

Q. If somebody told you you would be minus 5 for two rounds before the tournament started?

I would take that, certainly. I got here Wednesday morning and I was planning on playing a practice round, I only got to play about half the holes because of the weather delay after that. And I never played here before in the other two Majors that they had here before, so there was a bunch of holes I hadnít seen. So I was able to feel my way around the course quite well.

Q. Tell me about your chip at 7.

WAYNE LEVI: The chip at 7 ~ you know, I got a new sand wedge here and itís got more loft on it. And for some reason I just seem to get under all those shots. Ijust donít hit them hard enough. And the grass was real wet there too and I figured the ball might jump out of there a little bit. And I had an awful tough shot, letís face it. I had to just flop that ball on the fringe and let it roll down there. And I probably should have hit the ball and made sure I got it past the pin. Because that putt I had there wasnít very easy either.

Q. Tell me about the shot on number 8?

WAYNE LEVI: I hit a 5 iron there. I had about 182 yards or so. Nice 5 iron there. I hit it very solid. I landed it perfect, had a little uphill putt right there. And you could see it had dew on the greens and you could see the tracks of other guys who had putted there. And you could just see where the ball had rolled and it was just a straight putt and it went right in.

Q. Do you feel youíre at an advantage or disadvantage now that youíre done with your second round and itís so early in the morning?

WAYNE LEVI: You donít even think about it. Itís hard to say where the tee times fall. It would have been nice to just not play any golf yesterday and rest, because itís a long trudge out there. Itís awful wet and the areas between the greens and the tees are really wet and sloppy and it just wears you down.

Q. How are you going to be enjoying the next couple hours, I guess?

WAYNE LEVI: Well, itís nice. Iím going to go get something to eat right now. I havenít eaten anything. And Iím going to relax a little bit. Probably go back to the hotel and do some reading, relaxing. Sit down, take it easy. And I guess weíre probably, I probably wonít get started until 5:30, 6 oíclock tonight. And the same routine as we had today. Weíre going to play until almost dark and then come out here at 7 oíclock again in the morning and hopefully finish this tournament tomorrow.

Bob Ford (2-over-par 73 in second round, 147 total)
(On his round) "I played about the same both days. I made one birdie the first day and two birdies the second day. Itís pretty hard to shoot a good score with only making three birdies. But I played solid and I get a chance to play the rest of the weekend and hopefully make some birdies."

(on what it means to play in this tournament) "Well, itís a thrill for me, I was actually given an exemption to play, so I sort of borrowed one, because I wasnít old enough to qualify at the time of the qualifying. So itís a little fun for me to be here and be around my idols."

Lonnie Nielsen (1-under-par 70 in second round, 144 total)
(on his second round play) "It was a little better than the first. My iron game hasnít been very sharp and I still manage to fan a few balls to the right. But I got better this afternoon and managed to shoot 1 under par, which Iím pleased with.

(on what it means to play in this tournament) "Iíve been a club pro for the past 20 years and now Iím currently playing on the Champions Tour, but so the PGA has a special meaning for me, being a PGA club professional for 20 years. And this is my first time doing it, itís quite a treat. Especially at a fantastic course like this."

(Q: If you had a message to send out to all your fellow club professionals across the United States, what would it be?) "Spend some time working on your game. I think we sometimes get sidetracked a little bit. Thatís probably not the best way of putting it, but we service, we spend so much time servicing our members and teaching and merchandising and running tournaments and on and on and on, that we do have to spend some time on ourselves. Book a couple hours every day just to go out and play nine holes, practice a little bit, keep your game sharp. Youíll earn the respect of your membership by doing that. Youíll set an example for them. You want them to work on their games, you got to work on your own. So I think itís important for all club professionals to do that.

Friday May 28th, 2003
Quickie Quotes from Fridayís First Round Conclusion


Pete Oakley (2-over- par 73)
(on playing) "I was very excited because I was 2-under par and my name was on the leaderboard. We had some confusion getting out to our starting blocks, so I bogeyed the first four holes when I got back on the golf course. It was a rewarding experience. If someone told me I was going to shot 73, I wouldíve taken it and run on this golf course. Itís a great golf course. Itís great making a par."

Paul Parajeckas (10-over par 81)
(on playing) "After looking at the weather report, I didnít think weíd play three holes today. I thought weíd get in 36 on Sunday. They did a great job to get the course ready. Iím not playing well, but they did a good job getting the course ready. Itís still wet out there, but to look at the weather, itís remarkable to see what theyíve done."

D.A. Weibring (2-under par 69)
(on playing today) "I really didnít think weíd play. After watching how the water was surging down the creek, I really didnít think weíd play. The maintenance crew has done an unbelievable job staying with it and re-doing the bunkers three times. Iím happy for the golf fans in this area. Theyíve been enthusiastic all week and were looking forward to it."

(on getting back out there today) "I understand why theyíre doing it. The forecast on Sunday and Monday arenít very good and we have to play as many holes as we can. Ití~s hard to stop and start. You warm up and play two holes. You cool down and warm up again. But whatever we can do to keep playing."

Craig Stadler (2-under par 69)
(on playing today) "Yeah, eventually. I thought weíd play sometime today or even earlier. They did a heck of ajob getting the course to where it was, and that we can play it all."

(on playing with Fuzzy and Jay) "Itís always ajoy to play with both of them."

Mark McCumber (even-par 71)
(on playing today) "I didnít know what weíd do playing wise. Iím surprised we played anyway to be honest with you. We wanted to get the tournament in and weíd like to play 72 holes, but to wait around to get up at 5:00 a.m. to tee off at 4:30 p.m. Now we have to go wait an hour. I feel sony for the local people who support the tournament. When I played her in 1996, the fans were great and the superintendent and staff has worked incredible job."

Jay Sigel (2-under par 69)
(on playing today) "I didnít think weíd play at all today. Itís an interesting arrangement. Part of the field plays and part doesnít. Itís kind of weird. The weatherís nice. Thereís not much wind. Here we are. Weíll probably get in four or five holes today."

Jeff Thomsen (even-par 71)
(on playing today) "It was a long campaign today. It looks like the weather forecast is good for the weekend. I shot even par and Iím reasonably happy with that. Most of us have been here since 6:00 a.m. this morning. Weíre trying to make up for lost ground, which is okay. I didnít think that water would ever recede, but weíre clear for the weekend."

Gil Morgan (4-under par 67)
(on your round) "Overall, I think I played fairly consistently. I made the one error on the last hole and made a bogey on the last hole. Other than that I kept it in play fairly well. I had a few birdies and missed a couple putts. But nothing to write home about."

(on the delay) "The delay was very tiring from one aspect. I came out at 6 a.m. and was going to have to come back at 6:25 p.m. this afternoon. I think itís the worst part of the spilt."

Lonnie Nielsen (3-over par 74)
(on the delay) "I didnít think there would be any chance. I came out this morning and it look like it kept getting worse as the day went on. Then someone pulled the plug and it went down like a bathtub."

(on the course) "I didnít find it to be that much different than yesterday. I was surprised. With that much rain, we just played the ninth, but it looked like one of the wettest one so I was surprised how dry it was." We have an hour to think about it and weíll get back out there."

Sam Torrance (5-over par 76)
(on his round) "Five over par. I didnít play very well. The delay didnít affect me. You get accustomed to these things. The golf course is tough and long."

Bruce Lietzke (4-over par 75)
(on the delay) "It was not too bad of a deal. I didnít come to the golf course this morning. I was one of the smart ones who called in and I went right back to sleep. I knew it was going to be a long-term delay. This turned out to be a day that it felt like I had a late afternoon tee time. I called ahead and didnít have to come to the course two or three times."

(on his round) "Not good. I didnít drive the ball very good and didnít putt well, and the score reflects that. I needed a whole bunch of really good breaks to get under par and I didnít get any good ones and didnít hit any good shots so I got what I deserved."

Jay Haas (4-under par 67)
(on his round) "Overall, putting the two days together I played extremely well. I hit a lot of good shots. I guess I was surprised with the way I finished up. I didnít know what to expect today after being here for the first time since 6:00 a.m. and then I came back at 10:00 a.m. with an hour break in between. I was anxious to go. I was anxious to play. I hit a beautiful chip at No. 7 for tap-in birdie and hit a great 8-iron for another tap-in birdie. Then I hit two really good shots at No. 9 and almost made the putt there. Overall, I canít be more pleased. I hit a lot of good shots. I had a great day with Craig (Stadler) and Fuzzy. I couldnít ask for two better guys to play with."

(on the delay) "It helped me. But I donít know would I have done that if we played this morning. I hit a really good shot on my second shot into No. 7 - it was my first shot of the day. I hit a really hard 3-wood right in front of the green. At 7:30 a.m., I might not have pulled that off. Someone asked me earlier if this was going to help you or hurt you. My answer is, I donít really think about it that way. It is what it is. We have to deal with it. Thereís no use complaining about it. You have to deal with it and I was able to do that really well."

(hitting 3-woods on the range) "I hit a few, not really though. I usually warm up with one of the 3-woods as one of my clubs. I hit off the ground just like I would with that shot that I had. I wasnít specifically thinking about that shot. I was just trying to hit it solid and get it over the hazard to about 35 yards short of the green. So I knew if I hit it solidly that it was getting over that stuff and I was going to have an easy pitch to the green and I just happened to catch it perfectly to about three steps off the front of the green."

(what he did during the delay) "I ate several times. I did the crossword puzzle. I worked out. I sat around, talked, putted. It went pretty slowly, but I had enough of my buddies in there - we made the best of it. I had a nice work out with Jerry Pate. He was in there - the only two of us in there. I spent an hour in there - not working the whole time, but laying around, stretching, working a little bit. It was a nice part of the day."

(on the difference of the PGA Tour) "Not really. Too me, this tournament doesnít feel any different than a regular tour event. Thereís enough Hall of Fame players up there that are capable of doing what Iím doing on the regular tour. I kind of laughed when I saw I was the favorite, not one of the favorites. I came out here yesterday and Hale Irwin and Tom Watson were on top of the leaderboard. That to me is no different than the last 30 years."

Scott Bess (5-over par 76)
(on the delay) "I had one putt left. I think waiting to hit the putt didnít bother me. I thought it seemed kind of strange to wait 24 hours just to hit one putt."

(on the round) "My driving was way worse than normal, which put me in position to miss a lot of greens, but my short game was good, and so I was able to squeak it out. It wasnít by any means a stellar performance."

Wayne Levi (2-under par 69)
(on the delay) "It was an on and off type of affair. You get used to it because they have it all the time out when the bad weather comes and puts you off for a couple hours and you see what happens. If itís not good enough they put you off for a few more and you go until you can play."

(on the round) "Yesterday, I got off to a pour start. I didnít see much of the golf course on Wednesday. The front nine I missed a few holes because of the weather, so I didnít get to play them. It was hard to get a good feel as to how far the ball was going to go and where to aim. I got off to a poor start. But after I got my act together, I started to play a little bit better. I was helped out by an eagle on No. 10 so those things help out quite a bit."

Jose Maria Canizares (4-over par 75)
(on the delay) "Itís been difficult. Weíve been waiting, waiting and waiting. We come out here and play one hole and maybe play four or five holes tonight and then weíll come back tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. Itís been hard, but thereís nothing we can do with the weather."

Bob Giusti (4-over par 75)
(on the delay) "It was tiring. We got up at 5:50 this morning. Itís just enjoyable to be here. Iím one of the lucky ones - club pros, you know."

(on the course) "It drained faster than I thought. I didnít think we were going to get out here this afternoon. We didnít have to go far. We just came to the ninth green. I couldnít tell you what No. 1 and No. 2 look like."

Bob Ford (3-over par 74)
(on the delay) "No. That was a first to wait that long to hit one shot and a couple putts. I didnít think weíd play. We were watching TV and laying in bed, and every couple hours calling in. We came out during lunchtime and didnít look like weíd possibly play."

Thursday May 27th, 2003


Bobby Waizel (1-under par 70)
(on his round) "I find that this golf course is extremely difficult for me. The guys that can really control their iron shots and have great control of their distance are going to play well here. I tend to not be able to do that all the time. I was pleased with my round. I only got to play one practice round on this golf course and it was pretty difficult for me, but I kept the ball in play very well. I started out by bogeying the second and third hole. I birdied four and missed a three-footer on nine for par so I made bogey there. On the back nine, I really hit the ball well. I birdied 13, a short par four. I made a 10-footer there. I birdied the next hole and then on the 17th hole, I hit a shot to within two feet. I played a good back nine. This is going to be ea difficult test as this tournament wears on:"

Jack Fleck (14-over par 85)
(on his round) "I played poorly. I made three little putts about two foot long though. The course played alright. Thereís nothing wrong with the golf course. The only thing that is difficult is green to tees. Itís a long way and uphill. I made the mistake. I shouldíve flown here a couple of weeks ago, played the course and then I wouldíve never been winded. It kills you. Iím not in any condition to play. Itís difficult and it wears you out. You are wore out by the time you get to the tee."

Terry Dill (6-over-par 77)
(about his round where he started with an eight on 10 and then fired a hole-in-one on the next hole, 11) "Well, I put it in the rough five times on the first hole (hole # 10) when I made eight-the pin was in the back right. On # 11, (the second hole) I hit a perfect 7-iron and I got it to jump in the hole. I made a nice one and I felt pretty good after that."

Jack Nicklaus (4-over-par 75)
(on his round) "I actually drove pretty good today. I made ó I played the back nine first with three birdies, three pars and three bogeys. The bogeys I had on the backside were right in the middle of the fairway. I hit a middle iron to the greens and three-putted one of them and hit a bad iron on the other. Anyway, I made the turn decently, and parred the first hole. On the second hole I was fooled by my own body. I couldn't see the water. I'm color blind and I didn't see the creek along the left side has raised up, and thought I didn't have to worry about it because it was off the left edge of the fairway. It's (the ball) in the hazard ó the water ó double bogey. That set me off on a series of giving away a stroke on the next four holes. I hit a 2-iron to four feet on the next hole and missed it. I dumped a half a sand wedge in the bunker and then missed a six or seven foot putt for my par. Then I hit a terrible chip shot on the next one and then hit my iron through the green. It was four bad holes in a row for four-over par, and that was basically my round. I played like a guy who hasn't played much. I didn't have any desire to play. When you don't desire to play and your not prepared, you're going to play like I did. I shot 75 at Augusta and a 75 here ó it must be the same course.

(on the wet conditions) "Wet makes the course easier. You guys think that wet makes the course long and makes it tougher. Wet makes it easy. When it's hard and fast, is when the course is difficult. It plays nicely when it's hard and fast. It plays long when the course is this way. You can keep the ball in the fairway with your tee shots. I only missed ó I don't know exactly how many I missed, but I didn't miss many."

(on Tom Watson) "Tom drove it beautifully, hit his irons beautifully and putted beautifully. I don't know he ever had any chips. If he had any chips I'm sure he did that beautifully too. He played very well. He could've been a lot lower. If he could've landed a couple long putts, he could've shot 64."

Doug Tewell (1-under par 70)
(on his round) "I didn't feel like I hit the ball very well today, but I made some really good putts. The course was long and tough. That was the longest walk we had in about 10 years. I don't know how long it took us to play, it seemed like six hours. You just had to be patient out there and keep plugging away and save it where you could. We took advantage here at 18 and got the birdie that really helped."

(on which were easy holes) "I made a couple birdies on the front nine that got me in good shape. I had a tap-in at No. 4 and birdied No. 6, which are two good holes to birdie. It was a battle. You have to battle this course for four days, and hope you have good strategies and keep it on the right side of the hole and hope you can get a decent lie because it was really wet out there."

(on clean and place) "It helps. You don't like to do it. If you're a good ball striker you don't like it because it helps you hit the ball better. I'm a pretty steep angle type player. I'd rather have firm conditions. I was trying to pick the ball a little bit, that's why I struggled a bit with my swing. I warmed up awful. If I related this to racing I blew an engine on the practice green. I didn't know what I had when I teed off. I went into the first turn and said hang on. You make couple putts and the confidence meter goes up, and I felt real good with my putter all day. I've done that since the first tournament of the year."

Mark McNulty (1-under-par 70)
(on the round) "I was struggling a little bit with my game and had a lesson with David Edgar on Monday to sort a few quirks out. The last few days of practice I figured a few things out. It wasn't perfect, but it was a question of hitting on the fairway today, which put me in good position to hit shots to the green. I holed a few putts. I made a double-bogey on No. 2, the controversial hole of the week. I'll be one of the men who'll criticize it. You have to hit two good shots there."

(on the wet conditions) "It was very wet. I used my old experiences. I decided after the rain at 3:00, I managed to get on the first hole and played nine holes so I knew what I was going to be in for thismorning. With the weather that was coming last night, I knew it was going to be wet and playing long."

Mike McCullough (2-under-par 69)
(on the round) I saved par on the first hole. I drove into the trees left and saved par from about 20 feet on the first hole and boy it felt good. We went on the round and nothing spectacular happened. I hit a good shot on eight and nine to birdie both those holes. The back nine was uneventful. I really didn't do anything spectacular. I managed to birdie the 13th hole and the 18th hole. The 18th hole we were able to reach it and had a simple up and down. The golf course is unrelenting. You need to hit good shots. It will punish people for not hitting good shots. I was punished on No. 16 and had to chip out. I don't think the rough is as bad as you think it could be, but when you think of the severity of the greens, the rough is the most fair because of the undulations of the greens.

Bobby Nichols --- (10 over par 81)
(on being interviewed by the local media after his round) --- "There's some reason I'm here, but I can't figure out why (laughing). I shot about what I expected to shoot. If you haven't been playing much and then come out on a golf course like this, it's difficult. Like I said earlier, ĎNext week, no one will remember what I shot, and I won't either.' The golf course is magnificent even with all that rain; it played beautifully."

Jim White (4 over par 75)
"I hit it awfully well. I double-bogeyed the last hole (the 9th), for a 75 (4 over). Itís long. The good news is your ball doesnít roll into trouble. The bad news itís hard to hit it far enough to have a shot youíd like to have into those greens. As wet as it was, the superintendent has done a great job, the greens are beautiful. Theyíre rolling great, good speed. Itís just tough. Tough day."

Jim Fellner (7 over par 78)
"It was tough. It got better as they day went on."

(on courses like Valhalla vs. others) "We donít see anything like this where I play (South Carolina). The contour of the greens.... We donít see that where I play."

Howard Twitty -- (7 over par 78)
"It was wet. The course played hard. It played so long. You have long shots. It was wet and windy ó a tough golf course."

Lee Elder --- (25 over par ó 96)
" Lousy, Lousy, Lousy. Thatís all I can say."

John Jacobs ó (3 over par -- 74)
"How did it go? It went 74 strokes. I played pretty good. I made no putts; I got what I deserved.

(on rain delay) I figured they play today, I just figured there would be more of a delay. Itís nice now."

Gary Player ó (9 over par ó80)
"I did everything badly today. I just played badly. No excuses.

(on rain delay) I wasnít too sure weíd get to play. The PGA made a great call. Thank goodness for the weatherman, too. Nobody ever gives the weatherman any credit."

John Brott (16-over-par 87)
(on the course conditions) "The course was terrible. My round was terrible. My golf was terrible. The course was too tough. It started off bad and continued to go downhill. The conditions were some of the toughest I ever played in. The course set up at over 7,000 yards, par 71 and we lost off the roll off the tee, which made it play 76."

Dick Mast ((10-over-par 81) (on the course) "It played pretty easy with the clean and place, but where I hit the ball it played very hard. The weather conditions made the course play a little easier because the greens were receptive so you ~ould fire right at the pin."

Rick Rhoden (six-over-par 77) (on the course conditions) "It was soft. I think if you were playing well, today wouldíve been a good day to play. I just hit four balls into the hazard. I couldnít hit my driver. Everything I hit was going to the right. The front nine was hard because it was still real wet. They were better when the back started to dry out. The front nine every ball you hit was into casual water."

Buddy Harston (10-over-par 81) (on the course) "I shot my highest score ever at Valhalla. Iíve played it 25 or 30 times, but that is how Valhalla is. You know coming in that you canít be off at all. Itís that type of golf course. It was wet, but it was wet for everybody at the start. I got to a bad start, but I played a little bit better on the back. I almost got a hole in one on No. 11. I hit it to about six inches on 11."

(on the conditions) "The wind for me (was the toughest). Your in casual water and we could not find ó We had too play out of casual water. WEíd go 30 yards and we could find no casual water. After about six or seven holes it was better, but it was tough going out first.">

Stay tuned throughout the week for more interviews from the 65th Senior PGA Championship!

 
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