The 2005 Senior PGA Championship
A PGA of America Event. Click to learn more

An Interview With R.W. Eaks

May 27, 2005

JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, R. W. Eaks the University of northern Colorado basketball stud is in the clubhouse. He's sitting at minus 5. Again, some overall thoughts on your round and we'll go through the card and go to some questions.

R.W. EAKS: Probably one of the better comebacks I've made. I had a tough start. I know you guys ain't going to believe this but I only hit one bad shot in those first six holes. Hitting the ball very crisp. And hit some great putts that just didn't go in. But overall I'm pleased as punch with that round. That was a good come back. Stuck in there and at least I got it setup for the weekend.

JULIUS MASON: Let's just lightly touch on the birdies and bogeys.

R.W. EAKS: First hole I had 66 yards to the pin and a perfect drive and hit it up there and it hit about four feet from the pin and sucked down the hill. I hit about five feet and just didn't go in there. That was too bad.

The second hole I hit another perfect drive down there and hit a, from 92 yards, and flew a sand wedge over the green. And luckily I got that one up‑and‑down. Made about a four‑footer there. Very difficult chip downhill, side hill, it was awful.

Then I finally hid hit a bad shot on the par‑5. I hit a bad drive in the pine tree over there. Tried to hit a miracle shot out and finally got it on and in four and just barely missed about a 12 footer.

The fourth hole, hit an awful drive down the left side. In the rough that you need to harvest that. It's really deep over there. And I couldn't get it out and hit it, chipped it out, hit a sand wedge from 120 yards over the green in just a horrific downhill lie and chipped it with about a foot.

That's a par‑3, the fifth hole. At 200 ‑‑ I don't remember what the pin was, maybe 212, 215, and hit a 5‑iron that went about 225 yards over the green. I don't know where that one came from. That's my youth there. But just unbelievable lie again downhill, rough real deep. Hit a great chip about 12 feet and just missed that putt. Thought I made that one.

The par‑5, I hit another great drive there. I must have hit that probably 315 or so. Hit a 4‑iron just on the fringe about pin high and got that one down in two.

Number 7, what is number 7? Oh, the ponds in front. When I got there I hit driver off the tee because the wind was blowing so hard. And I had 140 yards and I hit a 9‑iron about eight feet above the hole and trickled that one down in there. That was a very fast putt. Broke about a foot to the left.

Then we came to my favorite hole, the 8th hole. I hit a 5‑iron on the right side of the green. And the putt took about 15 seconds to get there and it went in. It broke about 12 feet. And it just went in. It was really a ‑‑ that hole has been pretty nice to me, the tree one day and the putt the next, so.

9 was just a routine par.

10, I hit too much club off the tee, almost in the bunkers, through the fairway. And caught a good lie in the rough and chipped a little 8‑iron down there about 25 feet behind the hole and made that. That putt broke about four different directions.

Par‑5, nothing really interesting there.

And then 12 and 13, I probably hit the two best drives of the day. Had an L wedge into one, a sand wedge into the other and the closest I could get it was 35 feet on each hole. The wind was a little tricky out there on that side. We couldn't tell if it was side wind or down wind. And we played it for side wind, just happened to be down wind.

Par‑3, chickened out on the par‑3 or I played it smart, whatever way you want to look at it. I just hit an 8‑iron to the middle of the green and 3‑putted. I didn't want to mess with that left pin placement. That looked a little tough to me.

Next hole I hit a good 3‑wood off the tee, hit a 9‑iron about 15 feet and made that.

And then nothing significant on 16, 17.

18, I hit a very nice drive there and 6‑iron about 1 feet behind the hole and I really couldn't charge that one because it was very downhill there. Just 2‑putted.

JULIUS MASON: Questions?

Q. The yardage ‑‑ I mean the distance on the putt on 8?

R.W. EAKS: Number 8?

Q. With the big break?

R.W. EAKS: I'm going to say 45, 45, 50 feet maybe. I was almost on the right hand fringe.

Q. Then the drives on 12 and 13th two long ones where you hit the lob wedge in. The yardages in?

R.W. EAKS: I had 88 yards to No. 12. And number 13, I had 114, I think it was.

Q. Did you see that your tee ball on 8 made the Sportscenter's Top Plays? Did you see that?

R.W. EAKS: If I would have made that putt, it would have been No. 1. But that was exciting, yeah. That was fun.

Q. You come back like you did and now you look up on the board and you're a shot out for the moment anyway. Did you say this is your first senior?

R.W. EAKS: No, I played last year.

Q. Last year. How do you prepare now for tomorrow?

R.W. EAKS: I think I'm going to get here a little earlier tomorrow and warm‑up a little longer and see maybe if I can't get off to a better start. I've gotten off a little shaky the last two days. And maybe put a little practice time in before I go play. Other than that we're going to try and do the same thing.

Q. When you bogey those three in a row and four of the first five, what's happening there? What are you thinking and was it the fact that you just told yourself you didn't hit bad shots or what happened?

R.W. EAKS: I told my caddy, I said, Clark, we have hit perfect golf shots except for one drive. We got nothing out of it. We just keep our head and keep patient and go from there, I think we're going it start making some birdies pretty soon, because we're just hitting the ball too solid.

Q. How much do you think your length is going to be an advantage over the weekend and what are your thoughts heading into Saturday and Sunday?

R.W. EAKS: As long as I can hit it in the fairway, it's going to help me a lot. Because obviously I'm going to have little shorter clubs in there. And I'm sure the pins are going to get harder and harder as the week goes on. We'll just have to see how it goes. I really can't tell you one way or the other. Just try to play golf.

Q. It seems like there's a million words to describe this round. How would you describe this one?

R.W. EAKS: Gutsy. I think I stuck this round out. I showed myself a little more something that usually it's easy to quit out there. You get upset, especially in the Majors. When you know that you got some tough pin placements and the grass is deep and the greens are a little faster. But I hung in there today. I'm pretty proud of this round.

Q. Of all the difficulties what was the hardest to overcome today?

R.W. EAKS: Probably just the fact that I was hitting some good shots. And I just didn't get anything out of it. That's pretty hard to swallow. It's easy to play when you're hitting bad shots and getting away with them. But when you're hitting good ones and it's not working out for you, I think that's hard. But Clark just kept telling me, hang in there. That's what we did.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much for coming down. Well done.

R.W. EAKS: Thank you.

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