The 2005 Senior PGA Championship
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An Interview With: Jerry Pate

JULIUS MASON: Jerry Pate, ladies and gentlemen. At 5-under. In the middle of the third round. Some opening thoughts we'll go through the card and Q&A.

JERRY PATE: I felt good today starting out. It was obviously a long day. I was playing very consistent until I hit a ball on the 6th hole in the fairway -- drove it right in the middle of the fairway and I hit a 6-iron to lay up to leave myself a wedge. And I hit a draw, plus the wind was right-to-left, and I had a chunk of mud on it. And the ball spun left into the trees. And I had a good chance to save par, even make birdie out of the trees, and I made bogey. So that sort of kind of turned my momentum at that point in time.

And I bogeyed again on number 8.

I'm on the 11th hole and I guess things have sort of quieted down, so we're going to have an about 27 holes, 25 holes tomorrow to play. For me.

JULIUS MASON: You birdied No. 1.

JERRY PATE: Birdied No. 1. Hit a good drive and a pitching wedge to about 10 feet. Pin high. And made the putt.

And I had chances on number 3.

I had a very makeable birdie on 4. And missed those two.

And parred 5 and then as I said, bogeyed six.

7, I hit a good shot in my second shot. The ball spun off the green and I pitched it to, oh, a couple inches. I ran it up with a 7-iron.

8, I didn't hit a bad little 3-iron. I hung it to the right and the ball kicked right and this far off the green in the rough -- well the collar is this wide, it's this far off the green, this far into the medium rough. And I didn't have a very good lie and I hit a poor chip. So I bogeyed 8.

9, I hit an excellent second shot that hit, kind of hit on top, hit a little hard and rolled again this far into the cut. I'm only 25 feet from the hole. Pretty good place to putt from. But instead I had to pitch it. And I pitched it down again with a 7-iron and hung it right of the lip. Thought I was going to pitch that ball in. And it was like a hill hooded 7-iron.

10, I made a terrific pitch after missing the green on 10.

11, I'm on the green in three and I have a long putt for birdie on 11. And that's when they blew the siren.

JULIUS MASON: Questions?

Q. Dana seemed almost giddy to play extra golf tomorrow. How are you feeling with the extra holes tomorrow and how are you feeling about having to putt right away to start your round?

JERRY PATE: I love to play golf. So it doesn't matter to me how many holes we play. I think I'm in pretty good shape. Fatigue factor is not going to play into my game, I don't think.

I'm looking forward to playing. Putting, probably I would just as soon start with a putt. It doesn't matter. You got to start. So we'll start with a putt.

Q. Is it easier to not start and be delayed, have to sit around for a couple hours before you start, or stop and start? Is there some advantage either way?

JERRY PATE: No, I don't think so. I think it's just -- it's part of it. I think everybody's -- the players that have historically played well, I mean, they get used to it. I think there's some guys that don't play as many tournaments that wouldn't be used to it but if you play enough tournament golf you're going to put up with that. That's just part of the game.

Q. If I'm not mistaken it's been 29 years since you won the U.S. Open.


Q. I believe. Is that right?

JERRY PATE: Yeah, well actually will be 30. 30 opens.

Q. Okay.

JERRY PATE: If your math is right.

Q. And of course players always talk about the pressure of a Major, it's been almost 30 opens, but the fact that you've been there and won a Major, will that still help tomorrow or has it been too long a period of time?

JERRY PATE: I don't think -- it didn't help after I won the Open and I had shots to win it. So you either win or you don't win. I think once you have won you know how to win. And you have to have things go your way to continue to win. Primarily you have to hit good pitches and good putts, because you're going to miss shots, going to miss greens. And I'm excited about the way I'm putting and the way I'm chipping. I really kind found something on the range last night. I struck the ball extremely well. Warming up today I mean it was a joke. I hit the ball as pure as you I ever hit it. And I started out the first fairway right, hit a good shot, same on two, three, four.

Five, I hit the green and drove it in the fairway on six and I missed that one shot, a 6-iron that I went, whoops, where did that come from? And so then I got a little -- and actually I didn't hit bad shots the rest of the way, I just, you know, I was just inches from having putts, very makeable putts for birdies. And I was in the collar.

Again, on the 8th hole, here hitting you got 220, it's about 230 I think it is, maybe 220, I can't remember the yardage, but it's a 3-iron downhill and there's a little knob and if you carry that knob the ball's going to pitch and run up to the last plateau. And I'm literally the width of this podium to the right of where I want to be to be within an eight or 10 foot instead I'm pitching. And I made bogey. So that's the old saying that golf is a game of inches. You got to get lucky, you got to get the ball to do right when you win. And when you don't have it perform right and you get the right bounces or the right little breaks here or there, then you don't win. So that's all part of it.

Q. What kind of putt do you have tomorrow morning for your first shot?

JERRY PATE: I got about a 30 foot putt for birdie on 11. We got to wait for -- R. W. Eaks has to play his third, I believe R. W -- maybe, no, he's played his. Mike Reid has not played his yet. They blew the siren right after I played my third.

Q. With all the money you've probably paid Doctor Andrews for all these various surgeries, how do you repay him for the putting tip?

JERRY PATE: I don't know how much money my insurance company has paid him. But I'm sure they paid him well. He called me last night -- in fact, more than anything, he is opening Andrews Institute in Pensacola for the Baptist Health Care System. And we just received a grant to get it going. So that was news yesterday. He was excited. He called me last night. He was in Florida, he spends Fridays in Pensacola and I sort of coerced him to try to put something together in Pensacola. And just like I did back when he was at Houston Clinic and Columbus, Georgia, 19 years ago. He was leaving there and I thought he was going to go to Jacksonville, Florida or maybe Kentucky. He was looking at several other places. And I convinced him to go to Birmingham. And then a gay named Larry Lemak, who became his partner.

So we're close friends and I probably referred more surgeries to him than anybody else. It's funny. I had Mike Sullivan in Birmingham to see him, Gibby Gilbert, I called him this week about his son's shoulder. I probably referred him to 200 people. So I don't know what does he get five grand a surgery? That's pretty good pay back.

JULIUS MASON: Let's get dry. Thank you very much for coming down.

JERRY PATE: Thank you. See you tomorrow.

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