An Interview with: PETER SENIOR
KELLY ELBIN: Peter Senior, ladies and gentlemen, in with a 3 under par 68 in the opening round of the 74th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
This is Peter's fifth senior or fourth Senior PGA. Peter, you tied for fifth and tied for fourth in the last two years, so you've played well in this championship. Congratulations on the nice start with 68 today.
PETER SENIOR: Thank you. Yeah, I played pretty solid. Didn't do a lot wrong. Nice to make a couple of late birdies, but always nice to get off to a good start in a tournament like this.
KELLY ELBIN: Could you go through the birdies starting with the birdie on 4, please.
PETER SENIOR: Hit 3 wood on to the front edge of the green, chipped it to about four feet. Made birdie there.
The 8th hole, hit it through the back of the green with a 3 wood. Fluffed my chip to about 15 feet, holed it.
Hit a 4 iron into 9 to about 25 feet behind it. The only place you don't want to be. 3 putted on 9.
Played pretty steady, hit rescue into 16 actually, no, 14, I hit a 7 iron into about four feet.
And then 16 hit a rescue in to about 15 feet.
KELLY ELBIN: Thank you. Open it up for questions. For the record, Peter hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation today.
Q. Yesterday Bernhard Langer was in here saying that he thought they might even have to play lift, clean and place today because the golf course was, he had muddy balls yesterday and that. What were the conditions like?
PETER SENIOR: Conditions were fine. I thought yesterday the course was drying out enough that we wouldn't have to play. If we got a little bit of rain last night or a little this morning, maybe there might have been a chance to go lift and place, but I mean we very rarely picked up mud today. So I think the course is in pretty good shape.
Q. Can you just talk about the weather today, how cool it was. It seems like it's the cool less you guys have had all week. Nothing like the practice rounds.
PETER SENIOR: It seems to be a trend with all the tournaments this year. It's sort of nice until the tournament and then all of a sudden we get a little bit of a cold front.
But I thought when I was on the range I thought I wouldn't have to wear a sweater or a jacket, but when I got on to the first tee, the wind picked up a little bit, a little bit of a cool breeze and I never took it off all day.
So, but it's quite comfortable out there. The breeze is not that strong and it's really good playing conditions.
Q. You hit 14 greens, is that correct?
PETER SENIOR: Yeah.
Q. How were the greens? Did you have to do a lot of lag putting? Did you have a lot of close putts?
PETER SENIOR: Well, there's a few holes out there that you have to be really mindful of. Especially No. 6. I think the par 3 there. It's a killer of a hole.
The hardest thing I found today and I think a lot of the guys will be the same is you get a lot of putts that are uphill and then downhill. And going up the hill it's really slow, so you're leaving them four or five feet short. Plenty of pace down the hills. But those putts coming up the hill, if you're 50 or 60 feet away they're very hard to judge. So if your short putting is pretty good the greens are excellent and that's why the scores are as good as they are.
KELLY ELBIN: You mentioned No. 6. You made par on that long par 3. What did you hit there and how far of a putt did you have?
PETER SENIOR: I hit a 3 iron flag high left, probably about 25 feet. It was a safe option. The thing is, if you get on the back bunker and you get a bit of a downhill slope in the back bunker there, it's, you can hit it in the water just as easy as hitting it in the water off the tee. So that's one of the holes that you're going to have to be really careful.
There's probably two or three out there that you have to be mindful of, couple of real brutes. The 10th hole is always going to play into the breeze I think for the rest of the week. But there's some really strong holes out there. It's a good test.
Q. Was the wind strong enough to mess with club selection at all?
PETER SENIOR: It was a little gusty in parts. Then again, you have to be mindful of where the flags are. A couple of them were in the back corners where it cuts out on the right or the left. So you don't want to go long at all. So you're trying to judge it that it just creeps over the top and just rolls down towards the flag. If you get a little bit of a gust then you got one of those 30 footers that are up and down the hill.
So club selection was pretty hard, a lot of shots looked good but come up on the front edge. There was quite a few flags, eight or seven on the front, and we come up probably a yard short of the greens there on those. But it's scorable out there. I think the course is set up in a way that you play well, you're going to score well.
Q. Your record in this event's pretty good. Is there a reason? I mean this event's always setup pretty tough, a lot of rough, does that put a premium on ball striking for you?
PETER SENIOR: Normally I'm a fairly good driver. I did drive it probably as bad as I have for awhile today. I missed quite a few fairways today. But only a yard or two.
The harder courses sort of suit me better. I can knock it down the middle of the fairway most of the time and if it's a grinder's course, I just grind it out. I'm putting pretty well, so if I can hit a lot of fairways and I have to play from the fairway because I'm not strong enough to get to some of these holes out of the rough. So fairways are a premium for us.
Q. Since you mentioned putting, you've been using the broom stick almost as long as Bernhard. What were your thoughts on the announcement we all knew was coming?
PETER SENIOR: Yeah, I was surprised. I thought there was enough friction from everybody to sort of delay it a little bit and sort of put it in the back cupboard and forget it. But they made their decision. It's going to be very hard to police. Especially with the one that I use on the chest. If, even if I have it out, there's a whole range of things, it could be windy and it might look like I've got it there and somebody will pull you up on it.
And then the anchoring of the arm, well if I go to a short putter I anchor my arms anyway. So they really got to do some thinking on how they're going to interpret the rule.
Q. Have you thought about how you might react to it?
PETER SENIOR: I can go back to the short one. I practice a lot at home with the short one. All my mates wants me to use the short one so they got a bit of a chance. So, no, I don't think I'll have any probably going back to a short putter.
Q. Since you used the long putter for so long and are so well versed in it, Adam Scott talked about it, that they simply will try to use it away from their body and continue using it.
PETER SENIOR: Yeah, I think so. I've experimented with it. I know it's not as stable moving it away. But with a little bit of practice I think you can get pretty proficient with it. So you're going to see a lot of variations.
KELLY ELBIN: How long have you been putting with an anchored stroke consistently through the years?
PETER SENIOR: I started in 1989. Sam Torrance got me on to it and it's been in the bag ever since.
KELLY ELBIN: Peter Senior in with 3 under par 68. Thank you very much.
PETER SENIOR: Thank you.
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