What they said: Kenny PerryMay 06, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Regions Tradition transcript archive
MODERATOR: Kenny Perry, very fine 7-under 65 in your second round and you moved right into contention here. Just a couple thoughts about your round today overall, 32 on the back side and maybe a little comparison to yesterday.
KENNY PERRY: Well, you know, I got off to a great start today. I birdied 1 and 3 right out of the gate and that seemed to kind of take the edge off me a little bit. You know, I was -- you know, I always looked up to Tom Watson. I was nervous yesterday playing with Tom Watson, even though I've played a lot of golf with him, and Nick Price are just great men, guys I've looked up to and I was actually a little tight yesterday.
So today, when I birdied 1 and 3, it really loosened me up right out of the gate and I was able to just continue on. I drove the ball nicely, was able to take advantage of my length a little bit and hit a lot of greens. Let's see, I hit 15 greens today and 14 yesterday, so I'm hitting a lot of greens. I'm giving myself a lot of opportunities to make birdies and made a few putts today, so it was nice to get it going a little bit.
MODERATOR: Okay. Do you just want to go through the round if you could?
KENNY PERRY: The first hole I hit it about 12 feet and made it.
MODERATOR: What club there?
KENNY PERRY: That was an 8-iron, 3-wood, 8-iron. I hit driver into the right trees, hit a pitching wedge to 80-yards and hit a sand wedge to probably six feet, made that.
Buried it in the bunker on the par 3 and didn't get up and down. Then I hit driver, 5-iron on the green on 6 and 2-putted for birdie. I hit it to four inches on number 8. If it would have just kept rolling, it would have gone in the hole for a hole-in-one.
MODERATOR: What did you hit?
KENNY PERRY: 7-iron there.
11, I hit driver, 5-iron to about 20 feet, 2-putted for birdie.
15, that was crazy. I hit driver off the tee, I probably should have hit 3-wood, and I hit it through the fairway into the woods, and the pin was back right. My only shot was to hit a sand wedge to the left front of the green. I had like 88 yards so I hit a sand wedge to the left front and then I made about a 50-footer for birdie. I mean, it's a putt you don't even think about making much less 2-putting, and it went right in the middle so you kind of know it's kind of your day a little bit.
And then I hit a good drive and hit a 5-iron to about, I don't know, 20 feet, 15, 18 feet on 17 and was able to get that down for eagle. I need a lot more rounds like that.
Q. We had you in on Tuesday and you talked about it, but now that you've played two competitive rounds at Shoal Creek, your impressions of the golf course??
KENNY PERRY: Love it. Love the golf course. It tests every part of your game. I'm scared around these chipping areas because the grass is thin and I struggle chipping, so I'm trying to make sure, you know, I err -- I don't short-side myself and just get on the green, give myself putts at it, so just love it. The more I play it, the more I love how Jack is a tactitioner. You have to play -- you have to put it in a spot off the tee and then his greens have plateaus, you've got to play to certain areas on his greens. I just love his golf courses. I play great at Muirfield in Columbus. It just seems when it's a Jack Nicklaus golf course, I look forward to coming and playing.
Q. You mentioned, Kenny, that Ron Green came up today or in today. Was that preplanned, or did you say, "I need you, come look at me"??
KENNY PERRY: No, I worked with him three weeks before Tampa, before I went and played the Tampa tournament and that was a good test for me to put our swing changes under the gun a little bit.
Then I went to the team tournament, did a little -- kept on working on the same ideas, same thoughts, same swing process. And then I told him, I said, since he lives -- he works down in Mobile at the Robert -- Magnolia Grove, Ronald Trent Jones Trail there. So he said he'd love to come up and he'll work with me this afternoon and we'll work tomorrow.
So it's nice to have his eyes, give me confidence, tell me I'm going in the right direction. Hopefully he's not going to say you need to change anything. I'm pretty sure he's not going to say anything after 65.
Q. He told me he just needed to see you swinging the club with the Kenny Perry rhythm, he said that's the main thing he needed to instill in you; that you had it today and maybe --
KENNY PERRY: Yeah, we talked about that last night on the range. I hit a lot of drivers on the range and I would push one, pull one, push one, and I was just out of rhythm. I was too fast on the transition from the top of the swing down. Today was better, still not perfect. It's funny, something that you've done your whole life and your rhythm was always -- what I always preached on what kept me in all my golf tournaments, now I don't have it. I'm having to reteach myself rhythm again and it's very hard.
KENNY PERRY: Got faster. For whatever reason, I don't know. I always had that little pause at the top of my golf swing and I was able to gather the club up, set it, then take on off, where for some reason, just like I kind of got the yips a little bit in chipping, you know, I'm 50 years old. I think as we get older, things change and can't maintain them forever. I've been fortunate enough to keep it this long, so I just need to kind of regather my thoughts a little bit and kind of work on that and I think I can get it back.
Q. Yeah, Kenny, I think you were a fairly late official commitment to this tournament. Was there ever a doubt you were coming or did you say it's a Nicklaus course, or did you have any feel on that??
KENNY PERRY: Well, I committed three weeks earlier, I think. Yeah, I was always planning on coming here. I knew I wasn't going to Charlotte. I've got three more years' exemption on the regular TOUR. That course beats me up, so I was definitely coming in this direction, so when I heard it was here and it was a Nicklaus course, I was definitely on board.
MODERATOR: Kenny, continued good luck. Thank you.
KENNY PERRY: Thanks, Phil