What they said: Steve JonesJuly 28, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: U.S. Senior Open Championship transcript archive
Q. Nice round of golf. Tell us about the conditions and how you handled them and maybe the highlights??
STEVE JONES: I just drank a lot of water and Gatorade. Brutal, humid, it hasn't been like that at Pebble Beach and London. But your bones feel pretty good in the heat, so you've just got to handle it and move on.
Q. Were the greens soft??
STEVE JONES: Oh, real soft. I thought for sure someone was going to shoot 8 or 9-under today. I mean, I had a chance, just didn't putt very good at all. I missed a lot of putts and had a couple of bogies myself. So 8- or 9-under this afternoon, I think it could be a good round out there.
Q. Do you view it as a missed opportunity then??
STEVE JONES: Not really missed opportunity because I haven't really been putting well all year. This is my fifth tournament back when I'd been hurt for almost four years. So for me it's a good round. I've got to get the positives and move on.
But putt like I used to? Yeah, it would have been a missed opportunity, but I'm not putting like I used to.
Q. Considering it's going to get hotter and more humid in the afternoon, you've got to be real glad at least today to come out early??
STEVE JONES: I don't know. The breeze helps a lot. This morning there was no breeze early. The breeze, I thought the breeze really helped a lot.
Q. You talk about not playing for such a long time; does the ability to score eventually come back??
STEVE JONES: It just takes time. You've got to be patient. I mean, other you've got to make birdies, obviously, to score, and I had six birdies today. I think that's the most birdies I've had in one round of golf this year.
Q. We talked to you over at Columbus when you were trying to qualify for the Open. Has there been progress from then until now as far as what you've seen in your game??
STEVE JONES: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I played, since then I got in Montreal and I played Montreal, Pebble Beach, the British last week and now here. So this is my fifth tournament.
It just takes time. I need a year to really get going, but I really don't have a year, so I've got to try to step it up somehow. You've just got to be patient.
Q. You don't have a year in terms of??
STEVE JONES: I don't have a year to get ready. I've got to get ready now.
Q. From a qualifying standpoint??
STEVE JONES: From everything. Haven't played, don't have eligibility, you know, I've got to go to Tour School unless I play in the top 30 or win or something. So it's an emergency there, yeah.
Q. Does that weigh on you??
STEVE JONES: Oh, yeah, definitely. Haven't made any money for four years and been injured and now you've got to come back and play against these guys, are you kidding me? That's a tough row to hoe, I tell you.
Q. We know about the finger, what were the other injuries??
STEVE JONES: Elbow, my left elbow, tennis elbow, and my shoulder surgery and then my elbow surgery.
Q. You had a couple of those, right??
STEVE JONES: In '03 I had my right elbow surgery, and rotator cuff could have been done, but I didn't do that.
Yeah, lot of injuries. Been hurt six years of the last ten years and it takes its toll. It takes a year or two to really get everything going again. But I feel -- I actually feel like I'm ahead of the curve a little bit right now, so I'm pretty happy about that.
Q. Do you feel a little better playing in a USGA event, is it something that still feels good after all the events??
STEVE JONES: Yeah, that helps a little bit. I know that in any major on any course setup that's tough, other than because of the rain, it made it a lot easier out there, obviously. But you've got to be patient and you've just got to grind it, and that's kind of what I'm trying to get back into that mentality of grinding it.
Q. Have you gotten to a point at any time where you thought maybe it's time to hang it up??
STEVE JONES: Well, there was nothing to hang up. I couldn't play. I had no choice to hang it up. I couldn't play at all. So I started hitting balls in January, and when I came back, I've got to give it another shot and come back.
So for me, I'm not getting in a lot of tournaments. I've got to get exemptions or Monday qualify. I'm in a couple of majors, last week and this week, but other than that, it's tough to get in.
Q. Is there anything about Ohio golf courses that you tend to like? I think you qualified out of Ohio when you won in '96?
STEVE JONES: I like Michigan right up the road, too. Michigan's good, Detroit in '96, two times in Canada, way up north of that.
Q. You're an Arizona guy; what's with that??
STEVE JONES: I don't know. But the southeast, east, not so well. I don't know, but, yeah, midwest, north, west, I like. Greens, probably. I'm not very good on Bermuda. Good to be back here.
Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.