MORE INTERVIEWS: Montreal Championship: Transcript archive DAVE SENKO: Joey, thanks for joining us. You have to be very pleased, good start, 65 today, 7-under. Maybe just some general thoughts on your round and we'll get birdies.
JOEY SINDELAR: Of course. Needless to say, I'm pleased. Golf is strange. You know, sometimes you shoot a score and you think you left a lot on the golf course and other times you got a lot out of it.
I want to say, my 65, I certainly didn't leave too much out there. It always could have been a little better, but I'm pleased. I made five or six really nice putts in that 50/50 zone, on a good day you're making them and a bad day you're not. It was a nice putting day. It wasn't a very sharp day, but it was a good, solid day, so I'm very pleased.
Actually the key to my round was probably the fourth, my fourth hole which was No. 13. I hit a lousy second shot on No. 10 with my 1-iron and I stalled it into the cross-bunker, so I hit 60 yards from the face of the bunker and luckily had par. Hit the tree on 11 off the tee. There's a big one out there, and made four there, and I bogeyed 12. So I was 1-over after three, and those three holes you're hoping to be under par on this golf course.
I then it got to what must have been the easy hole, the 230-yard par 3, and birdied it, so I guess I just didn't know where the easy ones were today, so that helped me a lot. I was on the par 5 in two after that. To birdie those two holes after the first hour of being pretty lousy helped change my day.
Then of course because of our history here last year, we know the scoring are going to be good especially on a beautiful day like this. And you look on the leaderboard and see very good scores. So it inspires you to try to be on offense, as you play the round. And from that point on, I had enough good shots to have a lot of good birdie tries.
I'm looking at my former teammate, John Cook, I saw him 7-under through 11, and my caddie, Jaime, my son, said he was 6-under through seven. You're going to see things like that. The course, with light wind, the grass is in very beautiful condition and the greens are very nice -- you know, the two they had to work on, but they are fine. And they are at a speed where they are not scary. You know, they may be, there may be some very quick putts coming on the weekend as the course dries up a little bit but today was a perfect scoring day from tee-to-green and that's why you're going to see some nice scores today.
DAVE SENKO: What happened on No. 12.
JOEY SINDELAR: The bogey, I actually hit a good drive and I had 120 yards, it was into the wind a little bit, 114 yards. But I had mud on the ball and sometimes it causes the ball to fly funny and it came up short. I didn't have a good lie and just hit a lousy chip and missed the putt. So bogey from a pitching wedge in the fairway is not what I was hoping for.
The birdie on the next hole, 13 was a 5-iron, I think it was 202, about ten feet. And then the par 5 is next, and that was a nice drive and a 1-iron with two 245 maybe to the pin and I hit a 1-iron maybe 30 feet and 2-putted.
They moved the tee up, I'm sure you'll hear a lot of conversation about that on 16, 257 to the pin and at the time I played, the wind wasn't blowing. So I was able to hit my 3-wood and I hooked it just a little more than I wanted but it was over the water but short of the green on the upslope, a real nice spot to be in and I chipped that in for a gimmie. Then 17 was playing 172 and for me that was a 7-iron to about four feet.
No. 2 was a sand wedge to about 12 feet.
The par 3, No. 4, was a 5-iron about 205 and a 5-iron to ten feet, and made that again. So a couple of good 5-irons on par 3s -- we don't recognize that always when we are playing, so fun to run through it, so made that.
7 is the par 5, a nice drive, a 3-iron to about 25 feet and two putts and 8 a nice drive down the fairway and a sand wedge again to about seven or eight and made that one.
Part of when you heard me talk earlier about the course drying out, yes, the course will play shorter as it dries out. But what happens is the greens shrink and the fairways shrink because now the ball is going to run out. When the ball is pretty much stopping off the tee where it lands, the fairways are pretty wide at that point.
As it dries out and we get a little wind, that's when the course will be a little firmer test. We are not into hard or easy, we just like good golf. If you hit good shots out here, you'll have a good round of golf and if you don't, you're going to be back down around par. So it was beautiful to play out there today.
JOEY SINDELAR: Well, Quebec -- living in New York -- the grass is similar. I really do enjoy northern golf the best. To me that means bentgrass and poa annua grass. This course could be five miles from my house and it would feel right. So I like the conditions. I like driving my own car to the tournament. I honestly do like the friendliness of the people up here, it's a fun, fun place, all of my Canadian Open experiences at Glen Abbey or Hamilton, I just always looked forward to those trips and had good success. I'm above average success all the time when I crossed the boarder; I think a second here at Royal Montreal to Verplank.
So it feels like home and it's my time of the year. I'm not a great, fast starter and I don't know whether that's because it's different grass or because I'm lazy and I haven't practiced enough at the beginning of the year. So at this time of the year I start to hit my stride a little better and this is, again, a very playable golf course, if you hit good shots you're going to shoot a good score and it looks good to me out there.
Q. Can you talk about Rod Spittle and the success he's had??
JOEY SINDELAR: John and I would both say -- by the way my teammate reference to John Cook is Ohio State but also in the team championship on our tour; so doubly there. And I only got one year with Rod, but he was a senior when I was a freshman.
And as you know if you know him, he's just a delightful guy and the exact guy you would want to be a senior when you're a freshman. You know, giving, caring what, can I do for you, just the right kind of guy. When John and I say we are very proud of Rod, that's not that we are somewhere and he's not, he bought -- he loved this, the whole time he was away from this game, we knew he loved it and he was qualified. Watch him play, he just smears the golf ball. He's tenacious on the golf course. He's now comfortable which is bad news for all of us because he's just going to get better.
And we are just happy because he always seemed like he belonged in the game but it didn't fit for whatever reason. So this resurgence he's had, we are very, very happy for him. He's the right kind of guy for what we are doing on this tour.
Q. The scoring on the first day --
JOEY SINDELAR: You can't get too far behind on the first day or you'll have problems. Red numbers here isn't even enough. Maybe somebody would shoot 1- or 2-under and come back with a couple of 65s and come close. But if the conditions don't change -- wind is enemy No. 1 and I don't know what the wind is supposed to be. Assuming that the wind stays 15 miles an hour or less, the scores are going to be good, so if you are only at 2-under or worse you have some catching up to do. I think even when I left the golf course, 4-under was in the Top-10, barely.
So this is one of the tournaments you're on offense. Again, that's not condescending. That's not -- again, we are not about -- I've never thought that tough was what it was all about. I like a good challenge and I like firm, fast greens but we just like it to be good golf, and again, this is good golf but this better be offensive good golf. You'd better have your foot on the gas pedal right from the first tee.
So when I described my round earlier and almost bogeyed the par 5, 10, messed around on 11 and then bogeyed 12, I'm thinking, am I seven behind everybody already. It's that kind of place.
So yes, you've got to go forward on this course.
Q. So is your mind-set --
JOEY SINDELAR: I would think so. Again, wind is -- and we don't -- we all have to understand, this was our first time through last year. Our officials don't know the golf course. We don't know the golf course.
So they have to be -- everybody takes a shot when they set up the golf course, there's all of these tees to choose from and they have to figure out tees on this Champions Tour, tees that are back far enough for the best golfers but forward enough so that we are not embarrassing some of our legends who need to be here. They are way more important in this tournament than I am. It's a challenge to set up a golf course first time through. They learned from last year. I noticed last year on 16, the last day, the tee was up. This year the first day the tee was up. This year the first day the tee is up. So they will change their strategy. They will mix it up.
And I'm sorry, so what was your question again? I wandered. (Laughter) I'm a wanderer. Did I get to the point?
Q. What do you think the winning score will be??
JOEY SINDELAR: I would love the score to be closer to par. You've heard me say that, that's not what makes great golf but I understand that logic. There's a golf course out there that we are not playing but the guys have to watch it. They have to pick the right choice. I'm sure they will ratchet it back as much as they feel they can. If the wind blows a little bit -- what won last week, 15?
There will be fewer guys, but I would say -- I don't like to predict scores because it's so weather-based, that's why I'm kind of dodging your question. Again, wind, if they can crisp up, these greens have some nice slopes in them and if the greens get firm and the ball is bouncing a little bit and you miss in the fringe, and it's a much faster chip on Sunday than it would have been today, those things change the golf course.
DAVE SENKO: You guys out of questions?
JOEY SINDELAR: I'm not out of answers. (Laughter).
Transcript courtesy ASAP Sports