MORE INTERVIEWS: Montreal Championship transcript archive DAVE SENKO: Thanks for joining us. I guess the not much you can say about your day, 62, which is a new tournament record and it betters your best score on the Champions Tour by two strokes, but maybe just share some thoughts, eight birdies and the eagle on No. 10. Just talk a little about your day.
ROD SPITTLE: Well, good afternoon, everybody, first of all. It's very nice to be here and have a little chat under these circumstances.
First of all, it's been a great week, and as you know, I was here some 30 years ago, so to come back and play, it has been a great week, and you know to, finish off like this, is beyond words. But as you said, Dave, we started on the back, really, I've played pretty well the first two days. I was 5-under, but hit a lot of good shots, played very well and of course we started on the back nine, and as I mentioned to one of the guys outside, I got off to a very fast start with a three on 10.
Hit it on the green in two, and made it from about 20 feet or so and birdied No. 11, so we are kind of off and running. And again, the course, as you know, or hopefully, the other players have said, the course I think got a little firmer every day. The greens got a little smoother and it really was just a Sunday morning round out playing golf.
And then you know, we just kept -- I hit it close all day. Bear with me, 14 is the second par 5, I hit it on the green there in two, as well, 2-putted for birdie. And then 17, the little par 3, hit it, I think fairly close, inside six feet, and made birdie and then did the same thing on 18, hit it about three feet, so all of a sudden, we shoot 30 and again it was just one of those rounds that everything that I did went right, lived in the fairway.
And then obviously on the front nine, birdied 2, 3 and 4 and again, I just had birdie putts virtually the whole day. Quite honestly I knew the scores, like everybody had been low the last couple of days and watched the leaderboard and knew we were a little too far behind to catch the leaders, but that's okay. Again, just had putts for birdies coming in, and obviously to shoot 10-under, I'm very pleased. And again, pleasantly surprised that it's a course record. That's just, again, a very nice way to finish this week.
DAVE SENKO: Birdies, do you remember your length of putts on 2,3,4?
ROD SPITTLE: I tell you what, 2, I hit wedge in, almost made two. Pin was in the back right corner about three feet on 2.
On No. 3, again, I had a good chance, probably eight feet on No. 3. That pin was in the front right corner. I might have hit 9-iron in there I think. And then a good 2 on the next hole, No. 4, the par 3 was playing about 193 or so. I hit 6-iron in about 15 feet left of the hole and made that, which was good.
And then 7, the last paragraph five, was playing downwind and hit 5-iron on the green about 25 feet and 2-putted.
And then had a couple of chances on the last hole, so again, just a very solid day. I wish I could play more rounds like this. And you know, again, it was just very solid.
Q. When is the last time you started a tournament round with an eagle? Did you know it was going to be one of your days when that happened?
ROD SPITTLE: I've probably made eagle someplace along the lines. But again, it's always a nice shot in the arm, of course, and as I said, there's probably, you know, what making 3 on the next hole, so now you just know you're off and running. Like I said it was a very quick start. And again this, time around, I was very fortunate to have kept the momentum going all day obviously.
Q. And at what point did you say you felt that you were too far back??
ROD SPITTLE: Probably about 8:00 is this morning. (Laughter) What was our starting time? About 10:10.
So as we all know, sometimes it is the way it happens. You just go out and play. We are not really trying too hard, and it's just kind of fun. Keith Ferguson and I played yesterday, and our third was Mike Hulbert. It's a great pairing. So like I said, I knew we were not really going to challenge the leaders but again it's just one of those things that you hope you get in that rhythm and routine and like I said, I think I must have putted for, you know, 16 or 17 or 18 birdies all day. It was just one of those days where we hit it close enough to hit, like you said, eight or ten of them.
Q. And doing it on Canadian soil??
ROD SPITTLE: Again, I sound like a broken record since Tuesday or Wednesday this week. You know, once again, can't make it up. I've run into so many people who were here at Laval in '78. One gentleman I ran into on the range, he had five pictures where I had really long hair and funny pants and so I'm signing those pictures. Everyone has been so gracious. We.
Started, as you know, the week with the draw party down in the Bell Centre where the Canadiens play now with Mr. Corey (ph) and Ron. Again, it's just very special coming home and as you know this is the only tournament the Champions Tour plays in Canada right now. So again, as I've said all week, I'm very proud of my Canadian flag on the bag and very kind to have been greeted to warmly all week. Very much appreciated.
Q. What made the difference compared to yesterday??
ROD SPITTLE: I wish I could tell you. You know, sometimes -- well, I'll tell you what. I will tell you. I have a little bit better answer today. I changed -- as I said I played really pretty well the first two days but I changed my putting grip today. I changed, I have -- I won't bore you with the details, but I changed my grip and went to left-hand low, something I've been practicing with the last six months or so. My stroke, I just thought it was kind of a fun day to experiment a little bit and I've done it periodically. It was a big help today, so maybe I'll have to do it a little more often now.
Q. You had a couple of chances, could you have gone lower??
ROD SPITTLE: Yeah, I could have. The only one -- and you know, again, I made every -- the only one that jumps out at me, which would have been fun, is that I drove it on the green on 16, the par 4. And I had a very tricky putt. I had it -- the pin is over there on that back left. First of all, I drove it on the green which is just great. It didn't splash, it bounced, which was very nice at that time, and I had the putt straight down the hill. It was right on the crest and I 3-putted from, you know, 30 feet or so. Obviously I'm certainly not going to complain. But that's the only one, maybe when we get done, I can go back and putt that again and make three. But that's the only one that really jumps out at me.
Q. Were you aware of the course record??
ROD SPITTLE: No. Nobody mentioned it to me. And again, no, not at all. Again, I knew -- I think that, again, as I mentioned earlier, I know there was some 63s and 64s earlier. So I just try not to pay attention to that for the most.
Q. You said you hit it close all day, did you have good numbers or good shots??
ROD SPITTLE: Again a little bit of both. I drove it -- today was probably my best driving day. I lived in the fairway the whole day. And you know, again, as I'm sure when other guys have said up here, we just had it in -- just had a bunch of wedges into greens. I'm just trying to think in a hurry. Again, I made two twos which is always great. 18, for example -- I just had a bunch of birdie putts inside six feet. So you just hope you can capitalize when those kind of days happen, that's all.
Q. How do you balance the emotion of knowing you set a course record but not going to win the tournament??
ROD SPITTLE: Oh, well, again my bad habit is that the cup is always half-full. So again, as I said, at 10:10, there was no thought that -- let's just go make ten birdies and we'll see if it we can chase the leaders. You know, nothing could have been further from our thought.
Again, I have -- as I've mentioned to some other folks this week, I've had a very solid start to the year. I think this is our -- this might be our 13th tournament. My plan is to play on all of them. Again, it's no secret that this is the first time that I've been fully exempt and I would like to have the same job next year.
So my goals might be a little different than some others. So from the halfway point and where I've played and where we are on the Money List, I am extremely pleased.
Q. Do you think the money that you will make in this tournament will secure your position for next year??
ROD SPITTLE: Not quite. But again, coming into this tournament, I mean, I don't mind telling you, I think we were 11 or 12 on the Money List. I know what the number is to be in the Top-30 for the year. Like I said we are halfway there so we can kind of double some of our numbers, and again, I would like to win again. Again, I expect to win sometimes this year, and this is just a great boost of confidence obviously.
Q. You're eligible for the British Senior??
ROD SPITTLE: Yes. We are eligible for all of them. And again, real fast, tomorrow is our travel day, we go to Pebble Beach and come home for a week and it's a stretch with both Opens, the British Open, U.S. Open is back in Ohio, Toledo and Minneapolis after that.
Q. When you finished -- (Inaudible.)
ROD SPITTLE: I won at Laval in '78. I tell you, what it's a great memory, I finished a long time ago, I finished second in the Canadian Junior to Robe Jackson I think the year that he won. Don't ask me what year that was, because then I really can't count that far back. But I think -- when I was, again, when I was in school, I won two amateurs. My first one was in '77 at Lancaster and the second was at Laval when I won for the second time.
Q. By ten shots??
ROD SPITTLE: Yes, sir, I won by ten shots. Thank you. I do remember that (laughter).
Q. How does it make you feel that since is you've come back and you're playing against the best golfers of an entire generation, and you know, you've got a tournament win and now you've got a tournament record. You seem to be more than holding your own??
ROD SPITTLE: Your question is very kind. It has -- and yes, I would agree with all that, and that's how big the win was last year. You know, it was the result of a lot of hard work, which is still the case. And you're exactly right, and again, I wish I could tell you this differently. I have the best seat in the house Friday, Saturday, Sunday. To play with the best players in the world, obviously they are the Champions Tour players with eight or ten of them in the Hall of Fame, they are great players, they are great gentlemen.
And when we started, again, as I've mentioned to some of you, I didn't know how good my game could become, and that's why we wake up and we come to work every day. So it's been extremely gratifying, obviously to have finished last year, and then as I said to play the first half of this year, because you know, quite honestly, we are still in some unknown territory. I've never been here before, as you know. We have dreamed about it for a long time and obviously I've played golf for a long time. But to get it back, get it to this level is extremely gratifying.
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