MORE INTERVIEWS: U.S. Senior Open Championship transcript archive
Q. Talk about lighting it up today.
JEFF SLUMAN: Well, I obviously played well yesterday. I had 18 pars, so I just wanted to make one birdie, which I got that done quickly on No. 2. But I had a lot of good shots today, a lot of them very close to the pin, and I got myself at least somewhere in contention.
I mean, Olin's playing great, obviously, and I'm at 9, and there are going to be some guys that -- I'm going to have to play a similar type round tomorrow. But at least I've got the opportunity.
Q. Are you looking at the leaderboard during the round??
JEFF SLUMAN: No, the golf course you start looking at a leaderboard in a U.S. Open on Saturday, and the only thing you can guarantee is your name's going to get pulled off of it.
JEFF SLUMAN: You know, golf's such a unique game. I probably played tee to green yesterday as good as any of the three days. Certainly the first day I played actually horribly tee to green; today was very solid. I did make two bogies, which I didn't make any yesterday.
As I mentioned earlier, I did hit a lot of shots very, very close, so I converted those chances which kind of sets your whole round up. I think I hit it about three or four feet, maybe three feet on 2, and six feet on 3, and on 4, the par-5, I hit a beautiful drive down there and a 4-iron to six feet for eagle and hung that on the lip and lipped that out.
If you're 3-under after four, you're obviously then really involved and pretty intense with the round. I just kept hitting good shots.
Q. Does the size of the greens dial you in more target-wise??
JEFF SLUMAN: Well, they're obviously very small. I don't know which ones are smaller, Pebble Beach or here, and I've had some sort of success at Pebble Beach.
Apparently I like smaller target areas, but you do get very focused on that. The fairways are at least a 10 out of 10, maybe an 11 out of 10. They're just so perfect to play off. If you can drive the ball in the fairway, you've got a chance to get the ball close because you can hit a good shot and work it either way.
Obviously with the weather and the storms and the amount of rain we've had, the greens aren't as firm as the USGA would like, but not much you can do about Mother Nature.
Q. Is there a number in mind you think you'll have to shoot tomorrow to be right there??
JEFF SLUMAN: Not really. You just kind of go out and try to continue what I did today and take advantage of the holes if can you drive it in the fairway. Really because the greens, you know -- I'm not going to say that the USGA can't get it done, but you can't imagine that the greens are going to be rock hard tomorrow. So it looks like you're still going to have to take that aim, and there's enough short irons and if you drive a ball in the fairway that you should have numerous birdie opportunities.
Q. Other than maybe not feeling like a traditional brutal U.S. Open, even if you don't get the greens hard, if you look at the scoreboard it's pretty much the cream of the crop on the Champions Tour. Lot of good names up there.
JEFF SLUMAN: Absolutely, you're 100% dead on with that. Any time the USGA gets involved it seems like the best players do rise to the top and have a chance to win. It's been that way for 20 or 25 U.S. Opens I've played in and the same goes for The Senior Open. Kind of hard to fluke it for four days and come out on top. But there's a lot of great players on top of the leaderboard, and I'm going to have to shoot a low number to have he a chance tomorrow.
Q. You made an outstanding move today. Can you feel it percolating that another one's ready to come out??
JEFF SLUMAN: It always seems easier after you've done it. But if I can get the ball in play off the tee, my irons are pretty solid, I've got to think that I'm going to give myself some opportunities to make birdies.
I think you've got to hope that at least you get it done early in the round to get some momentum. You don't want to be even or 1-over going into 10 or something. It's just not going to happen then. So you've got to get this thing kind of done quickly and make some birdies and get some momentum that way right off the git-go.
Q. Does this course remind you what you played growing up in Rochester??
JEFF SLUMAN: No, I was on the other side of the tracks. I was at a semi-private or semi-public, however you want to term that, golf course. The only thing that resembled this was they both had 18 holes.
Q. Any terrain, tree-lined fairways, Oak Hill kind of courses??
JEFF SLUMAN: I didn't play Oak Hill, believe it or not, until I was 19 years old. So I never realized what great golf courses really were. I do remember parking on the West course at Oak Hill for the '68 Open watching Trevino and Jack and all of that. And I said, Dad, these fairways are better than the greens we're playing. So I didn't necessarily grow up at a place like this.
It just is a great old golf course. It's wonderful to play. You have options off the tee. It does penalize you if you stray off the tee.
Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.