What they said: John Rollins

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August 08, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE: Legends Reno-Tahoe Open transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: John Rollins, thanks for joining us. 54-hole leader at the Legends Reno Tahoe Open. Nice little birdie on the last there to get in with 67. 5-under on the back 9 and you've got a four-stroke lead, doubling your lead from the 36th hole turnaround. Talk about your round and what you're looking forward to tomorrow.

JOHN ROLLINS: Nice way to finish the day. Got off to a good start, birdied two of the first four holes, and felt pretty comfortable and then ran into a wall there on 7 and 8 making two bogeys back-to-back and kind of coming back to the guys. And I felt like I let one get away on 9. Hit a good second shot there just short of the green. Didn't get it up-and-down for birdie. Felt like I let a shot go.

I told my caddie going to 10, going down the 10th fairway, we just needed to settle down and kind of right the ship and just try to get a good back nine and we'd be in position.

Sure enough we go out and birdie 10, eagle 11 and then make a great putt on 13 for birdie and then birdied 18 to finish there.

So it was a good back nine and kept me right where I needed to be.

THE MODERATOR: Just before we have questions. You've been a front runner through 54 holes I think four or five times on the PGA TOUR. Yet to win. What have you learned from the previous times you've been in the lead?

JOHN ROLLINS: It's hard to -- I guess what I've learned is you just -- you play your own game. I think that the few times that I've been there before, you find yourself kind of watching the board maybe too much or trying to play a certain player that may be close to you starting the day.

When that happens, you're dead. You gotta basically stick to your game plan you've had all week. Play the golf course the way you've played it all week, and, you know, shoot the lowest round you can.

If it doesn't work out in the end, the guy beats you by playing better, then he beats you by playing better. If you manage your game, or my game, and play the best I can, then I feel like I should come out on top.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Didn't see all of the course but there are a number of more difficult pin placements today. Were they tougher than the previous two days??

JOHN ROLLINS: Yeah. They had some pretty good ones. They seemed to be just enough on like little sides of ridges that were tough to read, because you've got the going away from the mountain, going toward Reno, all kinds of different directions. Then you factor in some slope and things around the hole.

So there were some putts where it was supposed to go away from the mountain but the slope of the green would kind of hold it.

So it made it tough to really read the greens for me, especially on the front. And then we had a couple good looks on the back that we missed that I fell into that. It was kind of side hill but going away from the mountain, so it was kind of hard to commit to believing what the putt was going to do.

But they had some good pins. The greens were not quite as quick as I thought they were going to be today late in the afternoon on a Saturday.

But they definitely were firming up, and I'm sure tomorrow will be much the same.

Q. Ryan said you guys live about a mile apart from each other, very good friends. Is that harder to play a friend or easier to play a friend when you're going head-to-head for a lot of money??

JOHN ROLLINS: I think we'll have fun tomorrow together. We do live close together. We actually had breakfast together this morning.

So it's kind of funny now we're going to be paired together in the final round. I think it's fun to play with a guy that you're comfortable being around. You know, you're good friends.

Coming down the stretch, depending on how the result's going to pan out, there may not be a lot of chatter going on the last nine holes. You never know. But I think we're going to have fun. And I'm looking forward to it. He's a great guy. And I'm just looking forward to going out and playing my game and seeing what happens.

Q. Can you talk, on 13, you hit driver if I'm not mistaken, kind of left yourself not a very easy second shot into that green. If you had to do it over again, would yo maybe take lesser of a club and leave yourself more of a fuller shot??

JOHN ROLLINS: I don't know. Granted I made a great putt for birdie so it made me look like a genius. I don't know. That pin on that green, I don't know that you could really hit any shot from any yardage and get it that close.

That green was so firm, probably the firmest on the golf course. And even if you laid back at the bottom of the hill and hit maybe a full sand wedge or a pitching wedge, chances are you're not going to get it inside 12 or 15 feet.

And I think I made maybe a 20-, 25-footer, something like that, for birdie. So I would have liked to have had a little more to the right for a better angle into the green or the flag. But I just basically took my medicine, tried to fly it up on the green and hope it spun. And it did that, stayed on the green, and managed to make a putt.

Q. Just curious if you'll be a leaderboard watcher tomorrow; or is that part of the learning process where you're just going to go out and focus on shot-to-shot??

JOHN ROLLINS: I think that I would say early on, obviously I'll know how Ryan is doing compared to what I'm doing because I'll be playing with him. As far as the other guys go, you know, sure, I'm going to be looking at it. I may not look as much early as I will as we make the turn and start coming in to like the last seven, eight holes or so.

But, sure, I'll glance at it just to see if anybody's hot. Somebody's making a big run or coming from way behind to threaten the tournament.

But, again, doing that a lot of times gets you in trouble because then you start playing tentative and you start trying to protect things, that's when bad things have happened to players. So I'm just going to try to keep the pedal down and stay aggressive, play the way I've played all week.

Q. I'm not sure if I'm accurate on this, but memory tells me you've been at the WGC a few times in the last four, five, six years. Is there anything that happened to your game that made you come here to Reno and have you kind of fixed that, I guess??

JOHN ROLLINS: Well, obviously I haven't played as well as I would like or I would be there. But I like it here. I played here, this is my second year in a row.

I've got good memories of this place. It's a fun tournament. Great golf course. I love playing the golf course. And if you're not in the World Golf Championship, it just fits the schedule to play -- I played last week at the Buick. And you play here, then you play the PGA next week. So it just fits well with the rotation of my tournament schedule.

THE MODERATOR: You told me coming up here that your dad was here. Just talk about that a little bit.

JOHN ROLLINS: Yeah, I guess I need to tell him happy birthday. Today is his birthday. I'm sure dinner will taste a little better birdieing the last hole, especially for him, but even for me.

But we've had fun. It's great to have him out here and celebrate his birthday today. And he's never been out here. So to be a part of it hopefully tomorrow will be even more special than today and we can really have some fun.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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