MORE INTERVIEWS: McGladrey Classic transcript archive
Q. Tom, when I think of your golf game, I think steady, a lot of pars, throw in some birdies. When the putter gets hot, then you can go low. Today you start with a double, you end with a bogey. You make a million birdies in between. What the heck happened out there today??
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Well, I got off to a tough start, but then I just kind of hung in there and hit some good shots, hit a 9-iron in on the second hole and hit it about three or four feet and made it. And then I hit it about a foot on the next hole, so that kind of got me back in.
And then I struggled a little bit on the next hole. I had to get up-and-down from a hundred yards for bogey on the next hole, so that was like a birdie. And you know, I'd driven it in the rough and tried to do too much with it and pulled it in the hazard. And then I hit some wedges close and some iron shots close and gave myself some chances.
And the putter was good today. I hit a lot of good putts, made a lot of putts and hit a good one on 17 and missed and a good one on 18 for par and missed. But you know, hit a lot of good iron shots.
Q. Well, you came here to get yourself in position. You got yourself in position.
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Yeah.
Q. Is that how you feel about it??
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Absolutely. I mean, you know, I feel like I've been playing good. It's just a matter for me if I have some good days putting, I feel like I can get out here and get in the hunt. So I got myself in the hunt, and unless the leaders do too much today, I'm within striking distance, so I can't ask for more than that.
Q. You were in the hunt just a few weeks ago on the Champions Tour defending a title. Talk about how the play compares out there on the Champions Tour and out here on the PGA TOUR. It seems with the way Michael Allen has been playing and the way you've been playing with both tours, that good play is good play no matter where you are.
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Yeah. I think the biggest thing over there is no cut. I mean, you know, you can be cruising around here pretty good through 2, 3, 4-under and one bad swing you're out on the cut line, but over there you don't have a cut line to worry about and you can just go straight ahead.
So other than that, once you're outside in the ropes, you're inside the ropes and it's all, you know, you and those 18 little holes and getting that white ball in there.
Obviously there's a little bit of difference in terms of length on some of the holes and stuff, but overall it's still golf and you gotta get the ball in the hole.
Q. Boy, you had to make a decision to come here this week as opposed to go to the Senior Players. Talk about that decision process.
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Well, people were asking me, what are you doing here? I saw Tim Finchem at Davis Love's party. He said, "what are you doing here? Why aren't you at THE PLAYERS'?" I said, "well, I'm trying to get my card out here."
That's been my goal all from the get-go. I went back to school last year and tried to get my card and jumbled the last hole and missed by one, so that put me in the 126 to 150 category, so wasn't in a lot. But every time I got in, I played out here, and when I wasn't in, I could play on the Champions Tour. So I got to play a lot, I kept my game in good shape, and I think the Champions Tour has helped my confidence a little bit. And you know, the putter was good to me today, put me in good shape.
Q. How hard is it going into the final round knowing, okay, one good round and I can take care of all the things I need to take care of? You've been around for a long time. You've been in this situation before. How do you deal with those thoughts that creep in your mind between now and the time you get to the first tee tomorrow?
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Well, I just gave myself a chance. You know, I'll go out and give it my best tomorrow. If I play good, I've got a chance. If I don't, you know, I'll go to next week.
You know, it is still a game. You gotta give yourself that little bit of satisfaction at least, and just so you know you're prepared, you've been playing well and give yourself so many chances here. You just need to hit it in the fairway and hit it on the green and see if your putting can do something for you.
Q. I'd like to give you an opportunity to comment on this tournament, the McGladrey.
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Oh, well, Davis isn't going to do anything that's not going to be first class. So not much needs to be said other than that. I mean when you got Davis and Robin involved and his brother and his daughter who's been interning, they don't miss any Ts or miss any dotted I's or anything. To me it's typical Davis Love. He does it, he's going to do it right. Otherwise he's not going to do it.
Q. Thanks. Play great tomorrow.
TOM PERNICE, JR.: Thanks. Appreciate it.