MORE INTERVIEWS: THE PLAYERS Championship transcript archive DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome Blake Adams to the interview room here at THE PLAYERS Championship. Blake, you're making your second start here at THE PLAYERS. Not a bad way to start, five birdies in a row, en route to a 6-under 66 today. Just some comments on the round and then we'll take some questions.
BLAKE ADAMS: Obviously any time you finish on 9 with five straight birdies, it's a good day. I was fortunate to get out early. Had perfect greens; I was the first group out. A little wind until about halfway through the front nine or whatever, and you know, just kind of rode the momentum of those five birdies to the back side.
I was obviously trying to make more birdies on the back side, but you know, finished the way I finished, signed my card and here I am.
DOUG MILNE: Okay, routine 66.
BLAKE ADAMS: I don't know about routine. (Smiling.)
Q. Did you find anything in the last couple of weeks leading up to this event? You had a couple missed cuts coming in.
BLAKE ADAMS: I've been working really, really hard since January 1, and just have not seen a whole lot of results. Starting this week, I told my swing coach, John Tillery, and my caddie, Barry Williams, and my wife, Beth, that I think I just haven't had like -- just been out having fun. I've been trying to hit perfect golf shots, go out there and just trying to be too, too, precise with every club and every putt, and just got away from having fun with it.
My goal is obviously every week to hit as many fairways as I can, hit as many greens and make every putt. That was my whole mindset was just go out there and have fun. I'm very, very blessed, very fortunate. I play golf for a living. I mean, how hard do I really have it, you know.
So just enjoy life and just have fun.
Q. Georgia Southern is a little bit of an underrated place to develop golfers. A Georgia Southern guy won this in 1999 Jodie Mudd. What kind of training and what kind stuff is going on down there in Statesboro that puts out pretty good players??
BLAKE ADAMS: It's a great, great time. Statesboro, Georgia, is a special, special place. I was in Athens for three years, went to Georgia; left there, which was very, very hard for me. My family is huge, huge Georgia fans.
I actually transferred down to Southern. I had a ton of friends down there. Went down there and met my wife. So it worked out great.
But as a town, as a community, it's just a special place. It's very laid back. Got great golf courses to play and practice at every day and good facilities for the team. They have certainly done a lot since I was there. Larry Mays is their head coach and he's done a great, great job. Aaron Price played after I left.
You know, it's just a great, great place to be. I think anybody that goes to Georgia Southern walks away a better person. It's a small town, but it's big enough that you have everything you need there. You're not overwhelmed with the crowds and the big city stuff.
But as a golf team, you know, I was able to play and compete and just focus on golf, which was great for me. I wanted to play golf as my job one day, so leaving Southern was obviously hard at the end, I didn't want to go, but I had a great time, a great experience, and you know, would highly advise anybody to go to Georgia Southern.
Q. Who was at Georgia at the time you were there, and was playing time an issue??
BLAKE ADAMS: Ironically, nobody off of my team -- in my three years, Justin Bolli walked on there and he made it to the TOUR, and other than, that nobody off of my team even made it to the Nationwide Tour.
Then, so I had a golf coach by the name of Dick Copas, who recruited me, had been there for 25 years with Vince Dooley, and he retired after my second year.
Chris Hack came in, great coach, obviously he's had a ton of success. Other guys came in after I left, but it was just a thing where Coach Hack just -- how can I say this nicely -- just didn't want to play me for whatever reason, had his own philosophy, even though I was winning some qualifiers and all this stuff, it didn't really matter. So it was in my best interests to move on if I wanted to do this for a living one day. You know, it all worked out.
Q. When were you at Georgia??
BLAKE ADAMS: I was at Georgia from '94 to '97.
Q. On the golf course today, of those five birdies you made in a row, four of them looked pretty easy, but on the 8th hole, what did you hit? That was playing about 230. Did you cut that in there?
BLAKE ADAMS: I always try to cut everything. Obviously it doesn't pan out sometimes, but that's golf I reckon. I hit 4-iron, I think we had like 213, 215 front, something like that, and it probably landed 220-something and rolled past the hole. I had, I don't know, probably a 15- , 16-footer down the hill, which was, you know, a nice place to be on a 230-something-yard hole.
Just very, very fortunate to make the putt and just move on, and I don't know, to answer your other part of that question, I don't think any birdie out here is pretty easy. But I had a few kick-ins that obviously helped during that little run of five in a row, and any time you can do that, it obviously makes life a little easier.
Q. Did you have any similar clubs in any of those??
BLAKE ADAMS: Not really. I hit wedge on the first one to about 12 feet.
Next one, I hit a little gap wedge, probably had about 105 yards, somewhere in there.
Made birdie on the next hole with an 8-iron.
Hit a long one with 4-iron.
Then had about 90 yards and almost made it on No. 9.
Q. You say you were first off this morning??
BLAKE ADAMS: I was.
Q. Do you like that, because you don't have anybody in front of you, or what was the feeling??
BLAKE ADAMS: I enjoy it. Fortunately, I'm in that spot quite a bit out here, which is nice. You have fresh greens and you know, the wind usually lays down for a little bit, and I've always been a pretty fast player. I'm pretty laid back. I look like I'm in slow motion, but I play relatively fast compared to other players out here.
So I think they kind of stick me in that spot first off a lot, which is nice. I kind of set the pace, you know, as far as time goes. You rarely wait on a shot. We got hung up a little bit, probably about 16, maybe it was the first time we waited, which was certainly understandable with all of the chaos that goes on around that little bend.
You know, it's obviously a great place to be the first group out, first green like I said. The wind usually lays down a little bit.
Q. Most guys live in places that they can travel easily and you live in Swainsboro, Georgia. How did that come about??
BLAKE ADAMS: I'm actually from Edenton, Georgia, which is about an hour and something, an hour and 20 minutes, 30 minutes south of Atlanta. My wife is from the outskirts; we live in a little town called Nunez, which is 130 people with no red lights.
All of these guys out here live amongst these gated, fancy golf courses, and we live amongst deer and turkeys and dirt roads. I live an hour and ten minutes from the Savannah airport. That's where I travel out of; or 240 to the Atlanta airport.
So life is certainly -- travel-wise, it gets a little time consuming, but when I go home, I'm a million miles from everything and everybody. Very laid back obviously. When you have no red lights, there's obviously not a whole lot of traffic going through there.
But we are just simple folks and we just, you know, like the quietness and it's just -- it's us. We don't need the glitz and glamour and all this. I go to these big cities every single week. I go home, and like last week, I missed the cut in Charlotte, and my caddie and I went back and we fished every day, and went right around looking for something to shoot, and you know, just hung out.
And it's nice. Like a lot of guys go home and can't get away from golf because they live on a golf course, or they have got just people pulling at them. Well, I'm kind of hard to find, where I live, so it's just me and my family and we just hang out and you know, enjoy life.
Q. When you're home and you play and practice, what course do you use, or courses??
BLAKE ADAMS: I used to travel 40 minutes to Statesboro, where Georgia Southern is, to Forest Heights. I just recently built a green behind my house so that when I do come home, I can see my family, practice, and not have to be gone all day to go travel and play.
I have some good friends that own XGrass Company. They build greens. They supply folks like Southwest Greens with their turf. So it's basically Southwest Greens, but XGrass is the company. And they came in, did a fantastic job, and I built my dream practice area that I've had in my mind since I was a kid, and they just finished it up.
So I go home and I'm able to go out there and barefoot and chip and putt and hit wedges and hit drivers and do all this stuff and not ever have to leave the house and my wife and my kids can sit there and hang out with me.
It's nice to be able to, like I said, practice a little bit at home and not leave.
Q. What's in season, by the way, as far as shooting things??
BLAKE ADAMS: Legally? (Laughter) That was a bad answer.
Q. What kind of fish??
BLAKE ADAMS: Bass. We have a bunch of ponds. But it is turkey season. I tried to get him up out of bed but he didn't want to go Sunday morning, so we just went fishing every day and then rode around at night or whatever.
But legally, it's turkey season.
Q. You had a strong finish in Puerto Rico, three straight 68s. Just wondering, were you in a good mood there and enjoying life, and is that the reason for it, and how do you maintain that kind of a mindset??
BLAKE ADAMS: Right, I was at the beach, I was hanging out; my wife was there.
It's like I said, I play golf for a living, and I spend weeks in these wonderful places. You get pampered by all these people. They roll out the red carpet. I basically felt like I was on vacation.
After that, I probably got back into mindset of, you know, trying to press, trying to press, trying to play perfect golf, and I think I got a way from that kind of beach-like mentality. We rented a house at the beach here about a mile away from here, so the afternoons and evenings, my family is out on the beach and it's just very, very peaceful. There's not very many people that can spend a week at the beach and then go to work and I guess if you play well, you get paid to go to the beach.
The whole mindset is just crazy, that you can play a game for a living, and get paid doing it, and go to these wonderful places. You know, basically have family vacations every week all over the country. That's just insane. But that's what we do, but just very, very blessed.
Q. You said you could hit driver at your place. How much land is out there and how big is your green??
BLAKE ADAMS: We have -- very blessed. We have about 350 acres at my house. I've got a driving range -- we built a house. We finished building about a year and a half ago, two years ago, and we built it in some planted pines. My father-in-law owns a wood and timber business, so I had him go in there and knock down a mini-fairway for me. It's about 15 yards wide.
So at first I would hit drivers down there, and my little boy and my dog, we would walk down there and hang out and grab the balls and go back.
Then when XGrass came in to build my green, like I said, it was something I envisioned as a little kid. The putting surface is 20 yards by 30 yards, so 60 feet by 90 feet. And then I've got about a 12-foot chipping area around it with two different lengths of turf to like chip off of.
I've got a bunker in the back, and then I've got four tees set up. The green, there are two front pins that are five yards on, and then I have pins in five-yard increments all the way to the back of the green. So your first tee box is 50 yards to the front of the green, 80 yards to the back. So I've got pins all throughout, 55, 60, 65, 70.
Then you go to the next tee, I'm 85 to the front, 115 to the back. Then I go to the third one and that's 120 to the front, 150 to the back. So I've got every yardage from 50 to 150 covered, which if you can do that out here, you're going to have a pretty good career.
And the last one such by the driveway and it's 190 to the front, 220 to the back. So we get out there and my little boy and I hop on our tees and turn on the radio and hit balls and laugh and have fun and have some father/son time. My little girl and my wife come trotting down there and my little girl raises cane and tries to dodge golf balls.
It's a nice place to be able to practice. Let's see, Masters week -- I think it was Masters week, they came down and did some work do it and I had it rolling about 13 and a half I think.
Q. What kind of grass is it??
BLAKE ADAMS: It's artificial turf, like a Southwest green, but XGrass manufacturers the turf for Southwest, so it's an XGrass green.
The ball reacts, you can spin back wedges, you can hold 7-irons. It's perfect. I can hit any shot that I want to hit. That back bunker, I've got it lined with turf so I can hit downhill lies, uphill, downhill, all over the place. I really had not found a shot that I can't hit out there.
But they just finished it, so I had not had much time to practice on it, but this winter I'll be pretty dialed in come Sony next year.
Q. Can you spell Nunez??
BLAKE ADAMS: Nunez.
DOUG MILNE: Blake, great playing, keep it up.