What they said: Bo Van Pelttext sizeSeptember 20, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola transcripts archive
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Bo Van Pelt to the interview room. A nice 3-under par. Had you to be happy with that start at this golf course for this event??
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, it's a tough golf course, and you know the scores are never going to be super low. So any time you can shoot under par around this place, you're going to be excited.
Q. Could you talk about what's most difficult about the golf course? Is it running fast into the greens and so forth?
BO VAN PELT: I think, first off to me I think they've shrunk in some of the fairways and there are a couple of spots that look a little tighter than they were two years ago, my first year. So you've got to drive the ball well to put it in play, and that is probably the most important thing because the greens are very firm and fast. If you're coming out of this Bermuda rough, it's just hard to control the golf ball. You've got to try to be under the hole at all costs. If you drive it in the rough, it's just hard to hit the green. Even if you do hit the green, you're probably not going to be in the right spot.
It's just tough from start to finish. I got off to a really good start, and you kind of think, oh, this is going to be an easy day to day. But the golf course just keeps coming at you. If you're a little off, can you make a bunch of bogies in a hurry.
Q. What do you think about 18 and as a finishing hole??
BO VAN PELT: No, I never have a problem with par 3s being a finishing hole. I think you've seen some great drama in the last couple years in this tournament. It's a tough shot. Even though you're on the tee and you've got a perfect lie, you're talking 220, to 240-yard shot coming down the stretch to try to win a golf tournament.
To me, the last three holes really define a great champion at this golf course, starting with 16. They give you a little reprieve at 15. If you hit a good drive, can you make that one last birdie. Then coming down the stretch, you've really got to hit some quality golf shots to play those holes even par. So I think it's a good finish.
Q. Obviously early, but have you given much thought at all to what you have to do this week and what all your scenarios are and so forth??
BO VAN PELT: No, I mean, to me just the only person I can control is myself. I feel like I've had a pretty consistent year this year. I've been pleased with my year other than the fact that I haven't won a golf tournament. So this is kind of my last chance to try to get a win. Just excited to be here. I feel fortunate to be here three years in a row. I don't think there are that many guys that have done it.
You work hard all year to get here, and I just want to enjoy the week. It's a great golf course. They treat us really well. You don't want to ever take these for granted when you're here. So you just go, enjoy the week and try to play as hard as you can, and let the clubs lay down at the end of Sunday.
Q. You didn't allow yourself any flights of fancy with what you might do with $10 million?
BO VAN PELT: No (laughing).
Q. What was the key to your round today??
BO VAN PELT: I scrambled well. Normally my ball striking is usually my strong suit, if you look at my stats. And I hit it really well the first seven holes, then starting on 8 I didn't hit the ball well really the whole rest of the day. I got the ball up?and?down five times out of six on the back nine out of the bunker, which, again, is not a great stat for me historically.
So to do that, you're going to have those off days and off nine holes. So I kind of kept my round to go, and luckily I got off to a good start and was able to keep the round together.
Q. Is it almost easier to just know that the first thing you have to do to win the big check is to win, and that if you don't do that, nothing else matters??
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, I would say it's probably easier from the standpoint if you came in as like No. 1 and you thought, man, if I can just survive this week, I've survived three of the four. To me, if you collected the guys, these 30 guys that are here or any year, if you get here, you probably come into most tournaments with the mindset that you're just trying to win a golf tournament. And I think that's why the 30 guys that are here are here because that's what they focus on.
So to me, I think whoever winds up winning the $10 million is going to be somebody who that's all they were concentrating on was trying to win a golf tournament. I played with Rory on Sunday at Akron and at the PGA, and I know that that's all he thinks about when he tees up on Thursday, no matter where he's at. The money takes care of itself for him. Tiger the same way, Phil. Any of those guys that are up there at the top.