What they said: John SendenMarch 17, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
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Q. 4-under par there today, could have been five.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I was unlucky on the beginning of the day. I started off well, birdied the first hole, and you know, my second shot on the par 5 No. 5, I was basically right in my backswing and the ball just moved like probably a quarter of an inch roll slowly back. Still hit the shot.
So went to the PGA TOUR Official and asked the question, what's the rule, and he said, hit your shot and add one. So I was unlucky on that shot. But turned it around nicely on 7 and 9, and then it played well around the back nine.
Q. Something nobody probably saw but yourself??
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah. I just had to settle down after that incident and still play. I've been feeling good, so go out there and enjoy myself and play a great golf course.
Q. Did you set a number out there today that you wanted to kind of hit the first day??
JOHN SENDEN: I'll take what I get. This is what this game is about. It's about, you know, trying your best and working hard and trying to shoot as low as you can. I don't try and put a number in my head because it almost restricts you; you can't go out there and say, I'm going to shoot 68, because that might be holding you back.
You know, you go out there and work hard and try and get it done.
Q. A bunch of birdies, most in a row on the back nine??
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I had three in a row there on the back, and got on to the par 5 in two. And I should have birdied 11 because I hit through the green for two and had a straightforward chip shot down to the hole and missed a short putt there.
But bounced back on 12, 13 and 14, so that kept me in good frame of mind coming home.
Q. When you have that many birdies, you have to be putting pretty well. Would you agree??
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I was putting well. I've been feeling good on the greens and that's one part of my game which I'm really working hard to try and improve, because I know with good putting I'm right there at the end of the week.
Q. You said the second shot, second hole the ball rolled??
JOHN SENDEN: The second shot on the fifth hole.
Q. You said it rolled just a dimple or a tiny little bit??
JOHN SENDEN: I had a 3-wood in the rough on the right side. And my ball was sitting sort of into the grain on the particular upslope. And then basically when I putt my club behind the ball it didn't move and as I sort of pulled away, I don't know what happened, but just the grass sort of lifted up and the ball just sort of started to move ever so slightly back and by the time it started moving back, I was committed to hit the shot and I just hit it.
It really didn't move, but I was walking up the fairway and actually hit my third shot on the green and I said to my caddie, you know what, I'm not sure whether you saw it on the second shot. But I felt like I needed to talk about it, because it was bugging me, you know what I mean, and you have to do the right thing with this game of golf, right. It's about honesty and I feel that with that particular incident that happened, you've got to treat yourself well.
Q. Obviously you bounced back from it.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I got a little bit distracted on the next hole from it, but then I knuckled down on the 7th and birdied. I'm happy to be talking about it rather than -- the way this game is, it's part of the game.
Q. You've hit as many fairways and greens as pretty much anybody out here. This would seem to be a good track for you. All things being equal, because you park it in the fairway and you hoist it on the greens.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, it's the strongest part my game; I could probably say that. I need to make sure that that's working well. You need all parts of your game to work well if you want to be in contention or try and win a PGA event.
So, you know, I've proven that once, so have to try and work hard to try and get another one.
Q. Any luck around here in the past??
JOHN SENDEN: I've had two runner-ups here. Maybe it was like '07 and '08, something like that. So I feel good around here. It's an old-style course. So it's nothing tricked up about it and the greens are sort of not gradual, they just have subtle slopes, which is good for putting.
Q. Must take a lot of focus to continue that swing without flinching or anything when that ball moved.
JOHN SENDEN: Yeah, I turned it around on the front nine and birdied 7 and 9. So still turned at 1-under. I was still in good position. Just had to keep playing. It's early in the tournament. Those things happen and it's happened to me before.
So just went up to Steve Rintoul, TOUR Official, and said: Look, this is what's happened, I want to clear it up right now, what's the deal. I knew it was a penalty for the ball moving but I wanted to make sure that I was okay hitting the ball still, because I wasn't 100 percent sure that even when I hit the ball, it was -- it just happened.