What they said: John Cook, Joey Sindelar

April 22, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MODERATOR: Okay. John Cook, the Cook-Sindelar team, 65, 7-under, sort of a unique circumstance with Joey not being able to go after the 4th hole, but you played really well on your own ball and the team, quote unquote, is still in it. Just talk about the day and about Joey's condition.

JOHN COOK: Yeah, it was definitely an interesting day. I thought it had the chance to happen. I knew Joey wasn't feeling well Wednesday evening and also yesterday, but he tried to give it a go this morning, got some treatment, I know. He warmed up, he said he felt okay. He said if he -- after he warmed up, if he didn't think he could play 18 holes, he wouldn't have started.

Unfortunately for him, after his second shot on the 1st hole, that's where he felt it. He's got a lower -- a pulled muscle in his lower right back. Not good for a guy that's got a lot of power like he does.

It's very unfortunate, I feel bad for him. We've got a long year. I told him, hey, don't jeopardize the rest of your year just to come out and play with me. I've got something else I can do. I don't -- I want my friend to feel better. He's playing too well and has played too well the last couple years to jeopardize the rest of this year for himself.

So we kind of knew after the 4th hole that he just couldn't do it. He had to actually lay the ball up on number 4 and he only had a 4-iron into the green and that's not a Joey Sindelar-like way to -- method to playing par 5s. We got on the 5th tee and we talked about it and he said he could go in, get some treatment, see what happens. I told him, hey, you can come out any time as far as I -- I kind of knew the rule, he could come out at any point in time. I said, I'll just try to hold the fort down while you're doing your thing.

And there he is, right there. Par's my partner, that's what they told me.

So we just decided if he could go in and get some treatment and maybe come back out at some point, I'll just try to hold the fort down, and sure enough, I rattled off a couple birdies and I kind of got in the mindset of just going and playing, just like he was there but maybe kind of maybe a little more general in where my shot selections were going to be. Had a nice little run early on the back side, 10, 11, 12 and 14, so we held our own. Hopefully he -- he can give it a go tomorrow, but we'll see. Like I said, I don't want him to jeopardize the rest of the year for me to come out here and play golf, we don't need to do that.

MODERATOR: Quickly on the round, were there any really long putts that you made or any good saves while you were playing by yourself?

JOHN COOK: Not really. I made a nice putt at number 2 and then Joey made a nice par at number 3. We both kind of birdied number 4, although I putted out so he didn't have to bend down. That's kind of when we decided that we would go, just kind of tackle it alone. Then I hit it close at 5, two feet at 5. I hit a bad drive at 6 unfortunately. If there was one hole that I could have used a little help, just another ball there, would be number 6. I hit a bad drive and ended up making bogey, but I came back with a birdie at 7. I hit a wedge about two feet.

Really, other than that, I had birdie chances everywhere. At 10 I made another 2-footer. 11, I hit it just over the back of the green with a 5-iron and pitched it up two feet. On 12 I hit a nice 5-iron in there about 12 feet, did make a nice putt there. 14, I hit a nice drive, hit a little 60-degree up there about 12 feet and actually that was a nice putt. I was kind of thinking that was a nice one to go in. And on 18 I hit a really good second shot, I thought I stuffed it. I thought walking up there that my ball was Nick's ball, you know (inaudible) in the hole. My ball was down over the back of the green, so I guess that would be a good save. I putted it up there just a foot short of the hole. So that was our round.

MODERATOR: Questions? Just wait for the mic, please, Nathan?

Q. Hi. Would this be the first time you could honestly say you carried your partner??

JOHN COOK: He was there in spirit. No, he really was. That's not what this is about. This is a team thing and I thought if we could somehow just manage to get it in okay and just be a couple behind, if he has any chance at all to go and he feels like he can, we could still do well. But like I said, we'll see how tomorrow -- how he feels in the morning, see if we're going to do it.

Q. I guess Joey could answer this best. How do you feel??

JOEY SINDELAR: This is Joey Sindelar.

I feel okay. I've just got one of those things on my lower right where halfway in the backswing it just bites. I got it Sunday, the last shot at the Outback, and took a couple days off, had the guys in the trailer work on it for a couple of days and played 12 holes in the pro-am yesterday and thought it was manageable. It started biting a little bit so I quit, and today, son of a gun, it started getting me right from the 1st hole. But I'm okay. I went to the candy store, got some oral things to help me for tomorrow.

Q. Is there a timetable, if you can't go tomorrow, maybe look at Sunday? Is that an option?

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, of course the nice thing about this event is if it was a matter of just ice, I could have even gone back out today. So yes, I can do that tomorrow or Sunday or at any point. I don't have to be there on the first tee. So I'll be doing everything the guys in the trailer say to do.

Are you kidding? Rule number one, rule first number one is know how to pick thy partner, and I do. I mean, I need to explain to you guys how awesome what he just did is. To have a mental change like that, he's out there in a team championship playing by himself and worried -- he's not worried about it but thinking about two paychecks. It's one thing if you throw your own money out the window, but if you're on a team...

And some of these holes that are pure offense when there's two guys, I can't imagine what they look like. You know, I was still there for the tee shot on 4, the par 5, and it's a narrow shot but if you hit the fairway you're on offense. The hole that we bogeyed, 6, it's a tough one, it's a tough second shot and again you need two guys there. But then even at the little short hole -- is the short hole 14?

JOHN COOK: Yeah. Into the wind today, too.

JOEY SINDELAR: Into the wind and it's drivable, but with two guys, that's fine. I usually hit a 1-iron in there anyway, so I'm going to kind of be in play, and he's there by himself. Did you hit a driver?


JOEY SINDELAR: And he hit it. And then all of a sudden the last three holes on this course get harder. Were they downwind today?

JOHN COOK: Yeah, 17 was down out of the right, but I had a little different game plan. If you have two balls going at that one, I would have done something a little bit different but I just put it in the middle of the green with a 4-iron and that's what I got. I couldn't really make a two there. If you had two shots at it and one guy puts it in the middle of the green, next thing you know I can maybe slice one up into the wind and get it closer than I did and have a shot.

JOEY SINDELAR: And that's how you get to 10- or 12-under, 10-under anyway, is having one guy good and have the other guy be able to try something. And on the good days, it works.

JOHN COOK: 15 was a little dicey because the pin was over there in that little corner and I might have taken more of a direct approach to it if there was a partner, or Joey would have if he knew that my ball was where it was, he could have taken a direct shot at it. So 15 might have been a little different. Even 16 I kind of -- I was in good position but I didn't take a real aggressive line. You can kind of tighten things up a little bit more.

JOEY SINDELAR: I just wanted to make sure the mental challenge he just went through. It's amazing. All the people on every hole are going to be going, Where's the fourth guy? Where's the fourth guy? So I just think it's spectacular what John just pulled off.

Q. You played 4 and then you never came back on??

JOEY SINDELAR: I'm not sure I played any, but I kept swinging through 4. Every time I bent over, it started grabbing me and I just couldn't do it anymore.

Q. So if you can't go tomorrow, the team is still alive??



Q. How does that work? Who decides that? Is it a rule of this format or what?

JOEY SINDELAR: John could play by himself all the way through as a team.

Q. Could some guys have started by himself today, because some guys had to find partners.


JOHN COOK: I guess it would -- in a perfect world, Joey would have said something yesterday, I can't go, and then an alternate would come in. But today, once you start, yeah, we can still finish, yeah. I wouldn't -- if he decided you needed some rest early tomorrow, I'm happy to go again, that's fine, that's what I do. Like we talked about, we're professional golfers, this is what we do.

JOEY SINDELAR: I'm a little sick to my stomach about Jay Don. He's playing great. I say that because he's the next alternate. Jay Don Blake was the next alternate. If I would have felt walking to the first tee like I felt hitting my second shot on number 1, I would have absolutely said, Jay Don, go. But based on what we had, Cook and I went. It was a tough one for today but hopefully I can be around for tomorrow, maybe even by Sunday. John's obviously playing well so I'm not worried about that part of it.

Q. Is Jay Don here??

JOEY SINDELAR: Standing right there with me, yeah.

Q. Is it too early to tell whether you've got a chance to play Saturday or Sunday??

JOEY SINDELAR: I'm going to say 60/40 against for tomorrow, but I was thinking 70/30 for today, so hopefully I'm a bad oddsmaker.

Q. And how many holes did you follow John after you pulled out??

JOEY SINDELAR: Well, my intent was to get -- I came back and watched them finish 9 and tee off on 10 and then I ran to the drugstore and I was hoping to be back. I'm at the drugstore, I wanted to yell and tell the pharmacy lady, look what my partner's doing. But the traffic was bad.

Q. (Inaudible.)

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah, yeah, that's right, I'm the guy that's not there. I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the phone so I wanted to be here for 18 but traffic in town was messy.

Q. So just a couple holes and then --

JOEY SINDELAR: Yeah. And John's been awesome. He said, Look, give it your best try, it's not the end of the world. Of course we want to win but are you kidding me? You know, give it a shot. And then on 9 I said to him, because I wondered, I though would I rather have my partner there not playing, staring at me like, go ahead, birdie some. I didn't know what that would add. John said, I don't care, just do what you want to do and I'll do what I do and that made me feel great.

JOHN COOK: If you need to put your legs up, put your feet up.

Q. So when you were not playing, you went and got your back worked on??

JOEY SINDELAR: Worked on with the guys here.

Q. And then went and got some medication??

JOEY SINDELAR: And saw them at the turn, told them what the deal was and then took off and just kept watching my phone, going you've got to be kidding, this is all right.

MODERATOR: Okay. We'll let you guys go.