What they said: Kenny Perry, Russ Cochran

April 20, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf transcripts DAVE SENKO: Kenny and Russ, 10-under 62 today. Just maybe get us started, if each of you could just make some general, you know, thoughts on your round and how things went, and then we'll get your birdies and questions.

KENNY PERRY: Well, I thought it was just a very easy round. I mean, Russ was always down the middle, freed me up on my swing. I really didn't have to worry too much about anything, I didn't think too much about anything out there. So it was fun.

He was always around the hole and then I was trying to get it around the hole for him. We got off to a nice start, we shot 10 under, so we had a couple -- it's nice in this format where you have -- he hit a couple stone dead and it just kind of keeps momentum, keeps the round going.

There's some tough holes out there, but there's some holes you've got to make birdies on, and we took advantage of all the holes you need to make birdies on. We kept the round going, kept the momentum going, kind of stayed in it. I think I made one long putt, but other than that, he hit it pretty close most of the day and made most of the birdies, so I was just trying to contribute here and there it was a fun round of golf.

RUSS COCHRAN: A lot like Kenny said, you know, and this format's kind of funny because it doesn't really matter who makes the birdies, but the fact that, you know -- I mean, I don't know, you probably made one or two when I was in there and I made two or three when you were in there closer or more.

So it's important I think to have some chances and where we feel like okay, we've got a couple shots at it. We were fortunate enough to pull the trigger on that first putt maybe a couple times. Like Kenny said, it wasn't a stressful round. We didn't feel like we were one legged, as they say out there. And I know when I thought about playing golf today, I thought, you know what, I've got a guy here that can do a lot of things with the golf ball and what I want to do is try to get the ball in play and try to play as solidly as I can and let him do his thing. That's kind of the way we went about it.

DAVE SENKO: Do you remember the birdies, like who made the birdies on 1 and 2?

KENNY PERRY: Rust birdied 1, I birdied 2. You know, the key to our round was number 3. Russ probably made about a 150 footer for par on number 3 after we birdied the first two holes. I hit it long and right, putted it 15 feet past and missed it. He missed green left, chipped it up a little short, but he made it. I thought that was probably the key putt of the day keeping the bogey off the card, keeping the round running.

RUSS COCHRAN: Yeah, thanks for mentioning that putt and not that chip.

KENNY PERRY: I birdied 4, Russ birdied 7, he had a kick-in on 7, he hit a little wedge about an inch from the hole, that was nice. That was it, five on the front nine.

RUSS COCHRAN: Birdied 8, I made a putt down the hill.

KENNY PERRY: Oh, that's right. Oh, yeah, that was huge. I forgot about that. That putt was probably 20, 25 feet. That was a long putt.

RUSS COCHRAN: I think the letdown was on 9. I hit in there fairly close and didn't hit a good put. You know, we never feel too bad -- I mean, we feel badly enough if we miss them and really hit them good, but when you don't really give your best effort, that's what bothers me a little bit. I gave kind of a weak effort on 9 and he came back with a nice birdie on 10.

KENNY PERRY: And he birdied 11. He hit a leaner on -- he just walked up there and tapped it in. That was, what, two, three inches from the hole?


RUSS COCHRAN: He made like a 20-footer 22 feet across the green there.

KENNY PERRY: He made a nice one on 17. On 18 we watched John Cook make two there. I don't even know how you get it on that green much less make a two on that hole. We made a nice par and got out. So 10 under is a great way to start the week.

RUSS COCHRAN: One thing too, I don't know about Kenny, I'm pretty sure I can speak for him, but it's not -- I mean, that's about as good a team as you can draw to play with. Joey and John are great people and they're in the game and they play so well. They didn't play their best today, but you look back on the last hole and there they are. So it was a great pairing, I think, for us.

DAVE SENKO: Questions?

Q. Congratulations on a great round. A couple things jumped out from what you just said. We often ask you about the pairing of each other, but it sounds like it's who you're paired with today that also helps make the round better for you. That was the case it seems like, who you're paired with as well??

RUSS COCHRAN: I think so. We have enough to do as a team, but for sure, and we're going to do our business and everything, but it's nice to pull for those guys and you know there's -- whether -- when you start seeing putts go in, it's a little contagious. I think the whole group did okay, you know.

Q. We're talking about birdies, got to get birdies to keep up, but the bogeys are even like double trouble, right? You want to go bogey free basically.

KENNY PERRY: That's correct, you don't need to make any bogeys out here. But it happens, so you've got to figure out how to double up or maybe sneak an eagle in there. You've just got to be patient.

It's just funny how this tournament is. You just kind of plod along, take -- make sure you get the holes you're supposed to get and try to sneak in a few here and there of the tougher holes, and you'll turn around and look at it and you've got a good score going.

Q. When we last saw you in the media center was after a very dramatic finish last year. Is there any carryover from last year when you come back here??

KENNY PERRY: Definitely, it is burning in my gut a little bit. I probably missed about a 12-inch putt there in the playoff against McNulty and Eger to extend the playoff. Doesn't mean we were still going to win, but I missed a gimme basically to where that pin is today.

I thought about that a lot on my first putt. I thought I don't want to leave it short, because that putt broke a lot, it had a lot of grain in it and I missed a gimme. Definitely I have a little fire in my belly. I definitely want to try to get back in that position, and hopefully I would like to help team Kentucky here since we are the national champs.

Q. That was my last question. Is the whole Kentucky contingent, can you put a number on it, who's here and how many??

KENNY PERRY: Let's go back a little bit. I was raised in Franklin, Kentucky. Russ has always been in Paducah. When I became a freshman in high school, I moved to Paducah, so I was 14 or 13 years old at the time, and Russ, what are you, two years older than me?


KENNY PERRY: So he was 15, but Russ was the man. When there's a guy walking around Paxton Park, everybody was looking for Russ Cochran. He was the guy. When he walked out there on the golf course, we were all paying attention. So I always looked up to Russ. Russ was the guy that kind of inspired me to become better.

It actually was a neat place, we had a lot of good junior programs. We had -- Cale Mullen was a great pro there. His son actually runs the golf course now, he's out here following us. We've probably got eight or 10 people in the crowd out there. They drove in last night from Kentucky to watch us.

So it's been really neat to see the progression as we've grown up over the years, watching our kids grow up, to be able to compete at 13 when he was 15. Our whole careers have been linked and I've always been trying to catch up to him, you know. This is the guy I've always looked up to, that's always propelled me in my golf career.

RUSS COCHRAN: That was -- I don't know, at an early age, he caught and passed me. It's great to -- you know, it's great to see. And, you know, that's one thing that may help us, you know? We're not afraid to -- you know, if we get it going and both get it going, I think the best case scenario would be try to match each other's shot and both hit it in there close; you know, he hits it in close, let me hit it close, that type of stuff that would be a lot of fun. And we do have good friends out here and they -- I don't think -- I think we had better play well because I don't think any of them out there is going to expect anything but good play.

Q. (Inaudible.)

KENNY PERRY: Definitely, the whole team did. Well, Russ played -- Russ was one of the best high school basketball players I've ever seen. He went to St. Mary's, I went to Lone Oak. When you're in high school, you don't go to other people's -- I went to other people's gyms to watch this guy play basketball.

RUSS COCHRAN: With this team this year, we might have suited up and been all right.

KENNY PERRY: Exactly, I could have thrown it (inaudible.)

Q. Can you tell us -- you told us about the save on 3, but the other long putts you made, was the other one always in position??

KENNY PERRY: Yeah, the one I made on 16, he was right in there eight, 10 feet. If I didn't make it, he would have had a good roll on it.

RUSS COCHRAN: Well, 2 was a big putt.

KENNY PERRY: But you made par.

RUSS COCHRAN: We weren't out of the hole or anything.

KENNY PERRY: 3, I was out of the hole. If he didn't make it, we were making bogey, but that's probably one of the toughest holes out there, 205 yards.

RUSS COCHRAN: We made some nice putts, mid-range putts. Other than on 3, par wasn't in jeopardy or anything, but 10, you know, I had missed and you had -- I don't know what you had, 12 feet or something there. So we made some good putts on our last try.