What they said: Brad Faxon, Jeff Sluman

April 20, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf transcripts MODERATOR: Well, Brad and Jeff congratulations, 10-under 62 today, including 7-under 29 on the back. Maybe just get us started, just some general comments on how you played and then we'll get some questions.

BRAD FAXON: I'll start. We both played very well today and had a lot of opportunities. As I said earlier, you know, we just stayed patient today. We didn't get off to the start that you would hope to out there, but we stayed patient and we were both putting for birdie on almost every hole, and that's really at the end of 54 holes what you want to do. And I think by doing that, we kind of got it rolling on the back nine, and next thing you know we're sitting here talking with you.

JEFF SLUMAN: We had a conversation probably on the second hole, we were only 1 under after 6 and we said you know it's one of those games that comes in bunches. There's momentum.

And then we kind of both birdied 7 and I think the key hole on our round for sure was Jeff's birdie on 9. I had driven it unplayable and Jeff hit a beautiful tee shot with a 7-iron to about 25 feet and made -- you know, in this game when you're shooting 10-under par, you're going to make some 25-footers, but that was one there where as his partner and out of the hole, I'm hoping he makes a par or he makes a birdie and all of a sudden you're a shot gained and we're 2 or 3 under then we went off to the races.

MODERATOR: If you could just maybe give us who made the birdies starting at number 4, the par 5. Do you remember --

BRAD FAXON: I made that one just short of the green, chipped it to about three feet.

JEFF SLUMAN: That was 5.

BRAD FAXON: Five feet?

JEFF SLUMAN: Yeah, give yourself some credit here.

BRAD FAXON: 7 -- 7 we both birdied. Slu hit his wedge shot in there about four, five feet, and I made about a 25-footer from the fringe, so he made his after mine so we both birdied that hole.

JEFF SLUMAN: 25 feet on 9, I made that.

MODERATOR: And then 10?

BRAD FAXON: 10 I -- what?

JEFF SLUMAN: It was about eight feet, beautiful putt for birdie there.

MODERATOR: Jeff, did you make that?

JEFF SLUMAN: I made that on 10, yeah.

MODERATOR: And then eagle.

BRAD FAXON: Jeff hit a beautiful second shot to about eight, 10 feet, and I made it something like 50 feet maybe.

JEFF SLUMAN: 40 feet, yeah.

BRAD FAXON: It was one of those I just had to hit it up there somehow because I knew he was going to make his, so we both birdied there. And then he made one of those great putts on 12 from 25 feet. I would say more, probably 30 feet, and I think that we kept the momentum going there.

JEFF SLUMAN: That was a key hole, really.

BRAD FAXON: To birdie 9, eagle 11, birdie 12, that was a great stretch.

JEFF SLUMAN: And then 14 I had 10 feet there, 12 feet? My big swinging putt there and I haven't been putting well, and I got the master here reading my putts for me. I'll tell you what, it's amazing how many more putts you can make if they're properly read. So Brad's been fantastic, and he told me to stay away from him when he's reading his own putts. So it's a perfect partnership in that regard. 15, Brad makes it from 12 feet?

BRAD FAXON: Probably about 12 feet, you were in there close, probably about eight feet. I think you have a mindset, I know that in this -- in this format you're always putting to make the putt rather than to not miss or don't be too careful and you give yourself good runs. It's nice a partner in there close and I think you probably feel the same way.

JEFF SLUMAN: And our last birdie on 16, I hit it in there 10 feet.

BRAD FAXON: Hale Irwin was on the same line, I was on the same line and you hit a beautiful putt.

MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Take us through the eagle one more time.

JEFF SLUMAN: Brad had about 45 feet and I had probably eight feet. We both hit good drives there. I hit a 5-iron and I hit first. The pin was on the left side of the hole. You had to decide whether you're going to carry over the bunker and try to stop it. I hit my mine out to the right, it was a safe shot. Then he drove it up 20 yards further, hit a good high hard 6-iron that landed on the green and stopped short of the flag. Beautiful to get it to land that soft.

BRAD FAXON: It was nice to make a long putt, but you were right there.

JEFF SLUMAN: You're stealing my thunder. I don't make many eagles and there you go.

Q. Brad, you actually made the putt??

BRAD FAXON: Surprisingly.

Q. How long again??


JEFF SLUMAN: 45 to 50 feet, yeah. Come on. It was long. I haven't made one that long all year, I can tell you.

BRAD FAXON: Yeah, I like it over 50 feet.

Q. We talked so much about birdies. Is it also maybe underestimated how important it is to stay away from bogeys out here??

JEFF SLUMAN: You know, you can kick yourself if you don't make a birdie on 5 or something like that, but if you do make a bogey or whatever, I mean, that seriously is backing up and -- try as you might, I mean I've played in this thing the first four years with Craig Stadler, and I don't know -- I don't know if we ever got away from the tournament without making maybe one, but maybe we did. You both have to play well not to make a bogey out there. There's some difficult golf holes and tee shots and some of the slopes on those greens. I mean, it wouldn't take much to make a bogey.

Q. Do you feel like you're keeping pace by posting a 10-under today? Is that kind of what you were shooting for, double digits?

JEFF SLUMAN: You know, I don't know you really shoot for a specific number. As Brad said, if you don't get something decent, you can lose -- you know have a chance to -- you're not probably going to win if you don't have a good round.

BRAD FAXON: I think you can really throw yourself out of the tournament the first day without a good round, but I don't think we sat on the first tee and said, hey, let's try and shoot 10-under today.

I always crack up at the guy, after they win the tournament, says, I knew if I shot 8-under par, after they shot 8-under part, that I'd win it. Because how do they know that, unless they're a lot smarter than I am. I think you have to play every shot. Old adage, one shot at a time keep playing.

JEFF SLUMAN: We had good chances on 17 and 18. I'm not saying we were disappointed, but we would have liked to have made both those and finished at 12.

BRAD FAXON: Yeah, or we could have got off of a better start.

Q. I heard Jeff is something of a chef with shaving cream pies??

BRAD FAXON: Well, last year at Houston was one of my first few tournaments, you know, I had the lead going in the last day and it got rained out. And everybody's kind of sitting around the clubhouse and Golf Channel -- Dave Marr had me in the chair on set and I'm answering these questions. Seriously, I'm ecstatic because I won my first Champions Tour event. All of a sudden I hear this creak of a door and a smash of pie was in my face. I wasn't sure if it was shaving cream or whipped cream, but --

JEFF SLUMAN: I wouldn't do shaving cream.

BRAD FAXON: I had it all over my face and they kept going live and then it went viral for a while. He got more publicity than I did.

JEFF SLUMAN: The funny part is you just missed me.

BRAD FAXON: I took the thing and whipped it over my head without looking and he had just opened the door.

JEFF SLUMAN: Or I would have got hit. I would have got nailed.

BRAD FAXON: That would have been fun.

JEFF SLUMAN: Not funny. It was whipped cream.

Q. How did you two come together? Did you know that once Brad became eligible that you wanted to play with him? Who made the call there?

JEFF SLUMAN: He called me after August --

BRAD FAXON: 12:01 on August 1st.

JEFF SLUMAN: Brad's first start was in Minnesota. I asked him if he wanted to play. We had played a long time ago in the Shark Shootout together and our wives hang around together. We've just been friends for 20 some years, 30 years, you know. Although I played with Stads and had a great time with him for four years, Brad and I -- I told Stads I was going to go with Brad, and of course you say fine and dandy, and so I asked him and he said yes, so it was a relief to me.

BRAD FAXON: Well, he asked me and I was thrilled that he asked me. I didn't even know about the criteria for this tournament, but when he asked me, hey, do you want to play in the team tournament, I'm going, why are you whispering? Well, I haven't told Stads yet. Pretty funny. Don't say anything.

JEFF SLUMAN: You like to play with somebody that you've played with and obviously fun. We know each other so well, so I mean it just seems a natural fit. In a couple years Brad might say the same thing to me. Billy's coming out, they've grown up together. He might say, I want to play with Billy. That might happen.

BRAD FAXON: It might be Tiger or Phil, not Billy.

Q. You parred the par-5 13th??


Q. That hole hasn't given up a lot of birdies for a par 5. What makes it so hard??

JEFF SLUMAN: They had a tough pin there, very back left. Dead into the wind so you fly your wedge all the way back there and there's a slope that takes the ball away.

BRAD FAXON: It was a good pin placement into the wind. Nobody was going to reach that in 2 today.

JEFF SLUMAN: It was playing like 590 into the wind. It was a true three-shot hole that you don't see very often, but into the wind and the pin position, just really made it a difficult golf hole today.