What they said: Des Smyth, Mark James

April 21, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf transcripts DAVE SENKO: Well, Mark and Des, congratulations. You defended your title with that putt at No. 18 by Mark, both Demaret Division defending as well. So maybe just get us started. Des, just talk a little about your day, finished 61, 11 under, 19 for the tournament.

DES SMYTH: Yeah, actually I'm shocked at such a low score to win because we were tying going out at 8 under and we got to the turn in 7 under, and then we followed a few more birdies on top of that, 11 and 12, and I kind of thought oh, we must be a couple ahead by now. And I looked at the board and the boys told me we're only tying, and then we came off the 15th green and we were a shot back. I'm just amazed how they all shoot so low because we thought they were playing fantastic. It just shows the standard of the guys, especially in the four-ball. It lends itself to this type of play. So very happy to have won.


MARK JAMES: Yeah, I mean we're very excited to have won. There's no doubt it's really great for us to come over and -- last year was fantastic and to do it again is great. We get on very well, so I think we're a good team and we have a lot of faith in each other, which helps in four ball. Even though last year and this year one of us was slightly off key, we managed to come through, which I think is amazing. Certainly a nice surprise to win again.

DAVE SENKO: Mark, do you want to just take us back through No. 18 again?

MARK JAMES: It was all down to me. Gloss over Des' previous nine birdies. Yeah, actually, a guy driving off 11 got me on the top of his swing just as he hit the ball, as had happened to Roger Maltbie when we were on 11 and someone else was on 18.

I shoved it right, it just carried over the bunker and had a stance and decent lie. Hit a good shot, it just ran over the back. It was about 45 feet, I guess, left to right, but the pace wasn't too difficult, it was just slow. It was the first putt all day I got the pace perfect.

DES SMYTH: Actually, on the 18th green, Roger Maltbie came up to me. I had it from about 15 feet. He said, Now come on, you knock that in. I said, You're assuming already that Mark won't chip his in. I thought he was going to chip, but then he took the putter out and holed it. He said, Yes, that would be better, and like 10 seconds later we're jumping around the green. It was fantastic.

DAVE SENKO: Birdies, do you remember who made -- start at 1, 3 and 4, who made the birdies?

MARK JAMES: We both birdied 1.

DES SMYTH: Well, you were in first, Mark, please.

MARK JAMES: I don't want to miss any of your birdies because there's a lot of them. Did you birdie 3?

DES SMYTH: I birdied 3 and 4 and 6, and you birdied 7.

MARK JAMES: I was in first at 7, but Des was there again and close.

DES SMYTH: And I birdied 9.

MARK JAMES: I birdied 8.

DES SMYTH: It was pretty hot stuff. Mark birdied 11, I birdied 12, and we really slipped a little at 13 and 14. We were around the hole and both of us managed to miss our birdies and that's when we realized we were a shot back with three or four to go. I hold a nice 15-footer at 16 and then Mark rolled the 45 in at the last, made all the difference.

DAVE SENKO: Were any of these birdies you made, did anybody make along putt, do you remember?

DES SMYTH: Well, they were all -- in fact for the two rounds, I don't think we stiffed any iron shots.

MARK JAMES: We actually hit a lot of good shots but nothing went within three feet, so it was quite hard work at times. We hit the ball reasonably, especially Des. Des holed a long one at 6 today.

DES SMYTH: Oh, I did, yeah, I holed a bomb at 6. It was about a 60� footer on the 6th.

MARK JAMES: Which is big. It sort of gives the feeling it might be our day.


DAVE SENKO: Questions?

Q. Were you guys on the tee on 18 when Jones holed out??

MARK JAMES: Probably -- yeah, we had no idea what was happening there. We were sort of like half -- just over half a hole behind By the time we got to the tee, he holed it probably.

Q. But you knew on 18 you were in a logjam??

MARK JAMES: No, we didn't know, there was no scoreboard. When we came up 17, the scoreboards hadn't been updated.

DES SMYTH: But we assumed we were tying with Mark McCumber and Wayne Grady. That's -- we felt coming down 18, if we make a birdie, we can win. We didn't realize what Steve Jones and his partner --- Denis Watson, wasn't it?


DES SMYTH: I didn't know about that 2-2 finish. That's the thing that can happen with four ball golf you just never know.

Q. Is it better not to know??

MARK JAMES: Probably is, yeah.

DES SMYTH: We needed a birdie, that's what we were thinking.

MARK JAMES: But you don't ever want to be in a three-way playoff. Two-way playoff certainly individual play in a tournament, you can look the other guy in the eye and sort of play him out sometimes, you know, just -- but three-way playoff in individual -- anything can happen in a three-way playoff in four ball, the sky's the limit.

DES SMYTH: We're happy to have avoided that.

Q. Mr. James, why did you pick the putter over the chipper??

MARK JAMES: Well, actually pretty good reason. At this stage of the season, usually I chip very poorly, so it seemed a better bet. That's embarrassing in front of the grandstand.

DES SMYTH: Actually, Mark is a wonderful pitcher. It's one of his strengths, among others. I was actually surprised to see him pull a putter.

MARK JAMES: It's early in the season. The chipping is the one thing a lot of us find more difficult than usual, and on the Senior Tour chipping is something that does go, like putting. Only with chipping you can't actually use a long chipper like a long putter. Chipping is something that gives senior golfers a little bit of trouble at times.

DAVE SENKO: Any more questions? Okay, thank you.

DES SMYTH: Thank you very much. Cheers. Thank you very much.