ACE Group Classic interview: Tom Pernice Jr.

February 16, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: ACE Group Classic transcript archive

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Tom, 69 today and you get in in a tie for second with Chien Soon Lu at 9-under par. Birdied two of your last six holes to get to 9. Just talk about the day.

TOM PERNICE JR.: Well, obviously much tougher day today. Like we expected, the wind was going to be blowing. Off to a great start, though. Hit it close at 1 with a wedge about five or six feet and made birdie.

2 was playing extremely difficult, I think it was 180 yards today and I hit 3-iron, 3-rescue to get it there and made about a 15-footer for birdie.

3, had a perfect position, had a 2-rescue in the green and thought I hit a pretty good shot and the wind got it, took it left of the green, went in the water. Had about a 12-footer for par there after going in the water and missed it, made bogey.

Birdied 13, the par 5, was probably 12-footer downhill.

14, I hit it in there, another wedge in there pretty close about seven feet and missed it for birdie.

And then 17, I hit a good wedge into the wind to a back left pin about three feet and made it for birdie.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay. Just overall, you know, way different than yesterday.

TOM PERNICE JR.: Correct. You know, the wind continued to get stronger as the day went on and it was pretty much out of the northwest, and then the last couple holes it even started coming a little bit out of the north. 18 played pretty tough. I hit a driver, 4-iron into 18, so it played tough.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: We'll just go with questions.

Q. We were talking to a couple players, it was even the case where it would affect guys putting and it would also affect guys even looking at changing their clubs two or three times. Did you find that to be the case?

TOM PERNICE JR.: Yeah. I mean, you have to be aware of putting as well. The greens aren't overly fast, so not as much, and being bermuda, less. But you need to be aware of putting which direction the wind's blowing, for sure. But it will definitely make you wonder what club to hit, for sure. Tough to pull some clubs out there.

Q. What exactly was the situation on 13, and then talk about after the delay, you hit a good shot.

TOM PERNICE JR.: I laid up with my 2-rescue into the wind. It was really howling right then. And Bernhard was even with me, I think he hit his 3-iron to lay it up. Got up there and my ball was in a pitch mark and usually you don't think of being in your own pitch mark when you're hitting a 2-iron or 2-rescue, but Bernhard's ball mark was like and a half feet from where his ball was just to the right, so it looked like that could have easily happened to mine. But to be able to get relief from being in a pitch mark, it has to be your own pitch mark, it can't be someone else's. So it looked to be a fresh pitch mark but we didn't know, and the TV cameras couldn't see, but some of the spectators over on the left that were up there said that the ball landed, bounced up and went back in the same spot. That was enough for the officials to give me relief.

Q. Then after that delay you had to kind of refocus?

TOM PERNICE JR.: That's all right, I was thrilled I got to hit a drop. It was a lot easier hitting that shot than hitting out of a divot or pitch mark. But no, I hit a very good shot in there and then made the putt, so it worked out great.

Q. If conditions are similar tomorrow like they were today, does that make it that much tougher to catch Bernhard, or what are your feelings going in?

TOM PERNICE JR.: I don't know if it makes it any easier or any harder. It makes the conditions of playing more difficult. I think it's going to be as windy or similar as it is today. I don't know exactly what the forecast is, but I'm sure it's going to be breezy. Regardless, I'm going to have to play a good round. Bernhard's playing awfully well regardless whether it's calm or whether it's windy.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: We'll let you go.

TOM PERNICE JR.: Thanks, guys.