Dick's Sporting Goods Open interview: Kenny Perry

August 16, 2013

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Kenny, you roll in a nice putt on the last hole and birdie three of the last four to shoot 65 and you're the sole leader at the 2013 Dick's Sporting Goods Open. Just talk about your day.

KENNY PERRY: Interesting, off to a slow start but I survived it. I pull hooked it off the first tee, chipped out sideways, hit it to 15 feet and, you know what, my putter, I rolled it right in the middle of the hole. So that right there really relaxed me and kind of set up the rest of the whole day. You know, I just played nicely. I hit a lot of fairways. My wedge game was beautiful, those 100-,115-yard shots I was hitting close. My putter was really good, putted beautifully. You know, magic happened on the 12th hole, the par 5, I pushed my drive in the trees, chipped out sideways, had 187 yards and I holed a 6-iron for eagle from 187 yards, which huge bonus. When things are going your way, things are going your way, so just a nice day. Nice start, just got to figure out a way to do that again the next two rounds, get in that rhythm.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Can you give us details on the three birdies on the last four holes?

KENNY PERRY: 15, I hit a 3-wood and 7-iron to about three feet, four feet right under the hole, beautiful 7-iron. I hit driver almost on the green on the next hole right on the up-slope there and chipped it to about five feet right of the hole, was able to make that. Then 18 I hit a driver and I had 107 yards, I hit a 56-degree sand wedge to about 15 feet past the hole, was able to make a real nice putt in front of all the Tim McGraw fans, so I liked that.

Q. (Inaudible) but which is certainly a solid star t, but how much of a jump start was holing that shot on 12 there?

KENNY PERRY: Well, it's huge. I mean, like you said, I'm 3-under par, just kind of playing nicely, birdied the par 5s on the front nine, just kind of cruising along, nothing really was happening. Then all of a sudden when you have a lightning bolt hit you like that, it was like, well, dang, man, we can shoot a low score now, we're 5-under, maybe make some birdies coming in, maybe I can shoot another super low round. It really pumped me up, it really got me excited, it really got me motivated. It really changed the way I was thinking, it made me more aggressive, so I got after it and I birdied three of the last four. I made a bogey on 14. 14 was playing tough today, that pin front right over there by that water, I didn't want to try to challenge that pin, hit it a little left and didn't get it up and down. All in all I think that's the only bogey I made, so I was pretty pleased with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey.

Q. You mentioned yesterday how good your putting's been so far this year and you mentioned it again today. When you have a good putting day like you did today, is that for you a sign of a good weekend of putting, that you feel like you're going to have that the next few days?

KENNY PERRY: I hope so. We all wish it's going to be like that. I feel very comfortable over my putter, my sight lines look good, putter looks good, feels good for the speed of these greens. You know, I putted beautifully at the U.S. Senior Open at Fox Chapel and I putted nicely in Minnesota a couple weeks ago. So my putting's kind of hung with me now for a couple months, which is usually very unusual for me. Normally it's here for one week and gone for the rest of the year. But I keyed on a few things, ball position, making sure I got enough loft on my putter on certain greens. You know what, my speed has been beautiful and I think that's been the key to why I've been putting so well. My pace of the ball, I hit it, it's always going in at the right speed. So you can actually read break doing it with the right speed. All in all, it's just been a marvelous two-month run for me so far.

Q. The guys that went out early this morning seemed to be the ones jumping to the top of the leaderboard and most of them were at 6-under by the time you teed off. You were the only guy that really went low this afternoon. Was that the course playing more difficult or how do you explain that?

KENNY PERRY: Well, I got 80 sets of footprints in front of me for the whole round. I was the last guy to hit at 1:31 and the first tee time was 8:45. I just think the greens are fresher, they'll hold a little bit better early in the morning, they'll dry up later in the afternoon. It's tough to go out there last group and, you know, compete like that. But you know what, you know why I was in the last group, two majors and greens were crusty and firm, I'm kind of into those situations and conditions, I'm ready for those deals. So hopefully if the golf course dries out again tomorrow, I think it's going to get a little hotter again tomorrow and it will be the same situation for me tomorrow being in the last group, so hopefully I'll be prepared for that. There's a lot of birdie holes out there, there's a lot of holes you've got driver and wedges if you can drive it well. This is definitely a driver's dream. If you can drive your golf ball in the fairway, you can take advantage of a lot of these pin placements and that's kind of why I was able to get to it a little bit. I was able to get to the par 5s. I got lucky on the one, I holed a 6-iron for eagle, but I'm always around the green. I was able to drive it almost on the green on that little short hole on 16. So, you know, with my length I've got a little bit of an advantage out there if I can hit it straight and that's just the key to me, if I can hit it straight I've got great opportunities out there.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Good luck tomorrow.