What they said: John Rollins

August 09, 2009
PGA TOUR staff

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE: Legends Reno-Tahoe Open transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: John Rollins, champion of the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open in 2009. Final round 72 for a 17-under-par total, three-shot victory.

Kind of an up-and-down last day for you; a few bad things and a few good things. Just talk about it.

JOHN ROLLINS: Yeah. You know, I got off to a good start, birdied the second whole, felt very comfortable. Then I hit a poor shot, I don't think it was as bad as it ended up on 4 off the tee, but it ended up in a bad spot. I had to take an unplayable.

Got it back in play, hit a poor wedge shot, ended up just kind of making a silly double-bogey on a hole that you expect to make a birdie on, most people are birdieing. So that was a bill frustrating there.

But just tried to settle down, hit some pretty decent shots, couldn't really get any putts to go in and then managed to birdie 9, hit a great third shot on 9 to set up a birdie there to kind of get me for even par for the 9.

And I think at the time I may have still had a four- or five-shot lead making the turn. So was relieved to get off the front nine even par. And then got to the back nine and then made the eagle on 11, and once that happened, you kind of feel like, okay, well, now we're okay, let's settle down and let's finish this thing off.

And then I followed that up with bogey-bogey on 12 and 13. So I decided to make it interesting again, and then another silly bogey on 15, but then managed to hit two good shots on 17 to get a birdie and get extended lead to three with one to play. And obviously that was much more comfortable than going into 18 one shot or even tied for the lead.

THE MODERATOR: Just before he open up for questions, you talked yesterday after leading after 54 holes that the key was not getting ahead of yourself and being patient.

That 11th hole today when you chipped in, you played that hole magnificently all week, 6 under par, is that something that happened that led to the three bogeys in the next four holes?

JOHN ROLLINS: No, not really. You know, I just -- I think maybe on 12 I didn't -- thought I hit a decent shot. It was right of the flag. It should have never been right of the flag there where the pin was.

But it ended up going down in the bunker, maybe there I should have slowed down a little bit and realize that I had ten paces of green left to the flag to hit at, rather than -- wasn't that I was challenging the flag or the shot, but I just I thought I had enough club to get it on the green. Didn't execute the shot.

But I don't think it was me getting ahead of myself or being impatient or anything else; I tried to hit quality shots the best that I could under the conditions, and some of them came off good and some of them didn't.

But luckily we ran out of holes and we came out on top.


Q. Thoughts about past experiences of not holding the lead? Did that kind of come into your mind at any point in time during the round?

JOHN ROLLINS: You know, not really. If it did -- I would say after I bogeyed 15, I told myself -- I kind of kicked myself in the butt there when I bogeyed 15 and I only had a two-shot lead. I told myself: I'm not gonna let this tournament get away from me.

I feel like at the Buick this year, it was a tough course, but I felt I kind of let the golf tournament get away from me with a three-shot lead with five to play.

And when I made the silly bogey there after a great drive, I told myself: I'm not gonna let this tournament get away.

So I stepped up on 16, which can be an intimidating shot, even though it was only a pitching wedge today. It's no room for error. I hit a good shot, a pretty good putt, and then I hit two good shots on 17 and ended making birdie and just kind of brought it in.

So I'm proud of myself for doing that, but if there was a time, that was the time when I kind of really kicked myself and got going.

Q. I'm just wondering if you're expecting any gifts from Scott McCarron. I guess the fact that you're already eligible for the PGA, that got him in the PGA next week??

JOHN ROLLINS: I don't know. Maybe. Maybe I should ask him. I'll give him my address or whatever. He'd be happy to send me something.

But I didn't know that. Obviously we're unaware of these things out there. I'm just out trying to play a golf tournament, win a golf tournament. But I'm happy for him. I'm glad that I could help him out. Maybe when I see him next week I'll have to needle him a little bit and ask him where my gift is.

Q. Have him buy you dinner??

JOHN ROLLINS: A nice bottle of wine or something, who knows.

Q. You had talked yesterday about looking forward to playing with Ryan. How did that work out? Did it turn out to be a benefit or not?

JOHN ROLLINS: I think it was good. Ryan, he struggled a little bit. He kind of bounced around, made some birdies, made some bogeys. But we both were kind of -- neither one of us really had any good mojo going. We were just kind of -- I don't really know what you call it out there. We were just doing the best we could.

But Ryan and I are good friends and I think that helped a little bit with somewhat keeping me a little bit more relaxed. We chatted a little bit and had a good time out there the best we could.

And, I mean, fortunately enough, it was my day and my week.

THE MODERATOR: Along with the third PGA TOUR title today, you get 250 FedExCup points. Looks like you're going to move into the top 20. That's a good position to be in, and with just a couple more tournaments to go.

Are you aiming to get in the top five? Or is that something --

JOHN ROLLINS: Absolutely. We're out here to win, out here to play the best we can and finish as high as you can.

But it's a great jump to get there. We got a big week next week at the PGA, so a lot of points there. You never know what will happen. Hopefully I can continue the good play there and have a chance come Sunday afternoon on the back nine to host another trophy.

But it's exciting and I'm very pleased.

Q. John, you look ahead at maybe a possible Presidents Cup if you can continue to play like you're playing right now, and maybe sneak in Captain's Choice toward the end of regular list??

JOHN ROLLINS: Yeah, you know, I started the year, that was a goal of mine obviously. The last couple years I've been 11 and 12 with the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and I've been overlooked both times. So I would love to make a team dearly, whether it's a pick or whether you make it outright.

Granted, it's going to take a big week next week at the PGA for points or things like that to have any kind of chance. But I don't think that he's picking until after the first or second playoff event.

So it does give me a little bit of leeway to play well next week and then possibly play good in the first two playoff events to catch Captain Couples' eye. I'd love to play for him. I hope that my last couple weeks tied for eighth and now a victory he's kind of looking at it as possibly a guy that's getting hot and would feel that I'd be a good addition to the team.

Q. Obviously the first victory you get on TOUR is a big deal and I assume the next one. The way you did this one and sort of getting that monkey off your back, put that in perspective for us, make sense of this one??

JOHN ROLLINS: Anytime you win is great. Doesn't matter if it's one or 50 or I guess 60, however many Tiger has. It's always nice to win a golf tournament.

But I feel like the last few years -- I feel like I've let some tournaments get away. I've been close. I think I've had five or six second-place finishes or seven second-place finishes over the last three years or so.

So obviously I'm doing a lot of good things, but it's tough to win out here. It's hard to win any week, and when do you that, it's very satisfying.

And I'm very happy right now. It's really hard to put it in words. Like I said, it's my third win, does kind of have a little better feeling than the second win because it's like you just kind of keep validating yourself every time you get a win.

So I'm just looking forward to many more to come.

Q. You seem like a pretty focused, kind of even-keeled guy. Are you gonna let loose at all tonight??

JOHN ROLLINS: I don't know if I should say that in the media room. I don't want to get in trouble here. But I'm sure I will have a good time, yes. With my father, my caddie, we will I'm sure have a little bit of fun.

Again, we have an early flight, so I don't want to look too terrible on the plane right going to the PGA. But I'm sure everybody would understand when I got off the plane.

But, yes, there will be some fun tonight. I'm looking forward to it and it's been a long week, it's been a hard week, and it's time I just kind of let loose and have fun.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on your victory, John. We appreciate you coming in and all the best for the rest of the season.

JOHN ROLLINS: Thank you. I appreciate it.