What they said: Tom Gillis

February 10, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am transcript archive NELSON SILVERIO: We'd like to welcome Tom Gillis here to the media center at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Good start with a 67. Get us started with general thoughts on the round.

TOM GILLIS: Yeah, I mean, it's firm. The greens are firm and really fast. I've never seen it like this this time of year.

So I started out with double bogey there on 11. I thought, Wow, this is going to be a long, uphill battle.

Got a little bit of momentum going there on 13, 14, and 15. Just hung tough. I was patient and didn't try hit it -- just tried to keep it below the hole most of the day.

Birdied 3.

Made about a 20-footer and made a good up and down on 4. Those are things that keep it going.

Missed a little one on 5 about six, seven feet.

6, par-5, I made about a two-footer for birdie; same thing on 7. It was a short par-3, and hit a sand wedge about two feet.

Then on 8 I got a good kick off the right bunker. Kicked it over by the flag about two feet away.

So that kind of -- yeah, other than the double bogey it was pretty flawless. Probably could have been something a little bit better.

NELSON SILVERIO: Was it one of those things where you could erase the double bogey and start fresh after that?

TOM GILLIS: I knew it was going to be tough. I played yesterday, and I just thought, These greens are so firm and fast, I mean, they're going to have to be careful. If you get a 10-mile-per-hour wind out here, you got some issues.

It's in good shape. Don't get me wrong, it's fun. But we're pushing the envelope, especially with the amateurs, because they can't hold any greens.

You know, if you get above the hole, you could putt it right off the greens. We're not used to seeing it this way. I didn't play here in June. I'm sure it was very similar.

Like I said, I'm glad the weather is nice and it's not blowing 20, or we would have a real issue.

NELSON SILVERIO: How about just some thoughts on your year so far coming into this week.

TOM GILLIS: Yeah, I think this is -- I don't know if it's my fourth event maybe. Yeah, I mean, I'm about right where I was last year at this time, maybe a little ahead of where I was.

I like the west coast. Some players don't. I've always liked to come out here and play. It's one of my favorite parts of the year.

It's a great golf course to be playing not only here, but Torrey Pines, Riviera, they're exceptional. I look forward to it.

I would say I obviously thought maybe we would have a little bit better chance to win by now, four, five weeks in. Last week we had a good first round and lost momentum after the break that we had.

And, you know, here we are again. Put ourselves in good position at the beginning of the tournament and never know. Keep knocking on the door and maybe something will happen.


Q. I was going to ask you about last week. The stop that you had not playing at all on Friday that kind of stopped your momentum or just the stop and starting...

TOM GILLIS: Yeah, I think there's a little bit of that possibly. But I just didn't really putt good the first round. I hit the ball close to the hole. As the week wore on, I had a little flaw going on in my stroke that we figured out this week when I got here.

It just wasn't allowing me to start the ball on the intend line. No matter how good I was hitting it in the last week, I couldn't make putts. That just turned into frustration. You know, I think the first round I was first off with Chris Riley and Blake Adams. All three of us played fast.

When you can get into a flow like that, it can hide some of the things you got going on because you get into what I call a flow state or rhythm or zone and things just flow.

As you slow down or take a day off when maybe things aren't where they should be from a mechanical standpoint, they start to show up more. I think that's what happened.

Q. There are a lot of amateurs out there. How do you think that affected your game? Obviously you played extremely well. Do you enjoy this type of event?

TOM GILLIS: Yeah, this is my third one. I think you just get used to it. We were first off No. 10 this morning. We moved great, so that was beautiful.

It's a lot easier to deal with it when it's sunny and 65 degrees. A lot easier to deal with. If it's raining or 50, it's harder to deal with that slow play.

But, you know, like I said, with the texture of the surfaces on all the golf courses right now - because we haven't had any rain - it's going to slow play down. We sped it up when we got away from Poppy and went over to MPCC. It was great last year.

But, yeah, I mean, it's going to be difficult. I think as the week wears on you'll see the scores, and I don't think they'll be as good as it was the last couple years.

Q. You were first off today. Did the playing conditions get a little bit more difficult as the day went on??

TOM GILLIS: The wind picked up a little bit, but didn't blow like -- I played a practice round yesterday and it blew pretty hard. It was really difficult yesterday.

I thought, Wow if it does this, it's going to be difficult. But, you know, didn't really start going until I had four or five holes left to go. I don't think it's supposed to blow more than five to ten today anyhow.

It didn't change a whole lot. It was actually pretty consistent from the front nine to the back nine. Maybe a club away and that's about it.


TOM GILLIS: All right lunchtime.