What they said: Ken Duke

February 09, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: Welcome our current leader Ken Duke to the media center here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro?Am. Ken Duke, 28 on the back, a new record here at Pebble Beach. Get it started on what maybe kick started your round and kept rolling?

KEN DUKE: Well, you have to score on the front nine, I think, and I was upset at myself that I didn't score on the front. The two par?5s you can get home in two, and I hit two or three good putts that just didn't go. But my caddie said just be patient and take what the course gives you.

This might be?? I know this is the first time I've been here in the five times that I've been here that the weather was like this. When the weather's like this, you really have to take advantage of the golf course and the conditions. But I just kind of hit it close the whole back nine, and dunked the one on 16, which, when it's going good like that, things like that happen. When it's going bad, it's not. That's the way it is.

THE MODERATOR: And you were just saying down there that playing with amateurs when you're in the actual competition doesn't really bother you. Can you talk about that??

KEN DUKE: Yeah, I enjoy that. I always play in he Hope and I always play here. I always play in all of the tournaments even i the Nationwide and on the PGA TOUR that they have amateurs. I enjoy it. I enjoy meeting people and the camaraderie back and forth and helping guys. It's just fun. It's a fun time. It's relaxing. You're not so serious all the time, and I think that's what really helps.

Q. The three courses here, how do you attack that? Do you attack that any differently?

KEN DUKE: It's tough. I mean, it's tough because you're playing so many tournaments beforehand. But I've played here before. I've played Spy Glass, and just haven't played Monterey before but we had a couple of practice rounds on it.

You just have to take what each course gives you each day and see what happens. You just never know. Someone said this is the easiest course or this is the hardest course. There is no such thing in my book, I think. You just have to keep plugging along and take what each one gives you.

Q. Talk about one of the most unusual rounds ever shot at Pebble Beach. To play the front nine at even par, and the back nine a course record 28, that is a course record on the back nine. Could you run through your birdies and then your eagle at 16??

KEN DUKE: I made a bogey on 6, but I hit it a foot on 7, so I birdied 7, which is always great. Made about a 15?foot birdie on 10. Then hit it probably about six foot on 12, made it. Hit the pin on 13 and came back about six, seven feet, made that. Then made about a 15, 16?footer on 14. Same thing on 15, probably about a 12?footer, something like that, then the eagle on 16 and about a 12?or?so footer on the last.

But it just seemed like I was playing, and my putts were in the right spot. I could be aggressive with them. I could attack them instead of playing defensive.

Q. (No microphone).

KEN DUKE: Yeah, you can get it off.

Q. Talk about playing when the weather's always good. When was the last time you were here??

KEN DUKE: 2009, I was here last. It's always just rainy and spongy and wet. When I got here on Monday, and some of the greens were so firm and the wedges were bouncing, I'd never played it like that. I remember playing in the Open in the summertime it's been firm and fast. But I've never been here this time of the year that it's been this firm.

Q. How do you explain your play??

KEN DUKE: I've been playing okay. I've been just kind of hitting and getting it around, getting some good shots and some bad shots, making a few birdies, a few bogies. Sometimes that leads up to a round like this. You just have to keep doing what you're doing. The next thing you know, you have a round like this.

It's kind of what happened the year last year on Nationwide. I played three pretty good tournaments and not really anything good. The last one it all came together and I won. That's the biggest thing out here. You just have to be patient and take what the course gives you each week.

Q. Can you just talk about playing Nationwide and this TOUR??

KEN DUKE: I'm on the TOUR this year. I played the Nationwide the last two years and then the PGA TOUR the three years before that. So I'm just glad to get back out this year.

Q. Second time around, do you have any different thoughts after having to go back to the Nationwide??

KEN DUKE: I just changed a lot in my personal life and my workout. I started working out, and lost a lot of weight and got stronger that way. Everyone's doing it, and I don't know why I didn't do it earlier.

It's one of those things that you have to just make a commitment and do it, and I've just gotten better on things around the golf course. Just trying to be patient and trying not to force everything instead of just letting it come to you.

I think that's the biggest thing in my book that I need to work on, because you know you've got a couple of par?5s that are easy, and here you are counting on birdie and next thing you know you make a bogey. So you just have to be patient as you go along, and I'm really working hard on that. And my caddie, Chris, is helping as well.

Q. You've already had a good round going. What were your thoughts after you made the eagle on 16??

KEN DUKE: It's just excited. I still know I have two holes left. They're not hard holes, but they could bite you if you're looking ahead to finish. I hit a good shot on 17 as well and almost made it. I played 18 with a 3?wood, so just really trying to stay calm.

It's always great to have a good one going like that, but you have to stay in the moment. If you don't, it will get you.

Q. Talk about having the course record??

KEN DUKE: It's just special to be here at Pebble, period. To have any kind of record, records are made to be broken, but it's just great to be here at Pebble.