Tom Pernice Jr. (Media Center)


By USGA
July 14, 2012

 

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everybody.  We are fortunate to have Tom Pernice, Jr., with us in the Media Center.  Tom posted 4 under on the day, and he is 6 under for the championship, just two back on the lead as it currently stands.  A solid round today, Tom.

Assess today's round for us, if you will.

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Obviously, I had a clean card until the three‑putt on 18.  So first and foremost, that kind of makes it nice.  Wasn't really in too much trouble today.  Didn't have a lot of issues, really, if you will.

Couple fortunate lies when I did miss the fairway, but worked out.  That's the main thing.  I didn't have any bogeys until 18.  So that makes life a little easier.

THE MODERATOR:  Size up the course for us, if you will.  Is it playing consistently from Thursday to Friday?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Yesterday afternoon it was baked out pretty good.  It wasn't quite as baked out today.  The wind picked up the last eight or nine holes and made it tricky enough.

Some of the pins are up close to the sides of the edges of the green, where if you short‑sight yourself, you've got no chance.  You have to be aware.

THE MODERATOR:  Why don't we open it up for questions.

Q.  Hi, Tom.  How far will be too far to catch Mr. Langer tomorrow?  I mean, what is it five down?  Do you have a thought on that?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  I haven't even looked at the scoreboard to see where he's at.  All I can do is try to control my golf ball and my score.

I know Bernhard is playing well, and he's probably going to go play good again.  I'll know that I need to go out and play good.  There's not a whole lot you can do here.  You have to be patient at certain times and take advantage if you can on the par 5s.

I haven't quite got the 15th hole.  I've forgot it in the fairways three days.  I'm 1 over there so that's been a little disappointing.  But you never know here.  You need to drive the ball on the fairway.  You start missing the fairways, it can be difficult.

I just feel like I have to go out and play a good round and see what happens.

Q.  What do you like about this golf course?  Why does it seem to fit your game a little bit?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  I like coming to Michigan, I guess, in summer.

Q.  You won down the road from here, didn't you?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Yeah, it was my first win.  So I play well here.

You just have to be pretty much aware of where the pins are on the greens and where to position your ball.  It sure helps to be on the fairways to be able to control your ball to put your ball in the right spot.

I like old style, traditional style golf courses.  So just that in itself, I think I really enjoyed the look of it.

Q.  There have been some hiccups on the back.  What's the key to getting around the back without any serious trouble, would you say?  Is it 12 or 13?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Well, 12's one of the most beautiful looking par 4s and difficult par 4s that you'll ever play.  You just have to stand up there and you have to hit a good tee shot.  Get a demanding long iron and mid‑iron in for your second shot in to a green that's got a lot of slope on it.  That's a great hole in itself.

Sixteen's a good hole.  You have to drive it up there on top.  Got a very narrow green to hit into.  17's a really tricky green, and they've had three brutal ones there so far.

And then 18, I mean, you've got the green there at 18 that's difficult and somewhat of an awkward tee shot.  So you've got some holes there that are a little bit different and challenge you.

Q.  Fred Couples was in here a little while ago and he said because it's Bernhard who's out in front, it changes his thinking because he doesn't think it's very likely that Bernhard is going to back up tomorrow.  Do you agree with that?  Because it's somebody that plays like him that you're going to have to be a little more aggressive to chase him down.

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Well, I just assume that ‑‑ Bernhard is a great player, and he's playing well, and you just would assume he's going to continue to play well.  It's a crazy game.

But like I said, I'm going to have to go out tomorrow and have a good day regardless one way or the other.  There's a lot of other people.  You got Freddy up there, you've got Pavin, you've got Funk.  I mean, besides Bernhard.

So I can't control all that.  I need to go out and try to play it, put my head down and play a good game tomorrow and see what happens.

Q.  Tom, if you do have to go out try to be a little bit aggressive, is this the kind of place you could really do that?

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Yeah.  Not every hole.  If you've got it on the fairway, you've got some iron shots to where you could try to put the ball in the right spots and give yourself some good putts.

There's a lot of holes where you can't hit it in there stiff all the time or try to.  You've got to position the ball and put the ball in the right spot to try to make some putts.  To shoot a good score, you're going to have to hole some putts at some point.  That's kind of what you have to do.

Q.  Conversely, with the slopes of the greens and so forth, is it real tough, even if he's 4, 5 ahead, if he puts himself in some bad spots, to try to hold his position too?

 TOM PERNICE, JR.:  We've all played a long time.  It's not the easiest place to be in the lead with a four‑ or five‑shot lead sometimes.  He's a great player and pretty methodical and can control his ball.  He's obviously playing well.

There ain't a lot I can do about that.  I just need to go out and try to play well again tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR:  Tom, thank you.  Nice charge today.

TOM PERNICE, JR.:  Thank you.  I appreciate it.


 

 

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