July 11, 2013
Flash interview with:
MODERATOR: Next up, 3 under, 67, co leader, Kenny Perry.
Q. I'm sure you like where you're at, 3 under.
KENNY PERRY: Very, very happy with the round. I said yesterday in the Media Center, if I drove the ball well, I'd play well today. I only missed a couple fairways. Had a lot of great opportunities out there today. Took advantage of the par 5s. It was a very fun day of golf.
This is a very difficult golf course if you're off. If you hit it in this rough, it's very penal, you're not going to do much with it. But if you can get it in the fairway, you got opportunities to make birdies out here. I was able to make five birdies today, made two bogeys.
So all in all, great start. Very happy with it.
Q. Are the greens softer than what you guys might have expected?
KENNY PERRY: Well, we kind of understand that with 100 degree heat index and all that from Tuesday. Monday, Tuesday was tough. It broke a little yesterday and today. Didn't have as much humidity. They'll still going to have to syringe them, water them. They're pretty soft and spongy in places.
Most USGA Opens, you think of rock hard, very firm, very fast. We're not going to get those conditions this week.
Q. You mentioned yesterday about the hills, whether you could handle them. You obviously handled them today. Satisfied with how you played the hills?
KENNY PERRY: I played nicely. My left knee is what I'm struggling with. I had surgery on it in February. You walk up to the tee box, and then it's the 100 yard downhill descent down to the fairway on every hole that really hurts.
But it was okay. I got around fine. And it actually seemed better today than it did on Tuesday and seems to have gotten a little better each day. So I'm all right. I think, if I can just keep playing the way I'm playing, I look forward to it.
Q. Is that something that you have to monitor on just a day by day basis?
KENNY PERRY: Well, I had surgery, so I'm still kind of recovering from the surgery. I had a cortisone shot put in it a month ago to help me out and alleviate some of the pain. But I'm walking a lot better. I could hit a golf ball fine. It didn't hurt me to hit, but it hurt me to walk. It was the pounding.
But it's better. Once I got that cortisone shot, that helped me more than anything.
Q. Do you feel like you're at a Major golf tournament? Could you tell from the crowd?
KENNY PERRY: I feel like I'm at a PGA event. I really do. The crowds are outstanding. Had a lot of people rooting for me out there. I really felt like I was back on the PGA Tour than on the Champions Tour. It was exciting. They've done a great job getting people out here this week.
Q. What stretch do you think will be the most challenging on this course throughout the weekend?
KENNY PERRY: Well, I mean, the front nine is not as hilly as the back. I drove it on 13. I took a driver and drove it in the middle of the green on 13. 14 is a par 5. You can knock it on in two. There's two risk/reward holes you can go one way or the other real fast.
18 is very long, very difficult. 8 is a very long, very difficult hole. 9 is extremely uphill.
It's a pretty diverse kind of golf course. You've got a little bit of everything out there. You've got short. You've got length. You've got a lot of elevation that you're really having to deal with trying to get your yardages and your downhill falls and your uphills.
So you really need a lot of local knowledge. I wish I had more rounds under my belt here this week than the two practice rounds I got.
Great start. I learned a lot today out there. That 10th hole is a hard hole. I had to start on it this morning at 8:20. I don't know how to play that hole. I really don't. I tried to hit an iron down the middle, keeping it short of the creek. I ended up hitting in the left rough. I had to chip on up.
I may hit driver there tomorrow, see if I can get a little more aggressive and try to challenge the creek and get over it. That green was not designed for a 5 iron off a downhill lie up the hill. It's more designed for a 7, 8, 9 iron, the way it's designed.
I may try that. We'll see. That's just a difficult hole. Everybody is going to have trouble on that hole this week.
Q. Thank you.
KENNY PERRY: You got it.
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