February 6, 2019
JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Darius Rucker and Kenny Perry to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Kenny, we'll start with you. Making your 18th start at this event. Your best finish was a runner-up in 1990 to Mark O'Meara. A lot of people lost to Mark O'Meara at this event. But if we can get your comments on being back this week.
KENNY PERRY: Well, it's always an honor to come here and play, to get to play Pebble Beach. When I first started we got to play Cypress Point. When you had Cypress in the mix with Pebble and Spyglass it was an incredible tournament. And nothing against Monterey Peninsula, I like it there too. But I didn't realize I had played 18 of these, so it's pretty interesting, just means I'm old. But I look forward to the challenge. I got a good friend with Darius here, who I get to play with for the next three days. I'm looking forward to that.
DARIUS RUCKER: Four days.
KENNY PERRY: Oh.
(Laughter.) You know what? I've been playing out here on this TOUR and I haven't got to the weekend yet, so.
KENNY PERRY: I'm sorry, so maybe you can make a change this week. You're going to have to play hard.
DARIUS RUCKER: There you go.
KENNY PERRY: But it's just a beautiful venue. Being in the celebrity rotation is always a treat. I know my wife's going to like it. She's going to get a lot of autographs. So we're going to have fun and hopefully I can bring back some magic.
JOHN BUSH: Darius, go ahead and get your comments on playing with Kenny this week.
DARIUS RUCKER: Well, getting to play with Kenny, I have known Kenny a long time. We're pretty good friends. And he's just such a fun guy to be around. I can't wait for this week. And for me getting to play Pebble, I'm just I said earlier, I'm just some kid from South Carolina that got lucky and I get to come here and play AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am every year. And finally got to, finally made the cut last year, because Bill Murray threatened that if I didn't make the cut last year he was going to officially say I was the new Jack Lemmon, so I finally made the cut last year. And every time I walk out on Pebble Beach I can't believe that I'm getting to play this tournament. It means a lot to be here and I love it.
JOHN BUSH: Darius, in concjunction with our Live Under Par campaign we're happy to announce that you are the PGA TOUR's first official brand ambassador. I know that means a lot to you, just in terms of how much you love this game and how much you want to grow the game.
DARIUS RUCKER: Oh, yeah, I love, golf is my only real hobby outside of my music and family. It's the only thing I do. And I watch so much PGA TOUR golf and to be asked to be the first official brand ambassador and try to take golf to people that aren't your regular, normal golf fans. And the Live Under Par is such a great, it's such a great slogan. And I mean I can't thank the PGA TOUR enough. This is amazing. And to announce it here at Pebble, I mean, wow.
JOHN BUSH: Enough said. We'll open it up to questions.
Q. Kenny, given how long you've been coming to this place and obviously the scenery and the setting is a lot of it, but I'm curious with the U.S. Open coming here in June how much the history of this course and the guys who won the Majors here Nicklaus, Watson, Tiger, how much of that sort of feeds into the lore and reputation of Pebble, beyond the course itself?
KENNY PERRY: Well, to me, it's like trying to win at the old course there, to win the British Open. That's how I kind of see Pebble Beach. When you get an opportunity to win a Major coming down the stretch and trying to par or birdie the last hole to win an Open here at Pebble Beach, it's an incredible golf course with the history and the men that have their names on that trophy, it just elevates this event more than, to me, more than the other ones. I saw some of those tee boxes where they're going to play The Open and I'm kind of glad I'm sliding back over to the old man's TOUR. I just remember when Tom Kite won here and the wind was, I was playing that year and the wind was blowing a hundred million miles an hour and the greens were firm and it was quite a test. And then I've seen Tiger win here by millions on Pebble. So it's just a great golf course. Pebble is one of my favorites. The scenery, it is phenomenal, those holes along the ocean. It is just, it is probably the elite golf course that we have out here on the PGA TOUR.
Q. For both of you, if you could just recall the first time you actually saw Pebble Beach and played it and what were the circumstances, just your recollections?
DARIUS RUCKER: For me it was 1996 or '97 I came to the tournament for the first time and it was, it was, I was just without words. The first, when I played the first practice round on Pebble Beach, I couldn't believe -- I mean, TV just didn't do it justice. It's just a wonderful place and it's one of those places you walk in on hallowed ground. You're walking the place where all the greats have walked and not just that, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world when you really look at it. So I love -- I remember my first time vividly. I didn't make the cut.
KENNY PERRY: My first time here was 1987. That was, it was either my first or second TOUR event when I -- I got my card in the fall of '86, so I can't exactly remember. It was either one of my first, second or third event on the PGA TOUR in my career. I'll never forget on one of the holes that, I hit it in the gallery and the gallery made, they make the line, they kind of and it's a real tight shot, and I'm thinking, well, if I skull this or shank it I'm getting ready to take somebody out. No, I was really nervous. I just remember how nervous I was and how playing it, because it was one of my very first events.
Q. For Darius. When you see some of the best players in the world getting caught in these reconstituted rules snafus, does it make you at all more nervous to be on this stage like, oh, I hope I do everything right and don't end up on the wrong side of one of these rulings?
DARIUS RUCKER: Oh, absolutely. Before they changed all the rules you came to Pebble and as an amateur you thought to yourself, I just want to stay out of the way. I want to stay out of the way of my pro and have a good time. Now you're scared that somebody's going to come call a rules violation on you with something that you don't know about anything. But, yeah it makes it a little bit more nerve wracking, but he won't let me do anything stupid, so I'll be all right.
KENNY PERRY: Just call an official, it's pretty easy.
DARIUS RUCKER: Exactly.
Q. (No Microphone.)
KENNY PERRY: It was my very first tournament. I knew it was first or second. I knew I was nervous.
Q. The Bill Murray interaction last year was really funny, but he said you had to get it up-and-down to make the cut, you chipped it 20 feet by you missed a comebacker. You made the cut by two strokes, you avoided the 11-5 playoff or whatever. But what is it like out there with the antics back and forth and where is the line and what's the funniest thing you've experienced out here?
DARIUS RUCKER: Oh, when you play with Bill, there is no line. I mean, I love it, we had a blast last year. I think him being who he is took a lot of pressure off me and I was just going out there and playing my game. Probably the funniest thing that he's ever happened out here, a few years ago I was playing the Celebrity Shoot-Out and I was walking up to go hit my tee ball and people kept asking me, what are you nervous about, what are you nervous about, and I kept saying, I'm really nervous about pulling the ball left because the whole gallery right there on No. 1. So of course we get up there and I hosel it left and I mean it was dead silence as the ball went about a foot over everybody's head and then it hit the back fence and everybody started laughing. And so we went ahead and we finished the hole and the next I'm playing with Furyk and then he hears about this and when we show up at Pebble for our rotation he has brought 300 hard hats and everybody on the gallery had a hard hat on. And I thought that was hilarious, yeah. That's the funniest thing I've seen.
Q. Curious, you guys are obviously playing golf together but have you ever sang a song together?
DARIUS RUCKER: I don't think Kenny's a very good singer.
KENNY PERRY: No, no, I'm not going in that direction.
KENNY PERRY: I stick to my day job.
DARIUS RUCKER: Exactly. Exactly.
JOHN BUSH: All right Darius, Kenny, thank you for your time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports