July 18, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Billy Joe, where was your head going into the round in terms of playing conservatively, and how did the thing unfold for you?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Well, I started the tournament week out knowing I was playing pretty well, hitting it well. It was just was the putter going to work. My goal was to get 25 points every day. And if you got to 25 points every day, I felt like you were going to be right there.
And we came into the day, me and my caddie. We talked about it last night, I told him I'm not straying from the game plan, I'm hitting the shots I always hit, the same club, the same everything. I'm going to go try to get 25 points.
And if I shoot 68, it will be really hard for anybody to catch me.
Q. So there wasn't a point either last night or today where you thought maybe I shouldn't hit the driver?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: No, not at all, because in this format, especially with a par 5, par 3 and a par 5 finish where somebody could get 28 points if they're lucky. I mean, just really lucky, incredibly lucky.
But it's still out there to be had. So I've got to go make a score. And I was a little disappointed on my putt on 16. I hit it too softly, had it read and just hit it too soft.
Q. You talked about how aggressive you came out. Pretty close on No. 1 going into the water and then you went over the green on 2. I guess that proves how you were going to come out and play today.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Yeah, I usually play it down the right-hand side on 1, and if I block it I'm okay over there by the No. 2 tee box.
But for some reason today I just felt like going more at the green. I got lucky that I didn't hit it as solidly as I do some of the other ones. And it stayed up. Had a shot there.
But then No. 2, you know, I hit a very good ball. Hit it too hard; it went over the back of the green. I love No. 2 up this week.
And the guys did a great job setting the pins because if you left it over there where I left it -- I mean, I drove it on the green all three days. And I played the hole 1-under. I had a tough -- I had tough putts both days the last two days, just got lucky yesterday that I hit it the right speed. But today -- just because I hit it over.
But there was never going to be any connect the dots kind of deal except with the putter.
Q. Can you talk a little bit, you said you dedicated your victory to your caddie?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Yeah, he went through some stuff last year with his dad. He was very sick. And I tried as hard as I could to get a win for him, and it just didn't work out. Then his dad passed away about a month later, a month after this tournament. And I just swore I'd come and try to get it for him this year.
Q. What's his dad's name and caddie's name?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Mr. Walsh. Mr. Walsh.
Q. Your caddie's name is?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Chip Walsh.
Q. What's the father's name?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Mister. (Laughter) I'm from Texas, what do you want from me (laughter).
Q. Take me through 18. Driver, what, to the green?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I hit a pretty good tee ball that I've been wanting to hit all the time there. Luckily the wind was blowing the way it was, helped blow it back to the center. I hit a very good ball. Had 128 to the flag and hit a sand wedge in that just worked out really nice.
JACK WAGNER: His tee ball -- he bombed the ball all week, but this ball I know he saved the drive. He started his ball over -- if you've been on 18 tee, to the right of those tall trees and it kind of rope hooked, like we can do that with a 6-iron around some trees or 7-iron. But he rope hooked it and it was the biggest drive I've ever seen on that hole without a doubt. You've never hit one there, have you?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I've hit a bunch --
JACK WAGNER: I'm sorry, he hits them all the time.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I've hit sand wedge in a bunch there, but never been 128 out. I've been 140, 138, right in that range, but never been inside that 130 mark. That was ridiculous. Hit that ball well.
Q. For you, Jack, when you got to the tee, you were hoping to have a shot. When did you feel like he's uncatchable?
JACK WAGNER: Probably No. 3. Because I got -- I birdied 2. I hit it in front of the green 2-putted. And 3 I had about a 5-footer but it was downhill, sliding to the right. I missed it. If you start birdie, birdie, then I get the next hole birdie, I actually could get off and have a little run, because Billy Joe, you know, he birdied 3 but he didn't birdie 1 or 2.
I just knew I had to come out 3-under on the first four holes. That was the only way. When I didn't, I missed a little putt on 4. I kind of like tried to hold it together. I certainly wasn't hoping for a wreck from Billy Joe. I knew he wasn't going to. He was playing too solid. It was more a match for second. That's how I played.
Q. Jack, can you talk about the advantage Billy Joe has just because of how strong he is out of the tee?
JACK WAGNER: You know, I don't remember -- the difference all week, Billy Joe has always hit it long. John hits it a mile. All these guys hit it a mile. But when you putt well, then there's a huge advantage.
If Billy Joe or John or these guys don't putt well, then there's no advantage at all. But he putted amazing. I don't think he missed one short putt. 10 yesterday you did a horseshoe. Otherwise, I don't think he missed a putt within six feet. I don't really think you did, did you?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I didn't miss anything inside of four feet for three days.
JACK WAGNER: That's really our Achilles heal. I'm sure John and Billy Joe will say, 4-footers around that area are really difficult because the greens are late blooming in the year and a lot of footprints around it. So we guide the putt instead of hit it firmly. So when somebody makes all their short putts, they've usually got a good chance of winning.
Q. Billy, anytime during the tournament when you come down to 17, all the distractions, do you block anything out because with all the excitement going on right from the waters and the people?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: No, I mean, 17's pretty easy for me because, I mean, today especially because I just came off of 16 still mad that I didn't hit that birdie putt. I left it -- hit it a little softer than I wanted to.
And I hit a good shot into 17. So it wasn't that big a deal. But like you are talking about, advantage, I'm hitting 8-iron, 9-iron in there and you can control it a little bit.
Q. John, what about you, when you come to 17? Any distraction on there with throwing the balls to everyone and you're really focused?
JOHN ELWAY: The way I played today, in the fact I almost missed my tee ball. Chunked it, but I was able to get up-and-down from the front of the bunker. But that's what makes this tournament fun, is to get on 17 and see everybody having a good time.
You know when you get there, you know you're getting to the Animal House.
Q. Jack, anything on the 17 when you're coming down?
JACK WAGNER: You look at 17, if you play this golf course outside of the tournament, and the green's like a football field. It's a massive green.
But I'll tell you what, we probably don't hit the green or hit it close more than 50% of the time or hit it close anyway. It's usually about an 8-iron or a 9-iron for most of us, whatever it is.
But that atmosphere around there, I just don't think you capture that anywhere on the PGA TOUR where you can yell and scream. It's 17 at Phoenix. So it's very unique in that regard, and I think that's part of this tournament. It's just a very unique tournament.
Q. Billy Joe, Team Tolliver bring you more luck today, and are you going to bring them back next year?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Let me tell you something, I'm going to have to get a bus to take them home now. Now they're part of the family.
Q. John, somewhere around the 9th hole, the turn, you got within nine points. Were you looking -- did you think you had a shot?
JOHN ELWAY: You know what, I was just trying to play the best golf I could. I think so many times -- I guess one thing I've learned over time is the fact you can't make too many things happen out here. I was just trying to make good swings and trying to make good putts. I know Billy was way out there. I was trying to make every second shot I could, every pin.
And so I played as well as I could play, and I knew he was going to be tough to catch because he wasn't going to back up, as well as he's been playing. So it would have taken -- we were thinking on 16, 230 to the pin. So I was thinking -- I was talking to Tony about it. We needed a double eagle and maybe an eagle, hole in 1 on 17 and eagle on 18. So with that he was still in reach. So we kept that in our minds.
Q. Billy Joe, I was talking to Conrad, Conrad Buchanan, and he said you purposely throw long drive competitions because you're afraid of getting a reputation around here as being the long driver. Is that true?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Well, no. I mean, I can't --
JOHN ELWAY: If there was money involved, he would have been in it.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Put some Jack in there, baby. I'm going.
Q. Have you purposely thrown a long drive competition?
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: No. I've not hit some in play before, I guess. I don't know. I'm pretty long, though.
Q. John, any gentleman's agreement here, because, Jack, you're the pro. The rest of your ties for second are amateurs. I don't know if they're going to let you get out of here with second place money.
JACK WAGNER: We've got ten guys tied for second, I think. Don't you give your money to charity, John?
JOHN ELWAY: Yes.
JACK WAGNER: I think Tony and John actually take the money and then they donate it.
JOHN ELWAY: I'm giving it to you.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I like that. (Laughter).
Q. John, when Jack was here on Friday, I guess it was, we asked him about joining the Senior Tour going to Q-School. Now that you're 50, any thoughts along that line for you?
JOHN ELWAY: You know what, I think we get in these situations and we think we have a chance to play with those guys. But then I think once you start playing with those guys on the Senior Tour, you start really realizing how good they really are.
And I think that would be a great thrill for us to do that because we love playing in these competitive situations.
But I don't lose sight of the fact when I play with those guys and realize how good they are, then that's when I say, you know, if I have a sponsor's exemption, maybe I'd give it a shot. But it's so difficult to get in those because it's a thrill to play in it. But I think we'd have to be much better players to play in it.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I would give you a sponsor's exemption if I was in charge of the Seniors Tour.
Q. Have you talked to Rick Rhoden about being on the Tour?
JOHN ELWAY: I haven't. But Rick has been very successful here and been on the Senior Tours in times. When you look at a guy that's won it as many times as Rick and Billy's right there behind him, and Jack's won it a couple times, too. I think those guys are so good.
The way it's set up, it's very difficult, if you're not on the regular tour, to get into that situation.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: Hardest tour to get on.
JACK WAGNER: I talked to Rick about it. Rick won Q-School, I think last year or the year before, and just couldn't find any spots. You've got so many guys turning 50 and gobble up those spots. There's no room for guys that go to Q-School. Maybe a few. So I know Rick only got into a few tournaments. Like John and Billy Joe said, it's the toughest tour to play on.
BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: As far as my career on the Senior Tour, I can't beat David Toms now. How am I going to beat him when we're both 50? I'll talk to you all later about that.
JOHN ELWAY: You've got a ways to go to 50.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you all.
End of FastScripts