ASAP Sports Logo

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP

July 15, 2011

Chris Chandler Jeremy Roenick Jack Wagner

STATELINE, NEVADA

THE MODERATOR: We have leader Jack Wagner and second place right now, Jeremy Roenick.
Jeremy, since Jack's working over that sushi, why don't you take us through your rounds, give us the highlights and the no low lights and what you're thinking.
JEREMY ROENICK: I can honestly tell you today's round was the most mentally challenging round I've had here, that I've ever played here.
I've been in front here after one day here the last couple of years, but today was more of a mental grind. I don't know what Jack's going to say, but I think they set up the course as tough pin-wise especially on the front nine that I've seen on the first day.
They had a lot of holes that were on slopes. They had a lot of holes that were very difficult to get to. If you didn't put the ball in the right place you would struggle to 2-putt, and I made a lot of good pars and a couple of good birdies, and I missed a couple of good opportunities for birdies.
But all in all it was a grind and mentally probably one of the most satisfying rounds I've ever played, mentally.
THE MODERATOR: How many birdies today, Jeremy?
JEREMY ROENICK: I think I had three or four birdies and an eagle and two bogeys and a double. So it was an up-and-down day for me. But I struck the ball really solid and putted the ball really well.
So the fact that I got 24 points, to me it's a huge accomplishment. And I think Jack's going to say the same thing. I think it was tough out there. It was not an easy day today.
THE MODERATOR: So is this, quote/unquote, retirement helping you out you think as far as your golf game is concerned?
JEREMY ROENICK: No, it's not.
THE MODERATOR: Lost a few pounds?
JEREMY ROENICK: No. I've actually gained a few pounds. Unfortunately my poundage is not helping me hit the ball further, but it's making it a little more difficult to walk around the golf course. But it's hanging in there okay. (Laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Jack, why don't you take us through your round and let us know what was going on out there. Great round, 29 points, I think that's only one off the opening round Stableford record of 30 that Rhoden had a few years back.
JACK WAGNER: It's interesting, we start off 1 and 2 and 9 and 10 are different. I started on 1 today. And usually those holes, as you move into the back nine, you know you kind of want to get through those holes. Water everywhere on those holes.
I birdied them today. I've never birdied 10 and 11, now 1 and 2, and I birdied them from 15 and 20 feet. I made a couple of putts early. And when you can make a few putts in this tournament, it can build your confidence for the whole day.
And I also missed a couple of short putts, but, you know, I just kind of gutted through that. I think Jeremy and all the other players will attest, we don't play enough competitive golf to actually have the confidence you need around the greens.
So if you can make a few putts, you can -- I had seven birdies today and the bogeys I had was one mental error. I missed a 3-footer, and that's what happened. I missed a couple of short putts and those were the bogeys.
I just -- I played with Billy Joe and Rick Rhoden, and you know the thing about this tournament is they didn't play really great, but they can have 30 points tomorrow. And I think that was in the back of their mind.
And I had my shot today. So to get a good round under your belt, Jeremy got a good round under his belt, tomorrow you can maybe like free up a little bit and keep it going, because we gotta keep it going. We gotta keep going low.
THE MODERATOR: You won it five years ago. You thinking repeat here or five-year repeat or what?
JACK WAGNER: Guys like Jeremy, they always say -- everybody always asks: How can you compete with these athletes? You're the only nonathlete that has won. And I say I do the elliptical. (Laughter) What's so funny? Want to see these guns, huh?
THE MODERATOR: We have Chris Chandler coming in. Thank you for joining us. Chris Chandler.
JACK WAGNER: I think I answered that question. It's kind of patience and tolerance around here, and I didn't come here to lose, and I don't think anybody else did.
I think that if you can be patient enough and hit a few good shots and make a couple of putts you can shoot a low score.
THE MODERATOR: Chris, why don't you take us through your round. I believe you're tied for second right now.
CHRIS CHANDLER: It was really solid all day, hitting the ball. I think everybody can say they had a couple of four-, five-footers that kind of wobbled on them and didn't go in the hole. But for the most part I hit the ball real solid.
Like Jack said, you do that, you make a few putts, you can score pretty well.
THE MODERATOR: How many birdies did you have today?
CHRIS CHANDLER: I had five.
THE MODERATOR: You started on No. 10 today?
CHRIS CHANDLER: Old No. 1, which is now 10.
THE MODERATOR: How did that work out for you guys as far as the flip? Jack, you were talking about it earlier. 10 and 11, with the water on them, especially 10 with that pond out in front, I don't know if there's more --
CHRIS CHANDLER: I think it's kind of neat that 11th hole now, you take a big whack at it or you lay up with something really short.
I'm going to hit driver and go for it. So I'll see if I can do what I did today.
THE MODERATOR: That was the next question. How did you guys play the new No. 11 today?
CHRIS CHANDLER: Hit driver just in the right rough and chipped it, just about went in, had a little two-footer for birdie. Hopefully it's that way every day.
JACK WAGNER: I hit a nice drive, 2-putted, knocked into the middle of the green, kind of left it on the lip.
JEREMY ROENICK: I said to my caddie: Whatever you do, do not give me driver. Just give 3-wood, just let me lay it up and hit a nice little soft shot in there.
CHRIS CHANDLER: 3-wood?
JEREMY ROENICK: Almost on the green with a 3-wood. But it was pretty much a layup. In my mind it was a layup. Mentally it was a layup. But my short game was good enough to where I'll take my chances with a 3-wood rather than struggle with the driver trying to get there.
THE MODERATOR: So let's talk real quick, Jeremy, you've been in the hunt in this event a few times. Is this the year that you think you can win it?
JEREMY ROENICK: I don't know. I gotta to try to get into Jack's head a little bit tomorrow let him know that the athletes are coming after his ass a little bit, make sure he understands that.
JACK WAGNER: I'll kill them with my outfit, because it's about what you wear, dudes.
JEREMY ROENICK: He's a mental grinder. He'll grind me mentally. But hopefully physically maybe we'll roll around in the sand a little bit tomorrow.
I hope so. I'm fortunate to be in this position today, for sure. I mean, I didn't hit the ball as good as I wanted to, but I battled hard mentally. And I think what Jack said was really true.
Now that we're in this position, we can come out tomorrow and not take it easy, but have a little bit more of a sense of relaxation and just play the game.
And for me that's one of my best qualities is when I'm in the hunt and not trying to grab it from way back in the pack. And I'm in a good position.
THE MODERATOR: Billy Joe mentioned the other day in here that you are now coachable. Do you think that might help?
JEREMY ROENICK: I'm definitely coachable. And this goes way back to a lot of stuff in my life and my career, and you can ask my wife right now: I'm extremely coachable, there's no question about that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Jack, you mentioned the idea of being the only non-professional athlete to win. You have a lot of fun with that. But did it change at all though when you did win? Do you have a certain different level of respect, for lack of a better word?
JACK WAGNER: You mean with the other players? You know, this is the great part of this event. We've kicked it around together for 20 some years now.
I think that these guys kind of like that they've got a little pipsqueak actor that they can --
CHRIS CHANDLER: Didn't you play an athlete once?
JACK WAGNER: I played one. And I told Jeremy I do the elliptical. (Laughter).
So it's good, because you have to have somebody that's a little different that can actually hit it kind of out there with them. I'm not near as far.
By the way, that's one of the great things about this event, to see guys like this hit the golf ball, because they hit it like Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson; they actually are that explosive. It's awesome.
CHRIS CHANDLER: I'm old now, Jack. It's not going quite that far anymore.
JACK WAGNER: I don't know, dude, I played with you when you won. It was ridiculous. And Jeremy has an amazing great. If he keeps his mental game together, he's probably the favorite. He's the toughest to beat out here.
So back to your question, yeah, I'm the favorite. (Laughter).

Q. Does it make a difference who you're paired with tomorrow? Jeremy mentioned that you want to try to come out tomorrow and be relaxed and try and just not push the issue, not force the issue. If you come out tomorrow and you get paired with a guy who maybe you're not comfortable with, or I shouldn't say maybe not comfortable with, but maybe he's not throwing the club the same way you guys are right now?
CHRIS CHANDLER: I think it's being familiar with guys. I've played a bunch of times with Jack. I played a bunch with Jeremy. I always have a good time. I always have fun. It's just knowing the guy and kind of being familiar with playing with them. And I think that's what's kind of fun about tomorrow is going to be.
JEREMY ROENICK: I'll attest to that, because last three years I played with Brett Hull in the first round every single year, and every single year it's been about 25, 26, 24 points. It's the comfort level. I played with Jack many times, even away from the golf course, we played at Belair many times.
I've been trying to call C.C. here many times but he won't return my calls back to play golf with him in San Diego. But we have played a lot together. So the fact of the friendships -- and the friendships that are here makes it a lot different.
There's no question -- what Jack says, there's been a bunch of guys here who have been here many years. And I think those guys are the comfort level. There's a lot of new guys here.
And nothing against Tony Romo, but if I was playing with Tony Romo tomorrow I wouldn't feel as comfortable as if I was playing with one of these guys.
JACK WAGNER: It's a sensitive issue, because you have to know when a guy has a bad hole, leave him alone. I, on the other hand, will be coming up and asking them about their families. Jeremy, how is the jail time you're facing? How is that looking for you? Okay. So that's how it rolls. That's how we roll. When a guy hits it out of bounds you go: Hey, how are the kids?

Q. If you look at the leaderboard and take a look at who is behind you, who do you have to worry about tomorrow coming up from somewhere maybe eight, 10 points back that you think could put a good round together that maybe just didn't hit some putts today?
JEREMY ROENICK: Well, there's a lot of guys. But when you look at the guys like Rhoden, he's at 18, 19, he can throw up 30.
Look at guys like Smoltz, he can throw up a big number and come back at you.
There's a lot of guys that are like right there that -- Mike Modano. Mike Modano is another -- he's maybe two birdie putts away from being right with us.
There's a lot of guys that can throw up some big-time numbers that I think we all have to look out for. But to tell you the truth, I don't really care about them.
The fact I'm sitting up with these two guys and I might be on the tee box with them tomorrow, I don't give a shit who is behind me.
JACK WAGNER: Jeremy is going to get to his room and go "whee."
JEREMY ROENICK: I've already done that. Trust me. Trust me, I'll do the best Geico commercial impression you've ever seen. Trust me.

Q. Jack, who is caddying for you? I remember when you won, there was some unscripted emotion that came out of you when you did win.
JACK WAGNER: I had an amazing year that year. My son, Peter, caddied for me. He's since discovered girls and has fired me.
So I actually have a friend of mine who has been a buddy for about 20, 25 years, David Berganio, Jr., he's on the PGA TOUR.
David's been on medical for three or four years. We play together every now and then. We hit balls together. Couple weeks ago he just brought this up. We were pounding balls together. And I said usually a high school buddy of mine caddies for me. So he I'll said, well, loop if you want.
So I immediately called my friend and said you're out. But he's just a friend that kind of -- actually, we had to say yesterday in the Pro-Am round, I had to say, dude, I can't have any more instructions. I'm getting messed up.
CHRIS CHANDLER: Overload?
JACK WAGNER: Overload. He helps me read putts. I've never had anybody help me up here. And the putting, especially, just says pick your line and roll it, man.
So it's nice having David on the bag. And we go way back. And I actually helped him get into the University of Arizona. I called the golf coach because I'm a graduate down there, and he became an All-American, and has been on TOUR for years?

Q. Yesterday we had a couple of pitchers and a quarterback in here, and they were talking about how all the talented golfers are either/or. I'm looking at this leaderboard right now and three of the top five places are hockey players. Come on.
JEREMY ROENICK: If you look at the finals of the top 10 last year in the tournament, I think we had five, maybe six hockey players in the top 10 last year.
So hockey players make good golfers. We have strong forearms. We have good hands. We have big asses and we just hit the ball as far as we possibly can hit it. The seasons match up really well, just like football players.
But, no, hockey players, they have good eye-hand coordination. There's not too much better eye-hand coordination than quarterbacks. I don't know where Jack gets his from. He's a freak of nature, man. It's that actor aspect of him. I've played with him many times. He's frustrated me to all ends.
But hopefully we can have some fun together this weekend and continue our friendship, because I think that's what the whole thing about this weekend is, yeah, it's competitive, but it's good to come here with the friendships and get together and go out and compete against each other, because as ex-athletes it's that competitive nature that we thrive and we love.
It's a good way to come out of a long career.

Q. I'm wondering, there's so many fans, especially 17 and 18, the people in the water, and you get a lot of attention. And I've noticed some people not so kind. Does that play into your game at all?
CHRIS CHANDLER: I think Jack probably feeds off of that. No, they come out and support us. They're great fans. They are quiet when they need to be quiet and they go bananas, which is fun. I'm happy to see those guys having such a good time.
It's that much better that that is packed from tee box to green. It gives you a little adrenalin boost, and it's really cool.

Q. Jeremy, you were saying there was a lot of pressure mentally today. Do you prepare for that tonight? Do you throw some back?
JEREMY ROENICK: To tell you the truth, I'm emotionally spent, to tell you the truth, after the day I had today.
Like I said, I feel very fortunate to be -- and like Chris said, I gave away a lot of shots. I literally gave away shots that are very uncharacteristic, but everybody's going to do that.
There will be no gambling for me tonight. There will be no going out and partying for me tonight. There hasn't been this week, because, you know, I want to win. I'm a true competitor, and I've wanted to play well in this tournament. And there have been times where I've let my social "mitt fits" get in the way of me playing in this tournament. And that's not a secret. There's no secret about that.
But my wife will be the first person to tell you that I've grown a little bit out of that and trying to do something better.
Hopefully I can overcome after the last two years I wasn't able to do it. So hopefully this year I'll have a shot at it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




  1. Recent Interviews
  2. FastScripts Archive
  3. Upcoming Events
  4. About ASAP Sports
  5. Contact us