MARK STEVENS: Bo Van Pelt, thank you for taking the time to come down. If you want to take us through your thoughts on that final round.
BO VAN PELT: No, obviously disappointed in the final result but happy how I played for pretty much the whole day. I was excited for the opportunity. Felt like my game was in good shape, and felt like I played well. Obviously not happy with the finish, but all in all, I wouldn't change any club I hit or any line I took or thoughts I was having, just didn't work out.
Q: If you had to have one of them back, would it be the 6-iron into 16?
BO VAN PELT: You know, the hard part about that shot is the way they reconfigured the green. When it's downwind it's hard to hit the green. So I hit a great drive there. If that second shot leaks at all to the right, it's no good down there, either. You've got to take that aggressive line kind of right on the edge of that rough. A yard to the right, that ball ends up in a pretty easy spot right there where Brendon is.
And the chip, the ball was kind of sitting-- it was a weird lie, it was sitting up but there was a bunch of grass in front of it. You know, it was difficult from the standpoint I had my legs in the bunker, and if I hit that chip a little too hard it goes over the green because you can't put any spin on it. I was just trying to get the ball up in the air and play it out to the right a little bit and just got underneath it a little bit.
And the second one I thought I hit great. I was surprised it rolled that far. And the putt, I mean, I've probably never hit a better putt than that in my life under those kind of circumstances. I was playing the putt dead straight and that's where I hit it and it felt great leaving the putter and at the end it leaked a little left. I pretty much hit every shot the way I wanted to that hole, just ended up being 6.
Q: You joked yesterday about getting robbed hearing the Tiger roar when he chipped in. Can you contrast yesterday playing with him and then playing in a final pairing with that guy?
BO VAN PELT: No, it's a lot of fun. He's an amazing player. We've known each other a long time, probably 20 years. He's fun to play with. That's why you travel 30 weeks a year, why you get up in the morning and you make the sacrifices that you do to have the opportunity to play the best player in the world in the final round with a chance to win a tournament. I was looking forward to it. The crowd was great. I felt bad for Brendon. It seems like he was getting the short end of it a lot today where he had a putt left for par or whatever and Tiger would putt out, it's no fault of his, everyone was running to the next hole. I felt like for whatever reason I had already putted out a lot of times, so I didn't get caught by that a lot. But the energy level is great. The crowd was great. I think a lot of people are looking for their cell phones right now because I think they ran out of baggies pretty quick.
Q: First of all, what most impressed you about the way Tiger played this weekend?
BO VAN PELT: You know, I would say he seemed like he kept his rhythm for two days, you know, and I think whenever you're working on something in your golf swing, that's the hardest thing to mesh is mesh the physical with the rhythm. He's always had beautiful rhythm, but it's hard for any player when you're trying to change something to stay in that rhythm. I think that just goes to show you he's getting way more comfortable what he's doing golf swing wise because his rhythm stayed the same for 36 holes under the heat. I think he's got to be pleased with that.
Q: Now, he's still behind three guys in the World Rankings, Donald, McIlroy, Westwood. In your opinion who's the best player in the world right now?
BO VAN PELT: I'd have to say him. You know, no offense to any of those other guys, but I think he's the only guy to win three tournaments on TOUR this year; is that correct? On three different golf courses, and he was leading the U.S. Open after two days. So I'd say that he's playing the best golf in the world right now.
Q: Did you ever get the sense that you and Tiger kind of got into a slugfest there, especially he makes birdie at 5, you make birdie at 6, and back and forth in there?
BO VAN PELT: You know, I don't look at boards a ton but I don't look away from them, and I saw that Adam Scott was playing well early, and then when he made birdie on 9, it just kind of felt like it was between us two after that. I don't know why, it just felt that way. I want to say it was on 13 green I looked up and I saw that we were a couple shots clear of third, and I guess that's when it kind of took on that persona the last five holes.
BO VAN PELT: Good. I think until the last three holes I think I only missed one green all day and was driving it decent. Some of those tee balls I hit that were just in the rough, I hit had good shots, just ended up just in the rough.
All in all, I've been working on stuff on my swing, too, last week, working on my grip a bunch. To play the way I did the last two days, I'm very pleased.
Q: Other great players in their prime, like Hogan, but from then on, never had a number of years like Tiger has had where he's had to rebuild to get back to where he was. As a guy that does the same thing, how do you feel about this long, long battle to get back to where he was?
BO VAN PELT: Well, I think-- to me I think the impressive part as another golfer and just as an athlete is that he's had a focus from the time a very young age to be the best player there ever was, and he's spent his whole life doing something about it. A lot of people say they want to do something but they don't back it up. I feel like he's backed it up his whole life from the time he was a young child, and that's impressive. I know for me I love golf and I've loved golf ever since I've started playing, but I've had periods of time where I didn't like golf that much and wasn't doing that much about getting better at it.
To me that's impressive.
Q: What did you think of Tiger's shot on 12, the one from the trees? Did you have a look at it?
BO VAN PELT: You know, I couldn't really tell much from where I was in the fairway. I just looked over right before he was going to hit it and I saw he had a full backswing, and I knew that there was really nothing in front of him, but it was a great shot, obviously.
Q: What do you take away from this more, the fact that you played under the circumstances so flawlessly from say the 4th through the 15th, or a sense that you kind of halfway ended the thing?
BO VAN PELT: Yeah, obviously it's disappointing. I felt like obviously when he hit it over the green on 16 I had my opportunity to take advantage. That's all I was trying to do. I felt like on the back nine if I could just keep putting pressure on him that maybe he'd give me an opening, and he did on 16. You know, I just-- I was in a tough spot. I didn't hit that bad a shot with a 6-iron and just ended up in a really tough spot and didn't get the ball on the green. Obviously if I get the ball on the green there and make 5, who knows.
But to answer your question, yeah, I'll be disappointed for a while, probably about my flight home tonight and about two hours tomorrow driving up to my boat, and then once I get on that for the rest of the week, I probably won't think about it much.
Q: What did you hit in on 11?
BO VAN PELT: 8-iron.
Q: And lastly, the experience at Augusta last year, how much do you think that helped you?
BO VAN PELT: Obviously it helps. Any time that you play well or you're in contention in a major, it's the same feelings. You learn how to focus under those situations when you know that it's coming down the stretch on Sunday and you've got to hit shots and you're just trying to repeat the swing that you've grooved and that you've worked on. I think my experience in Malaysia helped me. I hit a lot of good quality shots coming down the stretch there, Augusta this year. So I was just drawing on that, the fact that I've done it before, and just trying to hit quality shots coming down the stretch.
Q: Tiger had set up left and tried to hit that cut driver all day and it pretty much stayed left. On 18 when he took it out were you thinking, mate, hang in there, this may not be over yet?
BO VAN PELT: No, obviously you're going to 18, and 4 is not a gimme, even if you hit the fairway there. He had a great drive there. I think that he had a great drive, but I felt like I could-- I thought 4 might do something, and I thought, hey, I've still got a chance, you never know, I might make 3. Hit a good second shot in there. For whatever reason that downhill shot, it's hard for me to aim far enough left. I want to aim far enough left, and all week I've hit good drives there and tried to hit it kind of at the flag and the ball started five to seven yards right of where I wanted it, and kind of the same thing happened today. I had the perfect number and felt like I hit a pretty good shot, it just started about five yards right of where I wanted it.
Q: What did you think of his second shot there?
BO VAN PELT: That was great. He hit a good shot. To me he just-- he had control of his irons pretty much all weekend when I played with him. He was down there far enough where he couldn't have been hitting more than an 8- or 9-iron in there. When you've got a 9-iron and a good lie in the fairway, he's going to feel pretty comfortable.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks for your time, Bo, and have a good couple weeks off.