Fuente: ASAP Sports
EDS BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP INTERVIEWS: TED PURDY
Sunday - May 15, 2005
TODD BUDNICK: We welcome the 2005 EDS Byron Nelson Championship winner
Ted Purdy, first time winner on the PGA TOUR. Congratulations, Ted, four rounds in
the 60s this week and your last 27 holes without a bogey. You won this tournament.
TED PURDY: Yeah, well, thank you. I beat a great player in that young Sean O'Hair.
He's 22 years old, but he plays a lot more mature than I did for sure at 22. He's a
great player. I think he's going to be rivaling Tiger's cut streak. I think he's on seven in
a row. He's pretty good. He's going to keep making cuts.
TODD BUDNICK: Let's talk about you. It's your first win on the PGA TOUR. It's an
exciting time for you.
TED PURDY: Yeah, it's the pinnacle of golf. I mean, there was the Fab Five here and
No. 177 won. It just tells you how good the players out here are. I mean, anybody can
win on any day. Vijay sure made a heck of a run, eagle, birdie, to finish the way he
did. I mean, Vijay is just playing unbelievable, but I beat him (laughing), so I'm just
euphoric. It's great.
TODD BUDNICK: You led the tournament in greens in regulation with 81 percent. You
hit 17 of 18 today. You came into the tournament 126th on Tour. I guess that was the
key to this week. Talk about that.
TED PURDY: Well, I don't know if my ball sponsor wants me to bring it up (laughter).
Titleist had a couple different ball options this year, and I went back to the ball that I
played with last year for this week, and I was controlling my iron shots a lot better and
I was able to shape the driver much better with the old ball. I just went back to a ball
that made me $1.6 million last year.
TODD BUDNICK: Good choice.
TED PURDY: Yeah, Titleist, they're not trying to hurt us, they try to make us better. But I
went back to the ball I played with last year and played much better.
Q. Just talk about the final round. You made five birdies, no bogeys. It was really a
flawless round. I mean, how satisfying was that?
TED PURDY: Under the circumstances and under the -- it's the best round of golf I've
ever played. When you hit 17 greens, and the one green I missed I was only 30 feet
and I was putting for birdie and almost made birdie. I was putting on every hole for
birdie. I guess on Sunday to win a golf tournament is how you do it.
I mean, I really was in control of my emotions. When I had anxiety about winning the
golf tournament, I really was good at letting it go. I would tell myself, "Just let it go,
let's hit this shot." Just a great round of golf. I hit the balls perfectly. I didn't hit it close
every time because I wasn't aiming at the pin. I think if I would have been aiming at
the pin, I would have been a lot lower. I learned how to win, I guess. You don't aim at
the pins (laughter).
Q. You've been striking the ball well all week but weren't making the most putts. Were
you starting to get a few to fall today, or did you just feel like the hole was getting
TED PURDY: It's kind of funny because I hit it close -- not close, but I had a relatively
easy birdie putt on 1 and I missed it, and then I had a relatively easy birdie putt on 3
and I made it, and then I hit it five feet or less on 4 and missed it. You know, and then
I felt like I could have made the one on 1, the one on 4, and then I make that bomb on
6 and I make a bomb on 8, and I just went, "Golf is a crazy game."
This week when I -- maybe I should think about this every week, but when I was
concerned about the speed of the putt and I made the putt or I made a good putt,
when I was concerned with the line of the putt, I missed the putt. I tend to worry more
about line on short putts as most people do, but I think I need to worry about speed
more on the shorter ten-footers because that dictates the lines.
Q. You've had a couple heart breaking final rounds. Do you think about any of those
at all today and how much better does this make this one?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I mean, this is sweet. I had a good chance a couple times last
year, and I don't think I would have been able to pull off today without having those
previous failures. I think you need to fail before you succeed, and not too many
people like Tiger Woods out there that just win since they were two years old, have
they just won everything. I've played with Tiger since he's been that old, too.
It's gratifying to beat Tiger. I'm not sure that I've actually beaten Tiger in a professional
event ever. So that's another good one (laughter).
Q. And Vijay and Retief and Ernie?
TED PURDY: Yeah, the Fab Five.
Q. Can you kind of elaborate or explain specifically how those failures at MCI and BC
helped you today?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I'd be happy to elaborate.
Q. Keep it under five minutes if you can.
TED PURDY: I mean, just the -- well, the MCI Heritage I had a four-shot lead going
into Sunday on a course that yields big comebacks apparently and wasn't aware of
that at the time. But I didn't sleep real well, didn't sleep at all on that Saturday night,
had a chance at the BC Open, didn't sleep at all that Saturday night. I'm up reading
the paper, whatever I can to -- and last night I slept -- of course I wasn't leading. I
slept really well.
I had Mac, a friend of mine, Mac Newton, in Phoenix, he said to -- he sent me these
tapes, and in the tapes he said just to let go of any -- let go of the anxiety of trying to
win. Stop trying to win. Any time during the round that it popped up in my head, "Man,
I've got a three-shot lead, I'm going to win," I was able to go and say, "Hey, let go of
that thought. We're not trying to win, we're just trying to hit good golf shots here." And I
really stayed composed the whole day.
I needed those two previous failures because I was trying to win so badly. I wanted to
win so badly. At MCI I wanted to win so badly; coming down the back nine I really
didn't hit a good golf shot until I was out of the lead or tied for the lead, then I started
hitting good golf shots. At the BC Open it was the same thing. When I lost the lead I
started hitting good golf shots again. And today I hit great golf shots all day long.
Q. Coming off of what you just said, you hit all those greens; did you really hit a bad
shot? Because it was mindlessly easy with a lag putt either going in or 18-inch
tap-in, very low strain.
TED PURDY: No, I can't remember a shot I missed, I really can't.
Q. Apparently you're kind of a Jimmy Buffett buff. Is there a Jimmy Buffett song that
would have summed up your career until now?
TED PURDY: That's a great question. Jimmy has got a lot of great songs. I think I
need to modify that press package from Jimmy Buffett being my idol to Byron Nelson
Q. Often spoken of in the same sentence (laughter).
TED PURDY: Yeah.
Q. Ted, so much of the --
TED PURDY: I filled out that press package at a different time in my life.
Q. Tonight might be "Margaritaville"?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I did notice some Coronas out there.
Q. So much of the pre-game hype going into this week was the Big Five, the Big Five
here, the Big Five is never together. I was wondering, A, if you could talk about how
golf is such a strange game that the Big Five are going home and you're here, and
also, do you think that maybe motivated any of the guys in you read the papers and
TED PURDY: I'll tell you what, it's really difficult to win a golf tournament. You know, I
kind of -- I think I lucked out this week. If Tiger makes the cut on the number, he can
shoot 15 under on the weekend. He's done it before. I lucked out by him missing the
cut. I lucked out by Retief missing the cut. These guys historically play great golf.
They're not usually playing four bad rounds, usually light it up somewhere along the
way. Phil had a bad stretch yesterday, thank God, because he tends to get on good
streaks, as well.
Having Sean O'Hair be the leader made it -- there is something about it, it made it
seem like -- I know he didn't sleep last night because I've been there before. I'll be
fine if I just play a good round of golf, I'll win.
Q. Did the other guys -- when you read the Big Five is here, the Big Five, the Big Five,
here's my chance to go in under the cover, no one is going to talk about me, no one
is going to write about me?
TED PURDY: Yeah, in fact, I don't ever get interviewed. It's just great (laughter). Sean
O'Hair had to deal with that press, and he actually avoided a lot of the press Friday
night because Tiger missed the cut. So Sean really lucked out on Friday night
because Tiger missed the cut and the whole focus was on Tiger. Sean kind of just --
and he played a great round of golf yesterday. He's a great player.
Q. With the way you're talking about Tiger and Vijay and all that, did it make a
difference to you that it wasn't any of those guys making the -- Vijay made his move
so late and that you weren't looking at those names chasing you?
TED PURDY: Yeah. I mean, if Vijay was at 12-under and he finishes eagle, hole in
one, birdie, he's at 15. Thank God he wasn't at 12-under. I don't think there's a man in
the field that hit it at that pin except for Vijay on 17, and he makes a 1. And the reason
he went at that pin is because he knew he needed to finish top 3 to regain the
numbers. He knew what he had to do. I think if he had been closer to me, it would
have been -- I couldn't have controlled what he's doing, but it definitely would have
creeped into my mind, there's no question about it.
Again, having Sean O'Hair who's never been in that situation before behind me, I
know par is a good score, but he ends up birdieing the last hole anyway. I'm glad I
two-putted the last hole.
Q. Was your game plan coming into today not to shoot at pins, and are you surprised
that such a conservative approach netted the big prize?
TED PURDY: I am surprised that such a conservative approach netted the big prize. I
guess I'm learning how to win, and I have a lot to thank for my caddie, Paul Jungman,
for steering me around today because I would have gone at some of those pins he
was telling me not to go at. He really -- my caddie this week, something -- he decided
to speak up a little bit, and he said, "Let me steer you around." He said, "Give me the
reins this week and we'll win," and he was right. We won.
He really steered me around. We didn't aim at pins. He said, "Aim at the middle of
the green, hit a cut shot to that pin." I tend to like to hit a right to left ball. I hit more cuts
and draws and high and low, and I just did kind of whatever he told me to do, and I
had a great leader on the bag this week. He had the reins the whole week. He
deserves a raise.
Q. Did you pretty well know your position coming off 16, the two-putt birdie; and what
was it like being on the green coming off the green on 18 and seeing that white
scoreboard and seeing exactly where things were, relatively safe?
TED PURDY: Well, on 16, it's a funny thing, but I guess I was just so focused, I really
didn't know where I stood. My putt for eagle was dead into the scoreboard, so I
should have been looking at the scoreboard and seeing where I stood. I knew I was
leading but I didn't know to what extent or who was close. I was looking right at the
scoreboard but never saw it and just hit my eagle putt and two-putted.
Q. When did you figure this out, that you were up by --
TED PURDY: Then I figured out at the time I was up by three shots. I went to 15 and
the next guy was at 12.
Q. When did you first learn that?
TED PURDY: After the initial eagle putt at 15, and then 16 I know I've got a three-shot
lead, O'Hair might probably birdie 16, but he's not going to birdie 17. So I just played
to the middle of the green there, two-putted. And then 18, I hit a perfect drive, and I've
got a wedge in my hand, and I know I can hit it at that pin with a wedge. I know I can
hit that close. My caddie steered me to the center of the green there again. It killed
me to do it, but I did it, and I'm sitting here today.
If I had gone at that pin and hit it long in the rough and made bogey, we'd be still out
Q. What did you say to Mr. Nelson and what did he say to you?
TED PURDY: Oh, he's just the greatest guy ever. I have a new baby on the way, and if
it's a boy, I'm going to name him Byron. He commended my round of golf. He said
18, last round of the tournament without a bogey is a commendable -- he even said
that he had never done that, but he's 93 and I think he's lost a little of his memory.
Q. He didn't say anything like "Ten more to go to catch me"?
TED PURDY: No, he knows his place, I know mine. He doesn't have to rub it in.
Q. You talked about kind of getting talked off the ledge on 18 as far as going at the
pin. Any other examples of where you wanted to hit a crazy shot and he --
TED PURDY: Well, just the whole day really. I mean, on the 8th hole -- this is a great
example. On the 8th hole I hit a perfect drive and I've got 145 yards to the pin or
something. I normally would go at that pin with a 9-iron all day long, give myself ten
feet. My caddie is, like, "Hit it right of this pin. Just hit it right of the pin." I hit it right of
the pin and the wind took it further right than I anticipated, but I had a 30-, 40-footer,
and I made it. Had I gone at that pin and made bogey, I wouldn't be sitting here.
Yeah, I just got steered around real well. He did the same thing on 10, hit it to the
middle of the green, pin is tucked right. Where I did have a chance to hit it close, he
said "Go for it." Like 11, I had a sand wedge in my hand, but still, he's still steering
me to the right of the pin, he said the slope will take it down to the pin. He steered me
Q. You've been a good player a long time, yet you sound like somebody who played
smart golf for the first time in his life.
TED PURDY: Yeah, that may be true. Yeah, it may be true.
Q. What day did he say give me the reins and we'll win?
TED PURDY: I think he said it on Wednesday.
Q. The best I can count, two trips to the Asian Tour?
TED PURDY: No, more than that. I was Rookie of the Year in '97, and I played in Asia
in some capacity until last year, until 2003. I played pretty much in Asia from '97 to
Q. Any highlights, lowlights?
TED PURDY: From Asia? Yeah, there are lots of them. No, Asia is a great place to
play golf. At the time I was playing over there, the money was bigger than the
Nationwide Tour, so you could actually go over there and make some money. Now
it's so Westernized that the golf courses are great. Half the golf courses are
designed by American architects, Bernhard Langer or somebody like that; Nick Faldo
has got a bunch over there. Asia is just a great place to hone your game. I
recommend every professional golfer go to Asia at some point just because it's a
great place and it's great golf, and the people are great, and I learned a lot there, too.
Q. Now that you've won a tournament out here, are you going to look at what a
disappointment from MCI differently? Can you put that behind you? Will you let that
TED PURDY: I let that one go, definitely. MCI was hard to take, but now I can definitely
let that go (laughter).
Q. You talked the other day about how you came out here last year and thought you
were going to be one of the best guys out here. I'm kind of wondering now how you
see your career evolving and what you expect this --
TED PURDY: This is a huge breakthrough for me. I thought I was going to have this
breakthrough a year ago, but I want to -- I don't like expressing my goals, but I want to
be a Presidents Cupper this year, and I'm 11th now. I want to be competing -- it's just
fun to compete on a regular basis on the PGA TOUR. It's just a blast to compete out
I think if I stay disciplined and let my caddie steer me around a little more often, we'll
have a few more chances.
Q. Stop thinking, huh?
TED PURDY: Just get out of my way and I'll be a world beater.
Q. Did you feel you were underachieving based on your expectations?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I've felt that way. When I was 22 years old I felt like Sean O'Hair,
that I should be competing to win golf tournaments on the PGA TOUR. You know, I'm
31 now competing at the level that I think -- I think I had about ten years of
underachieving. People like Tiger Woods keep reminding me of that; "why are you
beating your brains in?"
Q. Does he say that kind of thing to you?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I mean, Tiger is a great supporter. Tiger has always been a
supporter of mine. I don't know, he's just a nice guy.
Q. You had another guy on your bag twice, Ted, Teddy, at Hilton Head?
TED PURDY: Bobby Conlon. In fact, Bobby Conlon is caddying for me next week and
my caddie this week is going to caddie for Brian Gay. I get these caddies from the
Champions Tour. That's where I've been getting them. Bobby Conlon works for Dave
Eichelberger on the Champions Tour, so he doesn't want to leave Dave because
they enjoy each other and he comes and caddies for me once in a while. We've got
kind of a set schedule, and it flip-flops between Bobby and Paul.
But I've played great with Paul and Bobby, so I've got two of the best caddies. I just
need to listen to Bobby more, too, I think. It's great having these old -- I've got older
caddies, they probably don't like me saying that, but I've got older caddies that have
won on the PGA TOUR and won with numerous players. When I was on Tour in '99 I
had a young South African kid, and he knew how to meet the women but he didn't
know how to win a golf tournament (laughter).
Q. He had his priorities straight.
TED PURDY: Yeah, at the time he did. Now I'm married and have kids, so I need to
learn how to win more often.
Q. Your wife gave you that note before this week. Does that stay in the wallet now?
TED PURDY: Yeah, I'll show it to you. It's pretty cool.
My wife made two notes for me, and I put them in my wallet at the beginning of the
week. One was, "You can do it, we love you, Daddy," and had my son scribble on it.
The other one was "Win on the PGA in 2005." I guess we did it. It's amazing when
you write things down and put them in your wallet how they happen. It happened.
TODD BUDNICK: Let's go through your birdies if you can remember them now. The
one on No. 3.
TED PURDY: 3, it's a par 5. It's one of the hardest holes on the course. I hit a driver
and a 3-iron and made a 13 footer or something.
6, I had a driver and a wedge to probably 25 feet, made the putt.
8, hit the driver to 145, hit a 9-iron to 35, 40 feet, whatever it was, and made the putt
there, which was huge.
11, hit a 5-iron off the tee and a sand wedge to five feet, six feet, made the putt. That
wasn't an easy putt, either, the one on 11. It had some break in it. I mean, that was a
good putt to make.
16, driver and a 5-iron and a two-putt. I hit the 5-iron like 220 yards uphill.
That's another thing, an experienced caddie put a 5-iron in my hand.
Q. Were you kidding about naming the baby Byron if it's a boy?
TED PURDY: If I can make it fly with my wife, I definitely want to name him Byron. It will
probably be a girl so we'll name it Peggy.
My caddie, everybody knows him out here as Pablo for some reason.
TODD BUDNICK: On that note, congratulations on winning your first tournament.