KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

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Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA

Friday, May 24, 2024

Scott Dunlap

Q. Scott Dunlap with us now at the 84th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Scott, 65 today to get to 11-under overall. How you feeling heading into the weekend?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Well, that's as good of golf as I've got. Obviously I won recently, so got a little bit of confidence, maybe figured a few things out.

But my track record around here has been a little wanting, so I guess maybe I hadn't used up any of good golf. It's kind of all come out in these two rounds. See what we have left in the tank for the final two.

Q. A lot of people talk about this course being tough out of the gates. You reeled off those birdies on 1, 2, 3. How big that was in the round?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Oh, well, usually I don't like birdieing the first hole. Around this place you'll take any you can get. The beauty of this golf course is if you're on your game you're going to get a lot of good birdie chances. If you're off your game it's going to niggle you and really make it tough and a nightmarish day.

I am hitting the ball well so I have given myself a lot of good chances and I've made some putts; just one mistake each day. Every chance I have to score I've taken advantage of, so hopefully we can keep and control those final two.

Q. Did you hit it close in that stretch?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Yeah, but I made about a six or 7-footer on 1, but made about a 30-footer on 2.

I think my wedge must have lipped out on 3 because the guys go, ooo, and it was only two or three inches to the hole. I don't think it slowly dripped down to that. It must have horseshoed.

Yeah, now you're off and running. Yeah, you're just thinking about playing well, hitting the shots. You're not worried about making the cut. You kind of get to playing with house money a little bit which is kind of fun. You don't usually get that a lot.

It's hard to be that good. Now you know what Tiger Woods feels like when he's winning everything and 12-under after two rounds and even par is the cut. I don't get that sensation as much as I would like.

Q. Scott, talk a little bit about that win earlier this year, how it's boosted you, the pressure it has taken off you.

SCOTT DUNLAP: Well, sure. Golf at the highest level or 20 handicappers, we're all just waking up and trying to do better tomorrow than we did today.

At 60 I still feel like I'm figuring things out. Maybe I figure a little something out recently and then you play well, and if you continue to play well then you get some confidence.

But I never won on the regular tour, so I've never had more than the end of the year ahead of me before I had to re-qualify; finished 125 on the regular tour or 36 on this tour to stay out there, and now I'm good through the end of next year.

Yeah, that's a little bit liberating.

Q. Jeff told a story about how you were going to have to qualify for the Senior Open at Ocala.


Q. How fast were you going on 75 as you went through Ocala?

SCOTT DUNLAP: About 85 miles an hour. Yeah. Luckily -- I was planning on stopping. I was going to pull into Ocala about 10:30 at night and instead I made it home just before 1:00, all the way back to Sarasota. Yeah, slept pretty well that night.

Yeah, it's just neat at this stage of the game to be having some fun and playing good golf. It's all gravy from here, so just see what happens.

Q. Talk about things changing from day to day, what was the approach from yesterday to today to shoot up to the second spot?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Well, you know, when you do feel good about your game you need to take aim and make some birdies, not get defensive. Ball hitting is a strength of my game, so I needed to hit some iron shots close to the hole.

I'm always looking to be a little bit aggressive because if I play tentatively I'm not somebody who is holing 40-footers. As long as my game feels good, I'm going to hopefully stay in green light mode and aim at the pin and ride that wave until it ends.

Q. Talk about the challenges of this course and how much you like it. I guess what are your thoughts on not playing here any longer?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Oh, well, I mean, up until these last two rounds I wouldn't have shed a tear because I hadn't done very well. I like the golf course. The greens are very busy. Tee to green it's absolutely stunning, and it's driven me crazy not to have done any better here. Seems like a place I should do better than I have done.

So maybe as we head out the door, I'll have a good tournament.

Q. You mentioned ball hitting is a strong part of your game. What is the weakest part of your game and how do you prep that going into a tournament like this?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Well, my short game has been a lot better than it has been, which is probably why I won. Never been a strong suit. Putting, if I make my short ones and maybe sneak in a putt you shouldn't make, then I'll do well.

I guess God didn't give everybody everything. The closer I get to the hole the more you have to pay attention. If I hit it well enough it takes pressure off those parts of my game, and then you kind of free up and then something good can happen.

Q. And just curious if you have any specific goals the rest of the weekend?

SCOTT DUNLAP: Nah. I'm not a big goal -- just play like you can play. You know, you can't play defensive in golf. You can play winning golf and someone can beat you.

Do as well as I think I can and don't have any regrets by the end of Sunday. But it's just a lot of fun to play some better golf and be in contention and think about winning stuff like this.

Q. The weather, how it may have impacted day one to day two, did it change anything or did the weather from your perspective change at all from day one to two?

SCOTT DUNLAP: The wind has been about the same. Been all over the place a little bit, but predictable. The one shot I did miss on 15 I think I had the wind wrong. Tried to keep it left and then it went left.

But the conditions have been very, very scorable. I know the forecast for Sunday doesn't look very good, but we'll see what happens.

Q. Any other highlight birdies from today of all the ones of made?

SCOTT DUNLAP: No. 7. You know, that's such a good hole, such a tough hole. I've made two -- well, won't say no-brainers -- kind of 30, 35-footer. It's a hole you're, I mean, happy with 4. It wasn't where I had stuffed it in.

A nice putt at 2 and then a really nice putt at 7, and my lag putting was good today. Didn't have a whole lot of stress. The other ones were pretty simple and pretty short.

Q. You talked the other day about all the things that winning does, gets you into Hawai'i, the Senior Open, et cetera. As a player when you're inside the ropes, do you feel a tangible difference? Has it freed you up a little bit?

SCOTT DUNLAP: For sure. No question. But it always still boils down to what you think about your game, whether you feel good about it. If you wake up and you were kind of fooling it and you bought just that week with some Band-Aid and the Band-Aid goes away, you're right back to stressing and hitting bad shots.

So, yes, the win -- I have a different finish line now. I'll be 62 when I reevaluate how I am doing. That was going to be at the end of this year. So, yes, it's bought some time, but you still have to feel good about your game.

The golf gods don't care what you won recently. You have to go out each day and prove yourself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
144434-1-1041 2024-05-24 19:03:00 GMT

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