DAVE SENKO: Mark, another 65 today. Right now you are 12 under and two back starting tomorrow. Maybe just give us a quick synopsis of your day and we will get your 6 birdies and bogey.
MARK WIEBE: Seven birdies, but who’s counting? Well, the weather is fantastic. That helps a lot. The golf course is in good shape. The greens are poa annua. I grew up on poa annua greens, and they get a little bit bumpy in the afternoons. The putting is tough. So far, I have been able to figure it out and get lucky here and there. Nice crowds, good golf. I’m playing nice.
DAVE SENKO: Birdies, start at No. 1, shot sequence.
MARK WIEBE: Yes, let me see. I hit a wedge from about 120 or so yards on 1 to probably about, I’m going to guess, about 15 feet ish. Probably my best putt of the day to tell you the truth. It rolled real nice. It’s a great way to get started and get under par. So it was a good beginning.
The next birdie was 7, was a little revenge. I doubled that hole yesterday. I was 7 under coming into that hole. That was my 16th hole, and made a double, a sloppy double bogey and birdied 8 yesterday.
So today it was on my mind, believe me. I hit a nice drive, and I hit a lob wedge from 90 yards. And I got a good hop up onto the green and I had about, I’m going to say about, a four- or five-foot downhill left to right one that you just breathe on and real happy when I made that. That’s a treacherous green on this golf course. If you have been out there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s brutal.
Then I had a very pleasant surprise on No. 8. I probably had one of my best shots today. I hit a 4 iron, a nice high draw, thought it was going to be really good, went all the way off the green. I was putting, just on the fringe. That putt had to be 35, 40 feet, right in that range, with about six feet of break.
So, obviously, I was thinking about getting it close and tapping in for par and it went in. Awesome surprise. But you never know, right?
(No.) 11, I hit a driver off the tee and hit a lob wedge from about 61 yards. It’s pretty funny, my caddy and I joked about that because when I hit it, I hit it perfect and I heard someone go, ‘Get down, get down,’ and I looked at him and I said, ‘Oh, no, that’s going to be good.’ It was about three feet, I guess. Exactly pin high.
Bogey (No.) 12 from middle of the fairway. Got a little lazy with a pitching wedge and hit the tree on the right, and it went behind the trees on the left. So it went all the way across the fairway.
A bad break but a bad shot. The ball could have just dropped down, and I could have maybe got it up and down.
It was kind of a bad break, I guess. But I made a great two putt for a bogey there.
(No.) 14 was great. I hit a great drive there, just an awesome drive. That hole is tough. Actually, our whole group hit sensational drives there.
I hit a pitching wedge from 115 to about ten feet. You know what? I kind of had a great vibe on that putt. It was straight, a little bit uphill. It was one of the easier ones, I guess I had today, and made that.
The next hole, par 5, I hit a real nice drive there, and hit a 3 iron in, and didn’t hit it very well, to tell you the truth, but on the front fringe and had to putt up the hill, and that putt was probably 45, 50 feet and putted that up to probably four feet there and had a tricky little right to left putt and made that for birdie.
(No.) 18, I had a 3 wood in the left bunker. I was not going to go right. I’ve played here a few times. When the pin is front right, you can’t go right really, although Brad Bryant did it, and made birdie. He is better at pitching I guess.
I hit it in the left bunker. I didn’t have a super hard bunker shot, but had a real nice shot to probably 5 or 6 feet, I guess, and made that to cap my day.
DAVE SENKO: So on 18 again, your shot sequence again was?
MARK WIEBE: 3 wood in the left bunker, which was good. The pin was on the right. I used the hill and hit my bunker shot out to about five or six feet.
DAVE SENKO: Questions?
Q. You were in this room a year ago, you were under the weather, you weren’t feeling well, you are back here now playing well. Is this a course you come to looking to win? Is this one of your favorite tracks out here?
MARK WIEBE: It’s a great tournament. You never know when you go into a tournament. You never know. You think maybe you’re ready. But to tell you the truth, I’ve had great tournaments when I don’t think I’ve been close to ready and in places I never thought I would play well.
I love playing on the West Coast. I grew up in Escondido. We don’t get to play west very much. So it’s really nice to come west. I had family that came in. Some friends came in. The sun is shining, the weather is great.
Q. You mentioned growing up on courses with poa annua. Are you referring to Torrey?
MARK WIEBE: I never really played Torrey other than just a couple of tournaments. And then Andy Williams. You are not old enough to know what that is. It’s the San Diego tournament. Palma Valley was poa annua. There was a lot of courses. I played Junior Golf for six or seven years as a kid. A lot of the courses were either bent or poa annua. That was it.
Bermuda, we picked that. Now we play golf on it when we go to Florida. I know the greens. I don’t mean that in a way that I know I’m going to make everything. I just know that they’re tough.
So you have a mindset many could go into a golf course like this. This is an old traditional style golf course with the greens perched up, and they are poa annua, and they are firm, and they are just tough.
I think we all come in with a mindset. These greens, you got to pay attention. Just don’t have simple putts very often.
I had one today on the 14th hole. That was my only putt today that I really felt comfortable on. I think I can make the rest of them. You are trying to figure out how to die it and let it roll out. You are busy concentrating. I’m ready for a cocktail, actually, just about now.
Q. What family was here today? How do you feel about going up against Nick Price tomorrow?
MARK WIEBE: Well, to answer that question first, Nick is a great guy and a great player, and has been for as long as I’ve been around. He is a great player. I’m excited to play with him. I have no idea what’s in store for us tomorrow. I’m going to do my best and hopefully I can catch him. Whatever. I’m just happy to be in this position. And I am going to enjoy playing with Nick. I played with Nick in Naples the last day and birdied everything coming in. I finished second or third in the tournament. I’m excited to play with Nick.
Family came in, my son came in yesterday, and my wife is here first of all. She came in Tuesday. My son was here yesterday. And then my oldest daughter flew in this morning from Tulsa. My youngest daughter goes to Loyola Marymount as a freshman, and she came in yesterday after her class, so she was here last night.
Then I have friends that came in from Denver and some friends that live around here that came in. I can tell you, Naples, or in Florida usually, I usually don’t have friends and family there because I’m from this side. So I don’t know many people out in Florida.
Q. What are their names?
MARK WIEBE: My kids — wife’s name is Cathy with a C — Taylor, Collier and Gunner was here yesterday. He is getting ready for his tournament. He goes to the University of San Diego. They plays Monday and Tuesday, which we are going right down to after this tomorrow.
Q. Are you still working with him a lot, a little bit?
MARK WIEBE: Yes. Until we can find somebody that can help him. He is my teacher so I have to keep him close. He helps me. He watched me yesterday. We went right to the range. I did not want to hit balls yesterday. And he made me hit balls. He said you need to get your hand up and quit taking so much time on a couple of these putts, is my advice from Gunner yesterday.
Q. Did you use that today?
MARK WIEBE: Yes, I tried to keep my pace consistent. Again, the greens are tough. It’s hard. You don’t want to take too long. We were in position, so I felt good about that. You still don’t want to take too long on the greens. I have a tendency to do that anyway, and when we get on these, they really firmed up.
I got here, and I played in the Pro Am Monday. I played nine holes and the practice round Tuesday. I played in the Pro Am Wednesday, the Pro Am Thursday, so I tried to study, I guess, so to speak. Try not to take too long, but there is just some of the putts you have, you just have to pay attention.
Q. Mark, how many times have you played this course over your life?
MARK WIEBE: Well, I’ve never played any junior tournaments here. I never played any amateur tournaments here. So the first time was 2008, when I turned 50 at the end of 2007. My first trip up here was in 2008 and love it. It’s great.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you.
MARK WIEBE: Thank you, guys.