TRANSCRIPT | Brad Kennedy, 101st NZ Open, Round 1


Q. Brad, welcome back to New Zealand. Great to have you here. A pretty good start on a pretty interesting day of weather. Yeah that was tough. It had everything. I thought it was going to hail there at one stage even. The breeze I think changed about five or six different directions and actually […]

Q. Brad, welcome back to New Zealand. Great to have you here. A pretty good start on a pretty interesting day of weather.

Yeah that was tough. It had everything. I thought it was going to hail there at one stage even. The breeze I think changed about five or six different directions and actually caught me a couple of times so to get in the clubhouse with as many birdies as I had, it was a good fun round of golf.

Q. Particularly over there (The Hills), it’s a bit more open?

I think both courses are pretty exposed. I wouldn’t be surprised if both courses had the same sort of conditions. There are a few higher points that you’ve got to worry about. It was a totally different breeze to what we’re used to. Fourteen was down breeze, 15 was into the breeze so it was a totally different golf course. Luckily I didn’t even have a practice round this week so I just went from what I knew and it was a whole new experience.

Q. Were you finding yourself having to make some adjustments in terms of club selection because of the slightly different conditions?

Definitely. Sometimes there was maybe four or five clubs difference between a couple of rounds last year and this year which was fun. I even got a chance to get home on two on 17 so that was fun.

Q. You always seem to be in the mix here, does it feel like that to you?

I just love coming to New Zealand. You guys look after us so well when we come here and I think just on the back of a couple of tournaments before we get here as well helps. Coming back knowing that you’ve won twice in New Zealand is always a special thing and unfortunately being close here. If I can get myself in position here I’ll see what I can do.

Q. Is it nice to get The Hills out of the way first in this format as opposed to starting at Millbrook, going to The Hills then coming back to Millbrook and now you’ve got three straight rounds on the one course?

Yeah I think so. I think it is. It just allows me now to concentrate on one course. I’ll walk out there today and just see what a couple of guys are doing shot wise and see how the greens are rolling seeing as I haven’t had a practice round yet. I’ll try and get a little bit of knowledge before I start tomorrow and again, we might even get a totally different wind condition tomorrow so we’ll see.

Q. You’ve been on a hot run of form coming into this event. Does that confidence coming here?

It does, it’s just I’m still trying to work out how to – I pride myself on consistency, especially when I’m through the season. I think I’ve missed two cuts in three or four years so I’m quite a consistent player and I’ve wasted a lot of shots over the last three weeks too. So trying to get rid of those, even today, I hit it in two fairway traps which cost me two bogeys and I thought I was ok and the breeze got me both times. If I can eliminate the bogeys I’m actually playing well enough in the rest of it and putting well enough to keep performing so I’ve just got to try and be a little bit smarter and try not to make those soft bogeys.

Q. Ryan Fox didn’t think he could remember a day with the wind being so variable. Have you played in similar kind of winds to this or is it new to you?

This is definitely new. The only areas where you’d sometimes get it is in Melbourne where you might have an easterly and it turns into a northerly. No, this was a pretty amazing breeze. There were times there where I chose a club and then I actually went down two clubs within 30 seconds because the breeze had totally changed. You’re really on edge and having to trust the breeze at that stage because otherwise it made you look pretty silly.

Q. Tell us about 17, you must have really hit it well there.

Yeah I did, I hit a great drive on 17 and hit a 3-iron to about three feet. Two awesome shots and managed to make a putt. Luckily it was dead straight so it was nice to get one of those for eagle.

Q. Why no practice round, did you arrive late?

I had a nightmare flight, you wouldn’t believe. I was supposed to come to the champions dinner on Monday and ended up jumping on a flight out of Brisbane that got cancelled then they put me on another flight through Auckland and I missed my connection so I got here at half past 9 and left my house at four o’clock this morning so it was a 12 hour flight to Queenstown. The last couple of days, and even after three really busy weeks in Australia, I just know how to play these golf courses. It’s all wind dependent so I was just happy to take it easy. I did a putting clinic for the Wakatipu Juniors and some PGA Pros on Tuesday afternoon so that was great and just did a little bit of chipping and putting yesterday. I tied to sort of take it as easy as I could and being underprepared sometimes for me is a good thing.


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