TRANSCRIPT | Brad Kennedy, 101st NZ Open, Round 4


The thoughts now are pretty much utter amazement and it’s just hard to put into words the emotion I’ve gone through over the past three weeks. I felt like I’d lost two tour events and to come back and play the way I did this week, it’s going to take a bit of time to […]

The thoughts now are pretty much utter amazement and it’s just hard to put into words the emotion I’ve gone through over the past three weeks.

I felt like I’d lost two tour events and to come back and play the way I did this week, it’s going to take a bit of time to understand why things happened for the reasons they did and you just never know in this game.

I was chasing today, which put me in a really good mindset to just continue to attack and I felt like a couple of times the last few weeks I started to play out of what I can do and what I trust. Today I just really focused on doing what I need to do in terms of hitting the shots that were required.

I was seeing the shots, I was believing in myself to hit the shots and I was executing them so that was huge.

It’s pretty special. I don’t know if I’ll win a second one again, to be honest. I was looking to hang the boots up at the end of this year, I’ve been doing it for 25 years and just really wanted to make this year a really positive year to end. I’ve sacrificed a lot, but also my family has sacrificed a lot too. I’ve been pretty selfish over the last 15, 20 years playing the game and it just feels now is a good time to get back and watch my girls grow up and spend some time at home.

It’s funny, 45 and still guys coming through, you watch them and think ‘wow, they are impressive’. It’s just amazing how age doesn’t create a barrier in golf. A lot of the epxerience that I’ve dealt with through my career, they are the things you look back on and cherish, that I was able to come back from being so mentally distraught.

I just love coming back to New Zealand. You guys really to look after us as players and to play on these courses brings back good memories, some negative memories too from 2018.

The course played unbelievable over the weekend, and not much breeze, I thought someone could easily shoot a really low one. Under pressure that’s hard, to get out there in the second last group and shoot that score under those conditions. I wasn’t aware of the scoring, because in the past that’s been a negative for me, just to look up and have those emotions affect you, whether you are in front or behind. I really made a conscious effort today of head down, wait until its finished and then react. I saw that Lucas got to 20 and then I putted out and I thought, well if he makes a birdie we are in a playoff, so I was never done until they said he hit it in the water.

It’s a shame for Lucas, it’s great for him to come back and support the event. You just have to look at the players here this week. Everyone loves coming to Queenstown and playing this tournament, it’s just an awesome event and I’m pretty proud to win it a second time.

I didn’t watch it, to be honest. I felt as though it was a chance, because that year we played into the breeze, where as today it was a bit down breeze. It was just a nice little draw into there and if you get a bounce you could hit it inside 12 feet quite easily and make a putt. With his ability, in my mind, I thought we could be going to a playoff and it’s just unfortunate for Lucas, but he’s got huge ability and he’s got more events left than me.

There was just a lot of things that I wanted to tick off to be happy with my career. This is definitely up there. To win again, and it’s hard to describe. A few weeks ago I had my wife caddying for me and I had my kids there and I was trying to have a real family experience, plus it would be the last time they would see me play golf there.

That’s what gutted me the most. My wife picked me up and just told me to get back out there and keep going. I had a chat to my performance coach on Wednesday, Dave Alred, who was on his way to Ireland, we just looked at a couple of things and he gave me a great insight as to what, how to really stay direct and stay out of the emotion and it was just that key really went a long way this week.

I didn’t honestly look until the last. I heard the roar and assumed he hit in on in two on 17 and then I gave myself a three-footer……….

Then I gave myself a three-footer … I hit a great putt. I was saying give it a chance but it was so quick and to have another three-footer – I missed a three-footer two weeks ago to get into a playoff – so to make that and win – you can’t go through that emotion and understand why. That is the amazing part about it.

Guys who come to talk to me about experience – you just can’t buy that stuff. How do you replicate it. How to you get through the bad stuff but stuff but still maintain you have the ability to win and keep going I think this has asserted my belief that how important practice is – practising the right things and being able to be gutted and turn around and get success. That’s something I will take a long way even outside of golf.

I have not spoken to the family. I can’t wait to talk to the kids.

It is going fuel the fire. But I have always said no to senior golf. I just want to be home with the kids – stay at home and watch them grow up. The oldest is 13 and youngest is 8. To see them grow up through their careers. Money is not an object – I would quite happily sit home and watch them and guide them through their careers. I miss a lot of events they are in so as a life experience I would like to go through that.

I was on the Asian Tour for eight years and loved it. It is going to be interesting. I still plan just to play Japan 20 events and the four events in Australia which for me is enough but I do not know. A few months ago I got an email from the IOC to say I am fourth reserve for the Olympics.  Thought I am 45 – I don’t go to the Olympics.

Things can change so quickly. With this virus guys will pull out so I may be playing in the Olympics in four months’ time. You just never know in this game and that is why we love it and why it can destroy us.

It is something I have really tried to work on over my career. And really focusing on things that I can control which is just me and my decision-making. If someone plays better than me that day – the hardest thing to try and do is to play good golf and react to what other people are doing. Sometimes you can help it – it just happens and it gets in your face. I made a conscious effort today.

I knew it was going to take something special and there’s no point stopping. I’ll just keep going and wait to see what happens. I thought someone from 10 or 11 under was still a chance to shoot 59 or 60 out there today. The course was playing amazing. There was any opportunity that has happened in the past with guys coming from five or six back to win. I knew that in my position that third wasn’t safe. Even a two-under day wasn’t going to cut it so I had to try and workout what was needed to shoot that really low number and one of those to achieve that was really staying committed to being in my own space and what I could control.


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