Jay Don Blake Thursday
Q. How close were you guys to teeing off this morning when they stopped?
JAY DON BLAKE: Just getting ready to walk over and tee my ball up. And as I walked over to do that, he says, oh, no, wait a minute. We're going to be blowing the horn here. So I didn't even get the tee in the ground. I was halfway bent over.
Q. Did you think it was coming or?
JAY DON BLAKE: You could kind of see it lingering around. I heard some rumbling going on and hard to tell how close it is, but we knew it was coming, so ‑‑
Q. Nice achievement to get in the field at your age. Disappointed with the round or pleased or what?
JAY DON BLAKE: Kind of medium. I missed some, about four or five short putts, from five feet and that kind of took some momentum out of of me.
I made the one birdie all day just on the last hole. Hit a lot of good putts, but I couldn't get them to go in. Seemed like I was always on the wrong side. I was playing a foot to three feet of break most of the time and then trying to die them into the hole. And you need to be on the right side of them to where you can be aggressive and make some good strokes at them. I felt like I was playing cautious most of the time.
Q. During the break, what did you do? I don't know how often you've had that in a U.S. Open before?
JAY DON BLAKE: We get stuff like that this time of year; it kind of happens. Humidity builds that stuff up and you get little fireworks show going on.
So we just kind of hang around the ‑‑ we have the family dining over there, grab a little snack, watch a little TV, and talk with everybody that we haven't, especially myself, being 54, I haven't seen a bunch of the guys in a long time. It was kind of nice to walk around and say hi to the guys that I haven't seen in quite a while and see how everybody is doing and talk a little bit of family stuff. So it was fun.
Q. 2003 was your last U.S. Open. Had you tried to qualify between then and now?
JAY DON BLAKE: I tried one other time, the one for Pebble Beach. I wanted to get back to Pebble. Pebble is one of my favorite courses ever. But I had to go through both local and sectional. I only had to do the sectional this time.
Q. You played this place once before?
JAY DON BLAKE: I never played it.
Q. So after hearing about it and then actually playing it, what are your thoughts?
JAY DON BLAKE: Everybody said it's going to be a great golf course, it's going to be short. There's nothing short about it. Those par‑4s I'm hitting hybrids in on a couple of them and 3‑wood. Par‑3s, hybrid par‑3s, they're playing 250, these par‑3s, it's pretty crazy.
Q. There's some short holes and then ‑‑
JAY DON BLAKE: Yeah, the short holes you're hitting 4‑irons off the tee and then still having a 9‑iron into the green. So it's not like you're able to take a driver on a short one and have a little flip wedge. They kind of handicap you on the short ones.
Q. To get the round in ‑‑ these guys playing now, they're not going to get their round in.
JAY DON BLAKE: I don't even feel sorry for them.
(Laughter.) No, I'm glad to get this round in. If they don't, then we got to come out and, what, 7 o'clock and start 6:45, whatever, and finish two or three holes or whatever it is and then we ‑‑ that's no good. That's no fun.
We're already up early for our tee time today and then to do it a couple days in a row ‑‑ it's nice to be able to get it done and kind of find out what's going on tomorrow at five o'clock or so. I'll put a mattress in there or something.
Q. How are you going to feel tomorrow? What will you do?
JAY DON BLAKE: I've got grandkids and kids, so we'll find something. I'll watch them run around the house and stuff.
Q. What are the grandkids' ages?
JAY DON BLAKE: Six, four, three, three, two, and Jackson is 8, I think. So we've got a variety of ages, pretty active ages. And the house that we rented is, we have got toys everywhere. And the kids are loving it. We got a swing set out back, a little patio, so it's something that they can have a lot of fun with.
Q. What do you think you need to make the cut? Any guess? Where does this put you in your mind?
JAY DON BLAKE: 4‑over par. No, I mean, I'm just trying to shoot the score I can. If it is ‑‑ I'm not just trying to make a cut. If I go out tomorrow and shoot a good round tomorrow, who knows where I'll be sitting.
So I just got to go execute my golf game and hit the shots. And if you start saying, well, the cut's going to be 5‑over par and you start kind of being cautious, trying to hang around there, then you're going to go the other way. So I'm going to try to see if I can, it might not work, it might, but I'm going to see if I can shoot a number under par tomorrow.
Q. On 16, you were in the left rough there off the tee. And that shot, even going at a small green from that kind of rough, how challenging is that out here in that situation?
JAY DON BLAKE: It's tough. It's all wet, moist grass. You're swinging hard at it, it's grabbing the club, it's ‑‑ you just hope it comes out straight and comes up the right yardage. It makes it pretty tough.
Q. Do you feel like you're playing a little bit for senior golfers as well?
JAY DON BLAKE: Well, I was razzed by all them last week by them saying don't embarrass us old guys, you better go out there and play well. Now, come on. I got a lot of weight on my shoulders in that aspect. But I know they were kidding, so they pretty well know the U.S. Open and what's happening and the way they set the course up. So I know whatever happens out here, they're not going to hold anything against me.
Q. Have you ever done an interview in a guy's back yard before?
JAY DON BLAKE: It's been ‑‑ no, I have not.
Q. It's kind of a quirky setup, isn't it?
JAY DON BLAKE: I don't know. I mean "quirky" is probably kind of mild word to describe it. So, I mean, even walking from here to sign our scorecard, I mean it's another two par‑5s away.
Q. Where do you sign it?
JAY DON BLAKE: Down there (Indicating). You gotta come from down there, from 10 green, to walk into here and sign our card. So you've got another 1,000 yards you got to walk to turn in your scorecard.
Q. How long did it take you to get from the practice area to the first shot you hit?
JAY DON BLAKE: First left at about 8 o'clock. My first shot didn't happen until 12:10, so four hours because of the delay.
Q. How long to actually get to the practice facilities the first time?
JAY DON BLAKE: The first time we left, we had a police escort. A motorcycle guy out in front of us, lights going. And everybody scattering, so it didn't take long at all.
The second time we didn't have that escort because they were trying to shuttle everybody all back to one time, kind of like a shotgun start. So they didn't have enough escorts to kind of move everybody around. But it only still took maybe 12 minutes probably, 15 at the most.
Q. Have you ever had your round stopped just as you were about to start like that before?
JAY DON BLAKE: I've had it just before, but not like that. I was bending over to tee it up and they go, wait a minute, we're not going.
Q. How do you like all the houses around here?
JAY DON BLAKE: I love it. It's pretty nice. They have a lot of really neat houses around here. The houses are pretty nice. It's a pretty neat area.