A Quick 9: Ted PurdyWe caught up with Ted Purdy recently to ask him about physical fitness, winning on the PGA TOUR for the first time and carrying raw broccoli in his golf bag.
We looped a Quick Nine with him to find out more...
1. When did you start working out?
I really started focusing on my warm-up while I was on the Nationwide Tour in 2003. I noticed during the rounds in which I wasn't warming up, I didn't score as well and wasn't striking the ball as well. Now I feel like I have to do it every morning, otherwise I get to the course and feel like I've left something out. I stretch, do push-ups and sprints, and tai kwan do. I don't use a lot of weights. It's tough on those days I have a 7 a.m. tee time, but since I've started, I’ve gained about 10 pounds of muscle and am hitting the ball straighter and farther. It also helps me prepare mentally for the round.
2. Staying with the physical fitness theme, how important is hydration on the course and what do you drink and eat during a round?
Hydration is the most important thing for health in general, for physical and mental wellness. I like to drink Gatorade or orange juice during my rounds, definitely stay away from soda. In terms of food, I’m actually notorious for my raw broccoli. I carried a bag of raw broccoli in my bag during my playoff with Stewart Cink at Harbour Town last year and I’ve been known for it ever since.
3. What is the main swing fault you see in amateurs you play with during Pro-Ams?
Tension. Whether it is in their arms, grip, upper body, golfers need to have supple arms to make a complete turn which helps generate a lot of clubhead speed. I also suggest they swing towards the target. Pick a very finite target and aim right at it.
4. You won the Byron Nelson Championship for your first career PGA TOUR victory earlier this year. Has winning changed you? Did you splurge on anything?
I don't think winning has changed me. Professionally, it makes me want to win again. Winning is so much fun, especially at such a special event with Byron and all the top players there. It's just a blast, knowing you've reached the pinnacle of what you've been trying to do. As far as splurging, winning allowed me to pay off my house. It's the big American dream. That was a great feeling. It is easy to stay motivated in this profession because I love the challenge and the highs and lows of golf. Golf is about attitude, you need to have positive thoughts. Attitude is everything.
5. We hear you're a huge Jimmy Buffet fan. How many Buffet shows have you been to?
I’ve been to one every year since I was about 15-16 years old. My brother is a huge fan of Buffet and he’s been taking me since high school. I just think Buffet is extremely talented and brilliant. My theme is "attitude is everything" and he's got a great attitude. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to meet him yet, but I've snuck up to the front row a few times and thrown my flip-flops on stage.
6. How old were you when you decided to make a career out of golf?
The first time I remember making a conscious decision to be a professional golfer I was probably eight years old. I remember watching Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson coming down the stretch at the U.S. Open. After that, I never once thought I wasn't going to be a professional golfer.
7. Who did you model your golf game after?
The great role models are the older players - the Tom Watsons, the Jack Nicklauses. But I also grew up playing junior golf with Tiger Woods. I really respect the way he represents himself and the game. I've beaten him twice - probably more than most people - but he's beaten me about 300,000 times.
8. Did you grow up in a golfing family?
I actually learned to play golf from my mother. She had a long, beautiful, fluid swing. I can still picture it today. We had the first tee time every morning at our local course and I used to go out with my mom and my brother. My sister would ride in the cart. That's where I learned the game.
9. Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you bring to the golf course?
I don't know if you would call it a ritual or superstition but I make sure I work out before every round, I say a prayer, and I prefer marking my golf ball with quarters minted in the 1960s. I only want to shoot in the 60s.
AN EVEN QUICKER NINE...
Favorite TOUR stop: EDS Byron Nelson (since I won there), Phoenix Open, and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Favorite city: New Orleans
Favorite band: Jimmy Buffet; Pat Green
Favorite book: Swing the Clubhead, by Ernest Jones
Favorite restaurant: Mastro’s in Scottsdale, AZ
Favorite movie: Groundhog Day (people say my wife looks like Andie MacDowell)
Favorite actress/actor: Andie MacDowell
What was your first car and what do you drive now: First car - Ford Bronco; Now - Ford F150
Most pressure on the golf course: Standing on the 17th tee at PGA West in the final round of Q-School. I needed a par-par finish to secure my TOUR card and hit my tee shot in the water. There’s no pressure like TOUR School.
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