American Century Championship
Friday, July 9, 2021
Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
THE MODERATOR: Jack Wagner, one of two players to have participated in all 32 of the American Century Championships. Former two-time champion. Jack, starting off today. Great round. How many points? How many birdies? Give us the highlights.
JACK WAGNER: Yeah, I didn’t make many mistakes. Two bogeys, four birdies. Hit 18 in two. I started on the back and almost dropped it for eagle. Just went over the edge.
And I made the long putt on 1, which was my tenth hole, and sort of kick started a nice 2-under-par on the front side, which was on my back side. And I shot 2-under. Really good playing for me. I don’t play much golf anymore. I’m 61 years old. It’s hard to keep up with the younger guys. But today I just didn’t make many mistakes.
Q: You mentioned 61. Dell Curry was in here yesterday saying I’d like to win this and become the oldest player to win it at 57. You’re at 61 right now. You still in the hunt with it. What do you think?
JACK WAGNER: If I can keep my nerve a little bit. The putter seems to be my — I used to be a really good putter. As you get older, I think the nerves in general — if I can just handle it around the greens consistently, hopefully I’ll be in the hunt by Sunday, if I don’t blow up too bad.
Q: You won this 10 years ago in 2011. You still have the record now for being — I don’t mean to be ageist here — as the oldest, more mature winner we’ll say.
JACK WAGNER: Thank you. Did you hear that? A real adult here. Thank you.
Q: We said mature. We didn’t say adult. But that’s okay. (Laughter).
JACK WAGNER: Thank you.
Q: What would it be like for you to capture this one more time?
JACK WAGNER: It would be great. I didn’t think I could until today, to be honest. I hit the ball real beautifully. I’m not that good of a ball-striker. But today I hit the ball really well. I gave myself a lot of looks at birdie. None were that close.
I missed about a five-footer on a par-5 for birdie. Other than that, for me, if I can continue to hit the ball well put myself on the greens, you know, I have a shot. So, yeah.
Q: All 32 years now, what does it feel this year after last year without fans and without a media room to come and talk to?
JACK WAGNER: The fans are great. I love to watch golf on television, and the pros how they speak about having fans. And basketball and hockey, listen, to have people out here and to hear some sort of reaction when — the oohs and ahs, makes a huge difference. It pumps me up.
Q: Tell us what you’ve been doing these days.
JACK WAGNER: Moving into season nine of “When Calls The Heart,” which is a series on the Hallmark Channel. It’s incredible to go nine years of a series on anywhere, cable or network.
So I just finished “Wedding” March 6, a series of movies that I have on the Hallmark Channel staring Josie Bissett and myself, the sixth movie, and that will air in the middle of August. So I’ve been on a nice run with the Hallmark Channel for the last eight years, heading up to Vancouver the next eight weeks.
Q: You may be 61, but you can still wear a visor. I can’t do that. I’m just curious if you saw the odds, 30-to-1, if that got under your skin at all, gave you a little more momentum —
JACK WAGNER: Yeah, I’ll be honest. I had a couple guys who have won this that said I just went and bet on you. I go why? And then I saw 30-to-1. I’m, like, it gives me motivation, absolutely.
Q: Few dollars on yourself?
JACK WAGNER: I don’t speak about that gambling.
Yeah, a lot. (Laughter).
Q: I don’t want to bring you back to bad memories of last year, but you had an 18 the first day. Got a 24 today. But it fell apart, pardon the expression, you fell apart with a 9 on Saturday last year. How can you better that tomorrow?
JACK WAGNER: Saturday last year was Mardy Fish’s day. I was paired with Mardy. He shot 63. I cleared myself out of the way. No excuses, I was really happy for him. He’s a very good friend of mine. He’s an incredible golfer. And so I just didn’t have it last year.
You have this one window for me a year to play well, and I just didn’t play well last year. I was more in a rooting seat for Mardy. He had an amazing day and won the tournament and it was awesome.
Q: You’re saying it’s a good possibility you’ll be back in this room tomorrow?
JACK WAGNER: So you’re saying there’s a chance? Yeah, dumb and dumber, I love that part. Thank you.