JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park. Pleased to be joined by Bryson DeChambeau who posted a third round of 66. He is currently 6-under par for the championship.
Bryson, these days known for your length, but it was a lengthy putt that your day ended on. Kind of a good note there. Take about that stroke.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I didn’t hit that great of a drive off the tee box. I thought the wind was more off the right and it just didn’t really help it back into the fairway. Got in the bunker. Had a really nicely. I just kind of chunked it a little bit. Came up a little short and you know walked it off, 96 feet. And I just said to myself, well, I think this line looks pretty good. We’ve been doing a lot of speed testing out there so I knew I had to hit it like 130 feet relative to all of our stuff and you know for me I just felt like I hit it 130 feet and I was able to start it on line and saw it kept going closer and closer to the hole and eventually dropped.
Those moments, you just have to look back and laugh and appreciate what the game is, because that stuff happens at random points in time in life, and this was a pretty good random moment to do it in (chuckling).
Q. Obviously it’s just an incredible leaderboard, logjam, you’re right there. I know this is probably a stupid question because of your love of math but I assume you’re a leaderboard watcher?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah.
Q. Here with no crowds, is that something you’ll do more than normal because there’s no other way to tell what other people are doing?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, you’re absolutely going have to. For me I’ve always looked at leaderboards and wanted to know exactly where I stand so I can make the best decisions on the holes that I play, and I try not to let it influence me too much but for the most part certain instances, you don’t need to go after a flag if it’s a really difficult flag and you’re one shot ahead or whatever. You’re going to make adjustments and hit shots based on where you are for sure.
Q. Following up on that, do you think 16 is probably the hole on the back nine where a tactical decision could be influenced by that information?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 100 percent. Even today, I was city thinking still hit 3-wood or driver up to the right and chip it up over there, but I just didn’t want to have a ball get stuck in the tree or behind a tree. I said, you know, been wedging it better, get one in the fairway and get one down there and I was lucky enough to make an 18-footer.
Q. You mentioned having a calibration system. How high does that go?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, went to 130 feet there I guess. It’s more of a feel and perception I have about how hard I’m hitting it. But it goes to 100 feet on my ruler and I practiced that this morning and so I kind much got a gauge off of that and got a sense of how hard I needed to hit it.
Q. And you mentioned talking about kind of laying back. Is that hard to do?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes.
Q. Given how far you’re hitting the ball?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes. Very hard. But it’s a major championship so you have to be more tack my Cal. I said this week I felt like the rough isn’t that penalizing; well, it is now. It grew and they haven’t cut it, so that’s a major, right. I’ve been a little more tactical certain areas but I just feel like I have to clean up my iron play. I made some really dumb mistakes with my irons, and if I get that under control and drive it like I did, putt like I did, I think I’ll give myself a chance.
JOHN DEVER: Forgive me for having this, but is that putt, 95, 90 feet, is that as long as you’ve made one on TOUR?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s the longest I’ve ever made in any competition, ever.
JOHN DEVER: That qualifies.
Q. You were just talking about dialing back, and to play smart and how difficult that is sometimes. Are you sometimes, do you have to guard against being seduced by your length? I look at like as an example, Memorial when you went with the 3-wood near the end, because you know how far you can hit it, is there sometimes where you have to maybe be a little conscious of that because it could get you in trouble?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. It’s just weighing the risk for the reward in certain areas, and maybe you have bunkers and water where I’m hitting it; it’s not necessarily worth it. Like 16 today, I didn’t really feel like it was worth it. If I hit it driver and actually left over the bunkers, it’s in the water and I have no chance to get it up-and-down. If I had a chance to get it up-and-down, that may have been a different story.
But I felt like I could just hit a 4-iron down there and hit it on the green and make a putt. And that’s what I he mean by being a little more tactical out here. To win major championships, on this golf course, at least, you have to be tactical.
Q. More of a big picture note. This is really where you stand right now, probably your best spot in a major going into a Sunday. What’s your emotion with that and how exciting is that for you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I’m proud of myself that I’ve been able to change my body, change everything, and give myself a chance to win tomorrow. That’s something that I think is difficult to do when somebody goes and changes themselves, there’s usually a little struggle with that. So I really am blessed and proud that I’m able to be healthy and have the ability to compete for a major championship come tomorrow.
I’d also say, too, I’m looking forward to the other ones that are coming up because this is going to give me a lot of confidence.
Q. There’s a fair amount of youth on the board, guys chasing their first major. What is the effect of not having a crowd tomorrow on the Sunday after a major? Do you think that helps you comfort level-wise?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think you’re right in that regard. It’s not the crazy roars that sometimes we hear, and albeit I have heard that before. I think I finished close to Top-20 at Augusta, or like Top-25 I think at Augusta my first year out there. So I experienced a little bit of it.
But I think for those other guys, definitely. I think it will definitely be a benefit for them that there’s no crowds, no roars going on.
Q. Back to the majors. Curious how you have grown as a golfer and a person from those experiences to give you the confidence to compete for the championship tomorrow?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I’d say the other majors, I’ve struggled, whether it be my game, just driving it not well, iron play not well, putting not well or whatever it was. It was just something I wasn’t comfortable with in majors; higher expectations. Sometimes I felt like I was playing good going into it and would get there and something would go off and then I’d get penalized based off of just the conditions at hand and not having everything in tiptop shape and for me, going into this year’s first major, I would say I was a little more confident just because I had won three or four weeks ago, can’t even remember how long it was ago.
And I’ve also been able to hit it a lot farther. Putting’s really good. Had a lot of confidence, and to be honest with you, Chris and I have been working pretty hard on some golf swing stuff and they have really started to pay off for me and I feel really confident with that and excited to keep testing it. This is the first major with this new body, new swing. I hope it’s only going to get better.
Q. You mentioned the randomness, the point in time of the putt on the last. Curious if you can think of another circumstance, maybe in a win, or something where you had a similar kind of quirky moment earlier in the week. And then secondly, the importance of the momentum of that, or is it just, again, just randomness, I guess?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, there’s definitely momentum in this game. I mean, you can see it with any player that’s out here, even with me. There’s up-and-downs, and you try and be as positive and stable as possible, and you know, sometimes there’s just things that happen where you can’t explain it.
Give you one other instance. I didn’t win or anything but it was as Riv, not this past year but the year before. I holed out twice, once on 13 and once on 17 in the same day. I just kept making shots from around the green, and then the next day, I made one on 14 on the par 3.
So there’s some times, there’s weeks where randomness occurs, and it just keeps occurring in a weird way. It’s like flipping — I don’t even know if this is the right example. But the only thing I can think about is flipping a quarter, and having it land on heads 12 times or something, the percentage of that, whatever that is. Just sometimes there’s things in golf that happens really weird, and that’s why I love golf.
As much as I try and bring it down to a science, I love it because of the randomness, because I’m trying to figure it out and sometimes those weird things happen, and good and bad, and you’ve just got to laugh them off.
Q. Growing up in Clovis, what’s your experience with TPC Harding Park, and being a northern California guy, what would it mean to win your first major championship kind of in your backyard?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Can you ask the first question again? I was thinking about the second one, because yes, it would be amazing to win in my backyard. Ask the first one again, please.
Q. Your experience at TPC Harding Park.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, so I played here 2012 or 2011. I think it was 2012 or 2011 for a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Open near Olympic Club. What was it, 2012 I think? Yeah, Olympic.
I was close. I missed it by like two or three or something like that. So I played this golf course and I loved it. I thought it was a great golf course. Happened to be that we were playing it this year and I was super excited to come here and play well here again. And to win in my backyard would be something I could only dream of. Monterey and then I’d also say San Fran, this area, played a lot of NCGA junior tour events around here and there’s so many great golf courses. It would just be a tremendous honor to win. I don’t even know what that would mean to me other than more than the world, I would say. It would be really cool because there’s been a lot of people in NCGA that have helped me become the person I am, and it would be cool to go down there if it was to happen and bring the trophy down to Monterey and hang out with the guys that helped me get here.
Q. Mentally, emotionally, tonight and heading into tomorrow, as you go through the preparation, will you allow yourself to think about winning and holding that Wanamaker Trophy?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No. No. I won’t, at all. That’s a great question. For me, it’s about the process, and I’ll be thinking about the shots and executing the right shots and putting myself in the right position to win. If I give myself a couple shots going into the back nine, being that close to the lead or even hopefully up at the top of the leaderboard, that’s the goal that I’m looking for, and it’s these small intermediate goals that every single hole is going to probably be changing, but then going back to executing every shot the best I possibly that. That’s really what I’ll be thinking about tomorrow.
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