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US Open 2020: Bryson DeChambeau in his first Champion Interview

MODERATOR: We’re pleased to welcome champion of the 120th U.S. Open, Bryson DeChambeau. How does that sound?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Surreal. It sounds amazing, but surreal. It’s been a lot of hard work, and I got to say thanks to my whole team again, all my sponsors as well — Brett, Tim, my caddie works his butt off every single day for me. Connor works his butt off for me every single day. Chris Como works really, really hard for me and helps me think through a lot of amazing things. Even Mike Schy, I still talk to Mike, and we still talk about how to get better. I would be remiss if I didn’t say his name either.

It’s one of those things that doesn’t really hit you — it’s not going to hit me until tonight, but I will say that my parents have given so much up for me. I mean, there were times that I went to school without any lunch money, and we had to make bologna sandwiches and didn’t have anything to eat. We had some very, very difficult times, but every single day, they always wanted the best for me, and they always gave me the opportunity to go golf, go practice, and go get better.

This one’s for my parents. It’s for Mike Schy, it’s for Chris, it’s for my whole team. All the work, all the blood, sweat, and tears we put into it, it just means the world to me.

Q. It’s going to be hard to reflect on right now, but that moment when you putted in on 18 and you put your hands in the air, what was going through your mind?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I did it. I did it. As difficult as this golf course was presented, I played it beautifully. Even through the rough, I was still able to manage my game and hit it to correct sides of the greens, except on 14 today, and kept plugging away. My putting was immaculate today. My speed control, incredible. That’s why we worked so hard on my speed control. You see me out there on the greens with the device trying to control my speed.

It’s just something that allows me and gives me comfort to know that on this green, or these speeds of greens, you know, it’s going to be repeatable. It’s going to be this. It’s going to be that. It’s going to be comfort in knowing how far I can take it back and go through.

So many times I relied on science, and it worked every single time.

Q. Your fans and backers are very passionate in their support of you. What do you have to say to them right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I can’t say thank you enough for supporting me and staying with me through thick and thin. There’s always going to be people that say things. There’s always going to be people that do things. But no matter what, my focus and my message to everybody out there is each and every day that you’re living life try and make this day better than the previous day. Let today’s garbage be better than yesterday.

The fans that have always been there, the supporters that have always been there, I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have meant for me. You’ve kept me pushing the needle, moving the needle, and you’re going to keep inspiring me too. So I really thank you for everything. I couldn’t do it without you guys.

Q. Bryson, you said the T4 at the PGA felt like you were moving in the right direction, but with all of the chatter and all of the doubters, what is he doing, does this absolutely put you over the edge in terms of validating what you’ve done?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. And I’m not going to stop. Next week I’m going to be trying a 48-inch driver. We’re going to be messing with some head designs and do some amazing with things with Cobra to make it feasible to hit these drives maybe 360, 370, maybe even farther. I don’t know.

Q. Given the way you’ve adopted this approach, do you feel like you’re potentially changing the game, or at least changing the way that people think about playing in the game?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think I’m definitely changing the way people think about the game. Now, whether you can do it, that’s a whole different situation. There’s a lot of people that are going to be hitting it far. Matthew was hitting it plenty far today. A couple of putts just didn’t go in for him today and kept the momentum on my side. So he’s definitely got the firepower and the strength to do it. You’ve got to be looking out for him in the future.

There’s a lot of young guns that are unbelievable players, and I think the next generation that’s coming up into golf hopefully will see this and go, hey, I can do that too.

Q. Bryson, you very much do things your own way. What kind of mental strength do you take from that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s a lot of validation through science, just making sure that the numbers are what they are and the result is accurate. So if I had — just an example. If I hit a 40-footer and it says 10.1 miles per hour on the device, I know that I’ve executed it correctly; and if I see the ball go two feet past that 40 foot mark, I know it’s perfect. I know I’ve done everything I can in my brain to make my perception reality.

So it’s all about trying to make my perception of what I feel, what I think, what I — you know, whatever it is, turn into proper reality. It definitely is validating that I’m able to execute time and time again and have it be good enough to win an Open. I don’t know if that answered your question.

Q. There’s so much talk about the driving and the distance and whatnot, but you did shoot the best score today by three, I believe. Do you feel like you’re proving, with a victory in a Major like this, on a golf course like this, even more so that you’re not just a one-dimensional player?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, I think I’ve got a lot of creativity. Phil said it to me earlier this week. He said, in 2006, I had the best short game week of my life, and that really stuck out to me for some reason because I just knew that, if I did hit it in the rough, I’m going to have to get it up and down quite a bit.

So I made sure that I needed to practice those shots coming into the week, and I did that beautifully, and I felt super comfortable out of the rough no matter the situation.

I mean, a perfect example was No. 14, uphill lie, just hit it off the top of the face, came out dead and rolled down there to ten feet, and I made it. That was huge. If I don’t make that and he makes his, you know, we’ve got a fight.

So, yeah, I think that answered your question. I don’t know. I’m just kind of rambling a little bit.

Q. It seems like the putting has really been on point.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes. Yes, putting has been — sorry. I love it. The putting has gradually improved over the course of my career. I was dead last when I came out on TOUR, and the SIG guys, SIG golf, they helped me understand how a ball needs to roll in order to give me the best chance to hole a putt.

Over the course of these four years, every year I’ve gotten a little bit better. I’ve gotten in the top ten now. I don’t know how much better I can get, but I’m going to keep trying every single week.

Q. Bryson, you used your own approach to the game to get here. Do you think kids watching today are now going to follow in your footsteps and look at this approach and try to replicate that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I hope I can inspire some people. My goal in playing golf and playing this game is to try and figure it out. I’m just trying to figure out this very complex, multivariable game, and multidimensional game as well. It’s very, very difficult. It’s a fun journey for me.

I hope that inspires people to say, hey, look, maybe there is a different way to do it. Not everybody has to do it my way. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying in general that there are different ways to do things. If you can find your own way, find your passion — like Arnie said, swing your swing. That’s what I do. That’s what Matthew Wolff does. That’s what Tiger does. That’s what Phil does. That’s what everybody does, and we’re all trying to play the best golf we can.

Hopefully, my way inspires people. This is my seventh win PGA TOUR, first Major, couldn’t be more proud. I hope that it does inspire a few people.

Q. Just for the record, what is your current height and weight?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 6’1″, 230 to 235, depending on if I’ve eaten steak or not.

Q. Do you want to be bigger when you get to Augusta?


Q. What would you say is your like — what are you shooting for?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I think I can get to 245. It’s going to be a lot of working out. I don’t think it’s possible — it may be, I don’t know. It’s just I’ve gained so much so quickly in a year. They always say, when you work out, you gain your 30 pounds or whatever it is, and then after that, each year, you half it. So you can go 15. If you keep working out every day, you keep halving it. And then eventually there comes a point where you can’t gain much more.

But I still feel like I can get up there if you work hard enough.

Q. What’s your answer to people who say it can’t be healthy for the body?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I am talking to a doctor. I got all my blood sample tests, everything back a couple weeks ago. Everything is fine so far. We’re going to keep monitoring it and making sure I’m as healthy as possible because I do want to live for a long time.

Q. Bryson, what drove you to the range in the cold and dark last night? What were you looking for, and what did you find?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: So my driver was not performing in the way I wanted it to. Thursday, Friday, I felt super comfortable with the driver. Saturday wasn’t comfortable. So I knew I needed to go to the range, figure something out, so I could play for tomorrow and be super comfortable because, if I’m comfortable with the driver, I knew I could play golf and shoot under par on this golf course.

I was able to find something out last night, and then on the 6th hole today, I figured out a little bit more, and that gave me the confidence to play for the rest of the day.

That was essentially — it’s all about the governors for me. I have a limit to kind of what I do with the swing so I don’t overrotate. You can see I missed a lot of shots left this week. My left arm wasn’t holding and being stable enough through impact. It was just rolling over. That’s why I was drawing it and hooking it a little bit.

So I worked on that yesterday, and on the 6th hole I figured out that, even though I was holding it off, my left arm was too bent. So I was still leading to where the face is way open to the target, and then I felt like I had to do that to close the face. So once I straightened that out, got the face back a little more square, I felt like I could hold it off the whole way, and gave me so much comfort for the rest of the round.

Q. I was going to ask you what’s for dinner right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Steak and potatoes. We’ve got to keep it going.

Q. Very simple, Bryson. What makes you the happiest right now?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I would say, first off, knowing that the team around me has worked just as hard as I have, if not harder, to get me to where I am today. And knowing that I was able to execute for 72 holes in a Major Championship under the toughest conditions and perform to the highest level.

Q. And that trophy?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, the trophy, obviously, is really nice that comes with it.

Q. This has got to be some form of validation in your head, you know?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 100 percent, no doubt. For me, it’s about the journey of can I execute every shot more repeatably than everybody else? I was able to do that this week. That’s why I won by six, yeah.

Q. How do you explain how during a pandemic and what a lot of people are writing off as kind of a lost year, you’ve elevated your game this much?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I felt like it was an opportunity, not a lost year at all. I felt like it was an opportunity to do something great — change my lifestyle, make it healthier, make it better — and I hope it inspires everybody else to do the same. When you have time, when you have that little free moment, don’t squander it. Look at it as an opportunity to make yourself better.

That’s what I think I did this year, and I’m going to keep trying to do that.

Q. When you were a little kid starting out with this whole thing, was the U.S. Open one you wanted to win, or was it something else?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I would say any Major was the ones I — they were all ones that I wanted to win, but I knew that my game would fit best for a U.S. Open. The reason for that is I always felt growing up, in college, I was always a super straight driver of the golf ball, super great iron player. Putting was always iffy, but I knew I could get around it on fast, quick greens. I was always really good on quick greens.

I’ve become a great putter, and my ball striking has improved consistently, and now I’ve got an advantage with this length, and that’s all she wrote.

But, yes, growing up, the U.S. Open is the one I thought I could win the most.

Q. Bryson, I don’t mean to look past this accomplishment after a half hour, but have you thought about how you might game plan for Augusta National?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, length is going to be a big advantage there. I know that for a fact. It’s always an advantage pretty much anywhere, but given that fact, I’m going to try and prepare by testing a couple things with the driver. I mean, by that, it’s 48 inches, and I’ll also do something with the face to account for the new speed that I’m going at.

Then I’ve got to get better with my iron play a little bit. I felt like it was great today, but definitely the driver needs to go straighter. That’s really my main focus still.

Q. Bryson, if the USGA had a debriefing meeting tomorrow morning to talk about how this U.S. Open was won at Winged Foot, what do you think they’d talk about?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: He’s hitting it forever. That’s why he won. I mean, it was a tremendous advantage this week. I kept telling everybody it’s an advantage to hit it farther. It’s an advantage. Mark Broadie was talking to Chris Como, and they were both talking about how they just made the fairways too small this week to have it be an advantage for guys hitting the fairway.

So what I mean by that — let’s take an example of you going like a yard wide. Nobody’s got the fairway. Okay, length’s going to win. You make the fairways too wide, length’s going to win. There’s like this balance between widths of fairways and where they want to play it and where they’re going to try to make you play it.

Q. If distance has been such a hot topic over the last two, three years and they’re looking into it now, do you think this will accelerate any desire to rein you guys in?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s tough to rein in athleticism. We’re always going to be trying to get fitter, stronger, more athletic, and Tiger inspired this whole generation to do this, and we’re going to keep going after it. I don’t think it’s going to stop. Will they rein it back? I’m sure. I’m sure something might happen. But I don’t know what it will be. I just know that length is always going to be an advantage.

Q. How much is athleticism and how much is science, technology —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, the COR was locked in back in 2000 or something like that. You could only have it come off the face so much, right? So it’s been that way ever since. The rules haven’t changed. People have just gotten a little longer with their driver. The shafts have become better for sustaining higher swing speeds, and we’re constantly trying to just hit it as hard as we possibly can.

Kyle Berkshire, Justin James, a bunch of those guys, Josh, they all inspired me to try and go harder at it. They are the ones breaking the barriers. I can see what is possible.

So that inspires me to keep pushing the limits. I don’t think that science is that — is as big of a role in the market today. I would say it’s more of athleticism playing probably a bigger role for that for sure.

I was hitting it — on just a normal average TOUR player a year ago, and then I all of a sudden got a lot stronger, worked out every day, been working out every day, and all of a sudden — not because of clubs, but because of me, I was able to gain 20, 25 yards.

MODERATOR: Bryson, our 120th U.S. Open champion, congratulations again.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thank you all.

Team Ireland

US Open 2020 – Rory McIlroy: “I’m feeling pretty good that I’ve got a good chance tomorrow.”

Q. Rory, 2-under 68; how are you feeling about your round today?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, really good. Geez, I think anything under par on this golf course today is a really good score. I saw Alex go out there and shoot 3-under earlier. You know, I’m not saying it’s out there; he got a good one, I did, and there’s maybe a couple other guys that are under par. Yeah, and the wind is not quite as strong as it was yesterday. You know, it maybe played a touch less difficult I’ll say. Not easier, but it was a little less difficult.

But some of the hole locations are still pretty tricky and got to leave yourself on the right side. But yeah, overall 68 out there is a really good score. I don’t know where that’s going to leave me at the end of the day, but I’m feeling pretty good that I’ve got a good chance going into tomorrow.

Q. When you’re in a little bit of a chasing position as you are right now, what kind of conditions are you kind of hoping for or half hoping for tomorrow?

RORY McILROY: It’s sort of a double-edged sword, right, because you would think that you’d want tougher conditions because it’ll make it more difficult for the guys in front of you, but also makes it more difficult for yourself. I think looking at the forecast, the conditions are going to be pretty similar to today, which is fine. If I go out there tomorrow and shoot another 68, I won’t be too far away.

Q. Kind of along those lines, depending on how the next few hours work out, is there a number in your head based on how difficult this golf course is that you feel like legitimately I could come back from?

RORY McILROY: I mean, around here, anything. Not necessarily anything, but I said over there, if Matt pars his way in and is 5-under par, I still don’t think that’s out of it by any stretch of the imagination. You know, it doesn’t take much around here for — someone gets off to a decent start, maybe 1- or 2-under through 5 and then the leader goes the other way, 1- or 2-over through 5, and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things.

But yeah, we’ll see what happens. No matter where I am at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good shot.

Q. Is yesterday’s round a little harder to swallow after today?

RORY McILROY: No, not really. I mean, I felt like I finished the round well yesterday. I was sort of hemorrhaging after like 12 or 13 holes, and then to just par my way in, right, so 14 through 18, so five in a row, just to get it in the clubhouse, sort of regroup, and then I sort of started the same way today. I parred the first five, first six holes, made a birdie on 7, made another birdie on 9, so played a really nice stretch of holes there from the 14th last night to the 9th today. I played those holes in 2-under par and didn’t make a bogey in that stretch.

You’re going to have stretches in U.S. Opens where you’re going to make bogeys and you’re going to make mistakes, but if you can back it up with stretches of golf like I showed there, that’s what you have to do. It’s not going to be all plain sailing in this tournament.

Q. Given how hard you had to work to get 68, how surprising is it to look up at the board and see somebody with a 30 on the front?

RORY McILROY: Is that what it was, a 30?

Q. Yeah, missed probably about an eight-footer for 29.

RORY McILROY: Wow. I mean, that’s just — you can’t say anything but that’s just awesome golf. Yeah, I mean, everyone knows how talented Matt is and he played great at Harding Park in the last major. You know, he’s explosive like that. He can get on runs like that. So yeah, I’m not saying it’s out there. I certainly didn’t see shooting 30 on any nine today, but we’ll see what happens over the back nine.

Q. If Matt is leading tomorrow, do you think it helps him to not have to try to win a major with a massive crowd around him in the same way that Morikawa didn’t have to face the crowd at Harding Park?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course. Of course, yeah. It’s one variable that you just don’t have to deal with, where — is that a loss of an advantage to you who’s accustomed to being in that environment.

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think it could be, a little bit. Maybe not a loss of an advantage to me, but just more of a — just makes it a touch easier for the guys at the top. Even today, look, you’ve got Bryson and P-Reed out in the final group, and any other U.S. Open final grouping you’ve got those two guys, things are going to be said and tempers are going to flare. Even if those guys don’t have to deal with that today, it just makes it a little different and maybe a touch easier if you’re in those final few groups.

Q. Do you have a simple explanation for why it hasn’t been the massacre that many expected going into this week?

RORY McILROY: I mean, I guess what’s a massacre? Yeah, okay, 5-over is not going to win like last time and 7-over when Hale Irwin won. I’d say the golf course is playing just as difficult.

You know, you’ve got to think 14 years on the game has changed a lot, guys hit it further, equipment. There’s a lot of different things that — scoring averages have went down a little bit, on average. The game has just moved on a little bit and everyone has collectively, I think, just got a little bit better.

Q. You mentioned just earlier the first three or four holes and how difficult they are and just hoping to kind of get through those unscathed. Can you talk more about what that’s going to mean for you tomorrow and just getting off to a good start?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, fairways and greens. It’s literally just bringing it back to the basics. From that first tee shot, just try and make a good swing and hit the fairway, hit it on the middle of the green, take two putts, especially on that green because it’s probably one of the craziest greens on the course and in golf. And then it’s the same thing on 2, hit the fairway, hit the green. You get yourself out of position those first few holes, it just makes it really difficult.

And when you do get yourself out of position, making bogey is fine. That’s the thing, you look at some of the guys that went off earlier today those first few holes there was some big numbers made, and when you’re in trouble, get it out, play for a 5, and if you’re not going to putt for a 4, that’s a bonus.

Q. The course is playing about a shot easier today. Do you attribute that more to the gentler winds or the hole locations were more gettable?

RORY McILROY: No, the wind more than anything else. The hole locations today I thought were pretty tricky. It was hard to leave a putt dead. Even if you’ve got a putt that’s uphill, once it gets past the hole it starts to go downhill again. It was very hard to leave putts within top-in range. I felt like every time I hit a good putt that didn’t go in, I was marking it and resetting and it was at least three or four feet.

Source: ASAP Sport


US Open 2020 – Alex Noren about his brilliant Moving Day: “Just view it as a normal tournament.”

Q. Alex Noren, 3-under 67. Alex, heck of a round. Talk a little bit about the conditions and what you were able to execute.

ALEX NOREN: The first five holes, it was so windy, first six, seven holes. My goal was to kind of try to get up to the pins, but otherwise leave it short of the hole, and I was able to make birdies on those and then make two good birdies on 6, 7, and then on the back, my putter was the best it’s ever been.

So I saved myself a lot of times, and then a couple of birdies as well.

Q. You have a pretty new relationship with your caddie, Austin. What was it like working with him on that kind of round?

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, it’s good. He doesn’t read my putts. I can’t give him any credit for that, but, no, he’s good. We get along well. He’s giving me the stuff I need. He was good. He wanted me to maybe play a few other shots than I tried to. It would have been good to listen to him there.

Overall, yeah, it worked well today.

Q. How does 67 compare — the 67 today, among the best rounds you’ve played? I suspect that will be the lowest round of the day, maybe by multiple shots.

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, so starting out, it felt like it was going to be the toughest day ever on a golf course, with pretty strong winds on the first like six, seven holes. Then it got a little bit easier, but the pins are still tricked up. I putted my life out.

And you hit some shots out here, you think it’s like a decent shot, and then you just make it into the rough, and all of a sudden, the hole feels impossible. Normally, you hit decent drives or decent shots off the tee or into the greens and you get away with them. Here you don’t get away with anything.

Yesterday I was very like angry man on the golf course, and my goal today was to putt better and be more — be in a little happier place. I just tried to be that way.

Q. How important is patience out here with the way the setup is and knowing how few the birdie opportunities are going to be?

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, that’s maybe the key to the whole thing. Just view it as a normal tournament because, when you look at the putts, you look at the shots, and you stand on the tee boxes, there’s a lot more pressure on yourself. If you don’t hit the fairway, you’re going to struggle, and if you don’t hit the greens, you’re going to struggle.

Normally, there is still opportunities to do well even from the rough or from a bunker, but here it’s just like try to just do your routine and hit the shot, and whatever happens, you’ve got to keep the energy because you’ll need it down the round. Yesterday I was furious over that I didn’t hit the shots that I wanted, and then it kind of affects your game.

Q. How close do you think you’ll be in the lead at the end of the day?

ALEX NOREN: If the weather stays like it is now, you’re going to see better rounds in the afternoon maybe but maybe — we’ll see. It’s hard to predict.

Q. Despite your score, there were some higher scores today. Talk about the course setup, and was it the hardest course setup of the week is the question.

ALEX NOREN: Yeah, probably yesterday and today was maybe similar. Yeah, the hardest course I’ve ever played. Three days — and yesterday was some wind and this morning was some wind, but without the wind, it’s still so demanding. It’s a good test.

Q. One follow-up to the question earlier. How did you and Austin meet, and when did you start working with him?

ALEX NOREN: So we started right before Corona hit us at Arnold Palmer, and we met through Erik van Rooyen’s caddie, that’s Austin’s brother, Alex, and we met through him.

Q. Did you have anything in mind when you teed off today?

ALEX NOREN: These tournaments, all you try to do when you tee off is just to hit a good shot off the 1st and then take it from there. The older I get, the more so is how everybody does it, kind of. You don’t really think about winning until you have the chance to win. I’m just trying to hit good shots and trying to warm up and do everything I can to just be in the best possible shape I can be golf-wise, yeah.

Q. It’s been a tough couple of years since the Ryder Cup. What’s changed now, and what’s led to that difficult period?

ALEX NOREN: I had — I was better, I think, in the fall last year, played a little bit better, but had so much — put a lot of pressure on myself because I used to, in the three years prior, had a lot of good finishes, a few wins here and there.

You accept the bad rounds easier because you’ve got the confidence, you have the results in the back, and when you don’t get in for a while, you start pressing. All of a sudden, you start focusing on is my technique wrong, is this wrong, is that wrong, instead of, if that would have happened, that bad play for a couple weeks when you’re having those good weeks, you don’t think about them.

So I think maybe it’s a mix of not playing and technique is not up to point, but mostly kind of the pressure and stress you put on yourself. I changed kind of the last two, three months, I changed how I practice. I practiced on the golf course a little bit at home, trying to not be on the driving range, trying to work on maybe situations more than a specific look of the swing. So a lot more on the course.

Then is kind of frees up my game. I don’t look at my swing on a video camera, don’t analyze. Just if the shots are good enough, I’m happy. If they’re not, I go out and work on them, you know.

Q. You never look at your swing in the mirror anymore?

ALEX NOREN: Not much. I try to ask my coach if he can — if it’s good enough, and if he says good enough, or if he says you’d better get it a little more this way or that way and we work on it, but I try not to look at it.

Q. Are you still doing the —

ALEX NOREN: I do whatever makes me better, and if it’s that way or any other — I do whatever I can do to get a good feel over the ball.


Top Tours

US Open 2020: Bryson DeChambeau with the best round of the day

Q. 2-under 68. Hard to come by red numbers today. What was working well for you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I felt like a lot of things were working well for me. I was driving it well. My iron play was impeccable. When I got into trouble, wasn’t able to get out of it as well today as yesterday, but when I was in the fairway I was able to attack and take advantage, and finished really well today. I hit a great drive on 6, great drive on 8, great shot on 7, and a great drive on 9 that just set me up to be able to attack that flag today, and that was a fun way to finish off at a U.S. Open so far. It’s great.

Q. You said yesterday the key was missing the drivers in the right spots. Can you give me an example today of missing one in the right spot, missing one in the wrong spot?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Missed one in the wrong spot on 2, so I hit it to the right and just — you’ve got nothing. I tried to get over the tree, was too far back. Kind of spun one up in the air and really didn’t have a chance. I tried to go for it, didn’t come out, got lucky, it bounced back in the first cut, got it out.

And then another one, let’s see, 16. Hitting driver all the way up into the right rough past that dogleg, I still had pitching wedge to the front edge and it was just a pretty easy shot, and I left it short of the green but I was still able to play up to the flag, and I fortunately made that putt for birdie. So that was kind of where I felt like I missed it in the right spot.

Q. You followed up three bogeys with birdies today; how important do you think that bounce-back stat is here?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s important. It keeps your momentum going, I’ll tell you that. I don’t really have too much more to say on that other than the fact that you need momentum to keep playing well in a U.S. Open, and that’s what I was able to do today.

Q. One of the volunteers on the range today said you shut the place down last night. What was working for you today?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: So my wedges yesterday weren’t that good. I was flying them too far and I wanted to know what the problem was and we figured out what the problem was. It just was going farther than I thought it was. We didn’t practice them as well as I should have leading up to this tournament, but we made that adjustment, and it worked out beautifully for me today.

Q. What was the adjustment?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, it was just saying on the devices that I was hitting it shorter than what it was actually going. So for example, like we calibrated — okay, this is — I’m trying to make it as easy as possible. So for me, my 47-degree flies normally 145. Well, last night I was hitting shots and it was flying 155. That’s what we were on the normalizing mode with that wind. And we just didn’t calibrate correctly. So I was flying everything 10 yards long consequently with my wedges. And we recalibrated all of them today, and I felt like they worked out really well today.

Q. What did you hit on 9 for your second?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Pitching wedge.

Q. Only two rounds under par so far today. How does that play into your confidence for this weekend?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I feel great. Confidence is at an all-time high right now, driving it well, iron play is fantastic, wedging is getting better each and every day, and I’m putting it like I know I can. So very happy.

Q. What part of your game do you get more confidence from, your driving, iron play or putting?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Iron play. If my iron play is great, I feel like I can play from anywhere. I know my driver is going to be going far; sometimes straight, sometimes a little crooked. But if I can hit my irons really well, then I feel like I’ll be good for the rest of the day.

Q. Bryson, you were the one guy before the tournament who said you were just going to hit it as far as you could at every opportunity —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: And straight. I still want to hit it straight.

Q. But the fact that you have that in your arsenal, do you think your round today just shows you get more — you create more birdie opportunities —


Q. — than anybody else out here?


Q. When you look at the conditions, what kind of an advantage does that give you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I want it to play as hard as possible. I feel like there’s so many holes out here that I can take advantage of that some people can’t. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to win or anything. You’ve still got to execute, you’ve still got to hit the driver straight. If I’m hitting the driver far but all over the place, you can’t make birdies from the rough. It’s very difficult to. So I still have to work on hitting it straight while hitting it far. And that’s a unique combo that I’m going to strive for for the rest of my life.

Q. As far as scrambling, that seems like the other crucial component to have around here, so do you take as much from those times when you save par as —

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely. Phil gave me some great advice. He said when he almost won back in 2006, he said he had the best short game week of his life, so that’s just a testament to showing that you have to have a great wedge game out here.

I feel like my irons are great, the wedges are better, and short game needs to be worked on just a little bit. But I would say it’s been good so far, and that’s what I’m going to hopefully do this weekend.

Q. Wondering how hard it is to stay focused when you’re making a series of birdies and bogeys as opposed to steady pars.

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, it’s definitely ebbs and flows, but I’ve been working hard on that recently and trying to keep myself level-headed no matter what, and I feel like I did a great job of that today. Even on 5, made a dumb bogey, just didn’t play the right distance and consequently hurt myself there. And then on 6 I just focused up and I was able to stay patient and execute a great drive and make two great putts there.

Q. You mentioned in that TV interview that you want to be more and more patient. That’s something you can’t calibrate, to use your word. What does that process look like? How do you teach yourself that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: For me it’s been a lot of breathing. Been working hard with Neuropeak on that for a long time. I know I’ve talked about it before, but just keep breathing and try and let the advantages play themselves out, what I have, and if they don’t, so be it.

But as of right now, they’ve been doing well so far, and just know that I’m going to have a lot of opportunities if I keep driving it well.

Q. Do you see a noticeable difference if you get something like what you might term an unlucky bounce or something like that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s going to happen out here. I say it sometimes, like man, that was unlucky, but that’s just golf. It’s not me being other than just honest. It happens sometimes. I realize that and I’m okay with it. Everybody is subject to a bad break, and sometimes I wear the emotions on the sleeve a little bit, but I focus it right back up.

Q. The test yesterday, the test today, which one do you enjoy more and why?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: When I play well in these conditions, it’s a lot more enjoyable. But it is comforting yesterday when you feel like I can go after it and wind isn’t affecting it that much, I’m hitting it well.

I would personally say if I had to truly look back on it, I would say that this today is a more enjoyable test after I’m done because it shows who executed the shots the best for sure.

Q. So many people love to see carnage at a U.S. Open; why do you think that is, and were you one of them?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s relatable. I think it’s relatable to a lot of players out there. They struggle with their game and they don’t hit the greatest shots, and they like seeing carnage.

I’m going to look this afternoon and do the same thing, be seeing, like wow, that’s really difficult, because I experienced it and I appreciate it.

Q. Will you laugh or sympathize?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Sympathize. No, I’m not laughing at them. I won’t go there.

Q. Given the force that you play with, is it possible to impose your will on a U.S. Open?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: That’s a great question. That’s a question for the gods. That’s a question for God. I don’t know if you can — I mean, Tiger has been able to do something like that many times before, so I think there is something, but human scientific research does not say that there’s anything about that.

Q. Are there times you are trying to do that?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Oh, yeah, yeah. It’s just got to go here, it’s just got to go here, and I think it’s more of a positive mindset that allows your brain to be in a better state so you can problem solve in your brain to know what you need to do to hit a shot. I think that’s kind of willing it.

Q. You mentioned breathing, right?


Q. I think a lot of people struggle with that, who don’t play golf even, but how does it work for you?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: A lot of deep, long breaths. So it’s sitting back, realizing the state you’re in and being able to take an eight-second breath in and then eight-second breath out. That’s just as simple as it gets for me.

Q. Count to eight?

BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s somewhere around there. I don’t do it perfectly on eight, but it’s definitely just to calm myself down.

Top Tours

US Open 2020 Tiger Woods: “I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult.”

Tiger Woods talked to the media after his not so satisfying first round of 73 at the US Open 2020 at Winged Foot. He expects the course to become even tougher over the next few days.

Q. Tiger, talk about the round a bit.

TIGER WOODS: Well, it was a bit of ebb and flow to the round today. I did not finish off the round like I needed to. I made a bunch of putts in the middle part of the round. It seemed like most of my drives on the front nine landed in the fairway and ended up in bad spots, and I tried to stay as patient as possible, and unfortunately just did not finish off my round the way I needed to.

Q. Do you take any positives that you made five birdies, made a bunch of putts?

TIGER WOODS: No, but I needed to finish off the round better, and I didn’t. As I said, I made a few putts the middle part of the round. Seemed like I wasn’t getting anything out of my round early on, and it flipped, and unfortunately I just didn’t finish off the way I needed to.

Q. What did you think of the conditions of the golf course, and was it how you expected or a little bit different in any way?

TIGER WOODS: I thought the golf course was set up fantastic. I thought that what they did with the hole locations were very fair today. It gave us an opportunity to make some birdies, and you look at most of the scores, and the guys took advantage of it.

Q. Do you expect it to keep getting firmer as the week goes on?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult. I just think that the golf course is there to be had. They gave us a lot of opportunities with the hole locations. Obviously they could have made it a lot more difficult if they wanted to, but I thought it was very fair.

Q. Is there any solace knowing it’s going to be such a grind this week that shooting a sub-par first round isn’t anything near —

TIGER WOODS: Well, we have a long way to go. This is a long marathon of a tournament. There’s a lot of different things that can go on. I just wish I would have finished off my round better.

Q. Given how little you’ve played this year, when you strung those birdies together in the middle of the round to kind of reel it back in and preserve it, isn’t that a pretty positive sign for you going forward?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the middle part of my round, a lot of things went my way. Beginning part of the round it seemed like things weren’t going my way. Good tee shots were ended up in the rough in bad spots, and I had a nice little hot run there in the middle part of my round, hit a really good putt at 12, thought it was going to go in and then I lipped it out, and then made two bogeys after that. Didn’t finish off my round the way I needed to.


Webb Simpson: “I have always loved this tournament”

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Webb Simpson to the podium here at the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot golf course. Webb is the 2012 U.S. Open champion. Webb was a member of the 2007 Walker Cup team and is making his 10th career U.S. Open start. He’s currently the 6th ranked player in the world. Webb, what are your first impressions of the golf course?

WEBB SIMPSON: It’s in phenomenal shape, it’s firm, I know there hasn’t been a whole lot of rain up here lately. It’s just hard. It’s really hard. I know they have cut the rough the last few days, but I played in the U.S. Amateur here in 2004, I remember thinking this is a really hard golf course, but it’s very fair. My caddie, Paul Tesori, caddied here in 2006 for Vijay and had the same thoughts. And so this is a, to me, a classic U.S. Open setup where it’s brutally hard all day, but there’s no tricks to it, you got to drive it in the fairway. And I’m sure the guys are saying the same stuff that if you’re not in the fairway it’s hard to score and I do think this will be a higher winning score U.S. Open than we have seen in a while.

THE MODERATOR: Great. Questions.

Q.  One of the things guys have kind of talked about this week that seems odd to me is kind of laying up on a par-3. Have you ever done that and would you consider doing it?

WEBB SIMPSON: I’ve never done it, but it’s definitely, it’s definitely a hole where you cannot, you really don’t want to go long and a lot of times we’re going to have yardages where we’re in between clubs and we’re always going to hit the shorter club just to be short. So I hit a shot today, I couldn’t quite get my 3-iron hybrid there, but I still didn’t want to hit a 5-wood long, so I hit it and I was five yards short of the green perfect. I’m not going to purposefully lay up, but I will purposefully try to hit it short of the hole to the front pins. If I miss the green short, that’s fine. I think if you make two pars and two bogeys there, you’re with the field or beating the field.

Q.  Were you one of those guys who embraces the harder it is the better you like it or is there a limit and where does this potentially rank on the scale of difficulty places you’ve played?

WEBB SIMPSON: So I like for it to get as hard as it can get without them losing the golf course. I think a couple, we have seen a couple U.S. Opens where it might have gotten away from them and when something, when a golf course gets away from you, you’re bringing in luck. We don’t mind it to be really hard, we just don’t like for luck to play a huge part. This is the epitome of a golf course where it’s just hard, it kind of in your face all day, especially that finish, where the best golfer will win this week. I think there have been setups in the past where you could argue that the a great golfer with a good amount of luck won that week, but you’re not going to have that here at Winged Foot. It’s going to be whoever wins on Sunday is the best golfer here for the week.

Q.  Is there anything you find similar to Olympic here that might be an advantage to you?

WEBB SIMPSON: I mean Olympic is similar in the sense that it’s a classic, old-style golf course, doglegs, you have to shape some tee shots to hold the fairways. And again, Olympic was kind of brutally hard, not a lot of scoring holes. Out here there’s only a few holes where you’re going to have shorter shots in, you got to take advantage of those holes. So, yeah, there’s some similarities for sure and we’re going to have, looks like, great weather, so the golf course is going to get firm, a little bit more firm each day. I mean, I’m getting 40 yards of roll right now on some holes. But that’s good, it’s a long golf course. I don’t think that’s bad. And they’re penalizing us when we hit a bad tee shot.

Q.  Brandel Chamblee this morning on Golf Channel was pointing out that despite the recent dominance of Dustin Johnson, Rahm, even Justin Thomas, that you are the best combination of length and accuracy off the tee, plus you’re a better putter and you’ve won this championship before. So how do you feel your chances stack up in this event this year and with your understanding of the patience it takes to win at a place like this?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean I’m coming in confident, I’ve been playing good golf for awhile, I have always loved this tournament. My first one was 2011 at Congressional, I grew up watching Payne Stewart make the putt in ’99 at No. 2, I was a standard bearer that week as a 13 year old. So I’ve always loved the challenge and kind of the thoughts behind a U.S. Open. I love the idea of patience matters here. Some weeks you can get impatient and that’s okay, but this week you have to stay patient. Every golfer is going to make tons of bogeys this week. So it’s kind of the marathon mentality of kind of who can kind of hang on and play the 72 holes as well as they can. So, yeah, I like my chances. And I’ve been driving it well, I’m certainly not near as long as some of those guys you mentioned, but length on a week like this doesn’t matter as much. It always helps but it doesn’t matter as much.

Q.  You’re also No. 1 in bogey avoidance on the tour and given the carnage that has happened here the past couple of times that it’s been here, how important do you feel that will be, just eliminating those kind of mistakes to keep yourself relevant every day?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean that’s huge. Somebody told me yesterday that I think Geoff Ogilvy in 2006 hit less than half of the greens in regulation and it just shows how good his wedge game was, his pitching. And so that’s been a major focus for us the last few days, because I’m going to miss fairways and I’m not going to be able to advance it that far, I know that. So how well can I control layups, I mean laying up most weeks out of the rough is pretty easy, you just hack it down there but this week it actually takes skill. And again, there’s a huge emphasis on hitting good pitch shots, controlling them. And what I love about this golf course is the greens are crazy and they’re undulating, but there’s plenty of pins where slopes around the pin can really help you. So if you know what you’re doing, these pitch shots and wedge shots, you actually have a little help. So it really does test every part of your game.

Q.  How do you compare the Webb Simpson who won in 2012 to the one who is teeing it up this week?

WEBB SIMPSON: I think I’ve just, years of experience, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve endured a lot, had ups and downs. So I think then everything, I was kind of wide eyed and didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully I was able to get the W. But I really, I just love the moments of getting into contention and trying to win. Whereas, I think then I was extremely nervous, not really knowing how to handle myself. So now I really, I look forward to that, that’s where I hope to be on Sunday afternoon, and I think all around through the bag my game has gotten better and more solid and, yeah, just feel good. I’m getting older, I got my gray hairs, but I feel young inside.

Q.  How do you feel about playing without fans? Do you thrive on that energy or is it more calming perhaps or does it, is it advantageous for the younger players perhaps, the more inexperienced players?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I think guys that haven’t played many major championships it’s going to help because any major we’re going to have 10, 12 deep on most every hole and the grandstands will be filled up. So I think for those guys it helps. For me, I love the crowd. There’s more going on, but it, actually, I think the more going on, the more that’s out there, the better focused we are. It’s like when I get paired with Tiger or Phil, I’ve always loved it because with how many people are out there and how many moving parts and the golf carts and the cameras, you really got to zero in on what you’re doing and it actually helps. So the PGA was obviously our only major without fans and I didn’t play late so I didn’t really experience kind of the lack of roars when Collin made eagle or somebody makes a long birdie putt, but those things, we miss those things and especially in New York where the fans are historically, they’re just loud and they love golf, so we’ll miss them this week.

Q.  Do you have a favorite New York moment in terms of fans? I mean, it’s different up here and having an Open without them is going to be different, but do you have a moment that you remember that sort of got to the essence of what it’s like?

WEBB SIMPSON: No, I mean when I think of the fans in New York I just think of the volume, the noise is louder than anywhere. Boston tries to compete a little bit, but here it’s just louder. I think people aren’t afraid to kind of speak their mind when you hit a bad shot and that’s part of it. We know that going in. And we appreciate that people care enough to come watch us and it’s a bummer, it’s a bummer for all these states and towns, but I think especially here hosting a major.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


Tiger Woods: I miss the energy and the positiveness

THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to welcome three-time U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods to the interview area. Tiger, who has won nine USGA championships, is making his 22nd U.S. Open appearance.

Q. You haven’t played a ton of golf this year, but for your last victory at ZOZO, you were coming off a bit of a break then. How were you able to peak that week in particular, and what has been missing maybe since then?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I was kind of hopeful that I’d be able to play ZOZO because I had just had knee surgery, and everything was kind of rounding into form. I felt pretty good. My knee felt a hell of a lot better and all of a sudden I putted well that week and was able to go on to win.

This year I really haven’t putted as well as I wanted to, and the times I did make a few swing mistakes, I missed it in the wrong spots. Consequently, I just didn’t have the right looks at it. I’ve compounded mistakes here and there that ended up not making me able to make pars or a birdie run, and consequently I haven’t put myself in contention to win events.

Q. In the list of courses that maybe have been the most difficult, where would you rank Winged Foot?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I think it’s right up there next to Oakmont and I think Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even doing anything to it. I think those three golf courses, they can host major championships without ever doing anything to them.

This one or Oakmont here is either one or two.

Q. Can you talk about your preparation for this golf course based on your previous performances here and the highest winning scores here in the past?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I was able to come up here right before I played in Boston, take a look at the golf course, and I was able to get my sight lines. This golf course is going to be one of the more difficult ones. The winning scores here have never traditionally been very low. I don’t see that changing this week.

The golf course is going to be hard. It depends on how difficult they want to set up these pins, give us a chance at it. But with the forecast, it’s going to be difficult no matter what.

Q. How much did a difficult venue like Olympia Fields in your last start help you prepare for Winged Foot?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, Olympia Fields was hard. It was fast, dry, which is unlike this golf course right now. It’s going to obviously dry out, but the rough is very sticky here and very thick and lush. Olympia Fields, the rough was high, but generally most of the lies we had in the rough were downgrain, and guys were able to get the ball up near the greens, but obviously the greens were difficult.

Most of the lies we’ve had so far this week, they’re not really downgrain, so it’ll be interesting to see how much the USGA will cut the rough down and allow us to try and be a little bit more aggressive and get the ball up around the greens.

Q. How will the experience be different for you at a U.S. Open without fans?

TIGER WOODS: It’s going to be — you know, it’s something that unfortunately this is our new reality. This is something we’re getting used to. It’s not something we like. We want the fans and we want the atmosphere out there, but safety is first.

Q. What is your health preparation like each week as you play in a tournament compared to your practice prep? Which takes more? Which is harder to get feeling good and feeling like you’re ready for a tournament compared to your health prep and feeling good with your body?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the health comes first. Whether or not I feel physically good enough where I can put in the practice, that’s my unfortunate reality. I’ve had four back surgeries. Trying to be healthy enough so that I can practice and I’m able to spend the time that I want, that I need to.

Q. Which takes more time?

TIGER WOODS: What’s that?

Q. Practice or just getting loose?

TIGER WOODS: Well, I have to train in order to practice, and I have to get my back loose enough to where I’m able to practice. That’s just the way it is.

Q. Gary Woodland was just in here telling us a funny story about you guys being at Liberty National and you had to get him straight on how many U.S. Opens you had won, but then you guys concluded that among your four, you don’t have one on a private course. Do you distinguish at all U.S. Opens on private courses versus public courses?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I think that USGA events — how can I put this? This year is unique. We don’t have a lot of qualifiers, and we don’t have access into the event like we’ve had in years past. Whether we play on a public course or private course is irrelevant. I think that the qualification is what makes this event so unique, is that we’re able to qualify for this event and have unique opportunities.

Unfortunately this year it’s not one of those.

Q. You grew up playing public courses; do you regard the Old Course as a muni?

TIGER WOODS: The Old Course?

Q. Yeah.

TIGER WOODS: I think the Old Course is unique in whatever you want to call it. I think that — it’s where the home of golf is, and the fact that everyone has a chance to play it, I think that’s what makes it so special.

Q. Coming off the tennis U.S. Open, Serena and Rafa are both in positions to tie some big records coming up, and you’re one of the few people who qualify to answer this. Does it get harder to win a major the closer you get to the all-time mark and why?

TIGER WOODS: You know, I think it gets harder to win as we all age. I think that when you’re in your prime, in your peak years, you have to take advantage of those opportunities so that when you get to the all-time marks, you have the opportunity.

I think that whether it’s Rafa or Fed or Serena, they’ve been so consistent and so dominant for such a long period of time, that’s how you get to — you can have those all-time marks. Consistency over a long period of time is the hallmark of those records.

Q. You’ve talked in the past about when you practice your putting, you go back a lot of times to what you and your dad used to work on. Is that still the case, or have you mixed up the routine over the years?

TIGER WOODS: I have changed the routine and some of the things that I’ve done over the years, but I still go back to what my dad always taught me, which is obviously putt to the picture. Whatever I’m working on at that particular time, once I get out there and I putt, just putt.

Q. I think ’06 here was the first tournament you played after your dad passed. How difficult was it for you that week, and then in the month that followed? Just talk about your mindset and getting ready to win one for him at Royal Liverpool.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, when I didn’t win the Masters that year, that was really tough to take because that was the last event my dad was ever going to watch me play. He passed not too long after that, and quite frankly, when I got ready for this event, I didn’t really put in the time. I didn’t really put in the practice, and consequently missed the cut pretty easily.

But after that I was able to do some practicing, did some — probably some pretty good grieving after this championship, played well at the Western and then went on to really play well at the British. I think it was just — I was not prepared to play and still dealing with the death of my dad.

Q. Only 15 players in the field played in the 2006 U.S. Open. Do you see that as an advantage?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the golf course has changed a lot since then. Obviously the greens, they’ve all been redone, and most of the holes are a lot longer than when we played in ’06. But technology has changed, and the golf ball is going further. Guys are hitting it further. So we’re playing from about the same spots. It’s just whatever — it seems like every green you have to walk back a little bit further.

Q. Can you describe what it meant to you after all the surgeries and the years of not winning majors to come back and win the Masters, and was there anything special that you felt that week that you can relate to this week? How do you rate your chances here?

TIGER WOODS: Well, when I won the Masters last year, it was — I was not feeling particularly well prior to that. My neck was bothering me. I didn’t play in Bay Hill. For some reason I felt physically better and my training sessions felt good. I changed shafts in my driver right before the event, and I was able to start turning the ball over.

Then all of a sudden I put myself in contention and I wasn’t really — I wasn’t leading but I was near the lead, and each day I progressively got a little bit better, and come Sunday, I put all the pieces together.

Q. Several players here have said that of all the people out on Tour, you feed off the fans more than anything. In that regard, I know you said you miss them, but in that regard, how much do you miss the fans?

TIGER WOODS: Well, for me in particular, I miss the energy and just the positiveness that the fans bring and just that electricity. But that’s something that I’ve been playing in front of for over two decades. That’s something I’ve been a part of, and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of that.

What we’re dealing with right now is not what we all want, but it’s our reality, and it’s the energy that’s just not quite the same without the fans.

Q. Even without the fans, is there something special about coming back to the New York metropolitan area and playing?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I think that this area has some of the best golf courses on the planet, but also what makes coming up here and being a part of these events are the fans and the energy that this entire area brings. They love sports. It’s a shame that we’re not going to have that atmosphere out here this particular week, but obviously everyone will be watching and be supporting at home or wherever is the safest.

Q. Still meaningful to you that a lot of these fans will be rooting for you even if they’re home?

TIGER WOODS: Absolutely it is. It’s not the same without the fan experience, but as I said, this is our reality for right now.

Q. Are you using your standard Scotty Cameron?


Q. A strategy question: With fairways this hard to hit and rough this penal, it seems like everyone is going to be missing a lot of fairways. Do you anticipate hitting a lot of drivers so you aren’t too far back, or do you anticipate laying back to keep it in the fairway?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, you know, I think a lot of that is dependent on which way the wind is blowing. The forecast three of the four days will be blowing out of the north, and I think that that will make a difference. Some of the tee shots that we hit today, slightly different wind than what we played on Sunday, and so I think that strategy-wise it’s ebb and flow.

For me in particular I’m trying to play to certain areas. Whatever club that is, could be 5-wood, could be driver or a 3-wood. I’m trying to play to a specific spot and then move on from there.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Tiger. Good luck this week.

Highlights Tours

Collin Morikawas Interview before the US Open

Q. First major since you became a major champion. Does it feel any different or do you approach it any different? COLLIN MORIKAWA: I don’t think I approach it any different. I think I do some really good prep, and I’m sure that’ll kind of adjust as time goes on. This is my third major, so figuring out how to — guys know how to prep for majors, especially the ones that have won, and know the secret to doing that. But I think I do a really good job Monday through Wednesday of figuring out a course, figuring out what I need to do, so I’m doing the same thing. But I think walking here as a major champion, you have a sense of knowing how to get things done. Yes, I’ve only done it once, but I’ve done it. You just want more. You get that little taste of what it’s like, and you know why guys mark in their calendars the major championships for the year. So it’s not like I’m showing up not knowing what a major championship feels like. You still have that feeling here even without the fans. You can tell how guys are prepping, how guys are getting ready, but for me it’s just, okay, let’s come out here, I see all these guys every week, and let’s have some fun playing golf. Q. I’m sure there’s no similarities between the two golf courses, but from off the tee is there anything to be said for the fact that you have to be able to play from the short grass if you’re going to do anything? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I love that. We saw all of us tested a couple weeks ago at Olympia Fields, and you can see what scores does like that. I love playing courses like that because, yes, guys can make birdies, but you also have to know how to make pars and you have to be able to know when to take a bogey if you have to or when you hit it in the rough and really take your medicine. As a young player, we necessarily might not have that mindset as some guys, but I think if you look back, the four years I spent in college, college coaches loved telling you hit to the middle of the green, and this week might not necessarily be hit to the middle of the green, but it’s hit to your spots. You look at hole 1, and I only played it once yesterday, but you can be pin high and not have a putt at the hole. That’s just how tough this course is. You have to know where to hit it. Just getting to know the course is going to be really beneficial for everyone. Q. Collin, when there was a Tour stop in Westchester, guys would come over, play here, go play Quaker Ridge. Your generation hasn’t had a chance to do that. So how new is the Winged Foot experience for you guys? Do you know many guys who have played here? COLLIN MORIKAWA: My caddie played in the U.S. Am here in 2004, so he’s bringing a lot of knowledge. I think he was here in ’06. Yeah, that’s just part of what I’ve been doing, playing only a year and a half in, is figuring out these courses Monday through Wednesday and that’s kind of all you get. It’s nice to go to courses that I’ve played before, but it’s nothing new. So I come out here yesterday and start figuring out what I need to do, what is going to be the important factors. Obviously off the tee is going to be important, but you can’t let up on any part of your game out here. You’re going to see every shot. You’re going to see some really good shots, really bad shots from every part of in golf course. It’s just the way it’s set up. It’ll be fun, yeah. Q. And when you’re not on Tour, when you get a week down, do you ever go visit some of the historical places, or is that ever part of your routine? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Not really. I’ll go eat. No, I’d rather relax and get away from the golf course as much as I can. I know you’ve talked to other people, I’m sure, and asked them what courses they want to play. To be honest, I really don’t have many because I just don’t want to keep playing golf on those off weeks. Our off-season — you look at our off-season this year, right, Tuesday through Sunday. It’s not a lot of time. It’s not like any other sport, and I’ve talked to other guys about it. It’s just the way we go. But it’s really cool we get to travel to so many cities, give back, and help out as much as we can. Q. How does the course suit your eye and shot shape, and how many drivers will you hit in each round? COLLIN MORIKAWA: I’ve only seen the front nine, so I hit a lot of drivers yesterday. It fits my eye pretty good. I think there’s a couple holes on the front where they were kind of dogleg lefts and the fairway was sloping to the right, and I think 12 — 12 might be the par-5. I think that’s really similar to that. Those tee shots I really just got to hit the most neutral ball flight I can. But I’ve kind of tweaked my driver here and there and just on every other fairway, especially with the narrow fairways, I’ve been able just to aim down the left side and have it peel back to the middle, and that’s all I can ask for. That pretty much makes my fairway as wide as it can be, knowing that my ball is going to fall right. It’s going to be a lot of drivers. It’s cold this morning, so if we get some cold mornings throughout the tournament, the course is going to play very long. It’s going to play a little tougher, especially this first stretch of golf. Q. Where is the line between extremely difficult and unfair? COLLIN MORIKAWA: I don’t know. I really don’t know because I would love to see it as tough as it can get. I think when it starts getting unfair is when it’s more on our approach shots and more on the we can’t stop a ball in a certain part of the green. I realize it’s Tuesday now and the greens are going to get firmer, they’re going to dry them out, they’re going to roll them, cut them, but off the tee, if you look at it, it’s just penalizing bad tee shots. And it’s not something we see all the time because sometimes we can just hit it as hard as we want and get away with it. That’s just how different golf courses work. But this is a golf course this week where you’ve got to hit it in the fairway, and if you’re not in the fairway, you’ve got to play smart. The good thing about this course is that a lot of the front of the parts of the greens are shaved and you can almost run them up if you have — if you get a decent lie, I guess. That’s not going to be the case all week. But you have some flexibility in some shots if you miss it off the tee. Q. What’s the hardest course you’ve played? COLLIN MORIKAWA: This one probably. (Laughter.) Q. Number of guys, young guys, whether it’s Rahm or Xander or maybe even Bryson, who the next step is the major, is this the week they win the major, is there any part of you that’s considered what it’s like to not have to get that question for the rest of your career, having knocked it out at age 23? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it’s nice, I guess, I won’t get that question asked. But now it’s going to be what’s next and what are you going to win next. But that’s the thing; I’m not waking up every day realizing, yeah, I’m a major champion. I’m realizing we’re at the U.S. Open, let’s go win another tournament. So for me it’s always what’s next, like what can I put my head forward, what is going to be the next test of golf, and obviously it’s this week. I’ve got to focus on every week. I can’t get ahead of myself, can’t start thinking about this long season that we have, what tournaments I’m going to play. It’s just let’s get focused for this week. To be honest, the game, swing feels really good, and it should be really fun Thursday through Sunday. Q. Especially after the PGA Championship, you talk to a lot of the older players, veteran players about you, they said that you have a lot of courage. They use a lot of terms I can’t say right here, but they’d say hutzpah. Talking about in terms of your golf. You seem poised in all these moments; where does that come from do you think? COLLIN MORIKAWA: I don’t know. My parents raised me really well, and they’ve been a huge impact on my life. But I think that’s just who I am. I’ve always had kind of a mature head on my back, and that’s just the way I think. I kind of think through things a lot. Q. Some people in pressure moments shrink, especially the first time they might be in them. You had a little trouble on the green early in the year, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting you, you seem to be able to handle those moments. COLLIN MORIKAWA: Well, I think you learn from moments like that. You learn from tough breaks. You learn from losses, and you learn from — like the two missed cuts I’ve had, I’ve learned, seriously, some of the most things I could have learned from just two days of golf. That’s where I’ve learned the most. So I think that’s where I’ve done a really good job is reflecting back. And I need to do a better job of reflecting back on the good weeks, as well. It’s not just, okay, we’re good and we’re going to go win every week. That’s not how golf works. You wake up every day, and you don’t know how your body is going to feel, you don’t know how you’re going to hit it. But it’s about being as consistent as possible. Yeah, I think I’ve learned a lot, and I go back and I do reflect on what I need to get better, what I’ve been doing well. So I think that’s why, yes, I’ve had a tough break, but it’s okay, like what is next. How do we improve, how do we not do that in the next situation. Q. Is there such a thing as a clutch player, people that are able to do that and people that aren’t? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, there’s Tiger Woods and there’s the rest of us. But yeah, you look at guys like — there are definitely guys that are clutch in moments, and every PGA TOUR player wouldn’t be here — they wouldn’t be on the PGA TOUR, they wouldn’t be at the U.S. Open if they weren’t clutch. It’s just who is going to step up to the next moment. We’re on a different stage now. It’s not just another amateur event or another college event or whatever it is. This is the big time. This is the major. So yeah, you’ve got to step up, and you can’t be scared of taking another step because that puts you in another level of golf. Q. Has being a major champion and having the success in such a short period of time put pressure on your time demands for interviews and things off the course, and how do you manage that time? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I’ve definitely been busier, especially that week after. I couldn’t tell you how much sleepy got. But for me it was actually a lot of fun, and it’s weird to say that. Now, I’m not going to take like every interview you guys ask, but for me, it was not just golf interviews, there were interviews on like all networks, on like different topics. So it was cool to talk to those people because it wasn’t just golf related and it’s not like they knew golf that well so I could have said a lot of things and it would have passed on their end. But yeah, I think if we talk about managing time, being efficient is I think what I do. Going through college, finishing it in four years, getting my degree, my business degree, I had to be efficient. I couldn’t just show up and get things done and have time pass by and realize, okay, I’m in my fourth year. I had to know what was going to be done and when. I think that’s just kind of who I am, so I’ve brought that here. I bring that to how I practice. If you look at me, I’m not pounding balls on the range until sunset. I just get things done when I need to. Adding in media, a little more media, yeah, maybe I’ve got to get here an hour earlier, but other than that, it hasn’t been too overwhelming I’d say. Q. What’s the worst lie you’ve found so far at Winged Foot? COLLIN MORIKAWA: Well, I only hit one ball in the rough yesterday, but that was only nine holes, and we’ve got par-3s, so let’s not make a big deal out of that. So 9. But I did see some, I threw some balls in just walking down the fairways. There’s lies that you know you’re just going to have to wedge it out, and that’s why I say you’ve got to take your medicine. You’re going to hear that all week. Guys that are going to play well are going to take their medicine and scramble really well. That’s just the way this course is going to play out. Q. I don’t know what made me think of this, but there’s been stories over the years of what guys put in the Claret Jug or where they take the green jacket with them. The Wanamaker weighs like 35 pounds. What are you supposed to do with that? COLLIN MORIKAWA: There’s a lot of things you can do with it. There’s a lot of things. Q. Do you take it anywhere? COLLIN MORIKAWA: No, I haven’t taken it anywhere, but there’s things you can do. It’s pretty big.
Apparel Equipment


Italian golf fashion brand Duca del Cosma is introducing more leisure styles and color onto the golf shoe market this Fall with its range of premium footwear aimed at golfers looking for something different in terms of performance and comfort.

Fashion on the golfcourse

The latest range features fashionable animal prints and patterns on leather shoes designed to brighten any fairway and set the brand apart from more conventional rivals.
There are also lifestyle models in bold Gold and Silver colorways that deliver a strong fashion statement as well as comfort and support.

Among the standout colors featured with panache across 25 attractive options are Coral, Lilac, Mint, Denim, Cobalt, Cognac and Orange. Overall, the brand that pioneered the first spikeless golf shoe more than a decade ago has selected nine men’s and eight women’s styles for its AW20 footwear range.

Footwear for everyone

All the shoes come with two sets of laces, so golfers can match the shoes with their playing outfits. The two collections of full grain leather and suede shoes include a mix of classic waterproof styles and modern casual designs, crafted entirely by hand for wearing both on and off the golf course.

According to Creative Designer and avid golfer Baldovino Mattiazzo, the man credited with starting an Italian Golf Evolution, the styles and colors are inspired by renowned Italian fashion, then matched with top-quality leather and advanced technology to provide the wearer with the ultimate in functional, modern golf footwear.

Quality through handcraft

“In addition to the outstanding designs and color choices available, what sets the Duca del Cosma collections apart from traditional golf shoe brands is the exceptional craftsmanship involved,” said Steve Gray, VP Sales for North America. “The range this Fall offers golfers something completely different to what they’ve seen before. We’ve geared up our distribution center in Atlanta so we can supply stock quickly and there are great margins on offer to our retailer partners across North America,” he added.

Among the leading styles in the men’s line are the classy ELDORADO men’s soft spike shoe in White or Cognac color options; the waterproof BELAIR also in White/Orange/ Light Grey; the CALIFORNIA casual shoe in five colorways including Navy/Jeans/ Red; plus the sporty FLORIDA model in White & Navy. The women’s collection features the waterproof models KUBANA in Silver/Zebra and VOGUE in White/Gold; plus the sporty FESTIVA line in four colors including Coral. Launched in 2006, the Duca del Cosma brand now sells its golf shoes in more than 30 countries around the world.
To see the comprehensive and colorful US range for the Fall, please visit the website at

(Text: Duca del Cosma)

PGA Tour

“DJs” winning interview after his FedExCup victory

MICHAEL BALIKER: Dustin, this was your 11th trip to East Lake this week. You’ve been chasing this trophy for a long time. How satisfying is it to finally get it done?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it’s definitely very satisfying to be the FedExCup champion. Obviously coming in here I was in first with a two-shot lead, and I needed all those strokes that I could get. It’s a tough golf course, but I feel like I played pretty solid all week.

Obviously yesterday was a great round, and then obviously today was — I played — got off to a great start and I played really well coming down the stretch.

Yeah, it was a tough day, tough golf course, and I’m definitely excited it’s over and that I can celebrate a little bit now instead of — it was a grind out there. But I’m very proud to be the FedExCup champion.

Q.  What was the level of concern with your game leaving here last year and how does it feel to go from finishing last here last year to now winning this year?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don’t even remember what happened last year. That was a long time ago. I was playing a little better coming in this season.

“Being a FedExCup champion is something that I really wanted to do”

Q.  Were you nervous today?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I was nervous. I always get nervous because it means something. Yeah, I mean, I get nervous on the first hole, kind of settled down a little bit, and then obviously the back nine definitely could feel it, just because there were a lot of really good players around me and they were playing well.

So I knew I was going to have to shoot a good score on the back nine if I wanted to win.

Q.  Paul Azinger said a long time ago that only two things would really rattle a player, playing for cash or playing for prestige. Which one meant more to you today?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Probably the prestige for sure just because being a FedExCup champion is something that I really wanted to do. I wanted to hold that trophy at the end of the day. It was something that I wanted to accomplish during my career, and obviously I got one of them. Now I’m going to try to get me another.

Q.  There’s a lot of big names on the trophy. Were you kind of annoyed that yours wasn’t on it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: A little bit, but like I said yesterday, I think a couple times there I didn’t really have control of what was going on just because of my play, but obviously today I was in control of winning the trophy or not.

If I played well, I was going to win; if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to. I like that situation a lot better.

Q.  Can you talk about how important that putt was on 13 and your emotions when you banged it off the back of the cup?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, obviously I hit my — obviously the drive went just in the left rough there and I hit a good shot right where I wanted to, just short right of the green.

But it was just one of those — my ball was sitting in the first cut. I thought I was going to catch it clean and didn’t and it came up short. Yeah, that putt was definitely kind of the turning point for me there on the back nine. You know, obviously it gave me the confidence and kind of kept the round going in the right direction.

Stepped up, hit a really nice drive on 14; hit some really quality shots really the rest of the way in. That was a big putt.

Q.  When you look at what you’ve done this post season, you’re exactly one shot away from being absolutely perfect, obviously, in the playoff which you didn’t really have much control over in that situation. Can you characterize this run compared to some of the other runs you’ve had in your career these last few weeks?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, feel like the game is in really good form, playing some solid golf, and obviously contending every week. I’m playing probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played.

Like I said, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“It’s more about the trophy”

Q.  Obviously it’s a big amount of money and I’m sure it means a lot to you, but I’m just curious if you can think back to a time in your career when there was an amount of money that might have been a lot less that really changed your life, that really might’ve mattered in terms of whether it was your career or just whatever, paying back sponsors or anything that you might have — where that money would have really had a huge impact on you even if it might have been a lot less.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, absolutely. When I went through all three stages of Q-school and got my TOUR card I think they gave me like a $25,000 check. Yeah, I thought I was rich because I didn’t have but a couple hundred bucks in my bank account probably.

Then I went to the first tournament in Hawai’i, I think I finished 10th, and I don’t know, it was a hundred grand or something.

So yeah, that was big, and obviously that was a lot of money to me.

Now obviously I’m very thankful for FedEx and the amount of money they donate for us to be whoever is the FedExCup champion, but it’s not about the money for me. It’s more about the trophy.

Q.  Was there a time back say 10, 12 years ago where you had to get over the idea of thinking how much money a missed putt would cost? Is that an important part to being successful, to not think about the money even though it’s a lot?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, at this stage of my career I’m fortunate enough where I don’t need to think about that. It’s more — it’s all about winning and the trophies. The money is not — I don’t really care about that. I want to win tournaments, and I want to win trophies.

Q.  Sounds like you talked to Wayne over the weekend; can you maybe share the insights of that conversation that you guys had?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: He was playing golf and I asked him how he was playing. He said he was hitting it pretty good but Janet was yelling at him because he wasn’t playing good enough that was about the extent of the conversation.

Q.  You addressed this a little bit, but was this maybe more important in some ways to you given the five strokes — obviously wanting to win the FedExCup and so forth, did it take on any greater significance in that regard to you?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I didn’t really understand. Sorry.

Q.  Did you need this win in your eyes?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, yeah, I needed the win. Last week I had the lead going into the final round. Played a really good solid round, made a great putt to get into a playoff, but ended up losing in the playoff.

Having a five-shot lead today, it’s something, yeah, I needed to finish it off, especially give myself a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Open here in — what, it starts in 10 days or something, or less.

Obviously got a couple days to celebrate with Paulina and the kids, and then got to get back to grinding again.

Q.  These last four weeks you and A.J. seem to have been especially dialed in in your routine on the greens, and I think there might have been a couple adjustments made in how you guys are going about things. I wonder if you could kind of explain that and just what role he really played in this run that you’ve been on here recently.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, A.J. is a big part of the game. Obviously he’s my brother. We’re a good team. He reads the greens well, and a lot of times, too, I know we’re doing well when — you know, because I started using the line at the PGA on the putter when I was putting, and so he’s been doing the AimPoint for a while.

So I know when I line it up and we’ve got it in the same vicinity that we’re doing a good job. He’s done a great job over the last four weeks, four tournaments, and I’m glad to have my brother on the bag with me.

“He’s going to be on my bag for a long time”

Q.  You talked about needing this win and things like that, but from him being an unproven guy out here who had never caddied on the TOUR until now, how much do you think he’s kind of validated himself as being worthy of being out here and being one of the top caddies in the game?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I think from the first time he came out he was — he played golf growing up. He played basketball through high school and college, but he was always a decent player.

Yeah, I mean, it didn’t take him long to catch on. He’s a very good caddie and he would do well for anybody, but he’s going to be on my bag for a long time.

Q.  Have you played Winged Foot?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have not played it.

Q.  What have you heard about it if you have heard about it, if you’ve asked questions about it?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: That it’s a very good golf course, difficult but fair.

Q.  How would you compare the way you’re playing now with the spring of ’17 when you were blowing through Riv and Match Play and Mexico and things like that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It’s similar. It’s getting there. I think I was playing really good then. Obviously I’m playing very well now. Like I said, I feel like I can play better, though.

You know, at times I’m firing on all cylinders, but there’s times where I’m not. I’m playing good enough, though, to where I can keep it where I still can give myself a chance to win.

Compared to spring of ’17, almost there.

Q.  Kind of along those lines, it’s kind of exhausting to get through this stretch and have to do all these virtual interviews and stuff like that —

DUSTIN JOHNSON: But thanks for all your questions. (Laughter.)

Q.  But the fact that the U.S. Open is coming up, the fact that we still have the Masters, are you kind of excited now the way that fits into this weird season?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I am. I am excited. Obviously I’m playing well. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game, so I’m really looking forward to the next obviously couple months.

But then I’m also — after that I’m looking forward to some time off. It’s been a long stretch, but it’s made it a lot easier playing well, that’s for sure.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Thanks, Dustin. Congratulations.

(FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports)