Team Canada

PGA Tour: Corey Conners Recaps Round 1 at The WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Tour professional and Canadian Corey Conners recaps his round 1 68 at the 2020 WGC Mexico Championship. Connors currently sits 3 shots off the lead heading into the second round.

PGA Tour: Corey Conners speaks with the media following round 1 of the WGC Mexico Championship

Q. How would you assess the day out there?
COREY CONNERS: It was a really solid day, tricky conditions, wind blowing a little bit. But feel like I controlled my golf ball really well, hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of good iron shots, and kept it pretty simple, pretty stress-free for most of the round. Had a little hiccup out there on the 15th hole, but yeah, overall a solid day, and I felt good about my game.

Q. This is your first time here; I’m sure you’ve heard about the elevation, the thin air. Did anything surprise you today during the round?
COREY CONNERS: Not really. I played a number of places on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica where there was some pretty high elevation.

Q. Altitude like this?
COREY CONNERS: Pretty close, yeah. There were a few places I think in Colombia, the Korn Ferry TOUR event, Mexico, as well. I think I played in Quito, Ecuador. I think that was high, as well. I could be mistaken. But this is probably the most. And I actually played a junior tournament at this golf course 10 years ago, so I remembered some of the holes, and I didn’t hit it as far back then and not quite as high, so I’m noticing the ball flying a lot further than it did back then, but still have some memories from that, and yeah, it’s a great golf course.

Q. Do you remember what that junior tournament was?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it was a qualifier for the Toyota Junior World Cup, which was held in Japan, and I was representing Canada as part of the team, and it was a qualifier. There were maybe 10 countries that were here fighting for the top two spots to go to Japan and some other — Mexico was obviously here and some other countries in South America. The Canadian team was able to make it through there and move on to Japan.

Q. How did you finish?
COREY CONNERS: I was the medalist, low individual, and Canada won the team contest, as well, so some good memories.

Q. Corey, just the one blemish out there, the putter snuck up and bit you, but other than that, fantastic.
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, a really solid day. Quite happy with how I played. I tried to keep things simple. It’s a tricky golf course, but yeah, fairways and greens, and had a little hiccup out there. But yeah, overall a solid day. I feel good about all parts of my game.

Q. You mentioned a tricky golf course. Is that because of the altitude or the kikuyu, also?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, a mixture of the altitude is a big adjustment for us, figuring out how far the ball goes, and there’s some firm spots out there and some softer spots. It’s tricky to get the ball in some of the fairways. You’ve got to be smart, but you’ve got to make aggressive swings, and I feel like I did a good job of that today.

Q. Looks like a fun golf course to play, given all the holes that you can really attack. No. 1 you can reach it in one shot, 2 also you can get pretty close —
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Like I had 300 yards into 11, and I hit a 5-wood, landed on the front of the green, gave myself a good look for eagle there. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun, a fun challenge, and played a little bit on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, so I’m not a stranger to some elevation, and yeah, just having fun with it.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Bryson DeChambeau Talks Outstanding Putting Performance in Round 1 of the WGC Mexico Championship

Bryson DeChambeau addresses the media following an opening round 68 at the WGC Mexico Championship. DeChambeau is currently 3 shots off the lead after round 1.

PGA Tour: Bryson DeChambeau speaks with the media following his opening round at the WGC Mexico Championship

Q. If you look at your numbers, you had 119 feet in holed putts here in round 1. That is outstanding.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thanks. It was a little different than last year. Again, I feel like I’m rolling it well. I rolled it well at Riv, just putts didn’t drop there, and today they dropped quite a bit, and hopefully I’ll keep that momentum going.

Q. I saw you warming up with a teaching aid on the shaft of your putter. Tell me about that.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, shoot, I even forgot the name, but it’s essentially just a laser, and I put it on a chalk line and I just stroke it and make sure my face path is proper.

Q. Did the wind and altitude really affect the golf today?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s a very difficult day to play golf. Rory shooting 6-under is doable. I didn’t capitalize on a couple of key holes and messed up on a few easy holes, but overall it was a difficult golf course to play today, and again, it’s about hitting a lot of fairways out here and hitting greens, and if you hit the driver straight and you’re hitting it long, it’s even more of a benefit.

Q. You’re putting so well. Same greens as last week. I’m sure growing up in California you like these types of greens —

Q. You don’t?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, I played on perfect bent at River Bend. It’s now called Dragonfly. They were the most perfect greens in Central Valley, so I was accustomed to really good greens, actually, surprisingly. When I went over to Monterey I didn’t have the right loft or anything, and I would consequently putt really bad, and it actually made me feel like I was a bad putter growing up, and it was part of the reason why I struggled with a bunch of my stuff in college, and then I realized there was a better way to putt. I think it just allows me a little bit more comfort, and I’m putting well doing what I’m doing and have the right launch out there, and it’s nice, too, with being able to tap down spike marks. That helps a lot. So utilizing that, which is appropriate — you should be able to do that. If nobody else was there and you were just putting, you wouldn’t have that. That’s nice to be able to do that.

Made a couple good putts — long one on 3. I couldn’t believe I made it. I hit a 9-iron in the bunker, plugged that far into the ground. I did not think I was going to get out of it, go down to the green and made a 45-footer. That was a great way to start the day.

Q. Also I noticed your assistant holding a towel —
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s just to see the line. It’s literally just to see the line. If not it’s a little difficult to see in the light. It’s an even more powerful laser but then it becomes illegal through federal law. Can’t do that.

Q. How difficult did the wind make this golf course today?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Twice as hard. Twice as hard. I felt like I played some incredible golf. I made a couple mistakes, didn’t birdie 12, didn’t birdie 1, bogeyed 16, bogeyed 10. You flip those, I’m leading.

Q. What makes putting on these greens whether it’s here or last week, what’s the challenge?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It’s just the inconsistency of the roll, unfortunately. I think they’re better than last year, but it’s one of those things, isn’t it a weed or something like that, and so it’s just difficult. It doesn’t grow even, so you’ve got some spots that are a little splotchy. Hey, that’s the grow of the green. It’s literally the way it works.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team UK

PGA Tour: Tyrrell Hatton Speaks With Media Following First Round -2 under 69 at the WGC Mexico Championship

Tyrell Hatton recaps his opening round 69 at the WGC Mexico Championship, 4 shots off the lead.

Q. What was your assessment of today?
TYRRELL HATTON: Overall, pretty happy with that. I’ve only been back hitting balls for the last three and a half weeks, so it was a long layoff. I’m quite happy. Obviously I’ve done well here in the past, so I know the course pretty well, and yeah, it was just good to kind of get back out there and play competitive golf again.

Q. You’ve had three top 20s here. What is it you like about this place?
TYRRELL HATTON: I kind of always enjoy short, kind of fiddly golf courses, I guess, and this is certainly up there with the best of them. And I guess it’s funny because you need patience around here, and that’s something that I don’t really have. For some reason the course has kind of been fairly kind to me, and hopefully it continues this week.

Q. Give us a sense of the conditions out there. The wind seemed to be picking up later on in the round.
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, the wind picked up a lot. We noticed it probably from the 7th. Definitely windier than how I remember it in previous years. You can kind of see from the scoring, it’s not really that low. But obviously there’s a few challenges this week with the altitude and the wind obviously swirling around now, so that makes it quite tough for club selection.

Q. Bogeys on 13 and 15, so that was a nice way to finish, wasn’t it?
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, I kind of struggled with the putter all day, actually. I gave myself lots of chances, but I was leaving a lot of putts short, and then that one on the last, I kind of — when I stood up over it, I didn’t feel too comfortable, so I kind of just stepped back a little bit, gave myself a tiny bit more room, and it was the best stroke I made all day, and it was nice to see that one go in.

Q. How is the wrist?
TYRRELL HATTON: It’s still not 100 percent, to be perfectly honest. I’ve still got a little twinge there, but I’m hoping that obviously now I’m back playing, kind of it’ll ease up. It is just going to take time. The recovery was a bit longer than we thought it would be. Obviously I was hoping to start my season in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but this week is a good test for it, give myself four competitive rounds and see how I feel at the end of it. So I don’t want to kind of push it too much if it’s a little bit sensitive at the end of the week, but I don’t think it will be. It’s just a case of kind of getting back out and playing again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Billy Horschel Speaks With The Media Regarding Adapting for Altitude at the WGC Mexico Championship

PGA professional Billy Horschel speaks with the media following his opening round 68 at the WGC Mexico Championship about adapting for the change in altitude and distance.

PGA Tour: Billy Horschel speaks with the media following opening round at The WGC Mexico Championship

Q. This is going to sound like kind of a general question, but it seemed like it was windier today than what you guys have had. Would that be your assessment?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I’ve never — what is it, my second or third time here, and I’ve never seen the wind blow this hard. It blew a little bit on Tuesday afternoon but nothing like this, and it was a challenge out there.

Q. How does that factor with the thin air? I know you guys have a hard time dealing with that to begin with.
BILLY HORSCHEL: The great thing for me I think was when I hit balls on the range on Tuesday and it was into the wind, we were still just testing some numbers out and seeing that just a little bit of wind that there was had an effect on the ball, bigger effect than what we thought. So it was a challenge because if you hit it — if you launch it higher, the ball is going to go farther, but then if you factor in the wind to go shorter and you launch it too high, then it negates the point. It’s a challenge. Ryan Fox and I were just talking about it. It was really tough to get the ball close to the hole, and then when you do get a good club in and you feel like you hit a good shot, you can land it in the right spot and the green could be a little bit softer and it could hit and not bounce the way you’re suspecting or it could bounce a little bit more. It was a very challenging golf course out there today, and I’m happy that I scrapped it together and shot 3-under.

Q. Did you have to be a little bit more patient today than maybe normal?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I think so, knowing that the wind was blowing. There was some really good pin locations today. I think even if there was no wind, you’ve got to be patient because you know you can go low here, but sometimes you can hit a lot of good shots and hit a lot of good putts and not get rewarded for it. It’s a little bit of a different kind of patience today, understanding that par is a really good score instead of where in the past you’re just trying to make a lot of birdies.

Q. Did you and TA work on anything special this week?
BILLY HORSCHEL: No, just very similar to what we’ve been working on since Scottsdale, the putting, just same thing, getting a little bit better setup. The golf swing, the only thing we did last week to improve on Scottsdale was just trying to stay in my right side a little bit longer on my downswing to allow my right arm to get in front of the right hip. I’ve been having a tendency or I’ve been doing it for a long time of jumping up out of my backswing, and then the arm gets stuck behind me and I hit some really bad shots, and I hit one of those on No. 7 today.

But there’s been a lot of good stuff. It’s still not natural and it’s still not without thought, easy to do, but we’ve been doing some really good work, and it sort of is nice to see it pay off. We work really hard and sometimes we don’t see the results, and it doesn’t feel like we’re getting anywhere. But since Scottsdale, since the Waste Management Open, it seems like the path is clearing a little bit easier.

Q. The PGA TOUR officials have said that they’re going to limit water on these greens now to allow them to get firmer. How much more difficult will this golf course get with firmer greens?
BILLY HORSCHEL: It’s pretty difficult already even with soft greens. I’m interested to see — 3-under par is leading, 4-under par is leading. We don’t really need to make it that much tougher. The greens are tough enough as it is. This is a very tough place to make putts. I think it’s the fewest footage of holed putts on average. Yeah, if it gets a little bit firmer, I think it’ll be a little bit more predictable with the ball, understanding how the ball is going to land on the green, is it going to land soft, is it going to land firm, so I think that helps us a little bit, but then at the same time it gets a little bit tougher to get close to the hole when the greens do firm up.

Q. Is it unpredictable now?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I mean, I hit some shots today where we landed it where we wanted and it hit and it spun back, and it didn’t take the bounce, and then we hit a couple shots where it hit and took a bigger bounce than what we thought. You know, that’s what happens when you play on poa; it’s like that on the West Coast. The greens are just that way a little bit. It’s a little bit easier when the greens do get firm and the entire green is firm. It’s a little bit more, I think, predictable to understand how the ball is going to land on the green. But like I said, vice versa, it’s a little bit tougher to get the ball close to the hole, and at the same time it’s a little bit tougher to scramble.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Ireland

PGA Tour: Rory McIlroy Recaps Opening Round 65 and First Round Lead at The WGC Championship Mexico

Rory McIlroy speaks with the media following a successful opening round 65 at the WGC Championship Mexico to take a 2 stroke advantage over the field.

PGA Tour: Rory McIlroy speaks with the media following opening round 65 and talks new putting style, premiere golf league and more

Q. What was the difference between today and Sunday at the Genesis Open?
RORY McILROY: You know, I think at Genesis, I played 17 holes in 1-under par and then I obviously had a bad hole on the 5th, but I actually took a lot of positives from Sunday. I hung in there. I holed a nice one at the last at Riviera, which sort of gave me a little bit of momentum going into this week. But I changed my putter. I changed my putter when I got here. I went back to my old putter. I was sort of trying out a new putter last week and it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to, so I went back to the 34-inch. I was using a 35 last week. Yeah, I just felt a little bit more comfortable today and was seeing my lines a little bit better, and yeah, it was a good day.

Q. Seems to me there was a lot of figuring going on with the caddies. You had the altitude, the wind, the greens firmed up. I thought it was a hard day to play golf. Was that true?
RORY McILROY: A little bit. I don’t know if we’ve ever played this golf course in as much wind as today, especially some of the gusts that got up to maybe 10 or 15 miles an hour, which yeah, I can’t recall if we’ve played in wind as strong as that here, so yeah, pulling clubs and sort of trying to figure out how the wind is going to affect the ball up here was a little tricky, but I felt like Harry and I handled that pretty well.

Q. Switching to the slightly longer putter, I assume it was the same model, what was the idea of switching last week?
RORY McILROY: So at Torrey, sometimes with the 34, my right arm can get a little high and my right shoulder can sort of roll over, but with a 35 a little longer, it sort of puts my shoulder and my right elbow into better position, sort of more on plane with the shaft. So it looked really good on video and it felt good, but once I got out there, just that inch difference in the putter, it moves your eye line and you sort of stop seeing your lines the way you usually do, and I especially struggled last week on right to left putts because when it’s a longer putter and the ball is above your feet, you feel like the putter is up in your sort of belt.

I struggled a little bit with it last week. I wasn’t really expecting it. But I saw that the tournament threw with it and it didn’t quite work the way I wanted to, so I went back to the one this week, and did a really good session on Tuesday on the greens, did a few drills, sort of did a few things I maybe haven’t done the last couple weeks, got a little bit more comfortable, and it was nice to see it pay off today.

Q. What reaction have you had to what you said yesterday?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, some nice messages. Yeah, I mean, just sort of —

Q. Did you hope for that?
RORY McILROY: I don’t know. I wasn’t hoping for anything. I was just sort of providing my point of view and getting it off my chest, and that’s what I felt. I wasn’t trying to do anything or prove a point or try to get any sort of raise. I’ve sort of been sick of talking about it for the last few months, and I’m happy that everyone knows where I stand on that, and I’m happy that I know where I stand, certainly, on it.

Q. Did you get any nice messages from the TOUR, maybe Jay?
RORY McILROY: Maybe. (Laughter.)

Q. The height at which you hit the ball, what is that like here?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I think with the fairways being so soft, as well, on a couple of the par-5s I teed it up high and sort of launched it. I had a 9-iron into the 15th. So yeah, and then even the drive on the 8th hole, getting it up and over the trees, and I hit a 9-iron in there, where Gary and Tommy were sort of hitting 6’s in, so that’s a pretty big difference.

So with the driver I can tee it up and I can launch it and maybe get a bit more out of it than some of the other guys, and then some of my sort of mid-irons I can — if I want to launch them up in the air, I can get a little bit more out of them.

But yeah, again, I did a good session on Tuesday on the TrackMan, and we did all our numbers and got it dialed in and sort of went from there, and felt like distance control was good today.

Q. What did you hit on your second on the 11th?
RORY McILROY: 4-iron from 275.

Q. Do you feel any different playing as world No. 1? Do you feel it changes your mindset?
RORY McILROY: Not particularly. No, I don’t think so. I mean, I’m confident because I played well. Regardless whether I have a 1 or a 2 or a 10 beside my name in the World Rankings, I’m comfortable with my golf game and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, and that’s the most important thing.

Q. I think there was a time where you said you would check the rankings every Monday morning. Are you still doing that?
RORY McILROY: It’s funny when you’re on top that you don’t really do it that often. But yeah, I did it. I sort of last Monday I wanted to know what that putt on 18 was worth at Riviera, and it went from a .03 of the lead to .05 of the lead actually. But again, as long as I don’t think about it during my play and I track it on Monday morning, then I forget about it again, then it’s fine.

Q. With the type of grasses here, does this almost feel like a continuation of last week?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, a little bit. There was a couple of lies that I misjudged out there. That hole that I made bogey on, I felt like it was going to come out knuckly and it actually came out with spin, and a couple of lies around the greens I thought were going to spin and they didn’t, so I misjudged a couple of lies, but yeah, it definitely helps playing Riviera last week and then coming here because the ball does react pretty similarly.

Q. When you putt as well as you did today, especially with the minor equipment change you talked about, how much optimism does that give you for the rest of the week, especially on these greens?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, if I keep putting like that, I’ll be very happy. I’m not expecting to gain three and a half on the greens every day this week, but if I can keep my strokes gained numbers in the positive and putt better than the field average on greens like this, then you’re doing something right. But it was definitely validation to going back to the putter I’d been using for the last 14 months, I guess. A little blip last week, but I’m back, and I putted well today and hopefully continue to.

Q. Is it the same grip on the putter?
RORY McILROY: No, I actually changed the grip. I went to a slightly thicker grip. So the thicker grip gets your hands more facing each other and for me gets that right arm tucked in a little bit better and then gets the arm on the shaft clean, and I just stroke it better.

Q. If things had gone your way on Sunday and you had managed to win, would you have change putters?
RORY McILROY: Harry asked me that actually on Sunday night. He goes, if we won this week, would you change your putter, and I said, yeah, I probably still would have because I just didn’t feel quite as comfortable as I thought I would.

Q. Does that make you stubborn?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it does.

Q. When you got to the first and second hole, you had a long period to way there. How do you manage not to lose your rhythm and stay within the game?
RORY McILROY: Actually I had a lovely conversation with Doug Ferguson there, so that was what I did. But no, honestly, I like to talk about something else and get my mind away from the round, so yeah, we talked about all sorts of stuff over there. Actually I wasn’t quite ready to hit the tee shot, so I had to rush a little bit. Yeah, no, we deal with it every week on TOUR, and guys deal with it differently, they go and stand on their own or chat or they converse with someone. But I like to get my mind off it and sort of chat about anything else.

Q. You told Woodland and Fleetwood an anecdote on hole 2 and you had them laughing. What was that anecdote you told them, do you remember?
RORY McILROY: I don’t know, I tell so many. I’m a funny guy. I don’t know. I can’t remember.

Q. They showed your yardages on the telecast today. I’m just wondering how vast a difference are they this week from Riviera?
RORY McILROY: I mean, I was hitting little 7-irons from 155 yards at Riviera last week. It’s very different. It’s very different. Even when you get a shot into the wind here, it doesn’t affect it that much because into the wind the ball stays in the air longer and has a chance to fly further. So even into the wind there today on that last par-3 we played, the 7th hole, I pitched a 6-iron 230 into the wind. It plays a lot different. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s just a number, so if I know that this week my wedge goes 170, then that’s what I do, and I just have to trust that that’s what it goes. My 9-iron goes 180 in, my 8-iron goes 200, my 7 goes whatever, and as long as you trust those numbers and know that it is going to go that distance, it doesn’t really matter what club you’re using.

Q. What was working so well for you out there?
RORY McILROY: I putted a little better today than I did in Riviera last week, and I took advantage of how I drove the ball. I drove the ball well, took advantage of the par-5s, and yeah, I mean, I made one bogey. I misjudged the lie on the 4th hole there, but apart from that, just really solid on the golf course.

Q. Talk about the 11th.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was a 4-iron from like 275. Yeah, it was really good. I was in between 4 and the rescue I’m carrying, but the wind just died down a touch and I was able to hit a good 4-iron in there.

Q. 275 with a 4-iron, just checking?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, that’s sort of what the 4-iron is going this week, which is nice, and it was really nice to hole this putt, see this putt go in early on. That’s one of the things I wasn’t doing last week at Riviera, so that was really nice.

Q. Last week kikuyu greens, this week kikuyu, as well. How much does that help you this week that you saw a little bit of this last week at Riviera?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it does. It prepared us. It’s a little softer here than it was in Riviera, especially at the weekend, but yeah, I went back to my old putter this week. I was trying a new putter last week that was 35 inches. Went back to my old one, which was 34, which I used all last year, and it worked pretty well last year, so going to keep it in the bag, and it worked really well today.

Q. When you switch putters, what are you looking for in that regard?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, for me it was sometimes my right arm position can get a bit high, and the 35 with it being a bit longer, my right elbow sort of tucks in a little bit better. But it just — on right to left putts, it just felt as if the putter felt a little too long, but this was really nice, a little downhiller, a little right to left, and obviously a nice way to finish off the day. Yeah, happy to have the old faithful back in the bag, and it worked out today.

Q. Last year you played so well but you got beat. There’s two ways of not getting a victory on the PGA TOUR; you either lose or you get beat. Last year you got beat by Dustin Johnson. How do you come back to a place like this with good vibes knowing you played so well here in the past?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, the first year we came here in ’17, I think I had the lead after 36. I didn’t end up winning but played well. Last year finished second, and then obviously off to a good start this year, so I like this place, and I like the golf course. I’ve always played pretty well at altitude for whatever reason that is, and yeah, as you said, I got beat last year, I didn’t lose. I played pretty well. Hopefully this year I can do one better.

Q. Big game, big field, No. 1 player in the world. How would you evaluate your performance?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was good. All aspects of my game were working pretty well today. I drove the ball well, and I took advantage of that. I think the big thing was I putted well. I didn’t putt so well at Riviera last week. Went back to my old putter, was trying a new one last week. It didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to, but I was comfortable on the greens today and holed some nice ones coming in today.

Q. A lot of players find poa annua greens difficult to putt on. What are you doing that’s allowing you to putt so well?
RORY McILROY: I think I just saw so many putts missed last week that it sort of — what else can happen? You’ve got to read it as well as you can and try and start it on your line, and if it goes in, it goes in. If it doesn’t — that was sort of the saving grace last week. I knew everyone was struggling on the greens. Yeah, I guess if a putt misses and you hit a good putt, then you just have to step up to the next one and have commitment. That’s what I did today. I had a really good attitude on the greens, and it paid off.

Q. What is it you like about this golf course?
RORY McILROY: I’ve always played well at altitude. I’ve played well in Crans over in Europe a few years. I finished second there last year, I obviously finished second here last year. I think I’ve got the altitude pretty figured out. I think I have a pretty good formula for it, and I can hit the ball a long way here, which helps, and then my distance control has been pretty good. That combined I’m not really guessing too much over things. Certainty goes a long way, especially around this place.

Q. Catching headlines yesterday around the world of golf and categorically saying that you were out with regards to the Premier Golf League. You explained yourself really well about your reasons behind it. We just really want to know about the timing. What was the thinking being the first player and saying what you have said around here?
RORY McILROY: Honestly, the chat has sort of been going since the end of last year, and it got to the point where I like to have certainty on things, and I sort of made a decision last week. I was like, you know what, what they’re proposing isn’t for me. I’d much rather pick and choose where I play and have that freedom and autonomy, as I said yesterday. I’d rather just get it off my chest and get it out there and tell everyone how I feel, and maybe that sways guys one way or another and makes them think a little bit, and that’s sort of what I was trying to do.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Patrick Reed Speaks on Windy Conditions at The WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Tour professional Patrick Reed speaks with the media following an opening round 69 about the windy conditions and the recent Brook’s Koepka comments.

PGA Tour: Patrick Reed talks wind, Brooks Koepka, and Premiere Golf League rumors

Q. You’ve played here a couple times. Can you talk about how much harder it is in wind like this?
PATRICK REED: It’s a lot harder. This is the first time I’ve actually played with wind.

Q. I think it’s the first time we’ve had it.
PATRICK REED: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is into the wind, downwind, kind of sea level at home, it’s very easy to kind of judge. But all of a sudden you come here and it seems like downwind the ball will just not stop. It just never stops, and then into the wind it seems like the ball doesn’t go anywhere. Because the air is thinner up here, it seems like at the end of the day the wind magnifies what the ball wants to do.

Q. So it still makes it go shorter even into the wind? You don’t get the advantage of the altitude into the wind as much?
PATRICK REED: Well, you still get the advantage of altitude, but I think the biggest thing is just like a little puff at home might be three yards difference, but here it seems to be five to seven. Just seems to be magnified just a little bit. And same thing downwind. If you get downwind and a full wedge number in your hand, the ball will never stop. It will just go.

Q. Rory talked yesterday about the Premier Golf League. Do you have any thoughts?
PATRICK REED: Honestly I have my team grabbing all the information about it, and I don’t know enough about it yet to really say anything about it, but once we get all the information, I’ll go make my mind up later on.

Q. What did you think of a guy of Rory’s stature essentially saying he’s out?
PATRICK REED: Yeah, I mean, I just heard about it probably earlier this year. I know some of the guys have heard about it for years, and supposedly this has been something that’s gone on and hasn’t really caught, and then it’s kind of been going on and off for quite some time. Rory would know more about it and kind of where he stands, and me, it’s hard for me to really say either way. I don’t know much about it yet.

Q. We haven’t had a chance to ask you, but did you see what Brooks said about the Hero and do you have any response?
PATRICK REED: Not really. I mean, I said what I have to say about what happened in the Bahamas, and at the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is go out and play good golf and trying to win a golf championship and hopefully run Rory down.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Justin Thomas Talks Successful Track Record at the WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Tour professional Justin Thomas speaks with the media following an opening round 67 at the WGC Mexico Championship and in a tie for second position, 2 strokes off the lead.

PGA Tour: Justin Thomas recaps opening round 67 at the WGC Mexico Championship

Q. Justin, what is it about this course you like so much?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don’t know. It’s a different course. Leish and I were talking about it today. I’ve never played a place — I felt like today was tough. I’ve never played this place with this kind of wind. It just doesn’t get this windy here this often. But you can go so low, but man, if you’re not playing well, you can shoot over par in a heartbeat. It’s pretty tough to manage your score, but I feel like we have a pretty good idea how far the ball goes, and that helps.

Q. When you guys teed off there was nothing and then all of a sudden it kicked up. When that happens, how much do you have to change your game plan out there?
JUSTIN THOMAS: You have to change it a lot because usually at altitude the wind doesn’t affect it too much, but when you’re hitting 6-irons from 240 over water, you’re like, well, I hope it — is it going to affect it, is it not. I hit a sand wedge today, Jimmy and I were posing looking at it, and it landed like 10 yards short of the green. Like it wasn’t even close. It took us a little bit to kind of figure out that the ball did not go very far into the wind, but man, it goes downwind.

Q. You’ve played all over the world. How much do you enjoy representing not only you and your brand but also the PGA TOUR, playing here in Mexico and everywhere else you get to play in front of fans like this?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it’s awesome. Jimmy and I said, it’s really cool. I want to meet this kid; I’ve met him but I don’t know him very well. He’s followed us around the last two years. He knows Jimmy’s name, he yells at Jimmy, he yells at me, he looks like a TOUR pro out there, so I feel like I have some sort of relationship with this little kid just from playing in this tournament. But we get a lot of support from everybody, and it’s great that we decided to come here to Mexico City.

Q. How would you assess your round out there today?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I played well. It was a little difficult to start it felt like with this wind. It wasn’t something that we’re accustomed to out here, all of us. It’s usually very, very calm. If anything you’ll get maybe a five-mile-an-hour breeze. But took us a little bit to adjust, but when I missed the green I felt like I missed them in good spots and got it up-and-down, made a couple key putts and really felt like I did everything I needed to do.

Q. With the wind, how did that make the course harder?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It’s really tough just because I think 7 is a perfect example. For some reason that back tee, seems like no matter where the pin is, it’s just a perfect 6-iron, and my 6-iron here goes about 230 to 235 and the pin is in the back today. I think it was 230 — it was 241 and we had 208 front, and the 7-iron goes 215, and usually at this altitude the wind doesn’t do very much, but when it’s blowing that much, you’re like, is it not, because long is bad and what do we do and I can’t come up short because then it goes in the water, and it really was just a guessing game.

I hit a wedge shot on 5 that — I mean, I flagged it and it landed 10 yards short of the green. It wasn’t even close. It took a little bit to get used to, but once we did, I felt like we had somewhat of an idea.

Q. Does it help that you’ve had some success here, when you have to deal with something like that, it’s easier to figure it out a little quicker than maybe guys who haven’t played here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I hope so. That would be an advantage for me. At the end of the day, the most important thing is hitting the ball consistently because if you hit it differently, you hit down on it, you hit it high, hit it low, your yardages are going to change, and I feel like that’s something we’ve done is we just try to stick to just playing golf and our numbers that have worked the last three years.

Q. How much is it to have validation after Genesis to come here and put a good opening round together and put yourself — seems to be at this tournament again.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it’s good. It just yet again proves what a fickle game golf is. Two places that are as totally different as they may seem, I feel like are similar golf courses in terms — if you play well it rewards good golf, but you can shoot over par pretty quickly. You’ve got the zoysia fairways, the kind of kikuyu type rough, poa annua greens, so you really have to be patient out there, and it’s kind of something that I try to learn a little bit from last week. I didn’t play that poorly on Friday, I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole, so it was nice to see some putts go in.

Q. How do you define patience out here?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just waiting for your time. I feel like at some point over four days, hopefully a couple times I might reel off four, five, six in a nine-hole span, and you just kind of have to wait for it. There’s a decent chance it doesn’t happen, but you have so many wedges, and if you have control of your ball you can get it in good spots. I mean, I’ve had two 62s here, and you can get it going. It’s just tough sometimes because of the altitude and playing the yardages correctly and making them on these greens. So many short clubs, you just kind of have to wait for it I feel like.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team USA

PGA Tour: Bubba Watson Addresses Media Following Opening Round 67 at The WGC Mexico Championship

PGA professional and two time Masters champion Bubba Watson speaks with the media following an opening round of 67 at the WGC Mexico Championship which is good for second place, 2 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.

PGA Tour: Bubba Watson talks to the media about playing wit Justin Bieber, superb putting, and the pros and cons of golf at altitude

Q. 4-under par for Bubba. You had that tie for ninth finish in three previous starts here, so you haven’t been great on this golf course, but today you played very well. What made you get to the 4-under-par total?
BUBBA WATSON: I just made some putts today. The only thing that was missing last week when I missed the cut was I didn’t make any putts. The ball just wasn’t going in the hole for some reason. I’ve been hitting the ball great all year after training. I’ve been working on getting fitter, getting stronger so I can hold positions and hit the shots I want to hit. So today I just made putts. The one thing I haven’t done around here is make putts. Around here, one foot means a lot. So you’re chipping or hitting the ball into the green, it can bounce over the green or it can be close to the hole. So around here it’s very difficult. You’ve just got to get your bounces to go your way.

Q. 13 one-putts today, including the last seven holes. When you began the day it was like this; there wasn’t a breath of wind. Then all of a sudden in the middle the breeze kicked up a little bit. How much did that mess with the strategy?
BUBBA WATSON: I’ll go with the first part. Me and Teddy were joking, it seemed like I was one foot off of just about every green. That’s what it felt like today. So I missed a lot of greens, but I was just off the green where I could putt and secure an easy par I guess you would say. But when the wind picked up, it changes because the elevation already messes with your head and what you’re thinking, and then when you talk about into the wind, how much does it affect it, downwind how much does it affect it, so you’re always second-guessing yourself more than back home just because of the elevation, so that’s what makes it so difficult. And that’s what the scores are showing. Sometimes par is great around here when you’re second-guessing the wind and the elevation.

Q. If you look at your record around here, you’ve had some pretty decent results. Do you like playing at elevation? Is this fun golf for you?
BUBBA WATSON: Well, what my psychologist would say would be yes, I love it here. I don’t have a psychologist, but if I did, that’s what they would say.

No, you know, it’s one of those things where it’s fun. When we talk about four days of golf, me and you hit a shot and we land a foot apart, one is going to bounce, one doesn’t, and it’s just about getting the bounces to go your way, the putt to go your way, and today I made some putts. I missed a couple greens just off the green, so it looks like I missed a lot of greens today, but I putted the ball nicely. LA last week I didn’t putt it very nicely. I stroked it well but I just didn’t make any putts, so I missed the cut.

I know my ball-striking is where I want it to be. My mind is where I want it to be and everything. Coming here, I was just hoping I’d get the right bounces and the right breaks. I know I can play around here if I stay committed to all the shots, and today I did that.

Q. Did you get into the right frame of mind Saturday playing with Justin Bieber?
BUBBA WATSON: Oh, man. You know, he’s my mental coach, my psychologist I was talking about. (Laughter.)

You know, it’s — life sometimes throws you curve balls. I’ve had some ups and downs over the last five years in my personal life, in my mind, and I’ve reached out to some guys, and I’ve also helped some guys, and so missing the cut — think about it, I could be very disappointed because that golf course I love. I mean, I’ve won it three times in LA, and I can’t hit the ball any better. For two rounds I was 13th in greens in regulation, and I think I beat two people in putting for two rounds. So I was like 118 in putting.

I was very disappointed, but at the same time, you’ve got to live life, and so I called my buddy and called a couple buddies and we got together and played some golf and freed it up and just had some fun and realized I was in a good frame of mind and where my life is with my beautiful wife and my beautiful kids; who cares about missing a cut really. We’ve got other things to worry about, a different tour coming on and all these things.

Q. Where was that round, and was it Saturday?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, it was at Lakeside. Lakeside is one of my favorite golf courses right there in LA right outside of Warner Brothers studio, any chance I get to play there. I’m honored with, I guess, a complimentary membership, so any chance I get a chance to stop by there, I stop by there and play and hang out with the boys.

Q. How many complimentary memberships do you have?
BUBBA WATSON: I’ve got a few. And there’s a couple I pay for.

Q. A couple?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, there’s a couple that make me pay, but yeah, it’s all good. It’s worth it.

Q. Guys were saying because of the thin air the ball doesn’t seem to turn as much. It seems to me you’re a player that likes to see the ball move in different directions. Do you like that or is that a challenge?
BUBBA WATSON: It’s a challenge because I’m used to starting a ball or trying to start a ball one way and getting it to curve back, that’s the challenge. Here I have to do different eyesights and trust it. And that’s why around here, I have the ability just like all these guys have the ability, it comes down to trusting it, that your ball is not going to curve as much or it’s going to do a little different. Today the gusty winds made the course a lot tougher than we’re used to because we haven’t really seen this over the past couple years.

It comes down to trust for me, and yeah, I want to be able to move the ball, but at the same time, I’ve got to go with what the ball is doing, and in this elevation the ball hasn’t really moved that much. I’ve got to talk to Bryson about air density and stuff like that.

Q. Was the tee shot at 1 an example of that, that you expected it to curve a little bit more?
BUBBA WATSON: Yes, but at the same time, at 1, you want to miss it — I want to miss it to the right a little bit because of those bunkers. They just dump sand in these, these bunkers. These are the toughest bunkers I’ve ever seen because there’s so much sand in them and I knew how difficult it was going to be if you hit it in those bunkers. Louis landed in the bunker and it only moved a couple inches and he had a ridiculous chance to get up-and-down.

Q. Do you think patience will be the key for the next rounds? Or what will be the key?
BUBBA WATSON: Yeah, the key is always patience. That’s the beauty of what Tiger Woods has able to do, McIlroy has been able to do. It comes down to patience. When you have patience and trust in yourself and your ability, that’s when you can play good golf. I mean, all these guys at this field, at this event can play the game of golf, but it comes down to who’s got the most patience and the freed-up mind and mental attitude.

Q. What is the thing you most enjoy about playing here in Mexico?
BUBBA WATSON: What I like most about playing here? The ball goes forever. Even though I’m getting older, the ball still travels a long way, so it’s always fun, and it changes it up. It changes up our routine of having the straightforward shot. Now we have to do some math and try to guess right on the numbers and pull the shots off.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 20, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Australia

PGA Tour: Adam Scott Recaps Last Week’s Victory and Previews 2020 WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Tour: Adam Scott revisits last week’s victory at the 2020 Genesis Invitational and gives a look ahead to this week’s WGC Mexico Championship.

PGA Tour: Adam Scott speaks with the media ahead of 2020 WGC Mexico Championship

MARK WILLIAMS: We’d like to welcome Adam Scott into the interview room here at the WGC Mexico Championship. Adam, thanks for coming in. Congratulations again on your win on Sunday at the Genesis Invitational.

If you can just talk about coming back here. You haven’t played here since 2017. And also I understand you’ve added the WGC Match Play to your schedule. If you could just talk about adding those two tournaments to your schedule and coming back here to Mexico.

ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, sure. You know, I talked about it last week, I’ve had a fairly long — not that long a break, but I’m starting a lot later than most this year, and you’re never quite sure how you’re going to play the first week out, and okay, it worked out really well for me. But putting this back in this week got me out here against the best in the world, and also it’s going to get me four rounds in golf in early in the season, just in case it didn’t go well last week.

For the last couple years, I’ve put World Golf Championships in and out of the schedule a little bit, trying to find what’s working for me, but I think as I’ve started playing better and better last year, to be the best player out here, you’ve got to play against the best, and that means coming to these events. It was pretty easy to put this back in and also the Match Play back on the schedule for this year and at least give myself an idea of where my game is sitting against the best players in the world a little more often.

MARK WILLIAMS: Before last week’s victory, your previous victories on the TOUR were back-to-back efforts in 2016 kind of around this time of the year. What will we see from you to try and recreate that again this week with another victory?

ADAM SCOTT: My game is obviously in good shape. I think the challenge for everyone coming here this week is just dealing with the altitude, mostly with how far the ball is going to go and who can manage that the best. It’s very difficult even with just a couple days of practice and playing the golf course to really dial that in completely. Certainly when you’re trying to hit maybe a knock-down shot — it’s going to be a bit tricky and you’re going to have to accept a few mystery balls, I think, this week.

But overall, a bit like I felt last week, if there’s enough good stuff in there, I think my game can hold up to that.

Q. Was the decision to take the events off leading up to maybe LA and add these events, was that kind of the same choice, that you wanted some time off after the end of last season and it just made sense to add Match Play and Mexico, whatever the case may be?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, I needed to get going somewhere. The events I did play at the back end of last season, I didn’t get a lot of FedExCup points. I was going to come out chasing no matter where I came out, and it was simply — looking at the schedule, I liked the way it looked. Riviera I like, and I was hopeful to play well there, and then coming here I was going to hopefully give myself eight competitive rounds right out of the gate and give me something to go home with a week off and work on what I need to work on and come back and play Bay Hill and THE PLAYERS, which are two courses I love playing, also. Then you’re really right into Masters preparation off the back of THE PLAYERS. I thought the Match Play has never been the first one on my schedule, but it’s another opportunity for just me to see at least three competitive rounds of golf, where I’m at, what I need to work on, keep me competitively pretty fresh with a week off before the Masters. It seemed like a fairly logical schedule based off the break.

Q. When you first kind of moved into the elite, if you will, back in about ’04, ’05, whatever, you’ve had a couple times where you’ve dipped pretty far out of the World Ranking into the 75, 80 range, and both times worked your way back into the top 10. What do you think looking back caused those dips, and which one was harder or more satisfying to get back to?
ADAM SCOTT: I guess my perspective on it now is that the standards are pretty high. If you dip down to 75 or 80 in the world, it’s because of guys like Tiger, who set the top level so high and guys like Phil Mickelson, who have stayed in the top 50 in the world for 50 years or something like that (laughing) that make all of us look pretty average after that.

The game of golf is very difficult at times. I remember in ’09 struggling — I really think I played poorly in ’09. I was really just playing very poor, and I got myself into a funk, and the confidence goes, and it’s not easy to get that back. There’s a bit of a process to that.

Getting out of that one was quite good because I felt like it was the first time I’d ever really struggled, and I could almost say a bit panicky, I’m sure, of really what to do, and a few things fell into place eventually at the end of ’09, and I kind of got myself out of that.

Then the last couple years I think — you know, again, it’s a few things that catch up with you. A lot changed in my life from when I was winning the Masters until the middle of 2018 where I’m qualifying for the U.S. Open and trying to balance how to be a high-level golfer with a lot of other responsibilities I found challenging. I think it was more with the second kid coming along that really got my head spinning a bit. There was no way to get — well, there’s another one. But I have incredible support from my wife and my family, but we also must remember that you’re trying to play the sport at the highest level, and there’s no excuses, and there’s a lot of sacrifices to make. It just took me a little while to find the right balance between the way I used to do it and the way I needed to do it now so that there was like some kind of peace in my whole world.

I don’t think that’s anything amazing. I think everyone deals with it in some way or another.

Q. How is it mentally-wise and confidence-wise putting up this win and reassuring the good game you have been playing throughout 2019?
ADAM SCOTT: It’s very satisfying. I think any time you win it’s incredibly good for your confidence. I felt that at the end of last year. I won the Australian PGA in December, and even in a funny way today, just hitting a few balls on the range, I felt more confident today than I did even hitting balls on the range Sunday in Riviera.

It just gives you that little bit more self-belief in all the things that you need to do, and even the way I struck the ball today I think showed that there was a lot of confidence and self-belief standing over the ball to swing the club.

It’s funny, it’s kind of immeasurable, and it’s hard to fake what that win can give to you. Sometimes you can, but it does mean a lot. Certainly for me, I’ve always kind of based my success of my career on winning tournaments.

Q. It’s hard to believe that in 2019 not one Aussie won on the PGA TOUR and now three in seven events so far. Talking to Leish and Cam, they said that a lot of that was — well, some of that at least is motivation from what happened at Royal Melbourne. How big of an inspiration was that to this whole formula of the Aussies winning again?
ADAM SCOTT: I think that event really meant something to the Aussies at Royal Melbourne. I think it meant a lot to the other players on the international team, too. Guys, if it was their first taste of a Presidents Cup, it was a pretty good one. It was a tough defeat to take.

But they got a really nice introduction to what that competition can be.

And as far as the Aussies, it was a special week for us down there. We certainly felt like we were playing at home, and I felt that straightaway, and I was very keen to play well the week after at the PGA in Australia, and then really last week I had a lot of motivation going in. I had watched Cam win in Hawai’i while I was sitting on the couch and Leish winning in Torrey, and that was about the time when I was feeling like, okay, I need to get back out there and try and put my name on a trophy.

Those things happen. You know, the Aussies are all pretty close, and a little success from one can push us all a long way.

Q. Was there a conversation amongst you and the Aussies to maybe help motivate each other heading into the rest of the year?
ADAM SCOTT: At the Presidents Cup you mean?

Q. Yes, sorry.
ADAM SCOTT: I think there was some great conversations amongst our team. I don’t know why just the Aussies might have won. Maybe the others are all going to now. But I think everyone was very motivated to continue playing at a high level to make the next team. That was really more what I got out of it, and I say that, which might sound surprising, but I don’t always get that feeling out of the back of Presidents Cups. We’ve had some pretty rough beatings, not really leaving with our heads held high sometimes, and this time we did, and I think everyone who was on that team would like to have another go next time, and they’re pretty determined to play well to get on that next team.

Q. The issue in Mexico, it’s always the altitude. It’s what all you guys talk about. What about the air pressure? They also said that the backspin in Mexico is really hard because of the thinness of the air pressure. How do you handle and deal with these things?
ADAM SCOTT: I think you’re definitely better off asking Bryson DeChambeau about the air pressure. I really do not know how to answer that question. (Laughter.) I’m really sorry I can’t help.

I think you can spin the ball a lot on this type of green. We’re used to that. But as far as air pressure, I really don’t know anything about air pressure here in Mexico, I’m sorry.

Q. But it’s harder to give the backspin to follow it?
ADAM SCOTT: Maybe it is because that’s why the ball is going more. Maybe that makes sense. There’s less resistance on the ball. That’s why it’s flying further. Maybe it spins less. You should ask Bryson, though. (Laughter.) I’m sorry.

Q. I’m sorry if you were asked this last week, but what was your reaction when you heard the news that Ernie wasn’t going to captain again, and is there any part of you after what he did that he would reconsider and maybe consider doing it one more time?
ADAM SCOTT: I think when I first heard, he told me straightaway after the Cup. I was a little bit surprised but only because captains have captained a few times in the past.

But I think he put so much into it, and I really respect the fact that he said I gave it everything I had and he came up short and he shouldn’t get a second chance, he should pass it on and let someone else do it, and I really like that attitude, actually. I think that’s a nice attitude for me to take playing to the course; I get one shot at this tournament this week, and I don’t get another go and I should make it count. That’s kind of what he was saying, and that was one of many really important messages he left with our team that week for the future.

Q. Did you have a chance to speak with Abraham Ancer about Mexico in general and maybe about this tournament?
ADAM SCOTT: Not particularly. We spent most of the time talking about his tequila actually. I’m sure he’ll be happy to tell you all about it. I look forward — I’m still waiting for a bottle. That’s the only thing. I keep bringing it up every time, but no tequila bottle.

But I’ve enjoyed talking with Abe anyway over the last 18 months. He’s been fantastic. He was fantastic in Melbourne on the Presidents Cup. He’s fantastic for golf in Mexico, and very enjoyable guy to be around. He’s a really nice guy.

Q. I wonder if you could paint a picture for us. First you admitted last week that you watch golf on television, which was mildly shocking. When you’re watching Leish and when you’re watching Cameron, where are you, at home on the couch? Where are the kids? Are they watching with you? Do you need to have quiet time for this?
ADAM SCOTT: No, that’s when they’re having a nap. I was in Australia, so somehow — we were in Hawai’i when Cam was winning. My boy was still having his nap in the middle of the day, so that worked. I got an hour’s golf in that day.

I mean, I don’t watch every minute of every telecast, but certainly if Cam is winning or Leish or one of my close mates out here, I’m going to tune in and see what’s happening.

Q. The Masters, unless I’ve done my math incorrectly, to play your 75th consecutive major, does that mean anything to you?
ADAM SCOTT: Yeah, it does. That’s why I tried so hard to qualify for the U.S. Open. I mean, I don’t know why. You don’t get anything for how many consecutive majors you play in. But I know Sergio has got a few more than me, and I think he’s currently holding the most consecutive, taking Jack Nicklaus out of the equation and some others. But yeah, active players.

Q. Talking about the Presidents Cup and Abraham Ancer, what do you see in his game and maybe his opportunity to win on the PGA TOUR? What can you say about Ancer’s game?
ADAM SCOTT: He’s a competitor. He reminds me a little bit of Tim Clark, who I’m quite close friends with. He’s a really gritty, gritty player. He’s not afraid to get in the middle of a dogfight on the golf course, and I think you can see that he kind of was our guy to play Tiger, which is not an easy task to do at a Presidents Cup, but especially if it’s your first time. But everyone believed that if we put him out first and he got Tiger that that was a good thing. I know he didn’t win the match, but he’s not afraid, that’s for sure, and I think that’s going to take him a long, long way.

Of course he has many wonderful attributes of his golf game, too, but I think probably one of his biggest strengths will be that he’s pretty fearless as a competitor.

Q. I’m pretty sure you were the one who said on probably Wednesday of the Presidents Cup that I’d be surprised if Abe is not our leading points getter. I don’t know how much time you spent with him playing at all in a tournament, but what would you have seen in a couple days that would have led you to say that?
ADAM SCOTT: It wasn’t really the couple of days, it was more about what I just said there. I just think he likes competing. And the thing I’ve learned from Presidents Cups is you’re thrown into competition immediately. Maybe people see it differently, but sometimes Thursday and Friday you’re just wandering around playing golf out here, and you’re kind of finding your rhythm and you’re moving up the leaderboard, or if you don’t go out and shoot 7-under the first round, you’re not right in it.

At Presidents Cups you’re right in it every time you tee off. You’ve got an 18-hole match and all eyeballs are on you, and I think that’s a good thing to kind of test where you are, but also I see a guy like Abe thrive off something like that.

I think when he gets in the mix out here, he doesn’t back down from it, and he’s going to win tournaments because of it.

MARK WILLIAMS: Adam, we appreciate you coming in, and hopefully you have a successful week this week.

Mexico City, Mexico

February 19, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports