Hal Sutton Press Conference Transcript


HAL SUTTON: I played well. I was 1-over going into 9, and I birdied 9, 10, 11 and 12 and that turned things around. Getting that birdie on 17 just got me one step closer to where we need to be, and i just need to go out tomorrow, one shot at a time, and hopefully there's a lot of birdies out there.
Q. Looking at the scores today --
HAL SUTTON: Well, you know, when nothing was going on early in the round, I knew something had better happen in a hurry or I was going to get outdistanced by everybody. When I got those four in a row, I knew, well, that was good.
Q. How does your game feel right now compared to last year, Saturday and Sunday?
HAL SUTTON: Honestly, I'm not hitting the ball as good this year as I was last year and I really haven't made a lot of putts. I made a couple of putts on the back nine. For the way I played, I feel pretty good for where I'm at, to be honest with you. I haven't done anything real bad and I haven't done anything real good, either. It's just, you know, I've missed a lot of greens, from what I normally miss. None of them real bad. None of them put me in real trouble. But sometimes, if you just short-side yourself here, you're not going to get up-and-down.
Q. Does it get to the point where you can score, while you may be are not playing as well as you could?
HAL SUTTON: Well, I feel good on this golf course. You know, I know kind of where we want to be, and I tend to hover around -- hover around that spot, even if it is a poor shot, I'm going to favor the side of the green that I need to favor. I thought they were pretty tough. I don't know what everybody else thought, but -- you know, I'm glad I was not in those last three or four groups, because those greens are going to get crusty and quick. 13, it got quick around that green there. I'm surprised that we've seen a few of the pins that we've seen, on the days that we've seen them. I didn't expect to see that pin on the front of 17 on Saturday, you know. I expected to see that on the first two days. They are just throwing something different at us.
Q. Is there a sense of urgency when you get to a point like 9, that front nine and you are still spinning your wheels a little bit? Do you have to get a little more aggressive?
HAL SUTTON: I didn't get any more aggressive. I actually just got some shots in there close and happened to make the putts. I made about a 10-footer on No. 9 and about an 8-footer on No. 10. Then I hit a really good shot in there, almost made eagle at 11, about 14 feet, something like that. A 4-wood in there. Then on 12, I hit it about six feet. You know, so I hit four really good shots in a row, and that's what -- that's what you need to do to get it going.
Q. How realistic is this now with the leaders at 11 right now?
HAL SUTTON: You never know on this golf course. You know, a lot of it depends on what the weather is going to be. A little bit earlier tee time is not all that bad sometimes, either, because, you know, two or three groups could make a lot of difference in the way the green feels. You know, all you can do is go out and put it on the fairway and put it on the green and make a few putts and see where that puts you at the end of the day. I'm not concerned with how close I've got to be in order to win the golf tournament. I'm just trying to play the best that I can.
Q. Defending this championship at all this week, when you come back is that a factor in a tournament?
HAL SUTTON: Not really. It puts a different twist than normally coming into a golf tournament. If you try to think about defending a tournament, that's not what you are normally thinking about. You are normally thinking about trying to win a golf tournament, to play smart shots. You don't need the added pressure of trying to defend it. I haven't even thought about that this week.
Q. (Inaudible.)
HAL SUTTON: People have been extra nice to me here. It's a real warm, fuzzy feeling when people are cheering for you like that. 17, they just cheered for me all the way around, which was really a nice feeling. It was nice to be able to make a putt for them.
Q. How long was it?
HAL SUTTON: Ten feet.
Q. Talk about defeating Tiger head-to-head -- (inaudible) -- and you were tough talker this week last year?
HAL SUTTON: I wasn't a tough talke. I was only responding to what everybody else said.
Q. Talk about your confidence?
HAL SUTTON: I think -- you put me in a bad position here. All I did, first of all, was respond a little to what everybody else was saying. It just wasn't in my nature -- I had never been taught by my coach or my dad or anybody else that taught me about competition to give up before you're done playing, and that's what everybody was trying to get me to do. Just because Tiger was there, I can't imagine why they would want me to do that. Anyway, just because I stood up for myself, which is what I would expect anybody to do, I think the fans really, actually, endeared that. And the fact that, you know, I was able to go out and win the tournament on top of that. I wasn't trying to be cocky with what I was saying. I was just trying to defend myself.
Q. After that, how much in the locker room did people say, 'Way to go'?
HAL SUTTON: A lot of people were for me last year. That was a tough time right along there. Tiger, nobody had defeated him in a while. He had pretty much gone through everybody, and everybody was wondering if anybody was going to be able to get to him. So, golf needed that at that time. Tiger, as I say every week, when I get an opportunity, he lives up to his No. 1 billing all the time. In no way do I say anything to take away from him, because I think he is a fantastic player and a credit to the game.
Q. (Inaudible.)
HAL SUTTON: I'm a big Paul Azinger fan, so if I can't win, I've love to see him win the golf tournament. So I'll be pulling for Paul.
Q. (Inaudible) -- withdrawing from the tournament?
HAL SUTTON: They'd have to just about roll me out in a wheelchair on the first tee, almost. I love coming here playing. I didn't think about it.
Q. Guys withdrawing for sinus problems or things like that, you're a guy who is not going to pull out for any reason?
HAL SUTTON: I think that everybody wants their stars to line up just perfect and feel like they have got to get it all just exactly right. And having been out here for roughly 20 years now, I realize that there's very few days that all of your stars line up, and you just have to go out there and make the most of it.
Q. Can you go out tomorrow, if the weather really changes, and just grind away and see what happens?
HAL SUTTON: Yeah. You know, the weather, we've faced a little bit different wind every day. I don't know if it got cooler, if it got windy or something of that nature and they allowed the greens to stay the way they have -- it's going to be tough. It will play really hard. So, you never know what will happen. You get three or four birdies early, and boom, you're right there and everybody else is worrying about how they are going to make their par, and you've already got three or four birdies. You know, you've pulled yourself close.
Q. Any holes that you feel like you should birdie?
HAL SUTTON: I hate to think about it like that, because you might find yourself in a position where you didn't do it and you count yourself out. Like today, I birdied 2 and I hit it perfect.. Came off the second shot, didn't get up-and-down. That was frustrating, because I was right in the middle of the fairway to get the birdie and didn't get it. If I looked at it the way we just talked about it, I might have looked at it and counted myself out. All you can do is deal with what you've done, and whether you deal with it or don't, you just go to the next hole and try to do the same.
Q. Have you been in the fitness trailer or done any --
HAL SUTTON: I'm not a fitness guy. I go in there -- I go in the other trailer and get stretched and -- you can tell I'm not much of a fitness guy.
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