What they said: Heath Slocum

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October 09, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: McGladrey Classic transcript archive

JOHN BUSH: Okay. Our 54-hole leader, Heath Slocum, joins us, his third consecutive 4-under par 66. Heath, nice playing out there. If we can just get some comments on your round.

HEATH SLOCUM: Just another solid day. Drove it well again, only missed a couple fairways. Hit some good iron shots. Minimized the mistakes. I made a couple, but got away with one for sure. Made one bogey on 16, missed club, but for the most part it was a good day.

Made some putts, and that's kind of I would say the formula to get around this place; you're going to hit fairways, get away with a few of your misses and make a few putts, so I mean I think that's what I've done for three straight days.

JOHN BUSH: Okay. We'll go right into questions.

Q. Heath, was there a -- was the two-putt on the par-5 -- how big, from that distance, 65 feet or so according to ShotLink, was more relieved than anything getting out of there with par??

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah. After I drove it in the rough and caught a good lie, and I hit another bad shot, caught another good lie, and then probably the worst of the three I hit with just trying to just kind of chip an 8-iron back there, and I kind of got underneath it.

But yeah, a two-putt there, I mean you don't want to bogey a par-5, especially with I think 16 -- I knew 16 and 18 were going to be tough. I wasn't sure where the pin was on 17. It's not easy sometimes to get 6-iron close, but yeah, to not drop a shot on 15 and still have three to play, yeah, it was big. I think every shot from this point on was going to be huge, every shot you save, every putt you make.

Q. Did you call something a formula a minute ago??

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah. Maybe. A formula. Yeah. I think that's kind of what -- a formula to play this golf course. I mean I think it doesn't seem like this is a course you're going to spray it on, you know, looking at catching fliers or not fliers and having it very deep. So to me it is a formula.

Just kind of the way I always try to play golf is go to my strength, which is trying to hit it straight, get it on the green and make some putts. So I don't know if it's my formula or not, but that's what I've tried to do this week.

Q. How long did it take you to figure it out? Half a round?

HEATH SLOCUM: More than that. Actually, no, it didn't. I mean after we played I want to say the first two holes in the Pro Am, I was like, this rough's -- I mean it's deep. And you can get a couple good lies, but you get some of those in-betweeners that you don't know if the wedge is going to go 160 or 90. That's what makes it tough.

Q. Heath, did the wind finally blow on the back nine for the late groups to where for the first time all week it actually affected some things? Was wind more of a factor today?

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah, I think it was that way on the front when we teed off. I think it was blowing pretty steadily, I know by No. 3. But yes, the wind actually, you know, affected some shots, affected some clubs, and then you were having to -- then it died down a few times, which is just as hard when it goes from gusting pretty good to just dying and then picking back up.

That's what it did on 16. I kind of thought I had the right club, and it was with the current wind, and I hit that shot and as soon as it's in the air, I'm like, where is it, where's the wind, where's the wind. And it was just an aggressive play with that pin, you know, I guess with that pin, trying to hit the club I tried to hit. But at the time I didn't think I could hit it past the hole.

Q. Is this your first bogey in 50 holes??

HEATH SLOCUM: I know it's the first bogey I've had in a while.

Q. It was at Hilton Head, I think.

HEATH SLOCUM: I know I bogeyed.

Q. Heath, what did you -- the win last year at The Barclays, what did you find out last year winning an event like that with a field like that and then what are you trying to recapture from that every time you've felt like you've had a good chance to win??

HEATH SLOCUM: I don't know if I've -- I just confirmed at The Barclays what I always felt like I could compete with the best, you know, for sure in any given week. So with that win it definitely confirmed that.

Using that experience to this week, the thing is with The Barclays I was relaxed from Thursday to Sunday. Even on Sunday on the 18th hole I was way more relaxed, and I look back and I go, I don't know how I was that relaxed.

And that's what I'll try to do tomorrow. I'll go out and just try to play golf, have fun with it and just draw on the experience that I've been here before, I know how to do it. I know I'm going to hit some bad shots tomorrow, but I know I'm going to hit some good ones.

It's just a matter of just kind of maybe weathering the storm a few times, which I've done for three straight days because I haven't hit it perfect for 54 holes by any means. And I'm just going to try to just stay chill and go play golf, because I'm going to hit a few good ones. I'm going to make a few putts here and there. You just have to kind of ride out whatever happens.

Q. You said "weather the storm." I haven't seen a cloud in five days, just to clarify.

HEATH SLOCUM: It's my storm. (Laughs).

Q. I just looked at your money ranking, and I forgot what it was. I want to say around 43, 58. 43? Does that sound right?

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah. That sounds right.

Q. What are you hoping to achieve? What do you use this Fall Series for?

HEATH SLOCUM: What do I hope to achieve?

Q. I'm talking about the entirety of the Fall Series.

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, obviously to try to win, which I think would obviously get me in to Maui, and then try to get in the Top 30 in the Money List.

So I had -- I felt like the three courses that I'm playing, in Jackson is a course that I really like. I've won on before. I haven't seen this golf course, but just after all I'd heard, it was a course that I thought that I might like; and Disney's another course that, you know, I've played well in the past, never lit it up, but it's a fun tournament, fun event, and my whole family loves it. So I'll go to that one.

So have three tournaments that I felt like I could play really good golf on and try to create a little momentum going into next year.

Q. Maybe go over a couple of his birdies??

JOHN BUSH: Birdie on No. 4, kick things off.

HEATH SLOCUM: I'm trying to think.

Q. Dogleg-left??

HEATH SLOCUM: No. I've got the hole. I'm trying to remember how -- I know I hit driver something. (Laughs). Is that bad? I don't remember.

JOHN BUSH: Is it driver and something how many feet??

HEATH SLOCUM: I don't remember. No, I got it, I got it. I hit 3-wood, 9-iron to two feet, and I made it.

JOHN BUSH: All right. And then No. 6, the par-3.

HEATH SLOCUM: No. 6, I hit a 6-iron to probably eight feet and made that.

JOHN BUSH: And the par-5, 7, birdied there.

HEATH SLOCUM: Yeah. I hit -- I know I hit driver off that tee. Laid it up, and I hit a wedge in there. Golly, about 8 feet, 10 feet and made that. And then --

JOHN BUSH: No. 11.

HEATH SLOCUM: Driver. I was aggressive off 11 and hit driver and hit a sand wedge in there to about eight feet and made that.

And then 13, hit it left, tried to catch a flier, didn't fly. Pitched in from probably, what, 30 yards. So obviously I was just trying to get close and save par and it goes in.

Q. That was 13??

JOHN BUSH: 14.

HEATH SLOCUM: 14. Sorry. 14.

Q. Barclays had one of the probably deepest field on TOUR. Does contending feel the same anywhere??

HEATH SLOCUM: Yes and no, but I think from just the aspect of, yeah, it's still a golf tournament. I want to say I've always tried to play in my head like a golf tournament is a golf tournament, no matter if it's a major, a Playoff event or Fall Series event, whatever you want to call it. It still means the same to me. Still ultimately what I'm trying to do is win a tournament.

I think the only thing that does make it feel -- I don't want to say media attention, but yeah, the crowds, media attention and what comes with that. So definitely a lot more relaxed here than New York and Barclays or any -- not say any of the other ones. But yeah.

So ultimately I think it's the same. I'll go out with the same, I guess, you know, desire to win tomorrow as I did at The Barclays, and I'll just try to combat any kind of expectations I have for myself going in and just go play golf. And that's the formula that I've tried to use, you know, when I've played my best golf.

Q. Back to your birdie at 14, how big a deal is it for you guys? When you're looking at a decent chance you're going to make bogey and all of a sudden the ball goes in the hole and you make birdie, what does that do for you?

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, again, like I said earlier, I think at this point this late in the tournament, up there near the lead or at the lead, every stroke is, I mean it's huge; it's valuable. I mean you try to save them all.

So yeah, to have a one-shot, two-shot swing like that gives you a little bit, I don't want to say -- I mean I guess you just go -- you feel like, yeah, you stole something. So you go to the next hole -- I'm drawing a blank on the word I'm trying to find.

Q. Formula.

HEATH SLOCUM: Formula. No. But it definitely is. It kind of kick-starts, keeps the momentum going. And yeah, you didn't -- I didn't expect to chip it in, but I knew I hit a good chip. I was like at least it goes in. Again, it's just important as every stroke is at this late in the tournament.

Q. What was the tougher shot, yours or Rich's at 18 that went in??

HEATH SLOCUM: Oh, his, by --

Q. I couldn't see the lie from where we were standing.

HEATH SLOCUM: Well, his was just -- because I always felt like I could get mine probably five feet. Even if I hit like not even a great one. Maybe six feet. His, if he didn't nip it perfect, yeah, he's going to -- he could have been in the bunker or just over the green, but he had a fantastic shot, so his was much tougher.

JOHN BUSH: All right. Heath, thank you for coming by. See you tomorrow.

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