What they said: Garrett Willis

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March 18, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Transitions Championship transcript archive

DOUG MILNE: Garrett, thanks for joining us again, day two. Obviously always a good thing to be in here. We appreciate your time after the second round of the Transitions Championship, 4-under 67 today. Extends your two-day total to 9-under. Obviously a great place to be heading into the weekend. Just a couple of comments on the round and how you're feeling heading into the weekend.

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah, obviously when you're on top of the leaderboard, or whether I'll be there at the end of the night, we don't know, but it feels great. And last year, I was leading after the first round; I could be leading after the second round. It's a lot cooler to lead after the second round than it is the first round.

DOUG MILNE: You had mentioned on the way in that you are going to bolt straight from here home.

GARRETT WILLIS: Yes.

DOUG MILNE: How nice is it to be able to have that advantage, especially given the position you're in?

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah, so nice. I'll get to go home, hang out with the family, hang out with the little guy. Tennessee is playing basketball here shortly. I think it starts around 12:40. He goes down around 1:00. Get to watch a little basketball, and he'll be up by 3:30, and the game will be over; but the game will be on with him.

Q. Conditions today compared to yesterday??

GARRETT WILLIS: Very similar. Obviously when you're starting out in the morning with the fog that was still here, and the humidity that was in the air, the ball was not going quite as far but everything was soft. And it was very, very easy to stick the ball by the pins with it being so soft.

But I would say overall, it was probably easier conditions in the afternoon yesterday, just because the ball was going further.

Q. How often, you're a resident here, how often -- is it unusual in March to have two days in a row with dead wind??

GARRETT WILLIS: Extremely unusual. Over there at Lake Jovita in Dade City where I live, you might have one day where it's calm but definitely don't get two days. And I know it's windier over here by the water. So to have two days like this, this calm, is crazy. I think we are in for a pretty windy weekend, because there's no way it's going to continue.

Q. You would probably be pretty upset if it picked up this afternoon??

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah, it would hurt my feelings if it blew, you know, 15 to 20.

Q. How far is your drive from here??

GARRETT WILLIS: About an hour, give or take traffic. So heading straight home. No practice, no nothing. Golf's behind me until tomorrow morning.

Q. Afternoon, probably.

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah.

Q. Did you have a sense that you had a handle on everything coming into this week? Did you feel a good week coming on?

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah, actually I have been playing well. Even though my scores have not reflected it this year, I've played really well. I've had a lot of big numbers this year. México, I was 5-under par and made a 9 on a par 5, which was kind of a shell-shock.

Phoenix this year I made four birdies in a row, was going along pretty good and with three holes to go, well inside the cut, made a triple, ended up missing the cut.

Actually even though I played well, halfway decent in San Diego, we had several doubles in San Diego; made several doubles at Honda a couple of weeks ago.

So I mean, I've been playing well. I just have not been eliminating mistakes which I've done really well this week because I've put the ball in the fairway. That's what you have to do out here.

Q. Were those generally physical mistakes??

GARRETT WILLIS: Mostly mental I would contribute to. Some physical; sometimes physical mistakes turn into mental mistakes, but I would say mostly mental mistakes. Being too aggressive, is what it always boil down to.

Q. If you were going to be so relaxed, being able to go home tonight and watch some basketball and that sort of thing, will that putt you in a relaxed state, where maybe mentally, you'll be relaxed tomorrow when you play??

GARRETT WILLIS: No chance. (Laughter).

Once I set foot on the golf course, I'm a very intense person. I can definitely shut it down with the best of them and log four or five hours of TV straight without moving. Maybe go to the bathroom. But once I set foot on the golf course, it's full eye on Type A personality.

And like I say, that's why I struggle so much with course management because I always want to shoot at the pins and go for the birdies instead of playing the smart shot. But luckily this golf course forces you to do that out here; so that's one thing that I love about this golf course is that you have to play that way.

Q. Who is this little guy you're talking about, how old??

GARRETT WILLIS: 17 months.

Q. Name??

GARRETT WILLIS: Gage.

Q. You bogeyed the first hole; right??

GARRETT WILLIS: Yes.

Q. So when you got off to that start, what were you thinking??

GARRETT WILLIS: "Same BS as last year. Here we go again." (Laughter).

All I had to do was hit a 7-iron up the middle of the fairway, hit a wedge on the green to give myself -- to make a putt.

But no; I wanted to hit 3-wood up in the neck, and if I hit it good to where I can have an easy birdie, and I just missed it a little bit. Goes under the tree, dumped under the bunker and made bogey. Same M.O., but as least this year I was able to get out of the mind-set of negativity and say, look, we have a lot of golf. Just fairways, greens and just keep going.

Q. Does your caddie help with you that??

GARRETT WILLIS: Not really. He's just there for eye candy. That's his greatest contribution. (Laughter).

DOUG MILNE: Fast forward, four holes after that bogey at 1, just talk to us about your fifth hole.

GARRETT WILLIS: Yeah, it's kind of ironic because the ball was going extremely short starting out with the humidity and the damp conditions. And on the fifth hole, it's such a tough lay-up, and I actually was trying to lay up short of the tree. So I hit my 4-iron, and hit it pretty good, drew it, and the next thing I know, I go down there and it's past the tree, a little closer than I wanted. And I wanted to be up top, because I know that green; it can spin if you hit too short of a shot in there.

So I'm over my shot, I back off, I look at my yardage book to see which way the grain is growing on the green to see where I wanted to kind of place it.

DOUG MILNE: You were 94?

GARRETT WILLIS: 94 yards, yeah. And me being so ADD, I never back off, I pretty much just go for it. For some reason, it was calling for me to back off and look at what the green was doing.

Backed off, looked at my yardage book and saw that it was going to release a little bit, and maybe go a little left. Aim a hair right of the pin, shot came off perfect, landed about ten feet short of the green and ran to the hole like a mouse.

DOUG MILNE: We'll look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

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