What they said: Steve Marino

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March 27, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive

MARK STEVENS: Steve, thank you for taking some time. Great finish. Came up a little bit short if you want to kind of take us through your thoughts there at the end, and then we'll take some questions.

STEVE MARINO: Yeah, I mean, if I had to do it all over again, I would love to have played that 17th hole. I thought I hit a really good shot in there. We hit a 6-iron. Yesterday we hit a 5-iron that went over the green. I hit it really good. I thought it was going to be good, and came up short in the bunker and then plugged.

Really, it was probably about as good as I could do was hit it to where I did and I just got a little aggressive with the par putt. Just hit a terrible next putt. But I was able to come back and birdie 18 to give myself a chance. But I mean, that's pretty disappointing. I played so well all day, and just, you know, one hiccup on 17 cost me the tournament.

Q. Just talk about the general difficulty out there, it seemed like everybody was just sort of holding on for dear life and it wasn't a matter of charging as much as treading water and watching guys fall.

STEVE MARINO: The greens, they were just really firm and a little crispy and the wind was pretty tricky. Putting was just so difficult out there. They were so fast. You were almost trying to lag, like 12-foot putts.

It was just really hard. Maybe not quite as hard as the first day, but the pins on the back nine were really tough and it was just a very difficult test.

Q. Yesterday a lot of the guys around the tournament, guys were saying that they would not be surprised if something single-digits under par would win which means obviously the leader who is have to come back. At what point were you aware of the fact that 11, 12, 13 wasn't going to happen and it was probably going to be around 7 or 8??

STEVE MARINO: I took a little glance at the leaderboard somewhere on the front nine and I saw that Spencer and Martin had kind of fallen back. At that point I started to realize the course was playing pretty tough. I was just trying to hit fairways and hit greens and somehow make a couple birdies. I thought it was probably going to be 10,11. I didn't think it would be 9.

Obviously they knew something we didn't. They knew they were going to set it up pretty hard I guess.

Q. You were plugged on 15, as well, right??

STEVE MARINO: Yes.

Q. What did you hit in there, and also, what did you hit into 18??

STEVE MARINO: 6-iron was the culprit both times. (Laughter).

Q. What did you hit into 18??

STEVE MARINO: A pitching wedge.

Q. In terms of, I'm sure you're going to be disappointed at the end of the day that you didn't pull it off. Is it hard to shake off this one when you come so close like this??

STEVE MARINO: I don't know. I mean, I'm pretty disappointed right now. I felt like I just played so well all day, and just a couple bad breaks, and one bad putt was all it took to kind of take me out of it. `

But I was real proud of the way I hung in there and hit two great shots into 18 and was able to make that putt to even have a chance. That was -- I mean, you know, if there's any positive to draw on this, that definitely is a positive for sure.

Q. When the ball was in the air at 17, did you think -- were you thinking it needed to go? What did you think when you got to the bunker and saw it was plugged? Run us through what you were thinking?

STEVE MARINO: I hit it perfect. I hit it just the way I wanted to off the tee. I thought it was going to be pretty good. I thought it was going to land close to pin-high and maybe bounce to the back fringe.

And when it landed in the bunker, I knew it was plugged because I hit one like that in the practice round and it plugged because the sand was just so soft up there in the face that I mean, it's pretty much -- I knew it was going to plug. So when I saw the ball, I wasn't all that surprised. At that point I was just trying to limit the damage and get it out, hit the best shot I could, and I just got a little aggressive with the par putt and just hit a bad putt on the second putt. It was just a bad putt.

Q. Talk about just being in contention, even though you didn't get a win, isn't part of the point of this to keep doing this??

STEVE MARINO: Absolutely. I felt great out there today. Obviously I was a little bit nervous but I felt good. I didn't let it affect my game and I felt like I hit, you know, pretty good shots coming down the stretch.

Yeah, I'm going to go play next week and try to do the same thing again.

Q. As much as you'll try to get past this, how will you get over this, whether it's tonight, tomorrow, next week? How do you get past this?

STEVE MARINO: Well, I'm going to play Augusta tomorrow and Tuesday. (Laughter) So that will be all right.

Q. It will play a little easier??

STEVE MARINO: I would think so. I don't know.

Obviously I'm disappointed. I don't know. That's all I can say. I mean, I just felt like I played really well, and it just, you know, didn't happen.

Q. Did the sand seem particularly soft here this week, because there were a lot of balls that were getting lies like the two that you had.

STEVE MARINO: Yeah, the sand here was definitely a little bit on the soft side for sure.

Q. Was it the softest that you've seen it? You've played a lot of golf in Florida obviously. Did it seem softer than the rest of the state?

STEVE MARINO: It was definitely the softest of any of the events that we've played so far here in Florida.

I've seen softer. But yeah, it was pretty soft. I mean, it was definitely a penalty when you hit it in the bunker.

Q. Do you feel despite the disappointment that you're at a level now where you know that you can -- that you will break through? Does that mitigate the disappointment; the fact that you know you're right there?

STEVE MARINO: Yeah, you know, I've felt that way for a long time; that my game was good enough to win out here. I felt like that before today; I felt like that last year; I felt like that the year before. It's just hard to win out here.

Like I was saying the other day, you just cannot afford to piss away shots in the final round; really, at any point in the tournament, if you want to win the tournament. Unfortunately on 17, that's exactly what I did. It came back to bite me.

MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot for taking the time, Steve.

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