What they said: Will MacKenzie

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August 04, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Reno-Tahoe Open transcript archive

Q. 5-under par. Nice start to the tournament. Just get some comments on your round.

WILL MACKENZIE: Yeah, I started out just maybe a little bit sketchy, but then I eased into my round and then (indiscernible) really good.

I actually hit it really nice today and putted pretty well. Maybe a couple I could've got, but I got about the best out of my round. It played great. I don't know if I would say easy, but it played pretty easy.

It's going to play totally he different this afternoon, so, you know, I had to shoot a good one just to keep up, I think.

Q. Talk a little about your comfort level here.

WILL MACKENZIE: Yeah, it's one of those deals where, you know, obviously I, you know, haven't played great in the last couple years seems like, but I'm very comfortable here.

Even if I come in here striking it bad, I feel good here. I love just (indiscernible), I love the trees, I love everything about it.

Usually I end up playing well here, so hopefully I can keep it up. I don't feel too far off from my game. I've got to find some focus and get back in it, because this is ridiculous. I'm not having fun, and I'm playing frickin' two tours.

I've got to get my game back together. I'm working on it.

Q. Birdies that stand out today??

WILL MACKENZIE: No, not really. Missed a birdie putt on the last -- where did I make a great birdie? You know, coming down I hit a great 6-iron on I guess it's 17 now -- or 16 now. I've been struggling with my right-to-left putts for a while. I'm not clawing it like I usually do. (Indiscernible.) I've been going regular, conventional, and that's the one I'm struggling with.

I hit a great little like eight or nine foot, you know, swinger from about eight or nine inches right of the hole and made that. That really sort of got me over the hump. I was excited about that.

Q. And a chip in? Did you chip in?

WILL MACKENZIE: What did I chip in? Oh, the par-3. Yeah, that was very lucky actually. Hit a really good chip. Whenever you're over that green, you know, it's super, super fast going away from Mount Rose. Just happened to hit it dead center and it hit the flag. I mean, it would have been six feet by.

Q. I was curious, are you in the PGA yet??

WILL MACKENZIE: Oh, no.

Q. Okay. It's 104 degrees in Atlanta.

WILL MACKENZIE: All right. No, I would like to be in there.

Q. And this is the last chance for guys to get into it. Obviously it comes with a win, it comes with a two-year exemption, but it also with a (indiscernible.) How much of a factor is that?

WILL MACKENZIE: Yeah, it's not much for me. I mean, of course I want to play at the PGA Championship. I played in a couple of 'em off of my previous wins.

But, you know, I'm just trying to build and get my game to where I feel like I can compete at the highest level and where I can threaten being in contention.

Whenever I shoot good rounds and, you know, feel like I'm not getting away with rounds, that's just good. So, yeah, of course I want to win here. I mean, I want to win as much as anybody else.

And I would love to play on the PGA, but I'm just trying to take it one day at a time working my swing, working my putting stroke, and getting more and more comfortable and getting more and more confident.

Q. And forgive me of John already threw this at you, but it looks like I think four former RTO champions in the top 15 this morning.

WILL MACKENZIE: Well you can see that's probably how it's going to be here because elevation. You know, playing 10% longer, so your 250 sometimes yardage, and then I'm hitting a 5-iron. Or I hit a 5-iron 200 yards. So it's just really weird.

For some of the rookies, it's tough to stand over 180 yard shot and hit pitching wedge just because you don't really trust it. Once you've been here a little while you understand that, and you understand those little putts. There are so many little putts out here that are so much slower than you think and so much faster than you think.

I the guys that have played well here, they just know those little idiosyncrasies.

Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.

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