Interview with Dustin Bray

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July 27, 2008
PGA TOUR staff

MARK WILLIAMS: Thanks for coming in, Dustin. Good playing. Obviously 150th on the Money List and no status, this is a big week for you and you played pretty well.

DUSTIN BRAY: Yeah, I look back at Raleigh and the opportunities opened up as far as me getting into West Virginia, and here this week, I was 10th alternate Sunday night. I was calling in a ten percent chance that I was even going to get into the event.

You know, call it fate or whatever you like, I actually looked up my tee times for a Tar Heel Tour event Monday night, I had driven home to my hometown to spend the night with my parents and the tar teal tour events was an hour and a half from Ashburn and I go up to play a practice round and I look up and my name is not on the tee times and I had not even registered for the event.

So at that point I realized rather than risk paying a late fee to get into that one, I'll just go to Columbus and give it a shot.

I don't know, I'm not going to say that I've had a lot of bad breaks in the last year and a half, but I was just looking for that good bounce, and I felt like getting into this event was my good bounce. I certainly didn't expect too many good ones out there this week, after getting in the event felt like it was on my own shoulders and playing the most of it.

West Virginia was a huge disappointment, I tinkered around with new irons and stuff and that's never been good for me. So last week I played a mini-tour Tour event and didn't play well with the new stuff again.

So I actually went home to mount pleasant there and put everything old back in the bag that I felt comfortable with, an old set of TaylorMade irons, and then a PING putter that I literally paid 20 bucks for and I putted with it for ten years and literally the putter I won every tournament my entire life with except for one.

I had had good vibes on these greens with that putter in the past and I finished 17th at the nationals here when I was in college, and all in all, I just tried to take that little bit of confidence that I had from the college event I played here and last year, I played all right. I didn't play great but I felt like I made some good putt last year and yeah, I give my putter a lot of credit. My stats don't look that great this week and I had more 3-putts than I would have liked to have had.

I made some pretty big putts and I can't remember the last time I made 3-putts over 30 feet and I did that this week.

MARK WILLIAMS: Obviously this gets you into Omaha next week.

DUSTIN BRAY: Yeah, I'm excited, I even signed up for the Monday qualifier, so pretty excited I don't have to drive through the night. That was going be the result if I had a bad day today. Omaha is a great event, love the golf course, a lot of birdies there. Hopefully we can make a few more birdies there than this week. Feel good with the way I'm striking the ball.

Similar course with the length of the rough and the way the fairways are. Hopefully I can pull some confidence in there. I think I missed the cut on the number last year but had a hole-in-one on Friday so I'm going to think about the hole-in-one on Friday and try not to think about the missed cut there.

MARK WILLIAMS: Tell us about the tee shot --

DUSTIN BRAY: Just a bad swing. Looking back at it, I wanted to play a little cut back into that wind. The wind was right off the right just like it's been every day, and you know, all in all, I should have just started it right side of the green and tried to hit some in the middle of the green and trying to be a little too aggressive.

I just really wanted to get to 6, and 16 I hit two great shots there to ten, 12 feet and hit the putt right where I wanted to and had that one didn't fall I guess I was a little antsy going to 17. Hit a good bunker shot and did all I could getting out of the bunker, and had a nice little slider and came out of it.

MARK WILLIAMS: Good shot on the last.

DUSTIN BRAY: Yeah, I hit a great drive there. I was a little disappointed it wasn't in the fairway, and I really didn't have a very good lie in that rough. I was thrilled with my shot.

Yesterday we hit it in the right rough and I hit one in the middle of the green and it went over the back edge and we made bogey. I was a little worried, I knew I had to give myself a chance, and same type of thing at 16. My caddie and I both read different brakes from opposite sides of the hole so played both of them straight and one on 16 went right and the one on 18 went left.

Q. How far on the last?

DUSTIN BRAY: It was probably about 12 feet.

Q. Did you have a bad lie in the bunker?

DUSTIN BRAY: I just didn't have any green to work with. I was pin-left and if I would have landed on the green, I think the ball would have done good to stay within 20 feet.

So I had to land it kind of in the intermediate rough and try to bounce something up there and it hopped one more time than I wanted it to in the intermediate rough. But like I said in, that situation, you give yourself a 12-footer, that's all you can hope for. A lot better than a 30-footer than if I play it safe and bump it up on the green.

MARK WILLIAMS: You played here last year and finished 27th, today's round, you're tied for lowest of the day, is the course playing as hard --

DUSTIN BRAY: It's just a great golf course. I couldn't imagine this golf course playing easy. I mean, if it's soft, it plays long, and if it's playing firm like it is today, you're just -- so much of it is bounces you get. There's some crazy bounces with it as firm as it is.

It's just, I mean, it just a great golf course all around. It's exactly the type golf course that fits my game, because I feel like I spin the ball a lot and I just love firm greens, because I can hit that little -- I love hitting wedge shots where I hit it ten feet short of the pin and it hops up and stops.

I felt like the conditions of the course played into my hands. As far as the setup, I felt like today was definitely the toughest day.

Q. Playing the Tar Heel Tour this year, you have a second place there, what will it take for you to win on the Nationwide?

DUSTIN BRAY: Hopefully a good week next week. That's the way I look at it right now. I'm not even thinking about Q-School yet. I was out here last year. I had full status out here last year and last year, I just, you know, I just didn't prepare myself well enough. I'll be straight up about it. I don't feel like I did the things that I needed to be successful, and I've learned a lot the last year and a half, and I feel like that's led up to this week.

In all honesty, a lot of the credit from this week is my dad bought me a book called, "The Match." Harvey Ward was part of that book and he was my teacher for ten years. So reading that book kind of brought back a lot of the great thoughts in my head when we were working together. Ultimately I feel like that was what led to me playing a little calmer, a little more relaxed and certainly playing smarter.

I went after a couple pins today that I probably shouldn't have, but all in all, I felt like I was playing pretty smart and doing the things that he would have liked to have seen me do.

MARK WILLIAMS: Like going back to old clubs, reading the book?

DUSTIN BRAY: In all honesty I was trying to think back to the days when I was playing golf the way I feel like -- when I was in college I feel like I played really good golf, I won't call it the best golf of my life because I think that's still ahead of me. I played smart golf, I wasn't overly aggressive and didn't panic.

In college, you play one week at a time and out here with the Money List and whether or not you keep your status and whether or not, whatever, you just have those additional thoughts and I'm just trying to completely stay away from those and just try to get back to the old saying of playing it one shot at a time and just give myself opportunities.

MARK WILLIAMS: Well, it's not over yet. Thanks for coming in.

Q. What kind of putter is it?

DUSTIN BRAY: My father purchased it for me when I was a sophomore in high school, so that would have been '97, so I've had it -- it an old Pat. Pending Anser II. Actually think I've had it longer than that. Last year I was telling guys I've been putting with it for 12 years, so it's 13 years. It was '95 when he got it for me.

MARK WILLIAMS: Thank you.

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