MORE INTERVIEWS: Farmers Insurance Open transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Thanks for joining us. A very successful first round, 10-under 62 here after round one of the Farmers Insurance Open. Still three rounds to go, but you've got to be feeling really good about how you started here today?
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it feels great. I drove the ball well today. First couple weeks I played decent. At Sony, I think, 23rd. Made the cut last week but didn't finish very good, and then today-- those two tournaments I didn't drive it particularly good.
So I drove it well today and kind of set me up because I've been putting pretty good. So I had some putts for birdies instead of pars today, and kind of added up to a good score.
Q. Can you just take us through the 29? How many times have you shot a 29 in your career?
SPENCER LEVIN: I don't know if I ever have on TOUR. Maybe a couple times messing around at home or something. But it's weird, because I didn't really think about it when I was out there. Just people talk about getting in the zone. I never even know what that means, and I guess when guys do it, they don't even know they're doing it.
Maybe that's why I shot that because I just kept trying to hit every shot as good as I could, and I just had a good rhythm going. My mind was pretty clear, and it just worked out good. I played really well on that back nine.
Q. Could you describe a couple of your best shots or best holes??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah. On 10 I made a nice putt from probably about 15 feet. Then on 11, I almost made a 5-iron, and made about a 4-footer for birdie. 12, I made a good up-and-down. That hole was playing a long par-3, made a good up-and-down there.
But 13 through 18 I made it close on every hole. I hit it three feet on 13, two putted from about ten feet on 14, hit it 8 feet on 15, 8 feet on 16, 8 feet on 17, then I two putted for birdie from about 12 feet on 18. So I had good looks and was putting well, so it kind of added up.
Q. So it was easy??
SPENCER LEVIN: I don't know about that. Easier than most days, there you go.
Q. Is this your career low as a pro??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I shot 62 at Vegas my rookie year. That was 9-under. It's my lowest to par on TOUR. 10-under is my lowest to par.
Q. If I read right, you cracked your driver before Sony's last round??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah.
Q. Can you take us through the process of-- is that a big difference of why you drove the ball so well, and how scary is it when you break your driver one week into the season??
SPENCER LEVIN: Right, yeah. It was kind of right before I went out to play, too. It was kind of weird. I've been using the same driver for a couple years. I very rarely carry a back-up. My dad actually he had his clubs. He came out there and I was fortunate enough because it was like a couple minutes before I teed off. I didn't know what to do.
So he went and grabbed his driver from the car, and I hit a few with that and used that. Last week I was fooling around with a few, and I found what I like now and it's pretty good. But it was scary, yeah, because I hadn't switched in two years and I hardly ever switch clubs, so that was kind of a curve ball.
Q. Are you fully comfortable with this one now??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I think so. I think so. I kind of tinker with the weights a little bit on the R11. But I got it to where my swing was today, so hopefully I can do that again. Yeah, I like it a lot. I was hitting it really straight today.
Q. You were describing a shot out there that I don't think you just described in here where you were in a bunker and you had to cut it around the tree and you made a long putt. Can you describe that hole??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I birdied 1. That's a relatively easy par-5, you feel if you don't birdie on that one, par feels kind of like a bogey on that hole. So I birdied that one, made a few pars and then hit a bad drive.
One of the only bad drives I hit all day, I hit it in the right bunker on 7. I was thinking I wouldn't have a shot. I was thinking it's probably going to be bogey and I'll go back to even. I cut an 8-iron around and got on the right side of the green and hit a 20-footer, it probably broke ten feet and I made it.
So it felt like at least a one-shot swing. Then going from there maybe got up-and-down out of the bunker on 9. So I turned at 33 just solid. Just I think 9 and 7 kind of set up my round, kind of the mindset I was in. I kind of felt comfortable on the back nine. I could be 1-under or even, and I turned a 3-under which was nice with a couple good save shots there.
Q. Would you say that earlier in your career you were pretty hard on yourself? You seem like a person who kind of carries yourself as being upset a lot of the time. Has your demeanor changed? Has your attitude changed? Do you think things are different for you now?
SPENCER LEVIN: A little bit, I would say. I don't think I get -- I still get frustrated. Don't get me wrong. I think everybody does to an extent, but I'm not showing it quite as much.
I mean, I still do. I still get upset, and might show a little emotion. But all in all, I think it's changed a little bit but not totally drastic to where I'm just robotic and don't show any emotion. I still show emotion. It was just easy today not to because I was playing so well.
So I think that's probably why I looked like I was-- any time you shoot 62 I don't think you're getting too mad.
Q. Last week a couple guys from Palm Springs actually talked about thinking they were going to shoot in the 50s. Three weeks into the season there have been so many 61s, 62s everywhere. Aside from the fact that you guys are as good as you are, is something happening that we're not aware of? Is there some kind of a mental obstacle being broken here and you guys are thinking you can shoot 61, 62 every week?
SPENCER LEVIN: I don't know. That's a good question. But out of the 100-I don't know how many tee up every week 144. Every single guy if they're playing well can shoot any kind of score. The level of talent out here is so good.
I've noticed in tournaments last year I'm up by the leader, kind of contending for a tournament. No matter how well you're playing, I guarantee you there is going to be another guy shooting just as low or being right there with you.
I just think it has to do with the talent on this TOUR. You can look up-and-down on any TOUR in the world right now, and there's a bunch of guy that's can shoot really low. Guys you might not have ever heard of that are hell of players. So I think it's just the fact that the talent level is getting better, and better, and better. I think you'll continue to see golfers get better in the next 10, 20 years as well.
Q. Is there a mental thing there that's maybe an obstacle that's being broken? That you guys are mentally thinking", I can shoot 61 if I play well"?
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, maybe. I mean, I guess it has to be if guys are shooting that. I just think that I've seen guys shoot 62s in my group. Guys get it going, and it seems really easy.
Like you were saying, today, the back nine I wasn't thinking about it. I was just hitting good shots and it seems really easy. For the best players in the world, I guess, the guys out here that when they get to that level, they're not really thinking about what score they're on. They're just playing so well. In the back of their mind, like I said, maybe they know somebody else is playing just as well.
I don't think bogies or anything bad comes into your mind when you're playing that good.