MORE INTERVIEWS: Puerto Rico Open transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: Michael, you've won two of the last three years, and we want to talk about coming back to a course that obviously you agree with and then we will take questions.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, definitely excited to be back. Course is in good shape, the conditions we're used to, maybe a little bit of breeze but looking forward to startin' tomorrow and see what I can do.
THE MODERATOR: You just finished with the Pro-Am. If you want to talk about how your game is, how the course is playing out there? Obviously it was windy.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, the course is playing long, it's a little wet, not when you're on the fairway but you're not getting a lot of rolls, so the ball is not rolling that far, so it's playing long.
Rough is up this year over years past, greens are slower than they have been, but they're in good shape so expect a good championship.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. I was checking out the PGA TOUR web page and the rankings of the players in the tournament; they had you sixth. What do you think about that??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: You know, there are a lot of good players here, so many guys that can win and contend this week, so I just hope I play well and make some putts; that's what it boils down to. If you're hitting it where you're aiming and making putts, and you're not beatin' yourself and making mental mistakes, then hopefully come Sunday you will have a chance.
I'm trying to eliminate stupid mistakes, throwing shots away and not taking advantage of good shots. Hopefully we can do that this week.
Q. (Away from mic.)
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, well, it would be cool. Thank you. Thanks.
Q. The next day, the highlights for the weather is very windy. Do you think that this addition will be the most difficult for the players, because of the wind??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, I would say traditionally, wind is probably the biggest factor in terms of higher scores. I would say usually the wind is-- you know, you can have rain, cold, high rough, fast greens, blah, blah, blah, but I think high winds are usually the biggest external factor for inflated scores, I think, week in and week out.
So if it's going to be windy, yeah, it will make scoring a little bit higher. Fortunately the course is a little softer, greens are a little more receptive, so it will make it easier in that respect but when the wind is blowing 20, 30 miles an hour, it's tough, golf is tough.
Q. Few players like Ryo Ishikawa, what do you think about these young guys that are for first time here??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It's great. I wish a lot of the younger players would come out and play this event. It's a great event. Like I said, there are so many good, young players that are coming up, not only U.S. players but players from around the world, so I think it's a good time for golf.
I think golf is in good hands with the young talent that's coming out, so it's going to be-- I think it's going to be an exciting time with the older players, the Tigers and the Phils, and the usual guys and a mix of the Rory McIlroys, and Rickie Fowlers, all the good, young players out there. It makes for good TV, good spectators.
Q. Do you feel pressure, being the returning champion??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No more than I would any other week. You want to play well. I don't think I feel anymore pressure being defending champion. When you tee it up on Thursday, you always want to play well, whether you've made the cut there or won ten times there, so I don't think I feel any extra pressure, I just want to play well.
Doesn't matter where I'm at, I want to play well. So if you want to call that putting pressure on yourself, that's the only pressure I'm going to feel is just, you know, I want to play well, all of us that are here want to play well.
You're not here to miss a cut or finish 60th, or whatever the case is; I want to have a chance on Sunday to win.
Q. You're got to go to Hawaii. I always wanted to know, how is that tournament? The first tournament of the year?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It's a great way to start the year. Like I said, if you're playing there, it means you've done something fairly special the year before, so starting your year there, it's good. It's a special place. You would like to have a return visit there every year.
My family, we loved it, and they stayed the next week for the Sony.
Q. (Away from mic.)
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Absolutely, absolutely. There is probably not as much practicing as there is usually in regular events, so there is a little more family time, go down to Lahaina in the evening and eat and look around and whatnot, that's what it's about.
Q. Watching it on television, it's so beautiful!
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It is. It's an honor to play there.
Q. Have you learned Spanish??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I took Spanish in high school, (speaking Spanish). (Chuckles and cheers)!
THE MODERATOR: Good luck, Michael.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Thank you.