MORE INTERVIEWS: the Memorial Tournament transcript archive
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Spencer Levin, the 54-hole leader at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. Interesting up and down round for you, a lot of great body language. Maybe just some opening comments.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it's nice to have the good body language, so yeah, that was cool. Off to a good start. The putt on 2 was great. I wasn't expecting that. And then hit a bad drive on 3 in the right rough and drew a really good lie, which was fortunate, was able to make 4 there.
The chip-in on 5 was pretty cool. I had a really -- I didn't have much of a shot, and I knew I was probably going to hit it by from there no matter what, and the fact that it hit the pin was a pretty good break. That was cool.
Q. What do you think was the best round that was possible out there today and how close did you come to it??
SPENCER LEVIN: I don't know, what was the low round of the day?
Q. 69, I think, you, Rickie and Vijay.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I mean, that's -- I don't know if I could have done much better. I had some really good breaks, so I'll take it. I played pretty solid, but it's nice to have a couple good breaks. But if you're going to shoot the low round of the day out here on the TOUR, or any day, you're going to have a couple good breaks or make long putts or chip in generally. Yeah, it was a good day to have a good day. It was nice.
Q. Obvious question: Last time you had a 54-hole lead we all know what happened. Do you feel like you're better positioned, cliche, cliche, what did you learn from that one that will help you get through this time??
SPENCER LEVIN: People have been asking me that question, and I don't know yet. I'll be able to answer that tomorrow when I get done.
I did learn that I still got to play golf, I still got to eat the same stuff, still have the same friends, still have the same family, so nothing really changed. Obviously you want to win when you're in position, but I'm just going to go out there tomorrow and have fun. Nothing really changed in my life, and I don't think anything will change that big in my life if I do win. It's just going out there and try and do my best.
I'm excited. Like I said in the last couple interviews, it's all the practice and work from being a kid, starting to play golf up until this point, this is what I've dreamed of is to be in the lead of a tournament, especially Jack's tournament, something like this. This is one of the biggest tournaments on the TOUR. You couldn't put yourself in a better position. All those years and all that work and practice is going to come down to tomorrow, and I'm just really fired up about it, I am. I'm really excited.
Q. Did your old man play with him back in the day??
SPENCER LEVIN: He did. I don't know if he played with him, but I think he played on the TOUR at the same time he played on the TOUR for a couple years.
Q. No stories there??
SPENCER LEVIN: Not that I'm aware of.
Q. I think it was No.8 it looked like you missed the putt and were walking in disgust. Can you talk about what you were thinking??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I kind of wasn't -- I was a little confused on the read, and I was playing it to break left, and I was over it and I felt like I was going to play too much break, and I probably should have backed off and redid it. But I ended up pulling -- I thought I pulled it really bad, and I did, but obviously it didn't break as much as I thought because it still went in. I got lucky in the fact that I misread it obviously. It was a great break. That doesn't happen very often, so that was nice.
Q. They said on TV that you've got a different caddie this week. Is it just a stand-in for the week, or who is it and is he giving you any valuable advice out there??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it's a buddy of mine, John Turcott. Played Nationwide Tour with him four or five years ago. I've known him for a long time. He's a friend of mine, and it's just a one-week deal. My caddie, Mike Hicks, is at home. His son is graduating from high school this week. It's nice to have him out here. I played well with him last year in Canada with him on the bag, and he's a friend of mine. He's a good player, too. He qualified for the sectionals. He's playing Monday for the Open, and he's a good player, and we seem to get along pretty good, and I enjoy his company.
Q. Is he playing in this sectional here??
SPENCER LEVIN: He's playing the overflow site about 45 minutes away.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, that's it.
Q. I'm just curious, some people have said your anger management, you've gotten that under control. Was that a long process??
SPENCER LEVIN: I still get really angry, though. I do. I'm just trying -- I just do a better job now of not making a scene as much. But inside my head and inside me, I can get -- yeah, not too happy about some things. But I think -- I don't know, I feel like if I do hit a bad shot or make a bogey or whatever, and I do get angry, I think of it as kind of a positive. You don't want to get angry in the fact where it ruins the rest of your game, but when guys get angry or frustrated it shows you that they care. Some guys are different, some guys don't show any emotion and they care a ton, too. That's just kind of the way I am. I want to do well and I want to succeed, so I think it probably shows when I play.
Q. They caught you smoking on TV. You don't seem like you mind that your vices are kind of out there a little bit??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, well, it's legal, and there's a lot worse things you could be doing. (Laughter.)
Q. With your caddie John playing Monday, does he get to leave early and go practice, or is he on the bag??
SPENCER LEVIN: Actually he told me he went out and hit balls this morning, so that was cool. And then on Wednesday I had a sponsor's value deal and some stuff to do throughout the morning and early afternoon, so I told him to go out and practice that day and meet me in the afternoon, so he's gotten to practice a little bit here and there.
Q. I believe it was 16 that was a rather interesting swing that you made -- 17.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I just made a bad swing there. I didn't quite commit to what I was doing all day. I think I might have been thinking about that bogey on the last hole a little bit too long, and that might have cost me. But not so much that, I just made a bad swing, I just hit a bad shot. I just didn't quite feel comfortable on that tee. I drove it pretty good most of the day. I hit a bad drive on 11, but that tee shot was playing pretty hard today.
Yeah, I guess I can just say it was just a little lapse in concentration there and just made a bad swing.
Q. Have you talked to Nicklaus much at all or had any personal interaction with him??
SPENCER LEVIN: A couple years ago, my first year here, I just said hi to him. Pretty nervous talking to him. He's a nice guy, he's really nice to me, and that was pretty cool. It's just amazing how good a player he was.
Q. He didn't call you Mike or Larry or --
SPENCER LEVIN: No, not that I know of.
Q. That par-saving putt on 17, I'm just wondering if you could talk about that in general, how you felt about it.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I didn't really expect to make that one. It was really fast. I just saw Rory knock it way by and I was just trying to get the speed right. About halfway there I saw it as a pretty good chance, and it just rolled right in the middle. That was a nice par after that tee shot for sure. That was a bonus for sure.
Q. Were you worried that you hurt your hand when you hit that wild swing on the tee there??
SPENCER LEVIN: No, uh-huh.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Spencer, thank you.