What they said: Stuart Appleby

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June 22, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Travelers Championship transcript archive Q. Despite a bogey on the last, 65. That's nice, but what have you found, because this has not been the most stellar year for Stuart Appleby.

STUART APPLEBY: No, I almost forgot your name. I couldn't think who you were.

Q. It happens a lot.

STUART APPLEBY: It does. You're very forgettable. (Laughs).

Conditions are easier in the morning, no doubt. Yesterday, obviously sort of (inaudible) in the afternoon made it difficult. A bit of a breeze today. I'm not sure if they're going to get breeze in the afternoon. You could see lower scores than yesterday's afternoon today.

Game, yeah, it's better. I mean I'm thinking better. I'm getting better. I mean it's really a crumbling wreck, my game. I wasn't hitting it any good and I wasn't thinking any good and I was just really finding it very hard. All self-induced issues. I had a back injury that was affecting my swing, not hurting me, and that seemed to make it hard to get on top of that most of last year, or all of last year.

Yeah, body and mind is a lot better, and if you get those two right, you play better golf.

Q. Tell me, my gosh, it's been a while. One Top 10 since you shot 59 and I'm just curious, you got back to your A game by playing, what, 17 weeks in a row or something silly??

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah.

Q. So how do you get it back this time??

STUART APPLEBY: Well, I really had to assess what was going on in my game and where I had to improve. I was chasing around, moving putters. Didn't know when I was going to hit the hole. And it's just started sapping the energy. I went back to the putter I had with the 59 and I tried to keep the game as simple as it can be. So I've been missing cuts left and right. It's been not a lot of fun, sort of strange.

In Memphis I played all right and missed the cut, actually played really well, but it's sort of scary to think I played all right and missed the cut and it's like, how good did you play. But this week I think that transformed and now I just want to commit to sort of one shot at a time -- you guys hear us say that all the time -- and it's the reality of the game. I'm very grateful for the position I am where I don't have to worry about changing a flight or things like that, or hotel.

Q. Well, welcome back and hope you stick around.

STUART APPLEBY: Thanks.

Q. Hot, steamy day, good for scoring. I remember talking to you after a very hot, steamy day for scoring a year and a half ago at Greenbriar. You went out and took advantage today, too.

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah, the conditions were certainly hot. Hotter than yesterday. Humidity was way out through the roof, just unbelievable. Very little breeze.

Yesterday we had a breeze. That did dry the greens out, so it was definitely hotter in the afternoon. You saw the scores in the morning being easy.

Certainly it was easier for me today. The greens were receptive, and I think the morning rounds (inaudible).

But nice to play well, nice to be thinking well and feel like there's some zip in my game, you know, all parts of my game, so I'm really looking forward to testing that out over the weekend. I really haven't seen enough weekends for quite a while. I've been playing golf, just not the level I'm used to and really the player I should be.

Q. This is a golf course that will give up some runs and you had a couple of them, but it'll also, just about the time you think you got a really good one going, will come back and bite you. Even the good rounds today. Your 65 one of them had a couple bogeys.

STUART APPLEBY: Well, I'd say this course is probably -- when they tuck the pins 3-4 or 4-5 left or right or whatever it is and you shortside yourself, you have got probably the hardest stretch of chipping you're ever going to see. You miss three or four left or short or whatever dead side, you're really dead. You're coming up four or five-foot banks, really steep. You're trying to putt double breaks getting up and down. The hardest -- if you short side yourself here, you'll drop more shots than I think anywhere else because it's just diabolical.

I think 15, the short par-4, you hit decent drive off there and you think I'm only 30, 40 feet from the hole and you're thinking, I just hope I can get a chance for birdie, a proper chance. But tough if you short side yourself.

Q. You got something going. Have you found something that you feel really good about right now??

STUART APPLEBY: Well, my swing has definitely gotten much more improved. I had a back injury last year that wasn't hurting me, but it was hurting the way my swing was functioning. And that hurts your confidence, and I was really in a bad state of mind and the body wasn't sort of helping me. But I really seemed to get on top of that, got some things in my swing working back to the good old Stuart Appleby days, got back to my old 59 putter and trying to think properly, get more excited and more into the game and shots, and sort of taking the glass as half full as mostly full now instead of half empty. And that's a choice I've got to make, and fortunately everything we do is a choice and I've been choosing some bad cards for too long.

Q. A lot of water in the glass looks different.

STUART APPLEBY: Looks different.

Q. It was certainly more humid today, but maybe a less wind today than yesterday.

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah.

Q. Did they make the greens more receptive today than yesterday??

STUART APPLEBY: Well, yesterday we had the breeze, so the breeze seemed to dry the greens out probably three or four hours earlier than light winds. That kept it more bearable and the temperatures from a comfort point of view, but this morning it was very humid. Certainly more uncomfortable than yesterday. Course was receptive. Greens were still pretty moist and I guess sweaty from the night and the dew in the air. They really didn't get a chance to dry out.

You know, it's a tough golf course when you short side yourself. If you can keep away from shortsiding, you can play around here. Anyone who's dropping shots you can look at them and pretty much say did you shortside yourself. If you did, that'll be where you dropped shots at. Probably the toughest on 2 when it comes to missing the greens.

But again, you can get low out there. The greens are soft enough, they're fast enough. They're true enough. They're smooth enough. It's all in front of you.

Q. Is this a course that more than a lot of other courses, there's a lot of different types of players that can win??

STUART APPLEBY: Well, you saw Bubba Watson win here. Corey Pavin nearly won here. So you got chalk and trees between those two. So yeah, absolutely. To answer that question. Anyone can win. You can have a top amateur come out here and win. We've seen it. Obviously a while ago since we've had one. Just the talent is coming from a much younger age group than what it was when I was one of those young guys. I was in my late 20s. Now they're late teens. And as you saw at the U. S. Open, they're almost fetal, these young kids the way they're coming out. 14.

Q. How does it feel for you guys, the veterans when you see the younger --

STUART APPLEBY: I don't think of myself as a veteran, but I know I am. I don't feel like the guy -- you know, guys ripping it by you now and you're like, okay. That's fair enough. I guess that's the way the game is now. But it does come down to quality golf, thinking golf, consistent golf. And Kenny Perry, I played with him today. I think he's one of the great guys. Not in great form the last two times I played with him. He missed the cut. I think of him in his 40s, Vijay and those guys, really had patches where they dominated the game. So it absolutely is out there. I think the quality of golf at a high level can be from 20 to 50 now. You got 30 years of really good golf.

If Webb Simpson has decent health, there's no reason why a guy like him can't keep playing. The question is can you stay motivated or if these young kids actually play so well they decide to move on.

Q. You were the young guy in this group today, though.

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah, I did. We had a little jibe about that on the first hole. Actually on the putting green, they asked how old I was to be on the range. And yeah, I think they made a little chuckle about me being the rookie.

Q. Is that fun??

STUART APPLEBY: I don't really mind. I mean Rocco is a very easy-going guy. Kenny is. Good guys to play with. I have no problem playing with those guys. That's probably the oldest group I've actually had for -- pretty hard to be head of an old group.

Q. (Inaudible).

STUART APPLEBY: Yeah. Scores are going low. I mean I'm playing well. I haven't played well for a long time. I don't want to sound like, you know, I'm taking pennies or begging, but I've just missed so many cuts. So nice to play on the weekend, and Travelers has been so nice to me here. I was doing an outing with them on Monday. I'm sitting on a par-3 beating a ball all day, and those guys have been so nice to me. So it's good to sort of -- I don't know if it's called paying them back, but at least hang around for the weekend and playing proper golf. It's been a long time since I've seen the first tee on a Saturday. Just nice to be back on the horse.

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