MORE: Greenbrier Classic transcript archive
MODERATOR: We would like to welcome the defending champion of The Greenbrier Classic, Scott Stallings, to the interview room here.
Scott, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Just some opening thoughts on what it means to be back here, site of your first PGA TOUR win, and kind of how you're feeling.as you're heading into the week. We understand you've kind of been battling some issues for the past few weeks. Maybe you can just bring us up to speed on all that.
SCOTT STALLINGS: Yeah, it's great to be back. A lot of cool memories come from just kind of coming in the gate here, and just it all happened really fast and it's kind of a blur, but kind of going back on everything that transpired over the last couple hours of the tournament was pretty cool.
The year's been less than ideal. I played four tournaments healthy the whole season, and with the rib injury in January and then I herniated a low disk in my back in Hartford, kind of completely out of nowhere. So we're good to go, everything health� wise should be taken care of, and look forward to the rest of the season.
MODERATOR: Okay. Well, with that, we'll take some questions. If you wouldn't mind just using the microphone just for our transcriber to pick up your audio, that would be great.
Q. Scott, just take us through what kind of intensive therapy you had to go through to be prepared for this week.
SCOTT STALLINGS: Well, obviously the doctors and everything when I went to Hartford always had this tournament in mind, and I learned a big lesson dealing with the rib injury that I had at Humana and I kept trying to play and not really finding out exactly the whole story what was really going on. I withdrew from Hartford, came home, had an MRI, saw a spine specialist, just made sure there wasn't anything that was going to be real serious to deal with. We had, I think, 13 or 14 therapy sessions in seven days, so a couple times a day trying to get back. We didn't have to do any cortisone or anything like that. Everything worked its way out the way we wanted it to and we didn't have to do any drastic measures, just kind of a lot of patience and time.
Q. With your � � obviously you had to play some with � � in pain, I'm assuming. Did it alter your shots or the way you played??
SCOTT STALLINGS: It altered a lot of things: I played the Masters on purely main medicine, just trying to get through. Obviously you don't want to play every week like that, but I wasn't going to miss the Masters. If you look at the two tournaments directly after the Masters, I played awful and I think it was directly a result of trying to play without it and the realization that that wasn't necessarily possible.
But it is what it is. It's definitely a learning experience. I've never really dealt with injury before, let alone two just completely out of nowhere, really no fault of my own or no fault of anybody else's. I can learn from it and hopefully make me better for the rest of my career.
Q. Scott, you said there were a lot of cool memories just coming through the gate. Can you just take us through some of the memories that stand out the most from that victory??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I remember coming in this room as soon as it was all said and done and I remember being in that back room right over here and they had me sign some, I don't know, it was � � like seemed almost like an ice pick, trying to figure out how to sign this metal plate and I kept screwing it up. I was so amped and jacked, I was so excited about finally winning the tournament that they asked me to like take my time and try to sign this thing. I finally told them, I will do it later. I think we went through three or four of them and it didn't go well. Weird stuff like that I kind of remember showing up random places throughout the remainder of that day. Everywhere you go, obviously it's a little weird walking around in the hotel and stuff and seeing your picture everywhere, but I kind of feel sorry for all the guests having to look at me. All that stuff just brings back all kinds of memories from the day.
Q. Scott, can you talk about coming in here, there were storms last week, what were your expectations as far as maybe what the course might look like and what did you see out there today??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I played yesterday and the golf course was great. It's just exactly like I thought it would be. The maintenance crew and everyone has been doing an incredible job to get it back. That tree on 16, if you didn't know it was there, you would have never known it was there. You see pictures and see really how big it was compared to � � I mean, you would never have any idea that a tree was even there. I mean, the greens are filled in a little bit better this year, there's a lot more grass on them, just kind of a testament to the agronomists and everyone that works trying to make this tournament the best it can be. The course is great.
Q. Scott, Adam Cavalier with West Virginia Public Radio. Aside from winning, what do you like about this tournament, the Greenbrier and West Virginia??
SCOTT STALLINGS: You get a different feel at this tournament. It's definitely more family oriented with the concerts and the dinners, just the whole atmosphere in general. This would be an event that a lot of people put on their schedule every single year just so they can bring their family, just a lot more to do than just play a golf tournament, just the atmosphere provides itself for that. You run around family dining and you feel like you're in daycare with all the families and all the kids. Maybe a lot of guys wouldn't like that every single week, but it's nice to have this, especially around the Fourth of July and the holiday. You couldn't pick probably a better venue on the PGA TOUR to have an event this time of year.
Q. First, did you hurt your back on a particular swing or anything??
SCOTT STALLINGS: No, I hurt my back riding on an airplane. I kind of fell asleep in a funky position and just kind of a comedy of errors when it comes to injuries this year.
Q. And you're what, six� three, six� four??
SCOTT STALLINGS: No, I wish. I'm about six foot tall.
Q. That's still rough on a plane.
SCOTT STALLINGS: Yeah.
Q. Now, of course I talked to you after you played with Tiger Woods up in Columbus. Talk about that experience again and how much fun or otherwise it is to have him come to this particular tournament.
SCOTT STALLINGS: We actually talked about him coming to the tournament while we played at Memorial and he just kind of asked a little about the golf course and this and that. Obviously I thought it was awesome that he's coming to support the event. I knew the field was going to be good, but I was surprised at really how good it was when you sit down and look at the depth of the field. Really the guys are making it a point to be here in their schedule at this point in the season. I think the reputation precedes itself as far as a fun event, a place you can come and really have a good time both on and off the golf course. Obviously any event that he's a part of, especially with the way that he's played this year brings a ton of attention and ton of fans to it, and I'm definitely appreciative of him for what he's done for the game and what he's done for this event.
Q. Scott, the tournament being moved back a few weeks this year, just a week or two, how important is it between the two majors, just timing for the PGA players??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I think it's a little different. This week, while some guys have the British in their mind, especially coming off the U.S. Open, you know, it's a golf tournament you're here to win, but it's also kind of a refreshing week as well. Not very often do you have this many, I don't know if distractions would be a good word, but opportunities off the golf course to do stuff with your family and just kind of get away from the game. A lot of guys look forward for that. I know that I definitely took advantage of that last year. As soon as I was done playing, I was � � whether it was going to a concert or whether it was doing something with my wife kind of all around the resort, something that even though it was a long week and exciting week, I felt that I did a good job as far as balancing both on and off the golf course and I felt like a lot of players take the same attitude towards it.
Q. Scott, how often do you look back at that 20� minute stretch, birdieing 18 twice last year here in the final round, and how much your career has changed on just really that one hole??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I look at that hole a lot and actually all the pictures that came from that; like I don't think I've worn any color resembling that same color shirt since then. My wife says she's sick and tired of looking at it just because every picture we seem to have from the golf tournament is from the 18th hole and everything, which is appropriate.
But just looking back, it was kind of funny, I played with some of the main sponsors yesterday in the Monday pro� am and they started us on 18, so it was pretty funny to go up there and kind of have an opportunity to be there when there was no one really there.
The coolest experience of winning was we stayed overnight Sunday night and we were flying to Akron on Monday morning, and I came down and I cleared out my locker and I said, man, I'm going to go over there and just check out 18. I was in shorts and a tee shirt and flip flops and just kind of walking down there, and they had a pro� am for the sponsors and vendors and there was a group of guys on 18. I walked down there and these guys were just kind of staring at me just like, Can we help you, is there anything we can do? I said, Guys, it was pretty cool what happened out here yesterday, I just wanted to come out here and kind of take it all in and this and that. They didn't recognize me or anything, and I was just walking on the green. They said, Do you realize there's a tournament going on today? I was like, Yeah. They said kind of more or less what was I doing there. I said, Well, guys, I changed my life on this green yesterday. Then one of the guys recognized me and we ended up taking pictures and that kind of stuff. But it was really cool to be when there was 30,000 people around the green to when there was five of us. So that was one of the best memories I had from the week.
MODERATOR: That's a great story. Okay. With that, we'll let you go. Scott, thanks for your time and best of luck this week.
SCOTT STALLINGS: Thank you, guys.