What they said: Troy Kelly

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July 07, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE: The Greenbrier Classic transcripts archive MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Troy Kelly into the interview room after an 8-under par 62. Troy, that was tremendous playing on a very hot day. Just get your comments on the round.

TROY KELLY: You know, I played good. I got off to a good start. I made about an eight-footer on the 1st hole and I made about, gosh, probably about a 20-footer on 2. So that got my round going at least, got me comfortable for the day. It was just nice to see some putts go in. I haven't made a lot of putts the last, I mean, pretty much the whole year. I mean, if you look at my statistics, my ranking's not very good in the putting category, so it's just good to see some putts go in. And I had fun today, it was a fun round.

MODERATOR: Talk a little bit about your thoughts going into tomorrow's round. You'll be up near the lead. Talk a little bit about your experience on the Web.com Tour and how that, being in contention several times on that Tour, will help you tomorrow.

TROY KELLY: Yeah, just my experience, I mean, I played out here in 2009 and I think I made three cuts out of 17 events. And I didn't play any events on the Nationwide, so I was just kind of thrown into the sharks, you know, out here and was not very comfortable obviously. But my time the last couple years out there has been good, and last year I got into contention sometimes and had some success. So it will be a different stage tomorrow, but I can kind of learn off those, and I think tomorrow will be a good learning experience for me tomorrow and see what it feels like tomorrow.

MODERATOR: Okay. We'll pass the microphone around. Questions?

Q. On the back nine it looked like you had the distance on every putt at the very lease. Would that be accurate??

TROY KELLY: Yeah, today I did. The last couple of days I've been very tentative, putts have been coming up short, and me and my brother were talking in the room last night just trying to see the ball roll through the hole and past the hole, and almost look at something beyond the hole just to get putts to the hole. I'm picking my lines, I feel like I'm reading the greens well; I just haven't gotten putts to the hole to make them. So hopefully tomorrow I can just work on the same things. That's all I'm going to try to focus on is just getting putts to the hole and hopefully I can keep reading them the same way.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TROY KELLY: I think the greens are picking up a touch, they're definitely getting a little firmer, and if you hit it in the rough, the balls are kind of bouncing and rolling on the green. So yeah, I think they're getting a touch faster.

Q. Troy, you obviously had a good college career, a good start to your college career and some injuries. Just talk about the hip injury and then the surgery and sort of how long did that affect you and how much of a difference post surgery, that sort of thing??

TROY KELLY: Well, I played some mini-tour golf down in Arizona, I was playing that Gateway Tour for a few years, but you're riding carts. Then I started playing the Canadian Tour a few years after that and I was walking.

My buddy, Conner Robbins, who I was traveling with at the time, he said, You're limping. I said, Really? I hadn't really noticed it. I knew that something was kind of hurting, but I didn't notice a limp. So I was just -- I kept playing and that year it just kind of slowly hurt. I thought I pulled a muscle, to be honest with you. It kind of hurt in my groin area. And after that I just kept fighting through it for about two years, and then I got some status I think on the Nationwide that next year. Actually, no, it was on the TOUR. It was on the -- yeah, 2009 I played the PGA TOUR out here and I still tried to tough it out.

And then finally the following year, in 2010, I think I played maybe eight or 10 events on the Nationwide Tour and I just was going through practice rounds and I would have to stop just because I couldn't walk. It just got so bad that I finally went and had it looked at and found out what it was, and it was basically arthritis and it was just bone on bone and it was tough to play and walk. So I finally went and got the surgery done.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TROY KELLY: It took some time. I think I started pitching balls about three months after the surgery, just real -- just chipping and pitching real slow. I wasn't in a hurry to get back. I knew that it was going to take some time, so I was just relaxing and enjoying my time with my family. And I think I played -- I think my first event back, I actually qualified for, I think it was the Phoenix open, I Monday'ed in, and that was my first event back and I think that was maybe seven months after the surgery. So I started playing, you know, roughly about then is when I -- I started to play probably five months after the surgery, I started getting back into it where I could actually play golf, but it took some time. It took probably about a year to where all the muscle was actually strength end back up where I could, you know, feel normal again.

Q. Troy, obviously Tiger and Phil aren't here for the weekend. Does it help your comfort level being in contention against guys like Charlie Beljan and Graham DeLaet, who you've probably played golf against in the past??

TROY KELLY: I have played, I know those guys. I think so. I mean, obviously I haven't been in this position a whole lot, so it would be nice to have some guys that are feeling like I am out there tomorrow, but yeah, I think -- I don't know. I mean, it's hard for me to believe those guys missed the cut, they never do, you know? But yeah, I think just having the guys that haven't been in this position, be around them, kind of talk and kind of go through the same thing, I think it will be good.

Q. I read somewhere that you started playing competitive golf when you were six years old in Washington??

TROY KELLY: Yes.

Q. What was that like and who were you playing against??

TROY KELLY: Well, Washington junior golf, they have basically 8 to 11 that you can play, the age group, and I think at the time my dad was like, Hey, can you watch him play and he can play with all these guys at 6?

So they let me play I think one tournament and I played and I was competitive, and so they said, Yeah, we'll let you play. So I started playing a couple years early and then I played � � I mean, that was a great place for me to play as a junior. They've got a great little program up there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TROY KELLY: I don't know. I mean, I honestly can't remember what I would shoot, I couldn't tell you any numbers. But I grew up on a golf course. My dad was a pro where I lived and I was always banging balls and hanging around the golf course, I lived there, I rode my bike all over the course. I mean, I played basketball at the neighbor's house, you know, all over the golf course. That was what I did in the summer, I played golf. I played six months of golf and six months of basketball. The weather up there is not conducive for golf all the time so it was mostly a summer thing for me.

Q. Troy, I was going to ask you about the basketball. You see a lot of players these days, they've been specialized throughout their lives, never played another sport. Does the basketball background help you all when you're out here and can you still play??

TROY KELLY: I don't play anymore. I really wish I could, it would keep me in better shape. That's one thing that I loved about it, I was in really good shape when I played. And I think the last time I really played a competitive basketball game was probably when I was 25 and I was good. I mean, I enjoyed playing, it was a fun game, it's super competitive and I loved the intensity of the sport. But for me it was just -- it was, you know, a half-the-year type of thing. It was something to do in the winter when it was raining and miserable for golf, and then as soon as basketball was over, I started picking my clubs up and I'd hit balls there under the covered range in the rain. It's cold up there, man. It's 40 degrees and rainy and cold. It's miserable playing, but you can play.

Q. (Inaudible.)

TROY KELLY: I don't know. I think as a kid, I think you've got to do some other things, you know. I think you've got to find out what you like, and if you overdo it at times, I think you can get burned out. I think it was kind of a good break for me. I knew guys were leaving and going to Arizona as juniors, and by the time they got to college they didn't want to play anymore, you know, they got burnt out.

Q. Troy, you're going to 12 under and Tiger and Phil don't make the cut. What does this course do to guys? You're having your best round of the year and those two didn't make the cut. Is there something about the course, do you think?

TROY KELLY: I don't know if it's something about the golf course. You know, I don't know what those guys did. Looked like -- I heard Tiger was hitting a lot of irons off the tee, it sounded like. I don't know. I like the golf course. It's fun, it's set up well. The greens are at a comfortable speed where you can putt aggressively. If you get above the hole, obviously they're fast, but it's a good golf course. Visually, it's nice. It's hot, obviously. But yeah, I don't know, I don't know what those guys' deal is. It's just hard to believe.

Q. Troy, can you just talk about getting your brother on the bag and what he kind of does to kind of help your game and especially in a situation like this heading into tomorrow??

TROY KELLY: Well, just growing up with him, he's obviously been one of the reasons I've gotten to this level. We've played competitively against each other since I could walk basically and he's been a big help. He reads greens really well. He knows how to play, he's played as a professional, and it's just nice to have somebody that you can really trust and read the greens especially. You've got to make putts out here and it's just nice having him around. We haven't spent a lot of time the last probably, I would say, 10 years together. I've been living in other places, he's been up there, and it's nice to get back together and hang out and just kind of be pals, you know?

MODERATOR: Troy -- one more?

Q. You've played in the southeast, you've played in lots of warm weather conditions. Tell me about the heat this week. Has it affected the game at all and what do you do to combat that??

TROY KELLY: It's been hot obviously. I played the Nationwide last week and it was really hot in Indiana and really humid. This week obviously is hot, too, but I think it was a little hotter last week. But I have played a lot more since I've been traveling, you know, playing the PGA TOUR, Nationwide, getting into these areas of the country where it's hot and humid.

I'm from the northwest, I'm used to cold and rain, and then now I'm down in the desert where it's a dry heat and I would rather be in 110 than this kind of weather. You're dry, the air's moving a little bit down there, and it actually feels better to me, which a lot of people don't believe.

MODERATOR: All right. Troy, tomorrow should be fun. Play well.

TROY KELLY: Thanks, guys.

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