What they said: Troy Matteson

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July 14, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE: John Deere Classic transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Troy Matteson. Troy, you got it 18-under. You've been the sole leader after each round this week.

Talk about your round and what you expect going into tomorrow.

TROY MATTESON: Round went pretty good today. Made birdies early and kind of got relaxed after that, because you never know how the round is going to start.

I really didn't hit too many bad shots today. I only hit a couple and I got away with 'em. Only made a couple bogeys. One was a smart bogey. One on 18 I just misjudged the putt going down the hill. It's got a little baked out and it's easy to knock it by.

All in all it's a good day. Made a couple long putts that I didn't expect. I think I did better than maybe I should have.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. You'll be chased by the people's choice tomorrow, a cast of others including Zach. How you feel about that? Do you like being ahead as you go in?

TROY MATTESON: You always want to be ahead rather than behind. Every stroke you can gain is good. Steve is a great guy. He's the kind of guy that personifies what we're looking for on the TOUR. He's the kind of guy you can tell your kids to use as a role model.

He's just a really good guy. He's a good guy to have at the top of the leaderboard at any tournament, especially John Deere because of what he's done here in the past.

I think it'll be really fun to play with him. I'm pretty used to if I'm playing in the last couple groups I'm not the guy people root for, so I think that it'll be pretty normal for me.

But like I said, Zach being from up this way, really good to see him at the top of the leaderboard. It gives people a reason to really come out and watch.

So it's just good that those two guys are up there.

Q. Talk about tomorrow being aggressive but protecting the lead.

TROY MATTESON: I think you still need to be aggressive. It's anybody's tournament. I mean, a guy at 12-under could shoot 60, you know. You have to come up with a lot of under-par shots, so I think that you have to play aggressive.

I'm going to do the same thing I've done every day. Really haven't laid up or done anything different every day I played, so I'm going to play the same way. I know those guys are going to, too. They're not going to be looking at the scoreboards, they're just going to be trying to shoot as low as they can.

And that's what the John Deere does. That's what you need to do here.

Q. You said that you're not going to be the guy people are rooting for. How did you prepare yourself to play that round knowing Steve going for the fourth is on your tail and Zach, the local town favorite is also lurking??

TROY MATTESON: I'm just in a different position in life. Those guys are Ryder Cuppers. They're the kind of guys who win major championships. You know, they're just in a different class, so it's totally understandable that people buy tickets to watch them. Especially Zach being from up this way.

But until I kind of get some years under my belt -- I mean, I'm only 32 -- until I get to where I've won six, eight, ten times, then you might become a little bit more the favorite. Those guys have put in the hard work, they've had the wins, and they deserve what they're getting. For people to come out and watch 'em, that's just shows the hard work and what they've been able to accomplish in their careers.

Q. (Question regarding wardrobe for tomorrow.)

TROY MATTESON: You know, I'll probably wear the same hat. My wife likes the red hat so I keep wearing the red hat. I wore white and black hats forever and she told me to change it up. I told her I'll wear the red hat but I'm going to wear a white shirt because it's going to be hot.

Q. (No microphone.)

TROY MATTESON: No, I mean, I just kind of play. Nobody's really paying any attention to what I do. I'll just go about my business. Like I said, when Steve plays good or Zach plays really good, just does so much for the tournament. Those are the main guys people remember.

Like I said, they put in the work and they deserve to be where they're at. In my mind, Steve Stricker has probably been the most consistent player over the last six years. He plays quite a bit. He doesn't just show up for the World Golf Championship. The guy plays a lot.

So he is just the kind of guy that people look up to, kids look up to, other players. He's a great guy to have at the top of the leaderboard.

Q. (Question regarding being paired with Stricker.)

TROY MATTESON: I mean, he's a great guy to play golf with. I would rather be paired with him than not. If I had to pick two or three guys to get paired with, couldn't go wrong with Zach or Steve, even if you're just playing golf on a Saturday somewhere. They're the kind of guys you want to hang around with. I think it's great.

Q. (No microphone.)

TROY MATTESON: I mean, yeah. When you're -- you can't help but notice what your playing partner is doing. I figure I just look up at leaderboard at the end of the day and he would shoot 61 or 62. That's just what I thought.

He still played great today, so it'll be easy to keep track of him being that he's right there.

Q. (No microphone.)

TROY MATTESON: No. I think everyone was there to see Rickie win. It pretty much already started. He had already drawn a pretty good following. Everyone would have liked to have seen him win. Certainly would have been good for the TOUR and definitely jump started his career.

I know it took him a while to win, but he's the kind of kid, he's going to win a lot.

Q. (No microphone.)

TROY MATTESON: Yeah. Well, I mean, you kind of get used to it because I play on the Nationwide Tour and you play in college and you come out there and win, and there are so many veteran players or guys that are notables that you know, you win against, and a lot people would rather they won.

But like I said, you have to put in the years to get on the other side of that fence. If you won two or three majors and you got 20 or 30 wins, people want you to win. You've put in the hard work. I've still got a long way to go in my career.

Q. What do you think it's going to take tomorrow??

TROY MATTESON: Gosh, it's hard to say. I mean, I could see somebody getting to 24, you know. It's not unheard of. 23.

So you try not to keep numbers in your head, but it's what's out there. Guy at 15 could shoot 9 or 10 possibly, maximum. I doubt you'll see a 59, but you might. I think Stricker has really opened all the players' eyes up to what can be attained out here, so I think that's why you're seeing a lot 5- and 6- and 7-under rounds.

Q. (Question regarding the condition of the course today.)

TROY MATTESON: The fairways were firmer for sure. Ball was going a long way. 10 we had one run. It must have run 50 yards. We didn't have but 222 into 10. Hadn't been doing that all week.

Now, granted, we were up on the tee box so probably would have still been about 250. But they're definitely firmer. I know Maggert hit one on 9 that went all the way to the bottom of the hill. Couldn't have had more than 9-iron into the green. Unfortunately hit a divot and an incredible shot out, but his ball got way down there.

Q. You said it would be so good for this tournament for Steve to win a fourth time. So good for Zach to win. Would any part of you at all feel guilty taking that away??

TROY MATTESON: Yeah, I mean, it's great for me obviously if I win. Helps me promote what I'm trying to do in my career. But there are things that are bigger than individual players going on the TOUR.

Like I said, if Stricker wins, it's a big story. It's a really big story. Like I said, he's the kind of guy you can get behind and tell your kids this is how you want to model your golf career, after that guy. He has ups and downs, but at the end, look at him. He's one of the best players in the world by far. Nobody would ever argue against that.

Q. But if Matteson wins it's a big story because nobody has ever (indiscernible.)

TROY MATTESON: Well, actually didn't know that. I'll be trying as hard as I can. If I come out on top, it's great. There are a lot of good stories here no matter how it ends up. We'll just have to wait and see until tomorrow afternoon.

Q. Do you think fans notice that Matteson has led every round??

TROY MATTESON: Yeah, there are some scoreboard watchers out there for sure.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thanks for your time, Troy.

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