What they said: Jeff Overton

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September 05, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: BMW Championship transcripts archive

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Jeff Overton to the interview room here at the 2012 BMW Championship. Jeff, thanks for joining us. You're here this week by virtue of your finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship last week. I think if I remember correctly, you came into the week ranked 83rd in FedExCup standings and needed a 37th place finish or better, and you did a lot better than that; you finished in the top 10 and came into the week here ranked 40th in the standings. Obviously a very near and dear place to your heart, just some comments on what it's like to be back here at Crooked Stick.

JEFF OVERTON: You know, the home is kind of where the heart is, and it's just -- I'm from here, and I've loved being here, and there's so many great people and friends that are from this area. There's nothing like being able to come home and play on your home soil and get to represent your home state, and you try to support your local community and you try to support your local state and country. So far representing the USA in the Ryder Cup and then now getting to come back here to the home state, there's kind of that little feeling that I get, just kind of gives you the goosebumps to come home and play in your home state.

DOUG MILNE: We kind of kept tabs on you last week because we knew this was on your mind. How much did that impact your play last week one way or the other, the thought of getting back here??

JEFF OVERTON: You know, I never had so much energy. I don't know if it's the Playoffs or just because it's here, a combination. But I was so nervous, and there was so much energy going on in my system because I knew I wanted to make it back here. The last thing I wanted to do was be sitting down there in Bloomington at my house watching this thing on TV. I knew that would have been just dreadful.

And so just going into the final round, it's hard thinking, I have to shoot 3-over or better. It's an awful feeling to be thinking about shooting 3� over or better. You want to go out there thinking you have to shoot 3- or 4-under, so I just was able to clear the mechanism kind of and fortunately had a really solid round. Got to play with Phil who's just an awesome character. That guy is awesome and one of the best players ever to play the game, and he helped give me some motivation throughout the round, especially playing a few times with him in the past.

It was just really great, and I'm really excited about this week to come.

Q. How much did the 64 help just take some of the pressure off and get you going??

JEFF OVERTON: You know, that was huge. I've been struggling with my putter a little bit, and it was nice to see some putts go in because I've been hitting it great. I've been hitting the driver awesome. This Cleveland driver I've been playing has been phenomenal all year long, and it's been kind of frustrating because I've been putting the ball in the fairway so much and not really taking advantage of opportunities that it seems like I normally would because when you don't make the eight� footers it's tough to win out here or even compete for that matter.

And so seeing some of those four- to ten-footers go in that day was huge for my confidence, and was able to kind of continue it on throughout the week and hopefully will continue to keep going on this week.

Q. I was eavesdropping on your interview just now and I heard you talking about "boom, baby." So last week was kind of a boom, baby moment for you??

JEFF OVERTON: It was a little bit, kind of -- just kind of a comeback kind of excitement, whenever you make something because you're kind of down and out of it, and you kind of make something like, boom, baby, that gets me back in it. Making like a 30� footer, that kind of -- I knew when that putt went in there was a lot of -- the pressure, the anxiety that I was feeling the whole round kind of went away because that gave me a little bit of breathing room for the last six or seven holes knowing that I was pretty much a lock at that point to be able to get in here.

Q. What hole was that??

JEFF OVERTON: It was on the 12th hole, so that put me 1� under on the day, which at that point gets you to 10� under. I'm probably not going to shoot 5� over on the last. But it was a tough putt. If I three� putt that and go to 8, all of a sudden you're looking at shooting a couple over and making things interesting.

Q. You know Reggie is going in the Hall of Fame this week??

JEFF OVERTON: Is he?

Q. Yeah.

JEFF OVERTON: Awesome. That guy is awesome.

Q. That's a boom, baby moment, too.

JEFF OVERTON: It is.

Q. After the Ryder Cup thing a couple years ago you were at a Colts game and they introduced you and the ovation was really pretty -- you maybe got some chills from that. Does that give you a sense of what you might expect this week??

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I mean, I don't really know what to expect. I feel like there's going to be a lot more people out here following me than I'm used to just because I know there's a lot of fans around here, especially IU fans and Indiana fans and just the whole community, the state. It's going to be fun to have people out here rooting me on.

I just have to kind of mentally prepare for it a little bit and know how to deal with that, and that's all part of being a professional and growing up as a pro.

Q. You're one of the few guys who have played here before. You've been up a couple times this summer, haven't you??

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I came up a few times.

Q. What do you think? What's going to happen?

JEFF OVERTON: You know, I haven't seen the rough in probably a month and a half, and it was healthy but it wasn't too long yet. So if it's -- it's interesting because I know they're going to move a couple of the par� 5 tee boxes back from what they usually play, and I really think a longer player, just like when John Daly won, I think a longer guy is going to have a big advantage out here, just because the par -- you have four par� 5s, and essentially like Dustin and Bubba I know can get to all four of them without a doubt. They might even be able to hit in the rough on a couple of them and still hit it on the green. It's going to require some� � it's going to require you to go low on those holes.

And at the same time the par� 3s are phenomenal, some of the best par� 3s we play all year, and it requires you to hit the ball on the greens, I think. So if you put the ball on the greens on the par� 3s and take advantage of those par� 5s, I think at the end of the week you're going to have a pretty good chance.

Q. You had that injury; wouldn't it have been a little easier to get here if it hadn't been for that??

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, it's fine. Actually it was my collarbone a couple months ago. I had a little something from working out or something, I don't know exactly. I kind of tore a little cartilage and had a cortisone shot. It seems like it's doing all right again, and we're ready to have some fun out there this week.

Q. That's why you missed a couple weeks??

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, about two months ago. It was right around THE PLAYERS. I had one the week of THE PLAYERS, which kind of stunk.

Q. We're live on PGATOUR.COM on a couple par� 3s, on 13 and 17, and since you're familiar with the course, just kind of walk us through both 13 and 17, what your approach is to playing both of those holes.

JEFF OVERTON: Right. 13 is a deceptive little par� 3. You can't really see the way the green slopes. If you put it anywhere right of the -- if you put it anywhere right of the center of the green, the thing just goes all the way down this big funnel all the way -- depending how hard it gets and fast, it could go all the way off the green.

So it takes a pretty precise shot, and especially they can put the pin all the way on the left to where it almost looks like you have to hit it out of bounds to get it onto the stick. It's a great little hole, though, because it requires you to -- with the pin on the left you almost have to hit a draw and if they put the pin on the right you almost have to hit a cut.

And then 17, the length is what really makes that hole. If they play that back tee, it just plays really hard. The bunker on the left side, if you're hitting 4� or 5� iron in there, it's not hard just to pull it a little bit and leave yourself an uphill bunker shot, but it's almost so severe you can't really get it close. So it's really -- like I said, I think it's really key to get the ball on the greens on the par� 3s.

Even on the front nine, they're like exactly the same. You've got to get it on the green.

Q. With you having a chance to play this course a couple times, does that give you any advantage as opposed to most of the other TOUR players haven't had a chance to play it until they got here just now??

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I'd like to think that it does, but if you look at how good these guys are, everybody, and what makes the players so good is their ability to adapt so quickly and to walk into a new place, see it and know how to shoot low on it, and that's pretty much what makes our TOUR -- why people are out here, to get through the process to get on TOUR, like to go to Q� school, you show up, you've never seen a golf course and you play it the first time. I think that's what kind of separates the best from the best.

So I don't necessarily think that -- I wouldn't say that, especially here, because I think it's such a -- I think, like I said, somebody who hits it really far is going to have a big advantage here just because you're going to have a lot more scoring opportunities with a long ball, even if you miss fairways. You're going to be in the rough and hitting a lot shorter irons into some of these pins than others.

Q. What's your take on the four captains' picks for the Ryder Cup, and specifically Hunter Mahan not making the team, a guy who's won twice this year and who was on the team with you in Wales?

JEFF OVERTON: You know, that's a tough question. I mean, it's hard for anybody to answer that. Davis, he picked who he felt was best. I mean, I think if you look at it, I know Hunter has won twice and he's played in so many of them, but let's be honest, Stricker and Furyk have had pretty good years, and those guys are -- they probably kind of had get� out� of� jail� free cards for that thing if you want to say that.

And let's be honest: Brandt Snedeker, how do you leave that guy off the team? He is red hot, probably the best putter in the whole world right now, other than maybe McIlroy, I don't know. And then Dustin, I played with Dustin last week, and he just was cranking it 30 or 40 yards by me. I'm like, where did this come from? Did you get 10 yards longer in the off� season since you took your little break? So you get hurt, you come back, you're 15 yards longer? I was like, wow, he is hitting it so good and he was making everything. I think he shot 65 the day I played with him. I think that that team might be as good as any Ryder Cup team that's ever been for the U.S.

Q. I understand Coach Mayer is here. What does that mean to have him here during the tournament for you??

JEFF OVERTON: It's good. I think he's got their first college tournament for the weekend. But it's fun to have him come up. He gets excited. It's kind of your dream to get to coach somebody that ends up playing on a TOUR, just like it is for me to get a coach that follows me, that has taught me a lot and helped coach me to get to this point. It's really neat, especially to be right here basically in your backyard. It's just a really awesome experience.

DOUG MILNE: Jeff, as always, we appreciate your time, and best of luck this week.

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