MORE INTERVIEWS: Crowne Plaza Invitational transcripts
Q. We are used to seeing Steve Flesch on television, but not after a bogey free 64 on the PGA TOUR. What is the feeling like as a past champion here, if you're not getting a lot of playing opportunities but to make the most of this?
STEVE FLESCH: Well, it's important to me, but coming back to a course I'm really familiar with helps out a lot. I haven't played as much in the last two years like you said. But coming back to Colonial, like you said, is like coming home. They treat every champion like you're the defending champion which is unbelievable. It makes you feel great. This is obviously one of my favorite golf courses on the TOUR.
Not only because I've won here, but because you have to maneuver the ball. It's old style and it takes more than just bombing it to have to play well.
Q. With all of your roles, working on Golf Central, The Big Drive, next week you are supposed to be working on Encore reporting for the Memorial, how does your golf fit into that? How can you get practice with all of that?
STEVE FLESCH: I've learned to manage my time a little better. But golf is taking a back seat, obviously. I've enjoyed doing television work.
But I've been working at it pretty hard when I do have off weeks. Nothing can replace tournament golf. Yesterday I was really nervous coming back out because I hadn't played much. Until you tee it up in a tournament you really don't know what your nerves are like. Honestly, even though yesterday was my birthday I was nervous as anything out there. I'm glad I played good the first two days. It's nice to be out on the weekend.
Q. So better to celebrate your birthday here this week, or actually try to go out to win this golf course tournament now that you are in position?
STEVE FLESCH: Both. I've always celebrate my birthday here every year just because of how it falls. So it would be nice to celebrate with another victory here. It's just great being back at Colonial. Heck, I'm looking forward to going out this weekend and giving it a go.
STEVE FLESCH: I got to win all of it is what I haveto win. I'm going out really not looking at it like that. I've honestly been playing hurt for the last two years now. It isn't much fun.
Last year was no fun at all. I'm finally healthy and it's nice to play. It's cliche, I'm taking each week as a opportunity, and last week I was getting accustomed of playing well again. This week I'm comfortable here. There is no reason why I shouldn't play here. You get the putter going here and anything can happen at Colonial.
Q. When you are a shot back after two rounds you start toget those old familiar feelings you used to have?
STEVE FLESCH: Yes, I'm super nervous. Even today, even though it's Friday, I haven't been in this position in a long time. I had it on a nice roll there, and then they blew the horn. I hated having to go warm up again and come back out and play three holes. I kind of lost my rhythm. I got it in with 3 nice pars. I'm actually just enjoying playing golf again. I hate that cliche you got nothing to lose but I really don't. I'm just playing this week because I'm a past champion here, and they are nice enough to invite me, and it's on a course I love. So three great things.
Q. Steve, you made 4 shaped birdies, 17, 18, 1 and 2. I mean did you make any long putts or take us through that stretch there?
STEVE FLESCH: I made like a 12-footer on 17. A six-footer on 18. Four feet on 1 and 12 feet on 2. No, I managed to actually hit a couple of greens and had them close enough where I could make them. The greens are absolutely perfect. I've got a nice rhythm right now with the putter and made a lot of good ones today. A couple of good ones for pars, too.
Q. Is this your best round in recent years?
STEVE FLESCH: Last Friday at HP I shot 4-under. It should have been a lot lower. I didn't happen to make any putts there. I hit it well. And this is just a continuation there. But, yes, it's nice to finally break par a few times. It's been awhile since I've done that.
STEVE FLESCH: Maybe tonight we will actually have abirthday dinner, and I will have a couple of cold ones. Last night I was pretty tired and stressed out from playing all afternoon. Tonight we will probably have a nice dinner and celebrate my 46th.
Q. You're a player that's accomplished a lot out here. How much are you wondering coming back from the shoulder injury that you could get back to being close to where you used to be?
STEVE FLESCH: Well, you know, I played 12 events last year, and I didn't make a cut, and I played hurt. I knew kind of what the answer was and I finally decided to have surgery again. And after a year like last year, and missing the cut again last week, you just kind of never know. I know I have it in me. But until you actually do it and prove it to yourself, it's a tough hurdle. It's more mental than it is physical. You just have to trust what you're doing and keep working at it. Believe me, today was a big day for me. If I would have come out and shot a couple over par and missed another cut today, it would have been a tough rest of 2013.