Reno-Tahoe Open interview: Gary Woodland

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August 03, 2013

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome third round leader of the Reno‑Tahoe Open Gary Woodland. Another impressive day out there. Picked up 16 points today. Gives you a seven‑point lead heading into tomorrow's final round. With that said, I'll just turn it over to you for some comments.

GARY WOODLAND:
Today was an interesting day. I felt like I played really well. I felt like I hit it really well. I just didn't hit many greens, especially early in the round. I was a little long, a little short.

And I had some great chips, chipped in a couple of times, gave myself a lot of opportunities, and I made a couple of putts to save par. I really got the momentum going and then I hit some good shots coming in late.

But all in all, I felt like I'm in really good control of my game. I got a great mental game plan this week and it's nice to be executing.

THE MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Did you see what was happening with Brendan Steele as you were going through the course, he was like on just a barrage on the back nine, did you notice that at all?

GARY WOODLAND:
No. I saw‑‑ when I was on nine I saw that I think he got to 25. He obviously made eagle on the last, did he make eagle on the last? Yeah.

So I saw he was making a run, and which actually was encouraging for me, because I realized there was birdies out there on the back nine, that there's some holes you could go get.

So I was aware that he was making some good runs, but I was excited because I knew that there was holes I could make birdie on.

Q. Can you take us through your birdies on the round.

GARY WOODLAND:
I eagled the second hole. I hit a good drive, kind of missed the second shot, and hit a really good bunker shot, went in. Chipped in on 7 as well.

Hit a perfect shot, I thought it was perfect, and it just ended up going over the green and ended up chipping that one in.
Par 5 8, knocked it up there just short in the green, got it up‑and‑down for birdie. And 10, hit it in there for about 20feet and made it. Par 5 13, I hit 7‑iron on the green and 2‑putted.

15, I hit it to about an inch, hit a good wedge shot in there, close. And then 18, I made a good putt. Hit a bad drive. Hit a great second shot, had a tough lie there. And hit an okay wedge shot and made a good putt on the last.

Q. What was your position when you won going into the final round?

GARY WOODLAND:
I was two shots back.

Q. Your feelings then going in with the lead here, obviously for the first time going into a‑‑ I don't know, is it the first time going in with a lead?

GARY WOODLAND:
I was tied for the lead at Bob Hope 2011 as well. Lost in the playoff. I won four times in college, and I was leading all four times going into the final round. So it's nice.

I might have to go out and make birdies tomorrow. So it is what it is. I'm just going to go out and try to get as many points as I can and execute my game plan and hopefully it should be enough.

Q. Obviously, too, the weather these last couple of days has been fantastic. I would imagine with a seven‑point lead you'd probably like to see the wind kick up again?

GARY WOODLAND:
Yeah, either way. I grew up in Kansas. I grew up in the wind. The wind's great. Obviously if it's not blowing, there's birdies out there to be had. So either way, I guess if the wind blows, it kind of keeps a couple guys away.
But all in all, I'm going to go out and make birdies tomorrow.

Q. What would you say a seven‑point lead is in a normal stroke play event?

GARY WOODLAND:
It's tough to say, because somebody can hole out on a par 5 and all of a sudden a seven‑point lead is vanished and I'm down one.

So it's nice to be playing well. It's tough to tell in this format. Obviously, you make birdies, you can jump up quickly. I'd say maybe two‑shot lead. I don't know.

Q. You really did have kind of a‑‑ you hit the ball well, but you had kind of a roller coaster with the way you got the ball in the hole. Was there a point either early there where you were saving or late when you kind of got it rolling and almost knocked that one in from the fairway, was there a point that you thought was more important than any other during that stretch?

GARY WOODLAND:
I think the par putt I made on the third hole really calmed me down. I hit a bad shot on the second hole. Obviously I saved it with a great eagle or great hole out there in the bunker. But the five, six‑footer I made on 3, if I give a point back after making eagle, it's kind of a huge momentum shift.

Saving that one really gave me confidence. I hit a great putt. Really I had to carry the momentum over. Felt great with the putter all day.
So I knew if I missed a shot, all I had to do was get it on the green. I felt like I was rolling the ball well.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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