MORE INTERVIEWS: Frys.com Open transcripts archive
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Jeff Overton to the interview room. A 7‑under, 64 round one of the Frys.com Open. Congratulations on a great round.
Outside you commented that today, after six weeks off was the best, quote unquote, the best you've ever hit the ball.
With that. I'll turn it over to you for some comments and then we'll take a few questions.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I've worked on ‑‑ a couple weeks ago I changed my grip a little. Actually probably three months ago I've been dabbling with changing my grip to make it a little stringer because my wrist has been bothering me. I've had a little tendonitis in it for a few years, and it tends to get my ‑‑ allow my wrist to get a little more square at the top of my backswing without having to tweak it a little bit.
So it tends to allow me to hit the ball more flush and allows me to cut the ball a little bit better ‑ which just blew my mind. I don't know how. Went out there and hit a little cut shot on the last hole to a foot and just striped it all day.
First seven holes I was inside of probably 12 feet on every hole it felt like and I never made a putt. All of a sudden I made a good three‑ or four‑footer on my second putt on 7 I guess it was, and next thing I knew I made everything.
I saw the ball go in the hole one time, and was just chipping and putting it in. Just everything. It was just one of those days that it went my way at the end.
THE MODERATOR: With that, we'll take a few questions.
Q. Obviously the course suits your eye well. Characterize the course a little bit.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I played here for the first time last year and I loved it. I thought it was great. There are a lot of little different ways to play some of the holes, and you got to be a little bit careful on hitting certain parts of the fairways. You can miss certain partsof the fairway ‑‑ it's that you can miss some fairways left, you can miss some fairways right and still have a good chance at some shots.
It allows to you think and play this way a little bit. At the same time, if you can hit the fairway, the ball is rolling, and you get it down there and have a lot of really good scoring opportunities.
Q. Just as follow up, I imagine this is one of those weeks where you're going to have to go super low to fend off the pack. Do you see this shaping up as one of those tournaments?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, what won here last year? Does anybody know? It was like 14‑, 15‑under. Which I mean, if you look at it, 20‑under usually is considered low for a‑‑ if it was 20‑under that would be an easy PGA TOUR course.
If it was only 15‑under last year, it's probably not going to be a whole lot different this year. Maybe it will be. Who knows. It's a good golf course. There are some really good par‑4s and it's just really fun.
The par‑5s, I didn't take advantage of the one I hit through the fairway in the bunker because it's firm and I just didn't trust myself carrying it 295 over all the stuff on the right.
It's a really fun track. The greens are good. It's in great shape. Yeah, like you said, fit my eye a little bit I guess.
Q. Why did you go for it on nine?
JEFF OVERTON: Why didn't I?
Q. Why did you.
JEFF OVERTON: Oh.
Q. Nice shot.
JEFF OVERTON: (Laughter.) You know, it wasweird. Like I said, I hit it close the first several holes and then just didn't make anything. It was weird, because I felt best about my putting coming into today, and I get out there and I didn't make anything. It was just weird.
Then 9 we're only 1‑under and I felt like I could have been 6. I had a good lie, but it was into the wind. All of a sudden I'm just going to layup and hit a wedge. Next thing I know my adrenaline got to pumping and the wind just kind of stopped.
I just grabbed that 3‑wood and I'm like, I'm just going to take it on the right and just pump it. Ended up dead flush and it was perfect and ended up cashing a 15‑, 20‑footer. If you fade it, then it winds up just going a little right of water anyway. Kind of my thing. Hit a big draw into it.
Q. Starting the season in October, does it feel like you're getting an early jump on whatever your season goals are?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I mean, yes and no. I've never played very well in the west coast swing for whatever reason. I've always played pretty solid in fall.
So it kind of feels like if you don't play well in the fall and if I'm not a good west coast swing guy‑‑ so if I play bad now I'm probably going to play bad then. You're halfway through the season and you're way behind the eight ball.
So it's kind of a weird little thing. Almost like even though it's the same season, kind of two little seasons almost all in one. So there is going to be a lot of ‑‑ some guys that are going to play really well now and some guys that will play really well then.
It's always good to get off to a good start. This tour, if you can get off to a good start then you can start picking and choosing the events you want to play in. You go into those things mentally fresh and you're really wanting to‑‑ and really thinking about winning the golf tournament and not just going out there and going through the motions because you feel like you have to play to try to get into the FedExCup our whatever.
It really helps if you can get off to a good start. It would be great if we can continue this thing and keep it rolling.
Q. What are your goals for the year?
JEFF OVERTON: My biggest goals are just to try to get to where I'm steadily healthy and I don't have to worry about my wrist and whatever it is. Just to stay healthy. Been working out a little bit more to try to help that.
You know, constantly continue to work on the short game and the long game. Obviously a goal is to win a golf tournament, but you don't‑‑ the outcome of the goal doesn't happen unless you do all the other little things. So prepare mentally, prepare, whatever.
So my goals is obviously to win a golf tournament. I think this is my ninth year on tour and haven't won yet, so...
Gotten beat by a lot of low scores in the final round, and hopefully I'm a little more mentally able to shoot a little lower on Sunday to kind of win one.
Q. Give us a little more detail or background on your wrist.
JEFF OVERTON: Few years ago I had an MRI three or four times, x‑rayed and everything. Nothing comes‑‑ they just see a little inflammation there. Just deal with it. With a weak grip, if you take the club up, my hand winds up being like this at the top of my swing a little bit. I would like to get it square so when come down it's nice and square at impact.
By strengthening it, it naturally goes to that spot so I don't have ‑‑ because it's on the outside part of my wrist. Felt good today, which is great. Sometimes these cold mornings the tendonitis can bother you a little bit.
Q. You had probably by your own measure one of your worst years last year.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I guess so. It's also weird. I've always played in the fall. I guess it's the start of a new year, but I don't know. (Laughter.)
Q. Why didn't you play well last year?
JEFF OVERTON: I mean, I don't know. I felt like I played great. I don't think my scoring average was any different. Getting DQd at the one place, at Colonial, that hurt. Then you wound up not getting‑‑ missing a little bit to get in the PGA. Then I think I pulled out after playing really well at John Deere.
So some of the golf courses that I've always played well at I didn't make as much money for whatever reason. So I don't really feel like I played bad. It was just one of those things that just wasn't quite all‑‑ just hit or miss. It was like one day you're chipping good and one day you're putting‑‑ I couldn't ever get it all going at the same time.
Q. How did the Barclays end for you?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I had‑‑ I didn't play very good in the final. I was just worn out by the end of it all. I had a bad final round. I needed to shoot 2‑over. I think I shot 5 or something.
Q. (No microphone.)
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, it's been nice to just relax. You know, I think I played a lot this year for as many tournaments as there was because I knew it was really important to get in the FedExCup and keep your card with the schedule change.
So I wound up playing a lot. There is just something to be said about coming out and being mentally fresh and not overplaying yourself.
Maybe I did that a little bit last year. There are so many great events out here. PGA TOUR has so many good events week after week. It's hard to ever want to take a week off.
Q. With the wraparound schedule, do you feel like it almost will give you some built‑in breaks where you can maybe avoid that cluster of playing all those events like did you this year?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I mean, like I said, if you get off to a good start, yeah. But at the same time, you look like at the FedEx ‑‑ to get into the FedExCup it was like 370 points this past year. With four more or six more events counting. You're going to get your‑‑ that number is going to go closer to 500.
So I mean, being that it's not necessarily top heavy, the points are more‑‑ it's almost a dollar per whatever basis. It almost goes‑‑ helps a guy that finishes 30th.
You might have to play more to get in there. But at the same time, if you get off to a really hot start early, makes the rest of the year a lot easier, a lot more fun.
Q. Two alternates got into the field today. Can you remember your days when you were an alternate, and what's that like? What's the hardest part of that experience?
JEFF OVERTON: I think the hardest part is just seeing your peers that you play every week and you sit there and they walk up to the tee and you're like, Hey, what's going on? You're not in? Nope. Oh, really? Why? I don't know. That's the hardest part.
You compete with these guys, and not necessarily if you beat them or whatever, but it's tough whenever you see a buddy playing in the event and you're not.
Q. Were you at the PGA?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah.
Q. PGA US Open, which one you have to sit in the timeout box?
JEFF OVERTON: They make you sit in the timeout box there, yeah.
Q. Did you play the U.S. Open?
JEFF OVERTON: Uh‑huh.
Q. Did you go out on the golf course? British you can for sure.
JEFF OVERTON: I'm not sure.
Q. You never left the ...
JEFF OVERTON: They made me sit like in the little tee box or whatever, which is kind of weird. But whatever.
Q. How long?
JEFF OVERTON: All day. You sit there for the first wave, and then you go back and then you come back out afternoon. You wait the whole time then, too.
Q. What do you do when you're sitting there?
JEFF OVERTON: Usually like the guys that are coming up that are getting scorecards ‑‑ like Matt Every was playing a hole and he wrote, I love you on a golf ball and threw it over. Whatever you can do to entertain yourself.
Q. Did you ever smooth things over with the PGA? How did that turn out?
JEFF OVERTON: Everything is all good.
Q. What happened at the Deere?
JEFF OVERTON: It was weird. I been working on this grip change with his left wrist, and all of a sudden my right wrist, that started bothering me. I think maybe with the grip change and the right hand kind of was taking over a little bit, just out of nowhere started bothering me.
You know, few days off and that was fine again. So it was just a really weird scenario. I played a few holes and it was just striping it, and every time at impact I would get these little shooters up the right wrist. It's not good whenever you're kind of almost swinging with your right hand because you're scared of your left, and then that starts hurting. Get of the golf course.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks for your time.