What they said: Jonathan ByrdJanuary 08, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: 6-under 67 today puts you tied for the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Just a few comments on the third round today, and then we'll take a few questions.
JONATHAN BYRD: I didn't look at the leaderboard a whole lot today. I didn't feel like there was a need to. I felt like the course, starting off, I felt like the course was going to play a little more difficult. I felt like I could kind of keep my head down and just play the golf course and kind of see what happens.
And I felt like -- well, yesterday, I kind of got -- trying a little too hard at times and making things a little too complicated.
So try to keep things real simple today. Fortunately got off to a pretty good start with some pars and a couple tough holes, and then kind of, you know, settled in and made some birdies. Then just kept playing solid all day.
Q. Can you just talk about that shot on 18 and how it rolled so far past.
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, that front pin, it's a pretty tough little hole location. You get rewarded if you hit it close, but I was trying to hit a little higher shot into there; it only had about 50 yards or so. And I was trying to fly it almost all the way to the hole and just had a lot of spin on it and came off a little low and kind of hot. Wasn't too excited to have a 60-footer up the hill for birdie on the last hole. If you hit it past that hole, it's going down that hill. So fortunately it was a good 2-putt.
Q. Been a while since you made the hole-in-one, but wondering in some way, riding a little bit of a crest and maybe a liberating type of thing??
JONATHAN BYRD: Just playing. The off-season, I mean, I practice a lot. I work on my game a lot but I don't play a ton. So I really feel like I kind of just walked off the golf course in Vegas and strolled up and started playing here.
So I didn't see my caddie a whole lot in the off-season. I only saw him twice. So we didn't do a ton of work together. We got right back to work here, and I am kind of riding some of those vibes and some of those good feelings. I feel like I've kind of got back into that groove pretty quick from some of the good things I was doing in Vegas.
Q. Robert thought that tomorrow is probably going to take 24-under to win. Do you feel like that's about a good number to get to??
JONATHAN BYRD: I have no idea. You know, I've shot I guess five, six, seven for three days, so I feel like at least take that, shoot 5- or 6-under at least.
But I haven't seen the weather. I'm not sure what the weather conditions are for tomorrow, whether it's going to be the same Kona wind.
DOUG MILNE: Not quite as strong.
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, we'll see. I played good today. I'm going to try to do the same thing. I'm not going to play the golf course any different. But probably agree with Robert. What are we, at 18-under? It's probably going to take 23, 24, 25, somewhere in there I would think.
Q. Totally different styles of game, you, Steve and Robert --
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, I think we played well to get into the position we were today. You know, and we shot a good score today. So I don't think there's anything about our style of play or anything like that. You know, it's three or four shots; it's not a whole lot over the course of three days. That could just be one putt here or there. But you know, I haven't really noticed how they have played or what scores they have shot every day, so I kind of don't know where or how they played.
Q. Robert being a long hitter --
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, I think the course definitely favors long hitters, there's no doubt about that.
And I'm kind of on the cusp of just long enough for this golf course I feel like. I'm not a Robert Garrigus, but I can get to all of the par 5s and take advantage of it. It's a huge advantage on a couple of the drivable holes and then the par 5s. Just takes a lot of stress away knowing you have those holes coming up, if you can get to in two, you might make an eagle.
I think this course favors guys who are good putters. I love playing on bermudagreens, so all of the grain, all of the slope and things like that -- I mean, Robert is a good putter, and Steve Stricker is definitely a good putter so it definitely favors guys who are putting the ball well.
Q. To get a sense of the wind and how it's changed, what did you hit into 1 today and yesterday??
JONATHAN BYRD: The first day I hit a good drive to the bottom of the hill and I hit a 9-iron into the green, and today I smoked a tee shot, smoked a 3-iron into the green. I was doing a good job to get 3-iron in my hand and saw some guys hanging out to the right and hitting woods in, Adam Scott being one of them, and he's a longer hitter. That's a pretty big difference. Went from about a 140 shot to a 220 shot.
DOUG MILNE: Jonathan, we appreciate your time. Great playing today and good luck tomorrow.
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