What they said: Robert GarrigusJanuary 08, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Robert, you keep playing like this, this is it going to be your second home. Thanks for joining us for a few minutes. That was quite the impressive finish there. You find yourself right at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final day. If you would recap the day a little bit, then we'll take a few questions.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, I started off really shaky. I wasn't nervous. I felt really good. I got ten hours of sleep last night, and I get out here and chunk my 4-iron on the first hole. My caddie kind of told me, hey, you took that back a little quick. And as soon as he told me, that I slowed down the rest of the day. I hit one through the wind on 2. That holing was playing completely different than the past couple of days.
So after that, I birdied a couple of holes and got my confidence back and rolled on from there and made some good birdies and good up-and-downs on 14 and 15. Should have made birdie on 16 but shouldn't have hit it so hard; I kind of pushed the putt. That one on 18 sure was sweet.
I'm think if it not caught the hole it would have been on the green. That was a nice way to end the day, that was really nice.
Q. All of that emotion on 18; that partly because it's more satisfying to shoot a good round after you've had a terrible start like that??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. And just any time I make a 56-footer on the last hole, I'm going to get pumped up, regardless what it's for. But it was really gratifying to get that putt in, get in the 60s. I thought just getting back to under par for the day was going to be good for me. And when I started to get going, I wasn't missing anymore shots, I was striking it well. That putt on 18 just kind of capped it off, and man, that was really nice.
Q. The conditions changed obviously, but there were still a few low scores out there. Do you feel like going into tomorrow, no matter what the conditions are going to be, you are going to have keep it on the gas??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. Doesn't matter if you're in 10th or first, you still have to go out and make five or six birdies and not make any mistakes. To win the golf tournament, I think 24 is probably the number, depending on the wind. If the wind blows like it did today. I think 24, 23, that's a good number.
But really, there's no number for me tomorrow. I'm just going to go out and play one shot at a time and go have some fun and enjoy the scenery. It was really, really funny. I was sitting on No. 3 and looking at Shoestring, and I'm like, "This is awesome. I've doubled the first hole and bogeyed the second hole and I could care less." It was one of those fun things where it didn't matter, because I knew we had some birdie holes coming up; and I knew my wedge game, like I said, is exactly where it needs to be.
I hit wedge into a few feet there on 3 and then did it again on 4. You know, hit one close, pretty much every time I had it in my hand.
So it was really nice to get that going after bogey and a double. But it didn't matter. I mean, like I said it's a great place to be but I'm blessed to be in this tournament. So it's a little easier to play.
Q. Just curious, is that an attitude you would have had three years ago, say??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Really it's always been my attitude, but nobody really asked me about it (laughter) Because nobody really cared to hear what I had to say. But winning a tournament, you get a little more attention, so people actually know how I think out there.
That's always been my attitude. I'm so blessed to be playing golf for a living regardless if it was on the Nationwide Tour or PGA TOUR or Western States Tour in Phoenix; it didn't matter. I was happy where I was and it's just nice to see all of the hard work pay off.
Q. Obviously we can't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but regardless, is it more about going out and having fun and see how it goes, as opposed to: 'I've got to win, I've got to win'??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. There's no, hey, I have to win this tournament. I've won one already. I've got a two-year exemption, and that's going to be free me up for tomorrow. I feel great. I didn't think I was going to be playing this good coming into the week, but I knew I was ready. I mean, you know, you've got to get a lot of good breaks. That one on 16, that one goes in, sometimes you have to take advantage of that stuff.
So it's going to be a lot of fun. I don't have to win this tournament, but I'd really like to. It's going to be in the back of my mind a little bit. But I'm going to go out and have fun with my caddie and try to bring the crowd in a little bit and thank the volunteers and see what happens.
Q. Is it better to be in the penultimate group, as opposed to the last??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, I think that might take a little pressure off. Right now I'm tied with the guys so hopefully I can get going and get going early and make some birdies on those holes with wedges and get to that par 5 in two and maybe make an eagle and put some pressure on them. I've done it before; I'd like to say that.
I started pretty good at Disney the last time I needed to do it, so hopefully I can do that tomorrow.
Q. What did you do on 18??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I hit 5-iron again. I annihilated my tee shot. I didn't swing soft; I didn't take it easy; I absolutely just killed it. It took off perfect and took that slope again at 230, adjusted to the flag, and hit 5-iron, pulled it a little bit but it was down that hill, and I can't believe I made that putt.
Q. What went higher, you or the ball popping up??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I think I did.
Q. A lot of Korean golfers are watching this, and you are getting famous because you're a long hitter, but you're using a very short putter. Is there any relationship for the good score, being a long hitter and using a short putter for your good score, especially for this tournament??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: The short putter, I've been putting with that since I was 19. So I mean, that's the only way I can put. That's the only way I can shoot low is with a short putter.
So, yeah, it has everything to do with it. I wouldn't make any putts if I had a regular-length putter or a long putter. That has everything to do with it. You have to make putts to win out here and that's the only way I can do it is with a short putter.
Q. Is it harder to let go on Sunday? You have some experience at Disney and elsewhere; how do you keep that same aggressive mentality?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I told my caddie, Shoestring, I told him, hey, this is the only hole I'm going to take that swing. That's the only one I'm going to do it on is 18. We have a 90-yard fairway and it's blowing left-to-right and it's the only hole I'm going to do it on, because every other hole, like today, I laid back and I laid back on everything today. Except for No. 10, I tried No. 10, and I didn't make birdie. But there's holes out there that are kind of iffy with driver with the wind today.
The wind the past few days, I can hit it all day. But today I hit 3-iron off the tee like three or four times and tried to lay back. But that's one of the only holes I'm going to do that on.
Q. When you pull driver -- do you have a different gear you use??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. Yeah, that swing on 18 was 105. Everything else all day was about 85 to 90 because it was windy and I didn't want to get the ball up in the air. I wanted to keep it low, so I kept a more controlled swing all day into that wind. Because a lot of them, into and a left-to-right wind, you catch it at all bad, it's floating 30 or 40 yards to the right with that wind we had today. It was an 85, 90 percent day.
And on 18 I uncorked one and I just let it all golf I usually never see it up that high but it was teed up 3 1/2, four inches and swung as hard as I could and hit it perfect.
Q. I believe you are significantly longer than the two guys you are tied with. Do you feel like you have a little bit of an advantage going into tomorrow??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I don't have an advantage over a guy who makes everything inside of ten feet. Steve Stricker is one of the best putters in the world. Jonathan Byrd has proved to be one of the best players in the world, one of the best short game guys in the world, hits his short irons great.
I have to go out there and play my game and take advantage of shots I can take advantage of. If I can get some wedges in and hit some far fives in two and take advantage of they have -- I have not done them today, I got 9 and 18 there. If I can do that, it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm just so blessed to be here. God is blessing me beyond anything I can imagine and this is just awesome. I love being in this position. It's kind of like a drug. When you get out there and your blood is flowing and the crowd is there, it's so much fun to be here.
DOUG MILNE: Thank you for your time.
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