What they said: Y.E. YangMarch 06, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Honda Classic transcript archive
JOHN BUSH: Y.E. Yang joins us in the media center at The Honda Classic, 4-under par 66.
Y.E., that was a great round today but just a little bit short. If you can comment on the day and your week as a whole, please.
Y.E. YANG: Today I started off a bit shaky. I bogeyed my second hole. But I tried to make up for it and I think I did. As you say, it was a little bit short. But, overall, it was a very -- for me, it was a very good week and it's been a very good early part of the season. So I think if I can capitalize on this, I'll have a better year than last year.
And I feel good right now. My swing and everything, I feel quite confident about everything when I go on to the course. So I'm taking a lot of positives out of this week.
Q. Can you talk about the decision to go for the green on 18? You had second place in hand at that point. And also, did you think the bunker shot was going in on 18.
Y.E. YANG: The second shot, I tried to make eagle on that hole. I was definitely trying to go for the green and trying to force a playoff. It didn't work out. The second shot fell a bit short in the bunker. And I have made shots up-and-down from the sand trap into the hole, but it doesn't really happen that much. It's a seldom-occurring situation, and I did hope for it, but you know, like everything else in life, just because you hope for it, it doesn't really happen.
Yeah, I did go for broke again. Unfortunately it didn't work out.
Q. Did you feel that Rory Sabbatini was reeling a little bit, a little vulnerable on the back nine??
Y.E. YANG: You know, usually if you're in the front, if you're running away from somebody, you tend to be a bit nervous. But in Rory's case, apart from 14, he seemed really calm. Everything was perfect from tee shot, second shot, putting.
Actually the pursuer and myself was actually a bit more nervous. I commend him for being I guess so emotionally stable; I wasn't. (Laughter).
Q. Did the rain delay affect your rhythm? You just hit two brilliant iron shots on the par 3s.
Y.E. YANG: You know, I'd like to say that it affected me. I would like to use that as an excuse. Maybe it did, really.
But you never know, because Jerry Kelly had a great shot afterwards, after that 15, 20-minute hiatus. I wish I could use that as an excuse, but comparatively from other players that I was playing with, I don't think it was much of a factor.
Q. Did you think the tournament was going your way when you cut it to one, cut the lead to one??
Y.E. YANG: You know, actually, when I was behind by two strokes entering the Bear Trap, and the 17th and 18th, I thought that that was the area that I had a better chance, actually, to force a playoff, at least. And that's why I focused on every shot. I was more intense on those last few holes. But I think Rory had the upper hand psychologically, also technically today. I think he played an outstanding game, and there's only so much that I could do. There's only so much a player can do on the golf course.
I give him all the credit, and that last birdie by him, that was huge.
Q. What did you hit on No. 15, and did you think just for a moment it was going in??
Y.E. YANG: You know, actually that was a bit of a fluke. I actually aimed about seven yards to the left, used a 7-iron. It was about 183,185 yards, a little bit of helping wind. And it actually turned out my shot was drifting right, so I was cringing at the moment. But it ended up quite close to the pin, so I was very lucky then.
Q. At 17 when the horn sounded, Rory had are already hit his tee shot. You had to wait. Was that any sort of good fortune for Rory being able to hit before the horn??
Y.E. YANG: I think so. It was good for him that he actually put it on the green before the horn went soft. That sort of added a little bit of pressure on me and Jerry, and we had some time to dwell upon it. I don't think it was good for the health of our mental state at that time.
But, you know, today Rory played very well under pressure, and he was very precise. So I don't think the horn would have made that much of an effect in the overall outcome of today's match.
Q. Can you talk about how hard you fought to save par on 17, and were you still trying to win the tournament at that point??
Y.E. YANG: You know, I really don't dwell upon long-term strategy that much. It's shot by shot, hole-by-hole. I just tried to make par on 17, and then afterwards, on 18 tee, I looked upon whether or not I should try for eagle. So, yeah, in a sense, yes, I was trying to win it, but not in such specific terms.
Q. I should know this but do you get a Honda car for winning this, and if so, what have you done with your Honda car??
Y.E. YANG: No, unfortunately they came out with a new Odyssey but I received the old one back then. It's running great and I'm using it for my kids to pick up and everything. It's back home in Dallas.
Q. Rory tends to like to play very quickly; at any point today were you and Jerry trying to slow down the pace of play, perhaps to throw him off a bit??
Y.E. YANG: Maybe I should put that into my textbook next time I play with Rory. (Laughter) It never occurred to me. Usually when I play I just focus on my play, so I'm dialed into what I do. I don't really think about taking somebody else's rhythm off.
And for me today, I was extra careful in every shot that I made because of all the wind. So I think I actually played at a slower pace than usual.
Q. Would you mind commenting on the Bear Trap and the severity of playing that three-hole stretch throughout the week??
Y.E. YANG: From 15 to 17, I think overall my score was double-bogey, and then two birdies. So I was set even at the Bear Trap, which for my standards is exceptionally good.
So that just translates into how difficult the whole stretch of three holes is. I watched GOLF CHANNEL yesterday and Rory McIlroy had a nice continuous slew of double-bogeys. Even the good players have a tough time over there. It's a stretch of holes and it's a design where wind and pin positions and everything, all of the variables, come to effect where the whole aspect of them, the whole strategy of playing those three holes changes every time.
So it's a very difficult area to play golf in, and not one that I'm really fond of.
JOHN BUSH: Y.E. well played this week. Thank you for your time.