What they said: Spencer LevinMarch 25, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive MARK STEVENS: Welcome back, Spencer. You had a 2-under today, and still hold the lead after the early wave this morning. Kind of different conditions out there today. If you want to talk about your round, and we'll take some questions.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it seems like I just saw you guys a couple hours ago.
Yeah, I didn't -- I got off to a really good start. I got really lucky on the first hole. I hit a ball that was going to go in the bunker and it bounced over the bunker on to the green and then I made about a 30-footer.
So couldn't really ask for a better start after a bad drive, but overall, I mean, I scored a lot better than I played today. I didn't play great. I didn't drive it very good. But all in all, I'm happy; the way I played, to shoot 2-under, I'm happy with that for sure.
Q. You say that you didn't hit the ball as well, but you were 2-under par after three holes. Did it ever occur to you, like 'Holy mackerel, I might win this by ten?'
SPENCER LEVIN: No, that didn't occur to me. Maybe it should have; I might have played a little better.
No, and then I think I birdied 6 and I looked at the board and I think I was 9-under. I think Steve might have been 3 or 2 or something, but I saw the six-shot lead and that was a little interesting.
But yeah, I tried not to think about it, because I know that the afternoon had not even started, it's a nice day and there's still two more rounds. I try not to get too far ahead of myself. I didn't play well today. I got a couple good breaks, made some nice putts, made a long one for par, so overall, I mean, it was a good score for how I played for sure.
Q. When you don't hit the ball as well as you would like, is there something that you work on afterwards or do you practice more or how will you address that??
SPENCER LEVIN: It's good, I got my dad here this week. He comes out every once in awhile. So he will probably help me out a little bit on the range.
If he's not, here I might call him, or I usually have a general idea on what it is. It's just hard for me to try to fix something while I'm out there, as I'm sure it is for everybody else.
Yeah, hopefully we can get it ironed out. I mean, it wasn't horrible today, just wasn't quite on. I mean, the level of golf out here and the level of golf that these guys play out here, you can't really be off at all if you want to win; I've learned that out here.
So hopefully I can get it sharpened up and hopefully play a little more solid this weekend than I did today.
Q. For those of us not as familiar with your swing nuances, what feel are you going for when you take your warm-up swings that resemble for a baseball swing than a golf swing??
SPENCER LEVIN: I've always done that. It tries to keep me level with my shoulders through the ball instead of falling under it. I've done that since I've pretty much started playing golf. So that's just kind of my normal routine.
Yeah, hopefully I can figure it out on the range and get something to go with for tomorrow.
Q. When you fall under it with your shoulders, end up short and right, is that how --
SPENCER LEVIN: It will end up -- yeah, it will end up kind of either starting right or overdrawing it a little bit.
So, yeah, trying to work on getting a little flatter. I tend to get kind of upright and aim left, which is a kind of a weird combo; and from there I have to block everything.
I was feeling like I'm aiming right and then trying to stay level with it. It wasn't working too good today, but I don't know, hopefully I can figure it out by tomorrow.
Q. And do you come into certain courses thinking that you have an advantage on a certain one and a disadvantage on another and where does this course fit in??
SPENCER LEVIN: That's a good question. I think to an extent, yes, but at the same time, a good shot here is a good shot anywhere pretty much. Obviously some courses might favor guys a little straighter, some courses might favor a bomber.
But at the same time, when guys say that, you always see a guy who is short, who might be leading a bomber's course, or a bomber leading a short, tight track.
So I think all in all, it's just how you're playing, and the scores are relative to the golf course. Like 8-under through two rounds would probably be about 50th at Bob Hope, so it's kind of relative to the courses.
Q. Yesterday you shoot 66 in the wind, much calmer conditions today; what's the difference out there for you today not playing as well; do you feel like you left some out there? And secondly, how gettable is this course today in terms of a number?
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, I think -- I only left a couple out there, just because I scored well today for me. I didn't hit a lot of fairways, didn't hit a lot of balls close to the hole; and I made the putts, the few opportunity I had, which was good.
So I think, you know, 2-under won't be a great score today but it won't be a bad one. So I don't really think I left any out there by the way I played, but definitely if you play well, you can definitely probably shoot -- I'll bet you see guys shoot 5-, 6-under this afternoon, for sure.
And the second one -- what was the second part?
Q. Actually the first part, just the difference for you in terms of yesterday.
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it's definitely more gettable today. I think you'll see some good scores for sure.
Q. I've noticed you backed up a little bit on your back nine. How big was the birdie on 18??
SPENCER LEVIN: Yeah, it was good. On 16, you'll see that's a gettable par 5. If you hit that fairway, you can reach it pretty easy. And I hit a bad second shot and didn't make birdie, which after a good drive kind of feels like a bogey on that hole. And then I bogeyed 17.
And the birdie on 18 was great. It feels good. I had a tough putt. I was just trying to lag it down there, it was good speed and it went in and that was fortunate, for sure.
Q. You mentioned you've learned out here, everybody is so good that you've got to stay sharp. What's been the hardest kind of lesson along the way of these kind of near misses that you've been having??
SPENCER LEVIN: You know, I think it's like I said, you've got to keep playing well. If you're making a bunch of birdies out here, there is somebody else who is going to be making a bunch of birdies. If you think you're playing great, somebody else is going to be playing great. It's just a different level than other golf. The higher tours I've been on, obviously the players get better, and then just one shot here and there, just making a putt, saving a shot is always huge at the end of the week.
Two or three shots looks like a million at the end of the week, and it is; it's a lot of spaces in between players. But that's less than a shot a day; so that just shows you the competition is so packed that one shot is always huge at the end of the week. I think it's just learning that whatever the putt is for or whatever, if you can save a shot, that's always going to help you at the end of the week.
Q. You mentioned yesterday that your 24 putts might have been the low total of your career, and then today, even though you didn't hit it as well, at least three of your birdies were from fairly long distance. Is it strictly the belly putter that's been helping you with that or how is your putting evolving??
SPENCER LEVIN: Since I got that belly putter, I've definitely noticed I've been making some more mid range putts. Before with a normal putter, I was always good -- I was always a good short putter but I wasn't a very good 12- to 20-foot putter. I saw my stats, it was weird, they were really good from short, and then bad, like really bad from like 12 to 20 feet.
I haven't really looked at the stats this year, but I'm sure they have gone up. I feel like I'm making a couple more a round, which is I think probably why I'm scoring better for sure.