What they said: Robert KarlssonJune 10, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: FedEx St. Jude Classic transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Okay. We'll go ahead and get started. Robert, thanks for joining us. You bettered a 4-under, 66 yesterday with a 5-under, 65 today. Obviously heading in the right direction. Just a few comments about the round today after the second round here at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah. I like this golf course and I played quite well over two days, and I scored well and I just like this place. I don't know what to say more. I hit a lot of good iron shots today, gave myself quite a few easy birdies. Yesterday I played the par-5s a bit better, but it's okay.
DOUG MILNE: You say you like it. Is it the course that suits your game, or is it the whole atmosphere, the music and the food, or is this the whole collective --
ROBERT KARLSSON: I mean, in general, when you're on the golf course, the music and the food doesn't make that much difference. It's over the whole week. I like the way we're treated here by FedEx and St. Jude. They do a great, great job. I think especially here it's so -- to be part of supporting St. Jude Hospital is fantastic. When I got here last year, I wasn't even aware of what St. Jude was, but all the job they're doing and also with FedEx being here, it feels like it's very, very important and good tournament to support, and I probably hope they played in it April, but that's another thing (laughter).
DOUG MILNE: Okay. With that, we'll open it up for some questions.
Q. You've had now six straight rounds here under par. You really dialed in on this course and everybody else seems to struggle, and you seem to go out and knock out under par here. What is it about the course you really dialed in on??
ROBERT KARLSSON: I'm not going to say that. No. I think last year when I played the practice round, I think I learned a lesson. I took on a little bit too much from the tee, this golf course, and I think if you start hitting it in the rough, it's very, very difficult to get it close to the pin sometimes.
It can be better to have an 8-iron from the fairway or 7-iron from the fairway instead of a wedge from the rough. The greens are firm and the rough is really, really brutal to control the golf ball out of. You can hit it, you can hit it really far, very, very far, because you can get some vicious flyers. But to control the golf ball is very, very difficult so -- so it is fairway that is -- you got to have the ball in the fairway.
Q. Robert, can you talk about your start on -- your first nine, a lot of birdies there to start with.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Yeah. I played well, played well the front-9. Front-9. I birdied the 11th, 8-iron, whatever, to 10 feet. Then birdied 15, which today was a nice friendly pin position on the front, if you hit the fairway, which I had, so I hit a wedge to 6 feet, 8 feet.
Then I hit a wedge on the 16th hole to 8 feet again and hit a 7-iron on the 18th to 4 feet. I hit a bunch of good iron shots, and it was nice obviously to get it going, because, as you said, it's not an easy golf course, you just don't walk out there and shoot 68, 67. It's always nice to get off to a good start.
I played very well on my back-9 as well. Gave myself a bunch of chances and it was good.
Q. Having played so well here last year and being in the playoff and then not winning, what kind of mindset does that give you as you're leaving here last year and then as you look forward to coming back here this year??
ROBERT KARLSSON: It's great. I mean -- I was a tied winner after 72 holes last year, nobody beat me over 72 holes. That's what was good when that happens. Then we have to find a winner. It wasn't me that time. When you've played well over -- on the golf course, you usually want to come back, and I definitely wanted to come back both for FedEx and for St. Jude, and it feels like it's a great tournament to support and a great tournament to be back here.
It's actually a bonus that I did well here last year. But this year is a new year and even now most likely going to be in the lead after two days. Makes no difference. We've come halfway and who knows, I might finish 55th. You never know. You've got to be very humble in this game and just keep going, especially on punishing golf courses like this.
Q. Robert, you have 11 wins on the International Tour. What would it mean to get a win on the PGA TOUR??
ROBERT KARLSSON: That is a question we discuss when it happens (laughter).
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Well, Robert, we appreciate your time. Congratulations heading into the weekend and keep it up. We see you back here tomorrow.
ROBERT KARLSSON: Thank you. I hope so.