What they said: Charles Howell IIIJuly 10, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: John Deere Classic transcript archive
Q. Charles, very nicely done on a very hot day.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. Today it was Moline again, hot and humid. But yeah, it was a nice day. It was good to finish and played the closing holes well. And obviously there are some birdie holes on that back nine, but you still have to take advantage of them and it's nice to do that.
Q. A lot of guys are not, though. How much more difficult is it today out there, because you had the tough day yesterday??
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. It is a little more breezy today, but you know, there's still -- I think where the golf course gives you a couple -- at No. 10 it's a fairly easy flag there on 10, and then of course, you have 14, 16, 17. You'll see some birdies coming in, but there's still some good holes out there.
Q. You're going to the Open championship again off your work last week and throughout this season. Are you looking forward to it? It's been a couple years.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. I played there at St. George's in '03, and it's an interesting golf course. I remember a lot of it, and it was my first Open, so it's a place that's special to me, and I'm actually quite looking forward to going back.
Q. A place where Todd Hamilton was telling me you gotta be patient enough to know that you're going to hit a lot of good shots that are going to end up in a lot of bad places.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. It's Links golf. You're going to see that. There's enough humps and bumps in the fairways to make it interesting, but I think last time only the winner shot under par. So it's a hell of a test.
Q. You gotta feel awfully good about your game going in, though. You're playing as well as maybe you've ever played right now on a run??
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. My game feels good. I still need to tidy up a few areas for that type of golf over there, and it's more a question of getting accommodated and learning it and sort of getting settled in.
Q. Thanks for the time. Enjoy the flight. Have a great time over there.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Thanks. I appreciate it.
Q. 66, 66, 64 on the last three Sundays. You seem to have something figured out there.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, I wish I knew exactly what it was, but I think -- yeah, a day like today I felt I had nothing to lose. I felt that a low score was out there, but I really had -- coming from as far back as I was trying to shoot a low one and really get some momentum going for next week.
And who knows how it'll turn out. But I knew I probably couldn't catch Stricker today as well as he was playing, but it was nice to get there a little bit.
Q. Can you talk about going to the British Open next week? I heard your comments before you were talking about some humps and bumps, and a couple of guys have said that there were about three holes, 17 and 18 that are pretty difficult. They were hoping the RNA had changed things around.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah, you know, it was my first Open so I didn't have anything to compare it to at the time, so I quite assumed that links golf was that way. Having played more at other venues, yeah, this place seems to have more of the bumps and uneven lies in the fairways, so you get a lot of balls land in the fairway and kick out where at other venues a good shot would actually hold in the fairway.
Yeah, it does have a couple blind shots on it, which are maybe not the greatest or most appealing to players' eyes, but it's still a major, it's still the British Open and it's still Links golf. So you're going to get goofy stuff anywhere.
Q. Some of them were saying that there may not have been almost any rain there in two months. How tough is that when as Todd Hamilton was telling us, your 3-iron could roll on the ground as far as you hit a driver out here on a TOUR event??
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. There's the case where sometimes the fairways run faster than the greens. We've seen that before. And it just requires a lot of learning the golf course, a lot of -- I remember playing practice rounds at some of them where I thought why is this bunker here, and the wind turns around and that's why it's here.
So it's about learning the venue, getting comfortable with it. I think probably from Moline, Illinois to Sandwich, England is probably about as drastic of a change as you can get.
Q. I was going to ask you is there anything you can do here at John Deere that sort of helps you really get ready for what you'll see over there??
CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, you're still playing. You're still hitting shots. I do quite a bit of work on the driving range, some different stuff, et cetera.
No matter where the event is, I'd rather be playing going into one as opposed to sitting there thinking about it. And heck, John Deere is nice enough to give us a charter flight over there. It's hard to beat that.
Q. Everyone wants to win a golf tournament, but it seems like a lot of golfers kind of agree that if somebody's going to three-peat in this thing, it's a nice guy like Steve. Kind of talk about that. Seems like he's gotten a lot of respect out here, especially among his peers.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Yeah. One of the more impressive things with Steve is how he lost his card, what, in '05 or '06, right in there and he's come back to at one point 3 in the world. You can't find a nicer guy, but it also he shows a lot of heart and guts to come back and do that. Clearly he knows something about this golf course that other of us don't, but he's playing some great golf.
Q. Charles, the last two Sundays have you been kind of free-wheeling it, too, coming from the back up??
CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, last Sunday not as much as this Sunday. You know, last Sunday I felt I had more of a chance entering the final round because the difficulty of the golf course and because of how it plays here, you know there's going to be a lot of birdies and you expect that. So it was a little bit more free-wheeling I would say today than last Sunday.
Q. Looks like three straight top 5s; you gotta feel pretty good about where you're at.
CHARLES HOWELL III: No. I mean it's weird. It's funny how things in golf can turn around. You never really see it coming or expect it until it happens, and you know, my putter's been a lot better.
That's been behaving better. But yeah, it's such a damn crazy game. You never know when it's going to turn around.
Q. Charles, you had seven birdies today, no bogeys. Did you have to save yourself at all??
CHARLES HOWELL III: No. There was always a couple times in there where you have to save some stuff. But you know, on this golf course you get a mix, and there's quite a few birdie holes and a few holes where par's still a heck of a score.
So you know, to make par and get past those holes was good, and then I played the closing holes well. There's still birdie holes out there on 14, 16, 17, so yeah, it was just nice to finish it off.
Q. Great. Thanks for your time.
CHARLES HOWELL III: Thank you.
Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.