What they said: Scott StallingsJuly 31, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: The Greenbrier Classic transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: Okay, we'd like to go ahead and get started and welcome the winner of the 2011 Greenbrier Classic, Scott Stallings. I know that has a great sound to it: PGA Tour champion.
With the win you pick up 500 FedExCup points, move inside the top 30 to 26. Just an incredible week. Despite your bogey on 17, you hung in there; and 18 obviously twice proved to seal the deal.
Just some comments on the week and how it feels to now be a PGA Tour champion, especially here at the Greenbrier Classic.
SCOTT STALLINGS: The Greenbrier has been absolutely incredible. The fans, volunteers, everybody that came and put the tournament together has been absolutely phenomenal. One of the best, if not "the" best tournament on TOUR, and I can't wait to come back. And to be a champion of was such a great event it was a huge blessings, and I'll never forget it for sure.
The day definitely didn't start off right. I blew it way right off the first tee and really struggled to find the fairway after the first nine holes. No. 10, my caddie kind of needled me and said, Finally we're going to hit the fairway. I said, I promise, I promise we can play better from the fairway. He said, We're going to get back to even par and we're gonna have an opportunity to win the tournament.
He told me that through the whole nine. Even though made a few pars here and there, he said, We're going to have a chance; we're going to have a chance; we're going to have a chance. I stuck with him all throughout the day, and he did an incredible job.
Had an opportunity to birdie 18 to get in the playoff and have the exact same shot. I actually put my ball on the same tee that I used in the same spot during regulation.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Have you had a more up and down round??
SCOTT STALLINGS: Well, I think this round was the tale of two nines. The front nine I couldn't do anything right; the back nine I had pretty good control of what I was doing. It was unfortunate we had to wait for 30 minutes on 17. I mean, that's a hole that looks really good to my eye and I felt good about it. But it got a little tight and made a bad swing and got a bad break and hit the tree and went into the water.
But my caddie stayed positive through the whole entire time. We've made some good runs on back nines here lately. Last week, I was three over through 12, six holes to go, and he said, I know you can get this back to even par.
I made three birdie on the last three. I birdied three of the last four holes to get it back. It's just kind of something that to be able to grind it out and make a few birdies coming in, that was the goal throughout.
I don't know. I don't like doing that, but it's nice to have the opportunity to make some birdies. David Feherty was pretty encouraging going off 8 going to 9. He said, Man, stay with us. You got a lot golf to play. It felt incredible to have a guy like that pump you up out while you're out there on the course.
Q. Can you explain the tattoo on your left ring finger??
SCOTT STALLINGS: It's my wife's initials, and it's actually my wedding ring. My real wedding ring is my wife's promise ring from her dad. It's Ruth 1:16 in Hebrew. Wherever you go, I will do. I can't wear it when I play, but for our first wedding anniversary, I had worn it -- the first year of marriage I had worn it 20 days, so I said, you know, I got to do something different.
Our first anniversary -- which we'll be married four years August 25th -- I got it done on the first wedding anniversary and it's stuck ever since.
Q. Kenny Perry got you into the Transitions. How important was that to your development performing there after getting an exemption??
SCOTT STALLINGS: Well, I can't say thank you enough to Kenny. He has gone more than out of his way to make me feel welcome out here, encourage me, motivate me, give me a hard time. He's probably done it all.
My wife and I actually went to the Keith Urban concert with him and his wife Sandy last night. They were unbelievably encouraging to us, and have been a major blessing. He's been a big reason why feel like I've been successful out here.
My rookie year I got off to a terrible start; missed the first five cuts. He helped get into Transitions because that's one of his corporate sponsors. Just kind of playing a practice round with him that week, and he put his hand around my shoulder walking on the first fairway of the practice round, and he said, Well, no more excuses. I'm sick of hearing it. You've been out here long enough; time to start playing like you know how to play.
I don't know, he gave me a hard time when I was close to the lead yesterday. He said, Ever corporate sponsor I have are you going to play good at? I said, I just hope you have some more. (Laughter.)
Q. What's it like to be your age, to be a rookie, to win over a million dollars, and to be a PGA champion right now??
SCOTT STALLINGS: All the money and everything takes care of itself. I mean, if you're out here, the money is great. It's a huge bonus. But I've wanted to do this since I was a little kid. Like I said before, I was that little boy running around chase autographs and yelling at guys because they wouldn't stop and sign my golf balls or so on and so forth.
But to wake up every single day and to have a dream about playing out here and watching golf with my dad growing up and just saying, Hey, how did you do this? How did you do that? Just trying to learn from watching guys on TV.
And then to have the opportunity it become really, really good friends with one of the best players in the history of the game in Kenny and to be able to call him a really good friend and mentor has been a huge blessing.
To be honest, I'm more excited about the FedExCup than I am the money. One of the biggest goals we had was to get to Boston. I was born just outside of the city, and I'm huge, huge, diehard Red Sox fan. To have them have the pairings party at Fenway -- they actually pay you to play the Pro-Ams. I told them just to have an opportunity to go in the gates at Fenway any time I can, I would be signed up for as many as I could.
Q. Talk about I guess the excitement and the thrill of a par-3 finish and how that kind of affected you today??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I think you have the par-3, and it's a birdie hole. It's a short iron and it's your second green, and you can kind of use the contours of the green to give yourself opportunities to make birdies.
Obviously I was disappointed coming off with a bogey on 17. But that shot on 18 today was the exact same yardage as 11. 169 yards and was the exact same shot. We tried to hot it the exact same way.
Kind of repetition and visualization is sometimes I work on with my coach and my sports psychologist really well on and as far as I kind of draw on really, really good shots that you hit. I hit a great shot on 11; hit it about four or five feet and made a birdie.
My caddie said, I want to see that same one. I hit it, and don't know if you could hear him in the telecast, but he was yelling louder than anybody for that ball to get close and obviously to make birdie and get in the playoff.
But running form, the back of the green to the tee is something I'll absolutely never forget. Obviously I felt like people were cheering for Bill and Bob as well, but I really felt like they were pumped for me. That's huge playing in West Virginia in a tournament and everybody has been phenomenal.
Obviously a day I'll never forget.
Q. I was going to ask you about the running. Were you a little winded when you got back up there??
SCOTT STALLINGS: No, I actually was more excited than anything. Just something that kind of happened. I wasn't really thinking about doing it. I kind of felt bad because those guys that had been waiting on me forever.
I don't know, I've been working with a trainer for about a month. He should be proud. No, I just wanted to try and get back there as quick as possible. To hear all the screaming and yelling that went along with it was great.
Q. Let's get the name of your caddie.
SCOTT STALLINGS: Josh Graham.
Q. You used an 8-iron, right??
SCOTT STALLINGS: I used a 9-iron.
Q. Did you think this morning in the middle of your round and the beginning of the week that 10-under would get you in a playoff??
SCOTT STALLINGS: No, I never thought of numbers. I just knew that after the Pro-Am, we had only played -- we got as far as seven holes in the Monday program, which kind of completely screwed up our schedule.
I signed up for the Monday Pro-Am thinking that I could play all 18 holes, hang out Tuesday, use the amenities of the Greenbrier, just kind of have a chance to enjoy.
Then we had the rain delay, and I just knew that after I played the six, seven holes, Josh and I were talking, I said, Man, 22-under is a pipe dream here just because greens were so firm. The maintenance crew did a phenomenal job. The course was in great shape.
Yeah, we never thought of numbers or anything like that throughout the week. Just tried to stay patient and take advantage of whatever we could.
Q. What was going through your mind when you two guys were putting, while you were waiting??
SCOTT STALLINGS: It's kind of cliche to say, but you always expect them to make it. Honestly, they didn't get to where they were without being able to make putts. I knew Bill had a little bit of a longer putt, but you always expect them to make it.
When Bob missed, I was kind of shocked a little bit and had to regroup and stand over it where I knew I had a chance to win. I was tired. It's was been a long emotional week. I just closed my eyes right before, when I was reading the putt, and just took a deep breath and visualized the ball going in the hole. It was great.
After the ball went I don't really know what happened. Everything is kind of a blur.
Q. You mentioned a Keith Urban concert last night.
SCOTT STALLINGS: I did. And the Black Eyed Peas the night before.
Q. What time did you get back to your room last night??
SCOTT STALLINGS: About 11:00. And that stuff, as you travel, I mean, I been home 17 days the entire year. As you travel, you try to find things to do to get away from a golf.
I think to have an opportunity to have concerts like that is not something we get an opportunity to do out here a lot, especially having to do with a golf tournament. We have to take advantage of it.
Mr. Justice is great to bring the bands in. They give us an opportunity to be up there close to the stage and utilize different interests where travel is a little bit easier. It was great.
But yeah, my wife is a big country music fan. She told me, I'm going to the concerts. You can go with me or not. I don't care. We went and had a phenomenal time. It's something we don't get a chance to do very much.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Real quick, just run us through your back nine birdies. Just give us clubs and yardages, and then we'll make you a free man.
SCOTT STALLINGS: No. 10, I had 135; hit a pitching wedge to about 15, 16 feet. Josh made a good read there and knocked it in. Kind of snuck it in the left side.
11, 169 yards; hit 9-iron about four or five feet behind the hole and made it.
12, I hit a great drive. We had 185 yards into the flag on the par-5. Hit 8-iron just off the front of the green; had about a 20-foot chip. Chipped it up there and made a birdie.
14, 153; I had 9-iron. That 9-iron has been pretty good. Hit 9-iron into the flag; had about a 12-footer; made it.
16, we had 98 yards; hit lob wedge to about a foot; tap-in for birdie there.
18, we had 169 yards twice; hit 9-iron and made birdie.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, 2011 Greenbrier champion. Scott Stallings.
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