What they said: Bryce MolderJuly 24, 2008
PGA TOUR staff
THE MODERATOR: Good playing, can you tell us about the conditions of the course and the weather, etc., and how you played??
BRYCE MOLDER: It was probably as easy as it's going to be for the whole week. There's very little or no wind. The fairways are running just enough to where it didn't play really, really long, and the greens were holding just enough. If it rains, then it it's going to play long. If it doesn't rain, the greens are going to get more and more firm. It didn't play easy at all. A good, tough golf course, and that's about as easy as it can play probably.
THE MODERATOR: So far your year, I know you've had a second earlier in the year, seems like you have had a lot of Top-25 finishes; is your game coming around a little bit??
MOLDER: It's funny, I've had a lot of finishes, like you said, between about 20th and 35th, which doesn't do you much out here. And it's about two or three shots from getting to the next level, which is good, but I did have a good second place finish. More than anything, the last two or three weeks, I've started to roll the ball really well, still not making very much and then today they all fell, which is a good time.
I've had a lot of rounds lately where I get it to 2-, 3-, 4-under early and for whatever reason, miss a short putt, not a bad shot, just quit thinking for a hole or two, and I turn 4-under rounds into even or 2-under, and because of my putting the last four or five holes, I really should probably have been even or 1-under par, maybe 2-under par, and I turned it into four, so it was nice to finally get on that side of it.
You never know when it's coming. Some of my best weeks have been after my worst weeks, so you just kind of take each week as it is. You kind of know when you're starting to play well but when things start to fall into place, you just don't really know when things are going to happen.
Q. Did you ever play in a National Championship here??
MOLDER: I did not, and NCAAs I missed, I played '97 to '01, so I never really played in a National Championship here, and so I've never played here before. It's a beautiful place, and gosh, it's a good golf course every day of the week, much less in tournament conditions.
Q. I'm sure you've been asked this countless times, but with the record you had in college does it ever get frustrating having not made it as big as some -- there's three other guys that are four-time All-Americans in college and two of them are fairly prominent players; do you ever get tired of waiting for maybe bigger things to happen??
MOLDER: You know, it's really frustrating. I don't know, there's different ways of looking at it. I've gotten past kind of thinking, well I should be doing this because I did really well before. There's a lot of people that played well at some point in their career and it takes a while to get back there, and the game is cyclical; it just is. I just know that in five or ten years, I'll be glad that I went through what I've done through.
But in the meantime, it's not a lot of fun. But I've learned a lot. It's forcing me to focus on some areas of my game that weren't great, and it's hard because I never struggled up to that point, even junior golf, I would jump up and after a year of a new age bracket, I would start playing well, and so the hardest part about it was just being not where should I be, and I should be beating these guys and such and such. It's just when you know that you're good at something, and not playing well, it's just not fun. That's just not very fun. That's been the most frustrating part. But expectations are whatever they are, you know. Everybody's got their own.
Q. When you say you had never struggled at any level before this, what was the biggest change for you trying to duplicate what you did in college??
MOLDER: Sometimes, I don't even know what, it was probably a combination of ten things. It was -- I didn't hit it very well. I felt like the way I hit it wasn't good enough to play out here. I just told myself, I didn't hit it straight enough, and now I don't care how straight I hit it and once I started not carrying, then I started hitting a bunch of fairway.
That's the funny thing about this game. Once I accepted I don't hit a lot of fairways, and there's a lot of really good players that don't hit many fairways and what I'm good at is I'm great at scrambling and good at putting. Once I finally accepted that that's what I do well, I started doing the other things pretty well and I think that was a big step.
But that's the hardest part about professional golf is it bullies you sometimes to feel like there's a certain way to play, and it's got to look a certain way and score a certain way and in the end they only see you for what the scorecard says. There's a lot of really pretty rounds of golf at even par that you're going home on the weekend, not here, but most times.
Q. A couple of players that I've talked to the last couple of days said the same thing, Kyle and Jarrod said they got out on TOUR and Jarrod thought he had to practice eight hours a day. Have you gone back maybe now, are you closer to playing the way you did in college??
MOLDER: I have to force myself to not hit balls now. I'm not a big range guy anyway but I'll go out and try to figure something out and all it does it get me thinking and I play better by feel and I kind of adapt to how I feel throughout the round and throughout my shots and throughout the week and find shots that I can play for the week, and that's what I always did; instead of feeling like on a right-to-left hole you have to hit this little perfect draw that turns down the middle or a back right pin you have to hit it this high.
It was an ugly round today actually at times. My good shots were really good. I made five birdies and two long putts, and two of those were gimmies, and played the par 5s over par. So it wasn't a pretty round at all, but, you know, there's probably going to be a lot of pretty rounds at even par today.
So if I can go figure out how to hit a little better tomorrow, it will be just a little bit easier on myself. But I've learned to not care what it looks like.
Q. The comment you made before, once you stopped caring --
MOLDER: Really, once I stopped looking at how many fairways I hit and how many greens you hit, and all of a sudden I think one week I led in fairways in regulation; I've never been close to that before, and it was on the tightest, narrowest most awkward golf course for me that I could play on, and I think I looked at it after three rounds, and I was leading, and I was like, that's got to be a mistake.
But no, there's no right way to do it.
Q. I looked in the stats on you when you were coming in, and nothing is way high up there accept birdies and eagles.
MOLDER: Exactly, yeah. My putting, I wouldn't say I figured it out; people that say they figure it out, that's the last thing I want to say. But I feel like I was doing all right on putting and two or three weeks ago, I started hitting the putt on line again, and since then I've been hitting edges and just barely misreading it and then today, you know, they happened to go in. Hopefully it keeps up. And you've got to putt well. Doesn't matter how well you hit it; you have to putt well because you're going to hit it in the rough some.
Q. Pure greens this morning, too.
MOLDER: Yeah. That's the good thing about the early round, and you have a late round, you don't have that, but the ball goes a little further in the afternoon. That's why you see some low scores in the afternoon sometimes, because the course plays a little shorter.
THE MODERATOR: Can you go through your round??
MOLDER: Bogeyed 4. Birdied the next hole and I birdied 8.
I laid up with a third iron and wedged it up there pretty close and missed it.
Then I made one from -- actually the best shot I hit all day was I didn't even hit the green. I hit it just in the back fringe on 5 and made it. That was a 3-iron, and on 8 another par 3, I hit a 6-iron to about two feet. I hit it to about a foot on No. 10 with an 8-iron. And made that and then I made about a 35-footer on 11. Made a lot of pars, some pretty good pars in there and made about a 30-footer on 17. I hit a 4-iron, a fat 4-iron, a little chunk and release.
Q. You birdied three of the par 3s.
MOLDER: That's what I was laughing about, 1-over on the par 5s, and if I play the par 5s even for the week, I'll be happy. Usually it would be the other way around, but I'll take it either way.