What they said: Jonathan ByrdJanuary 08, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Hyundai Tournament of Champions transcript archive
CHRIS REIMER: Jonathan, good round today, kind of got yourself back into it, felt like you were probably closer and Stricker finished really strong but still a good round nonetheless.
JONATHAN BYRD: Especially the way it started, I had a day yesterday where I just didn't have much and really kind of stayed tough and had a lot of good two putts, a lot of good par saves to kind of stay in it yesterday just to shoot 2?under par. And then today, to start off with a couple of bogeys, could have gotten frustrated and could have let it go, but made a birdie and an eagle right back after those two bogeys and that was huge. Really played solid all day. Gave myself a lot of good opportunities and hit a lot of good shots, and drove it well.
You know, really had a great chance on the last three holes to finish a little bit better. Kind of finish the way kind of Stricker has, and maybe be two shots back or so, but ... oh, well.
It looks like I got in the last group, and that's kind of a feat in itself, being three or four groups back.
Q. With your six straight birdies in the first round and the way Kevin Na finished yesterday, five strokes back, do you feel like you're in it, especially playing in the last group??
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, at least I can take?? the last time I played with Stricker in the final group, I can't remember, is it Memorial, and I don't know if he had a four? or five?shot lead, and he?? wow, he just drummed me (laughing). He played fantastic, all day.
So he's a tough guy to catch. But I don't think any lead is too much. You know, you never know when somebody is not going to have their best day. I certainly didn't think I was going to make six birdies in a row when I started that stretch. That kind of stuff just happens.
So my job is just to kind of prepare for each day and go out there and see what happens.
Q. With being five shots down, does it make your game plan a little simpler? You can't play too cautiously, right? You've got to go for it, right?
JONATHAN BYRD: Yeah. I mean, it kind of all depends. There's some holes out there with the drivable holes, a couple of drivable holes, if you have the wind, the right wind, 14 being one of them, I laid up on that hole every day, and today I made birdie. That's a possible hole that you may pull out a driver if you need to make a 2.
And then the par 5s, you might be a little more aggressive going at a pin on the green, but I don't foresee myself changing my game plan a whole lot. I've just got to make putts, and Stricker has got to not play like he's been playing (laughter).
Q. Is this the best chance you've had at a title defense, being in the last group??
JONATHAN BYRD: Absolutely.
Q. Is there some significance to your green belt today? I'm not saying it doesn't match anything.
JONATHAN BYRD: It matches! What are you talking about?
JONATHAN BYRD: Geez.
Q. Thought it was lucky or something.
JONATHAN BYRD: I don't know, I was looking through our ?? they sent me lookbook, a Polo lookbook and they put pink and green together.
Q. Okay, if that's what they did, I was just helping Marty Hackel out at Golf Digest.
JONATHAN BYRD: He didn't tell you to ask that?? did he?
Q. Marte asked me to just keep an eye on you. One more thing, and that is you mentioned the finish, I'm sure you feel like you kind of let a couple get away, especially on the last hole, where you're in pretty good shape??
JONATHAN BYRD: I had about a 3?footer, I don't think it could have been more than three feet on 16, and that pin was pretty tough. It was right on the side of a slope, and yet to hit it the right pace, you had to play a lot of break and I miss?hit it and I just didn't hit it hard enough. All three holes, I knew I wanted to birdie some holes coming in and I kind of got in my own way and my speed just got a little?? not on pace and I left them all short.
Q. Isn't that the nature of this place, you can be close but not have a great look??
JONATHAN BYRD: That's how my day went yesterday. The difference of being a little bit shorter on 16 and putting straight up the hill and having an easy putt and being a little about above it, it's a fine line out here.
Q. Did you make some reference on TV that you had to go do laundry tonight.
JONATHAN BYRD: Last night. We've got to finish. My wife and I went on a date night to Roy's and there's a laundry mat right underneath it. So in the middle?? like appetizers, go down, order dinner, go back down, and we did that. We've done that probably the last three times we've been here. It's kind of been what we have done because we want to get our laundry done before we go to next week.
CHRIS REIMER: I can vouch for that. I was folding clothes right next to Jonathan last night. He was actually the one folding the clothes, too, I can vouch for that (laughter).
JONATHAN BYRD: Ritz?Carlton is a little expensive to clean your underwear. (Laughter).
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you.