What they said: Jonathan ByrdFebruary 16, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Northern Trust Open transcript archive MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Jonathan Byrd. Jonathan, you got to 3 under today. If you want to talk about your round and what it was like in the wind and then we'll have a few questions.
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, we rented a house this week, and we're staying up on a bluff about five miles away. I got out of bed this morning and walked outside, and I was pretty anxious about playing this golf course today because it was howling on top of that bluff, and it whipped all day. I don't know if I was prepared for it, but I just kind of my approach to the golf course today was just to kind of keep it in play and kind of have a pretty conservative game plan.
But once we got out there the greens were a little softer than I thought they'd be, and I just hit a lot of good iron shots. I kept it in play off the tee. Two bogeys, one three putt, and then a bogey on 18, which is kind of understandable. I played real sharp.
Q. It seemed like it was not only windy but it seemed like it changed. Not only was it gusty but 10 was downwind for a while and now it's kind of going this way. Did that make it even more complicated??
JONATHAN BYRD: No, it was pretty easy to figure out which way the wind was blowing. We messed up a couple times, but it didn't hurt us a whole lot. You kind of had a pretty good feel where it was coming all day. The hardest part was some of the downwind we had a lot of downwind holes today on this golf course with that wind. It's not the predominant wind, and it was hard to stop it on some of the holes, a hole like No. 12, and then when you get that much downwind it will knock it down some of the time. Some of those shots are actually more difficult than the into the wind holes.
For the most part I felt like it stayed pretty consistent.
Q. Was No. 18 playing pretty hard into the wind??
JONATHAN BYRD: Especially where I drove it. I hit a little quick hook left and had about 245, 250 to the hole and made my 5. But yeah, that's a tough hole no matter what. Bill Haas and Justin Rose hit good drives and they were still hitting a 3 iron into that green or hybrid.
Q. Having been anxious looking out of that window this morning, did things turn out to be a little better than you were expecting??
JONATHAN BYRD: Yeah, I was surprised. Once I got out there, I started thinking, hey, the holes you've got to kind of hold on, 7, 8, 9, and then 17, 18, that's only five holes. The rest of the course is essentially playing downwind. So I was just kind of I tried to come out with a kind of conservative game plan, but I got on 1 and felt pretty good, and I just made some good aggressive swings and had about a 20 footer for eagle on 1, and then a good shot into 2, and 3 I stiffed it for birdie and made a couple good pars. I lipped out for a 2 on 7. I just kind of kept hitting good iron shots, so I kind of stayed on the aggressive.
Q. Is iron play more important than the tee shots on a day like this with the wind, if you had to put a premium on one of them??
JONATHAN BYRD: Yeah, I mean, I think this golf course puts more of a premium on iron shots because some of these hole locations, you've got to be pretty precise.
Q. What was your best birdie today??
JONATHAN BYRD: Best birdie? I would say let's see, I had five of them. Probably 7, kind of a hole I've kind of struggled with when the hole gets in the back of that green, and I hit a great 8 iron in there. It wasn't that hard a shot, but I hit it right over the hole, it hit a slope and it came down and it lipped out about a foot from the hole.
Q. When you talk about being surprised by the softness of the greens, do you get a sense they put a little bit more on it knowing it was going to be brickish with the wind??
JONATHAN BYRD: I would think so. I don't think we got enough rain yesterday to merit the greens being softer today. So it was probably a good move. If the greens had been really firm, it would have been pretty unbelievable out there.
Q. What did you hit on 3??
JONATHAN BYRD: 3, the par 4 down the yeah, 3 I hit driver, lob wedge.
Q. What were your other two birdies, 1, 3, 7??
JONATHAN BYRD: 1, 3, 7 and then 16, 17. So I was 2 under going into those last three and hit a great 9 iron to about four feet, five feet under the hole on 16. And then 17 I hit it about ten feet right of the hole.
Q. What did you have in for your second on 17? No way to get there in two today?
JONATHAN BYRD: No, I hit it up in the left rough, and I had 250 to get to the next set of bunkers, so I probably had 320.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Jonathan. Good luck tomorrow.