What they said: Robert GarrigusJuly 28, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
DOUG MILNE: Pleased to welcome Robert Garrigus into the interview room. Our 54 hole leader at the RBC Canadian Open. Can you talk about your round?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yes. I kind of started off a little slow and then I hit a perfect tee shot on the par 5. Hit it in a couple of feet, made eagle and started swinging really well. Got my distances dialed in and made a couple long putts. I got one on 9, 11 and 12. Those are really hard putts to make.
You know, it was a fun day. I had fun with Willie and Scott, and we kind of fed off each other. And there was kind of a little lull there. I think our best ball was pretty good.
DOUG MILNE: Let's have questions.
Q. You've established a 54 hole scoring record for this tournament. Wiped out Arnold Palmer's mark from 1955.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Sorry Arnie.
Q. What does that say about the course this week? I guess obviously your mindset going into tomorrow will be you gotta make a lot more birdies?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah. And the soft conditions. The course is getting a hair firmer. Not too much. But it's getting a little firmer. That 3 iron I hit on 18 went 290 yards. We weren't expecting that.
But you know, the course is soft, and I've been leaving myself a tremendous amount of opportunities on the golf course to shoot low scores. And you know, that doesn't happen very often. So I'm taking advantage of it, and you know, everything is going well this weekend. I needed to go low tomorrow, too. Just three days. A lot of guys haven't been able to hold on to the lead this year.
And it's tough. It's that final round pressure. Everything is going through your head. You're in the spot light and the guys behind you are trying to get you. So it's going to be tough to block that out, but I'm look forward to the challenge. It's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow.
Q. What's the mentality tomorrow. What do you do? Do you go out in a bit of a defensive mode or do you just go nuts?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Well, that's the thing. Today I'm going to be patient tomorrow, and when I have a green light, I better make a good swing because that's when good things are going to happen.
You know, today the first three holes I had one green light and I kind of hit it wrong. And I'm going to have to go out and make birdies tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to get to 21 under par which is crazy to say at this golf course and a national open, but that's the way the course is playing.
And hopefully if I can get out and get off to a good start on the Front 9, you never know how low it can go. I just need to stay patient, and that's the biggest thing is not get ahead of myself. Play one shot at a time. It's the biggest cliche we got out here. One shot at a time means a lot to us because we're not thinking ahead to like where is this flag or what am I going to do on 18. You just gotta think about the next shot. That's the most important one, what my coach always preaches. So that's what I'm going to go do tomorrow.
Q. What club did you hit on 4??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Driver, 5 iron.
Q. Secondly, what kind of lie did you have and what was the issue on 18? Was that against the bridge?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, it was right up against the bridge, kind of where the grass met the bridge and as it grew over the bridge and it was kind of at the bottom of the crest. So I kind of had to I had to nice it out of that lie and catch part of the bridge, and hopefully the ball top part of the bridge and bounced up, and that's exactly what I did.
If I hit it a millimeter fat, I break my wrist, and I was really scared to even do that. Even thinking about I might be top of this ball because I don't want to have to take any grass. And I hit it perfect. I clipped the ball probably about an eighth of an inch underneath the surface of the ball. So it's probably I had a little smiley face on it afterwards. But I had to nice it up there. It was kind of scarey.
Q. What club??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Pitching wedge. About 152 yards.
Q. First contact it made was at the bridge??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah. When I hit the ball I kind of niced it. It felt like the ball hit the bridge and kind of popped up in the air. It didn't look like it. I don't think it looked like it on TV, but I know that either my club or the ball hit the bridge.
Q. Did you have a lead in Memphis going into the last day??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, I had a two shot lead.
Q. Does it help at all that it's only one shot, which is pretty much next to nothing, as opposed to a four shot lead??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, absolutely because I know a lot of guys that have had four and five shot leads this year that have gone out and didn't know how to handle it.
I know how to handle it. It's fun. This is what we leave for. Having a one shot lead and playing good golf, this is a blast. I'm very blessed to be in this position. I gotta go make birdies tomorrow. I know I can't shoot even par and just expect to win a golf tournament. So I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. Just followup on that bridge shot. That was pretty fantastic. I was watching it there. You had the rules official. What were you looking for there??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Well, since the bridge, they marked the bridge in the hazard instead of cutting the hazard lines to the edge of the bridge. So if you hit it on it, you could get relief. Instead, it was in the hazard so I couldn't ground my club.
I had the official test the ground for me, because I couldn't test it because it was in a hazard, to tell me if there was any bridge underneath my golf ball. And he said there was a little bit, but it was a couple inches ahead. So I was thinking, oh, boy. But luckily I picked it perfect.
It came out really nice. I thought I was almost going to get up to the green to have a birdie putt. That was the issue. We were just trying to figure out what my options were. I wasn't going to take a drop.
I'd made one bogey all week, so I was definitely going to hit the shot regardless of what happened. It was tough. I decided to trust it. I've been trusting it all week and I wasn't going to flinch on that one.
I'd made so many good swings the past three, four weeks to finish fourth at Congressional, striked it. I finished 25th last week or in John Deere and absolutely striked it that week and just didn't make anything, got frustrated with my putting. This week I've been hitting it so good and I need to lean on that tomorrow because if I keep hitting it close and give myself chances, it's going to be a fun day.
Q. Robert, just going back to Memphis, how are you a different player since then??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I'm not even close to the same player. My fitness level is off the charts from where it used to be. I rarely find myself sweating on the golf course, and if you remember Memphis, I was sweating like a pig. And I just think I'm more mature.
And I actually like to know where I'm at on the 18th hole instead of just being an idiot and not knowing I have a three shot lead and blowing it in the bushes to the right where I could have hit it. It's a completely different feeling from now to Memphis. I hits so many good shots in Memphis and I had one bad hole. And that's what I took out of it. And I learned from it.
I was sitting on the 18th tee at Disney and I looked at my caddie, and I was like, well, we got a three shot lead and I know exactly what not to do. I kind of giggled it off, made par and won the golf tournament. That's my attitude.
My attitude is completely different. I like playing golf. I love being a professional. I like thanking the fans. I like thanking the volunteers, you know, because they come out to watch us on their dime, and I'm very blessed, and I'm just it's so much fun to be in this position. It's not very often you get in this position, but when you do, you gotta cherish it, and that's really what I'm doing.
Q. Just in some respects is it fair to say that maybe what happened in Memphis is the best thing that's happened to you??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: 100 percent. I could have won that tournament and not known how to deal with the failure. But I think winning a golf tournament outright, that would be easy. And what I had to do was hard, just dealing with all that and having to man up and do the interview afterwards and say, hey, I'm an idiot. I didn't know how to handle it. You know, that really helped me in my career for sure.
Q. Obviously you're a power player, and hitting a lot of three irons off the tees this week. Given all that are you still surprised you made only one bogey in three rounds??
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah. I am surprised. I usually make a few here and there because I hit it crooked every once in a while, and I can deal with that. I get to playing out of the trees and I get to playing out of the fairways. Every time I've hit it in the rough this week I've had a really good lie. And that's what has to happen to be in my position. If I hit it in the rough today and had some bad lies, I wouldn't have been able to control the ball like I did.
It is kind of surprising, but my golf in the past few months has been exciting for me, just because I've been striking it. And hopefully I do that tomorrow. I got the same swing keys as I have all week, just kind of relaxed hands and turn and turn. It's been a lot of fun. That's all I've been thinking about, and it's been pretty nice so far.
Q. Doug put out a tweet about this earlier. You just referenced it as well. How is it you're under the pressure, leading a golf tournament the way you are today and yet you still have the time to go up and thank volunteers? I find that absolutely, in this day and age with the kind of new breed of golfer out there, new breed of player, I find that refreshing and pretty compelling?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I've been doing it for seven years, and I don't look for the accolades of thanking volunteers, but every single time I thank one, they come to me the next year and they say you're the only guy that thanked me that week. It makes me feel good just to say it.
I like to do it after I make a bogey or a double just to give somebody some gratitude to just kind of get your mind off of things as well. I thank the volunteers as much as I can. You know, it's hard when I'm super focused and I've got my head down and I'm thinking about something, but if I see one, if I make eye contact with a volunteer, I always thank them, and I thank the fans for coming out. Like I said, it's on their dime. And we need the fans. We need the volunteers. We need the sponsors, and a lot of guys out here don't lean that way to thank the volunteers, and I've had hundreds of volunteers come up to me and say thanks for saying thank you. And that means a lot.
DOUG MILNE: Robert, thank you very much for coming in. Appreciate it.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Thank you.