What they said: Jonas BlixtOctober 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: McGladrey Classic transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: We'll go ahead and get started. Jonas Blixt, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Fresh off your win at the Frys.com Open last week and Top 5 finish the week before that in Vegas. You were saying the past two weeks have been the greatest two weeks of your life. So if you could just kind of put that in perspective as you're here in Sea Island for the McGladrey Classic just outside of Jacksonville Beach where you live.
JONAS BLIXT: Well, the last two weeks has been ?? I mean I've been playing really good golf, and to share that with my family who came over has been absolutely fantastic, and I couldn't ask for anything better. To win a tournament when they're here and them running out on the last green and spraying me with champagne, that is something I'll never forget, and to catch it on camera was even cooler. So hope I get to do that again.
DOUG MILNE: With that we'll take questions.
Q. Who's all here??
JONAS BLIXT: My brother and his girl friend. They're sitting in the back.
Q. I'm not going to turn around and look right now. Keep going.
JONAS BLIXT: And then it's my sister and my best friend from back home and his girl friend.
Q. Well, let's move on to Florida State football then. I'm just kidding. What do you do now for the rest of the year, what do you do for an encore??
JONAS BLIXT: For an encore?
DOUG MILNE: How do you follow up your win? Try to get the second win?
JONAS BLIXT: That would be delightful to win the last two. I mean you don't go to a tournament unless you think you can win or you want to win. So I come here. I mean I have pretty good confidence in my game right now, and the things that I've been doing after the win is ?? it's taking a lot of energy so I will see what my body does and how I respond to it, so there's a lot of new things that's happening the last few days.
Q. Can you give us an idea of that from Sunday night to here, what you've done that you hadn't done previous tournaments Sunday through Wednesday??
JONAS BLIXT: It was pretty cool when you won because you don't really do what you want to do in one way. The people kind of guide you where you're supposed to go and what you're supposed to do. And I had no clue what was going on. And I'm really happy my agent was there to kind of hold my hand. It was a neat experience. I had a lot of fun.
But there's a lot of responsibilities that you have to do, and I mean I'd like to kind of sneak under the radar a little bit. I don't want to be ?? I kind of enjoy being by myself and practicing a little bit and stuff like that. I'm not really used to having a camera in my face as much as I've been having the last few days.
Q. To be specific, what did you do Sunday night after you were done with your press conference, for example? Signed a bunch of flags.
JONAS BLIXT: Yes, a lot. I'm happy I can spell my own name now.
There was a lot of interviews with TV and radio afterwards, and then we went straight to the prize ceremony. We were on the green there. I was kind of happy actually. I thought I was going to have a speech on the green, and they told me that I didn't have to, so I was kind of excited about that. I didn't even take speech class in school because I don't like to speak in public. So I guess I gotta get used to it now a little bit.
We did that. Then we went to the volunteers party at the Frys tent, was there for a little bit and then we went to a champions dinner, and then we had to rush to the airport to catch my plane, and luckily we snuck in a glass of champagne before we got on the plane and I slept the night through on the plane. So it was a nice night.
Q. So how much sleep did you really get??
JONAS BLIXT: Not much. Not much. And then I woke up the next day and my siblings wanted to play TPC Sawgrass, so we went straight to the golf course. So actually I hit balls the next day, which I wasn't really thinking I was going to do. And then we had quite a celebration on Monday night in Jacksonville with a bunch of friends and family.
Q. Where did you go??
JONAS BLIXT: Salt Life. It was either there or TacoLu.
DOUG MILNE: Can't go wrong with TacoLu.
JONAS BLIXT: That's an amazing place.
Q. When you talk about what next, are you playing Disney??
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, absolutely. I'm trying to get into the Top 30.
Q. I was going to ask you.
JONAS BLIXT: That's my goal. It's not going to be the easiest thing to do, but whenever you got a chance, you gotta try to take it.
Q. I'm just curious, did you go over to the Institute when you were at Frys last week??
JONAS BLIXT: I did not, no. I didn't even know it existed.
Q. It does.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah. And I'm going to go over there next year. Absolutely. They invited me. So I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Your status is going up.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah. Now I get invitations. I was expecting a red carpet, too.
Q. Have you guys already talked Rookie of the Year??
DOUG MILNE: Yeah. How much does Rookie of the Year kind of jumped into your mind now, the prospect of taking that honor?
JONAS BLIXT: Oh, that would be huge. That would be ?? I mean really cool to get that. But I try not to think about that kind of stuff too much.
I was walking down the 18th fairway last week, and you know, all these thoughts raced in my mind that what would happen if I win, if I parred the last hole. I mean that's not the way you win. If you start thinking about all this stuff, then you lose focus on what you actually have to do. So I told myself just stay in the moment and play, and I mean it would be really cool to get Rookie of the Year. But if I don't, life still goes on and I'm still the same person, still trying to play the best golf of my life. It's out of my hands. I mean it's other people that makes that decision.
Q. Is there anything interesting about how you got to Florida State??
JONAS BLIXT: Not really. I don't know. I played ?? we got to play a college event before I went to college, and I think I was second in that college event, and then I got a lot of offers after that. Otherwise I don't think they even knew who I was. So again, I got lucky that I played well in that tournament.
Q. Who else recruited you or offered you??
JONAS BLIXT: I had Baylor. I had Tennessee. Couldn't go to Tennessee because I'm not a big fan of orange. And became even more ?? don't really like orange anymore because of the Gators.
DOUG MILNE: You're wearing orange shoes today.
JONAS BLIXT: I know. I got talked into that. Please don't bring that up.
Q. And secondly, when you left Florida State, why did you settle in Jacksonville instead of Orlando or West Palm where they speak Swedish down there??
JONAS BLIXT: I stayed one year in Tallahassee just to ?? you know, I know everybody there, and that's kind of my second home. And then I moved down to Orlando, and I moved to the wrong place in Orlando. It was quite a retirement place where I was living.
Q. Where did you go, the Villages??
JONAS BLIXT: Almost. Close. Celebration. I think I was the only single person in that community. It was almost a little weird. So I got out of there after a year. That was not a very good time.
Anyway, and I moved to Jacksonville because one of my better friends from college lives there, lives in Jacksonville, and I grew up close to the water, and it's kind of ?? it's a laid?back attitude, and I hope ?? or I think I'm kind of laid back as well, and just fit me perfect. I mean I wasn't very happy in Orlando, to be honest with you. And now I actually love where I live right now.
Q. Whose idea was it to go to Celebration??
JONAS BLIXT: My swing coach at the time. He lived in Celebration and he got me a good deal. And it was not a good deal. And I got ?? I don't know if I can say this word in an interview, but I got screwed on that deal. The guys ?? I lived in one of the stepmother's suites or whatever, and the guy was a mechanic, and I asked him to repair my car when I was gone for five weeks, and he drove it to New York and back. So things like that happened all the time. So it was a bad deal. So I'm happy I'm out of there.
Yeah, it was quite an interesting year. And I had a girl friend in Tuscaloosa as well at the time, and she was putting some pressure on me that I needed to see her more often, and I think it was just too many things going on at one time that kind of reflected in my golf game at that time, too. So I got off to Jacksonville. I became single.
Q. And you won??
JONAS BLIXT: And life is a lot easier.
Q. Which tour were you on at the time, Nationwide??
JONAS BLIXT: Nationwide, yeah. Yeah.
DOUG MILNE: Russell Knox, is that who you were referring to as your friend in Jacksonville or did you all become friends after ??
JONAS BLIXT: After I won? I got new friends? (Laughs).
DOUG MILNE: No. Once you joined the TOUR.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah. I knew Russell from ?? we met on the Nationwide Tour, Web.com Tour. And he's a great guy. And my best friend who's here, he knew Russell before I moved there. So he kind of told me that Russell lives there. And Russell is a great guy. He's about to bite the dust. I think he's getting married pretty soon. I have a feeling.
Q. The mechanic was your roommate??
JONAS BLIXT: No, no.
Q. What kind of car was this that he absconded with??
JONAS BLIXT: So they lived in a house, and they had like a suite like over their garage. So.
Q. Were you renting from him??
JONAS BLIXT: I rented it from him, yeah. From the family. And yeah, it was great. Every morning they got up at seven, you know, and opened the garage and woke me up. I tried to sleep in a little bit when I'm on off weeks. So yeah, I wasn't very excited about that either. And it was not that good of an experience. Sorry, Orlando.
Q. What kind of car??
JONAS BLIXT: It's a Ford Mustang. Yeah. Then I forgot to call my windows up, and I was gone for five weeks, so you can imagine what happened to that car after that. So I'm still trying to get my car together.
Q. How did you figure out he'd taken it to New York??
JONAS BLIXT: Because I didn't completely trust him. So I wrote down the mileage on my car.
DOUG MILNE: How many miles was it.
JONAS BLIXT: I think 2700miles in four weeks. And I kind of approached him, I was like, how did you get 2700miles on my car? And he was like, well, I took it back and forth to the shop every day. And I'm like, for five weeks, there was that much wrong with it and he was like, not really, but I needed a car. And I was like, still 2700miles. It's hard to do that. And then I heard from somebody else that he actually drove up to New York. So that was, yeah, quite an experience. And then I cleaned the whole house when I moved out. Absolutely spot free and I didn't get my refund back. Yeah. Wasn't very happy about that either. Then at that time I just wanted to get out of there.
Q. He thought you would be confused by the metric system.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah. Don't trust that guy. Can't tell right now who it was, he'll lose his business.
Q. Just out of curiosity, where are you going to stay at Disney??
JONAS BLIXT: At Disney? Not in Celebration. I'll tell you that. I haven't thought about that yet. I might rent a house. The family is still going to be with me. So more towards downtown, I think. Not out where all the tourists and everyone is.
Q. What part of Sweden near the water??
JONAS BLIXT: Small town. It's right in between all three big cities, so it's close to Norway.
Q. By Malmo??
JONAS BLIXT: No. Six hours north of Malmo. So it's three hours north of Gotenberg, three hours east of Oslo and three hours west of Stockholm. So if you look at Sweden, it's a big lake kind of in the middle where people actually live, and I live on top of that lake.
Q. Any other golfers from that area??
Q. Have you had any other great life lessons this year that kind of measure up to the one about the guy driving your car to New York??
JONAS BLIXT: Not really. I tend to get my caddie is pretty good life coach as well, so he kind of tends to help me out a little bit. I don't do everything that he does. I know what's wrong or right. He doesn't.
But no, I've been pretty good this year. I think so at least. Nothing I will disclose to you right now.
Q. As a rookie, you've gotta be learning stuff all the time.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah. I'm an old rookie. I did a lot of mistakes in the beginning when I was on the Web.com Tour. I stayed in crappy hotels, and I remember one that was in Arkansas. You Pricelined a lot when you're on Web.com because it's hard to make a living out there, and I got this two?and?a?half star, and it was the most disgusting place I ever stayed in. I went straight to Target and got Lysol and sprayed the whole place. I sprayed it every night. It was ?? yeah. It was quite an experience.
Q. We seem to get a lot of stories out of Arkansas, these hotel rooms??
JONAS BLIXT: We might need to upgrade Arkansas a little bit. I had good hotels after that. I was there for three years.
Q. Did you carry the can of Lysol with you after that, or just in case??
JONAS BLIXT: I like that about America. The stores stay open 24/7. It's not like Sweden they shut down at like 6:00 and everything is done. It's kind of crazy, you come back and you want something at like 8:00 at night and you're used to the American lifestyle. Oh, just going to go get it. No. It's closed. Especially during the summer. Nothing is open. So it's nice to have vacation.
Q. What kind of hobbies do you have, Jonas, maybe something that you grew up that you still do now? You living close to the beach, do you surf at all?
JONAS BLIXT: I'm trying to get into surfing a little bit. Last time I surfed I swallowed so much water, it was ridiculous. I almost puked. It's not a good experience. My buddy that I ?? my roommate, Nick Flanagan, he plays on the Web.com Tour. He told me he's going to teach me. So I'm looking forward to that. I'll wait till he actually does that.
And I heard paddle boarding is pretty cool, so I think my brother and I and whoever wants to join us is going to do that this week, unless we get eaten by sharks or something.
Q. I'm curious how many times living where you do, have you played Sawgrass and just looking ahead to getting into THE PLAYERS Championship??
JONAS BLIXT: I love that golf course. It's one of my favorite golf courses. Put it in the top three probably. It's hard for me. It's really hard. And I still love it, and I love challenges, so that's probably why I love it.
It's weird when you talk about a tournament that you haven't played yet, because I always feel like, you know, you start from scratch, you have no clue what's going to happen, and I have no clue what's going to happen this week. I could finish last, I could finish first, I don't really know. But the only thing I know, I have confidence coming into it.
And I'm really looking forward to THE PLAYERS. I was there last year, and the course looked like it was in great shape, and I really wanted to play, but I just missed out.
Q. You were actually at the tournament??
JONAS BLIXT: I walked over there to watch some of my friends play. There's some Swedish coaches there that I talk to, and you know, when you walk around and you watch everybody else play, it kind of inspires you to play as well and play better so you can play the tournaments.
Q. Your three years on the Web.com, you were always kind of close to that 25, I think, weren't you, to graduating. Those three years like getting close each year and watching other guys go and staying there??
JONAS BLIXT: I thought they were really good for me. I wasn't good enough to play on this tour, mentally or my golf game. And I learned a lot. Lucky I was in contention a couple of times and learned kind of how to deal with it, and I don't think I would have handled the pressure and everything that well if it wasn't for the Web.com Tour last Sunday. So I'm very grateful for that tour and for the experience, and they run it really well. I had a good time, really good time out there.
I tend to miss my family a lot, and the schedule on the PGA TOUR gives you the opportunity to see friends and family back home a little more, so I think if it wasn't for me graduating into the PGA TOUR, it might have been my last year out there. It's a tough living, and I missed my friends and family too much. That's what's hard about being over here. You give up a lot, give up a lot of love.
Q. Would you have gone to Europe and played??
JONAS BLIXT: Probably. But this is where I want to play, and this is where I want to be. But there's a lot of different ways you can get here. So yeah, the Web.com is one of them. It's a great way to get here. You learn a lot and you become a better player.
Q. What were some of those improvements in your game from those last couple years out there to this year??
JONAS BLIXT: I mean I started hitting the ball better, and my putting has always been pretty good but it's got better, too. Mostly the mental side, learning how to play, how to attack a golf course, how to make a lot of birdies, how to try to win a tournament. I didn't do that out there. But at least I got the experience of being there and trying, and luckily I experienced enough on Sunday to pull it out.
Q. When there was six or seven guys thereabouts tied or within one shot of the lead in the last hour there at CordeValle, how much did it help your chances having finished the way you did in Vegas the week before, or did it at all??
JONAS BLIXT: I don't think it did really. What I learned about my experience in Vegas was how to approach the last day, that I didn't have to be perfect to win a tournament, and I tried to play perfect golf the last day in Vegas, and that obviously didn't work.
So just trying to attack the golf course like I usually do. Just trying to make as many birdies as possible, and I felt pretty confident coming into the last few holes because I played pretty well on them through the week, and they set up really well for me as well. So and I knew 17 was drivable as well, and I felt like I had the driver, the perfect distance to get there. So I was a little surprised when I drove it over the green and had to make a hard birdie instead of an easy birdie.
DOUG MILNE: All right. Jonas, we appreciate your time. Congratulations again on the win, and best of luck this week.
JONAS BLIXT: Thank you.