MORE INTERVIEWS: Sony Open in Hawaii transcripts archive
JOHN BUSH: Scott Langley joins us here at the Sony Open after a 5‑under par 65, currently tied with Russell Henley with 18 holes to play. If we can just get some comments on the third round.
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah. You know, got off to a great start, birdied 1. That's a pretty tough hole, so made one from off the green there, probably a good 30‑, 35‑footer, which was nice, and just‑‑ that kind of established a nice rhythm. I was kind of nervous starting out, but to make that and then birdie 4, as well, just felt really good. Just kind of tried to keep it going from there. Was pretty solid today. I made two mistakes, a couple mental mistakes that cost me some bogeys.
But for the most part I was really pleased the way I managed my game and the way I placed the ball around the golf course, and I putted pretty well again. Just another good day.
Q. Do you just putt like this all the time? And tell me a little bit about these greens, why you're so comfortable.
SCOTT LANGLEY: If I putted like this all the time, I might have been out here a few years ago, so no, I'm putting great. I just feel really comfortable on the greens. They actually remind me somewhat of the greens I putt on at home at the Dye Preserve in Jupiter, very similar, kept very well, really good pace, very little grain for Bermuda greens, and I'm just really comfortable. My caddie and I are reading the greens really well, I think that's probably the biggest thing, and I just have a really good feel for the speed. The whole week my speed has been really good. That's the biggest key for my putting is if my speed is good, I generally get it pretty close if it doesn't go in.
Q. Watching you compete, the two of you are friends, and yet you're competing. Is that helping your game?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah, definitely. It's a fun dynamic competing against Russell because we're such good friends. We've known each other for so long. We're pretty much in the same situation; he came off the Web.com TOUR, I came out of Q‑school. This is our first start as TOUR members. We kind of have that common bond out there, and you can see it, I think, when you see both of us play. We're having fun, we're smiling, we're happy to be here. So I think that helps us play good. We're definitely just excited about the opportunity and just cherishing it.
Q. You're going into tomorrow tied for the lead. When do you guys turn it on against each other?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Me and Russ, I mean, we have a good dynamic, like I said, we're as competitive as you'll ever see, but we understand‑‑ we have a perspective, we're both friends. That'll never change, no matter win or lose tomorrow. The golf course tomorrow, maybe we'll take it a little more serious sometimes, but we'll still be joking around quite a bit I'm sure to ease the tension a little bit. But I know it'll be fun.
Q. Did you ever imagine playing four days when you guys started off together?
SCOTT LANGLEY: No, I never imagined that. It's certainly odd. But you know, if there was a guy in the field that I would love to do it with, it would be Russell because we play pretty similar games, and we're kind of the same guy on the course. We play pretty quickly and pretty easy going, kind of feel our way around, not too technical. So there are a lot of guys that I enjoy playing with, but Russell is definitely one of them.
Q. When was the last time you were paired with him?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I don't know. I really have no idea. A long time ago. To illustrate that we're good buddies, we did a golf trip last year with just five guys, and me and Russell were two of the guys, and that was probably the last time we played together. We went up to Sea Island, Georgia. We did the same thing this year. Russell bailed on us, but last year we had a blast just playing Frederica and Ocean Forest, just kind of a guys' trip. Russell was a part of that. That might have been actually the last time we played together.
SCOTT LANGLEY: We kind of titled the trip the pros versus the Joes because we had a couple‑‑ a few like good golfers and then a couple guys who don't play golf competitively. But I mean, it was pretty even, I think. We gave them some shots, so it was pretty even.
Q. Some of the guys have been talking about the distance from the tee to the hole and that you have to club down. Do you have any particular strategies for the Hawai'i courses, and is it different than the mainland golf courses?
SCOTT LANGLEY: This golf course in particular the fairways are running pretty firm, so I've kind of used my low 3‑wood shot very often because it suits this place really well. I can carry it maybe 230, but it's going to run like 60 yards. It really goes. And we've found that it's basically gone about 290 on average on these fairways.
Playing that shot in the wind and on these firm fairways has kind of been my strategy thus far, and that's the same thing I'll do tomorrow. There's very few holes where I'll actually hit driver, maybe 4, maybe 5. That's kind of our strategy is to just put the ball in play, and that 3‑wood actually goes pretty far here. It puts us still in very similar position as if I would have hit driver.
Q. Is there still a surreal quality to this whole thing?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah, for sure. It might be that way the whole year for me because I'm so happy to be a member of the PGA TOUR. But the competitor in me knows I just need to buckle down and play good golf and everything will take care of itself. I'm certainly very happy to be here and excited about tomorrow and excited about the way I've played and excited to be tied for the lead.
But just need to stick to my game plan tomorrow and not get too caught up in all the hype and just play golf like I always have.
Q. In the back of your mind have you been worried maybe when reality is going to intrude, if there's going to be a bogey or double bogey from there and things take off from there?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I'm trying to program my mind where this is my reality. You know, I feel really good about my game. I expect good things to happen, and I've worked really hard. When I get up on the tee, I feel pretty confident in my golf swing and confident that I know where the ball is going to do. So no, I'm not afraid of making any mistakes. I'm just trying to execute my game plan as best I can. That's a combination of being smart and being aggressive at times. But no, I'm not afraid of making any mistakes, I'm just playing golf like I always do.
Q. You mentioned the wind a little earlier, but there hasn't really been a whole lot, as to how it usually is here sometimes. That coupled with the rough being a little shorter here than usual, has that helped you get off to a good start and helped your confidence?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I think it just makes the golf course a little more playable. If it were‑‑ we played here Sunday and Monday earlier this week, and it was really windy, and it was really hard. I haven't been to Hawai'i that much, but I feel like that's kind of the trend with Hawaiian golf is if it's windy, golf courses play really hard. If not, you can kind of get it a little better because most courses are designed for the wind.
Very similar to Florida, actually, where I live. It's kind of the same deal. But no, the wind has been down, especially today, and I anticipate tomorrow should be really calm again based on the weather forecast.
That definitely helps. It makes it easier to control distance and easier to putt to be honest when it's not windy.
Q. Do you think it might help that it's threesomes tomorrow and that Timmy will be with you so you don't get caught up just the two of you and lose track of everyone else behind you?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Maybe. Maybe. Just because it's a good pace. You know, we're used to playing in groups of three this week, and we've established a pretty nice rhythm, Russell and I, playing in that pace. So yeah, whoever it is that we play with tomorrow, I'm not even sure. Tim Clark?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I just saw a board. That'll be great. He's an awesome player, and it'll be great to get to know him and see what he does, and more so just‑‑ no matter who we play with, I think Russell and I just focus on our own game just like we have the whole week.
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah, I'll be the guy on the inside.
Q. Where were you going into the last day of Q‑school position‑wise?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I think I was right on the number. I was like tied for 24th, something like that.
Q. What do you anticipate would be more pressure, going into that Monday to get your card or going into this with a chance to go to the Masters?
SCOTT LANGLEY: There's obviously more at stake here, but to be honest, in the last few months of golf I've played, the last day of second stage of Q‑school was the most pressure packed I've played to be honest. Getting through that, having no status last year and knowing what that's like for a whole year, it all kind of builds into one day, and your whole year the next year is based on one day. Even more second stage than finals. Finals I went in with a really good outlook and I was already playing on house money I felt like. No matter what I was going to be PGA TOUR, Web.com TOUR, and that kind of freed me up and helped me play good.
Obviously tomorrow there's more at stake than both of those events. But I'm having a great time. Hawai'i is so nice. It's relaxing. If we get nervous at all, I just take a peek right out there and kind of get away from everything for a second, and it helps me to kind of regroup and just kind of settle myself down a little bit.
Q. It'll be a lot tougher at John Deere, by the way.
SCOTT LANGLEY: You have the river there. It's a nice view.
Q. Were you aware of the group from Champaign following you?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah, it was great seeing those guys. One of those guys is a great booster of the Illinois golf program, and we've been good buddies for a long time ever since I went to school. I had no idea he was going to be there. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going to be pretty rowdy as soon as I did anything good. It was nice to hear some Illini cheers out there.
SCOTT LANGLEY: Yeah, Justin Kirby.
Q. What are some things that you learned in college that you find most useful in your situation right now?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I learned so much in college, just the way to play the game. Coach Small at Illinois taught me how to ‑‑ more so with my technique, just really get into playing the game and scoring, and he stressed the importance of short game and putting and wedge game and flighting the ball down, all of which I use here playing the golf course.
There's a lot of things. You know, he just‑‑ I learned so much about how to really build confidence, and it all just comes from preparation. There's no substitute for it.
Just understand I need to be really prepared for this week, and just kind of embracing everything that comes with playing good out here, just all the people, all the attention, all the hype, just feel like I'm pretty prepared for that stuff, thanks to Coach Small and his knowledge.
Q. On Wednesday if you were a betting kind of guy, what kind of odds would you have given yourself back then?
SCOTT LANGLEY: I don't even know sports betting. I don't know what kind of odds would be good or bad. I would bet on myself, but the odds‑‑
Q. So you did?
SCOTT LANGLEY: No, I didn't. I'm not a sports betting guy, so I didn't. But I don't know, the Vegas odds probably weren't very good. But I'd like to think that maybe somebody bet on me, and I hope to make them a big winner tomorrow.
Q. I had a question in regards to a lot of people have been talking about the belly putter. Do you have any thoughts if the PGA decides that they might discontinue the use of that?
SCOTT LANGLEY: Certainly a controversial topic, no doubt about that. You know, I'm a rookie, I know when to keep my mouth shut about stuff like that. But you know, I'm kind of a traditionalist with it. I've always putted with a short putter, and I don't know, I'm kind of a traditionalist. It is a swing with a short putter, and a belly putter ‑‑ I've never used it so I don't really know. Maybe there's some merit to it. Maybe the timing is a little weird and that's why some people focus in on the negative side of banning it just in response to people winning, but if you look at stats, it's kind of an interesting scenario. The stats don't really back up guys blowing everybody away using the belly putter.
But I think for the future of the game, it's probably beneficial to have regular putting be the norm. I think for the average golfer, maybe you should let the belly putter still be available. I'm sure tons of average golfer will still use it, not like they play by USGA rules all the time like we do. But there's definitely two sides. I see both of them. I'm kind of a traditionalist, but again, I'm a rookie, and my opinion doesn't really matter that much yet.
JOHN BUSH: We appreciate your time. Play well tomorrow.