Honda Classic Interview: Luke GuthrieMarch 01, 2013
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MARK STEVENS: Like to welcome Luke Guthrie. You shot a 63 today, pretty impressive considering the conditions today and all that. You want to talk about your round and then we'll have some questions.
LUKE GUTHRIE: Yeah, yesterday I was playing well, and today, I continued my play and I was playing well. This year I've had a solid year so far, but haven't quite been able to get to 3‑under, pushed through that today and got to 7 and felt good.
Q. Have you ever gone this low before on TOUR?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I think I shot 64 last year at the John Deere, which was 7‑under there.
Q. That was your best finish?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Mm‑hmm. I went low last year at the Web.com at Omaha. Had maybe 61, 62 or something like that.
But on this tough golf course, that's a pretty good round out there, so I'll take it.
Q. Talk about the John Deere, that seems to be ‑‑ that's right where you're from, is that a course you know?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Yeah, I grew up about two and a half hours from there. It's bentgrass greens, I feel right at home, have a lot of friends from Quincy and Champaign and the Illini community come up supporting me and got rolling there Sunday. It was awesome, everybody was really pumped and kind of carried me through. That was a very exciting week for me and some pretty good memories.
Q. So could you kind of talk about the highlights of your round today, as one of the guys we talked to earlier, said you had to hit it in the fairway.
LUKE GUTHRIE: For sure, around this place, this rough is pretty gnarly around here. I did a good job of that, putting it in the fairway, right off the bat on 10, 11, getting the ball in the fairway, because if you miss a fairway on those two holes, I don't know if you're going to get there in two really.
Got birdies on 12 and 13, rolled in about two 15‑footers which was nice to get the round kick‑started and kind of get two birdie opportunities there and to take advantage was nice.
Hit a good shot in on 15 to about six feet, that back pin, kind of pushed it in there and was able to make that.
Let a couple go on 18. Didn't make one there on that par 5. Had some birdie opportunities ‑‑ missed one on 16, but kind of got back on track on 1, put it in there about six feet and kind of got me back going.
Q. Wouldn't it be better to hit it in the rough and avoid mud balls?
LUKE GUTHRIE: You definitely get them out there.
Q. Did you have any bad ones today?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I didn't have too many bad ones. I mean, it's an outdoor sport, so you kind of live and die by that a little bit. You might get mud balls, you might not, got to deal with it.
I got one on 6. I had some mud on the right of the ball, and obviously the lake left, so I was a little nervous, just gave myself a little cushion, aim further right and it worked out pretty well. Drew right in there. So I think the mud actually helped me there on the drawback into the wind.
Yeah, it's tough. You're going to get them. You have to deal with them but that's how it is.
Q. Did you feel on the verge for a round like this?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Yeah, definitely did. I actually my coach, Coach Small, asked me last night‑‑ when I went back to Champaign in my off‑week, he kind of helped me with my putting and my grip was getting really weak and just kind of cleaned a few things up.
He asked me how I was going and I said this is the best offense I've had on a golf course in a while. Even though I shot 2, I was really hitting good, crisp shots, firing at flags, and I felt like I could have shot 5‑under yesterday pretty quickly. I was pretty excited to get back out here and kept it rolling.
Q. Did that have any, I don't know what the word is, maybe bearing, or not a massive impact, I don't want to overstate this, but starting the year playing with Scott and Russell, and kind of being in the same age group, what did Russell winning and then Scott playing well early mean to you?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I mean, I played junior golf, college golf, so we all know each other pretty well. Obviously Scott's my teammate. I mean, it's just great to see those guys playing well right away. We all believe, the rookies coming out, believe that we can compete right now and win right now. With their performance coming right out of the gate, it just proved it in the first tournament.
So obviously gives all of us a little more confidence coming out here and competing against them in the Web.com, Russell, all last year, and everyone else knows that we can do it then.
Q. You knew it already; this just was more of a reminder?
LUKE GUTHRIE: It's nice to validate, but yeah, knew it.
Q. How did you find out about Rory out there?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I just found out walking through the door. (Laughter) So I had no clue. I was just kind of going about my business out there. I mean, I don't know the reason for what he did or why he pulled out, so I can't really ‑‑
Q. Wisdom tooth.
LUKE GUTHRIE: Wisdom tooth ‑‑ so, if he's hurting, he's hurting.
Q. Thoughts on playing in the final group on a Saturday?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I'm pumped for it. I don't think I've got to the final group yet. I was about three groups off at the John Deere last year I think. I can't wait for that. Hopefully whoever I'm playing with, I don't know if it's twosomes or threesomes, but I like playing in front of people, making birdies, they can kind of get you going, get the momentum rolling. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. You've kind of answered this, but you're like nine months removed playing for the Big Ten championship, this is pretty amazing, isn't it? Do you kind of pinch yourself at where you are right now in your career?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Yeah, it's been great to get out here right away. Sometimes it's hard to hard to kind of break into the system. That tournament last year at Columbus, where I lost in a playoff, although it's not fun to lose in a playoff. But that's probably my biggest tournament yet; to get me some status, somewhere to give me opportunities. Obviously I cashed in on those, which is nice, but that was probably the biggest week so far looking back.
Yeah, over the off‑season, I had to kind of pinch myself, realizing that I was getting ready to go play for the TOUR, when I was preparing for that and finishing up school. I feel pretty comfortable right now. Just going about week‑to‑week.
Q. I have two really stupid questions to finish with. Did you set any goals at the start of the year that you would share, or be willing to?
LUKE GUTHRIE: First goal I didn't achieve, I'll share, that I wanted to get to the Match Play. But besides, that win a tournament. I keep it pretty simple. I want to win. Obviously you want to keep your card, but not a huge fan of that goal, because that kind of.
Q. Keeping your card?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Keeping your card, that's obviously a goal but that puts a ceiling on you a little bit. Obviously you want to get in the Playoffs and go deep and make a run and get into the majors.
Q. So you don't see keeping your card, it's almost setting the bar too low in terms of limiting yourself?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Yeah, you just don't want to limit yourself. Obviously that is a goal, but not the end all, be all. That will happen if I take care of my business and try to go out there every tournament and try to win.
Q. Secondly, what's the most cuts you've missed in a row?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I think I missed two in a row between ‑‑ I missed Maryland at Web.com and then I went over and got a sponsor invite into the Fry's and missed that cut. Then I rolled in about a 20‑footer on the last hole in Jacksonville on the Web.com to make the cut on the number, so that was nice to kind of end that run.
Q. I just thought it was interesting last year to listen to Harris English talk about the learning curves of last year, picking yourself up after failure, which you didn't fail a lot in your amateur days.
LUKE GUTHRIE: For sure. You need to ‑‑ there's big momentum in all sports, so you don't want to go in the wrong direction. I know I missed the first cut this year at the Sony, and that next tournament, you really want to make that cut and get off to a good start and I actually didn't.
I think I shot 1‑over there, but I came back with good rounds and just kind of ‑‑ just a process of getting the tides turned and that all led to today's round and everything came together finally.
Q. Will you talk to Mike tonight?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I'm sure he'll send me a text, shoot a couple texts back and forth.
Q. What will you tell him about today?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I'll tell him I got the putter going. He helped me a little bit when I was home. It was about ten minutes, he was just like: Yep, you're doing this, this, fix that.
Started rolling it better, got easier. It was really difficult to start my ball online. It was way too hard. Just making the game a little easier right now, and it seems the balls were going in today, and just looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.
Q. You've never had any help with alignment, have you?
LUKE GUTHRIE: Alignment?
Q. In terms of your brother standing behind you?
LUKE GUTHRIE: No, obviously I've had my issues with alignment in the past but I've never really had that. I'm still getting used to the fact of having a caddie really. (Laughter) nine months ago, I'm carried my own bag.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on being able to line a guy up before he hits any shot, or even a putt.
LUKE GUTHRIE: I think it's totally okay. Obviously the rule states, I think caddie just can't hang out behind him while he hits a shot. As long as it doesn't slow up play, do what you've got to do to hit a good shot.
Q. I know you shot great today. Did the course play easier or harder condition‑wise?
LUKE GUTHRIE: I think it was very similar. Obviously we played the ball down today, so you might get a little mud here and there. But it's the same story it's going to be all week, put the ball in the fairway or else you're not going to have much of a chance around here.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks for your time.