MORE INTERVIEWS: Shell Houston Open transcript archive
DOUG MILNE: Bill Haas, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a 5-under, 67 in the Shell Houston Open. With that, just some comments from you and we'll take a few questions.
BILL HAAS: Yeah. Today felt pretty good, but, I mean, the putter was really good today. So, I just -- hopefully that works again tomorrow and, you know, keep it nice and give myself a chance coming down the stretch.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. With that we'll open up and take a few questions.
Q. Been doing anything different with the putter later to get in the groove this week or just getting on some nice greens?
BILL HAAS: Little bit of both. The greens are perfect and this game you can hit nice putts and miss, and luckily this week I've made my share of birdies, so just all my good putts are happening to fall in so far.
Q. Did you tinker or make any tweaks this week?
BILL HAAS: No. Obviously you're always working with putting, but, you know, same putting thoughts that I've had all year, basically.
Q. Seemed like everybody thought it was going to be a lot of wind this afternoon and maybe people would separate themselves, but instead it just become one big horse race, it looks like.
BILL HAAS: Tomorrow you're going to have to play very well. I mean, within the Top 20, there's guys within three maybe, maybe even more. So there's been low scores this week. I don't know what the weather is going to be tomorrow. Heard some storms may be coming, but certainly going to have to shoot a score under par. You can't just hang on and hopefully everybody else will fall back as well.
Q. Was it last week you were talking about the injury, and how's that doing now?
BILL HAAS: It's fine. I don't even know if I said I was injured. It got blown out of proportion a little bit. It's just one of those things lot of travel, your neck -- you get a tweaked neck, just like anybody gets it. It was bugging me a little bit, but it really wasn't even an issue last week.
Somebody said how are you feeling this week. This neck has been kind of bothering me a little bit. Didn't really have any expectations. It turned into an injury (laughter). I'm not injured. I feel fine, feels great this week.
Q. Your playing with a guy who is also hot. Can you reflect how the two of you tend to lift each other's game.
BILL HAAS: I was saying earlier through 6 holes I don't think he missed a shot and missed every putt, and I hit one in the water and then I made one about a 20-footer for birdie. We were shooting the same thing. I said, well, if I'm going to keep up with this guy, I better start hitting it better. Seeing him play well and start making some birdies, it definitely makes, you know, you want to make birdies.
I think also we saw leaderboard, there's a lot of low numbers out this morning. I think that kind of gets in your head, too, is this course is -- you can make birdies out here today and maybe gets you in the aggressive mindset.
Q. You tweak your neck after a flight or something?
BILL HAAS: No. It was L.A. week and it was just -- it's not even anything. I won't even put it out there. It's not even an injury. It's fine.
Q. Did you ever talk to your dad about this tournament?
BILL HAAS: Yeah, little bit. It was one that he played over the years and won, it was one of his 9 victories here.
Q. Different course and different time and all that, but --
BILL HAAS: I wouldn't say we talked about this one any more than any other one other than Augusta. That was one I always went to. I don't know that I ever even came here as a kid. They didn't have daycare like they have now. We didn't travel much when we were younger.
Sure I'll talk with him tonight or text with him. Like I said, it's a totally different course. He'll just say be patient, probably, and have fun.
Q. You still pretty much run all your rounds by him or at least once during a tournament?
BILL HAAS: Every night we talk about how I play or how he plays. It's fun when you can bounce it off somebody that really gets it, what you went through out there.
Q. Is he going to want to talk about your round more than the basketball game tonight?
BILL HAAS: Probably. But we won't talk about it too much. He knows what's going on and he'll be watching, and I just hope I can do better than I've done my last few previous Sundays. I'd like to get out there and play nicely and just give myself a chance coming down the stretch.
Q. How much fun is it going to Sunday when you're in the mix and it's another opportunity but they don't come along all that often?
BILL HAAS: You're exactly right. Being up there near the lead, you maybe don't sleep as much tonight because you're thinking about it and excited and anxious and want to do well. There's nothing better. It's the reason we play. You know, more times than not, maybe it doesn't happen -- doesn't work out in your favor, but, you know, that's okay. Just being there is a lot of fun.
Q. What have you figured out about what works for you and what doesn't work for you on Sunday in contention?
BILL HAAS: I don't know. You got to grind it out. Anything can happen. My win at the Tour Championship basically proved you just never know, anything can happen and you can get a great break and work out for you or it could go the other way. Got to stay patient and try to hit every shot as best you can.
Q. How young were you when you first went to Augusta, do you know?
BILL HAAS: Man, I was probably an infant. From what I remember, probably earlier than when I even cared what was going on, you know. It wasn't until I was probably 10 to 12 that I even appreciated what the Masters was. Definitely something I grew up, my family loved going to, during Easter, spring break, whatever, and it's a great week. It's one I always look forward to.
Q. What do you appreciate specifically about it?
BILL HAAS: Just the history behind it. The fact that my uncle won there, my dad played a number of tournaments there and did well, and just being in the field is a special feeling, and I'd love to get there on Sunday and feel these same feelings I'm feeling right now.
DOUG MILNE: We appreciate your time.