RBC Heritage interview: Kevin StreelmanApril 19, 2013
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JOHN BUSH: Our current clubhouse leader here at the RBC Heritage, Kevin Streelman, 1 under par 70 today, 6 under par through 70 holes. Can we get some comments on your round.
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, I was pleased with the day. I knew it was going to be difficult. I didn't hit the ball quite as well as yesterday, but hit a lot of quality putts that just didn't go in, but hung in there and stayed strong mentally, and was fortunate to get in the house at 1 under.
JOHN BUSH: Any of those putts you thought were going in?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Some of them you knew were going to miss, but were hoping hard that they wouldn't. And it's one of those days. I just wanted to keep myself in contention and get myself in good position going into the weekend.
Q. Does life feel any different as a PGA TOUR winner than it did before, week to week?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Not a ton different, but I do feel a bit freer to be in the position I am, say, in a week like this week, because I'm not worried about a top 10 or top 5 or keeping your card. And I can just go out and try to win a golf tournament. I think that frees me up a little bit. We'll see what happens.
Q. But you're recognized everywhere you go, right?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Not everywhere (laughing).
Q. Are you recognized anywhere?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Not if Courtney is around me. I try not to make it feel any different. I guess in a way it almost hasn't even sunk in, to be honest. I'd say mostly out here to get the respect of my peers and to be in a position like this and feel more comfortable, I would say, are some of the biggest differences for me.
Q. How does Harbour Town fit your golf compared to where you play?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I would say Harbour Town is just a slightly smaller version of Tampa, Innisbrook. It has a similar look that kind of shapes through the trees. And has some nice kind of rolling hills and some rolling greens that kind of dip off on the sides.
This is just a spectacular golf course. To me it's one of the best we play. I think most anyone will say it, especially the veterans. You just have to respect it. You can't overly attack it, and kind of take what it gives you and hope your putter is hot.
Q. How different were the conditions today compared with yesterday? And because of what may be coming, do you feel good that you're in the house right now?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Yeah, I'm definitely glad to be done. But it started out I would say it started out kind of similar to yesterday, and a similar wind direction. So I felt comfortable playing my front nines, back to back with my turn. And kind of by the 9th tee is where it picked up. By this tee it really picked up, and now it's going to stay pretty steady throughout the afternoon. It makes it really difficult around here.
It's not a course you can necessarily have an out on one side, which most courses give you. Here you've got to be precise on your tee shots and second shots. When you get a 30 mile an hour wind gust hits you at the wrong time, it can hurt you. Those par 3s with water, and the pin positions it's going to be difficult.
Q. You had 26 putts yesterday, do you know how many you had today?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I don't.
Q. Was it about the same amount?
KEVIN STREELMAN: No, I didn't make as many putts as I made yesterday. I made the ones I needed to. I made a nice save on the last. But I hit a lot of good putts, just didn't quite fall in like they were yesterday. But I feel good about it.
Q. Does having won a tournament change how you are going to head into the weekend, your approach heading into the weekend?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I think it will affect the way I sleep at night. My coach and I, my trainer, my caddie, we all kind of sat down we try and look really long term career stuff. And then all of a sudden when you go week to week, these little ups and downs aren't as big a deal, whether you win or whether you lose, or make a cut or miss a cut, because we're looking up here (indicating). For me that's why I try to change my thinking and my whole team's thinking. And that has, I think, freed me up to win Tampa and to be comfortable being in the top 10 on the FedEx list, and be comfortable in a position like this.
If I play well on the weekend, great, if I don't play well, great. I know I'm doing the right things from my practice and workout and for a lifestyle situation for the long term with my career. So I'd say that frees me up to either win or lose, I'm okay with either one.
Q. What do you like in the 2023 World Series, Mr. Long term?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Cubs (laughter).
Q. Do you own any plaid pieces of clothing in your closet?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I bought a cool hat here last year that I wear when I'm home. I'd like an additional piece.
Q. Would it match the jacket, so you could wear it together?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I would like to bring a jacket home with it, but we'll just take it one day at a time.
Q. What were the two best shots you hit today, most memorable?
KEVIN STREELMAN: Today, I had a real sweet hybrid into No. 15.
I had never planned on going for that green in 2, but with that south wind it was helping off the right. I roasted the driver where I could get it home with the hybrid. After I hit it I pulled it and I said, oh, no, I knew I'd hit it well and it landed perfectly and rolled up there where I could have an easy two putt for birdie. So those two shots back to back, including the 7 iron on 14, which is always a nerve wracking shot here.
Today's wind, actually the south wind was probably the easier wind because it's helping off the right. I know it's going to switch off the north tomorrow, which will make it in off the left, which will make it a challenging golf hole.
Q. The 7 iron on 14 wound up how close?
KEVIN STREELMAN: About 18 feet, pin high left.
Q. What part of the round did you have to really work on your attitude and keeping your mental focus where it was? And what technique did you use to keep it there?
KEVIN STREELMAN: I think when I bogeyed 8 and then had a silly bogey on 11. I got to 12 tee and just kind of was able to shake it off and say, let's just finish strong and let it go.
I guess looking at kind of long term stuff in my career it helps me with good days and bad days because I know I'm going to have those days. But rounds like this I'm more proud of sometimes than the really great rounds. You can battle in there and save turn a 74 into a 70 or 75 into like a 69, just on short game and putting. That's what differentiates a champion and missing a cut.
I've been working on trying to get better at that. And I think the true champions of our past were great at that. And see what happens.
JOHN BUSH: Kevin Streelman, thank you, sir.