Wyndham Championship interview: Chris Stroudtext sizeAugust 15, 2013
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DOUG MILNE: All right. Chris Stroud, thanks for joining us after a successful 6-under 64 in Round 1 one of the Wyndham Championship.
With that, I'll just turn it over to you for some comments on Round 1.
CHRIS STROUD: You know, I didn't hit it that well, actually. It was -- I think I only had one, two, really good drives. I think I hit four, five iron shots. I kept myself in position. I made a lot of good putts.
I probably made 150 feet of putts today. Not a bunch of 30 footers, just a lot from 8 to 15 to 20 feet and unusually don't make all those. Usually you make one, two a round if you're playing well but it was nice. I kept myself in position. I kept myself below the hole.
Got off to nice start on 10, I hit a 3-wood, 6 iron right by the hole, four feet and it was the slipperiest 4-footer ever on 10. They're almost running out of room on 10 to keep the pin because the greens are so slopy.
You know, I hung in there. Just kept it in play. I birdied a few on the back. Actually the front-9, I birdied 5, 6, 7, I believe in a row and I made an incredible save on 4 and that's really what kept the round together.
I hit the right rough off the tee and I hit it -- pin is middle right and I hit this crazy flyer 9 iron from 170 yards, went way over the green and hit a really great chip to ten feet and made that. I think that putt kind of kept the round together.
You know, just made a lot of putts. I got away with a lot today. I'm going to the range today. I won't be going home very quickly. I'm coming here to get sharp for the FedEx and I'm glad I'm here.
DOUG MILNE: With that we'll take some questions.
Q. Lot of the players are talking about the greens and someone said maybe the best you guys putted on all year. Can you talk about that? When you're making putts, they're real good.
CHRIS STROUD: It definitely is. It's Champion Bermuda they changed it to. It's the best grass. I think there is. My local club in Houston where I'm a member, Lockinvar changed three years ago to the same grass and it's the best there is.
You can make them firm and fast. They roll like pool tables. After a couple years they'll even get better. I'll say these greens are probably Top-5 all year and Jackson, Mississippi, they were the best this year, the same grass. That's a huge bonus.
So, like I said earlier, this golf course has always been a really good layout but struggled with the greens being bent grass and so mushy. I think this golf course went from being good to very good, maybe even great because now you can really, really have a great championship where the greatest players are going to separate themselves.
I better hit it better if I'm going to separate myself. I got away with a lot today.
Q. I was looking at your record here and it hasn't been --
CHRIS STROUD: Not very good. Not very good. I never really -- I don't know why, either. It's one of those courses -- I've even told people I love this golf course. I have no idea why I don't play well here.
Maybe because I don't hit it in the fairway very often like I did today. But you know, there's just some good, sharp lines off the tee you got to hit. If you don't, you're going to be in the rough and have a tough time especially with the greens as firm as they are. You're going to have a tough time stopping it on the green.
Luckily a lot of pins today -- hit it in the rough, back pins or the par-5s laid up and got it up and down from 50 to 60 yards. My record hasn't been that great. I'm happy to be here.
Mark Brazil, the Tournament Director, has been a great friend of mine forever. He actually gave my first the spot here as a pro Tour when I turned pro out of college.
That was a kind gesture for him. I'm happy to be here. I'm going to keep working hard and see if I can keep pushing and get that number up there, 14, 15, 16-under this week.
Q. Just heard you outside, did you come close to not coming this week because of your record and perhaps was the --
CHRIS STROUD: This is one of those courses I wouldn't choose not to come because of the golf course or because I didn't play well here. I'm a big believer you need to stay sharp if you're getting ready for something.
Obviously the FedEx is about to start, that's pretty important, and it's a great golf course. But I missed the cut last week. I played pretty well in the PGA. I played late/early which turned out to be the bad wave. I missed the cut by one.
I told my caddy I got to play next week. I'm playing too well to go home and just sit and get rusty. I said I want to get sharp for the Barclays. Let's go to Greensboro, low expectations since I haven't played that great here, let's just put a lot of good practice sessions in and then the weather turned out amazing this week.
Man, this is the nicest weather I've seen here. I'm happy to be here and, again, it's a great golf course and it's gotten even better with the new greens.
Q. Chris, it looks like your season has been pretty steady. After the last couple weeks were you concerned?
CHRIS STROUD: Not at all. Golf is funny. I've played well last week, missed the cut by one. I played probably the same at Hartford, almost won the golf tournament.
I didn't play that great today. I'm in the lead. It's a weird deal. It's all about combinations. I putted extremely good today but I've had rounds where I hit it way better and don't make -- Seung-Yul Noh hit it way better than me and shot 3, 4-under. Missed a bunch of putts.
It's a crazy game. All about the averages at the end of the year. Try not to worry too much about the present while it's going on. One shot ahead of me at one time. Hit that shot as good as I can.
At the end of the year I add them up and see where I'm at. That's kind of my outlook and my goal this year is to get in the Tour Championship for the first time and give myself a chance to win the whole thing.
I need to step it up if I'm going to do that. I've been falling the last couple weeks. I'm playing well. I've played well since February, got the putter going well this week and, you know, the greens are only going to get faster.
I'm going to put some more practice session in the next 20, 30 minutes on putting and go to the range and hit some more balls this week.
Q. Chris, do you think the 64 will hold up or do you think it will be a lower score?
CHRIS STROUD: Probably a couple more. No matter what, I've always said this since I've been on Tour: No matter how hard a golf course is somebody will always finish a way to shoot 64. There may be one, two, three guys, there will be a lot of 3 and 4-unders today.
The wind is down, the greens are so fabulous and the par-5s are getable. There's some birdie holes out there. You just got to be careful with the par-3s or -- luckily I birdied both the really long par-3s today. I hit two great 4-irons. Those are two of my best shots today. There will be a lot of good scores today for sure.
DOUG MILNE: Anything else? Okay. Great. Congratulations on a great start.