Dick's Sporting Goods Open interview: Bart Bryant

August 17, 2013

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Bart, 62 today, you birdied four -- sorry, six of your first seven holes and go out and seize control and then close with a birdie at 18 for 62, which matches the tournament record and your 36-hole score is a tournament record, so good going. You've got a 4-shot lead going into tomorrow as we crown our 1,000th champion. Just some thoughts about your round today.

BART BRYANT: Well, I played really solid today, hit a lot of solid golf shots but probably the club of the day for me was the putter, that's kind of been the club that's been holding me back this year. I just made a lot of putts starting with No. 1 and 2, I made about a 12-footer on 1 and about a 20-footer on 2, and then all of a sudden I backed it up on 6 and 7 with fairly long putts, probably close to 30 feet each. So you start making putts like that and you're going to have a good day. I had some other opportunities, especially par 5s on the front I just kind of let it slip, but I made so many great putts during the day that it's hard to look at that and be too disappointed.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: And the fact that you made no bogeys through 36 holes.

BART BRYANT: Yes, that's key. I really haven't had an opportunity to make a bogey, I don't think. I probably made a couple little par saves, but I just kept myself in position and kept myself out of trouble. If I can drive the ball as good as I have the first two days, I think I have a chance to play really well tomorrow.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Can you just run through the other birdies? You told us about 1, 2, 6 and 7, but 4 and 5 on the front and all of them on the back?

BART BRYANT: Yeah, 4's a par 3, I think a lot of guys birdied that hole today, the pin was very accessible on that ridge and I hit it probably to about eight feet and made a putt there. I hit it in the bunker on the next hole, the par 5, but hit a great bunker shot to about three feet so that completed my six birdies on the front. I hit a nice shot on 11, hit it a little right of the hole but it stayed on the green and ended up making probably about an 18-footer there. Then I had a real good chance of making eagle on 12. They moved the tee up there today and I missed that putt but was able to tap in for a birdie there. Then I hit probably the best shot of the tournament on the par 3, No. 14. It was playing about 214, I hit a 4-iron, landed soft and rolled up to probably five or six feet and I made that. Then of course I birdied 18, probably made about a 10-, 12-footer there. All in all I made a lot of good quality putts today. I had a few tap-in birdies, all of the rest of them came from probably beyond the eight-foot range, so that's making a lot of putts.

Q. I asked you yesterday, in light of missing three years, if you were to get in contention just being thankful about being out here playing, now a day later, 4-shot lead, do you feel the same way or are there going to be some emotions?

BART BRYANT: Oh, yeah. I also said yesterday, no matter what arena you're playing, you feel a little bit of pressure when you have a chance to win. It may not be the amount of pressure that you feel on the TOUR, but you're always going to feel some pressure. I know I am going to have to go out and play really well tomorrow to win this. Someone's going to go low. I was telling the guys I think last week, Sluman was 8-under through 10 holes the last day, that changed the whole dynamic of the tournament, he had a chance to win. Someone will probably do that again tomorrow. I'm going to have to get some more birdies to be able to win this. I can't go out and play real safe. But if I can drive it well, play solid and if my putter continues to perform as it has, I think it could be a real good day.

Q. Bart, certainly after two days you have a lot of momentum, but do you feel like it's something that is going to continue? How do you feel about momentum?

BART BRYANT: Absolutely, momentum is huge and it is in golf as well. But I feel like I've been gathering momentum all year to be honest with you. I didn't have a lot of game at the beginning of the year. I was able to kind of piece together some rounds, but I knew there wasn't much game there. Now I feel like I can piece together a round but I might be able to piece together another round the next day because I just have a bigger arsenal of shots now. Some of the things I couldn't do earlier in the year I'm starting to do. I've gained a lot of length, too, over the last couple of months and that's really made a big difference.

Q. The putts on 16 and 17 (inaudible.)

BART BRYANT: That may be a little too much to ask for. The one on 17 was going a little bit too fast but it looked like it still had a good chance. 16 was just hanging on that front lip. I've got to figure out -- I cannot figure out to play that 16th hole, that little bitty hole. I'll tell you what, that's a good golf hole. I've tried driving it up there, I've tried driving it short of that middle bunker, I've tried laying it way back. So far I can't figure out how to play it, I don't know what I'll do tomorrow.

Q. How much have you played with Corey through the years?

BART BRYANT: You know what, I know Corey real well. I wouldn't say I've played with him a lot but I have played with him in the past and I like Corey a lot, we get along real well. So I think we're going to have a real good day together. He's fun to watch.

Q. Brad, did he say anything to you during the course of the round?

BART BRYANT: You know, I didn't really see Brad too much. We were kind of doing our own thing. I think for the most part when we're playing a tournament we kind of stay out of each other's way. Not that we would get in each other's way, but when one of us is going good, we just kind of cross our fingers and be quiet. But honestly, some of those fairways do go back and forth but I didn't really look over and see him and he was busy trying to get it done as well.

Q. Bart, I know you've had wrist problems. How that's been?

BART BRYANT: Currently it's pretty good, my wrist is hanging in there. I don't practice during the week of a tournament. Like this week I had to do two pro-ams so I got a little practice in on Tuesday but not much. I hit some wedges on the range which served me well so far, but for the most part there's not much practice going on when I'm on site, maybe just one day early in the week and usually I don't hit any balls after the round, I just warm up and play. If I do that, I feel like my wrist will hold out and I can play maybe three weeks in a row.

Q. What's the number, would you say?

BART BRYANT: You know, I haven't even looked at it, but, you know, I have a 4-shot lead, Phil?


BART BRYANT: I'm at 16? Somebody will get it to 19 or 20 for sure. Even if it's not me, somebody will go low and get it there because there's some low scores out there. I'll have to go out and shoot a good round tomorrow to get it. Kenny shot 1-under today, I think, and I don't know what position he's in, but you can see how far he dropped back, so you've really got to get it out there. Hopefully there's another low one out there, I'm going to sure try to go get it.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Good luck tomorrow.

BART BRYANT: Thank you.