What they said: Matt Bettencourt

July 15, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Reno-Tahoe Open transcript archive

THE MODERATOR: Matt Bettencourt, nice round today. After the morning wave, you got a one-shot lead over Chris DiMarco. Talk about your round and maybe where your thoughts are coming into this week, and then we'll take some questions.

MATT BETTENCOURT: Yeah, you know, I hit it really good today: 13 out of 14 fairways. I hit 15 greens. Started out pretty well. Missed a couple short ones on 1 and 2, couple five-footers for birdie.

6 I made about a 25-footer for birdie. Other than that, everything was really within five or six feet of the hole. Hit some really quality iron shots out there. You know, the conditions were really good this morning; just a light breeze.

I'm very pleased with my round. I've been struggling a little bit this year with my expectations. I've been battling a few injuries. So it feels good to be feeling healthy and getting out there and playing good golf.

Q. You mentioned your struggles over the past few tournaments. Where is your confidence level right now heading into the tournament??

MATT BETTENCOURT: It's good. Started at the U.S. Open this year. I made the cut, and I really played well. You know, I didn't putt so well, but I took a lot of confidence away from that.

After that, I played in the Philadelphia and missed the cut there by a shot. But I played really well. It's just a matter of getting some putts to fall.

Last week at the Deere, I hit it not as good as I wanted to, but I started putting a little bit better. Couple good practice sessions and played well in the Pro-Am yesterday. My confidence is building.

I feel really comfortable. I've played so many rounds of golf up in this area. I grew up in Northern California, so I've probably been to Reno and played 80 to 100 rounds growing up in the area at different courses, and a bunch out here, so I feel really acclimated to the elevation.

THE MODERATOR: How often have you played here? I know you played last year, but this specific course, is this pretty much your second go on it?

MATT BETTENCOURT: You know, I've probably played 25, 30 rounds, you know, over the course of 10 years up here. I have some friends that are members here, so I love it. Beautiful, and I feel comfortable.

THE MODERATOR: And obviously the eagle was a big hole for you. Take us through that one.

MATT BETTENCOURT: Yeah, you know, 16 was really the only loose shot I hit all day. Hit a terrible 8-iron and ended up made bogey there. It was a tough pin placement.

Got to 17 and had a good talk with my caddie. Just relax, get back in the moment. I had a great tee shot there about -- probably went 395 off the tee. Hit a 4-iron from 240 yards to about three feet. Hit a great shot just left of the hole and it kind of fed right up the hole.

It was great when I got up there and saw it was three feet. A left center putt, pretty simple putt.

Q. Guys who were just in before and you guys that have been out here forever, it strikes us who play the game badly that you guys that play it well that confidence would still be an issue.

MATT BETTENCOURT: Yeah, absolutely. This whole game is about confidence. I think that's what Tiger's bred so well over his career. I mean, he's so much more confident than everybody else.

We all believe in ourselves. You know, it's just the matter of getting on a hot streak. I struggled a little bit the start of last year and played a few rounds with Kenny Perry and Rocco who have become good friends of mine. They basically told me, You know what, when you get confident, just ride your confident streak. It takes three or four good weeks a year out here and you'll be fine.

I feel like my game is coming around. There's still plenty of this season left. I'm really looking forward to a good week out here at Montreux.

Q. Will MacKenzie came in earlier and talked about a little bit more Poa annua on the greens than he remembers. How did that make that more difficult to putt? You do you approach the greens?

MATT BETTENCOURT: Yeah, you know, there is month po' than in previous years. We've moved the tournament up a few weeks, I think, and from what I understand, they haven't had the heat they normally have through the summer. The heat will kill the po' off.

There is more po', so the greens are gonna get a little bumpier. But they're in good shape and they're rolling at nice speeds, so just have to stay patient. The ball is gonna bounce. You know, I missed five putts today from about the six-foot range that could have gone in. They bounce; that's gonna happen.

If you just stay patient and within yourself, plenty of putts will fall.

Q. Does that mean like when they roll, they can't get them as smooth as they would like??

MATT BETTENCOURT: Yeah, the po' actually grows quicker than the bentgrass that's on the greens, so it's an uneven surface and so the ball tends to bounce.

You know, it's nothing new. We played it at Pebble at the Open a few weeks ago. Those greens were tremendously bumpy greens there. It just takes patience. These greens are actually much better than Pebble's.