What they said: Jimmy WalkerJuly 30, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: The Greenbrier Classic transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: Jimmy Walker, quite impressive bogey-free career-low 8-under 62 today. Took advantage of the benign conditions here at Greenbrier Classic in round three.
Just some comments on what clicked.
JIMMY WALKER: You know, starting out I hit a good drive off 1 and had a really good iron shot in. But I gave myself about the toughest putt you could have on the green. It was real fast downhill, rough about three cuts from about seven feet. Just not the funnest putt to start on the day, and I totally whiffed it. I didn't even come close to making it.
And then they set the golf course up pretty fair today. They moved a bunch tees up, and I think it was there. We saw that the pin on 2 was way up front, and the greens have been really firmed. I don't know if they watered them at all last night, but I think they did, because they felt a lot softer and the greens were a lot more receptive.
I got close on 2 and made a good putt there. Had bunch of other good looks.
Had a good look on 3.
Par or 4.
Had a really good look on 5, you know, another 10-footer that didn't go in.
Just a good solid par on 6.
7, I hit a 9-iron to about four feet and made that.
8, the par-3, hit a -- the tee is way up there, and we've been hitting 5-iron and stuff in there. Today it was a 9-iron for us, for Kyle and I. So the pin was way up front and the green was real soft; we both hit good shots in there and I got that one to go.
9, I had another quality look and it didn't go.
10, hit a great 3-wood off the tee, and then had about 90, 95 yards and slipped one in there pretty close. Had about an eight-footer and made that.
Parred 11; good hole.
12, the par-5, hit it in the front left bunker in two; blasted out to about, I don't know, had about an eight-footer, six-footer or something like that, and made that one.
13, the par-3 -- or 14, the par 4 -- 13 the par-4, good 3-wood off the tee. Pin was up front. I hit this wicked 7-iron. I was trying to really swing one in there. Just landed short and trickled up to about two feet or something. I mean, that was a huge birdie right there.
14, didn't hit a real good shot into the green.
15, the par-3, pin was tucked right over the bunker. They moved the tees up. It was a really high 7-iron. I mean, it landed just short of the flag and released and then it careened off of the backslope, hit the back of the green to about five feet. That putt was tricky. It was really fast, really downhill. I got that one to go.
16, hit a great drive. Had like 105 to the flag. The greens have been soft, so I wanted to hit 60 because a little downwind, but I thought would spin too much. So I kind of eased up on a 54-degree wedge and it landed right by the flag and took a big bounce. Kind of what we were used to seeing the other day. Gave myself like a 20- or 25-footer and ended up making it.
17 was kind of a bummer. I hit a killer drive; 5-iron over the green. I kind of chunked my chip a little bit. Didn't get to the top of the downslope, so I left myself a tough putt and two-putted for par there.
Then 18 I hit a soft pitching wedge and hit the pin and careened left. Two would have been real close, and just burned the edge on 18. It was a good, sold day.
THE MODERATOR: Yeah, real quick, what is it about this area, West Virginia? Obviously with your Nationwide Tour, Pete Dye, what is it about this area that is so good to you?
JIMMY WALKER: I don't know. We need to have more tournaments here, I guess. You know, when I won that Nationwide Tour event in 2007, I can remember playing that golf course and thinking was hard the year before, the two years before. I didn't play real well there, then got back there and played solid and won it.
And then last year came here and just enjoyed the golf course, enjoyed the place, enjoyed the Greenbrier. It's kind of fun dressing up at night going dinner and putting a coat on and gambling. Everybody down there is all nice and dressed up. They just run a nice, nice -- it's a nice play.
I had fun. I couldn't wait for my wife to get back here. She missed last year because of our baby. She came herself this week, so we've been having fun.
THE MODERATOR: Good. Questions.
Q. What was your motivation today? Does the PGA and the Bridgestone next week, does that play into it any?
JIMMY WALKER: You know, just teeing up early this morning I wasn't really thinking about that. I got a good tip from my dad on putting -- or I thought it was a good tip. He gave me a tip on putting, and kind of put it into play this morning and rolled some good putts on the putting green and made a few today.
I've been hitting my irons really well. The missing key is off the tee. I drove it really well today and kept giving myself chances from the fairway. The greens have been so firm I missed a bunch of fairways yesterday.
And coming out of the rough, the ball would hit and just take off. I mean, it would run 30 and 40 feet sometimes. I mean, the greens felt a lot softer today, so I don't know if they did anything to 'em. But just starting out you could see they were receptive right off the bat on 1, 2, 3. I mean, they were real receptive compared to the last few days.
Q. No. 17, I followed couple groups coming into that hole, and it was a very scorable hole. They have the pins tucked in there behind the bunkers, so it's easy to get to - seemed to be anyway. You had a great day. But holes like that, when you can't get a birdie on 'em, how frustrating is that??
JIMMY WALKER: You know, after I hit it over the green, we were kind of in between 5 and 6 and there's wasn't much wind when I hit, so we went with a 5. You know, it flew a step too far. It landed on top of that ridge and went over the ridge. It was a pretty simple chip. Just had to kind of get it going. I probably took too much time thinking about it and didn't quite catch it clean and left it on top.
Then I ran one by six feet. That was probably the best putt of the day right there. You don't want to have 5-iron into a par-5 and do that, have a 3-putt bogey. So that was probably one of my better putts of the day, making that one.
So it's a bummer, but still the best round I ever shot. I left a lot out there. I missed a bunch of short putts still, so that wasn't -- in hindsight, I never had a chance to make birdie there after the chip. I had a lot of other opportunities out there, so it's all right. No biggie.
Q. You obviously talk about putting as the key today. What do you have to do tomorrow, championship Sunday, for the dynamite final round??
JIMMY WALKER: The key for me, I'm hitting my irons good. If I'm in the fairway, I'll be able to be aggressive. If you're not fairway it's hard to be aggressive. They're going to tuck the pins and make the golf course a lot harder tomorrow, I think.
So I need to -- I'll need to be in the fairway I think to have a good run at playing well and seeing what happens. I don't know what these guys are going to do today. I did what I could do.
Q. Just wondering, you were talking about the greens being more receptive. Do you think that had more to do with you going out early in the morning or what they did to it??
JIMMY WALKER: No, I played early yesterday and they were a lot firmer, I thought. You know, I was more in the rough, but I was playing with guys, and I just thought they were more receptive today. Even my caddie thought so, and the guys in the group. The shots I though were really reacting, you know, kind of the way you want 'em to.
Q. You played especially well the back nine. Do you feel you started getting on roll or hitting a groove, and how does that feel??
JIMMY WALKER: Feels good. I could feel it kind of coming. I just -- if I would have made -- you know, I missed a short putt on the first hole, but it was the hardest putt you could have. It really was.
Got one to go in on the next hole; hit a great 7-iron on the next hole and just missed that one. So I kept giving myself chances. My caddie kept saying, Just stay patient. We'll get a few to drop. A couple started to drop, and they just kept kind of falling.
Kept hitting really close iron shots all day. When you do that, you're going to make a few - usually.
Q. You mentioned that you left some shots out there. Nobody's going to shoot a 59. Do you think the way the setup is today somebody's going to get close to that??
JIMMY WALKER: You never know. 59, I mean, how many guys have done that in the history of the TOUR? Four. It's so rare. You never know. I mean, it's funny. Everybody felt like the golf course was playing really tough, and somebody goes out -- you know, there were some good scores. Kyle played really good today with me and shot 65.
I thought I saw DiMarco shot 64. The scores are there. You can see it. The greens are rolling good. You never know. I mean, good scores are kind of infectious. Somebody sees it happen and they're like, Oh, okay. It's there. Let's go do it. There were still some tough pins today. I hit some really good shots into some tough pins.
But you never know.
Q. Talk a bit more about the tip your father gave you. You said outside he noticed something on TV.
JIMMY WALKER: He said he saw something on TV. I wasn't like setting into my left side as he thought I was on the West Coast this year when I putted really well and played really well.
So I kind of thought about it and talked to my caddie about it this morning. My coach gave us a good tip about really talking out putts. He thinks I do better when I talk about where it's going and this, that, and the other.
So we talked about a lot of the stuff today. I putted well. I made a lot of good putts. The stroke has felt like it's been there, I just haven't been making anything. I don't think I was rolling it any different today than I have been the last couple weeks.
Q. Is there something about guys who are on the cut line that have a fire lit under them and they just take off??
JIMMY WALKER: Gosh, I don't know. You know, I think sometimes, you know, you feel like -- when I finished yesterday I didn't know if I was going to make the cut, and then the wind kind of picked up.
Kind of, Hey, we're here. I did it. Let's go make the best of it. You got nothing to lose when you're at the back of the pack. I told my wife last night, I was like, I'm just going to go out and attack and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Jimmy congratulations on a great round. Keep it up tomorrow. We'll hopefully see you right back here tomorrow.
JIMMY WALKER: Thanks very much.
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