Web.com Tour interview: Hadley, Putnam and Chesson

September 29, 2013

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Michael Putnam, Chesson Hadley and John Peterson to the media center. Chesson, if you could get us started and just talk aboutyour round and your win today?

CHESSON HADLEY: You know, if I didn't get off to the start that I was able to put together, I probably wouldn't have won today. I think I was 3-under through 5, which was really nice, and the wind started picking up and I think basically holes 6 through 15 are into the breeze so I didn't play those particularly well, but I hung in there. To come away with a victory, I'm very proud of that. 

MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Yeah, John, a little bit better day for LSU than last night?

That's so mean. That's the first question right off the bat. This is supposed to be a positive note. Yeah, it was a struggle last night.

Q. Were you aware that you had a chance to win the finals money list and get the same perks that Michael did?

Yeah, I was aware at the beginning of the week. I thought I had to win or finish solo 2nd barring a win by someone near me. I don't know how close Chesson was but it ended up being pretty close, 500 bucks. He told me he would pay me for it.

CHESSON HADLEY: Eighty grand.

JOHN PETERSON: I'm still thinking about it actually. But yeah, it was close. Last night was tough for my Tigers, it was, but they're in the east, we're in the west, if we win, still in the SEC championship.

Q. And it looked like you were almost as nervous if not more waiting for Andrew to make that last putt. What was going through your mind?

I knew coming into the week that I was going to be fine even if I missed the cut out here, and I actually had plans if I missed the cut to go to the Georgia game. You always have to have a backup plan. But when Loupe started playing real well and we're staying at the same house this week, so I didn't talk to him about his situation last night or anything like that, I didn't want to bring any unwanted pressure to him. But yeah, yeah, I saw his name on the leaderboard all day and I was making sure that he was still up there in the top 5, and then when I got done they told me that he was the last man in. So I went out to the 18th green and just tried to will him home and he ended up getting it done, so next year should be pretty cool.

Q. He didn't make it real easy knocking that six feet past?

No, no, but he's always been like that. He's always gone for the jugular, he's gone for the throat in everything he's done, so I was not surprised to see him run it by and I wasn't surprised to see him make a comeback either. 

Q. You guys are all first-time coming out to the PGA TOUR. John, while you've got -- Michael, you've been out there?

Three times.

Q. Chesson and John, you haven't been out there. Since you're passing the microphone, John, you've got the first mic, why don't you talk about what it means to you to get your card and you're going to have to start out there in two weeks with the Shriners tournament.

Yeah, I think it's the Fry's. I've played a handful of PGA TOUR events, never as a member, so it's going to be different. I don't know if this category gets me into better tee times, I'm not sure, I don't know anything about that. Yeah, it's going to be nice. I think I've played 12, 13 something events out there, but I haven't had much success minus the Open last year. Yeah, it's going to be cool being a member being there. And actually it's going to be cheaper because we don't have to pay for cars, we don't have to pay for like anything, it's nice. So I'm excited, I'm excited to be a member of the PGA TOUR. I guess this is the first step.

Q. Chesson?

Yeah, I definitely second that. This is something that we've been dreaming of since we were kids out there beating balls on the range with our parents. To see that come to fruition with a bunch of hard work and a bunch of people supporting us along the way, it's pretty special. I'm looking forward to getting to CordeValle and starting the 2014 PGA TOUR season.

Q. For all three of you guys, what does this Tour mean to you, Web.com Tour? Do you feel like you're prepared to take that next step?

I definitely think so. This is the first time I've ever had status anywhere, so I was playing on the mini golf tour where it's a regional tour where you just get in the car and drive, whereas here you get on a plane, get in a car, you know, go find your hotel and it's a totally different experience learning how to travel and playing a little bit harder golf courses and whatnot. It's proven success, you can see it with what the guys do on the big boy tour. There's certainly going to be an adjustment period but it certainly will make it a little bit easier next year. Let's see how it goes, right?

JOHN PETERSON: Yeah, it's going to be awesome. I think that the format they have this year was right on point. I mean, they've got four tournaments, you've got 16 rounds where you've got to beat everybody and you don't just have six. Six over a week-long period of time is just kind of anybody can get hot for a week. In this format you've got to stay hot for 40 days or so and you just have to play well every week, especially to be No. 1 in the finals. So I think it's the best system they could have made. I know they're going to tweak it, but I think for the first year I think they got it right on point.

Q. Michael?

This is my third time graduating from the Web.com Tour and basically this Tour runs events just like the PGA TOUR. Obviously we have the same course setups, we have the same ropes everywhere, grandstands, fans, officials, and the competition's unbelievable. You have to play really well to get your card through the regular season and now in the finals events. I think it prepares guys off this Tour really well. My two years, I've been injured both years I was on the PGA TOUR, but both years I was inside the top 125 when I got injured, so for me it feels like this is my third chance and as long as I stay healthy I'm going to find some good success out there. Kudos to these guys for great years, couldn't be happier for them. It's going to be a fun year next year for sure.

Q. Michael, even with an injury situation which cost you an opportunity to stay in the 125, what do you learn about being out there and having to come back and get it the hard way? Does it humble you in any way? Are there any lessons you learned maybe the first couple of times and you're going to apply here?

One of the lessons that I for sure know by now that golf is a hard game and that there's another guy that's going to take your spot no matter if you play bad or if you got injured, whatever your excuse is. Golf's tough. We saw that today in the telecast. My brother had a tough day today and another good buddy of mine, Andres Gonzales, you know, the first man out to get his PGA TOUR card and it's humbling knowing that I played so well all year to get that No. 1 position on the money list knowing that there's other guys that deserved to probably play the PGA TOUR next year that aren't going to. What's so great about the Web.com Tour is there's such a great competition level, high level of competition I should say, for guys out here that get their TOUR card, they're ready to play the PGA TOUR. It's not let's go out and see if I can compete. More than half the guys keep their card every year and guys win every year on the PGA TOUR. That's what we're looking forward to doing and competing in tournaments and showing those guys that, hey, we're the top players in the world, too.

Q. Chesson, you had some steam coming out of your ears when you finished up yesterday because of the way you finished, you looked like you could almost run away with this tournament for a while. What do you take away from this? What does it do for your confidence heading out on the TOUR?

Absolutely. The finish yesterday, I finished bogey-double and I played so solidly all day yesterday not having any bogeys through 16 holes. But I found that if I can just have a good attitude about things and really just let the water roll off my back, I'm a lot better off. Obviously everybody probably does that better, but I've really come to understand that this year. It was a tough finish yesterday but I was talking with my wife last night, you know, unfortunately I've never played well with a lead and that's not a great thing, that's a terrible thing. I need to get better at that for sure. Looking, trying to find the positive in it, I think that was a blessing not having the lead going into the final round because, you know, I was trying to catch Scott and I was able to do that I think on hole No. 3 and I just put together a really, really solid front nine and I held it together okay coming down the stretch and here we are with the trophy. So winning, I guess that's all that matters, to be able to get it done, that was great.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Michael, Chesson and John for joining us today.