What they said: Charles Howell III

March 24, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

Courtesy ASAP Sports.

Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive Q. Tell me about the day, very steady out there and you played yourself right into contention here at Bay Hill Club??

CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, I got off to a good start. I birdied the first two holes which you don't always look to do out here, especially the second.

But yeah, I made four birdies early, and made a whole bunch of pars after that. Didn't really do a whole lot after that. But I made the birdies early, and yeah, got off to a good start and somehow hung in there.

Q. Tell me about the prospects of the final round, being right in the thick of things, must be very exciting.

CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, Mr. Woods is up top and he likes it around here. I don't see him coming backwards. So it's going to take a good number from somebody tomorrow.

But the golf course is too difficult really to worry about him or anyone else. Still one more day to play.

Q. Playing in front of Mr. Palmer in the final round, what makes this tournament such a wonderful experience for you professionals??

CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, living in Orlando, and Mr.Palmer is very involved with Bay Hill and the community with the hospital. We had both our children at Winnie Palmer. He's a big part of Orlando and it's a wonderful event. Hopefully he's got many more years out here with us.

Q. I know this doesn't mean as much as contending and winning Augusta, but would this still be huge, given this is your adopted town; would this be the next best thing??

CHARLES HOWELL III: When you've only one twice, any tournament feels like a big thing if you want to be honest. The Isleworth Club Championship is a big thing.

Yeah, sure it would be. Mr. Palmer is a big part of Orlando. We had both our children at the Winnie Palmer Hospital. He's a big part of it; he's got the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital connected there. He's a big part of Orlando.

Obviously Florida has a bunch of golf events in it, but the charity dollars that it goes to, it's rare that a player is actually part of what it supports. Having both our children there, it's neat to see.

Q. When the day shakes out, you're going to be up there, Tiger; Ernie is up there; Ian Poulter; it's like a Major Championship leaderboard.

CHARLES HOWELL III: You mentioned the right names, Tiger. He doesn't seem to struggle around Bay Hill. It's going to take a heck of a round from somebody tomorrow to catch him, maybe make him sweat a bit.

Yeah, you know what, it's so good to see his name up at the top of his leaderboard. It's good for the golf and it's good for the players. It's fun going out there.

Q. This time of year when you're not in Augusta, the focus this time at Bay Hill, it's win-to-get-in; Ernie obviously has a big focus on that. Can you talk about trying to win to get in and what that's like??

CHARLES HOWELL III: It's not very fun, because it's not a tournament you want to miss and watch on TV. There's a bit of extra pressure. It seems as if you're always qualifying for something out here. The first quarter of the year is a big push to try to get into Augusta.

The fact that a player like Ernie Els is not in the Masters, it's amazing to see. If you if he didn't qualify, he should garner an exemption, that's for sure. It's always a first quarter push to get in there, that's for sure.