Humana Challenge interview: Charles Howell III

January 20, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Humana Challenge transcripts archive

MARK STEVENS:  I'd like to welcome Charles Howell, III.
Charles, tough finish there, but you have to be happy with the start of your year.  Third place finish last week and playoff loss this week.  Talk about your thoughts and then we'll have a few questions.

CHARLES HOWELL, III:  Well, I had a good day today.  8‑under par.  It's the hole locations here on Sunday generally are a little bit more difficult than what we see in the pro‑am days.  So I played well enough toda
Quite honestly, going into the day, I didn't really think that anybody had a chance apart from Scott.  He's won before, he hits it long enough to take advantage of the par‑5s.  At 22‑under, I figured if he shoots 6‑,  7‑under, he's really not catchable.
So then to have a chance there in regulation, that's where I really would like that one back, that 3‑putt there.  But it happens and once you get a playoff, anything can happen.  So here we are.

Q.  Was there a point in the round when you realized that you were there and that you maybe did have a chance to either win it outright or get to a playoff?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  Not until the second shot on 18 did I really think I had a chance to win the golf tournament.  Simply because I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the leaderboards.  But just with Scott being ahead, and I had him sort of factored in to make 4 up 18.  So in my mind, I thought I needed to make a four to have a chance of a playoff.
But, no, not really until 18 did I think I had a chance to win the tournament.

Q.  What are your range of emotions the last few holes as you think you're not in it, then you realize you might be in it and then you are in it?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  I'm fairly calm.  But it's exciting.  It's exciting in a way that it makes you focus a little bit more.  Anybody that says that that golf is fun or whatever, has really not done it for a living.  I would never characterize this as fun.  It's different than that.
It's awfully challenging mentally and the chances to win are what we want.  But I still necessarily wouldn't necessarily call it fun.

Q.  You have to be happy with the start to the season.  Do you think this goes on now?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  Well, I'm thrilled with the start of the season.  I would have taken that for a Christmas present wrapped up nicely and had it.
I hope it does continue on.  I like the work that I'm doing.  I've made more of a commitment to work on my short game.  It's up to me to stick to the plan that I've laid out throughout the whole year, as opposed to having a couple good weeks and then focusing a little bit more on something else.
But, yeah, I surely hope it continues on.

Q.  What is the emotion of coming so close.  You know by past experience that these can come in spurts or are few and far between.  What's your sense of disappointment at this point?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  Well, I'm really disappointed.  I wanted to get back into the Masters.  Quite honestly.  That thought crossed my mind.  It's so darn hard to win out here and when you do have a chance to do it, it's painful to let it slip by.
But, yeah, once we got to the playoff, I kind of thought of it as a sort of a three‑man race for a spot in the Masters.  But, yeah, not to be.

Q.  On 10 in the playoff, your second shot, was that just the lie?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  I had one of those lies where it could jump or couldn't jump, and I just had a feeling that Brian was going to make three there because he was in a perfect spot.  And I just had a feeling he was going to make three there and I thought it was worth me playing aggressively on that shot.  Pars don't win playoffs.
But, it was just a bit of the lie and me trying to be aggressive to make three to tie him, because I really had a feeling he would make three.

Q.  Is today or this week progress over last week?
CHARLES HOWELL, III:  Yeah, it is.  I still need to find a way to do a little better job coming down the stretch and do a little better job closing golf tournaments.  And I think this is my 15th or 16th second place finish, I don't know exactly which one.  But, yeah, I need to do a little better job of closing down the stretch.  And especially when you have the chances to win.
I mean, like last week, Russell Henley shooting 24‑under, I never saw that out there at all and I finished third.  I didn't really ever have a chance to win that tournament.
But here, having had a good chance there, if you just 2‑putt the last hole, yeah, I just need to keep working and keep doing a better job of closing those out.

MARK STEVENS:  Thanks for coming in, Charles, and good luck next week.