Shell Houston Open interview: Steve Wheatcroft

March 30, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Shell Houston Open transcript archive

Q.Your first 6 holes, you hit your shots, you were everywhere you wanted it to be. Out of the gate you have to be really proud of where your game started today.

STEVE WHEATCROFT: I was a little excited on the first tee. I was ready to get it going. I just hit it right down the middle of the fairway. I was ready to go, and the first hole was the only hole that I just wanted to play a little cautious. Hit it down the middle, try to get it in the middle of the green, give yourself a lot of looks and nothing crazy.

After that, I was going to be pretty aggressive. Played great for the first 6 holes or so and just a little bit off. I wasn't off much but just enough where I didn't play very well today.

Q. You get to be in the back behind. Do you like it a little bit better to go out there and get to be with Jason again?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: I'm glad I get to play with Jason again. I'd rather be the leader. Obviously I'd rather have everybody come to catch me. I'd rather have a 10-shot lead than be two back. I'd rather deal with the pressure than of having to try to back up ground on somebody.

Q. How would you assess today's round?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: Not very good. Got off to a good start. Real solid for the first 5, 6 holes. Gave myself some birdie looks. It wasn't off much, enough off where I made a bad club decision on 9. Mis-hit it badly. Turned that one into a nightmare and just enough off today where I didn't make any -- didn't make anywhere near as many birdies as what I've been making.

Q. When you fell back a couple shots, then you rallied, got back on track.

STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, I knew I wasn't far off. I screwed up 9 and got a bad bounce on 10 down up against the rock. Made bogey there. But I know I'm playing good golf, and I just needed -- I knew the irons are good and the putter is really good. Just needed to give myself chances.

Q. What happened at 18?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: I double-crossed the tee shot. I was trying to hit a little baby draw, let the wind bring it in. I double-crossed it, cut it. Second shot, it was a good lie, just kind of a hanging lie. I didn't want to catch the heel on the side of the hill, flip it over into the water. I was a little too cautious with it. Got a bad break of where it ended up on the bounce in the bunker. Really tough shot. If you don't catch it perfectly, it runs across the green into the water. I opened the club face just trying to hit a high soft one and obviously I missed most of the club face.

Q. Yesterday you were saying, I'm just here trying to earn some money for my wedding later this year. Looks like your fiancee is here. Does this boast your confidence or does it put pressure on you?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: There's no pressure. We've got everything taken care of whether I made any money this year or no money. It will help if I make some money, but no, it was great having her here. It's nice to have support. I had some friends come out as well. Hopefully I can give a little better round tomorrow to watch.

Q. How big was that putt on the last hole?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: It was huge. I don't want to be 2 back. I wanted to make par on 18 and go in there with a share of the lead, knowing that I didn't have my best golf at all today. Played pretty ugly all day. If I could have walked out of here tied for the lead, I would have been very pleased.

My bunker play hasn't been great lately, hasn't been that bad, but to make that putt it was huge, and, you know, I'll go on to tomorrow and hopefully give them hell in the morning.

Q. There will be a group of people, so many guys within striking distance now. Does that change the way you approach it?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: No. I mean, I said the same thing to my caddy this morning. If we go out and play two good solid rounds of golf, we're in the lead now, no one is going to catch us. If I get beat by a 60, 61, fine. Figure out and play good golf I'll shoot 5-under, 6-under, something like that every day, we're already leading so they can come catch us.

Obviously I didn't do that today and the pack got bunched up around me, but lot of those rounds came from the morning. So, they're going to play in the afternoon, some of the wind tomorrow as well. It all levels out after awhile. We'll see.