Valero Texas Open interview: Matt Bettencourt

April 04, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Valero Texas Open transcripts archive

We'd like to welcome Matt Bettencourt to the media center. This is Matt's fourth Valero Texas Open and this is his third start of the 2013 PGA TOUR season; his best finish came in Puerto Rico at T24. Matt, if you could, some opening comments about your round today?

I made a lot of putts today, obviously. To shoot 67 out here, it's a demanding golf course. I kept the ball in play pretty much the whole round other than hole number 8, which I kind of hit it into the rocks and I was fortunate to get away and make par there. It's also a great second‑shot course. You have to keep the ball in the correct position on these really sloped screens. They're very undulated, so I was able to keep it below the hole there all day.

Q. Not to eavesdrop or anything, but can you explain the situation that's going on with your wedge, and how it happened, what it looks like?

It was actually interesting. We didn't understand the ruling in our group. But on the 8th hole I pulled my tee shot and it hit the cart path. It went off into the rocky area that is the Texas hill country, if you will. It had a decent lie. It was just a stance issue. So I hit a 52‑degree wedge, and I didn't realize there was a rock underneath and it destroyed pretty much the face of the club. The shaft stayed intact.

So we called a rules official over. I guess the ruling was because I actually started the round of golf with it, even if the face is damaged, you can finish the round. It's your option. But I can't put the wedge in play tomorrow. So that's kind of where I'm at now.

Q. It was unplayable for the rest of the day?

I actually hit it one other time on a first hole. It's kind of on the middle to the toe side it's completely chunked, if you will.

Q. Is that a technical term, "chunked"?

There you go.

Q. This course has been softened a bit, but the weather didn't soften things this morning and this afternoon a lot of breeze and everything. Did you find it played differently this year than you experienced in the past?

Yeah, no doubt. There is a lot of overseed, a tremendous amount of overseed, which I think it makes the golf course play more fairly. They have overseeded so much to kind of soften it and probably to get the guys ready for Augusta next week. But it definitely with all the heavy overseed, it's a lot softer. They made some wonderful changes on the greens. It's a lot more playable, and it's a really good golf course.

Q. Was there a swing, other than when you wrecked your club, was there a swing or a moment in this round where you said something has clicked and my game is where I need it to be right now?

You know, I just stayed patient. I had a tough shot on number 15, a really tough par‑4 today, playing really long, up the hill, into the wind. It was 195, and it was really gusting, and I hit a great 4‑iron to 12 feet. I did not make the putt, but it was great to see some good long iron shots out there today because, like I said, it's very demanding. You can make a big number at any given time on any hole.

Q. You talked about using the club again. I'm assuming it was just for a little pitch or a chip, nothing big?

Yeah, the whole toe side of the wedge is on the grooves, it's destroyed.

Q. But you said you were able to use it again?

Yeah, I was able to use it. The center of it is doable, yeah.

Q. For a full shot?

For a full shot, yeah. It actually flew okay. They just, for whatever reason, we met with the officials and I can't use it tomorrow.

Q. What is the mindset going into tomorrow? You're going out earlier. Do you try to post a number to give someone to shoot at?

First of all, I hope it's a lot warmer tomorrow morning than it was for the guys this morning. We definitely caught a break. I think the wind is kind of dying down a little this afternoon. Obviously, it was much warmer. You know, I'm just going to go out tomorrow and have fun. I haven't done anything great in golf in a couple of years. So I just want to go have fun, put the ball in play off the tee because it's a really fun golf course when you put it in play out here.

Q. What was your sense coming into this week? Where were you with your game?

My game hasn't been the concern for the last year‑and‑a‑half or year. It's kind of been some health issues. I've had some really severe asthma problems, and I've gone back and forth from three to four different inhalers and some different medications, which has helped my health, but I haven't been able to play golf with it at all. It had made me really shaky.

It's just an adjustment period. And we finally I think we have the right combination. I have some pretty good doctors. It's good getting that under control and being able to play golf.

Q. When did you find that combination, and how long has that been?

I think we found it last week. I know it sounds strange, but we made a couple more changes and switched a couple of inhalers around and some medications. I think it was interesting playing in the practice rounds out here and doing some practicing. I didn't notice any jitters, which has been a great thing, because I've been battling it for about a year now.

Q. I don't want to make light of your illness there, but the last time you were sick, I remember you won the tournament.

Yeah, strange. I guess you should look out for the wounded. I don't know. It would be great karma if it happened again. I don't consider myself sick. Everybody deals with asthma every day. I had a pretty‑‑ it's just something I'm going to have to deal with the rest of my life, and hopefully we get the medication.

First of all, my health is most important to myself and my family. But other than that, it's a bonus to be able to play good golf and know when you're out there that the medication you're on is not going to make you jittery or shaky.

Q. Is there something coming in, as far as your game itself, anything particular that you've been working on that maybe you felt was limiting you?

Yeah, definitely. There is no question about it. I was playing about a month ago with a good buddy of mine who actually was caddying for me when I won Reno‑Tahoe Open. He noticed my right leg was getting stiff and straight up‑and‑down when I was swinging, which it's tough to be very consistent. So I've been really working on keeping my right leg, my right knee flexed through the golf shot, and it's made a tremendous difference.