AT&T National interview: Roberto Castro

June 27, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: AT&T National transcripts archive

THE MODERATOR:  Roberto Castro, thanks for joining us here.  After a first round 66, 5 under.  Great playing.
    If you could start with opening comments.  Obviously, a very good day for you.

ROBERTO CASTRO:  Thanks.  It was a good day.  I bogeyed the second hole and then made a couple birdies right after that to kind of get under par and headed in the right direction.  Two good par saves on the back, a couple of 10 footers, and added some more birdies coming in.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take some questions.

Q.  It was a good bogey too, wasn't it?

ROBERTO CASTRO:  It was a good bogey.  Thank you.

Q.  What was harder, today's 66 or the 63 at Sawgrass?
  They were totally different rounds.  The one at Sawgrass was I hit it three feet eight or nine times.  And the one today was more of a normal lower round where I made some putts.
It's hard to compare these two golf courses.  That one was playing firm and fast.  This one is just long and soft.

Q.  What do you think of the conditions?  Did you find the rough at all?  How was that?
The rough's brutal.  No one in our group    we probably were 50 percent you'd get it up to the green and 50 percent pitching out.
    So it's long.  The closer you hit it to the fairway, it's thicker than    you'd rather be ten yards in the rough than five yards in the rough on a few of those holes, but it's very penal.

Q.  Compare it to Merion.
I didn't play Merion.

Q.  Compare it to Olympic.
It's longer than Olympic.

Q.  There's been a lot of U.S. Open comments today.  Can you make any parallels to last year and the course?
It's very similar in that there's not a lot of birdies out there.  You're just plugging along.  You've got three par 5s on this golf course as opposed to two at a U.S. Open.  Just not a lot of birdies.  If you hit good tee shots, with the greens soft, you can still make birdies.
I played with Chappell today, who played very well at the U.S. Open here.  He said it's pretty much the same except the USGA puts pins three off the edge whereas we saw more four and five off the edge.
Pretty similar setup, he said.  Rough's the same.  Golf course hasn't changed much in two years.

Q.  Do you like that?  What do you think of it?
I like that.  I like where it's just right in front of you and you have to go just stripe a driver.  If not, you know what you're going to get.  There's not many good breaks or bad breaks to be had out there.  If you drive it in the rough, you drove it in the rough.  If you hit it in the fairway, you can go from there.
Last year the first two days here, once you drove it on the fairway, the greens were still so firm, it was still    Thursday, Friday a year ago was brutal out here.  Today was more playable than that for sure.

Q.  You made    I think you missed like four fairways but got pars on all of them.
I'm trying to think.  3 and 4, I made    I got it up around the green on 3, made a 10 footer from the bunker.  Then 4, I had to pitch it out.  8, I hit it right, and it hit the tree and went further.  So that was way off the fairway, and then I got it up and down.

Q.  4 was what?  What do you mean chip out?  Chip straight out or putt it out?
I hit 50 yard, just flipped a sand wedge 50 yards out and hit 9 iron into the green for my third.  So that was a true chip out.

Q.  What did you take from the Sawgrass experience?
A lot.  A lot.  I took that, if I play a good round and I play well, I can play as good as anybody.  And then I took a lot from Friday where I didn't shoot a good score, but the last six holes I played nicely and settled down.
    That place is a trip.  It was my first time there.  So Saturday, Sunday, still being in a decent position coming through those last three holes is a total rush.  So it was a good time.

Q.  Was there anything about being there at Sawgrass on Friday pressure wise?
ROBERTO CASTRO:  Not as much.  In that tournament, there was a lot of hoop la, I guess you could say.  I went off early Thursday.  It's the Players.  There's a lot of media coverage.
The Golf Channel had like my little brother on Friday morning.  So there's a lot of stuff going on, which was fun.  It was great.  This is obviously one of the best events on the Tour in the world.  So there's a lot going on here too.  But it was just a different level of circus that week.

Q.  Your little brother do a good interview?
ROBERTO CASTRO:  He did do well, better than I thought he would do, to be honest with you.
THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions?

Q.  Any cousins or nannies that they brought on?

  Anyone they can dig up for this week?  I'm sure there's somebody.

Q.  Given that you didn't shoot a good score on Friday, how you head into tonight and to the weekend here  
My goal today was to play aggressive.  Last week, after having a few good weeks, I took the foot off the accelerator and just kind of went through the motions.  So my goal today was to be aggressive, try to do that again tomorrow.

Sawgrass was not a good Friday, but I was tied for the lead at Humana after Thursday and played good Friday.  So it's not the first and only experience I can draw on.
THE MODERATOR:  Roberto, thank you.