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JOHN DEERE CLASSIC MEDIA DAY
May 21, 2018
CLAIR PETERSON: Before we bring Bryson up, I'd just like to recognize and thank a few people. The TPC Deere Run facility is such a great asset for us. When we go out and talk to players about the golf course, we do it with pride. Todd Hajduk and Ron Scheyd in the pro shop do a great job, Christina on the food and beverage side, Alex Stuedemann, the golf course superintendent, who most people don't see because of the hours that they put in, but he has transformed this amazing initial design into something that is almost weather resistant when it comes to the summer.
Now, I shouldn't say that, I know, but it's firm and fast and able to stay healthy through the heat and humidity of the summer, and that's no small task.
In addition to that, we sit on the shoulders of 1,700 volunteers. All of the folks you see in blue blazers, and some of them you see in golf shirts that are going to play golf later, are board members, and they dedicate nine years as a volunteer to be on the board. One of those board members every year takes the lead and is our volunteer chair, and at this point, I'd like to introduce and thank in advance our volunteer chair for 2018, Tony Carpita.
TONY CARPITA: Good morning. All the people I was going to thank, Clair just thanked them all for me, so thanks. Again, on behalf of the 1,700 volunteers, the board of directors, the tournament staff, thank you for being here today to help us kick off the 2018 John Deere Classic. According to the website, we're 49 days out before magic starts to happen out here.
Next Tuesday, right outside here, the dig is going to start -- the build is going to start, so things are going to start happening out here.
A very special thank you to John Deere, the John Deere Foundation for their 21 years of supporting the John Deere Classic. I think everyone in this room would agree with me that we do have the best title sponsor on TOUR.
Bryson, a very special thank you to you for being here. We really appreciate it today, and we are really proud to welcome you into the John Deere Classic family.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thank you. Appreciate that.
TONY CARPITA: We're really excited for you to be here in July to defend your title, and we all wish you the best of luck.
I'd like just to talk real briefly about some of the missions that the John Deere Classic has. One is to promote volunteerism. Like we said before, we have 1,700 very dedicated volunteers that make this tournament possible. Two is we need to provide a positive economic impact to the Quad Cities. The John Deere Classic is responsible for a $54 million financial impact to the Quad Cities. Third and probably the most important is the financial contribution back to charities. Last year we had a record $12.3 million that was given back to over 500 different charities through the Birdies For Charity program. This puts the John Deere Classic No. 1 per capita on TOUR and No. 5-overall. This year is going to be a really exciting year, so if we go back to the Hardee's days when the tournament was first put together, we're going to break through $100 million of total charitable giving this year in 2018.
The John Deere Classic has a real big history of being recognized by the TOUR. When we were at the winter meetings this past December, we won the most engaged community again for the sixth time, and that's because of everyone here in this room that makes that award possible. We also got the best social media activation for the third consecutive year this year, and I think the PGA has said that they're going to actually retire that award. I think they should bring it back and call it the Ashley Hanson award, because Ashley Hanson is responsible for all of our social media.
Chuck Austin, a longtime volunteer who tragically passed away a few days before the tournament, was named the 2017 volunteer of the year for the PGA TOUR. So very cool award for his family.
So again, just a couple quick thank yous to Todd again and his entire staff here at TPC. They do a phenomenal job. Thank you to the media for being here today and really helping us get our story out. Again, all my fellow board members in the blue jackets back there, thank you for everything you do. And then for the John Deere Classic staff, and again, in my opinion, the best staff on TOUR. So thank you again for being here. I look forward to seeing everyone in July.
CLAIR PETERSON: Thanks, Tony. So 5:30 this morning, I got a text that Bryson and Brett Falkoff were in the air. Unbelievable that they have set aside this day for us. It's very generous. Not every event is able anymore to get their current champion back for media day. So we really are excited about that.
Bryson just spent an hour and a half on the other side of the wall here thanking direct donors to our bonus fund, having a little breakfast, and having a very fun and insightful conversation.
I used this to introduce him before, and I'll do it again, and I apologize for having to read some of it, but his accomplishments are numerous and significant, and memorize that much.
Born in California, attended Clovis East High School, won the California State Junior Championship at age 16. California is a big state, right? That's an amazing accomplishment as a 16 year old.
Got a scholarship after high school to play golf at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he found out that Payne Stewart was a graduate or student at Southern Methodist, which he immediately took note of, and of course you all know that Payne Stewart was our 1982 champion, and he was on record as saying that was the most meaningful tournament he ever won, not only because it was his first but it was the only one his father ever got a chance to see him win.
We're already intersecting the John Deere Classic story and the Bryson DeChambeau story there. Played in the 2014 Palmer Cup and the 2015 Walker Cup as a collegiate amateur.
Then he started writing us letters.
The process of getting a sponsor exemption, there's no real science to it, but it's about separating yourself from all the other people that are trying to get these few opportunities.
Bryson sent us a letter which 50 other collegiates or amateurs will send us, or professionals, and respectfully asked for a spot. We respond by saying, keep in touch with us. We'd appreciate to know how the rest of your spring and summer are going, and we'll make our decision around the NCAAs.
Well, Bryson took that to heart and kept us posted through emails that were so great. I would reread them at board meetings because they were so well-thought out, so respectful, thoroughly explained what his round was like that day or what that tournament was like, explain the kinds of things he was going to need to work on to get better, and oh, by the way, I would really appreciate a spot in the John Deere Classic. It would mean that much to me. And it was so sincere.
So the NCAA championship happens, and Bryson is the NCAA champion in 2015. Unbelievable accomplishment in and of itself. We were able to at that point officially, although he didn't know it, but we already decided we were going to give him the exemption anyway, but we were able to make that phone call, which was so terrific, and you can imagine the same kind of response. You know, genuine, excitement and appreciation, and so the relationship there with us took another big step.
So our event is in July. He plays in the John Deere Classic, and then in August, he goes and wins the U.S. Amateur. Wow, that is a big event, obviously. By winning that U.S. Amateur and being the NCAA champion, he becomes only the fifth player ever to do that, ever to be a member of that club: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore. Ryan Moore is also a past champion of the John Deere Classic.
We gave Tiger Woods an exemption, too, by the way. He should have won, but Ed Fiori nipped him at the wire. Maybe he'll come back and fix that.
As an amateur in 2015, he was runner-up at the Australian Masters, tying John Senden, our 2006 John Deere Classic champion. But at that point, he turns pro, and like many accomplished players, goes to the Web.com TOUR, wins there, kind of learns the ins and outs of playing that many weeks, traveling, being in the heat of competition, having to hit shots down the wire. Wins the DAP Championship in Cleveland, ensuring his 2017 status.
And so last year, Bryson, we were so excited, comes into town, and I kind of missed the chance to welcome him back. He's a hard worker and didn't really know where he was. I think he had a morning tee time on Thursday. Took a look at the scoreboard and saw that he had posted a 66, which was great. Excited for him. Still couldn't find him.
Finally on the range, there's like five people on the range, there's Bryson, practicing, fine-tuning the game, and I had a chance to congratulate him on his 66, and I'll never forget it. He was just -- big smile, took his hat off, big, firm handshake, and the story continued from there as he came down the stretch Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Birdies 17 and 18. Nobody birdies 18. Stricker did. Michael Clark did in a playoff in 2000. Very few people birdie 18. But it was just so great.
One of the first things I remember on the 18th green in the trophy ceremony, everything was over, was Brett, his agent, Falkoff, saying on behalf of Bryson, we're coming back for media day, just want you to be aware, whatever you need, we're going to do it, and that's what's happening today.
He's had a heck of a year. He's already finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, third at the RBC Heritage, fourth at the Wells Fargo. I think he's 12th now on the Ryder Cup points list. He told us on the other side of the wall that that's his main goal is to make the Ryder Cup team.
We'll let Bryson say a few words and then open it up for questions, but it's my sincere pleasure and honor to welcome back our 2017 champion, Bryson DeChambeau.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thank you, Mr. Peterson. Appreciate it. Thank you for all you do. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing you here, and you're doing a great job out here. Thanks, guys. I appreciate you all being here. First time, obviously, first win, first media day. So this is new to me. But I love it. I think this is great.
I know that in my heart, this will forever hold a special place. It's just so meaningful to me to be able to win at this place where, again, I'm probably going to get a little emotional with Payne Stewart, obviously his first win was here, and it just means so much to me, and I can't say thank you enough to everybody that made this possible.
Yeah, it is a dream come true, obviously, to win for the first time, and for it to be here is incredibly special.
I'll never forget on 17, I know we were talking about it in the room over there, Tim, my caddie, telling me on 17 out of that rough right by the cart path, he was saying, Bryson, I don't think you can get that 3-wood over the ridge right there and get it on the green. You've just got to hit hybrid up there; you can't do it. I said, Tim, I've got this one, partner. So I ultimately hit that incredible shot up there and was able to two-putt and then finished off with a great birdie on the last. I don't know how that putt dropped, but it did. God willing, it just snuck in that right side.
But all these memories, all these things that have been created over the last year, these experiences I've got have been because of the John Deere Classic and what it's done for me in regards to just getting better as a person, getting better in golf, and learning how to live a better lifestyle because of it.
Honestly, people don't realize how hard of a grind it is out here on TOUR. You've got 14 -- for me, I missed 14 cuts in a row before I started to play well before this event, so I finished, I think, 22nd or something at the Travelers, then went to TPC Avenel, finished 17th and 14th Greenbrier and then I won here, but before that I had missed 14 cuts, so it's a grind out here.
And just moving back to the John Deere, being able to win here, going to the Masters, all of that is possible because of the John Deere Classic, and I can't thank John Deere and Mr. Clair Peterson for giving me the exemption a couple years ago, to be able to play in this event and get comfortable out here and ultimately wind up winning this event. So thank you. Give a round of applause to Mr. Peterson and Tony, what they're doing. Thank you.
Again, like I said, it's going to hold a special place in my heart forever.
If there are any questions anybody would like to ask, I'm totally up for it.
Q. Driving down here for the first time, you were very emotional --
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah.
Q. Did those feelings come back driving toward the Deere statue?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It was definitely surreal, I can tell you that. I was telling Mr. Peterson over here that -- well, first off, it looks different. I mean, you don't have any corporate tents or anything like that. But driving down, it just brought back a lot of amazing memories. Yeah, it just throws me back. Being able to win on the PGA TOUR is always a huge dream come true for anybody, and to be able to do it here with the story behind Payne Stewart and this being one of my first exemptions on TOUR, all of those stars lining up makes it very, very special for sure, and coming down the road, just looking at the place -- remembering shots from 9 fairway, the last round, hitting it to 15 feet and missing that putt, and then after that I really kick-started my round, shot 30 on the back. Just remembering things like that are pretty special to me. And also looking out the back and seeing there's no corporate tents behind 18 and you can see 16 green. I never knew that was there. It was just kind of interesting. But definitely a surreal time driving down the road.
Q. Have you talked to Tracey Stewart after this win and shared this --
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Unfortunately not, I haven't been able to talk to them. I would love to. But at the same point in time, they have their lives to live, and I think they're doing some things right now that don't really align with where my life is going. But I would love to. They've meant a lot to me. Payne Stewart has meant a lot to me, and so I would love to do some work with them moving forward. Absolutely.
Q. Two years after winning the NCAAs you were on the TOUR. Aaron Wise has kind of done the same thing. How do you do that? That seems to hard to be able to do that in that short amount of time.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I think it's the new age in golf where all of us are capable of -- athletically and technically to win. It's not just the athletics that you have to have. It's now the technique that you have to have, and with FlightScope and all these radar devices, we're more knowledgeable about what to do and how to do it and we can repair our golf swings a lot quicker than we could before. So you give a kid that's athletic that has a good mindset about I want to win or the will to win, that's just a combination for success. And I think that's just going to happen more and more and more as time goes on. It's going to become a younger TOUR. I think the average age right now is 28. I think it's just going to keep getting younger.
Q. When people, guys win on TOUR, they say there's something about this course that fits my eye. What fits your eye about Deere Run?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I would say the biggest factor is driving the golf ball. The shapes off the tees really fit my type of ball flight. That was huge for me, and you've got to be a good ball striker out here, wedges all the way up. You've got a couple long holes. You've got 12 that's not an easy hole. It's a long hole, and I played that hole really well last year. And then you've got 3. 3 is a difficult hole, up the hill, the par-3.
You have to be a good ball striker out here to be able to win. And you've got Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, all these guys are incredible wedgers and ball strikers as well as putters, but I would say for the most part, for me, me being able to drive it in the fairway consistently is a huge deal, and I'm just able to hit on the greens more than anybody else is really what it did for me, my consistency in ball-striking.
Q. You're an emotional guy, obviously. How do you channel that during a round and not let it overwhelm you? Secondarily, given the team competitions you've already been in, Palmer Cup and Walker Cup, this being a Ryder Cup year, what would that mean to you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, I don't -- because it hasn't happened, I don't know what my emotions will be like. I could imagine, but I can't really say what it's going to do for me or whatnot.
What I can tell you, though, during the round, emotionally the only way to really cope with what you're going through at that point in time is to talk to your caddie. For me, talking to my caddie Tim Tucker is really the saving grace for me, being able to say, hey, I'm not comfortable right now, what can I do to -- what can we do to make me more comfortable. And just saying that alone makes me more comfortable, because you recognize the fact that, hey, this is a unique situation, and let's figure out a way to get through it. So we're already starting the process of figuring it out.
So those sorts of things really help calm me down, make me make better decisions on the golf course I would say. But having the caddie there right by your side, saying, hey, this is okay, you've got no problems here, just execute this next shot to the best of your ability, you'll be completely fine.
Q. Last year you gave him more (indiscernible) on Sunday --
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yes, but what's funny is I don't remember most of that back nine. The only shots I remember are 17, hitting that second shot, and then 18, hitting the tee shot and the second shot, and I don't remember hitting the putt on 18. I just don't. I have no recollection of hitting that putt.
It went in. It went in, everybody. But yes, it was a very unique day, unique back nine. I mean, I'll never forget on 4 after making a three-putt bogey, walking off that green going, what am I doing. I'm throwing another tournament down the drain. And right after that, Tim said, Bryson, you're still in it. I said, What do you mean? He's like, you're seven back, but you can do it. I've seen you do it before. You've shot 29 on your golf course plenty of times. You can do it. I was like, all right, well, I'm going to have to play really well coming in.
So I get to 5, 6, 7, par those holes. Nothing happened. I'm just thinking, man, this is just not going to be my day. Get to 8, hit a good shot -- great second shot in there to 12 feet below the hole. Actually thought I hit it closer than that, but maybe a 12-footer straight up the hill, and for whatever reason, that 12-footer gave me an incredible amount of confidence. And from then on out, it was fairway, green, I had a great chance for birdie, and I had 15 feet on 9, had a six-footer on 10, and then 12-footer on 11, almost made birdie from like 18 feet. It was a tough putt on 12. 13, made a nine-footer. 14, made a 12-footer.
So it just was a perpetual effect, I think, from making that putt on 8, and I wound up shooting 30 on the back nine to win.
That to me is quite possibly one of the most powerful rounds of golf that I've ever played, and that round of golf will forever be etched in my memory banks because I know I can pull that out in any situation, in any golf tournament and say, look, I can do this, I know what I'm capable of.
So that's why this tournament means so much to me, and quite possibly will forever be my most fond memory.
Q. Bryson, Clair was saying before that you were talking to some people here earlier about how important it would be to make the Ryder Cup team this year. On the Ryder Cup website as the last night, your picture is under the column that says players on the bubble. Besides winning the John Deere again, what do you have to do to make that team?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I've got to keep playing great golf. I've done a good job of that this year. I've had a lot of top-5 finishes, top-10 finishes, and let the clubs do the talking. That's just what I've got to keep doing. I can't think too much about it. All I have to do is execute every shot to the best of my ability. That's what I always go back to. But seriously, that's just what you have to do. You have to execute everything to the best of your ability and let the dice roll as they may. You can't control every factor in the game of golf. All you can do, again, is do your best. So that's all I can do.
I hope to be able to make the team. It would mean a lot to me. Emotionally I don't know what would happen to me. I'd probably cry. But it means so much to me to be on a team event representing the United States. That's -- yeah. You know what that means.
Q. Payne Stewart used to tell us that the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Open were two of his favorite events for obvious reasons, the United States. You feel the same way it appears?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, absolutely. The United States is an amazing country. I think we do an incredible amount of good deeds for the world, and I think we're a light to other countries, to other places in this world. Some people may not believe that, but I think we are no matter what. We're still this shining beacon in the world today as hope. There is hope out there. There is good reason to believe that human progress is fruitful, is worthwhile, and that's what I think we are. And being a part of that, representing that is huge, and I hope to do that one day. And if not this year, down the road.
Q. You've never had to defend a PGA TOUR event. Do you have a different mindset?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: You know, it's funny, people have asked me that before, and I would say I'm trying to treat it just like another event. I have to. I mean, if I try and amp it up, I don't think that's going to be beneficial to me. Yes, I am defending champion. It's cool to say that, by the way. (Laughter.)
But I'm going to go into the week trying to get all of my work done, make sure I'm 100 percent prepared and execute to the best of my ability. If I can do that, I know I'm just going to have a great chance again.
Q. Do you talk to anybody about it, or seems like you've got --
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, just try and keep to myself about that stuff. I've got my own little things that I think are important that I don't want to give away too much. But at the same point in time, I'm just going to get my job done.
Q. How has your mental approach evolved from college, Web.com to now?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Mental game. I think it's more of a confidence factor, not necessarily the mental. I mean, confidence is kind of mental. But as I would look at it, all it's done for me is at every single level it's increased my confidence profile, and as I keep having more and more and more success, that confidence is just going to keep going up, going to keep skyrocketing. So at every level, be it Web -- even at the amateur level or junior level, it took me a while to get comfortable in each place.
And so I think it's going to be the same thing. Even though I've won, I've had a couple great chances to win. I haven't done it, but it's going to take me just a little bit to get to that next level. And so I think that it's coming. I've just got to learn a little bit more, and I'll get to an elite level, if that makes sense.
Q. This back nine you made a lot of putts, made a huge comeback. Is there something about the way this thing goes? Can you describe how it certainly doesn't start until the back nine on Sunday?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I think that the golf course is always scorable for the most part, and you always have these opportunities if you execute good shots to have a chance to make birdies on every single hole. And that's the unique part about this place is that 10, birdie hole, 11, birdie hole, 12, if you hit a good shot it can be a birdie hole, 13, 14. 15 is really the only super difficult hole, and even then if you hit a good drive you've got an iron shot in there and you hit one close, you can make birdie. 16 is birdieable, 17 is birdieable, and 18 -- I mean, I birdied it, but it's not birdieable.
Yeah, I think that this golf course warrants a lot of great play because of the way that the course is set up in regards to -- there is the potential to always make a birdie on each and every hole.
Q. Do you have a sense of that as you go?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, 100 percent. I mean, that's what I did. Birdied 10, birdied 11, parred 12 but then birdied 13, and I was on a roll.
Q. The "Golfing Machine" is not an easy read. For the mere mortal, what are your swing thoughts?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, the "Golfing Machine" is a recipe book; that's kind of the way I look at it. There's a bunch of different ingredients that are there, but ultimately it tells you how to make the cake. That's just kind of the way I describe it.
And so you have all these potential options, all right; you've got 24 components and 144 variations, all the ingredients, but there's 144 variations. Those components that all make it up are the cakes themselves, and once you put all the components together, you get this beautiful arrangement of desserts, just great -- it's a great option to have in the repertoire I personally think.
When I look back on it, it's really the reason why I know my golf swing so well, because it literally laid out every single little thing and then told me, these are all potential options of how to swing the golf club, and I just literally chose, I wanted this cake or I wanted that dessert or whatever it was. That's the way I looked at it, and that's what's been super beneficial to me is my ability to explain my golf swing on a whole 'nother level that most people really can't. Not that you have to do that, you don't have to do that at all, but I wanted to do it so that whenever something broke down, I could easily go back and say, oh, this is what's braking down, and fix it.
Q. Do you have a current swing thought now?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I've got plenty of swing thoughts. I mean, which one do you want? Yeah, I'm still working on my -- I've transcended and progressed into more of the biomechanics of it, how my golf swing is functioning relative to my ranges of motion and how consistent that repeatability factor is of my motion. And that's -- I'm not going to go too much more into that because I don't want to give all my secrets away.
Q. You're saying guys want to come out here and get better, they want to win, technology and all that stuff. You kind of have your own technology when it comes to golf balls. Are you still doing that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, it's a little science project. That's really what it is. We're measuring the consistency of the center of mass in the golf ball. So if the center of mass is off, it can act like -- simply, it can act like there's mud on the side of a ball. So when the center of mass is just off to the side a little bit, it just acts like mud. So that's what we're measuring. We put it in Epsom salt and water, just a salt solution, and we get it to the point where the density matches the ball to where it can float, and then we just spin it until the heavy side -- until it slows down and the heavy side presents itself and wobbles to the bottom, and so we know that that point is the heavy part -- the lining of the heavy spot. So I always want to be rolling it over the heavy spot. If I have it 90 degrees, it can veer off a little way. So we make sure that it's within a certain parameter. If it's outside a certain parameter, we've got to fix it. But any golf ball out there is going to have its imperfections. You can't make a spherical golf ball -- well, a somewhat spherical golf balls with dimples on it perfectly distributed in mass. It's very, very difficult. So there's always air in that, no matter what you do.
Q. Would you go back to the day you got a phone call from Clair telling you you got your exemption, the emotions of that moment?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, it was such an honor. I had won the NCAA championships and thought that I was probably going to get the exemption, but you still don't know. I mean, there's definitely other options that people can make. And when I did get the call, the first thing that went through my mind is I'm going to have a chance to play on TOUR, and that was always a big deal to me in college. I'll never forget my sophomore year after playing really well and still not being in the -- I think it was the top 20 in college rankings or in amateur rankings. I'm like, man, if I don't play well this next year I'm not going to have a chance to play on TOUR. It's going to be very difficult to get on TOUR quickly. So what I thought about was I need chances to get on TOUR. I know if I get out there and get my feet a little wet, I'm going to be fine. I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to understand how to play out here.
And so what I mean by this is when I did get the call and heard that I was going to be playing, and Mr. Peterson was nice enough to extend an invitation to me, it meant the world to me. It meant everything to me because this is where I wanted to be. I wanted to be out here. And it's so proper that this would be my first win because he has meant so much to me and my time in professional golf and even in amateur golf. That's where it really started.
So I can truthfully say that he is the reason why I'm here right now, and that is a definite for sure.
Q. Does this tournament have -- did it have when you were playing a reputation for being a great place for rookies to get their feet wet?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Absolutely, yeah. Look, you've given exemptions to plenty of great young guns. I mean, Justin Thomas, right? He's No. 1 in the world, by the way. Jordan Spieth. So all these guys that have gotten exemptions from Mr. Peterson have gone on to some great success, and that means a lot to me because I think that in seeing that, that shows potential for my opportunities to play, well, better out here on TOUR.
Q. Is that discussed amongst college players and so on?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Oh, yeah, who's going to get this exemption, who's going to get that exemption. It's always important for us because we're working to get out here on TOUR. Every collegiate player wants to be out here. They want to. But it's very difficult. Not everybody can be out here. And so, you know, we know where kind of everybody is, but it's still fun to kind of talk and say, oh, this kid did this or you did that last week, great playing, whatever. It's always kind of fun to spur each other on, in a sense.
Q. Where do you have the trophy?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: In my room. Right in my room on my mantel. I wake up every morning and I see it right in front of me.
Q. Where are you going to put the Bobblehead?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: On my desk. Right next to me on my nightstand. I love it. It looks so cool. I mean, can't you see the resemblance?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, this is very, very well-done. All my logos on there perfect, so my sponsors are happy. Yeah, they've done a fantastic job, and I'm very appreciative of this.
Q. You can take one, right?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I can take a couple, I think. Thank you.
Q. You've talked about your ascension up the ranks, college, Web.com, now winning out here. How has all of that tied in to how you're perceived on TOUR? You're a unique individual, how you approach things, your perception on TOUR, do you feel like you are fitting in on TOUR now and ready to be on another American team, a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I think it's been an evolution I would say, just like anybody's journey is not going to be perfect. They're going to have their tough times, they're going to have their great times, but I can truly tell you that it's taken me a while to get comfortable on each level of golf, whether it be junior golf, amateur golf, collegiate golf, professional golf. On the Web Tour, professional golf, on the PGA TOUR, it's taken me time. Even though I did win my first time playing on the Web.com finals, I still think there was -- the PGA TOUR prepared me for that stage. So there was just still progression, there was really a progression of comfort level, and it's taken me just a little bit of time. And it always does. It's always taken me about two years to get comfortable, and this is kind of technically almost three years now, but I won last year, so two years. It's just taken me that time, and I'm just going to keep getting more and more and more comfortable and this year goes on. I'm going to learn a lot. It's something that I try and do every single event is learn as much as possible so I'm prepared for the next event. If you're not learning, you're falling behind because everybody else is trying to get better. I mean, Ben Hogan said it best. Every day you're not practicing or learning is a day that somebody is getting better than you, which is the truth. It honestly is. Yes, you do have to have rest and relaxation, but there's always going to be a component of somebody is always working harder than you if you're not working. That's kind of the way I look at it.
Q. Have you played any of the venues that are hosting the majors the rest of the way this year, and what can you say about both of those golf courses?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I've played Shinnecock last Monday, and I like it. I think it's going to be a great test of golf. The conditions are fair as of now. They are, in a good way, very positive. I played well. I shot a really good number.
And I think they've tightened the fairways in a couple unique areas, which is going to make for a little different shot-making aspects of the course. You've got to be able to cut certain shots and draw certain shots, which is fine, totally cool, but it just changes the course dynamics a little bit. I think it's going to be a great test of golf. There's going to be people that struggle out there if they're not hitting it well. There's going to be people that are successful out there. But I can tell you if the course firms up and the wind is blowing, it's going to be a very difficult golf course, a great test of golf. I'm sure the scores will be around par.
Q. You've heard the talk about how if everything goes right, we go over a hundred million dollars in charitable contributions. What do you make of that considering the size of this area and what they've been able to do?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It's incredible. I mean, a hundred million dollars, I can't even think of that. I can't even fathom that or rationalize with that. That's -- first and foremost, that for a community like this, a hundred million dollars is unbelievable, and it means so much to them I'm sure. I came from a small town, Modesto, California, and then raised in Clovis, California, which is very, very small, and a hundred million dollars is huge. It's meaningful to communities like that. And I know that for a fact. I've never really been a part of something that impactful. First off, thank you, and it's an incredible job what y'all have done.
I'm willing to support anything and everything that helps grow this community and make it better.
CLAIR PETERSON: We don't want to come up short with any further questions, but we also know that many of you want to do your one-on-ones with Bryson, which Barry will kind of orchestrate afterwards. I think you can see from his genuine answers to your questions, again, we're so fortunate to have Bryson as our champion, and to add his name to the list of guys that are already on there is really exciting. He did a number of things right. When you get a sponsor exemption letter, it comes to the tournament director, and you heard him a couple times refer to Mr. Clair Peterson. I get three kinds of sponsor exemption letters: Mr. Clair Peterson, Ms. Clair Peterson, and this year for the first time, a Mrs. Clair Peterson. So he was in the right pile right off the bat.
But again, Bryson, thanks so much. Really, thank you.
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