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TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP


June 20, 2014


Brendan Steele


CROMWELL, CONNECTICUT

Q.¬† Threw in an eagle early.¬† Then you were 2‑over through 11.¬† What's going through your head as you made that turn around?
BRENDAN STEELE:  You know, I was actually happy with what I was doing out there.  I hit a couple of shots that we just misjudged the wind a little bit and ended up leading to bogeys and hit a couple of bad shots but not too many and all of a sudden you're a few over par.  And it really is hard to back up that low round like I had yesterday.

Q.  How much firmer were conditions today?
BRENDAN STEELE:  A lot firmer and a lot windier.  We played in the rain yesterday but there wasn't a lot of wind.  And then today the greens were really, really releasing and if you're not in position it's really hard to stop the ball.

Q.  You're just a couple back.  What's your mindset going into the weekend?
BRENDAN STEELE:  Just sticking to the process.  Everything that I'm doing, trying to really visualize the shot and make sure that I'm committed to everything that I'm doing.

Q.  You had composure out there.  You're in a bit of an unusual position leading the golf tournament.  You didn't get off to the best of starts and still kept it together, and I never really thought you were swinging or hitting it bad, but it doesn't take much to get sideways on this golf course.
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah, it doesn't take a lot.  Made a couple bogeys where I felt like I made good swings and the wind just didn't quite hit it the way we thought it would and you end up in some really bad spots out here.  There's a lot of slope around the short sides especially, so those are places you can't really be.

Q.¬† Birdie at 3 was really big, but that 47‑footer at the fourth was special.
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah.  I didn't hit a good tee shot out there.  I was way right, but happened to find a gap in the trees and hit a pretty good shot and rolled the putt in, and that's the kind of stuff that you do when you're up towards the lead of a tournament.

Q.  How about a 2 at 5?
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah, that was pretty good, too.  I was trying to hit a low hard draw in there and it caught the slope right and went the right distance, so went up to about a foot.

Q.  Talk to me about your putting, specifically your grip.  We know that you switched from the long putter to a more conventional shaft.  Talk to me about your hands on the club and how comfortable it feels.
BRENDAN STEELE:¬† Yeah.¬† So I've been using this grip since 2003.¬† One of my college buddies was helping me with my putting back in college and he said why don't you try this, and that was kind of pretty new in those days.¬† Chris de‑Marco was doing kind of a version of it.¬† So that's what I used on the belly putter, so I felt the best to keep doing that with the short putter as well.

Q.  You happy with your speed control?  I would think that's one of the huge advantages of going to a more conventional shaft.
BRENDAN STEELE:¬† It is, yeah.¬† The speed control is instantly much better.¬† I mean I have tap‑ins from 30 and 40 feet, which I never usually have with the belly putter.¬† I normally have to grind over four, five, six‑footers and even when I was at Memorial and the U.S. Open qualifier it was 8, 10, 12, 15 feet coming back, so that's what really instigated the switch.

Q.¬† I know you've been really concerned with the process this entire week, the pre‑shot process.¬† Saw you and Bobby talking a couple of times.¬† It seemed like you were in the moment the entire round.
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah.  I'm really happy with what I'm doing right now.  Not hitting a shot until I'm committed to it and we're really making sure that we're picking the right shot I think most of the time.  You can't get it right every time, but we're doing the best we can.  Paragraph.

Q.  Good job.
BRENDAN STEELE:  You know, just one of those things like I made a couple of bad swings that led to a couple of bogeys and hit a couple good shots that led to bogeys, too, so kind of evens out from yesterday I guess.

Q.¬† Have you ever eagled back‑to‑back days on the TOUR?
BRENDAN STEELE:  I don't know.  Maybe.  I'm not really sure.

Q.  How did it play different playing in the afternoon today than the morning yesterday?
BRENDAN STEELE:  Much firmer today.  Winds were up and they were swirling around, so it was tough to get the direction and the strength of the wind right, because it seemed to move kind of on every hole.

Q.  Brendan, what part of your game is going the best that you think will carry you through the weekend?
BRENDAN STEELE:  I really like the speed control with my putting, which has always been kind of something that I struggle with, and I really like my short iron play.  I've been able to hit the ball close when I do put it in position off the tee.

Q.  And despite the ups and downs of today, you essentially backed up what you did yesterday, and you have to feel great about where you are as you head into the weekend.
BRENDAN STEELE:¬† Yeah.¬† I'm really happy with it.¬† Overall I felt like I did everything about the same as yesterday.¬† It just didn't quite work as well, some of the pins didn't look quite as good to my eye, and like I said, we missed the wind a couple times that we thought we had in the pre‑shot routine and we just didn't quite hit it the way we thought, but other than that, I was happy with most parts of my game.

Q.  Was it more organized at the beginning than yesterday?  You said 7:20 was a disaster.
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah.  Maybe I should be more disorganized in the future.  But I was ready to go today, so that's probably why the score is a little higher.

Q.  Are the greens drying out at this point?  With no winds expected, how dry are they going to get?
BRENDAN STEELE:  Yeah, definitely.  If the weather continues like this, I mean it was perfect today, but the greens are getting firm, and the rough is long, so if you're in the rough, you're not stopping the ball.  So it putts a premium on hitting it in the fairway.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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