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August 23, 2014

Hunter Mahan


Q.  Best out of the three rounds?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I think so.  For a lack of a better word, this is one of the easiest rounds because I just felt like I had good looks and if I didn't make them, then they were tap‑ins.  So it was pretty, I don't want to say easy but it just wasn't hard at times.  I was hitting fairways and greens and I was putting for birdie all day, and if I didn't make it, it was a tap‑in.
So it wasn't, I don't want to say an easy round but it wasn't too stressful I guess.

Q.  How much easier would you say it was compared to the previous rounds?
HUNTER MAHAN:  The weather has been so consistent and the course has been consistent with it.  There has not been many changes.  Usually you get to the weekend, things dry out and get faster.  The course is still very playable and you can still be pretty aggressive with your approach shots because you know the ball is not going to take big hops and go over the green.  You can control your distances pretty well from the fairway.

Q.  All things being equal, if you're at minus eight no matter what, would you rather be in the last group or second to last group?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I'd rather be in the last group, just so you know what everyone else is doing.  But in the end it doesn't matter.  Still got to post a score no matter which group you're in, and there's going to be quite a few guys that probably have a chance tomorrow that could win.  Even four or five shots off the lead is really not out of it by any means.

Q.  Talking the other day about The Ryder Cup and that it's on the back burner, now that you have one round to go and you're in position, do you have a feel for what a win could do for you in the eye's of Tom?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I don't know.  Obviously that would help my chances quite a bit.  I really have no clue what he's thinking.  There's been very little kind of, I don't want to say communication, but they have held their cards pretty close.  So I don't know if anyone has any really clue what maybe they are looking for.
But I know a win would definitely improve my chances.  So you know, right now, it's just with the FedExCup Playoffs and everything, a win means a lot from a points perspective and everything else.  Got to be aggressive and go out and try to win.

Q.  Playing as well as you are right now, does it make you think about it a little more particularly as you go into tomorrow, if you are able to win, does it become‑‑ I know at the beginning of the week‑‑
HUNTER MAHAN:  I think it's a great challenge for me to work on being patient and work on being very present in what I have to do right now.  It's a great challenge to do that.  Especially when you're so close to something that you really want so badly and how one thing can lead to a lot of other things.  I have to work really hard on being patient and present in the moment and being completely focused on the shot ahead of me, not the shot in front of me or behind me or what could happen.  I just have to be so in the moment right now.

Q.  How exciting is it just to be in contention and have a chance?
HUNTER MAHAN:  It's always exciting, because to win a PGA TOUR event isn't easy, and especially in a Playoff event where so many of the great players are here this week on a great golf course.
It's always a great opportunity.

Q.  So going back to The Ryder Cup in a sense, you kind of have to forget about it within the moment?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Well, I have to hit my shot.  I can't think the shot is going to win me The Ryder Cup or get me into The Ryder Cup.  It's just a golf shot and I'm going to hit a lot of them tomorrow.  Doesn't mean one shot is more important than the other.  Just means this is the shot I have to hit.

Q.  How many do you think you need to hit tomorrow?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I don't know.  Maybe‑‑ I think 11 is a great number.  You know, posting something like 11 or 12 would be good.

Q.  How much of a test is this course?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Oh, yeah, it's an extreme test.  Sort of small margin for error out there.  If you miss a fairway, have nothing, only hit it maybe 50, 60 yards.  Maybe you can hit it on the green.  Sometimes it's a bit of luck out there.  It's very penalizing if you miss a shot by the green on the wrong side.  You're going to have nothing left on some situations.
It's really a golf course where it's not‑‑ it's kind of where you miss it more than it is anything else to leave yourself kind of an easier chip.

Q.  You made a big move up the leaderboard?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Got myself in contention for tomorrow.  A golf course like this, a lot can happen.  This is definitely my best probably round of the week for driving in the fairway, gave myself a ton of putts today.  Hit a lot of really good putts that didn't go in but it was pretty easy in the sense of not having to get up‑and‑down all the time.

Q.  Do you feel like your game is just rounding into form?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, it feels good.  Been working hard at it for a while and trying to figure out what's the key for me to kind of get back to round like this.  It feels good.

Q.  Sean has been out there week.  Have you worked much with him?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, seen him quite a bit this week.

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