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January 17, 2015

Jimmy Walker


DOUG MILNE:  Jimmy Walker, quite an impressive third round here at the Sony Open in Hawai'i, 11 one‑putts to finish your round, I believe, 8‑under 62, your best score in the event here.  What is it about you and Hawai'i and specifically this tournament?
JIMMY WALKER:  I wish I knew.  You look around, this is just such a pretty place, and last week, too.  I've always enjoyed coming here.  I like the golf course.  I think this is one of the best golf courses we play.  It shows you what a good golf course is, what it is and doesn't have to be.  It's shorter, it's tight, green complexes are very benign to what we normally play.  But I just think it's a good test.  I think it's a good golf course.  It's hard to hit fairways and then it's harder to hit greens when you don't hit the fairways.

Q.  I know you joked earlier in the week talking about how hard it is to hit fairways here and how that gives you an advantage because you never hit fairways.  How much truth is there to that?
JIMMY WALKER:  That was just kind of a joke, but it makes it harder to control your ball when you're not in the fairway, especially out of this rough, because it's up and you're catching fliers.  I hit a 220 7‑iron on the last hole, and it flew up on to the green, like 210, so they're jumping.  Definitely you want to be in the fairway.  I say that lightly, making a joke earlier, but you definitely want to be in the fairway here, because it sure makes it easier for you to control your ball when you hit into the green.  That's what you want.
Some of these greens have a lot of slope, and when you get in those scoring positions you want to try to hit them underneath the hole so you've got some nice uphill putts because you can have some 10‑footers here that break three and four cups.

Q.  The board at some point, I don't know where you were, but it was just ridiculously bunched, and then all of a sudden you started pouring in a lot of putts and there you are.  Did it remind you at all of Sunday last year?
JIMMY WALKER:  A little bit, yeah.  I didn't get to see‑‑ we didn't see a board until about 5 green, 6 green, and I felt like I was treading water and wasn't making any birdies.  I had a birdie and a bogey, and then I saw the board, and nothing was really happening.  I was like, okay, and then I made a putt, and I told Andy, let's do it.  It's go time.  Let's get going.  Then we started making some putts.  The one that was big was on 9.  I hit kind of‑‑ I pulled a drive left and hit one out in front of the green, had a pretty easy pitch, and I didn't hit a good pitch and I pitched it past about 12 feet or something and made it, and that was big.  I needed to make that one to kind of keep the mo' going.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JIMMY WALKER:  Yeah, that's what we said, let's go.  It's go time.  It's right here, let's go make some birdies, make it happen.

Q.  Wind or lack of wind, how much did that affect you in making it go time, I guess?
JIMMY WALKER:  It's just enough.  If you catch some crosswinds, you've got to be careful, especially because they've got tucked pins, that kind of thing.  I thought one of the tougher shots on the back nine today, I hit a great shot.  I really wasn't trying to get it all the way back there, but I just roasted it, was on 15, I hit one back there to that back left pin, and the wind was whipping off the right pretty good there, and if you miss it just left the ball always tends to kick hard to the left and then you're kind of short‑siding yourself.  That was a tough shot.  I got it out there pretty far right and rode the wind in and got it back there.  I didn't think I was going to be able to get it all the way back there, but you definitely try to use it to your advantage, work it up against it when you want to, and you've just got to see and feel the shots.

Q.  For you guys it's calm?
JIMMY WALKER:  It is and it isn't.  It is what it is.  We're all out there dealing with it.  It's not like it's blowing 30 and it's brutal or anything.  It's very light for Hawai'i.

Q.  Have you ever finished with 11 one‑putts?

Q.  Were you aware of it?
JIMMY WALKER:  Yeah.  I think when I tapped that one in on 15, I started thinking, wow, that feels like a lot of one‑putts in a row, and I kind of went back through it, and I counted eight counting that one, and then when I hit it up on the green on 16, I thought, if I blow this, this is going to be a tough one to keep the streak going, but I made that one.  I got a good look from Rory, which was nice.  That's a tricky green because it always likes to run toward the water and everything shows it breaking right.  The green is going that way, and I hit a good putt, and it went in.
It was a nice bogey save on 17.  My ball was plugged in the lip, but it was almost sitting up too good.  It was like, I don't want to hit this too hard, and boy, I didn't.

Q.  You kind of alluded to this, having a short week, which probably helped get past last week quickly, but to come out and play well last week and come back the next week and play just as well, I wonder if you could talk about the satisfaction there.
JIMMY WALKER:  It's nice.  I mean, I definitely wanted to win last week, but I tried to take‑‑ you try to take as much positives as you can out of the situation, and try to figure out what you did, what you could have done different.  But we talked about what we did, and we liked what we did.  It just didn't work out.  And I had my chance on the last hole, but then to carry that into this week and to keep playing well, I knew I had been playing good, I've been hitting it good, and yeah, it feels good.  It's nice to get back right where we want to be, having a chance to win, especially after last week.  I think it's pretty cool.

Q.  You were tied after 54 last week and have some cushion this week.  Does that change anything in how you'll feel tomorrow?
JIMMY WALKER:  I don't think so.  Somebody is shooting a low round every day, and you never know where it's going to come from, so you've got to go out with the expectation you've got to shoot a good score tomorrow.  I think conditions are probably going to be about the same.  It seems like the tradewinds kind of tried to come back a little bit today.  It was kind of a south, southeast breeze, but I think tomorrow you have to go out and shoot another good score.

Q.  This is your 17th round in a row in the 60s in Hawai'i.  Have you thought about moving here?
JIMMY WALKER:  It's a long flight to come home to, but I'll keep visiting for sure.

Q.  Do you remember the last time you didn't break 70 in Hawai'i?
JIMMY WALKER:  I don't.  I don't know.  I didn't even know that little stat you threw at me there.

Q.  So obviously on Monday you look back on that, we talked about all that.  Do you think that you might approach tomorrow a little differently even though you have the lead?  You were tied for the lead then, but you'll have the lead by two now.  Will you approach it differently?
JIMMY WALKER:  I don't think so.  You still have to go out and play golf.  You have to go hit good shots and shoot good scores and that type of thing.  Nobody is going to lay down.  Like I said, somebody is shooting a good score out here every day, and it could be Kuchar or Harman or anybody in the top 10, or anywhere.  You don't know where it's coming from.  I think you have to go out with the mindset that you're going to have to go out and hit good shots and make birdies and that type of thing.  As the round progresses, you never know what's going to happen, how it's going to unfold, but you have to assess each situation as you get to it.
I know today maybe took a little bit from that yesterday or from last week.  I got on 17, and it was just going to be just a smoking hard 8‑iron to get it back there, and I tugged it just a little bit.  If it was 10 feet right where I was really trying to land the ball 15 feet right, it was a good shot.  I didn't mean to tug it over there, but I was going back there to that back pin.  I wanted to hit a good shot in there, and I wasn't just trying to like get one on the green and two‑putt, not that.  I was running and gunning there.  I was trying to make a birdie.  I was trying to hit a good shot, not to just green, two‑putt.

Q.  What was the hardest part about a tournament like this when, as you say, a low round could come from anybody anywhere, and I don't know what would be considered an insurmountable lead here, six?
JIMMY WALKER:  I don't know, you can't say that‑‑ I don't think you can say that at all.  It's golf, man.  You don't know what's going to happen.  I feel good about what I'm doing, and my golf swing and things that are going on.  Like I said, I can only go out and control what I can do tomorrow, and I can't put anything on anybody else.  But I'm going to go out and just keep trying to hit the golf shots, hit the good shots, hit the shots I see, put it under the hole, give myself some good looks, make some putts.  I feel good putting.  I feel like I'm seeing the greens pretty good.

Q.  Harrington said years ago that his whole objective at a tournament was to get to the back nine on Sunday, be in range, and then give it a go.  Have you ever had any type of a thought process like that at any tournament, or is it just one round at a time and see where I am?
JIMMY WALKER:  Well, I mean, I think guys that‑‑ you've heard Tiger say stuff like that, and if Padraig says that, I'm sure Padraig when he was winning all the majors and really contending every week, and yeah, you get into that mode of just get me to the back nine on Sunday and I feel like I can win, I've got a good chance and that type thing, but you have to be there and have the experience that you've been there and you're doing that to really say that.  But yeah, that's what Butch and I talk about is he's seen that his whole‑‑ it seems like he's seen that the last 20 years of his career is his guys have been right there and they've been winning and they've the chances on the back nine and that type thing.  Yeah, definitely I'm pumped and excited to be where I am.  I mean, this is where you want to be is to have the chance to win on Sunday, especially on the back nine, because that means you've got a chance.

Q.  Have your expectations of yourself changed at all do you think in the past year, year and a half when you're out on the course playing?
JIMMY WALKER:  Yeah, I mean, they do.  I expect more of myself.  I put more pressure on myself, and I want to win more and that type thing.  I think we all do.  But Butch really hammers that home, that fact to you, that it's about winning.  I had the best year ever two years ago and didn't win, and we started talking about it, and I said, that was my best year ever.  He said, yeah, but you didn't win.  I said, yeah, that's true.  That's what we were trying to do and didn't do it.
And then we started winning and won a few.  So that was nice.  But yeah, just trying to get back and get to where we're at.  It's cool.

Q.  Along that line, last week second place, would that hurt more now that you have one if that makes sense?
JIMMY WALKER:  No.  It hurts, but I finished second, I was in a playoff.  I felt like I was doing what I needed to do.  I'm not like I'm not sleeping anymore or I can't eat.  I'm hanging in there all right.

Q.  I mean compared to if youhadn't won?
JIMMY WALKER:  Yeah, maybe.  Yeah, maybe.  I don't know.  I felt like I've had golf tournaments right there before, but I wasn't that close, but I've felt like I had tournaments that were mine to win but I didn't or that type of thing.  But I'm fine.  I'm okay.

Q.  When you work with Butch, how much does he ever say or does he ever say, in the times when he was working with Tiger, does he ever reference any of that when you're talking?
JIMMY WALKER:  Yeah, I mean, we talk about past experiences, and he likes to kind of hammer home on me and the other guys, I think, and talks about Phil, too, about winning tournaments and closing the door and that type thing because that's what he tries to‑‑ that's what he's used to seeing, that type thing.
I get little pieces here and there.  I mean, it's pretty cool.  It's fun little history.

Q.  Is there one little thing that's in your head from him that you'll think about tomorrow?
JIMMY WALKER:  He'll just say go out and‑‑ I'm sure I'm going to get something from him later, but I haven't checked my phone or anything.  He'll have his little pearls of wisdom just like he always does, and I get them from my dad and that type thing.  I don't know what he's going to say.  He's probably going to say go out and get it done.  You're playing good, go do it.

Q.  When was the last time you spoke to him and what was the best joke he told you?
JIMMY WALKER:  We talked Monday evening, and he was cool.  He's like, I know it hurts, and it's going to hurt, and it should hurt; you should be mad.  And it did.  He's been there.  He was a player, he knows what you're going through, he's seen it as a coach.  But more importantly he's seen it as a player.  He went out and played and he gut wrenched and did all that stuff like we all do.  He's got perspective.  He knows what's going on.  He knows when not to call and when to call.
DOUG MILNE:  Jimmy, thanks for your time.  Great playing today, and we hope to see you back here tomorrow.

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