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ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY MASTERCARD


March 21, 2015


Sam Saunders


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Q.テつ Great playing yesterday to make the cut.テつ What was it like out there for you?テつ Played pretty good in the last 27 holes?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ Yeah.テつ You know, it has been a good last 27 holes.テつ Got off to a nice start today, unlike yesterday.テつ So, you know, settled into the round early and really hit the ball well all day long and actually I hit 17 greens today and fortunately the one I missed I made double on which is disappointing but overall very pleased with the round.

Q.テつ Were you stuck in between clubs at 15?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ No.テつ It's a hard shot.テつ I was off a really tight, firm lie in the fairway and I was guarding -- it felt like it was just going to launch and I didn't want to go long there and I just came up and out of it.
Just kind of tried to steer it up there.テつ But, you know, it happens.テつ That's a tough hole and, you know, paid the price for hitting a bad shot.

Q.テつ Shows a lot about where your game is, come back and birdie 16 and 17 right after that.
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ I have a lot more patience now.テつ There's 18 holes.テつ Every round is 18 holes.テつ Sometimes you get off to slow starts, sometimes you get off to fast starts.テつ At the end you got to play all 18 holes.テつ You don't add them up until it's over.
And even if you make, you know, a mistake like that, I know that I can still make birdies coming in there and it doesn't matter which holes they are, if you give yourself opportunities to make putts, you can do it.

Q.テつ Talked earlier in the week, this was a different situation for you, you earned your way into the tournament this year.テつ How has it been different for you?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ You know, just another level of comfort.テつ I don't really pay attention too much to what everybody else is saying but most importantly all the other pros out here support me and they all encourage me and understand, you know, what I've been through in the past few years and that feels the best that I, you know, I'm up here.
I'm not the one of these kids getting a spot.テつ I'm one of their peers.テつ They're all on the same level trying to do the same thing.

Q.テつ How about bouncing back with the birdies on 16 and 17?テつ You hilt a 3-wood off of 16?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ My driver is not working right this week. テつI got to work on that next week, get something new.
That 3-wood is actually a new one.テつ I'm hitting it a mile.テつ There's no need to hit driver on some of those holes.テつ 16, that fairway is real firm and I actually think I can hit my 3-wood further than I can I hit my driver there.テつ I can hit a tight, burning shot that goes far enough and it's 320 to the left bunker and 3-wood gets short of that.テつ It's perfect.
But yeah, to come back after 15, you know, that was frustrating but I knew 16 is a good opportunity to make a 3, 4 with a good tee shot and did what I needed to do there and then to step up and hit a really good shot on 17, that -- that's a brutal pin.テつ That's the Sunday pin.テつ I was really surprised to see it where it was today.テつ That's the very traditional Sunday pin.
It will be interesting to see where they put it tomorrow but to hit that shot there really was nice.

Q.テつ What did you hit?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ Like a 21-degree utility iron.テつ Choked down on a little bit and hit a big old high cut.テつ That's about the only way you can hold it on the green from back there.テつ I'll tell you what, the greens were absolutely perfect today.テつ They may not look perfect but I've been blown away this week how incredibly well they've rolled.

Q.テつ Are they going to firm up later today, do you think the scoring is going to slowdown a little bit?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ I hope so.テつ My goal is to kind of get it to -- I had a goal to get it to 10-under today.テつ I thought if I could get it to 10-under, have a pretty good chance tomorrow but I'm not far off of that and, you know, I always look at this course like you know, last year Adam Scott shot 10-under the first day.テつ I don't remember exactly what the winning score was.テつ I don't think it was anymore than 15-under par.

Q.テつ 13.
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ There you go.テつ If you base it off of the first two days, you know, yeah some people are going to think you're going to shoot 21-under par.テつ That's not going to happen here.
I still believe it will be around 15-under par.テつ So, yes, I got to go out there and do something special tomorrow but the important thing is it's not a hundred percent out of reach, in my opinion.

Q.テつ What's the best score you shot here?
SAM SAUNDERS:テつ Oh, I think I shot 63, 64.テつ But little different circumstances.テつ You know, in a way the course in some ways it's easier to go low for me during the tournament than it is when I play here in the summer or when I'm playing just during the course of the year because it plays so much shorter during the tournament.
To hit 3-wood, 6-iron into 16 and 3-wood, 6-iron today or 5-iron today, you know, I'm usually hitting driver, 3-wood to that hole because the ball lands in the fairway and stops.
Every fairway is running 40, 50 yards.テつ You have a lot more scoring clubs in your hands and also the greens are faster and more purer than they are throughout the course of the year.テつ You can make a lot more putts.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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