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April 2, 2015

Scott Piercy


AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ Good afternoon.テつ We welcome Scott Piercy here after a very wonderful round today.テつ Course tying 63.テつ Walk us through your round and what was going right for you today.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Well, everything went right today.テつ I hit the ball so good today.テつ I started on 10.テつ Drove it right down the middle.テつ Hit about 125 feet right of the flag and made that.テつ That started the day off good.テつ And then 11, hit it right down the middle.テつ Hit a good shot in, just left it little short of the flag, 2-putted.
12, I hit 3-iron off that tee and hit it about 10 feet, I think.テつ Made that.
And then driver, 3-wood, just left so I had a good angle.テつ Chipped it to about 6 feet, made that on the par 5.
Made a good par on the next hole, was that 14?
15, par 5, I just made a par.テつ Laid it up in a bad shot.テつ Couldn't get it close to the flag.
Then 16, I hit a great 6-iron and I hit a good putt but didn't go in.
17, driver, 7-iron to, I would say like 7 feet, I think it said on the board, and made that.テつ I missed that one.テつ I think I missed that one.
Then 18, I hit driver, wedge, made that.
1, I hit driver, wedge, made that.テつ 2, I hit driver, 7-iron, made that.
It was like a of making today.テつ I like that (laughter).テつ Like the sound of the ball going in the hole.
No. 3 I hit 3-wood, 7-iron just off the fringe, like a foot off the fringe.テつ I think that's the only green I missed.テつ I had 15, 18 feet and made that.
Driver, 4-iron, sand wedge on the par 5 to about 6, 7 feet, made that.テつ We're at No. 5?テつ I hit a good drive.テつ Hit an 8-iron to about 15 feet and caught a little lip and missed that one.
Then what was it, 6?テつ The dogleg left.テつ Hit driver, sand wedge to about 6 feet and made that.テつ And 8 or 7 or -- yeah, 7, I hit 9-iron to like 20 feet.テつ Just missed that one.テつ 8, I made a par.テつ That was my ugly hole today.
Then 9, I hit 5-iron and made like a 30, 40-footer which was nice.
AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ We'll take some questions.

Q.テつ Comparing all competitive rounds you have played as a PGA TOUR pro, how does this rank?テつ Got to be close.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Yeah, it's definitely up there.テつ 61 in Reno when I won was pretty good.テつ There's 9 birdies in a row with that one.テつ But, as far as quality of ball striking, I mean, I flushed it and I hit it close and I putted it -- if I didn't make it, I was looking it out or I just misread it by an inch.
As far as that goes, it's probably my best.

Q.テつ Do you see a day like this coming?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ You know, no, especially how I've played the last couple months.テつ I've been pretty frustrated.テつ I was thinking Tuesday morning I need to go home and not waste my time.テつ But by Tuesday afternoon, I practiced for like 12, 13 hours on Tuesday, and like in my 13th hour, something kind of clicked and I figured it out, you know.テつ On Wednesday I kind of ingrained it, kept working on it, got pretty good.テつ And today was really -- today was awesome, it really was.

Q.テつ I mean, you broke for lunch at least in the 13 hours, right?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I warmed up for like an hour and a half, hit balls, went out and played, went out for lunch, came out and practiced again for, like, I don't know, three hours or something, and first two hours of that was pulling my hair out.テつ And then finally I was like all right, what do I have to do to get this ball in front of me, just get the ball in front of me, make the cut, make some bucks and go have a couple weeks off, try to figure it out.テつ Just started flushing it.

Q.テつ Something technically click or --
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ The swing was under the plane and flipping my hands and needed to get more on the plane and not having to flip it.
Once I got back on the shaft plane, then I just started nailing it.

Q.テつ So when you stepped up to the first tee today, were you feeling that?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Yeah.テつ I felt good.テつ It's a feeling that I've had, you know, before when I've played really well, you know.テつ And lot of it for me still is coming back from my injury.テつ I'm healthy and I've been healthy, but, you know, I played for almost a year with one arm before I had the surgery.テつ So it's been two years since I've really put a club face on a ball like I know how, like I feel like I should.
I've kind of been faking it.テつ I've had some good tournaments, you know, even in Hawaii.テつ I know how to play that golf course, got it around.
But I haven't had a day or a week or weeks or a stretch where I flushed it and really knew where my ball was going like today.
So, it's definitely, hopefully it's the change for me, keep going, and it's a familiar feel and it's just been two years since I've really done it well, so --
Q.When were you hurt?テつ Can you talk us through that whole process?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I was hurt -- I think I got hurt around the Byron Nelson two years ago.

Q.テつ '13?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I played all the way through until the match play of last year.テつ And then I had surgery the week after match play, and I was out for six months until I think Augusta.テつ My Tour event was Canada.テつ So I had surgery the end of February, and I think Canada is end of July, does that sound right?テつ So, I was out for about six months right there.テつ Then, you know, I didn't have -- I'm healthy again because this week I did practice so much.テつ I haven't practiced like this in two years.

Q.テつ This was kind of a breakthrough in that sense, too?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Yeah.テつ It's been building.テつ You know, I'm only just over a year out of surgery, so it's -- you know, regaining the muscles and they took muscle out because it was detached.

Q.テつ Rotator cuff?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ No, my elbow.テつ I had muscle come off the elbow, bone, right here.テつ They took muscle out, drilled the bone, and then they sewed it all back together to kind of form as one since they had taken some out.
Takes like six months for a new cell to become good tissue.テつ So, I mean, I'm beating it up hitting balls and stuff like that.テつ You know, a good year, year and a half is probably when I'm going to start feeling like I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Q.テつ Was this an injury that came on suddenly, or was it something that progressed over time?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ It was kind of sudden, but, you know, it was just tight at first, and then I had a couple MRIs that didn't show anything.テつ Finally I had a third with contrast where they shoot like dye in you.テつ And as soon as they saw with the dye, they're like "You have to have surgery."テつ I should have done that first, because I wouldn't have played for ten months with one arm.

Q.テつ Does this injury have a name?テつ It's not Tommy John surgery?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ No, it's not Tommy John.テつ It's in the same area.テつ It's a tendon, though.

Q.テつ Muscle just pulled loose?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Yeah.テつ All the muscles from your hands, all of them attach right there (indicating) and just one of them kind of came off and hurts.

Q.テつ This reminds you how good a golfer you can be, though, when you're healthy, I guess.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ That's what's been so frustrating.テつ I felt healthy, but I haven't done what I needed to do, whether it's putting or hitting the ball.テつ I have a day or two where I hit it pretty good, but it wasn't -- today was awesome, it really was.

Q.テつ Can you pinpoint a shot in that round at Byron Nelson where you hurt it?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ No.テつ It was around there.テつ Around Byron, Memorial, FedEx, right in that three-week span.テつ There wasn't an "ah-hah" moment.

Q.テつ What did the pain feel like?テつ Shooting pain?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Yeah, like an explosion on my elbow every time a hit a ball.テつ I couldn't -- I couldn't like wipe my face like this (indicating).テつ I wouldn't do that.テつ Otherwise, it would bring me to my knees.

Q.テつ Brush your teeth?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I'm left-handed, so... (laughter).

Q.テつ I guess you knew you needed to stop, but this is what you do for a living.テつ Keep thinking you'll plow through it?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I had a couple cortisone shots, thinking that will knock it out.テつ But it would help for a week, maybe two, and, you know, after I had my second one, you're not supposed to have them but one or two a year so -- they weren't getting better.テつ Golf was not a lot of fun then.

Q.テつ When you had your good start to this season, did you still feel like things weren't clicking?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ It wasn't Scott Piercy that I know I can be.テつ Like today is like that's what I expect, do you know what I'm saying?テつ Like I know I can do that.テつ I can go sort of just overpower a golf course, which I'm not going to say I overpowered it.テつ But I just sted it.テつ I flushed it.テつ I had all my power.テつ You know, early on it was -- when I came back, it was more like let's get it around.テつ We got a shot, I can get it around.テつ It wasn't full power.テつ It wasn't -- it was like I didn't have gears three, four, and five.テつ I had gears one and two.テつ Do you know what I'm saying?
So once I kind of got my medical settled and all good, then it started really frustrating me that I hadn't found my other gears.テつ That make sense?

Q.テつ Did you come back too soon?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ No.テつ No.テつ Just being able to practice enough, you know, because you beat it up pretty good.テつ Being able to put the time in to really be able to practice, to figure it out, to find it, you know what I'm saying, is -- you know, I played pretty good when I came back.テつ It was practicing smarter, not, you know, longer.

Q.テつ In that run today of birdies, was there a particular hole that stood out where you just -- you felt good on all of them, but you said you kept draining shots.テつ Which was the one that said okay, today is the day?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Actually where I missed the green by a foot.テつ That's a tough little hole, No. 3, and made that pin back left.テつ I just had 150 on No. 2 kind of into the breeze off the left, and I just hit -- kind of hit like a little three-quarter 7-iron, hit it like a foot.テつ I had 164 to the hole.テつ I hit a 7-iron just over 170, but the wind was coming in.テつ I was on a little upslope in the fairway.テつ I'm like golly, it's in the a 6-iron, but if I hit the 7 hard, I don't want it to balloon.テつ I caught one real flush just left of the flag and looked like it was going to be 10, 15 feet.テつ Got like one step onto the -- into the first cut.テつ I made that putt.テつ I'm like, here we go, like I kind of kept the birdie streak going.

Q.テつ If you don't make that one, maybe you got to settle back down into --
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ No, I got a par 5 right behind it that's -- I got the wind down off the right on 5, down off the right on 6.テつ I got 8.テつ So I mean, you know, I'm just driving it awesome.テつ Some of those long holes, I made look pretty easy today.

Q.テつ So the pain is completely gone?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I'm not going to say it's completely gone, but it doesn't bother me.

Q.テつ The 61 at Reno, which round was that?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Third round.

Q.テつ Is this your best starter?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I think it probably is.

Q.テつ You tied the tournament course record.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ That's what I heard.

Q.テつ For this course for the tournament.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Nice.テつ I saw on it 8, and I saw -- you know, they come up with the scoreboards.テつ "He's challenging the course record."テつ I didn't know what it was.

Q.テつ Phil did it in two thousand -- I think you're the third or fourth guy to shoot 63.テつ Phil did it en route to winning here in '11.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I always wanted to be like Phil.

Q.テつ Couple lefties.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ He's a righty.テつ I'm a lefty that plays right.

Q.テつ Scott, were you surprised by your round today, and what has this done for your confidence?テつ It must now be escalating towards sky high.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Overall, I was surprised at how well I played just because of where -- how I've played the last couple months.テつ After -- I mean, I flushed it down No. 1, and I was -- then I made a birdie there.テつ I'm like, oh, here we go.テつ Then I flushed it down No. 2, which is a really -- it can be a really tough driving hole, wind off the left with the water on the left.テつ I hit a good shot on the second one.テつ As I kept getting into the round and kept hitting good shot after good shot, the feel I had, I mean it was sort of like the surprise went away.テつ You know what I'm saying?テつ Maybe to start I was surprised, but by the end I was trying to make birdies.

Q.テつ And now your confidence, you're going to allow yourself to be confident and not worry about it?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I hope so, you know.テつ I'm using my best when I got my foot on the accelerator.テつ I'm not -- like when I came back, I didn't have my foot on the accelerator.テつ I was just driving around the course, do you know what I'm saying?テつ When I feel like I'm really pedal to the metal, that's when I'm the best.

Q.テつ You have to temper your thoughts about the Masters now?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ It's the first round.テつ If this is Sunday -- but everybody wants to be at Masters, including me.テつ It would be really nice if I won, you know.テつ If I'm sitting here on Sunday, then obviously I'll be super excited.テつ If I play like I did today, I would say there's a pretty good chance of that.テつ It was awesome, really was.

Q.テつ Does the course set up well for you?テつ You played here twice before, played okay, didn't do anything.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ I think I like this wind better.テつ Usually a lot of times the wind is out of the north.テつ I think that's a little harder for me because this golf course generally plays right to left and I like to hit a little cut, where the wind today was more out of the south, maybe to the southeast just a hair, and I think some of those holes that really go right to left, I had the wind helping me right to left.
For me, I think it was -- you know, it makes me feel more comfortable with this wind.

Q.テつ What were your goals coming into this season?テつ Where would the Masters rank among them?
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ First was to get my medical taken care of.テつ I'm still technically probably on my medical.テつ I had 14 events.テつ I think I played maybe nine events or something, I don't even know.テつ That was done in the fall.テつ That was my first thing.
You know, obviously you want to get to the Masters, that's one of the high -- that's the first -- you know, start the year, you want -- that's the first thing, try to get in the Masters.テつ Get back in the Top 50 in the world is one of my goals.テつ That's a big goal for me, getting in the Top 50.テつ Your schedule is a lot easier to plan.テつ You're in the big tournaments, you don't have to worry about qualifying for The Open.テつ The Masters is probably part of that.テつ When you're in the Top 50, you don't have to worry about qualifying for the Masters.テつ It's sort of the magic number.

Q.テつ Scott, you were feeling it today with all those birdies.テつ On No. 9 when you made that 30-foot putt, when you were looking over there, you must feel like this is going to go in.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ You know, I asked my caddy what he thought.テつ And there was an old hole or there was two pieces of mud and then there's a ball mark.テつ He's like, "I'm thinking it's kind of like right at that ball mark."テつ That's exactly what I was thinking.テつ Sometimes you get to where you can see like a dew strip.テつ Like if a ball rolled in dew, you can see a line on the ground.テつ That's exactly what I say, so I just lined it up.テつ I felt like I just needed to hit it.テつ And it's funny, about 3 feet before, I'm like, "Did I not hit it?"テつ Then it kept going.テつ I'm like, "Yeah, I made it."
So, you never expect to make those, but these greens are pure.テつ So if you get it rolling good, there's a chance.
AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ All right.テつ Thank you so much, Scott.
SCOTT PIERCY:テつ Thanks, guys.

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