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April 3, 2015

Shawn Stefani


DOUG MILNE:テつ Shawn Stefani, thanks for joining us for a few minutes.テつ 66, 69, gets you in great position in 9-under heading into the weekend here at the Shell Houston Open.テつ I know this is obviously a tournament near and dear to your heart.テつ It's got to make you feel good to be in the position you're in heading into the weekend.
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Yeah, it does.テつ You know, growing up as a kid, I always wanted to play in this thing, and now this is my fourth year playing it.テつ So it's always good to be back and obviously playing well at home.テつ You know, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing on the weekend.テつ I'm having a lot of fun out here.
DOUG MILNE:テつ With that, we'll jump in and take some questions.

Q.テつ Do you find yourself a little more juiced playing here than someplace else?テつ Is there an X factor here that helps you?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ This morning I was really tired.テつ I played a lot of golf here recently, so not running on fumes but just trying to conserve some energy.テつ I think the energy that the crowd is bringing, you know, lot of friends and family are out.テつ It's nice to have that.テつ Obviously with positive energy, it can kind of keep you motivated and going.テつ So, I wouldn't really say I'm juiced, but I do feel there's some positive stuff going on out here this week.

Q.テつ Conditions different today than yesterday in any way?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Not much.テつ The wind was actually, I thought, a little bit down this morning compared to yesterday.テつ Yesterday I played late, so we had a little bit more breeze, but the greens were a little bit firmer this morning, little bit faster as well.テつ So, you know, if we continue to have some dry weather, I don't know what the rain forecast is for the weekend, but if it does stay dry, I think the greens will get firmer and faster.

Q.テつ How would you view your season to date so far?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ It's been great.テつ Played really consistent.テつ Only missed a couple of cuts, you know, but just kind of been knocking on the door a little bit here and there.テつ But, you know, now that my card is secure for the year, it's kind like look, let's go fire at them.テつ Let's go see what we can do.テつ I really have nothing to lose.テつ If there was going to be a week to do it, this would be the week because I've got a lot of fan support.テつ I'm not really putting any pressure on myself to win or to go out there and do that.テつ But, you know, I know if I go play my best and do what I do really well, I mean there's a chance that I can win this thing.

Q.テつ Shawn, last couple years you played quite a few PGA TOUR events.テつ Your game has really taken off in the last couple years.テつ Is there certain things that -- what do you attribute your success for or just the fact you're out here and playing against good competition ups your game?テつ What's been the big turnaround?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Getting more comfortable out here.テつ Playing against the guys and meeting new guys and obviously playing well.テつ There's nothing that really helps you than -- helps you more than playing well.テつ I played well, I had a few chances to win out here, and you get comfortable, little bit more confident.テつ And, you know, it's just I think I got to attribute my good play to that because a little bit more comfortable out here.

Q.テつ Shawn, what's your relationship like with Chris Stroud?テつ How close were you guys at Lamar?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ We go way back.テつ We started playing Junior Golf together when we were about 13, 14 years old.テつ We've had a good relationship for a long time. テつYou know, I've really been rooting for him since I've been out here, and I know he roots on me.テつ Kind of a competitive friendship.テつ So, you know, I see he's playing well here this week, too, so I'm really happy for him, and hopefully we can have a Lamar alumni showdown come Sunday, maybe.

Q.テつ What's your best childhood memory from going to this event, some autograph or something?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ It was seeing Fred Couples play out it.テつ It wasn't actually here, it was at the TPC The Woodlands.テつ I was probably 13, 14.テつ Fred Couples was my idol growing up.テつ Just to be able to see him at the TPC at The Woodlands was just amazing, and sometimes I have to pinch myself because this has been a dream come true to play out here for the last three years, and, you know, now I get to kind of walk in the ropes with all of them and play with them and talk with them.テつ It's surreal.

Q.テつ Anything in particular working real well for you today, or were you just steady across the board?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Ball striking was really good.テつ Obviously gave myself a lot of opportunities.テつ Been rolling the putter really nicely all year.テつ Made some really good putts, and probably the ball striking has probably been the reason why my score has been the way it is right now, because I've been playing well the last several weeks, but ball striking wasn't quite as good as it was the last two days.

Q.テつ On No. 18, your 9th, how close to the water did you go on your tee shot?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Couple feet.テつ If I would have been one more foot backwards, I probably would have been in the water.テつ I'm surprised it stayed up.テつ I pulled it, didn't really hook it, but was just surprised that it stayed up, you know, with the embankment going down towards the water.

Q.テつ Any memorable moment or time with you and Stroud from Junior Golf that you can recall?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Sure, but I'd rather not display that on television.テつ We had some healthy rivalries.テつ There was a lot of good rivalries growing up in high school and even in college.テつ No need to talk about them because we both know, you know, those.テつ It's fun.テつ It's fun to have that.テつ I think it's good for both of us because we can kind of push each other, you know, and we want to see Lamar do well and I know he wants to see me do well, like I want the see him do well.テつ I think it's a healthy competitive friendship that we have that really does help us.

Q.テつ Have you gotten the most out of your game here the last two days, you think?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ I can really say that the par save I made on 2 yesterday was probably the biggest momentum booster for the week.テつ I didn't hit a very good second shot.テつ Didn't hit a very good third shot out of the bunker.テつ Made about a 12-footer for par.テつ Kind of jump-started from there.

Q.テつ On 2?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ My second hole yesterday.テつ Lot of positives since then.テつ Bogeyed No. 2 today, but only bogey I made in two rounds.テつ So, I've been playing really well.テつ Managing my game really well and holing some key putts when I have to as well.

Q.テつ On No. 8, how close did you get to the flag on your approach shot?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ About 7 inches.テつ Somewhere in there.

Q.テつ Wasn't a lot of crowd reaction at first, right?
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ There was from where I was standing, but up from the green there wasn't.テつ I couldn't really tell because the bunker was kind of by the pin, but honestly couldn't really tell.

Q.テつ You didn't know how close you were because --
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ No.テつ My caddy and I were walking up.テつ I said, "Is that a gimme?"テつ He goes, "I don't know."テつ You know how that is.テつ It's like 5 feet away.テつ When I got to the fringe, I was like, "Oh, man that is a gimme."
Q.Brian White worked with some of the guys that turned professional.
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Brian tried helping me a little bit in collage.テつ I kind of did my own thing. Fred Marti and I have done a lot of work with my golf swing over the years.テつ That's kind of who I trust with my golf swing and what I do.テつ He's kind of a mentor on top of that.テつ So I really got to give him the credit, you know.テつ I love Brian White and love Brian McMaken (phonetic), great coaches in college.テつ Everybody knows some swing coaches work for some players and some don't.テつ So, you know, I know they've done good for a lot of players at Lamar.テつ For me, didn't pan out.
DOUG MILNE:テつ All right.テつ Shawn, congratulations on a great start.テつ Best of luck this weekend.
SHAWN STEFANI:テつ Thank you.テつ Thanks, guys.

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