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May 19, 2015

Ryan Palmer


THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  We'd like to welcome Ryan Palmer into the interview room.  Ryan is making his twelfth start at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.  Ryan, I think you've figured the place out; a couple of Top 5 finishes in your last three starts here.  If we can just get some comments.
RYAN PALMER:¬† Yeah, no.¬† It's become my favorite event, obviously being a member here, and obviously my caddy, James Edmondson, a four‑time club champion here, we both are big participants in the Big Game every day with all the guys that we play with.
It's become a golf course for me where I'm able to come out and really get the work in.  I can get to be a better player playing this golf course, with what it demands, hitting the ball left to right on different holes.  And it never gets old.
Old‑school style golf course, and the members are like family.¬† They're awesome.¬† And I think the players are lucky to come here every year, and I think tournaments should take note on what they do here.¬† I would recommend a lot of tournaments come out here and just sit here and watch it, what they do for the caddies, what they do for us.¬† The guys that run this golf tournament, I don't think it gets any better.
THE MODERATOR:  Good start to your season up to this point.  You finished second at Waste Management earlier in the year.  Just comment on the season as a whole.
RYAN PALMER:¬† It's been good.¬† I've been close a couple of times, obviously with the finish at Waste Management, being right there with a chance to win on the last couple of holes and come up short.¬† And you know, another good week at the ‑‑ now the Career Builder Challenge.¬† Does that sound right?
THE MODERATOR:  Yeah, that's pretty good.
RYAN PALMER:  Formerly the Bob Hope.  So overall just been consistent.  I think I missed two cuts, the last one at Sawgrass, but overall it's been a really good year, solid, consistent, and you know, a win is around the corner, I really feel like.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Before we open it up for questions, we just had Jimmy Walker in.  You guys are taking part in Crowne Plaza's Always on Charity Challenge this week.  I know you want to beat that guy and seven other players as well.  Just comment a little bit about how much fun that is for the players.
RYAN PALMER:  No.  I think it's great.  It's given fans all over the world to get involved through Social Media, especially on Twitter.  You can go out and tweet, hashtag Palmer Always On Charity, which means I'll win.  The more tweets I get, the more I'll win.  I think there's about $90,000 going into Birdies For Charity here in the Fort Worth area, and the players local, their foundation they work or wherever they want the money to go to, you get $10,000.
But it's great to get‑‑ we're tweeting it out, and it gets more fans up close and personal with us, I think, and helps us show who their favorite is.¬† And you know, I've gone out there and tried to get my name out there a little more often, so hopefully we can‑‑ I'm bringing more people in to watch the golf tournament, so hopefully they'll vote for me.
THE MODERATOR:  Get all of Ryan Palmer and all of Arnold Palmer's fans to vote for that one.
RYAN PALMER:  Yeah.  I've got a fan base coming in, so hopefully we can take one of two titles this week.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Questions for Ryan.

Q.  Can you take me through your round last week here.  You had a pretty good warmup.  Can you tell me maybe just how lucrative it was and maybe just a bit about the last hole?
RYAN PALMER:  Yeah.  It was just a normal day with the Big Game.  We had 12 players, I guess, and I shot 61, 28, 33.  Missed short putts on 17 and 18, and then I guess everybody decided to let it be known that there were members on the 18th waiting to see it.  It tied the course record, I guess, I was told.  So it was a fun day.  It was profitable.  Unfortunately I got beat by the club president, Chuck Scherer, by one in the net game.  I shoot 61 and he won by one in the net game.  Chuck's getting too many shots.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
RYAN PALMER:¬† He is the club president, so I guess I gotta‑‑

Q.  (Indiscernible).
RYAN PALMER:¬† Yeah.¬† Hopefully‑‑

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
RYAN PALMER:¬† It was about a six‑footer on 17 I missed and about eight feet on 18.¬† So it was fun.¬† You know, shooting 28 obviously on the front was‑‑ I won the front net, so that was the first time in my "Big Game" career.
But it was good, because I was trying get out here a few times, and with the weather it's been crazy with this rain.  And I'm sure y'all have seen pictures of the lake that was on 18.
They've kept the course closed because of all the water.  It's unbelievable how good it is right now with all the water we've had.  The rough's up; the greens are still having a little bounce.  The one thing I've noticed, though, is the trees are so much fuller.  Speaking with John Lynch, the head TOUR official, we were talking about some of the trees that are overhanging, some of the fairways and the bunkers, they've had to come in and cut back because of so much water.
It's made it a lot tighter with the rough's going to be taller, and a lot of these trees overhanging more than people have seen in the past.  So it's going to be a different from a viewpoint obviously, not what you're seeing from the holes.

Q.  (No microphone)?
RYAN PALMER:  No.  I don't think you'll see what we saw when Zach Johnson won, because those greens were a lot softer than they are now.  And you'd be surprised.  I mean they're soft, but they're not as soft.  They're getting a nice bounce.  So instead of the exploding divot, you'll probably see balls plugging on the greens.
And you gotta remember back then it didn't blow at all.¬† It was as calm as I've ever seen it.¬† And I think with some of the weather we're going to get coming in and out, we'll get a nice breeze.¬† And all it takes is a 10‑mile‑an‑hour wind here to play with your mind.¬† And the thicker rough, I think you could see another golf tournament like last year when only nine‑under won.

Q.  Ryan, how often do you tee off at No. 1 and look at the wall of champions and think about the possibility of how special it might be for you to get your name on there?
RYAN PALMER:  Every day I play.  There's no doubt.  I mean it's right there.  You know, you look at it and you see the names, and I couldn't explain what it would be like.
It would be one hell of a party.¬† I know that.¬† Here.¬† But what would it mean, it would be more for‑‑ obviously what it would mean for me, but what it would mean for me for the members here what they've given me in games.¬† That would mean more to me to give them that type of finish here on Sunday.
I've come close.¬† I had a chance last year.¬† We're going to build on that.¬† But it would‑‑ I'd have to tell you that on Sunday night what it means, if I could speak then.
That would be really, really special.

Q.  I asked Jordan this question last year, too.  What do you think golf can do to try to get the younger generation, the millennial generation playing golf and interested in the game because the numbers are starting to say there's some participation that have started to trim down a little bit.
RYAN PALMER:¬† Honestly, with Jordan and Rory and Rickie winning and the young guys are playing well, Patrick Reed, the way they're playing.¬† Hopefully a lot more young kids are going to see that and want to play.¬† I still‑‑ Tiger winning is huge for the game.¬† I think if you ask any TOUR player out here they're ready for him to win again.¬† I mean you want Tiger playing well, with what he draws.¬† And Phil as well.
But I think with the way the young guys are playing, it's awesome.  I think the numbers aren't showing, but I think more and more kids are starting to see it, especially with as young as Jordan is.  You know, the way he's playing, the way Rory is winning.  I'm confident the younger kids are starting to play a little more and get more into it hopefully.

Q.  Do you think the game in terms of the time crunch for that generation is tough, because it can take sometimes between three hours and 45 minutes to four hours and 15 minutes to four and a half hours?  Do you think that's a concern for the younger generation?
RYAN PALMER:¬† I think so.¬† I'm getting my eight‑year‑old into it, and he's good for an hour, and that's it.¬† And he's ready to go play.
So I think it's hard.¬† That's why I think you see a lot of the young kids, the nine‑hole divisions they have are good for them.¬† And when you get to an age, you start getting more into it and playing longer rounds.
I've seen kids that here and at Carroll where I practice at as well, I'm seeing a lot more and more practice and hitting balls out there.
So it is time consuming, for sure, a round of golf, and a lot of kids' minds won't stay that into it.  That is a concern, I think.  But I think more and more kids are learning about the game, I think, I hope.
With the young guys playing well, hopefully it'll bring more kids out.  I think it's the best game, for sure, and it gives more and more kids a chance to play it.  Kids play football, baseball all their life, so hopefully they'll start looking at golf as well.

Q.¬† You mentioned Jordan.¬† Obviously he just won the Masters at 21.¬† Tiger won his first Masters at 21.¬† What as a young‑‑ what kind of similarities do you see‑‑ or is it too early to make comparisons to Jordan, to Tiger at this point?¬† But I mean there's some easy ones to make numerically.¬† What do you see intangibly and as someone who has a more critical eye than the average person looking at it on the outside?
RYAN PALMER:  Yeah.  It's amazing the numbers are so close at the Masters, different numbers.  But you know, the difference in Jordan is he lets me play with him.  So that's good.
You know, it's going to‑‑ I don't think we'll ever see a Tiger.¬† I don't see how you'll see anybody dominate the way he did.¬† Rory is doing some great things, but I think the fields are so much more deeper than they used to be.¬† You know, more guys that are able to win and shoot low.
It's hard to say.  Is he going to do what Tiger did?  I mean it took Tiger how long till he won again?  Three years after he won a Masters?

Q.  Another major.
RYAN PALMER:  Another major.  Took him three or four years.  So we gotta give Jordan, I think, some time to learn from this one, and then you know, we'll find out these next three or four majors coming up, and hopefully, you know, people let him get into it.

Q.  And there's also a point to be made, isn't there, that I mean the Masters is so unique compared to how some of the other majors are set up that it may not always translate.
RYAN PALMER:  Yeah.  I think it goes back to how deep players are now.  I mean who says I can't go to Chambers Bay and win.  I know I haven't been real positive about it.
But it's just‑‑ I think there's so many good players now than there were back then, I think, or more players that can win.
I think Jordan is going to win a lot.  That's for sure.  And it may take more time than it took Tiger, but he's definitely got the head on his shoulders and the game to do it.

Q.  What's your routine in a week like this on your home course and being this close to home and how much does it actually benefit you compared to being out on the road?
RYAN PALMER:  You know, it benefits me because I'm at home with my wife and kids, and you know, I've gotta adjust to that, because normally at tournaments I'm by myself.
But I've kept my same routine.  I came out here yesterday and practiced for a couple of hours like I normally would at any other TOUR stop when I get in town.  I'm going to play nine holes today like I normally would, and then of course, with the pro am.
And when I get out here, I try to do the same thing I would do if I was in Memphis or any other tournament I play coming up.  I try to keep the same routine on how many holes I play prior to the tournament.
And you know, biggest part for me is to finish what I'm doing and leave, because I get wrapped up in hanging around, hanging out with all my buddies here at the club.¬† I've gotten better the last few years of finishing my round, getting my work in with Dr. Van Biezen on my body and then just getting out of here and going home and not worrying about who's here and family, friends, and just‑‑ I've kind of made a pretty good rule that my house is off limits this week to everybody.¬† So I keep it pretty like a normal week at home.

Q.  I would expect that no player in the field has more rounds at Colonial than you do this week.  But just how much of an advantage is that, and do we tend to overrate those type of things given the tournament conditions are different than what you normally play?
RYAN PALMER:  I think I have a little bit of advantage in there, I would say, because I've played it so many times, so many pin positions, so many different winds.  And I can get up on 10 and 17 knowing that the second shot plays shorter than the yardage says, you know, because you don't realize the wind.
And I know that 13 never plays into you.  It may feel like it, but it's not blowing into it.  So little things like that that I've played enough to where 13 will play short than what the yardage says, and certain bunkers I know I can drive.  I know if I'm left of the bunker on 3, it's better than right.  And even in the rough, but you have a better shot.
You know, I'm hitting drivers more on 6, No. 9.  The bunkers are perfect here, and I've played out of these bunkers enough, it's like hitting out of a tight fairway.
A lot of guys are laying back on nine.¬† I'm hitting driver all day.¬† Same with 6.¬† I'm might be hitting 110‑yard bunker shot, but I've hit them that many times.
So you know, things like that, going into certain tee shots, I mean I've hit them, too, so I can just not even hear anything from James; just grab the club and go.  And that's what I'll try to do this week, and I'll pull my yardage book out to look at something, and I'm on the 15th hole, but my scorecard is on the third hole, because of just going through the rhythm of playing the golf course.  So I think there's a little bit there this week for sure.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?  All right.  Ryan Palmer.  Thank you, sir.

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