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May 21, 2015

George McNeill


DOUG MILNE:テつ George McNeill, thanks for joining us for a few minutes, a great start with birdies at 1, 2, 3 during the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.テつ Just some comments on getting off to a start a little bit later than anticipated but all in all a great round.
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Thanks.テつ Yeah, it started off, like you said, at 10:00 versus 7:00, allowed me to wake up just a little bit more.テつ Most of the guys were in there, we were actually watching the other coverage of the‑‑ the coverage of the other golf tournament over in Wentworth.
But yeah, to start off with three birdies and making about a 12‑footer on 1 and chipping in on 2 from just off the edge of the green and then making a 25‑footer on 3 got me a little momentum going.テつ I've been struggling the last couple weeks with my swing.テつ I've been playing okay but struggling a little bit with my swing, so to get off to that gave me a little bit of confidence to move forward throughout the day.

Q.テつ How were the conditions early that morning, and I guess playing first, the greens were probably pure?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ The greens were perfect.テつ This is the kind of weather, obviously, that bentgrass loves, so the greens were perfect.テつ We didn't have any spike marks, didn't have anything to mess with in front of us.
The weather, it was a little cooler this morning.テつ It's warmed up quite a bit since early, so I'm glad I had a sweater with me this week, and it obviously came into play today.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, I always think about it because I don't think I'm going home between now and Memorial, so who knows what the weather is going to be there.テつ It could be freezing cold.テつ So I try and pack a couple just in case.

Q.テつ Did the course play easily, or did you just play very well?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ No, the course did not play easy.テつ In my mind I don't feel like I played great.テつ I managed my game today.テつ Obviously the first three holes helped, and then on 4 and 5, I just hit shots in the fat part of the greens.テつ The pins were tucked in corners.テつ I didn't really go at a lot of pins that I didn't feel comfortable with, and hitting long irons into those holes is not something you want to aim at.テつ And I did that throughout the day.テつ I didn't really try and aim at anything that I didn't feel comfortable with.テつ I would accept a 30‑ or 40‑footer on some holes, and that's what I did.テつ I hit a close one on 8 for birdie, about a foot and a half or two feet, and then hit a close one on 16, about a foot and a half or two feet for birdie.テつ Those were the only other birdies I made, but I had a few good saves in there, as well, and again, just kind of rode some momentum from the first three.

Q.テつ How was the rough out there?テつ It looked like it was thick and lush.テつ Was it very punitive and did you even see it much?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I saw it on a couple holes, but I drew some good lies.テつ But it is not fun.テつ You don't want to be in it.テつ Hitting fairways is a premium.テつ Being wet, the ball is not going to run through the fairways as much as it can in years past.テつ So yeah, hitting the fairways, you've got to do it, and if you don't, you're going to be either hacking out sideways or just trying to hack it up near the green to have an opportunity to get up‑and‑down.

Q.テつ George, your opening rounds this year haven't been nearly as productive as your second rounds, the scoring average.テつ Just how satisfying is it to actually get off to a really fast start this time?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, as you said, I'm not really‑‑ I haven't done this too often, so it helps.テつ Again, I'm not real comfortable with what I'm doing with my swing right at this moment.テつ I'm going to go work on it a little bit later today and try and get more comfortable.テつ Hopefully it'll‑‑ I mean, if this is the worst round I have all week, I think I'll be sitting here and talking to y'all on Sunday.
But it's just something‑‑ I'm not a fast starter.テつ I kind of play‑‑ typically play halfway decent in the middle rounds and then the beginning and the end, I don't know if it's just being tired or just being new or trying to look at the golf course and figure out my strategy on Thursday, I mean, I play practice rounds, I play pro‑am, but just‑‑ a tournament round is a lot different than a Tuesday or a Wednesday.テつ Just, again, trying to find strategies, and maybe that's why.テつ I really don't know.テつ I can't pinpoint it.テつ If I knew why, obviously I'd try and fix it.テつ Maybe I did today and just was playing a little safer on some holes and accepting par, or even on 9 I had to pitch out.テつ I hit it in the right trees on 9.テつ I had to pitch out and got up‑and‑down from 80 yards for par.
Just accepting‑‑ in my mind I had already given myself a bogey, and I made about a 12‑ or 15‑footer.テつ And I thought, I'll accept that, and a lot of people are going to make bogeys on 9, and I'll move on, but I happened to make the par, and that was a lot of momentum just carrying forward.

Q.テつ What exactly is the problem with the swing right now or what are you working on?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I'm just not comfortable with it.テつ There's some things I've worked on for the last four or five months and weeks.テつ At THE PLAYERS this year was probably the most comfortable I've felt with my swing. テつI had four pretty solid rounds overall.テつ That's a very difficult golf course.
Last week I didn't feel real comfortable the first three days, and then Sunday I felt really good, and I hit a lot of shots exactly where I was looking, and then I took Tuesday off here and didn't really do much, and then yesterday I hit it sideways in the pro‑am.テつ I'm going, great, here we go again.
So it was quite a surprise for me to play or score as well as I did today.テつ I'll take it, and again, hopefully it's the worst score I shoot all week.テつ But I know there's things I need to work on, and I know what I'm working on, it's just a matter of getting my body to accept it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ My typical flight is pretty straight to a little fade.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Today I had a lot of lefts, I had a lot of rights, I had a lot of lows, highs.テつ It was all over.テつ I hit a lot of pulls actually was my shot today.テつ I'd get on a hole and the pin was cut left, I'd just aim at the right edge of the green and pull it to the pin.
It's not what I normally do.テつ I normally aim at the pin and cut it away from it in the fat part of the green if the pin is left.
I was just not comfortable, and then some of the right pins, I said, well, I don't know how far right to aim to pull it back to the pin, so I would aim left and just hit a push cut, and then I'd overcut it.
Again, I wasn't real comfortable with what I was doing, but I managed to miss in the correct spots in order to give myself the best opportunity to get up‑and‑down, which I did.
DOUG MILNE:テつ George, great start, and we hope to see you back here each day.

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