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June 4, 2015

Hideki Matsuyama


AMANDA HERRINGTON:テつ We'd like to welcome our defending champion, Hideki Matsuyama into the interview room.テつ In a familiar place, tied at the top of the leaderboard with 8‑under.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ To begin with, I really didn't think I would have such a good start.テつ And I'm really happy with the way things turned out today.

Q.テつ Why?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Really, to be honest with you, up until yesterday I was not hitting the ball very well.テつ I was not chipping very well.テつ I was not putting very well.テつ And I don't know what happened overnight, but we just caught magic.

Q.テつ This may be part of what clicked, just going back to last year, and it was like you never left.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Really, I didn't really think a lot about last year, playing today or even this week.テつ But it's been such a quick year.テつ I wish this year would have taken longer, but it's been a year that's just flown by.

Q.テつ What's your favorite part about this course or this place?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ It's really a hard, difficult golf course.テつ It's not one that you'd like, but it is‑‑ the fairways are a little wider than some of the courses.テつ And it's a real good second‑shot golf course that plays into my strength.

Q.テつ Has this happened before where you've been playing poorly and overnight things have clicked?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ It does happen from time to time.テつ And it's not something that I can count or anything like that, oh, I'm playing bad and I'm going to be playing good tomorrow.テつ But got off to a good start today and it fell into place.

Q.テつ Is it more fun sitting next to Bob or sitting next to Mr. Nicklaus?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ I am so nervous sitting by Mr. Nicklaus, of course sitting by Bob is a lot better.

Q.テつ Yesterday you did a little clinic with Mr. Nicklaus.テつ Can you talk a little bit about the relationship between you two since you won last year?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Mr. Nicklaus has been very kind to me and said some very nice things about me for which I'm grateful.テつ But I don't speak English.テつ And so when he's around I'd like to be able to speak English with him and I'm not able to, and so therefore very nervous when he's around.

Q.テつ Your father was your only coach, correct?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Yeah, up until even now, yeah.

Q.テつ Even now.テつ So when your swing is not good, do you have to fix it yourself?テつ And how long have you learned how to do it yourself?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Yeah, when I'm not swinging well, especially for a long time, it's frustrating.テつ But I enjoy the process of making it right.テつ Also I have a real good trainer and a good caddie that gives me good advice from time to time when I ask for it.

Q.テつ Do you ask a lot?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Quite a bit.テつ But there's also some real great swing coaches that come out on Tour from time to time and I seek their advice sometimes, also.

Q.テつ Who?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ From Europe Peter Cowen, and also Sean Foley, I've spoken with him before, too.

Q.テつ When did you realize it was going to be a good day?テつ Was it on the range?テつ After the first few holes?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ To be honest with you, when I made the turn at 4‑under, I was just trying to hold on to 4‑under.テつ And then to make a couple more birdies, it was a real bonus.テつ I'm very happy with how it went.

Q.テつ Bo Van Pelt, who you're tied with, is coming off a stretch where he was tired of golf, where he burned out.テつ Have you ever faced that?テつ Have you ever been tired of golf and can you even see where you would ever be tired of golf?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Honestly, it happens sometimes.テつ But the fun part is making a comeback from when those frustrating times come.

Q.テつ How does this course compare to some of the courses that you grew up playing on in your native country?テつ How are the conditions today?テつ They've obviously been treating you well, maybe you could talk a little bit about the conditions.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ To compare this course to the courses in Japan, in Japan the courses are much shorter; therefore, the second shot doesn't really require a lot of thinking or a lot of focus.テつ It's a lot of short irons, just step up and hit it on the green.
One of the reasons I like this golf course is there is not an easy second shot here.テつ You've got to‑‑ you have to hit a real good iron shot to be successful here.

Q.テつ Have you visited Chambers Bay and what do you think of it and have you ever seen anything like it?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ I did go up, I played one round.テつ It's really, really hard.テつ And it was really cold.テつ And it was rainy, there was hail blowing sideways.テつ It's a tough, tough track.

Q.テつ What's the hardest course you've ever played?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Every week we play on the PGA Tour is the hardest course I've ever played.

Q.テつ What's the easiest course you've ever played?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ I've never played a course that I thought was easy.

Q.テつ Do you like LeBron or Steph Curry?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA:テつ Cleveland is nearby, isn't it?テつ I need to be politically correct, here (laughter).
But I did watch Golden State in the series that they played in Houston, and I really liked how they played.テつ And I was hoping they would win that series, to avoid the question.

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