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March 20, 2016

Jason Day

Orlando, Florida

JOHN BUSH: It's an honor to welcome Jason Day into the Interview Room, the 2016 of the winner Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.

His 8th PGA TOUR victory and he wins in wire to wire fashion. Jason, congratulations on the win. You made it interesting out there, though. Just comment on your day.

JASON DAY: Yeah. This is probably a bad idea to have Dash up here. I asked him to be quiet. He's a little -- do you want to sit with me? You sit with me. Come here. Might be a scene. Want to go with mama?

It was quite interesting to be able to come out and not feel great, you know. I felt like I was, you know, thinking -- a lot of things going through my mind and it was -- you know, I didn't feel comfortable over any shot out there today. It was really, really difficult for me to feel any sort of, you know, comfort out there to -- obviously it showed early in my round with, you know, bogey on 3, 4 and then 6 as well and bogeying the two par-5s was really bad, but I just said to myself I got to be patient. I've been saying it to everyone, don't force anything. Once you get that opportunity when you do get that opportunity, make sure you take that chance and, fortunately for me, being able to birdie 17 and par 18 was great.

Q. First of all, the club on 17, just what did you hit there?
JASON DAY: 5-iron. I watched -- luckily for me, being able to watch -- being able to watch what Troy hit, he hit a 3-iron straight over the back of the green so I just knew that it was a 5-iron straight away and, you know, to be able to hit it there and sink that putt was nice.

Q. Then just your thought process, you know, you're one back, you didn't birdie 16. I'm sure you're probably feeling like it's do or die there.
JASON DAY: Yeah, definitely. I didn't know what Kevin, where his tee shot went and I still don't know. I just -- I saw that he laid up and he was at 17-under par.

When I was walking up to the 17 he was 17-under par. I need to get to 17-under par to give myself any sort of chance. You know, once that birdie went in, I think I was -- I was watching the leaderboard on the 18th tee and it kind of clicked over and he went back to 16.

He bogeyed, obviously, and I was nervous standing over that tee shot, missed it right but the first thing that came into my mind was hit it long in the bunker, back left bunker. At least it's straight down the grain, I can give myself an opportunity for par at least.

Q. Jason, a question about that bunker shot. You say you didn't feel comfortable over any shot today. What were you feeling over that, especially Arnold is literally sitting a few yards away in that cart with an unimpeded view?
JASON DAY: I could not think of anything else other than trying to get that thing up and down. When it came out I knew that it was a good shot. I hit it great. I mean there -- it was exactly what I wanted to do. I didn't want to spin it too much, I didn't want it to check. I wanted to make sure it landed on the green and ran down to the hole. More nervous over the putt than the bunker shot.

Q. And then could you summarize what you and Arnold said as you were coming off the green?
JASON DAY: I just thanked him for what he's done to the game and what he's done for us as players. It's obviously very quick and brief but to be able to walk up there and in the past be able to watch people walk up there and have that special moment with the King, it's something that I've always wanted to do and especially watching Tiger in the past do it a lot, I've wanted to do that and it's great to be able to finally do that and on a golf course where it is tough, it is one of those tournaments that, you know, the biggest guys usually win and just very pleased to shake his hand.

Q. Jason, you made it look easy for the first couple days. Then, how gratifying is it to kind of grind it out the way you did and come from behind twice today?
JASON DAY: I mean -- get to 13-under par and then finish at 17-under par, I mean it was a grinding sort of a weekend kind of, you know, my driving actually kind of stuck around which was great, gave myself a lot of opportunities on the fairways.

My iron play was very, very poor over the weekend but one thing that helped a lot was my short game. I holed a lot of shots out this week, moreso than I've ever done in my career and it's all that hard work that I've been putting in from the start of the season on my short game because I know that that's one strength that I hold and, you know, if I can keep -- if I have a good short game it gives me a boost of confidence and gives me the confidence that I can go out there even when I don't have my best stuff with my full game and my swing can go out there and play well.

Q. Jason, the Masters begins in exactly 18 days. Do you wish it started tomorrow?
JASON DAY: No, I don't wish it started tomorrow. I need some rest. I'm actually -- I'm really tired. I wish it started in a week after the Match Play but, no, it's great to finally get this win.

I've been talking about it for, you know, for -- since the start of the year, everyone is asking what's going on, why aren't you playing that great. It's a process. I just want to kind of stick to what I've been working on and be patient with myself and the process finally paid off this week.

Q. You talked about you and Tiger texting back and forth. Curious if you traded any texts last night or this morning?
JASON DAY: Traded texts last night and this morning. It's the same thing. For some reason when he sends the same stuff to me, "Just be yourself" and, just be sure -- I can finally concentrate.

"Just be yourself and stay in your world" and for some reason it just means so much more, you know, that you can do this and start your own legacy here.

It's so -- it gives me so much confidence that a person like that would believe in me, especially as a kid I was idolizing him ever since I was a kid and watching him in '97 win the Masters for the first time and all of a sudden I'm playing the Tour and I'm pretty close with him now.

Q. Secondly, you talked about the process and feel competitive and in contention. Given the position you were in, how important was it for you to win today?
JASON DAY: It was very important. I've been working really, really hard. I mean I had not stopped. I've had to sacrifice a little bit of time spending with the family just so I could work a little bit harder and, you know, really focus on my golf game and, you know, it's finally paid off. Hey, buddy.

Q. Jason, you talked about patience and being aggressive all week. How were you patient and aggressive in this round? Obviously it didn't go your way the entire round and how --
JASON DAY: Yeah, it didn't. The shot on 6 I wasn't trying to hit it at the pin. I absolutely, I hooked it and it was a bad swing and it went in the water. You know, obviously getting off to a bad start, giving shots back to the field is not what you want to do, you want to try and extend that lead especially early with those sorts of holes where they're giving out birdies.

So, once I got the birdie on 9, it gave me kind of that now I can just get in the groove of things now. The front side is done, I can get to the backside, be a little bit more patient with myself and that aggression or that aggressive part was 17.

I needed to do something and to be able to hit that clutch shot then and then hole the putt and obviously 18.

Q. Jason, do you think your short game is a little underrated? People equate you with the power game and how well you drive it. You think all the work you put in your short game is a little underrated?
JASON DAY: Compared to --

Q. The guys with great short games.
JASON DAY: I think my short game is one of my strengths. I don't know if I'm overrated, underrated or par with that. But the only thing that I'm worried about is just winning as many times as I can and I know that if I have a good short game and I don't have the greatest stuff from the tee to green, it's going to save me like it did over the last two days and it was on full display through the whole week which has been great but I felt like it's been -- it's improved a lot over the years that I've been out here, especially my putting, my chipping and all that stuff.

But, you know, under the circumstances to be able to hit the bunker shot on 18 goes to show how much I feel confident in my ability to hit that kind of a shot.

Q. Jason, you were 10-under this week on the par-5s. Anything you attribute to that at all or you just happen to play it --
JASON DAY: I mean today, I was pretty aggressive with the par-5s for the most part. I still tried to stay aggressive on the par-5s today but you know I missed -- I hooked a 4 metal on 4 and ended up making a bogey and then I did the same -- I hit another 4 metal on 12 and ended up making a birdie. You know, there's no formula to it.

You have to come to a golf course like this and just crush the par-5s. That's more where all the scoring is. If you can take -- if you can get on the fairways, give yourself an opportunity to get to the green or around the green, let the short game take over and make birdies.

Q. Jason, how much did you miss that uncomfortable feeling?
JASON DAY: I was just saying to myself sometimes -- it's so uncomfortable you feel like I want to run away. It's really uncomfortable. Like you get that butterfly kind of feeling in your body.

I just want to -- sometimes you feel -- like today when I was playing I just wanted to get out of the front side, I just want to get out of there.

Times like that where you go, I can't focus on running away. I have to face this straight on. I got to fight for this win and, you know, the uncomfortable feeling, I know going wire to wire is very, very difficult.

It's great to win this tournament the way I did but winning this tournament and going forward will help me with my career and future tournaments to come just in the way how I stayed patient and aggressive and hit the clutch shots and it's kind of a rollover from what I did the second half of last year and that experience that I had last year kind of popped in today and got the job done.

Q. Jason, can you talk about the improvements to the golf course and how it suited your game? You said on the 18th green you sucked in your past appearances.
How did that help your game?

JASON DAY: It's funny. I don't know. We've always overseeded, I guess, and for some reason they resurfaced the greens, and they were fantastic.

I felt like they were a little slower today but, for the most part, all week -- I mean we did get weather on the weekend but, for the most part, the whole week was -- they really did a great job and I mean credit to the superintendent, credit to the members for actually giving up their course for five months. That absolutely is brutal to give your course up for five months and not being able to play your golf course.

But this -- the resurface is going to better the golf course. It's going to bring a lot of high quality players back and I'm looking forward to coming back here defending on the same surface.

Q. In any future back and forth with Tiger, whether in person or text, do you plan on reminding him he never won this wire to wire?
JASON DAY: I never knew that and I will text him that tonight (laughter). You know, regardless if you win wire to wire or you win pretty or you win ugly, a win is a win. It's a great feeling and nothing beats winning and it just -- you know, like I said, he's been a big influence in my life ever since I was a kid and to have his advice to be able to go see him and practice with him and pick his brain about numerous things that I want to try and improve my game has been a big credit to him.

JOHN BUSH: Jason Day, congratulations once again.

JASON DAY: Thank you. Cheers.

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