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August 15, 2016

Billy Mayfair

Columbus, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to welcome Billy Mayfair here into the Media Center. Billy with rounds of 69, 67, 75, and a 67 today for a four-day total of 278, 2 under par.

Billy, really good playing today on a tough final day. Took a little while to get here.

BILLY MAYFAIR: Once we got here, it was great. Yeah, it was all four days we saw different golf courses. Kind of medium on Thursday. It wasn't all that bad, that windy, but it was still hard to play on Friday. Of course, Saturday the wind started blowing. It was blowing all over the place. Today it was wet and soft and hardly any wind. We got to see Scioto in four different ways on four different days.

THE MODERATOR: How were you able to play different today with those softer and calm conditions?

BILLY MAYFAIR: Well, you had to be a lot more aggressive. Again, we haven't played this golf course all that much. Like I said, I've played some practice rounds. This isn't a tournament that we play every year here. We're not quite sure where we're going to hit it off the tee.

I made a few mistakes here and there, but the first three days when you hit it off the tee, the ball would bounce on the fairway and roll a long way. Today it was flying, and it would stop. I think I hit driver from the front tee on 8, and it was 300 yards to the water. There was no way I could get that. But Thursday through Saturday, that ball would have bounced in.

So we had to completely change our thinking off the tee out there.

THE MODERATOR: Let's just go through your card a little BIT. You start off a couple pars and a nice birdie on 3 to get going.

BILLY MAYFAIR: I hit 3 wood off the tee on the right-hand side, hit about 125 yards, and hit a nice little pitching wedge about three feet from the hole and made that.

THE MODERATOR: Bogeyed 7, but came back with a great birdie on 9.

BILLY MAYFAIR: I worked hard on my back pin on the target where I wanted to hit it on 9. Where the pin was back there, I wanted to stay to the left of it. Unfortunately, I didn't, and the ball spun two back from the hole. Hit 8 iron.

THE MODERATOR: Then Another birdie at the par 5 12th.

BILLY MAYFAIR: I drove the ball in the right-hand rough. Fortunately, I got a real good lie there, and hit a real good 4 wood there just on the front edge. Rolled all the way to the back and made a nice two-putt for 35 feet.

THE MODERATOR: Then made another birdie on 15.

BILLY MAYFAIR: I did. It was funny. I finally matched my line. All week I've been trying to match the line with the speed. Finally, on 15, I hit the right line and the right speed, right in the heart. I was happy to see it go in. I hit a real good putt on 16 and 17 and just didn't quite go in.

THE MODERATOR: Then take us through 18 as well. Are you a scoreboard watcher? Did you know exactly where you stood as you were on the 18th hole?

BILLY MAYFAIR: I'm not a scoreboard watcher. My caddie and I had a strategy, after we finished 14, he would let me know what was going on, how I stood. I knew I was a couple back at the time.

I didn't ask, when I teed off on 18, how I stood. I knew, if I made 3, my wife kind of said, hey, let's make another birdie. So that's kind of my thinking, well, we're probably not ahead. So we better try to make another birdie.

You know, I was trying to make 3. I hit 3 wood off the tee. It was the safer of the two clubs. Caught a good lie in the rough and hit a real good 7 iron in there.

I guess that's the thing I'm most proud of about myself this year. When you've gone three years without really being that competitive, yk, I was on the Web.com Tour and played in some of the PGA Tour events but not all that competitive.

You know, come back out here and get the heart ticking and have to hit shots under the gun. I was wondering if I could do it again, and I proved that to myself. That's the thing I'm probably going to take the most away this week. Under the gun, under a lot of pressure, I hit some good golf shots. It's a good feeling, trust me.

THE MODERATOR: And for Gene Sauers, how did you feel for him? Obviously, he's been through a lot.

BILLY MAYFAIR: He's been through a lot, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: At the trophy ceremony, you gave him a little pat on the back there. Just talk a little bit about Gene.

BILLY MAYFAIR: I've known Gene for a long time. We played the Tour a lot. I still remember when he chipped in on 18 there in Hawaii to win. You remember those little things. He's been nothing but a perfect gentlemen.

I knew he's had some physical problems. I didn't know it was to the extent that it was. He kind of kept it kind of quiet. And I was surprised, when I played with him on Saturday, when he told me everything that had happened with his burns and all that. You've got to take your hat off to the guy for sticking in there.

Like I said, when you sit in the hospital and wonder if you're ever going to play golf again and now you're the Senior Open Champion, that's pretty neat, and that's why I patted him on the back.

I've come a long way through cancer, divorce, and struggling the last three years to come out here and play, and he's done the same thing.

Today, he just happened to come one shot off ahead of me, which, you know, I'm not disappointed, but, hey, we all want to win. I'm happy for Gene. And, like I said, for everything we've both been through, this is a great finish for both of us.

THE MODERATOR: Very good performance in your first Senior Open.


Q. Seemed like a lot of players had difficulty making putts. Can you shed any light on why?
BILLY MAYFAIR: Well, I think the greens got a little bit slower. I think all the moisture on them. We putted all week since Monday here. They've been kind of slick and fast. They have maybe not the speed that we're used to at a U.S. Open, but they were still quick. I think with all that rain and all the moisture on the greens, it was really hard to hit the right speed. I don't think guys misread so many putts. It just seemed like it was just hard to really get the speed.

David Frost, who I played with today, left three or four putts right in the heart, just short. Normally, on Sunday at a U.S. Open or anything, it's usually the quickest greens, and today they were the slowest. It was just trying to match the speed of the greens. I think guys read putts pretty good. It just was really hard to get the speed.

THE MODERATOR: Did you come in with a game plan of a certain number you felt you had to shoot before you even got to the 1st tee today?

BILLY MAYFAIR: No, I'm not that type of player. I try to take one hole at a time. To me, I know what's going on out there. I don't even have to look at a scoreboard. You can tell by the cameras. You can tell by the people, by their roars and all that. I knew I was in there pretty good.

Again, I just knew if I could get to red numbers, red numbers are always good at USGA events. It almost was good enough today.

THE MODERATOR: Billy Mayfair, 278, 2 under par. Congratulations on a runner-up finish.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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