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January 6, 2017

Ryan Moore

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

ALEX URBAN: We'd like to welcome Ryan Moore to the interview room at the SBS Tournament of Champions.

Ryan, you're at 12-under par, tied with Justin Thomas for the lead. Talk about your play through two rounds.

RYAN MOORE: I mean, the days really couldn't have been more different on just how I scored. I mean, yesterday, starting off, a couple eagles early in the round, I've never done that before. So it was interesting. And then just kind of cruised the rest of the day. I actually hit the ball great and just burned the edges all day long yesterday.

So today, kind of started out a little slow and kind of kept with the burning edges on putts. Then kind of made a nice putt there on 12, and I kind of -- I don't know, just the hole looked a little bit bigger after that. Felt comfortable and kind of made some nice putts. Also hit a couple great wedges the last few holes and had a couple tap-ins, which is obviously really nice.

Q. Curious about your putting. I think you had a probably couple long 3-putts early on, one for par on 5. When you get the size of these greens, the slope, the grain, everything else, and you have that early, is it harder to get it square in your head compared to if you're at Palm Springs or Vegas, or flatter greens, I guess.
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I mean, I think you just know that's kind of part of this golf course. I mean, you're going to end up with some long, really difficult lag putts a couple times a day, even hitting good shots.

When it's calmer, like this, it's a little bit easier to get the right depth. But yeah, I just left myself in a couple places that weren't great. The one on five, par 5, was just a bad second putt. It wasn't a bad lag putt.

The one on 2, honestly I thought it was a pretty good putt when I hit it and it was a little faster than I thought and ran down the hole.

Yeah, I just think for me, I know that's a part of it and I tried to not get too frustrated over them on this golf course. Obviously I don't want to 3-putt. But if it happens, it's not the end of the world and keep moving on.

Q. How does this course compare to others; is there any type of different momentum putting course, once you start getting a few in, does the line become clear, or is it like that everywhere?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I would say it's kind of similar to anywhere for me. Man, just keep burning edges and burning edges, you just wonder if they are ever going to go in. When you finally make a 20- or 25-footer, it's like, oh, okay, they can go in. It almost has that relief, and maybe you relax and just hit your putts a little bit better the rest of the day.

I don't know why, but after I made that, I had to do that 20 to 25 feet on 12, the rest of the putts just looked better.

Q. What was the best take away from the whole Ryder Cup? It was such a frenzied week for you to get there. As you look back on it, what was your biggest takeaway?
RYAN MOORE: Really just the entire experience. It's hard to pinpoint one thing or another. It's just the whole week, the whole, I mean, craziness that it is. It's hard to fully appreciate or understand what it's like until you've been there and done it. Now I can fully appreciate what it's like.

I mean, it was an amazing experience to be part of that team and to actually help the team out and have a couple points for the team. You know, really, the thing as a whole is what I'm going to take away from it.

Q. (Do you feel like it changed you at all in some way)?
RYAN MOORE: No, not really. I mean, you're playing under an amazing amount of pressure the entire time. It feels like you're playing the 72nd hole of a tournament tied for the lead every single hole you play somehow, which is pretty crazy.

Yeah, I mean, coming down the stretch and in those kind of circumstances, I mean, I think it can definitely help how I'm going to feel in those situations knowing I've been there and I've handled it in that type of situation.

But I don't think it's changed me as a golfer or my perspective on things, and I think it kind of makes you maybe just a little bit more comfortable with that type of pressure, really.

Q. Even though it worked out, obviously well, one of the things they are looking at is whether it's worth next time having the same type of situation, where you pick a guy Sunday night, throw a uniform on him straightaway to the course. If you could take yourself out of the mix and if they appointed you to the committee, what would be your thoughts on that?
RYAN MOORE: I mean, obviously it worked out for me. I really liked it this time. But if they changed it for next time, I would not have a problem with that. It was a lot. To go from, you know, I'm in a playoff the week before; that in itself is a lot and exhausting and end of the year and all that stuff. Just to go straight into a Ryder Cup, and in some ways it might have helped me play better because I almost didn't have any anticipation. It was just, oh, I'm here, let's just go play.

So I don't know, I'm kind of torn on it. I could see it would have been nice to know a week before, for sure. But at the same time, I wouldn't have been on the team and if you're really trying to get that person that's playing the best right up to that point, why not give it that last tournament and see who plays great that week.

I can't say that I have like a really definitive answer, because I can kind of see both sides of it, the benefit of both sides.

Q. Have you noticed a change in how others have approached you or talked to you or anything like that since being part of it?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I'm a Ryder Cupper. Basically everybody comes up to me and talks to me about that. I mean, I'm leading a golf tournament and that's all you guys are asking about. That has changed. You did ask me about my two 3-putts today, thank you for that. Or the three wedges I holed out or any of that fun stuff.

Yeah, everything, everybody -- and I'm okay with that. Before that, I was a guy that was a really good amateur ten years ago. That's kind of -- fast-forwarded a little bit, it's a little more recent, so yeah, that's the biggest change.

Q. How are you feeling about your chances? Do you change your approach or do you need to go low the next two rounds?
RYAN MOORE: Yeah, this golf course, you need to make birdies. That's all there is to it. I mean, it gets close to 20-ish every single year, and you know it's going to be around that. I'm sitting at 12. I know I have a ways to go to get to that point.

Obviously the guys that are around me are obviously great players and they have won tournaments on the PGA TOUR to be here and are playing well this week already. So it will be interesting to see if the wind stays down or if it changes or it changes the course a little bit. You kind of wait till you show up to the course every day to see how it's going to play. I'm looking forward to it and it's fun to be in contention going into the weekend the first tournament out the gate this year.

Q. You were a communications major, right?

Q. You made a good point a minute ago: The great amateur in 2004 and a Ryder Cupper now. If you're writing your story, say, five years ago, what kind of questions are you asking yourself? What's your story?
RYAN MOORE: Five years ago? Man, well, it would have been like: Why haven't you won more tournaments, really. That would have been the questions I was getting five years ago.

Q. Your question.
RYAN MASTERS: Those were the questions you guys were asking me. That's not what it was? That's not what I was going for?

Yeah, I have no idea. I'd have to give that more thought. I'm not -- right now, I'm not in that moment right now, I don't know.

Q. Expand what you said just a couple questions ago. What do you see for the weekend? It's a pretty crowded leaderboard. Does that make it different at all for you, more interesting, more intriguing, more pressure, anything like that?
RYAN MOORE: Not necessarily. It's just more people with a chance to go shoot some good numbers and climb the board and be right there on Sunday.

Like I said, you know it's going to be 20-ish-plus, and you know you've got to get there. So I have a ways to go, but I've got two rounds to do it. I like -- the rounds have been very different but I like how I've scored in both of them, shooting 6-under. You know, I've got to keep that pace up.

Q. What's the difference of a 32-man field here and a 30-man field in THE TOUR Championship?
RYAN MOORE: I mean, at that point, we were playing a lot into form, and here, there might be ten people in the field that haven't played golf in a month and a half. They are just kind of showing up, like there's no cut. It's a little bit, I'd say, a mind-set thing. There are just some people that flat-out need a break and don't play.

Honestly, I haven't played a lot coming into here. I kind of came early to get some rounds in and it rained over the weekend and I didn't really get anything in. But I've been doing other stuff to prepare. It might be a third of the field that haven't really done a lot of golf since the middle of November.

So preparation, I would say, is different at this tournament. Whereas end of the season, we're all in form, playing and playing a ton. At that point -- but at the same time, it's pretty similar in some ways. You just less people and it's a lot easier what you don't have to beat 150-something people.

Q. How much do you come thinking opportunity, and how much do you come thinking, working vacation? It can definitely feel like that where we are.
RYAN MOORE: It definitely can. I'd say about four or five years ago, I got rid of working vacation. Let's just say that. If I'm at a golf tournament, I'm here to golf and I'm here to play a golf tournament.

Doesn't mean I can't go hang out with my son and play on the beach for a few minutes afterwards, but I'm not going to do anything to wear myself out and exhaust myself so the next day I'm tired on the golf course or playing golf.

Everything I do and all the decisions I make are to play a golf tournament. But it is easy to let that other side of it happen. But I made a very conscious decision five years ago; that if I'm at a golf tournament, I'm at a golf tournament.

ALEX URBAN: Thank you.

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