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January 10, 2017

Harold Varner III

Honolulu, Hawaii

JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Harold Varner III into the interview room.

Harold, you're making your second Sony Open in Hawai'i start. You improved every round last year. Just comment a little about your first start here last year.

HAROLD VARNER III: I just think I was really excited. Just like this year, just ready to get the season going. You know, I think last year, I finished second in the Aussie PGA, so just looking for something to build on, and that's what I did.

I played with Steve Wheatcroft the last two days, so it was really fun because I've played with him a lot so just good camaraderie. Just try to do the same thing this year but be in contention would be a little better for sure.

JOHN BUSH: Talk a little about this golf course and how it suits your game.

HAROLD VARNER III: If you can get it in play, and I'm starting to wedge it a little better, so that can only help out here and if you drive it well when it gets windy, being able to control your ball flight, I feel I do a pretty good job of that. I'm just excited to get going. I just need to relax because I've been a little too excited lately.

JOHN BUSH: Speaking of that, before we open it up to questions, you won the Australian PGA Championship. Just talk a little about how much that meant to you and how exciting that was obviously.

HAROLD VARNER III: It was pretty special, especially since the year before, I finished second, lost in a playoff. And to get back and just get the job done, and first to win outside the mini-tours, for me. It's a difference in talking about winning and actually doing it, and actually doing it, I hope I learned enough where I can use that down the road.

Q. That's a big event -- (Inaudible.)
HAROLD VARNER III: Yeah, those guys are really good. But you know, it was my week. That's how it goes. It's golf. That's what I learned the most. Some days, some weeks, you're just not going to get it done. When someone is playing good, like I was, it was going to take something pretty special to beat me. I was holing out from the fairway. Some things you just don't control. It was my week and I'm super excited to get that under my belt.

Q. Do you feel like you're in that --
HAROLD VARNER III: Every week, I mean -- this is different than actually doing it. You just need to relax. And when I learned the most is I don't really have to do anything crazy.

People tell you, like, you've got all the tools. But actually doing it and understanding what went on and how to get it done, that was pretty special.

Q. The physical side, the time zones -- how do you adjust to that?
HAROLD VARNER III: I got here on Monday. But I went to Palm Springs for a couple days before, and if I can't get excited enough to play golf for a living, then I think something's wrong. Yes, that might change in 15 or so years when I have a family, but right now, I think I should be more than -- I shouldn't even have to practice. I should be ready. Let's get it on.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HAROLD VARNER III: I mean, I don't do too much when I'm at a golf tournament. It's not like I'm going to go get in that ocean, that's for sure (laughter).

Yeah, it's beautiful. I just try and enjoy it as much as I can, but I'm here for work. I think I have a great opportunity this year to do some special things and I just don't want to piss them away. It's not my -- I don't want to do that.

JOHN BUSH: What's your schedule over the next few months on both tours?

HAROLD VARNER III: I'm going to play both, or enough to keep my status on the European. But until THE PLAYERS, I'm going to play everything except Pebble.

So I'm going to play a lot of golf. I don't have much going on. I don't have too many obligations, and I want to see how good I can be at golf. And you can't do it on the couch.

Q. (Inaudible.)
HAROLD VARNER III: No, the nets out there -- (laughter) can't even talk about that on here. Yeah, just kind of take a swim -- I was like -- (laughter). I'm not going to be doing that. I've never heard of anything like that, the nets being out there. And then I was like, oh, maybe that's a good thing, the nets are out there.

But I didn't know the nets are going all the way down. What's the point of having the net up there? Yeah, that's pretty funny. I'm not going out there either. I mean, I might go to the beach but I'm not getting in there.

Q. Have you met any of your goals since you turned pro and what are your goals for this year?
HAROLD VARNER III: I want to be Top-50 in the world, however that happens. I've had really small goals that I've made myself. I guess I want to be Top-50 in the world and however that happens, I don't know. I just want to keep getting better, anyway.

Q. Why?
HAROLD VARNER III: Why do I want to keep getting better?

Q. Why do you want to be in the Top 50?
HAROLD VARNER III: Because I can get into all the events and I can make my own schedule. I can play wherever, when you're Top-50 in the world.

Q. Inaudible.
HAROLD VARNER III: Yeah, it's cool. I never really thought about it. I think the coolest part, I get to play in Akron. I was born in Akron. So that was the most special thing.

Yeah, The European Tour is cool. Never really crossed my mind. But the biggest thing was to be able to play in Akron. My aunt worked there for 20-something years at Firestone, so I'm really excited to go back there.

Q. What do you remember --
HAROLD VARNER III: Probably just playing out here.

Q. I can't think if the Open was a Firestone spot --
HAROLD VARNER III: No. The PGA was Firestone, and then the Open was five spots into the Open. I want to get back to there, too. You get Top-50 in the world, they just give you one. Yeah, just got to keep working at it. I think good things are going to happen. I'm getting better. Just got to be patient.

Q. (Inaudible.).
HAROLD VARNER III: I haven't hit a ball since I've been here -- but in Palm Springs. I'll be rusty, but I don't think everyone else is sharp. I'll do my best. I'll compete.

Q. Justin's sharp.
HAROLD VARNER III: Yeah, he's pretty sharp, but I just haven't played against him yet. He got into the tournament before me. We'll see. He played great. That was awesome to see. He played well his last four events. I played with him in Japan. He was playing well then.

So he's just getting to become an elite player, playing well every time and I think everyone out here is trying to do that.

Q. A lot of players talk about the travel --
HAROLD VARNER III: I think I was in a great situation. All I have is a girlfriend. She's pretty supportive. If you have kids, I think it's really hard to do. I flew to Japan, came home for Thanksgiving, flew to Australia. It's just not -- it's not easy, but yeah, I enjoy it. I enjoy it. Like I want to see the world and golf gives me that opportunity. So when I get the chance, I'm going to go play because that's just how I am. But some people are just different.

For example, a lot of people don't come out to Hawai'i and I think it's a short trip. It's snowing in North Carolina, so why would I not play. It's all what you believe that makes your best play.

JOHN BUSH: Thank you, Harold, we appreciate your time.

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