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January 14, 2017

Tom Byrum

Orlando, Florida

Q. Nice playing.
TOM BYRUM: Thanks.

Q. 62, actual score. That's pretty good. You left ‑‑ Tommy was saying you left a couple out there on the par 5s.
TOM BYRUM: Yeah, the par 5s, I get a reachable par 5, then I chunk my 3 wood down there and don't get it up and down. Number 9 yesterday, easy chip, don't get it up and down. Then same thing happened on whatever hole that is, 15, yesterday as well. Easy chip and don't get it up and down. But then I make a putt that probably is a good two‑putt and make some nice putts when they come around.
Obviously, it's evening out, but I think those guys that really are going to play‑‑ the guys that are making‑‑ like Woody, can get all those par 5s. He's putting for eagle, and I need to at least be making birdie on some of those par 5s.
But I'm happy with it. I left a lot out there, but it's given me a lot too. So it's evening up.

Q. Can you run by‑‑ Tommy said what you just said, putting was‑‑ you made some putts. Can you run by some of the longer ones.
TOM BYRUM: Let's see. Well, 1 and 2 weren't very long. They were wedges in there close. 3 is the par 3. It was a pretty good long putt, number 3, probably a 25‑footer. Number 8 was a nice long putt, probably a 30‑footer. Made a nice eagle on 9, probably 10 feet. Then the back side really‑‑ what did I birdie on the back? Just the two par 3s, I think. Did I have six points on the back? Two birdies, I think.

Q. You had three birdies on the back.
TOM BYRUM: Oh, it was that short hole. I chipped it up there.

Q. The 300‑yard hole?
TOM BYRUM: Yeah. So I chipped that up there a foot. Otherwise, the two birdies I made were pretty close, like that one right there, 4 feet.

Q. So putting, the main thing?
TOM BYRUM: Yeah, just taking advantage of when I got a chance. I made it pretty much. Hardly missed any today. Yesterday I missed a few makable putts.

Q. Last year was your first fully exempt year on the Champions Tour; is that right?
TOM BYRUM: Pretty much. I played quite a few the year before off the money list. I was getting in a lot, but I was getting in later on. If I didn't Monday qualify, I was getting in on Tuesday or Wednesday. Most of the time, I would commit to qualify, and then they'd let me know I was in before I had to go.

Q. So you were partially exempt the year before?
TOM BYRUM: Kind of. High enough on the money list that it got me in.

Q. If I remember right, did you shoot like‑‑ was it the last day of Q School, a 62 to get in the top five?
TOM BYRUM: 64, I think it was.

Q. 64. Was that the last day?

Q. So that was a big round as far as your Champions Tour?
TOM BYRUM: Yeah. For some reason, that kind of set me off on a pretty good roll. Then in the last round of the first tournament, I shot, I think, the same thing in the wind. It was really windy that day, blew like 25 miles an hour, and somehow I started making putts and getting to scrape one on the green and finished one shot out of the playoffs.
I don't know, something got in my head where I started scoring.

Q. Did you‑‑ now, were you‑‑ were there some years in between the regular Tour and this year, three or four years where you didn't play much?
TOM BYRUM: On the Champions Tour, yeah. Couldn't get on. I didn't know if I should even keep trying. I think I played maybe five tournaments the first two years. Two the first and maybe three or ‑‑ it wasn't many.

Q. Were you doing Monday qualifying?
TOM BYRUM: Trying to. Seemed like that year or the first two years, a lot of times it was four and a lot of times it was only three spots to qualify. I mean, I wouldn't say I was shooting unbelievable scores, but I was shooting 69.

Q. Where's your game now?
TOM BYRUM: It's good. Again, it's the putting. I feel good about my ball striking. You know, I'm just a little‑‑ believe it or not, a little rusty on a few shots that, when it's soft ground and stuff, I need to be paying attention a little more. I did chunk a few shots.

Q. Did you say you chunked a 3 wood today?
TOM BYRUM: I hit a 3 wood fat on 15, and I would have easily got it there had I hit it solid.

Q. What did you make on that hole?
TOM BYRUM: 5. There's really no trouble. There's a bunker there, but nothing to be worried about.

Q. And I think‑‑ did you look at the leaderboard?

Q. He's leading, right?

Q. At the moment, he's leading, but Woody's got a lot of holes to play.

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