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January 17, 2017

Brendan Steele

La Quinta, California

EMILY TILLO: We had like to welcome in Brendan Steele to the interview room here at the CareerBuilder. You are coming off a really strong start to the season, with a win at the Safeway Open and which got you into the Tournament Of Champions where you finished T-6, so, what's your game plan heading into the week this week?

BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, this is kind of a home game for me, so really fun to be back. And coming off of some good results, I feel like my game's in a pretty good place. Hadn't had the best record here over the last few years, until 2015, and ended up tied for second, so have a little success to draw off of. Obviously different courses now, but I'm comfortable here, grew up around here, so just really excited for the week and looking forward to getting going.

EMILY TILLO: And you're currently No. 4 in the FedExCup standings, which makes you the highest ranked player in the field this week. Does that give you any extra motivation to play well this week and stay a top the standings?

BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I didn't know that, but, yeah, I'm definitely motivated to try to stay as high as I can. Obviously, Justin's kind of running away with the No. 1 spot at the moment, but, yeah, definitely, obviously motivated to hit the West Coast pretty hard, normally have a pretty good West Coast Swing, so would like to kind of build on the momentum from earlier this year and hopefully just kind of keeps going and stay up there all season.

EMILY TILLO: Great. Questions?

Q. A lot of guys will win very early in the year, and it maybe changes their schedule a little bit, because they know they're going to play in tournaments they didn't play before or something like that. You can't win any earlier than you did. But you've always played a lot on the West Coast. It's not going to change your schedule that much?
BRENDAN STEELE: Not changing my schedule on the West Coast at all. These are all events that I really enjoy and my wife and I drive around everywhere and rent houses and bring our dog and have friends and family come stay with us. And coming off a pretty nice break, too, so just excited to kind of do the same thing. I'm going to play, hopefully, six of the next seven, if I get into Mexico based on the FedExCup for this season. So, that's the goal right now, play a bunch through the West Coast and through the WGC down there in Mexico. And I'm going to have to make some adjustments later in the year. With a few events that I have gotten into, I'm going to have to skip a couple things, even if they're events that I like, but just to try to stay fresh and be ready for the playoffs and, again, Safeway, when it comes back around. Obviously, the fall's important to me as well. So, it's just try to balance everything, but the West Coast is always really fun for me, really exciting, and then it does take lot out of me just with all the friend and family and everybody around.

Q. You mentioned it's a home game. You're over in Irvine now or someplace. Someplace on the other side of the hill. But you did play a lot of golf in the Coachella Valley, growing up. Did you play these two golf courses? I know those golf courses over there you played in the tournament.
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I actually played these. I hadn't played the two over there until the tournament. And then I played these growing up quite a bit. Used to have deals for juniors, you could come down and play as many holes as you could get in kind of thing. You come down and walk and play in the middle of the summer. And I would play both of them in a day sometimes. So, I know them pretty well. Obviously, my game's lot different from when I was 14, 15 years old, but I know all the holes by heart and have a lot of good memories here. And then there was a long stretch where I hadn't played them, probably from like 2007 I hadn't been here until last year. So, it was fun to come back and kind of see all the holes that I remembered from being a kid.

Q. Any tournaments?
BRENDAN STEELE: No, just came out and played. There was a Golden State two-man team event that I came and back and played with a buddy Berry Henson from the valley here.

Q. You ever play them in the rain?
BRENDAN STEELE: I never played them in the rain. Actually, that's not true. That two-man team event it actually dumped and we got cut down to 27 holes and barely got in nine holes the second day. So, it was really, really bad. So I have seen them that way. I may be one of the few guys in the field that have seen them that way.

Q. You're a pretty frequent user of Twitter, you might have heard that on Thursday they're going to have Twitter live stream for the first time. What do you think about that partnership between the PGA and Twitter and is that something you would be interested in, if you were a fan?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, absolutely. I think that the way things are these days with social media and fans want to be able to interact and they want to be able to get more content. And anything that the tournaments can do to give a little bit more of a look into what the players are doing, more shots, more kind of lead-up into the event, I think fans really enjoyed that. They like to dig into that and check it all out of the so I think it's fantastic, I think we'll see more and more that have going forward.

Q. What's the name of the dog?

Q. And is there any trials in sort of tribulations of traveling with a dog? Because I know Jason Day used to travel with a dog for while and he's told us some horrific stories with the dog.
BRENDAN STEELE: No, it's been pretty good. He's an eight-pound poodle, so my wife thought it would be funny to call him Duke. But he's 12 years old, he's pretty relaxed these days and so he just sleeps a lot and hangs out. And he's excited to be out here this week, because we have a bunch of grass right outside the bedroom and we have hardwood floors at home and there's carpet here, so he can really dig in and run around. So he's having a good time.

EMILY TILLO: Well, we appreciate your time. Thanks so much. Good luck this week.

BRENDAN STEELE: Sure. Thank you.

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