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February 8, 2017

Vaughn Taylor

Pebble Beach, California

JOHN BUSH: We'll get started. Would like to welcome Vaughn Taylor into the interview room. He is making his 10th career start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and obviously, he's our defending champion this week. First of all, can you to take us back to last year's win, beating Phil Mickelson by one stroke there on Sunday.

VAUGHN TAYLOR: Oh, yeah, last year was quite an amazing experience, amazing Sunday for me. A lot of good memories coming back this year and just really excited about getting this week underway and reliving those memories.

JOHN BUSH: You're making your 8th start of the season, you've yet to miss a cut. Comment a little bit about your year so far.

VAUGHN TAYLOR: Oh, I've been playing pretty well. Game's in pretty good shape. I haven't, short game's been kind of sketchy. Hadn't chipped and putted it and wedged it as good as I would like. But overall, everything feels pretty good and I feel like I'm on track. So we'll just see how the week goes.

JOHN BUSH: All right. Questions?

Q. I'm wondering how many times do you look back to that Sunday and when you left here, you went and missed unfortunately, five consecutive cuts. Did you have to force yourself to think back to what happened on that Sunday?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I think about it all the time. It's definitely some memories I'll have with me forever. Looking back, afterwards, my life just kind of got flipped upside down and probably didn't handle it the greatest. But it was a learning experience and it was tough to concentrate on the golf course and I just had a tough time with it. But my game was not in the best of shape afterwards and I was fortunate to play well that week. It kind of came together for me. Just looking back, it's things I'll carry with me for the rest of my life and just such great memories.

Q. Isn't it funny how fate just kind of works out, you weren't playing that well, maybe like in your mind you're like well, let's just see what we got. I got in this tournament, might as well see it through. Then you win the darn thing. I'm curious now, fast forwarding a year later, what kind of flashbacks do you have as you drove on these grounds and just kind of looked around. Might be just like a little thing that maybe entered your mind.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, looking back last year, I didn't have any expectations. I wasn't feeling well. My game wasn't, I didn't think it was that great. It was just kind of crazy how everything can come together and actually win the golf tournament. It's a classic example of low expectations. Starting the week, I really just try to let go of results and trying to control results and I really just let it happen and I gave up control, just kind of left it in God's hands and however it played out, that's how it played out. It's just really hard to believe that it turned out the way it did. I'm just very fortunate and very blessed to have it happen that way.

Q. Follow-up, as soon as it happened, maybe the next few days, was it kind of like being a rock star? Everywhere you went, especially when you went home?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, it was. It was a lot of attention and it was a blast. I remember the next few days in L.A. just how people were coming up to me and I was doing interviews, I was on Sportscenter, it was just really cool. We enjoyed those times. I don't think I've ever seen my wife as relaxed and chilled out as she was. We just had this huge calmness over us. It was just a huge relief off of our shoulders and just really fun time in our life.

Q. Got to be a much different feeling when you come to a tournament as the defending champion.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: It is. It's something I haven't experienced in a long, long time. So, I'm trying not to think about it too much. I'm trying to just go about my business as normal, but it's definitely a different feeling. And it's a good one. It's nice to come back to a place where you're the only champion and you get to relive it. It's really neat.

Q. I think you had played with an amateur that had previously won the team event. How much of it is a mental challenge of finding kind of that right amateur that's going to stay out of the way and also dealing with the longer hours and that type of thing on the course.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah. It's a huge mental struggle out there. You're out there a long, long time together for three days and four days if you make the cut. And your partner is a big part of it. Greg was a great partner. He was so relaxed. He just wants to have fun. He stayed out of the way. He did all the right things. And it makes a difference. I've been on both sides where it wasn't that easy and he was a really, really good partner and I appreciate everything he did for me last year.

Q. You guys have a talk before the tournament started, like this is kind of what I expect or maybe kind of layout some rules or something like that?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No. We didn't have a talk, but he is pretty up front and he pretty much when we met, I think we met maybe Tuesday night, and he's just like, hey, I'm going to have fun out there and let's have a blast and I'll stay out of your way. He just kind of told me, and he already knew, he had played in it before, and he knew what was going on. So it was -- he was just a great partner to have.

Q. Are there keys during a round like that, such a long round, that keeps your mind in it? Are there things that you do particularly?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, you really have to, when there's a lot going on with the amateurs and certain holes, you really got to kind of pretend as if this isn't a tournament right now and just kind of let it happen, because if you get upset or you try to control the situation or tell the guys to pick up or whatever, it doesn't work for me. So I kind of just sit back, relax, and not worry about it. And then it can really bother you, I see guys get really upset over things. Somebody's going to walk in your line a couple times a day, things are just going to happen. So, you just got to let them go and not let them bother you.

Q. What did you do yesterday?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yesterday? I just -- nothing in the morning. Just relaxed. Came out, ate breakfast. Did a thing in the academy for a little while for Golf Channel. Then my teacher was here, so luckily it stopped raining and we just chipped and putted for a couple hours.

Q. No interest in playing yesterday?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: No. No, not at all.

Q. For all the years you've been here, and you've seen kind of both sides of it, is there an enjoyable side to the nasty part of the weather. And if not, which I can tell already what the answer is going to be, which is more memorable, sunshine or rain? Which do you remember the more, I guess?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: I would say the sunshine. Last two years was amazing. The year before last was the warmest and non-windiest I've ever seen it. And last year was not quite as good, but still good. But this kind of year, I've seen it before. It's not that enjoyable, but when you get around Pebble, and you just still look around, I mean, I think someone said last night even when it's at its gloomiest, it's still beautiful. So, I think that's what you got to focus on when you're out there. I mean if it's nasty weather, just take a look out at the ocean.

Q. If you can see the ocean.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Yeah, if you can see it. And still just try to take it in. Because it's still an amazing place regardless of the weather.

Q. I think statistically Spyglass is the hardest since 2010. But do you think there's appreciable difference in these three in terms of degrees of difficulty?
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Well, Spyglass is probably plays the longest of the three. Then when it's wet, it plays even longer. So, Pebble, Monterey, you can get a lot of wedges in your hands. Spyglass, there's some really demanding par-4s and some of the par-5s aren't reachable for me, and it's hilly, it's a different golf course. So, I can see why it plays harder.

JOHN BUSH: All right. Vaughn Taylor, best of luck this week.

VAUGHN TAYLOR: All right. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

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