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April 25, 2017

Brian Stuard

Chris Stroud

Avondale, Louisiana

CHRIS STROUD: To me, around the greens is really where you need to get comfortable with the golf ball. If I miss a green and he's got to chip with my golf ball I want to make sure he's comfortable chipping my golf ball. I think tee-to-green shouldn't be that much different. But it's going to be fun. I don't know, a couple holes today, I was imagining what it would be like if, hey, if I hit the shot here and I'm using his golf ball and now I've got to hit a second shot to this pin. I think it's going to be cool. It's going to be interest.

Q. How is the golf course?
BRIAN STUARD: Different from last year. The greens are awesome once again. Should be good. Exciting for this week.

Q. Do you think that not having experience in alternate-shot is going to be somewhat of a disadvantage or not?
BRIAN STUARD: I don't think so. You know, once you get it, I don't think it will be an issue. It will probably be a little different for the first couple holes not hitting a shot off the tee and that kind of a thing, but once we get going, I think we'll be all right.

CHRIS STROUD: That's what I think, the rhythm will be different, when I hit the second shot -- for 95 percent of the guys in the field that have never done this before, that's the biggest difference, hey, he's going to hit the drive, I go hit the she can not and not to get too fast, too slow and trying to get a rhythm. Because golf, you're really, all day long, you're just trying to find a good rhythm. The whole group, you're just trying to flow. That maybe the trickiest thing to do. Like I said, I think it's fine. I think it's brought a lot of excitement to the golf tournament. I'm looking forward to it.

Q. I was talking to Rocco earlier and he says he thinks alternate-shot rounds are going to be the two rounds that decide the winner.
CHRIS STROUD: Absolutely. I mean, I think best-ball is going to be pretty simple for us and obviously both guys maybe playing well but alternate-shot, I mean, I've played golf where I've hit two shots and then I played my worst ball.

It's going to be similar to that except you only get one shot every other time, and so you're not really, like I said, you're not really in a rhythm so you're going to have to both be sharp. I think at the end of the day, you've really got to be good with the scoring.

You've got to really both be sharp with the chipping and the wedges and making a lot of putts, both of you, because I think with hitting half the shots that you normally hit, I think you're going to have -- you're not going to be as warmed up all day long. You're going to be sitting there waiting and you're going to be a little cold.

You have to accept, you're going to hit some shots that aren't going to be very good. Brian and I, we both have pretty good short games, so I think it will work out pretty good together.

Q. Any script or team name?
CHRIS STROUD: I don't have a team name yet but I thought maybe we could wear the same colors. I texted him last night, I said: Hey, whatever you wore on Sunday last year, that's what we'll wear on Sunday this year. We have to have some good vibes going.

We'll probably have a couple matching days maybe. I think we'll go out there and play the best we can. Have some fun.

Q. So what kind of scores do you think we can see on best-ball? How low is it going to be?
BRIAN STUARD: Good question.

CHRIS STROUD: It is a good question.

BRIAN STUARD: I know the wind is supposed to be pretty mild, ten miles an hour, something like that, ten to 12.

CHRIS STROUD: I would say, what's the low here, 64,65 in Your round. So I think you're going to see -- you'll probably see some 62s. I don't know if you'll see 61s out here but 62s, 63s and I think you'll see a whole bunch of 68s and 67s. I think the cut is going to be low. But the alternate-shot is going to flip it and I think you're going to see some -- I don't know.

Like I said I've never played alternate-shot, but I think a couple under par in alternate-shot is great. I'm just thinking in my mind, looking back at Ryder Cups and watching some alternate-shot rounds, I think even par to 2-under is pretty solid.

All depends how they set it up. They could set it up easier for alternate-shot, or they could set it up really challenging. We'll see.

Q. Do you see anything in the 50s?
BRIAN STUARD: In the 50s? Obviously if you get two guys that birdie different holes and make a bunch of birdies, it could happen. But that would be awesome.

CHRIS STROUD: That would be cool. Yeah, I think there's definitely a higher chance of it this week. You get a couple of guys hot, like you said, birdieing eight or nine different holes apiece, you're there. I mean, that's pretty simple. The hardest thing is when both players are playing well, you've usually got to birdie the same holes, but if you can brother-in-law, ham-and-egg, however you want to say it, Brian-and-Chris it.

Q. How did y'all go about it today? Did y'all do half and half?
BRIAN STUARD: We just played our own ball but I would hit one of his off the tee and he would hit one of mine and then some into the greens and just chipping around. Just kind of getting a feel for the other's ball. We didn't really do any alternate-shot or anything.

CHRIS STROUD: I didn't want to wear him out today because he's got a Pro-Am tomorrow, and I was like, hey, defending champion, I just want to make sure. I wanted to let him do his thing and take it easy today. For me I was trying to get used to it.

His golf ball around the greens -- I think that's the hardest thing to do with any golf ball, any change. That's it. I think you'll see some really interesting shots around the greens and into the greens that you're like, man, that wasn't a very good shot because the guys used a different golf ball.

BRIAN STUARD: All the players on the range and putting green, people are talking about golf ball. It's going to be interesting.

Q. You talked about your coach getting the numbers and stats. Any examples how that affected what you'll do on strategy?
CHRIS STROUD: Yeah, we were actually talking about that today. I think luckily, the par 5s, since if he goes evens and I go odds teeing off on those holes, which I think is a good strategy for this tournament, the par 5s are fine. Two par 5s are even and two par 5s -- but the par 3s, I think there's three and one. So three of the par 3s are odd.

So he draws the ball, a little bit more than I do, a little bit easier than I do. So you know, I think what we're going to discuss is figure out where the pins are on these par 3s. I was asking him today, are there any holes he's not really comfortable with, because I hit almost a straight, almost a fade shot.

I don't really move the ball left-to-right, but I don't -- it's harder for me to draw the ball than it is for him. He just hits a draw every time and that's why this course sets up really well for him. A lot of tee shots, they favor that draw, and the par 3s, really I guess the only one that really doesn't is 3. 3 is kind of a straight shot but it still receives a draw.

For guys like Brian that draw the ball, I think he's going to have a little bit of an advantage on the par 3s. No. 9 you can play it to the right edge of the green and play it to the middle of the green. That's the kind of strategy we'll go over and figure out, hey, what holes do you feel like you're comfortable with, what holes are you not comfortable with and I've got a couple things my coach is going to talk to me about, maybe strategy for the par 5s. But our games are so similar, it's going to be like playing with myself.

Q. Who is the coach?
CHRIS STROUD: Kevin Kirk is a guy that I work with back at home. I used to work with him as a swing coach but now I'm working with him and another stat guy from Australia. It's pretty interesting, the stuff I've learned. It's pretty simple stuff.

Q. Do you have to draw the strategy out over dinner?
CHRIS STROUD: Kevin has an office and we do a face, Skype over the Internet -- oh, with him. We have our wives coming in today. We're going to go to dinner and strategize and stuff.

BRIAN STUARD: Secret plan.

CHRIS STROUD: We've got a little secret plan. Especially for the defending champ, we have to do something special.

Q. Don't want to get you in trouble with your sponsors, but how do you decide who's ball to use?
BRIAN STUARD: I think probably if I'm going to hit the second shot, he'll tee off with my ball and vice versa. I think that will probably be the best way.

CHRIS STROUD: Every team is going to do that.

BRIAN STUARD: Whoever it's the ball on the green --

CHRIS STROUD: If Brian hits his ball on the greens or I want my golf ball on the greens or a par 5 we're going to reach in two or get close to, whoever is hitting the third shot might be the chip or whatever, that's the kind of thing you've got to think about. I think, you know, you probably spend ten or 15 minutes kind of going over where the pins are each day, and it probably won't change, I would say, for the most part.

But I think for us, like I said, I think it's going to be pretty easy for Brian and I. Similar games.

Q. How much do you think it might be a point of contention for the other teams, not being totally comfortable with all the different balls?
CHRIS STROUD: Listen, I've been out here for 11 years. I've seen a lot of crazy stuff with golf balls, and all the companies make great golf balls but I promise you, no matter -- they are all good. But if you don't practice with one of them and you just kind of go out there and try to play, it's incredible what it can do.

It can really change a lot of things. I've run into a couple problems like that before trying a different golf ball if I thought it was better and it's just not as good around the greens. And to me, that's the most important thing. So you're going to see some crazy stuff: A guy that has a simple chip that thinks he may chip it in or two or three feet; he's going to hit to ten feet and make bogey or something. So that's the hardest thing.

Q. Brian, what has this past year been like for you as a winner on the PGA TOUR and are there a couple of things that have stood out the most to you this past year?
BRIAN STUARD: Yeah, it's been really exciting. It's always great, everywhere you go, and people say, great playing at the Zurich. It's just -- I think a lot of it is just validation of a lot of hard work over the years, and I think to win a tournament, it means a lot. It's just you feel like, your confidence just grows. It's been great.

Q. Is there any specific moment during the year that you thought to yourself, wow, this is what winning gets?
BRIAN STUARD: Obviously I think playing at Augusta a couple weeks ago, man, that's such a great perk to winning. Playing the Firestone, the WGC Bridgestone, that was awesome. Just getting into a couple tournaments like that, you think, wow --

Q. Kapalua.
BRIAN STUARD: The Tournament of Champions, too, that was spectacular. Those three tournaments, when you get in those, you're like, man, it's pretty cool, for sure.

JOHN BUSH: Brian, Chris, best of luck this week.

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