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May 1, 2017
MARK WILLIAMS: Welcome, congratulations, champions of the first inaugural team event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Must be a pretty exciting time.
Just before we get into things, you've both won 400 FedExCup points. Jonas, that moves you from 153 to No. 40 and Cameron, you started at No. 67 and you're now No. 20, so that's a couple of good advances. Both looking to get into the top 30 at THE TOUR Championship following the FedExCup Playoffs later in the season.
Cameron, you've also reached an opportunity to play in The PLAYERS now with the victory. Jonas, you were already in. So that's in a couple weeks. You've also managed to play your way into the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua and a lot of other Invitational events. A lot of nice bonuses there.
I think what we need to ask you is, last night, that was a pretty intense finish. At the end of the night, it was kind of unexpected. You showed a lot of emotion today after four holes of the playoff, particularly, Cameron. If you could just talk us through what your feelings are right now as a champion finally on the PGA TOUR and particularly what last night was like for you.
CAMERON SMITH: Last night was actually better for me than the night before. Saturday night, I struggled to sleep, tossing and turning, and then last night, I think because we had such a long day, I just kind of went home and knocked out.
Yeah, but sorry to bring you all back, by the way, on Monday.
JONAS BLIXT: That wasn't your fault. It was Kevin's.
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I've been playing well for awhile now the last few months and everything needed to come together to get a relaxed week I think with Jonas. Really freed me up and freed Jonas up, as well, I think. Yeah, and we both played out of our skin. It was really good.
MARK WILLIAMS: Just some comments from you. This is your third victory on the TOUR. You've obviously had that experience before, and seeing Cameron get so emotional on the 18th green, how did you react to that?
JONAS BLIXT: It's weird. It's surreal. I feel the same way. I guess I disguise it a little better. I mean, you work your whole life towards this goal and you set it up as a goal at a very young age, and when you reach it, it's crazy, because you've worked so hard for it for so long, and I mean, yeah, that's what happens.
Doing it for the third time, I mean, this is the most fun one, I must say. Our partner and our two caddies that was with us this week, we just stayed very strong as a team and had a lot of fun out there and felt comfortable and I think that made a huge difference and freed us. We were able to make a lot of birdies and give ourselves a lot of chances.
MARK WILLIAMS: Certainly the team format gave it a different dynamic.
Q. For both of you, obviously you had to regroup, you had all of last night and then you come out this morning. Do you think in any way it helped after seeing Kevin's shot go in yesterday, it had to be such a shocking thing; if y'all had to start the playoff right away, would have that have been harder than having a chance to sit down and talk with each other last night and come out and regroup this morning?
CAMERON SMITH: I mean, we still finished with three birdies in a row, so I felt as though we had the momentum.
Yeah, and then Kevin just knocked it in on top of us, and it was ridiculously dark last night. There was no chance that we could have played. I felt as though we still had the momentum.
JONAS BLIXT: Absolutely. Yeah, we were going along very well and I mean, they started extremely well in the conditions that we had. We just stayed with it and got going and you know, tied it up and passed them and kind of that happened.
Felt like we were -- mentally, we were very strong yesterday and today.
Q. Could you please talk about being freed up to play your best when you have a partner, and two, when you're asked about this event, as you inevitably will be in future events, what will you say about your experience here?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I loved it. Like we've been saying all week, we come in here with a pretty chilled-out attitude and just tried to have fun. We played a practice round on Tuesday. We were both striking the ball really well. I was kind of thinking to myself, we're going to win this thing, and never really thought it would happen.
Yeah, our ball-striking, especially in the foursomes, when it's hard to get momentum, was pretty good, and our scrambling, as well, when we did miss a shot was -- we didn't make a bogey all week, so it was solid.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, we were never really close. We had one close call to make a bogey and that was on 3. Just solid.
Q. Each of the teams had a lot of birdie chances in the first three playoff holes. Can you talk about the chances that didn't go in, and did you ever get frustrated at that you will that they didn't go down, and they had their opportunities, also.
JONAS BLIXT: I mean, obviously they were on, too. They put on a really good fight. It was fun. We never knew who was going to win it. I felt like we were a little more aggressive and we were getting closer to the hole. I thought after winning twice, it would be a little less nerve-wracking trying to finish it off, but it still got me a little bit.
Yeah, I felt like put some good strokes on it, maybe not 9, but it was one of those things when you keep giving yourself chances to have a chance and you can't finish it off and they get one and they are going to take it. It was nice to see Cameron hit it up to 2 1/2, three feet, and put it in there. So it was nice.
Q. Can you talk about the shot, the decisive shot that you had to 2 1/2 feet?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I mean, I've worked really hard, especially at the start of this year on my short stuff. Inside a hundred I thought that it was my strong point in my game, and kind of because it was a strong point in my game, I just kind of let it go a little bit. Really started working hard on that again this year, and yeah, to hit a shot like that under the pump, especially when you know you've got it, was pretty cool.
Q. After playing 18, finishing on 18 yesterday and then twice in a row today, and then going back to 18, did y'all change strategy a little bit? Did you decide maybe to get a little more aggressive or discuss possibly doing anything different?
CAMERON SMITH: Our game plan all week, especially in fourball, was to stay aggressive. The wind was a little bit different on 18 today. No one can get there, so we were just kind of giving -- especially to that back pin, as well, I think a shorter shot in with less spin was definitely easier to get it close. Yeah, so we just stayed aggressive and ended up coming off.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, I like the comment he made to me on, was it the second time we got off 18, went to 9, and you're like, "Let's just stuff it in there." You took a really aggressive line and hit a really good shot, and that was kind of nice. Then I could just go at it and be as aggressive as I can. Felt like we set the tone a little bit to the playoff and took advantage of it.
Q. Was it poetic justice that you were able to putt it in at the end when you probably should have done it about 14 hours early?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I guess so. It was pretty cool to knock the putt in for the win. I guess it would have felt a little bit different if Jonas had of done it for my first win -- I guess it wouldn't have felt like I win, I don't know.
But yeah, it was cool to hit that last putt, and actually knowing that you're going to win the tournament.
Q. What would you say was the key to the success this week, one or two things that you can put your finger on?
JONAS BLIXT: We haven't known each other for that long, but he's got a great attitude and he's a great person. He's a better person than he is a golfer. Just hanging with him and just having fun with him, and we got -- his caddie is my roommate and my caddie has a very chill kind of attitude about things, and having four guys just out there having fun, I think that's just what it came down to.
Q. How do you think your personalities complement each other on the course, that made this team work for the whole week?
JONAS BLIXT: I felt like we're kind of similar. We joke around at times but we also get extremely serious and into it at times, too. So you know, I felt like we gave each other a lot of space to play our own game and I felt like our games fit each other very well on the golf course, especially when you have alternate shots. I mean, I felt like I could hit it anywhere and he would get it up-and-down, and I hope he felt the same way.
And so it was never really -- I was never stressed by anything out there.
Q. You're going to The PLAYERS now. How much practice time have you spent at TPC Sawgrass? Do you get out there much? How forward are you looking to that?
CAMERON SMITH: I recently moved to Jacksonville, so that's where I practice, where I play, where I spend all my spare time, I guess you'd say. Yeah, practiced with all the guys out there. They have got a great facility now, and yeah, I'm really actually really looking forward to playing that golf course in tournament condition. And I've always liked Pete Dye's way with courses, so hopefully will have another good one there.
Q. Jonas put it very well: When is what you dream about and aim for. Growing up in Brisbane, I'm sure you had many putts like this on practice greens thinking this was for the win. How did the real thing measure up, after all those times, imagining that it was a putt to win?
CAMERON SMITH: Nowhere near what in practice it is. You say that you might have a putting comp with one of your friends or something like that, and you might lose five bucks or when you're growing up. But yeah, to have a put to win on the PGA TOUR when you've been working towards it your whole life, is a completely different feeling. It felt like the longest two-and-a-half-foot putt I've ever hit.
Q. Jonas has won before, but did you feel any nerves last night or today? Were you nervous about trying to win?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I was nervous. I tried not to show it to Jonas, but yeah, like we've been saying, I felt like, you know, one of us was going to pull it off, you know what I mean, all week. So felt, yeah, very stress-free over the ball, and I think that's, yeah, really worked for us across this week.
Q. Can you just talk about the team format, obviously the uniqueness of it this year is special. Do you think it will have staying power? Obviously you all will speak highly of it I'm sure when people ask.
JONAS BLIXT: It's great. It's definitely like -- it's weird to say it's a little break, but it's a new way of playing and moving into the week and have a new little mind-set on the golf course. Obviously I have played it a ton of -- a bunch of times back home but not with a good player like this.
So it was fun getting back to it. I really enjoyed it back home in Sweden and I really enjoyed it this week. Yeah, I'm looking forward to go back here next year. Yeah, it's just a fun week.
Q. Golf is such an individual sport. To have a teammate for a week, how different is that from a mental approach and just the way you approach the course, knowing that you have that backstop?
JONAS BLIXT: I played hockey as a kid, and you win together, you lose together. You support each other and it feels good to have someone to lean on at times. Having a great teammate like him, it's a walk in the park.
Q. Sort of going with that same discussion of the team format, is there a need for a format like this tournament on the PGA TOUR? Does there need to be more of this? Is one good? Is one too many with this type of format?
CAMERON SMITH: I think if you asked everyone this played, whether they played well or whether they had a bit of a bad week, I think everyone enjoyed it.
It's definitely a nice change for us. We play the same golf courses, we play four rounds of stroke every week. Yeah, so it was a good change, and yeah, I don't think anyone had a bad time. I wouldn't be sure about maybe having another one or -- I'm not sure. I would definitely go to another one.
JONAS BLIXT: Want to be my partner? (Laughter).
Q. I don't know how many of these events there will be, if there will be more, but do you guys see yourselves as a team going forward now, now that you've had this experience, probably come back here as defending champions, but if there were other events, is this the kind of thing where you'll --
CAMERON SMITH: Jonas isn't my partner next year (laughter).
JONAS BLIXT: Who are you going to play with?
CAMERON SMITH: I don't know yet (laughter).
JONAS BLIXT: We'll see. I don't remember the question even (laughter).
CAMERON SMITH: What was the question again?
Q. Right now, you only have this one event per year that does this format, but I'm sure there's a lot of tournaments watching, seeing the largest crowds here in years and the strength of the field, and if it catches on a little bit more than it already has, would you envision yourselves being a team for the long term?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I think we blended well as a team all week, so I can't see why not. We both have the same sense of humor. We both play a very similar game. Yeah, I can't see why not.
MARK WILLIAMS: Cameron, I have a question for you regarding The Presidents Cup. Has it been on your radar before this week, and I'm sure it is now, given the performance that you've had with a partner in a format that's played in The Presidents Cup. It would be interesting to see if Captain Price reaches out to you, or have you had any conversations with him?
CAMERON SMITH: No, I haven't had any conversations. It was definitely a goal of mine at the start of the year to play The Presidents Cup. There's always a couple or a few Australians that play, as well. Yeah, it would be an awesome experience I think to go and play that one, and hopefully I've showed enough this week and in weeks to come to get on the team.
MARK WILLIAMS: We appreciate you guys coming in again and sharing your thoughts with us. Enjoy the victory and we look forward to seeing you at The PLAYERS.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports