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July 14, 2017

Mardy Fish

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: 24 points. You're one point behind the leader, Derek Lowe. Everybody keeps talking about if Mardy Fish putts well this week, it's all over. Take us through your round and your putting today.

MARDY FISH: I 4-putted No. 6. That wasn't the best part of my game, which usually is the case.

I haven't played all that much. So my wedge, sort of wedge distances and things were off today by a good bit. So we were kind of putting defensively a lot. On the hole that I 4-putted, I had 90 yards in on the hole in the middle of the fairway.

So there's a lot of room to improve. But you know, this format can turn right away. And for me it was 18. And I went from maybe birdieing or parring that hole and having a bad day to now.

Q. Where was the pin on 6, were you long?
MARDY FISH: It was the front -- front, uncomfortable front.

Q. How many birdies?
MARDY FISH: Three and an eagle or something. So five.

Q. So you're one back. You're not that enthralled with your game in the opening round.
MARDY FISH: I'm happy, don't go me wrong. You don't want to go out there and shoot a 15 or a 14 and you know you can.

Like I said, I've been working a lot. So I haven't played a lot. And coming in here, this is the least amount I've played, which sometimes can help you. But it hurts me in the sort of wedge department and how hard to swing on 100-yard shot or 90-yard or 80-yard shot. So there's a lot of room for improvement on that.

And we'll just try to dial those in a little bit better tomorrow. I always drive the ball well. So that's good. And just try to stay away from the 4-putting.

Q. I like you using the stat book here. And this is so a 24, that's your third best round. You have the best round, out of 10. Others were 27 and 28. So what's your prediction for points tomorrow?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I would -- look, like I said, the 6-pointer in one hole is huge. And that's what the format is. I had 105 yards into that hole. That was the best drive I hit today on 18. So to be able to have that in on a par 5 is nice.

Q. 105 yards in and how long is the hole playing, 500?
MARDY FISH: I didn't have the scorecard.

Q. 495?
MARDY FISH: It must have hit a sprinkler head. (Laughter) I didn't have very much in. But that was a full wedge, full 54-degree for me.

So, look, like I said, it turned from kind of a below-average round to, I guess, my third best here in one hole. So I'll take it.

Q. You're a former tennis player?

Q. Do you take any credit in your form and how you swing based on just your angles?
MARDY FISH: My backhand is pretty natural. That was my best shot when I played. And I'm a lefty. I play lefty. So that's my backhand swing. I've been playing -- my backhand has been my best shot since I was two years old and I've been playing golf since I was three or four years old. So I don't know why I play that way, but that's the natural sort of swing for me.

Q. You were saying that you really hadn't practiced or played golf that much lately. And a lot of guys who have been practicing and make it a point to be on the course have done not so good. But you have. So is it just a calmness of just knowing, since you said you started pretty bad and got better?
MARDY FISH: For me, you're not crisp. Obviously I would play -- probably play better if I played a lot. But I don't know if that's the case today. But I do know that the little amount that I do play I don't have a lot in my head as far as thought process of like your swing. Sometimes you can play and overplay and hit balls on the range and kind of your swing is doing this and that and what if I try this and that. I'm not doing that at all.

I'm just sort of swinging, and it's a natural game for me. So I'm lucky in that regard. But to be able to not have to play as much. I've got two young kids so I don't play nearly as much. I've got a few hours during the day that I could play, but I don't have five hours. I mean, it's a long time to be away from them. So I don't want to. And like I said I've been working a lot. So I've only played before this week, I've played a lot this week. But before this week I played, I think, twice in the last two months.

Q. You look very calm, cool, and composed?
MARDY FISH: Right now?

Q. When you're playing, too. Yeah.
MARDY FISH: I'm heating inside, you don't know.

Q. From a competitive standpoint, you've been on the world stage: Olympics, Wimbledon, every place else. You've been there. This is a little bit different. Are you expecting to win this week? Do you come in here saying I think I'm going to win this thing?
MARDY FISH: I don't know about expecting. I know I have a chance. I know I have a chance in every one of these that I tee it up in here and in Orlando, specifically.

But I love competitive golf. There's nothing more fun for me sports-wise right now in my life than competitive golf.

So this is the funnest week of the year and we have an absolute blast and so that's my mindset going in.

Q. Before the tournament everybody is thinking it's you and Mulder with a good shoot at it and Tony Romo. Now you've got Aaron Rodgers in the mix. He might be in the mix.
MARDY FISH: That guy? Don't worry about him (sarcastic).

Q. That's my question --
MARDY FISH: Did you know that we had a bet last year, I gave him 43 and a half points and I beat him by 44? So do you think I'm worried about him? (Laughter). I just saw him on the stairs. He played great today. And he's a good player.

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