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July 14, 2017

Joe Pavelski

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Joe Pavelski. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Your second year here at the American Century Championship. And you're in the interview room after day one, that's a good sign.

JOE PAVELSKI: Good sign. I've seen a few guys in here when I've walked by. Nice to have a turn, I guess.

Q. Take us through your round, what was working, what wasn't, what holes did you birdie, what holes do you want to forget about?
JOE PAVELSKI: 17 was my only bogey, but 17 is such a great hole and the atmosphere is great. So I won't forget about that. The whole round was just solid. I think for me probably what got it going was on 1, I hit a tee shot into the trees dropped, went wedge-wedge a couple of feet, made par. Nice not to give anything back there.

And I think on 11, the short par 4, hit it to two and a half feet and just kind of didn't hit a good putt and missed that one. And I'd like to have that one back.

Then on 18, I was six, seven, eight feet up the hill. Kind of missed it -- kind of stayed straight and hit a fine putt, but those were really the only shots I wanted.

There were a few other ones you'd make, made a couple of putts for par but kept it going, and it was just an awesome day out there and it's fun to see the guys score.

Q. How was it to play with that northern California group of yours, with Steph Curry and Aaron Rodgers?
JOE PAVELSKI: That was fun. I think when we found out he were pretty excited. Played behind Steph last year a little bit. You see the groups.

And we haven't had a chance yet to play together. So to get a round and see his game up close, it was fun. And then with Rodgers, it was kind of the same thing.

It was just a good group, all the caddies, we've all gotten along, and in the last year got to know each other more. And it's fun to be out there get to know them a little bit better.

Q. First time in the hunt, what are your thoughts going into tomorrow and the weekend?
JOE PAVELSKI: Don't overthink it, I guess. Hit a lot of balls in the fairways and hit a lot of greens, some good luck, hopefully a few more putts will fall, and you're going to make a few, going to miss a few, and just kind of stay with that.

I guess just don't get too fast. My swing, it's all about tempo, and if I hit a few close, we'll get a few points.

Q. What was it like playing -- you mentioned what it was like playing with Steph and Aaron. But the gallery has to be a lot bigger with them than it was probably for you last year, does it add any nerves for you?
JOE PAVELSKI: It was pretty big last year.

Q. Was it?
JOE PAVELSKI: No. (Laughter). I remember last year, first time coming up, 16, you can hear the music; 17, you get in that crowd, and 18, those are three really fun holes. It seems like there's a few more holes out there this year, 7, the par 3, there's some good excitement going out there.

So you kind of see it. Definitely, early, you just play golf. It's tough to say that and do it. But you just kind of settle in once a few putts go in you get moving and really enjoyed it.

Q. Is it easy to just play golf when you're playing with Steph Curry and Aaron Rodgers and everybody is screaming probably their names?
JOE PAVELSKI: I guess in this tournament, the tournament golf word, it's so foreign to us when you get a chance to play there are a little bit of nerves. And all the plus count and you kind of go there.

So you just play it out there. You miss a putt, it's not the end of the world. Sometimes you think that, but you just step up, hit it again.

Q. What did you learn from last year that you hope to implement this year to propel you to the top?
JOE PAVELSKI: I think it is what it is. Walk in, drop your bag off go hit a few putts, warm-up. So often in the summer you go out maybe hit one or two shots and go to the first tee.

So you kind of just get your routine down and don't overthink it and get out there and just trust it.

Q. You had a 23 this round. Last year your best round was a 17. That's coming off the Stanley Cup finals, is your body feeling a little better and is that helping your golf game?
JOE PAVELSKI: It's better, definitely. When you play to the middle of June, it's kind of tough to get into your rhythm with golf. You need a little bit of extra time off when you lose out early. You don't want that, but when it does happen you've got to be smart with it and gotta use it.

I think we've had a good break and we're back in the gym training and kind of getting lined up again. Just preparing for the season.

And after that you get a few extra rounds and hopefully your game's in a good spot when you come here. But definitely would rather be playing until June 15 and have the golf game a little bit squirrely, but it was good today. So hopefully it will continue.

Q. Sharks long-time leader is gone now after many years, how is that affecting you guys so far?
JOE PAVELSKI: With Patty leaving, I guess you don't really know until the season starts. It's a little unknown to us because the presence he has and the teammate he is, it's a guy you never want to see leave. But it's happened.

So you know he's going to go there and do well, feed off some of those young kids, that atmosphere, that city and the hockey town it is. I think he's going to do great.

Excited to see Jumbo come back, obviously, and I think for us, you know, we didn't finish as strong as we wanted for whatever reason, but there's a lot of us that felt we could have did a little bit more with the season and the get a little extra time off, a little extra gym time and I think everybody is going to come back pretty hungry, have a bounce-back year.

Q. You had a short window time to work on your game, what did you really concentrate on to get ready for this?
JOE PAVELSKI: For me, alignment. Just take the club, my swing is pretty simple. I just try to take it back straight and not get too quick with it. I seem to hit the ball all right. And stay with that.

And then just putting. I've spent a little more time leg putting, swinging the putter and not being too worried about where it's going to end up. You do that a little bit more, it's kind of -- the whole game has gotten a little better.

Q. You went off at 20-to-1 at the Harrah's and Harveys sports book, were you able to get over there in time?
JOE PAVELSKI: I did not, because -- I heard about it and love seeing those odds. And love seeing just kind of the different bets you can make over there. It's always fun to see the 1 versus 1. I did not make it over there in time so we'll have to check those out.


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