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January 20, 2018

Scott Piercy

La Quinta, California

Q. You start with a 68 at La Quinta. No problem there. Start at the Nicklaus, not a great round going. You're only 5-under for the tournament, so not really moving, and suddenly wham, six birdies in eight holes. Tell us what happened.
SCOTT PIERCY: I started on the tournament, even at La Quinta, I shot 4-under, but I missed a couple times inside of five feet. A couple 3-putts there. Putter was a little off at the start yesterday and then luckily my ball striking has been good and kind of keeping me in the game. Then kind of coming down the stretch yesterday I made three putts, I made one on 12 and one on 18 and made one on 16. So putter started to warm-up a little bit, last week it was kind of balky and I've been working with it. But ball striking has been good, especially on this golf course you need to hit it well today, especially with the wind. So rolled the ball well today and made a couple good putts today and just continued to strike it well.

Q. Stats suggest you only had 21 putts, is that right?
SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, if I missed the green I was just in the fringe and then when I hit it, I hit the green -- the greens were relatively tiny where the pins were at, so you have a fairly short putt. Luckily I've been good with my wedges lately, I've been hitting it pretty close. So that adds up for a low score when you're hitting wedge close and making a couple putts.

Q. The Stadium Course is the most difficult of the three, obviously, and you played here in 30, 40 mile an hour winds. What was it like out there?
SCOTT PIERCY: No, it wasn't 30 or 40. To start the day it was -- I hit driver on the first hole and I hit it 258 yards. Then I hit a 6-iron into the green, I hit it 143 yards. So luckily I made a good par on number 10, was about 25 yards short on 10, so that just tells you how long number 10 was playing. As it started to warm-up it got to be more regular numbers instead of cold, windy numbers. But it was a good 15, 10 to 15 miles an hour and with the weather being or the temperatures being sub 70's, the ball gets compressed a little less and it goes about seven or eight yards shorter. So the wind, plus the seven or eight yards for the temperature, so this morning it was playing pretty long.

Q. You play Stadium again tomorrow, how much can you feed off that success you had today in the final round?
SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, I controlled my ball really well today. Off the tee I did a great job, leaving it in the right spot on the greens, and on the par-5s I just felt like I had really good control of the golf ball today and hopefully I can continue that tomorrow.

Q. You follow-up a 65 with a 66 at a course that most people think is the toughest in this rotation. And you had the wind as a factor. How were you able to put a good round together?
SCOTT PIERCY: It was just my ball striking. I was hitting it where I was looking pretty much and missing it in the right spots, so if I did miss I was getting it up-and-down. I made a couple good key putts that kept the round going, which I needed. So I haven't had that in the last few rounds, in the last week, but it seemed to show up today and it was a big key for me.

Q. We heard a few players talk about over the course of this tournament how these kinds of conditions are where you can assess your game, maybe not today with the wind, but so far what do you use this tournament to, in order to assess your game for the rest of the year?
SCOTT PIERCY: It's good to play three rounds to start the year. For me, I think it was a continuation of last week, I hit the ball really well, putter wasn't quite there last week. I think I hit it well enough to win last week and the putter didn't cooperate. So we have been working on the putter all week and ball striking stayed pretty consistent, so if I can get the putter to get a little warm tomorrow, then we'll be set up for a good year.

Q. Plus the way you played the Stadium Course, the hardest one, when you get to play it again for the final round how much of an advantage is that?
SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, being able to play back-to-back, see how the conditions are, how the greens are bouncing, stuff like that, imagine where pins are when you're out there, stuff like that. So it's nice to play it back-to-back and to play a good round like I did today in this wind is really solid, obviously that's why you jump up the leaderboard a little bit. Obviously I'm proud of myself for doing that and hanging in there and just being tough.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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