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February 7, 2018

Jason Day

Pebble Beach, California

JACK RYAN: We would like to welcome Jason Day to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Jason, you're coming off a win in your last start, this is your fourth start of the year, how do you carry that momentum from Torrey Pines into a place like Pebble Beach.

JASON DAY: Yeah, I've had some decent finishes here over the last few years. I feel like I play well here, whether it's good weather or bad weather. Which is nice. I think it's, fingers crossed, we're going to have some pretty decent weather the rest of the week. That's always kind of like a little special thing for us. You come here and sometimes the weather can be tough. But it was nice to get the win at Torrey Pines. It felt like it was a very long time, which it kind of was, but to be able to get that win early in the year, get my year started right, I was highly motivated to practice last week, get work done, didn't really take much time off at all. I finished Monday with the playoff and got back to work on Tuesday, went to the gym Tuesday, practiced Tuesday. So obviously I really want to try and get out and win this week because there are a lot of great players here. A win here could propel myself up in the world rankings pretty quickly. So that's the way that I want to start the year off is that way.

JACK RYAN: You mentioned you had some strong finishes here. T-5 last year, four top-10s all together. What would it mean to win here at a place like this? We've had a lot of great champions here and a historic venue.

JASON DAY: Like you said, it's very historic. It's an iconic venue. To have a U.S. Open here at Pebble Beach but also the other golf courses we play are tremendous as well. This is one that I feel like I can capture, I'm able to play well enough here and get myself in contention, I think I'll be able to hopefully get over the line one day, but I just want to keep adding to the total of numbers of wins. I love coming here, my wife loves coming here. Steve John does a tremendous job with running this whole tournament with logistics and obviously getting the celebrities, playing with celebrities, playing with the amateur it's always fun. Typically it's, we have, obviously, in Palm Springs and here these are kind of the only two tournaments that we play amateurs, with amateurs and the amateurs get it. We're out here trying to do a job and we're trying to win a tournament, but also in a sense it's great to have them along the ride because in amongst all the heat of the battle sometimes talking to someone that is an amateur along in the heat of the battle can kind of take your mind off things, which is nice. I enjoy coming up here and I'm trying to do my best to prepare what I can do to try and win this tournament.

JACK RYAN: Open it up for questions.

Q. Even early in the year when guys are still working out bugs and things like that, how much do you pay attention when you do see the other big names win and is there a temptation to really want to answer right away with something?
JASON DAY: Yeah, a hundred percent. I was kind of the way that I felt last year where I'm like, okay, I need to get something going, I need to get something going, it was almost to the fact where everything started going really quickly. But also you see the guys win, you expect to go out there and win and when it doesn't happen you are wondering to yourself why. Last year was a pretty big disappointment for me. Even though I made TOUR Championship, I think I finished 17th in the FedExCup. Yeah, having no wins is not where I want to be. I want to be able to be a consistent winner on the TOUR each year, kind of what Dustin's done over the last 10, 11 years, being very, very consistent. He's won lot. 17 wins in that time frame is pretty special. But looking back at it you see all these young guys coming out and winning, so it's very motivating when you're sitting there on your butt and nothing's really happening. So you just, you got to either do two things, you either got to quit or you got to work hard. Fortunately I worked hard in the off-season and got off to a great start.

Q. How differently do you approach this event given you're playing alongside amateurs?
JASON DAY: It's good. You can, you know that the rounds are going to be slower, so you can take your time, take more time than you, like you would have. You don't have to feel like you're rushed. Typically in a normal tournament you're playing with threes and Thursday, Friday and then you go to twos of the going from threes to twos feels like you're kind of running a little bit, which is fine, that's just how it is. But you know when you're coming into an event like this that there's certain, a few shots that you need to take a little bit more time on, especially the greens, more so the greens because everyone knows that poa annua and greens and how many, the foot traffic that we get on these greens, you got to have a little bit extra time to read them. So the process doesn't really change too much for me, I just need to go out and just try and play my game. I think that I've done that pretty well over the last few years and I've had some good finishes, I just need to let things happen a little bit more and not try and force it, especially on the weekend. Had a really poor Saturday round here last year. I got off to a great start played well in the first two rounds and played poorly on Saturday and then kind of just forced it a little bit. And getting out of your process is not what you want to do. So hopefully just relax a little bit more and try and ease myself into the weekend.

Q. Have you ever seen an episode of The Bachelor?
JASON DAY: Just through my wife, actually. She watches it every Monday religiously. And when I hear the stuff that comes out of these people's mouths I just walk out shaking my head sometimes. So it's actually, it's a pretty entertaining show, if you get down to sit and watch it, but I can't get hooked on it because if I do then -- my caddie right now, he is, we actually talked to Chris Harrison yesterday and we're talking about all the people that were on the show. So that was pretty entertaining.

Q. She's more excited about the fact that you got Chris Harrison?
JASON DAY: Yeah, but she's not here this week because she got sick. So she had to go home with -- little Lucy got sick as well -- so she was like really excited about like talking to Chris Harrison about everyone. So, yeah, I don't really watch too much TV or too much Bachelor, actually.

Q. Couple things, do you have a secret or formula for putting poa?

Q. Specifically putting poa that's got a lot of traffic on it?
JASON DAY: No, actually, I don't. So typically this week, because we have amateurs, the conditions are a little bit softer, they're not as quick. As the weekend goes on, they probably tend to get a little bit quicker with nice conditions. But over, if we have bad weather then they're just slow and they just stick with everything. So being a little bit more aggressive is key. Like now when you have fast greens with poa annua that's bouncing, that's the scariest putting surfaces you could ever putt on. I know Torrey Pines kind of gets like that a little bit, especially on south side. This week they kind of manage it pretty well. I talked to Tiger about it and he has a certain different stroke that he uses on poa annua. I don't know how people do it. I can't, I can't think of -- I think of nothing when I putt. Other than I think of the hole and hit it. But, yeah, he does some sort of pop stroke or something or other and it gets it going over. But I just try and hit it a little bit harder, I guess. I don't try and change anything because I want to try and keep it as simple as can be. So saying that, I just do the exact same and just hit a little bit firmer just to try to get it rolling so if it does take a few bounces it will be quick enough to bounce over them and hopefully hold the line.

Q. Secondly, I forgot to ask you this at Torrey Pines, but what did you do for your 30th birthday and how did that feel that day?
JASON DAY: I don't know. What did I do? Do you know? No, no one knows. I don't know. Bud, do you know what I did?

Q. No big deal, apparently.
JASON DAY: No, it wasn't. No. I just see it as a number, really, to be honest. Is it supposed to be big? 30?

Q. You're not in your 20s anymore.
JASON DAY: Well, I am old now, but yeah, I mean, compared to the young guys on the TOUR I'm old. So, no, there wasn't, I didn't do much at all. Like I was -- I can't remember. If I can't remember then it was a non-event, really. Sorry, mate.

Q. Can you give me some general thoughts on the popularity of golf right now, the state of the sport and do you believe events like this where you bring in celebrities and this unbelievable venue, what kind of impact would that have on the popularity of the sport?
JASON DAY: Well, I can't say how popular golf is right now, I don't know what the stats are showing. But I feel what the PGA TOUR is doing with the new media outlets such as like Barstool Sports and all these kind of younger web sites and Instagrams and all that stuff, to be able to attract different fans -- now granted we just saw last week how many people they broke records last week at the Waste Management Phoenix tournament. So when there's tournaments like that, tournaments like this, with celebrities as well, it brings new faces to the game of golf. Which is good. And that's what we need. We not only need new faces we need younger faces to come, because obviously the generation behind us is key to keep the sport moving. And also that's up to us as players I guess to a certain degree be the role models that people expect us to be. I think for the most part everyone out here is doing a great job. Jordan to Justin to Rickie, I mean, all these guys are, they're really cool people, not only on the golf course but off the golf course too. I think that shows in the fans that they're bringing to the golf each and every week that they play. So obviously I don't know too much else about that, but other than just viewing and seeing what we're seeing, like I said, I would look at Barstool all the time and look at the stuff that they post. Some of it is like absolutely stupid, but some of it is actually quite amusing and funny. But it's stuff like that is what we need to get people or attract people to the game of golf. Granted, I think also, like I said, touching on being the right role model, having the great junior programs that we do have like the First Tee programs, the AJGA's doing a phenomenal job with juniors, and obviously the college programs as well. So there's so many different outlets that we have, that a lot of people can get in touch or in tune with the golfing world. And with technology it's just making it a lot more simpler to be able to catch up on your favorite player as well.

Q. So in your mind does that mean that golf has to change?
JASON DAY: Change in which regard?

Q. You're talking about changing like with Barstool and stuff like that kind of getting --
JASON DAY: No, it doesn't need to change, I don't think it needs to change at all, I think that -- I mean 20 years ago do you think golf would be, what we have today? You know what I mean? Like I don't think, if we were thinking 20, 30, even in the Nicklaus era, if we saw golf projected the way it is today, with especially the technology, and not only on the golf course but on your phone and everything as well. Everything's just, it evolves and changes over time. I think that it just naturally does that because a lot of people -- now granted every generation is different. I think the millenials these days want everything really quickly and now. So if you want to attract that generation, you got to give it to them. So I don't necessarily think golf needs to change as a sport itself. I think we just have to naturally adapt to, obviously, the changes of certain rules that the USGA and R & A are coming up with and then obviously if you look along over in Australia right now they got the GolfSixes going on and that's a different format that you don't really see, but that's the European Tour trying to create a tournament that no one has seen. Which is -- which no one has. I mean, they have got their own unique tournament this week and it's interesting to see, it seems like everyone loves it. But to your point, I don't know. I think golf is fine the way it is, but that's just my opinion.

Q. I've heard you recently allude to your career victory total a couple times. Do you have a number in mind that you're trying to get to?
JASON DAY: Yeah, I think 11 is not enough. I think it's very small. And I'm not being disrespectful to anyone else, just, in my mind, that's, I look at 11 and I think that's like a very small number of wins. I want to be a multiple Major champion. It would be nice to get the Grand Slam, for sure. But anything above 20 is good. But you got to set yourself a high, high goal. Because if you set yourself, I just want to get one, it may take your whole career and you finally get one at the end of your career. So somewhere in the 30s would be fantastic, I think that's a really good career. We're playing against the best players in the world, but I feel like if I can stay motivated and hungry, keep my body healthy, then I've got a good shot at maybe accomplishing my goals, as long as I want it enough. If I don't want it, then it's not going to happen. So that's the biggest thing is desire for me.

Q. This is Rory's debut in this tournament. I'm curious, as a fellow player, when you see him play, what about his game is distinctive or is there one part of his game that you look at and say, that's what makes him great or that's something I would like to emulate?
JASON DAY: He's just explosive. Not only explosive off the tee and with his iron shots, but he's just, he can make a lot of birdies quickly. He's a guy that's not afraid of going low and lapping the field. We have seen that at the PGA and the U.S. Open. I was on the back end of the U.S. Open, I finished second there and I lost by eight. So he's not afraid, which is how champions think. I think the biggest thing for Rory is how, like the desire part, how much do you really want it because he has the tools to be kind of Tigeresque. Obviously Tiger is Tiger, but to have, be in the same sentence as Tiger is pretty unique and special to be able to say that. And I think he has the ability to go out there and win more Majors than he has right now and I'm sure that's what he wants to do.

Q. How much do you keep track of those guys that are in front of you battling for No. 1, like D.J., Rory, Spieth. Do you look where they shot after rounds, do you listen to their interviews?
JASON DAY: No, I don't, actually. I watch a little bit of Golf Channel. I keep up on only through what the guys say on the Golf Channel, but to your point about how many wins they have, I know how many wins they have, but it doesn't worry me such as in I just got to -- I worry about myself and that's the way golf is, it's very selfish that way, but I just, all I know is that I just need to kind of try and hit my goals and if I can just focus on that, then I'll be fine. But, yeah, these guys, like Jordan I think is on 11 wins and Justin Thomas is on seven wins. So, and I know where they're at, but I've got my goals that I need to worry about and if I can hit those then hopefully just takes care of the rest.

Q. When you have these big name parings in the first couple of rounds like you have D.J. and Spieth this week, typically you will hear players say, oh, it doesn't really matter, but when you're in those, are they more meaningful?
JASON DAY: Well, I mean it's like anything, if you're on the back end, if you're used to having a large crowd around you and then you're on the back end and you don't have a large crowd around you and you don't feed off that crowd, it's kind of hard to get yourself up sometimes. So being in those marquee groups is key because there's usually a lot more people watching, you want to play well, not only yourself but for the fans and for everyone that's watching around the world. You're in that position for a reason, because the tournament wants, they want to showcase you as one of the best players in the world. And that kind of forces you mentally to, I need to play well. And seeing that, Jordan and D.J. and Rory and Phil this week, I think they're all going to have a great week. They're all kind of hitting their stride now, which is great. I always enjoy being in big groups like that, because it makes me feel like I need to play better than them or I need to step up and try and get myself around the lead, because I enjoy being in moments like that.

Q. Have you ever had any desire issues and if so how long did it last and why?
JASON DAY: I have desire issues all the time. It's just, it's in our human nature to wake up -- some days we wake up and we want to go to the gym and some days we wake up and go, oh, I don't want to go to the gym. So it's the same thing, you wake up sometimes you're like, yeah, I want to go out and kill everyone today. And some days you wake up and you're like, ugh, it feels like just a normal day.

Q. How long has it lasted?
JASON DAY: Last year was pretty long. I was burnt out at the start of the year and then what happened to my mom like made that even longer. And then I lost some confidence and then it was -- it's pretty quick downward spiral from there. So it was really hard. So I was really looking forward to the new year. I started showing a lot of good signs at the end of the year in the FedExCup, then I played pretty decent over in China -- Korea and China -- and then I'm like, I played good in Australia and then I'm like, okay, I'm going to work hard this off season, get after it, and try and win. But, yeah, I have desire issues all the time. That's just human nature. But I think the biggest thing for me is that I know that there's nothing worse than losing. I dislike losing. We're in a sport that you lose 99 percent of the time pretty much. It's hard sport to win all the time at. Saying that, I mean it's just, it is what it is, but I, if I had to think about why I want to do this, I love the game so much, I love improving, I love the process of improving. I love spending 10 hours a day last week at The Vintage just practicing. That's just what I love to do because I know that two or three weeks down the road or six months or a year, it's going to pay off and the delayed gratification of that is good to have.

Q. You finished in the top six in half your starts here. Is there something about this event and one of the three courses that you love and seem to thrive on?
JASON DAY: I really enjoy Monterey. I love Monterey. Spyglass -- they're all great courses. I enjoy Spyglass as well, but obviously my favorite course is Pebble to play. But it's one of those, like I said, it's one of those courses where, if the conditions are tough you got to be mentally switched on and you got to get keep yourself around. But when the conditions are nice, it's something where you can just -- and you're putting well -- I mean the greens are small out at Pebble. They're very, very small. So if you are hitting it well and you hit it on the green, you got a good opportunity of making birdie, as long as the surfaces are good and you're hitting good putts. So nothing different between other tournaments, I just, like I said, I just enjoy the atmosphere up here. My wife loves it here, I love it here, the people are great up here. We usually have a fantastic crowd that comes out to the tournament. So when you come in with a great attitude, usually that helps along the way of playing and performing well here.

Q. Do you have a list of courses that you want to win on in your career and is this one of them?
JASON DAY: Yeah, definitely. This is definitely one of them. I've always wanted to win here. So you can say, you can definitely say I want to win here.

Q. What's your definition of losing?
JASON DAY: Definition of losing?

Q. Surely losing last year was different than losing to Rory at Congressional, isn't it?

Q. How would you define losing?
JASON DAY: Finishing second.

Q. Even two shots behind?
JASON DAY: Yeah, a hundred percent. It's like we didn't win. It's very black and white. I mean, once again, they're like, I'm not going to win every week, but it's, that's what keeps me motivated to keep pushing on because I want to be, I don't want to win just once a year. I mean, I didn't win any last year, but I want to win more than just once every year. I think that's good. But, look, that's the mentality that you have to have. It's like I'm 30 now and before when I was in my 20s I would be like, no, I got all the time until the world to. I can, if my back's not the way it is, I'll just I'll make sure I take care of it, I'll pull out of this week because I got 15 more years to go. But that's not the mindset that I should be taking in. Every mindset that I should be taking into every tournament is like this could be my last tournament, because I don't know what's happening around the corner, my back could be gone and I may not be able to pick up a golf club again. And that's the same thing with winning is that I need to go and try and win every single event because who knows what's going to happen around the corner. And if I don't put in a hundred percent now and try and one every single tournament, then I'm not going to be able to do that. I think that's the champion mentality that you need to take in because, yeah, great, it's good to finish second place, but I don't think champions think like that. I think at the end of the day they see second and they're like, I want to finish first. It was like last week, I didn't -- or two weeks ago at Torrey Pines -- I didn't want to finish anything but first and fortunately, fortunately enough I got to be in contention and finish off great. So that's the mentality, you have to have that mentality. If you don't have that mentality, you just, for me, personally, I need to do it that way.

Q. You've won every tournament you played this year.
JASON DAY: Well that's the mentality that you have to go in with. Granted sometimes you're going to have bad draw, you're going to not feel a hundred percent, you're going to have, like I said, bad back or you just, you're just not going to play well, no matter how much preparation, how much effort you put into getting ready for a tournament, sometimes you just come in and not play well, but I've got to do everything I possibly can before each event making sure I know exactly what clubs I need to hit in practice for the upcoming week to make sure that I'm ready for this week. Eating the right foods, doing what I need to do in the gym. So it's, like I said, it gets down to all the little one percent that add up to the big picture to be able to give yourself the best shot at winning and that's what I got to come in each and every week. I said last year that I feel like my 30s are going to be my best years and I need to take that to heart. I need to put that on my sleeve and know that, since I said that, I got to do everything I can, because I'm getting older and they're getting younger, you know what I mean? Every guy that comes through, they're getting younger and they're more hungry than me, so I got to stay hungry and keep pushing.

Q. Would it be fair to say that you're playing with a sense of urgency that you didn't have maybe a few years ago?
JASON DAY: Yeah, you could say that. I'm not saying that my time's running out, but I need to step up here and start playing some good golf. And it's not like I need to urgently get out and play well this week and everything's riding on this week. No, I just got to do the right things, prepare well, go through the right steps on the golf course to get myself into contention. Biggest thing is get myself in contention now and hopefully from there the experiences that I've had in the past will get me over the line.

JACK RYAN: Jason, we appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.

JASON DAY: Cheers.

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