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February 10, 2018

Ted Potter, Jr.

Pebble Beach, California

DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome Ted Potter, Jr. To the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Incredible round today. 9-under, 62. New career low round. I know you would probably like to have numbers 8 and 9 back again. But just a remarkable round today and with that said just a few comments on it.

TED POTTER, JR.: Yeah, it was a great round today, obviously, and I knew the last two, three holes were going to be pretty tough because the wind out there on point with the water and everything. But just got off to a fast start and really to get everything going starting out, I think birdied the first four holes, so.

DOUG MILNE: That's not a bad way to start. We'll just jump right in and take a few questions.

Q. At any point did you start thinking about 60, or do you put that out of your mind?
TED POTTER, JR.: Once I got to 11-under I thought that, I mean I could get to 60 or -- I mean but the last three holes I knew were going to be par holes basically anyway. I didn't feel like I hit bad shots coming in there on the last couple, making bogeys there, but I just knew it was going to be tough coming in.

Q. Two hours from now are you thinking more about the two bogeys you finished with or the nine birdies and the eagle that you made?
TED POTTER, JR.: All the birdies I made. Those last two holes, it is what it is. So I'll go out tomorrow and I feel good about my game right now. Obviously I played well today and as long as I can just keep the nerves under control I'll be fine.

Q. Can you run us through the whole thing about your ankle, when did you start really feeling that you were over it, that were you back to a hundred percent and just the whole thing with the ankle?
TED POTTER, JR.: It still gets sore at the end of the day, but I can swing the golf club and can I get around 18 holes, so I feel good about that. But it's still going to be awhile before it's like a hundred percent. But it feels good enough to play at this level.

Q. Can you talk about or describe just how much you've missed being in contention in TOUR events?
TED POTTER, JR.: Well, I haven't been in contention too much, really. I've had some good tournaments, but I need to get there more often to get comfortable there. But tomorrow will be a good test for me and to see how it goes. But I've been working on my swing and trying to get everything right there and the swing's getting to the point where I feel good about it. Now it's just getting comfortable playing at a high level.

Q. You just a second ago you referred to keeping your nerves, if you can keep your nerves under control tomorrow. What do you have to do to do that? Because this could be theoretically a big break for you.
TED POTTER, JR.: I wish I knew the answer to that. But today I felt really comfortable out there, didn't really ever get nervous about the round or where I'm at in the tournament. It's just something that you just got to get used to, I guess.

Q. I don't remember much about your ankle. What exactly happened?
TED POTTER, JR.: Broke it in 2014, slipped on a curve and rolled the ankle over the top of it. So it was just a freak accident.

Q. Was it raining that day or just --
TED POTTER, JR.: No, it was just flip-flops. It was early in the morning, packing, getting ready to head out, so.

Q. Secondly, going way back, what were the circumstances around your turning pro? It was right out of high school, wasn't it?
TED POTTER, JR.: Yes, turned pro at 19. Didn't really want to go to college at the time, felt like the game was pretty good and just wanted to start playing mini-tour golf at the time.

Q. Did you like high school?
TED POTTER, JR.: It was fine. I mean I was just never been into schoolwork and stuff like that.

Q. Opened with a 66 at Torrey Pines and then things kind of went south. Do you know why it happened and did you see this coming on top of that?
TED POTTER, JR.: The first round at Torrey Pines I played really well, the swing was getting better, but I still wanted to go back to old habits at the same time, especially when you get under pressure. But I just keep grinding and trying to get my swing where I feel it's good. But I could see it getting better, but at the same time it was still a lot of work there.

Q. What specifically is the work that you're doing?
TED POTTER, JR.: More than anything just trying to get myself not to shape the ball right-to-left too much. Because I keep going right-to-left, right-to-left with all my shots and it just gets overboard. So I got to get some left-to-right shots in there and it's tough to hit it left-to-right, after hitting a right-to-left shot for so long and I've just been really working hard trying to get the ball shaping left-to-right more.

Q. You won a TOUR event in 2012, Greenbrier, so you certainly know how to handle pressure and close out a tournament. So is that too far away to draw on that too much?
TED POTTER, JR.: No, I don't think so. I won on the PGA TOUR, I won on the WEB.COM TOUR, I won a ton of mini-tour golf. I mean I just got to get in the position where I have a chance. I feel like I'll be fine once I get there.

Q. Any key par saves today?
TED POTTER, JR.: I hit a lot of greens today and had really a lot of opportunities today. Last couple holes there trying to save par there, but I can't think of really one that sticks out that was kept the momentum going at the time.

Q. A bit off topic, have you by any chance gone through the $10,000 the Bass Pro Shops?
TED POTTER, JR.: No, I haven't yet. Waiting until August for a new rifle I'm planning on ordering. They told me I had to wait, so that's part of it. And just haven't had time to really do a lot of shopping with it yet.

Q. What was 2015 like for you, being away from the game and I think initially you were only supposed to be maybe out for three weeks before you could start swinging the club, but it ended up being a lot longer, so what was that year like and did you ever wonder if you would ever be healthy enough to come back?
TED POTTER, JR.: It was just a waiting process. I didn't know exactly when I would come back. I had the first surgery in 2014 and then I had another surgery in 2015 to have all the screws and plates removed because it was just -- it wasn't feeling good inside me. But everything healed up fine enough where I could have all that stuff removed and then from there just doing a bunch of rehab on the ankle, so.

Q. You had one year where you didn't cash a check, you -- basically no earnings. Did you, were you ever discouraged enough to think about maybe giving up golf or anything?
TED POTTER, JR.: That must have been probably my first year on the Nationwide Tour you're talking about. No, I was 20 years old then. I mean it was early, it was like playing, I guess college golf trying to learn stuff, still learning how to travel, learning new courses and I was just, it was just a process I had to go through.

Q. How did you basically stay afloat financially then?
TED POTTER, JR.: I had success playing mini-tour golf around Orlando and everything like that the first year I turned pro. So I won a bunch of mini-tour events before I got on to the WEB.COM TOUR. So I had a little bit of savings there.

Q. Your father basically taught you golf, right? He was your coach?
TED POTTER, JR.: Yeah, my dad is the one that got me into golf and taught me since I could walk how to play golf.

Q. Is he still around or --
TED POTTER, JR.: Yeah. My mom and dad play golf pretty much every day when they're home.

Q. Is he watching you? Have you checked in with him the last couple days?
TED POTTER, JR.: I haven't talked to him yet, no.

Q. Kind of off what you were saying if you go back to that first year of no cuts made, if I remember correctly at Greenbrier, when you won, I don't think anyone would call it great form going in there. I think you probably missed five or six cuts or finished 60th or the what have you. Is there any kind of lesson there how quickly the game can change or do you feel like you have to be one of those guys that needs form before you can win?
TED POTTER, JR.: There's a few guys out here that have gone missed cut, missed cut, won. Sometimes it's just one little swing thought that triggers you into the right direction. Everybody out here has a ton of talent they just got to figure out what makes them click or what motivates them or whatever that way. Sometimes it's just something simple. You just never know what it's going to turn on for you.

Q. Has it turned around for you this week?
TED POTTER, JR.: Ball striking has been good. I hit a lot of greens in regulation this week and then seeing the ball go in the hole making some putts, that definitely helps when the hole looks twice as big as opposed to twice as small sometimes.

Q. The hole never looks that big out here, does it?
TED POTTER, JR.: Today it seemed like it.

DOUG MILNE: You've had some success here, I believe you were tied for the lead after 36 holes in 2013, which led to a top-15 or top-16 finish. How special is it to have posted your career low at a place like the Pebble Beach tournament.

TED POTTER, JR.: Yeah, it's good. That's another thing, I've played well here in the past and I think that helps, drawing on past experience. It's definitely a fun week, it's a relaxing week. You got amateur partners and just go out there and talk with them and just kind of enjoy the moment out there and you got beautiful views and I mean it's just a great place to be.

Q. What was the process for you becoming a naturally right-handed to playing golf left-handed?
TED POTTER, JR.: I think, I mean, my dad built me right-handed clubs and I was just I guess so young. I don't know if it was the mirror affect that you can call it, or I just kind of flipped the club over. So he just built me left-handed clubs and we just went with that.

Q. Were you very young?
TED POTTER, JR.: Yeah, I mean I started playing golf basically as soon as I could walk. I had a club in my hand before I could walk, so.

Q. What's your favorite left-handed player of all time, besides yourself?
TED POTTER, JR.: I enjoyed watching Phil growing up and he made the game exciting, so definitely probably Phil there.

DOUG MILNE: All right. Congratulations, again, on another fantastic round. Good luck tomorrow.

TED POTTER, JR.: Thank you.

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