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February 23, 2018

Luke List

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. I bet you were itching to get to the golf course, you knew you could play fast, at least the first couple of nine holes and you were able to squeeze a really good round out of it.
LUKE LISTS: Yeah, it was barely light when we teed off in twosomes. So we had to pace ourselves so we wouldn't be waiting too much when we made the turn but really enjoyable day. Thomas is a great player and good guy, so we had fun out there.

Q. Outside of 16 yesterday, you have to be pleased how you struck it in the windy conditions.
LUKE LISTS: Yeah, only one bogey and 16 was a fluke. I had a weird lie in the bunker and made a bad swing but that's going to happen out here. I'm really pleased the way I played. A bunch of pars and just hanging on. This golf course is winning this week so far and I think whoever hangs on the hardest is going to come out on top on Sunday I.

Q. How are you trying to attack or ride the wind?
LUKE LISTS: You definitely have to pick your spots. There's definitely some holes that are into the wind that you've got to be more conservative but you have to pick aggressive lines. When you're conservative in too many areas -- you have to be aggressive in some areas. I think there's enough opportunities out there to make some birdies.

Q. How good will that number look in about six hours?
LUKE LISTS: I have no idea. There's some guys in the afternoon that even if the wind dies down, you can get 4- or 5-under on this course but the greens are tough. They are firm and rolling real tough so when the wind is blowing, it's tough to make putts out there.

Q. To get a round in 4-under par 66, how were you able to navigate the conditions?
LUKE LISTS: Made some birdies on the first nine. The wind wasn't crazy on the first back nine and when we made the turn it was really whipping, so I just hung on on the back nine.

Q. How difficult is this golf course playing?
LUKE LISTS: It's something that if you hit fairways and greens, I know it's the old boring adage, but if you can do that, you can score out here. I was able to hit more fairways today than yesterday which helped and I was able to control my irons coming into greens. You just have to pick your spots. It's really challenging. You know you're going to make some mistakes and you have to be okay with that.

Q. What's the mind-set when you have a course like this and the position you're currently placing halfway through?
LUKE LISTS: I'm excited with the way I played. For me if I can go forward and try to give my best effort that's what I'm going to focus on. The result, any time I think about that, I don't do as well, so just try to think about giving best effort.

Q. 1-over yesterday but 4-under today, 66. What was the difference?
LUKE LISTS: I made really nice yesterday. Just had one bad hole and that happens out here. So I tried to stay positive even though I felt like I scored better than 1-over yesterday. So I came up early and got off to a good start, birdieing the first hole. Had an enjoyable time in a two ball today, so just trying to pace ourselves and not play too quickly. We had a good time out there.

Q. When you look at how the golf course is playing, you were an afternoon starter yesterday and early starter obviously today? How different was it? It feels breezy still this morning.
LUKE LISTS: The wind is up in the morning. There's no real advantage. The only thing is the greens might be a little softer in the mornings and that all goes out the window past ten o'clock. It's did you have. The greens get crusty and it's tough to putt in the wind when there's not much grass on the greens. They roll great but it's difficult navigating the wind and the speed on the greens.

Q. 1-under par for the Bear Trap. How satisfying is that and is it something you even pay attention to?
LUKE LISTS: You know, pars are good out there on the Bear Trap, so I mean, it's something, to birdie 17, it's really nice. The wind was whipping and I had a great 5-iron from 180 yards. Normally my 5-iron goes 210. You've really got to control your flight out there and pars are good on the Bear Trap and pretty much all the holes. I was happy with that.

Q. Finally it's hard to pick out one part of the game that really suits this golf course, and you are one of the longer hitters on the PGA TOUR. Is that an asset around this golf course in particular?
LUKE LISTS: For sure. You've got to be hitting it straight. The rough is really tough to play from. Today I was able to hit a few more fairways and that really helped. Nice to have some distance, but I've really been scrambling nicely, too, and I think that's the biggest key on this golf course being able to get up-and-down.

Q. Just talk about the round, your thoughts? You have to be happy with that performance.
LUKE LISTS: Yeah, anything under par out there is a great score. Golf course is playing difficult and I was happy to get off to a good start. Took advantage of some of the early conditions. It was still blowing pretty hard but the greens were maybe a little softer.

Once we made the turn it was playing quite difficult, so I was happy to make a few birdies and hang on there.

Q. Get a lot windier during your round?
LUKE LISTS: It's still blowing 15 miles an hour in the morning and there's really, a lot of times, there's big disparity between the later round tee times and this week it's challenging throughout. It was definitely picking up I think around ten o'clock, so if it stays up, they are going to have some tough holes out there today.

Q. Talk about 17.
LUKE LISTS: Hit a really good shot yesterday, 5-iron to the back pin. For whatever reason, just stood up there and had a confident target in mind and was able to hit a nice one today and made a 15-footer. Par is a good score on that hole and definitely take a two.

Q. Is the wind different today than yesterday?
LUKE LISTS: It's coming out of the same direction. I think that's the forecast for the rest of the week. So we know what it's doing but it's tough to control your golf ball.

If you start missing fairways, it's challenging to hit greens and once you start doing that, if you're missing greens, it's tough to scramble and get up-and-down. It's playing tough out there for sure.

Q. I see on your bio, you list Bear's Club as your affiliation but everything else is out west.
LUKE LISTS: Yes, I lived in Jupiter for three years up until 2013. Great spot. Good people here. Live out in California now. That's home. But yeah, I've got some memories here for sure.

Q. Do you live here now?
LUKE LISTS: No. I grew up in Georgia and I've been in California the last five years.

Q. Anything about your game that especially played well today?
LUKE LISTS: I hit a few more fairways which really helped and I was also able to scramble again really nicely. Really only besides 16 yesterday I managed to keep my mistakes minimal, only one other bogey, so I was pretty happy with that, consistent play, and made a lot of pars. Putting well. Even the putts I'm missing, I'm hitting good putts and seeing the lines well. Just try to hit the best shot I can each hole and see what happens.

Q. Just to get around this course with only one bogey, maybe not too many people do that?
LUKE LISTS: If there's a bogey-free round, they deserve some major props. It's challenging. It's very relentless, and there's no let-up. There's not really too many easy holes but if you hit fairways and go from there, you can make a few birdies out there.

Q. Wind picks up, any chance you think three might be leading this?
LUKE LISTS: I'm not too worried about that. I've had 36-hole leads before and I've been a couple back. It's kind of irrelevant because there's going to be 30 guys within a couple shots of the lead. It's going to be that type of week where everyone is going to be bunched up and it's going to be kind of a jumble there on Sunday and there will be a bunch of guys in contention on Sunday.

Q. The condition of the greens have been a topic. How do you see that?
LUKE LISTS: Yeah, they actually roll really nice. There's not a lot of grass on it but they are still in good shape. Just they are firm. Kind of picking, choosing, where you can be aggressive is tough out there, especially even with a wedge, you have to be cognizant of where you're landing the ball but they roll nice. Because they are so fast, in the wind, it's really challenging.

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