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May 20, 2018

Aaron Wise

Irving, Texas

JOHN BUSH: It's my pleasure to introduce Aaron Wise, winner of the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson.

Aaron, congratulations on the victory. What an impressive performance. If we can just get some comments on your first PGA TOUR win.

AARON WISE: Yeah, it was awesome, everything I dreamed of. It was incredible. Marc played great, really gave me a run for his money. He hit the ball incredible. I knew he would have a ton of looks. He did. Unfortunately, he didn't make all the putts and I was able to edge him out.

It was just a great day for me. I came out really solid. I've been hitting the ball amazingly all week and that continued today. And I was able to finally get the putter hot in the middle stretch of that round and birdieing 7 through 10 really set me apart because I looked at the leaderboard there on 8 green and realized that a lot of people were making an early charge and I knew I needed to kind of separate myself and I was able to do that because my putter got hot and, you know, to walk up 18 knowing I kind of had it locked up was pretty cool.

I don't think many people get to do that their first win. Truly special for me.

JOHN BUSH: Move up to No. 18 in the FedExCup Standings. That really changes things for you now, especially with the Playoffs coming off with the Top 30 advance to the Tour Championship.

Just comment on how your goal has changed now.

AARON WISE: Absolutely. I haven't had time to reassess my goals but moving up to 18 on the FedExCup is incredible. Not many rookies have made it to the Tour Championship.

When I did my goals at the beginning of the season, one of the main ones I picked to make the Tour Championship and play well. Now I have a true shot at doing that.

Three weeks ago I really didn't and after a 2nd and 1st, I'm in a great spot to make that dream a reality.

JOHN BUSH: Questions.

Q. I'm just wondering how tough the wait might have been through the rain delay and how you were able to keep your emotions in check.
AARON WISE: That was probably the toughest part of the day. You know, this week was a little different than Quail Hollow in the fact at Quail I went right to bed, got a great night's sleep, got out there and maybe I had no expectations but I didn't feel like I had a true chance to win the golf tournament.

This one was a little bit different. I struggled to get to bed last night, my wind was wandering, eventually did.

And the rain delay was tough just because I didn't really know what to do. I planned on coming out here and teeing off early. I was ready to go. To wait around that long makes this win special because it was that much harder to get the first victory. Once I got into my routine of going to the gym to warm up before I came out it was kind of like business as usual and that I was proud of.

Q. Aaron, how important were those four birdies there in the middle of the round, 7 through 10, anything during that stretch that you felt like really clicked?
AARON WISE: Yeah. Like I said my putting. I missed a couple opportunities there on 1, 2 and 3, but I felt like when my round got off, 3-putting 1 really set me back and changed the momentum of the round. I two-putt there and kind of in the driver's seat. Lost some of my momentum. Through that stretch I thought I talked to myself and kind of made myself trust my putting. I've made great putts. These greens out here are really tricky and for me the roll putts in on 8 and 9 really kind of separated this stuff and 10, too.

I saw people were kind of getting close even though I was 2-under at the time through 7 maybe or through 6. I saw people were close and that kind of turned it more into a match play scenario between me and Marc once I separated myself because Marc was playing well as well.

Q. What were you able to take away from the experience last time that helped you today?
AARON WISE: Ones I learned from the second shot on that hole. I was tied with someone, Jason Day. I knew if I birdied 18 I was going to get into the final group with Jason and I wanted to do that.

It was wrong for me to go after that pin. I really learned from that because it led to the bogey. But talking about that shot the way it was a really bad feeling. I looked at both options. I decided to try to play the shot and when I went right under it -- not only was I frustrated because I just wasted a shot I was thinking what do I do now, you're in the exact same spot, probably in a worse spot because the ball is in a worse lie.

To be able to overcome that, chip that other one in there for bogey and get out of there gave me a bunch of momentum for that week but also speaks to how I can kind of maintain my emotions.

I feel like a lot of people could get frazzled there. I didn't. I stayed focused and I was able to save bogey. That really helped me that golf tournament.

Q. The four hour delay. You mentioned you had a conversation with your mother.
AARON WISE: Yeah. I was actually in the gym doing my preround warmup when I got the text it was going to be delayed. Finished up some of that.

Picked up my mom, she was staying at a different hotel because she flew in last night. We were hanging out. Went to breakfast, chatting it up and then we were just in the hotel room in the middle of the day and I was laying down and she was talking to me about you know what a win could mean, what a 2nd could mean, kind of taking me through all that.

I was like got to calm down. I can't just sit here. I said, "You got to go." I kind of made her leave the room. She went and did her own thing for a little bit. I was able to kind of stop thinking about it, get back into the zone and went back, finished up my pre-round warmup and came out here and it was kind of business for me after that.

Q. Did you think you'd be able to finish?
AARON WISE: Yeah. You know, early on I didn't think we were going to. Kind of played slow there the first four, five holes maybe, but then it picked up and, you know, I really didn't think about it until maybe 14, 15 and I sat there and I was like playing amazing. I want to finish this round. I don't want to come back tomorrow.

That was about the only time to really talk about it. Back-9 my caddy kind of calmed me down and like, "Dude, you got to focus on these shots, we've got some big shots coming up. We'll finish before dark, don't worry about that." Kind of calmed me back.

Q. First of all, what was your mom's name?

Q. Can you spell that?
AARON WISE: K-A-R-L-A. Is this a spelling bee?

Q. Who all greeted you on the green and after you won and then you kind of had your emotions all day. Has it sunk in?
AARON WISE: Yeah. I did a great job of staying focused on the present today. That was a big key for me winning. My mom, my girlfriend, my girlfriend's family, a bunch of my other family was there. Mainly my mom and girlfriend were the two I wanted to hug and appreciate that time with.

And you know I kind of -- the emotions started to hit me when I went to put my ball down on the little tap-in I had, however long it was. That's kind of when it sunk in I had won the golf tournament and I was able to enjoy it from then.

Q. What do you know about Byron Nelson?
AARON WISE: A decent amount, you know. I know he was a huge figurehead for the game and incredible player and had one of the sweetest swings ever. To have his name attached to this tournament and for me to win it is pretty special. He's one of the greats in history and for his name to be back in this event is pretty awesome.

Q. Is there any shot that you'll think about years from now?
AARON WISE: I don't know. Mostly what I would take away from this week is how well I drove the ball. This course you can get into some tough spots. I don't know if there's one shot in particular but I hit drive after drive especially today under pressure, absolutely striped.

There were some holes out there like 11, for example, where it's probably a 3-wood off that tee and Brian, my caddy, was trying to talk me into it. I was like, "I'm so comfortable with this driver, I'm go going to hit. I don't care how narrow the fairway is, this is what I'm hitting." That was truly what I took away from this week. I felt like I'm driving the ball incredible but it took it to another level this week.

JOHN BUSH: Aaron, your win is the 500th on the PGA TOUR by a former Web.com Tour win. You're also one of a couple players to win on the Web.com Tour and the Mackenzie Tour.

Talk how that developed your game.

AARON WISE: They were huge in developing my game. I wouldn't be here without them. Jokingly think of what I would have done if I came here right out of college and it wouldn't have been good, probably. They were huge and just you know it's so different.

We play week-long tournaments now, we're on the road for 20-plus weeks a year. It was just a huge learning curve for me and for me to be able to do it against some of the best players in the world is really nice.

They're all great. But I played really well on both those tours and without that confidence I got from winning on both of them and competing really well on both of them, it's truly, I wouldn't be where I'm at. I wouldn't have the confidence in my game that I do.

Q. (Inaudible)
AARON WISE: I just thought it was pretty impressive. I look at it now and I think it's a way to jump start your career. It's huge at a young age to be able to plan your schedule, to be able to get into all the big events, to get that experience and you look at guys like Jordan, Rory, JT, how it's just paid off for them when they're 24, 25, kind of hitting their prime a little bit and get all that experience already, they're able to win so many golf tournaments and I look at this as kind of helping me do that as well.

I don't think I'm anywhere near my prime, I hope and for me to be able to get all this experience so early it's only going to help me down the road when I'm contending in a lot of golf tournaments.

Q. Aaron, what do you think has been the key to your ability to win so quickly on so many different Tours?
AARON WISE: Probably just a lot of belief in myself, you know. I didn't come from a lot. Lot of people don't know that. I didn't get to travel a bunch when I played Junior Golf.

I kind of played a lot of local stuff and the only reason I got to Oregon was because I played the Junior Worlds in San Diego close to where I lived. I finished 3rd. That's the only way any of those coaches knew me.

Kind of all along it's been, very, very few moments to shine and I have to take advantage of them and that's always kind of been the wrap. Since then, since kind of my sophomore year of college I've played way more global scale and I think just kind of seeing the results of that.

It's pretty special that this was only really my second real chance at winning a PGA TOUR event and for me to get it done. I think that shocks a lot of people and it kind of shocked me, too, that I was able to get it. All of those things just relate to how much I really believe in myself and my game.

Q. What's the best advice someone gave you after you decided to turn pro?
AARON WISE: Just to kind of pick your brains of some of the older guys. A lot has been made a lot of comments I've gotten from guys like Phil and one major comment he gave me was just it's going to seem like a sprint and it's not. It's so true. It came true the beginning of this year.

I wasn't having a great year. I wanted it to happen now. I was ready for it to happen now and leaning on his advice I just stayed patient. I knew I was playing good golf. I had to wait for my opportunities and eventually they came and advice like that stuck. I really went back on guys like that really know what they're doing and for me to pick their brains was huge.

JOHN BUSH: Anything else? All right. Congratulations once again to our champion, Aaron Wise.

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