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July 14, 2018

Trent Dilfer

Joe Pavelski

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our leader, Joe Pavelski, and Trent Dilfer.

Great round today. Hung in there. Started off the day in the first position and you ended up in the first position. Came back, very strong, had a little tough time out there, looked like, on 15 and 16. And ended up parring 17 and birdieing 18. So in the lead with 48 points, one ahead of Superman.

Take us through your round today.

JOE PAVELSKI: Yeah, overall it was good. I hit the ball much better today. There was just kind of, like you said, on 15 was the one swing I'd want back.

I thought I put myself in a decent position to make par bogey and I just didn't get it in the hole. Those hurt, definitely, especially I had it going. I think I had probably three birdies in the last four or five holes and staring at some holes where you can get.

And I hit it good. I didn't make too many putts early but I just kind of had that feeling. It's the way the summer's gone, I found ways to make putts and make some birdies at some point throughout the round.

And I made a couple good putts that probably had a couple of feet break on them. And just got me going, gave me a little confidence, and I mean definitely happy with the position I'm in.

THE MODERATOR: First isn't bad after two days. You seem to keep your cool throughout, whether it's good, bad or indifferent. I don't know if it's the old maintain an even strain or if that's just your personality. But even after the double, you looked like you were still in control.

JOE PAVELSKI: Yeah, I mean, it's always right there. You realize on the first hole when Trent stuffs one in for birdie, looks like he's going to really make a push, and he did. He was rolling some putts that you understand there's a lot of golf left.

Whether -- you know you hit some good shots or not, there's always a lot of golf left. We knew we had those couple holes with 16 and 18 coming up. Hit a good putt on 18. Gave me a lot of confidence, I think.

THE MODERATOR: Trent, you mentioned when you came in you couldn't hit the ball much better. Take us through your round.

TRENT DILFER: First of all, Joe is a fantastic player. And just had an awesome time. I think more than anything else, it was a great group. We felt bad for John. He has a really bad back right now.

So it was kind of tough to watch.

JOE PAVELSKI: Amazing to watch him grind it out.

TRENT DILFER: We had a blast. Rooted for each other. We both had a run. I had a run early. I saw some putts drop. I really thought I was going to go low.

It was one of those days I had 65, 66, I probably got a little too aggressive. But I'd rather make that mistake than be tentative.

I had some really short birdie putts that had some tilt to them that I got overly aggressive with, 3-putting them, six points right there mistakes there. We both make stupid doubles on 15. That's eight points.

So I gave away eight points. But I was proud of myself. I hung in there. Had fun. Really enjoyed the walk. My body felt pretty good, which I said yesterday is my biggest challenge is walking 54 holes.

Felt good about that. And I'm going to go try to chase them down. It becomes a putting contest tomorrow. You gotta, I've done it one other time. I've seen -- guys have shot 30 on the back, 31 on the back to beat me. Tomorrow I'm going to try to go do the same thing, try to make eight, nine birdies and make a charge on the back.

I know he'll play well. I have no doubt he'll play well. And Mark will play well. And no doubt Tony is going to play well. No one will go backwards. You'll have to go get them.

THE MODERATOR: What do you think the number needs to be for the lead? You're at 48 with the leader. Mulder has 47. You're right there with 44.

TRENT DILFER: I've always thought 75 was the number. I've always said 75 is the number. I have a long ways to go.

THE MODERATOR: Joe, what do you think?

JOE PAVELSKI: 75. (Laughter).

TRENT DILFER: 75, man.

JOE PAVELSKI: You learn from some of the best. He's been through it a few times. That's what he says the number is. Like you said, there's some great players out there. And you saw them climb up the leaderboard right away.

One of my goals today was to stay aggressive. And get those putts to the hole and aim at a few flags, and try to get that ball in the hole.

I was able to make four or five birdies today. It goes a long way in this event. I hung in there in a good position. I'm excited to play with the guys tomorrow.

There's some good golfers. And they've proven themselves. And Mulder's the guy to beat right now.

THE MODERATOR: Of the five guys near the top Mulder is the one who has won this tournament before. You guys are still looking. You've both been in the hunt. So what do you think it's going to take tomorrow to knock him off the pedestal?

JOE PAVELSKI: I think just some solid golf. You've got to make a few birdies. Gotta put a little pressure on him. You know he's going to do his thing. But stay within yourself and when you get your opportunities, try to cash in on them.

TRENT DILFER: We all have memories in sports that we probably feed off of. I'm sure you do the same thing.

I remember in 2001 I was playing with Rick Rhoden, this is when he won every tournament. Nobody beat him. And we were playing in San Diego. And I think we had both shot 67 or 68 the first day. I went to bed that night saying he's gonna shoot 67 again.

Pedal to the metal the whole time. I had a crazy round, shooting 62, beating him. I feel like that's what tomorrow is going to be. I think all of us are better than we've been in years past.

I think the course is as good as it's ever been. They're not trying to trick us with pins. You take dead aim and you try to make as many birdies as you possibly can.

And get on a run and stay in -- the hard thing for me when I start going on runs I get out in front of myself. I did it as a football player too.

And I'd have setbacks. When you play really well, you've got the aggressive mindset but you're so in the moment you almost forget what just happened. So looking for that secret sauce and have a blast while doing it. Because one thing I promised myself this week I was going to have a ton of fun and enjoy the people and the top leaderboard, some of my favorite people to play golf with, follow, people I root for on the top of the leaderboard. It should be an awesome experience.

Q. Yesterday it was all about the quick greens and a little bit of cloudy weather. Today it's brightened up a little bit. I was wondering what was the playing conditions from your guys' eyes today?
JOE PAVELSKI: They were perfect again. Yesterday it was nice just being a little cooler but the greens were fast yesterday. They were just as fast if not a little bit more. Greens were firm. You could always expect a fairly big hop on the first one. And it was the same thing, if you got above the pin coming downhill you had to be careful with it. And when you were staring uphill a little bit you could hit a pretty firm putt. They're good. Like he said, there isn't pins out there that they're really tricking us with, but you've got to hit the shots and try to make those putts.

TRENT DILFER: I thought the ball flew a little further today with the irons. Like you made -- he made some really good club selections, trusting the distance, 12.

JOE PAVELSKI: Yeah, 12 was probably the best shot I hit all day because I hit a 9-iron and it's fun.

TRENT DILFER: 9-iron on 2. I hit 8. We're about the same with irons. I didn't trust my distance with eight and hit it long both times, really didn't give myself a shot at birdie.

Q. Each sport has its unique psychology. Could you both speak of your sports, obviously football and hockey, and the difference between the two, maybe start with you, Trent, football, golf?
TRENT DILFER: Well, I mean, I think the similarities are you have to be an optimist in both.

There's a lot of ebb and flows. And you've got to keep a positive mindset. I didn't do that. I mean my four years in the NFL I would have a negative mindset and things snowballed. When I played well I had a positive mindset. I've learned that in golf the same way.

Part of my thing in golf is battling demons, I can't lie to you, I've got a lot of demons and they grow and they're loud and obnoxious. I mean, there's a lot of voices that's why I like people screaming and yelling because I can't hear the voices in my head.

There's a lot of demons. I've played a lot of golf in my life. I've played a lot of the really good golf. I've played a lot of really bad golf. I'll get over a shot a shot I've hit a thousand times and all of a sudden, whoa, whoa, who is talking to me.

I think that's kind of what I enjoy, too, as I get older and my kids are competitors I get to use my experiences to help them out so they don't have the same demons I have. I'm being honest, yeah.

Q. Golf and hockey?
JOE PAVELSKI: I think with hockey, when you're feeling good you kind of just keep going, keep playing, you're playing a lot of games throughout the season. But if you don't feel good you can go out there and you can get hit, you can hit a guy. You have teammates to pick you up.

I think the biggest similarity is you've got to make quality plays. Throughout a game in hockey, if you're making quality plays, getting in a lot, spending some time with the puck, you're going to break through at some point. Same out here. That was the mindset for me today, hit quality shots. The first few putts didn't go in. Keep putting yourself in that position.

And then there's some pressure moments out there. And I feel it more in golf, I think, at times. And just the understanding of it's all right. They come in. They come in for everybody. And it's fine that they're there. You can just let them go and trust what you do.

And I find that helps me out a little bit.

TRENT DILFER: It is comforting to see other guys nervous, too. All the years --

JOE PAVELSKI: It's the same thing.

TRENT DILFER: I remember the first few years playing: Am I the only one nervous? And then I got to play with Chandler and Rhoden and Del Greco and those guys I see their hands shaking a little bit on the first couple of holes. I'm like okay, I'm not the only one.

JOE PAVELSKI: The putter went back a few times a nice loop in it you trust that it will adjust and it will work out.


Q. Feeding off that question, in years past, when Rick Rhoden was winning here and other football players are doing well in the tournament, quarterbacks, especially, because they manage a game, same thing with a pitcher, you're managing, you're thinking long term, you're thinking strategy, and I was wondering the same thing as the last question. How in hockey you're playing shift after shift and you're in and out in and out and you're not really managing long term like a quarterback is or a Major League Baseball pitcher is and obviously the eye/hand coordination between shooting a puck and the golf ball has to come in handy and you reflected a little bit on that yesterday. But as far as you're going to be playing against pitchers and quarterbacks tomorrow that want to beat you. So how are you going to work that long term and come up with a victory?
JOE PAVELSKI: I think it's just not get ahead of myself. Hit some good shots. Show them that my game's in a good spot and trust it. And give them a run. They're here every year in this position.

And it's a little bit new for me. But I understand there will be a little bit of nerves and it will be fine, but I can trust my swing and it's nothing to worry about. Just go out, have some fun, really enjoy the round.

There's times I said it's easy when you're playing with a threesome and somebody makes a birdie, gets a couple of points ahead of you, you focus in on him and try to catch him.

You have to understand, I said it to myself a few times, I'm not just trying to beat this guy, there's guys out there making runs; I've got to make this putt and put some pressure on everybody. And the leaderboards are out there and you can see them. I gotta imagine everyone's looking at them like I am. It really is.

Q. Mulder said he wasn't looking. But real quick, Trent. You said you were here to have fun. I noticed on 17, when you were waiting, you were up and down the fan line with your phone?
TRENT DILFER: I'm a local. So it means a little bit more to me, I think. I live up in the north show. A lot of those people I know.

And I know the buzz of this time of year. I've been at the lake for three weeks already. And whether I'm playing golf at Montreux or I'm out on the lake, at the Hyatt in incline, people are talking about this week. And they're talking about, we'll see you on 17. Make sure you look for me. I'm like, yeah, I'm going to see you with 8,000 people out there.

Everywhere you go I'm at the Lone Eagle the other night, my wife having drinks and dinner, ten people come up: Oh, can't wait to see you play. We'll be there on 17, make a birdie, go crazy. So it means a little more to me.

And I've also learned I play better the more energy there is. When I'm back at home with the boys and we've got the speaker on and we have rock playing and we're talking crap and that's when I make seven, eight birdies.

When you're out there playing with a curmudgeon, that's the day it's like why am I doing this it's boring and now the voices get louder. I played off of it. After I made the double on 15, it was like, you know, I could get really mad and be disappointed and be a bummer, or I can play well the last three holes and have a blast. I know what's coming, you're standing on 16 tee you know what's going. You don't have a chance for eagle.

You're going to hear the music as you get to your second shot. You know you're going to have a half hour wait on 17 and it's going to be epic. You know you have to hit a high draw off 18 to make eagle. You know what's coming, you might as well embrace it and have fun with it.

JOE PAVELSKI: I agree. You said it perfect. There's so many good Bay Area fans out here and it's great to see all the Shark fans.

And for me I was on a good roll and I made that double. And I could feel the energy just dip. It's nice hearing that music. I didn't hit the tee shot I wanted. Made another bogey. You get out there, that energy, it really picks you up and it's epic out there. There's not many holes.

TRENT DILFER: You don't know what to hit too. Because your numbers aren't right on 17 because it plays a little shorter, a little down. Your hand's on the club you're just like oh my God I'm going to be over the green. You have to have a controlled shot. I thought we had nice shots I launched in the back bunker before because you're so jacked up.


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