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March 13, 2019

Sam Ryder

Andrew Putnam

Corey Conners

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Sam, thoughts about being at your first PLAYERS Championship. How exciting is it to be here at the TPC Sawgrass?
SAM RYDER: It's really exciting. This is a huge event, kind of known for being the best field in the world, just because it has kind of all the big names and it's a big field and instead of being like some of the other majors it's, those are a little more limited and this is just a, you know, going to be a great test this week, course is awesome, I've actually been living up in this area for the past year, a little over a year, year and a half, so sleeping in my own bed this week and this is, I was kind of talking to my coach and my caddie yesterday as I was hitting balls on the range back there and it was like it feels like THE PLAYERS and it feels like a big event that it is, but it also felt like I was just practicing getting ready to go play golf because I'm so used to hitting balls back there and being on that practice facility. So I'm really excited to get the week going and forecast looks good, course looks good, so should be awesome.

Q. What are your key elements that you've been looking out for on the golf course playing in March for the first time since 2006 here? What are you guys looking forward to and what are you guys facing on the Stadium Course?
SAM RYDER: Yeah, I think it's going to be important just driving it well, the course is playing softer so it's playing longer, so it's going to be a lot of drivers instead of being a lot of 3-woods and irons off tees, so it's going to be important if you drive it well out here hitting the fairway, hitting it long and straight, then you're going to have some opportunities because the greens at this point are relatively soft. I know they're going to be able to firm them up a little bit with the way they have the SubAir on the greens, they can kind of suck some of the moisture out and make it firmer, but I think the most important thing is -- and I'm so used to playing this course, I played it so many times, so I'm very comfortable on a lot of the tee shots, holes like 18, holes like 15, some of these -- 14 even -- just some of these tougher tee balls I've hit a ton of times, so I have a certain level of comfort and I know it's always different playing on this big stage, but I think just having that, having all those rounds under my belt I think is going to be nice and I think the most important thing this week is just driving it well and then you're going to be in position to attack some of those pins.

Q. A lot of guys talk about the two finishing holes on 17 and 18. Just talk about those holes and the thought process when you step on the 17th tee and then the 18th tee.
SAM RYDER: Yeah, so I've been at this tournament as a spectator multiple times before I was playing professionally, so just being part of the atmosphere there as a fan you kind of see how cool it is around 17 and just playing yesterday on a Tuesday, it kind of, it's kind of similar to how 16 at Waste Management is, in a way, just it's a different atmosphere and a different vibe, but you're kind of thinking about that before you get there. You're thinking about 16 at Waste Management before you get there and you're thinking about 17 before you get there. Especially on playing in the afternoon on Friday, it should be big crowds and for what is relatively an easy shot and a short hole, it just becomes a lot different. There's a lot of nerves, the wind can be blowing, there's going to be huge crowds, so it will be exciting and then obviously 18's one of the best finishing holes, if not the best, in golf. So the stage is set, you've seen so much drama over the years from eagles on 16, birdies and water balls on 17, and then birdies and others on 18 too. So a lot can happen at those finishing holes. So it really just makes for a great finish.

Q. Andrew, talk about the excitement of being at your PLAYERS Championship?
ANDREW PUTNAM: Yeah, it's an exciting week. Always dreamed of being here and I've been here a couple times, came here to watch my brother a couple years ago and kind of got all the vibes and the feelings and have always dreamed of being here and here this week is, so I'm excited.

Q. Now that you're inside the ropes, playing at TPC Sawgrass one of the best venues on the PGA TOUR, talk maybe about the challenge of the Stadium Course will pose for you guys.
ANDREW PUTNAM: I just think that the Stadium Course is visually intimidating and so just really have to be able to pick good lines and be able to swing free. Sometimes the visual makes you swing away from the hazards and everything, but you just got to be committed to your lines and really have a good game plan around here. But I think this week the scores will be pretty low. I feel like it's softer than what I've seen when I've been here and, yeah, I think the scores are going to be low and you're just going to have to make birdies when you can.

Q. The final finishing holes in the world, talk about 16, 17 and 18 as a potentially dramatic exciting holes?
ANDREW PUTNAM: Yeah, those are three of the most iconic holes in golf. Even though I haven't played here much I've watched it so many times I feel like I haven't even needed a practice round because I played it on video games or seen it on TV so much. But I think they're three of the most recognizable holes and, yeah, it's going to be a lot of fun. There's a lot of people on those holes and a lot of energy and excitement and just going to have to manage your nerves and, yeah, you just don't know what's going to happen when you get in that three-hole stretch.

Q. You're well into the season this year, how is the game feeling coming in the week? Are you happy with how you're swinging it?
ANDREW PUTNAM: Yeah, the game's been good. I've taken three weeks off. My wife just gave birth to our first daughter four days ago. So it's kind of been a whirlwind for me and obviously excited to be here and, yeah, it's a lot has been happening in my life lately.

Q. Four days ago. Congratulations.

Q. Getting enough sleep?
ANDREW PUTNAM: I have been. The last couple nights I've been catching up on it. The last week I haven't had a ton of sleep but now it's been getting back in the routine and it's been feeling good.

Q. What's the baby's name?
ANDREW PUTNAM: The baby's name is Pepper Putnam.

Q. Corey, talk about the excitement of being at your first PLAYERS Championship?
COREY CONNERS: Really excited. I've been getting to realize what all the hype's about. This is amazing event, amazing venue, getting treated the best possible. Lots of people are here to help and everything's been amazing so far. The golf course is pretty special, I've obviously watched it on TV many times and to get a chance to play it is really exciting. I think it sets up well for my game so it will be a fun week. But what a special place.

Q. You're sitting right in front of that wonderful trophy up there. I'm sure you would love to get your hands on that Sunday afternoon?
COREY CONNERS: I sure would. That thing's pretty nice. I would love it. It would be a dream come true. I feel like my game's really good and definitely will give myself a chance.

Q. How is the golf course playing? I'm sure you've had a look the last few day, how's it playing?
COREY CONNERS: It's playing great. It's in magnificent condition. Hitting the fairways I think is really important. You get perfect lies and are able to attack some of the pins, it's a little bit soft. That will make it maybe play a little bit easier, but just make sure I'm a little more aggressive knowing the ball's going to sit down where it lands. But it's in amazing shape, the greens are rolling great, so we're going to be able to make a lot of putts out there and hopefully I can roll in my share.

Q. How about the last few holes. People talk about 16 and 17 and 18.
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I mean 17 seems pretty easy the last few days, just kind of a smooth wedge to the middle of the green, but we'll see how I feel on the weekend. They're great holes, I think they set up pretty well for me, I like the tee shot on 16 and 18, just hitting a little right-to-left shape fits those holes really well. So, yeah, try and hit good tee balls and try and make some 4s on those holes and give myself birdie chance on 17.

Q. What are some of your early memories of watching THE PLAYERS on TV?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, obviously I have a lot of memories of the 17th hole. It gets a lot of coverage and lots of people have hit it in the water there. I think one of my earliest memories is Fred Couples holing out for par. That stuck with me and that's a highlight you see, I think they probably show that every year during THE PLAYERS Championship. And I obviously remember Tiger's putt, "better than most." I do know that I was watching the TV at the time and I've obviously seen tons of replays of that shot as well. But, yeah, those, a lot of good memories of 17, I'm excited to get to play it.

Q. How is the game feeling coming into the week?
COREY CONNERS: It's feeling good. I've had some inconsistent results the last few events, kind of had good and bad rounds, so tried to tighten things up a little bit and the game feels really good, excited to put it to the test again, it's kind of nice to -- the schedule's been a little bit inconsistent this year so it's nice to have back-to-back events and kind of learn from last week and try to implement some changes this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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