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April 11, 2019
THE MODERATOR: Good evening. I'd like to welcome our leader for the first round, Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson, you recorded a fine 6‑under par 66; 35, 31, nine birdies, including six of the last seven from 12 to 18.
Bryson, what a great start to the tournament for you. Perhaps you can offer some thoughts on your round today, especially the last nine.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, it's obviously my best round out here, 66. I was just looking to shoot something in the 60s this week because I haven't done that yet in my couple times playing here.
What a magical back nine. Wind started to pick up, right around Amen Corner, and it was tough. It was not easy one bit. But we just stuck to what we knew we should have done, and we did, and was able to execute a beautiful 9‑iron on 12 that kind of jump started my back nine, hitting it to five feet, making that putt got me rolling.
Only thing we didn't really understand was on 14, we hit a shot, just a little up in the wind and just got really hit by the wind and ended up short rolling back, and that was a big mistake. But other than that, that was the only mistake, other than the drive on 17. I'll have to work on that hole on the range after tonight.
Q. The green looks good, by the way, so far.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Thanks.
Q. Was there anything that clicked that was a little different on the back nine at all that wasn't quite going for you? Was it just the way it developed?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Just the way it developed. Honestly, I was hitting it great all day, driving it well. Just an accumulation of great golf that finally showed in the score.
Q. As you saw the shot on 18, what was going through your head?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Should have pulled the flagstick out (chuckles), should have had Tim go out there and pull it out or tinned it. But no, it was a great shot, and I was excited just to tap‑in to finish off a great round.
Q. You mentioned earlier this week that your preparation would need to be more intense for Augusta than perhaps other tournaments. Can you just share an example of something you had to do earlier this week that you have perhaps never had to do before?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I had to spend more time on the putting green. Normally we have contour maps, and I'm able to rely off those pretty easily. Unfortunately we don't this week, and I understand that. Totally respect that, and you know, I like the challenge, actually. It's kind of fun. I think going out there and trying to use your eyes as much as possible, get your sense of balance and where level is, it's really a very unique skill. It's a tough skill to develop and create, but one that if you can do that, then in other tournaments, too, using the contour maps, you can be really deadly with both of that, combined together.
But here this week, it's about really practicing and looking at slopes and making sure you can see the line go in the hole.
Q. They mentioned in the broadcast that you had made some changes with your iron this week. Could you detail that as much as you feel comfortable doing? And second, you had spoken about in 2016, you didn't feel you were ready to win this tournament. I know there's three rounds left, but what makes you feel better about that possibility this time around?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, last week we spent a good deal‑‑ and it started‑‑ it's been going on for a couple years now with my wedge play and my iron play not being as good as I know it could be for the swing that I have.
So everybody was like, well, is the one length‑‑ it's not. It's something else that we were missing. And so last week I said I'm going to stay here at Dallas National until I figure out what it is on this gear system.
I stayed there for 14 hours on Wednesday hitting 125 shots out there on this system trying to figure out what was happening with the wedges, and we knew it was something in regards to the spin loft curve and us being on the wrong side of the spin loft curve, but we didn't understand how to get it back on the correct side.
And so after careful observation and some really deep, deep thinking on what's happening and some cool depictions of how the club was moving through the ball, we started to realize it was something we could do with the shafts. And so we went the other way with my previous logic, which I don't really want to give too much about it out, but we went the other way with the way I was previously thinking, and it actually started to work.
From then on we were working on just fine tuning it and just getting a good understanding of what is going to fit me perfect in any situation. We've come really close to a really good answer. Obviously it was good enough to shoot 66 today. I think I just need a little more practice to get comfortable in all situations.
Q. 2016 versus 2019?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Again, there's a bit of the maturing aspect of it, understanding how to control certain emotions on the golf course. Not necessarily from an attitude perspective. Just from a nerve perspective, being comfortable in different situations and being able to go, I can do this, this is not a problem, compared to in 2016, I'm like, I'm not sure if I can do it. That's really what the change has been.
Q. This is very unscientific, but there is such positive energy out there on the course all afternoon. Koepka is getting birdies all over the place; you are; Phil almost got a hole‑in‑one. Can it be contagious at all? Do you get impacted by that?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, absolutely, there is an energy and there is something in science that does talk about that and more and more science is coming out about that.
Yeah, it's great to have momentum and great atmosphere and gets you all pumped up. Creates some adrenaline flow and allows you to get in a different mind‑set. I believe that's partially what happened today, yeah.
Q. You're a guy that likes to break down things and study things. What's the process for you like, just learning the nuances of a place like this?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, you saw me working as hard as I possibly could leading up to this event. I think a lot of the preparation is needed coming into this event. I think just experience over time, I don't know if I'm going to be able to figure out every little nuance of this golf course in my third year playing, but what I can do is prepare as good as I can and be comfortable with my own game in any situation; so that when I get out here, any situation that arises, I feel I can execute and play the game that's necessary.
So yeah, that's as best of an answer as I can give you on that one.
Q. You played well today obviously, but a lot of guys seem to struggle, especially with the pin locations today. Can you talk about how challenging that was out there?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: 14. 14 was brutal. And you couldn't miss it short, and I did the only thing you couldn't do; if you hit it past it, it was okay. Even a little right of the flag it was okay. You know, and I think‑‑ what was another good one? 11 was tough. 10 was difficult. A lot of hole locations; 6 was difficult and 5 was even difficult, too.
It's just a great test of golf to start out the first round of Masters, and to be honest, it's great to sift through some of the really good players and maybe not so great players in this event right now.
And look, it's not to say they are bad players. It's just it's very difficult out there and you've got to be‑‑ every aspect of your game has to be on point. So it's kind of nice, you can almost break away from the pack if you play well.
Q. You mentioned 14‑hour practice session. That seems like an awfully long time. Is that a common thing for you? Is that‑‑ do you get tired at some point?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: If I get driven enough to where it's been a long enough time to where we haven't figured something out, I will exhaust every resource until I figure it out. And that's common with me. I become almost a little, in a positive way, OCD about trying to complete something, very positive way.
It's only certain times. I won't make my bed at all. I don't really care too much about that (laughs). But outside‑‑ inside the game of golf, I can sometimes become very OCD, and it's a positive thing that's allowed me to play well.
Q. What's the longest session that you've had?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Probably that one. I've had days back at Mike Schy's place, the 10 in Fresno, California‑‑ Madera California. I've gone from 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. till 8:00 at night. Why not.
Q. When you saw where the ball landed on 16, how much did "ace" go through your mind?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: The whole time it was rolling. I've never had an ace, ever, unfortunately. I was hoping it would go in.
Q. What was the club?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Nice little 8‑iron off the higher part of the face.
Q. What's the plan for tonight? Will you hit some balls before you head home?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah.
Q. And do you like going early/late or late/early?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Doesn't matter to me too much. I know if I'm trying to hit it my best and trying to figure something out, early/late is something I do appreciate because I can give myself a little test run and try to make some changes if need be to play better the next day.
But as of right now, it's better to play good, and hopefully go back out in the morning and do the same.
Q. You mentioned the word challenge and fun, and the fun of the challenge. We asked that of Jack Nicklaus this morning, and he talked about how that is the difference; it's supposed to be fun. Does that change your‑‑ considering the importance of this tournament, does it change the way you are, your approach, because you're having fun out there?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I think when I execute, when there's a given challenge and I execute up to the standard of the given challenge, that's what's fun to me. When I'm not performing, then I go into grind mode and try to figure out why it didn't work and how we can implement something else that may make it better in the future.
Q. Overthinking sometimes?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Some people could say that I just think‑‑ overthinking is usually a cause of not really understanding the situation and not really being able to decipher what's going on.
And so sometimes overthinking is necessary to say‑‑ to go down a rabbit hole and be like, okay, that doesn't work, so now I have to go find another route. So overthinking eventually gets you to the answer. You just have to keep going down the hole.
Q. When you said no hole‑in‑ones; is that in competition?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Never. Ever.
Q. Is that rare?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Xander doesn't have one either two. Top‑10 players in the world don't have hole‑in‑ones, at least that's what I was told. I may be wrong on that but that's what I was told. Pretty unique.
Q. I'm always fascinated after a round like this, the comfort level you had‑‑ is this where you want to be‑‑
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No. You're always on the tip of your toes out here. You can't let one shot go awry, and that's what Mr.Jones and Mr.MacKenzie, that's the way they designed this golf course. That's the beauty of this golf course and that's the beauty of this championship. It's a great test of golf.
Q. Didn't mean it quite that way. I meant, you felt so good about the way you were playing, a comfort zone?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: It was fun when I had to make a 2‑inch putt on the 18th hole. That was about it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Bryson. We wish you all the best and a great round today.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports