home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 25, 2019

Scott McCarron

Notre Dame, Indiana

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to welcome Scott McCarron into the media center, Scott playing in his fourth U.S. Senior Open. First U.S. Senior Open played at a university course, and you had a pretty cool experience yesterday getting to check in, player registration at the football stadium. How was that?

SCOTT McCARRON: Yeah, that was really something special, honestly, to be able to go there in the player locker room. They brought out all the stops. They put our name up there on the lockers with the helmets and just seeing what -- and picturing what it would be like if you were a football player playing a home game here at Notre Dame, to be able to walk down the walkway and slap the board, that was something special. And then to be able to go on the field and run around a little bit, throw some passes, Jerry Kelly showed up and we were like two kids in a candy store out there throwing the ball around, kicking it around. I think Jerry might have pulled a hammy and my shoulder is hurting from throwing so many passes, but you couldn't get us off the field. It was so much fun.

THE MODERATOR: Three wins already, leading the Schwab Cup points race, really well-rounded statistically. What's been working for you this year?

SCOTT McCARRON: Well, I played well the last few years. I finished second on the Money List the last couple years and third or fourth the year before that. So it's more been a continuation of just some good play.

But I've been driving it pretty good. I got a new driver here a couple months ago when my driver broke, and I found something even better, so that was good. Since I put it in play, I think I've won three out of the last seven or eight events, something like that. I've been driving it well, hitting a lot of good iron shots, and putting has been a little bit better this year.

Again, just feeling very comfortable when I'm in the hunt, near the lead or in the lead. I've had some chances, probably five or six times here, and been able to pull out three wins. Got a couple seconds that I thought probably could have won, but, again, it's just a matter of putting yourself in those positions and controlling your emotions under the gun.

THE MODERATOR: Got a major win earlier this year, got another one this week on the line. What do you think of the Warren Course that Coore & Crenshaw designed? What are your feelings on the course?

SCOTT McCARRON: I'll tell you what, today was my first look at it, and it's really got an old-style feel, being a new golf course. I think Crenshaw and Coore do some of the best work in the country of doing that. They've somehow been able to grasp making these new golf courses seem old. It's a lot of fun. There's some great shots off the tees. You don't have to hit driver all the time. There's some 3-woods and hybrids off a couple of the tees. You've got to make sure you hit it in the fairway because the rough is pretty deep, and they've got some really well-placed bunkering around the sides of the fairways.

But these greens are extremely small with a lot of undulation. So this week you're going to have to be spot on with your iron game. You're going to have to hit a lot of fairways because trying to hit these small greens out of the rough will be almost impossible.

And the other thing is you've got to keep the ball below the hole. Anything that is hole high missing the green, very difficult up-and-down; and anything over the green is almost impossible to get up-and-down. So you've got to be able to control the iron shots into these greens.

Q. You mentioned your game has been good the last couple years, and with that you've played exceptionally well in the majors. What is it about your game lately that you think lends itself to playing well in these kinds of tournaments?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, for one, when we have four rounds, you can have a mediocre round and still kind of come back from it, so I think I did that pretty well last year. I think I had four top-5s or something like that in the majors, had some opportunities to win, didn't get any last year.

But again, having that extra round because normally we play three rounds, and if you have a mediocre one round, you've really got to do something special to get back in the hunt.

I think being fairly consistent and having some opportunities with that four rounds has played well into my hands.

Q. Talk a little bit about the greens. You said when you get to the greens, that's where a lot of the work has to be done. Can you sense what Ben was trying to do with the greens and where the subtleties of it?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, I think he's trying to make it that that's the defense of the golf course. It's not overly long, although there are some long holes on the front side with 3, 4, 5, 6. There's some good length on some of those holes. But, again, it's a lot of the defense. You've got a lot of shorter irons into some of these greens, so he made them very small with a lot of undulations. You've got to hit it in the right quadrant to have an opportunity to make birdie. If you don't and you miss the green, you might only have 30 feet or so, but you might have something that's breaking 20, 30 feet itself.

You know, he's trying to make this the defense of the golf course, making the small, undulating greens.

Q. Last time I saw you, you were in the Tour Edge booth down at the merchandise show in Florida.
SCOTT McCARRON: That's right.

Q. Being that they're a local company with us in Chicago, can you tell us how their products have helped your game and how many of them really are still in your game?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, Tour Exotics have been fantastic for my game. I found a hybrid last year I thought was one of the best hybrids I've ever hit, and they even came out with a better one, with a new CBX. It's phenomenal. It's got low spin, high launch, a 19-degree that I hit that I'm able to carry it anywhere from 235 yards or so with 19 degrees. So I can take it up high with not a lot of spin.

I would put that in my bag no matter what. It's the best hybrid I've ever hit. They're making some phenomenal clubs. And they always made great 3-woods back in the day and great hybrids, and I'm really happy to see that they're doing some good work with all the irons they're making, and I love that hybrid.

Q. There's a lot of room on the golf course. I walked around a little bit. I'm wondering, driving is always a key at a USGA event, but is long maybe a little more important here to take advantage of the fact that there is a lot of room?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, I think so. There is quite a bit of room out there in the fairways. It's not as narrow as you might think some of the USGA events, the Opens would be. But having said that, there's only two par-5s, so length is an advantage on those holes. There's a couple other holes, one on the back side, I think it's 15, that's like 490-yard, something like that, par-4, but it's long. There's another one on the front that's 495 yards. But some of those holes I can kind of get some of the downslope and get them even a little bit farther. So I think length is definitely an advantage.

But the most important thing anytime you're playing in a major championship, especially a U.S. Open, you've got to be able to hit the fairway.

Q. You said you broke your driver and then you had another one. Is that different in any way?
SCOTT McCARRON: Yeah, I was playing an old TaylorMade M1 from years ago, and the shaft was from an old SLDR Day, so the shaft was probably eight or nine years old. And the M1s, I kept cracking the faces. I'd break two or three a year. And I was running out of heads. I think I had three heads left.

So my driver head cracked. Then I said, well, no big deal, I'll put another driver in on it, hit about three shots, and then the head flew off with the shaft broke. At that point I was like, Oh, no. I hadn't really tested any other drivers at that point.

I went and bought a FlightScope the next day, got that in, and then I had the manufacturer send me a bunch of drivers, and I tested for about six days until I found one that I like, and it's one that's got low spin, nice high launch. And ever since, I went -- I put it in the bag right before Atlanta at Mitsubishi, won that week, won two weeks later in Houston and then two weeks later in Japan. It's been a good driver. I actually put the 3-wood in play, as well. Both clubs are really good.

Q. I know you've only seen the golf course one time, but based on what you did see today, what do you think your game plan will be to attack this week?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, again, I'll probably be fairly aggressive off some of the tees and some of the lines so I can get some of the shorter irons into some of these small greens.

You know, again, you've just got to hit the fairways, so whatever that is -- the first hole is one I probably could drive it all the way pretty close to the green, being 314 yards, but there's not a lot of room right there and you've got a very small green.

So I'm going to hit hybrid, which a lot of players are; and if it's downwind, I might even hit the 4-iron off the tee. We don't hit a lot of hybrids and 4-irons off a lot of tees, especially at the U.S. Open; but, again, you're going to have to do that because you've got to keep it in the fairway. Not only just that first hole, you've got to keep it in the right side of the fairway. Even though the fairway is fairly large, you can't miss it in the left side of the fairway because you've got that tree overhanging.

That's one thing I'll be doing tomorrow is looking at some more of the sight lines of where I need to be in some of these fairways, where I need to be if the hole location is tucked back right, where do I need to be on some of them, or left.

There's a lot of ways to play this golf course, which I love that Crenshaw and Coore have done and put in there because you can't just hit it where you think you need to kind of put yourself in the right spot of some of these fairways to attack the pin.

Q. Having worked for FOX Sports, two-part question. One, having been an on-course reporter, did that help you get ready for this stage of your career, even from a mental standpoint? And two, when you watched the U.S. Open coverage a couple weeks ago, what was that like for you to watch the coverage knowing what goes on behind the camera?
SCOTT McCARRON: Absolutely. Great question. Working for FOX for those two years, I got to see the best players in the world winning major championships, whether it was the U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, the Women's Am, and that really helped me, I think, when I got to be playing again on the Champions Tour.

One, I saw the best players in the world didn't always play their best to win, but they didn't let anything bad -- when something bad happened, they didn't let it bother them. They were able to control their emotions very well down the stretch, and just go on and get themselves in position and win golf tournaments.

I always felt when I was on the PGA TOUR and in major championships, I had to play my absolute best to win, so I think I put a little maybe too much pressure on myself coming down the stretch thinking I had to hit great shots to do that, and that's one thing that I learned, that you really don't. You have to manage your emotions, manage your game. If a bad shot happens or you get a bad break, just brush it off and go on to the next shot. Really stay in the moment.

Being an on-course reporter for FOX helped tremendously to be able to see that firsthand. I got to watch Jordan Spieth win at Chambers Bay. I got to watch Dustin Johnson win at Oakmont, Bryson DeChambeau win the U.S. Amateur in Chicago. So I got to see some of these guys winning these tournaments, and it helped me tremendously.

Watching the U.S. Open last week, I'm an armchair quarterback sitting there watching and listening, and when it goes to the on-course guy, he needs to get in quickly because I know what he needs to do.

But I'll tell you what, I thought they did a great job and they've just gotten better and better. They've got great talent. Joe Buck is one of the best in the business at getting in and out, back from commercials, going to commercials, setting up stories.

Paul Azinger as a color analyst I always thought was one of the best. He's done a great job. And Curtis Strange on the ground right there as the analyst right with Paul Azinger, and they've got one of the best guys being on the ground. They've done a great job. They put some good guys in position. Joel Klatt I thought did a phenomenal job with interviews.

So I did. I watched, critiqued a little bit, but there was not a lot to critique. I thought they did a great job.

And they've also been -- Mark Loomis is one of the best in the business, and he's such an innovator with all they're doing. I thought the drone shots from out in the ocean looking back at the golf course were some of the most fascinating shots I've ever seen in golf. Again, it just played out to be -- it was a great championship. Fun to watch.

Q. You went to UCLA; how well did you know John Wooden because he was close with Eddie Merrins, and of course John took up the game of golf here in South Bend when he was a high school basketball coach.
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, as you told me earlier, John Wooden had a 1 and a 2 in the same round here back in the day. I didn't get to know John Wooden very well, but we would always see him at the basketball games, and I read his books and his teachings, and he's a tremendous -- was a tremendous man and revered everywhere he went. I mean, everybody loved John Wooden. So I'm happy to see that he was playing golf.

But it was always great to see him at basketball games every single game when I was there at UCLA. I thought that was something special.

Q. And again, he had a great career here as a high school coach before --

Q. Before he came to UCLA.
SCOTT McCARRON: Absolutely.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297