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February 6, 2020

Nick Taylor

Pebble Beach, California

DOUG MILNE: We would like to welcome Nick Taylor to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Thanks for stopping by for a few minutes after quite a successful first round. Monterey Peninsula, 8-under, 63 today. Talked on the way over. Really couldn't have gotten off to a much better start than with an eagle at number 10. With that said, can you just take us through the round a little bit?

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I drove it really nice today. Obviously, playing 10 it's a gettable par-5 to start the day. So hit two great shots there about 4 feet, I made eagle, so it was a nice start. And then I think I almost hit every fairway today, so I really had good numbers coming into a lot of greens, had chances, made some nice putts in the middle of my round to kind of keep it going and finished two great shots, a 5-iron and 3-iron on the last two holes to set up two birdies there. So tee to green was great and made some putts.

DOUG MILNE: You've got some history here. You're making your sixth start. I think you've had a top-10 in 2017. Just some thoughts on the, just kind of being back here and this whole environment and how much that does for you.

NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, this is one of my favorite events of the year every year. People ask me my favorite golf course. Pebble is definitely the top of the list. I just, growing up in the Northwest, I don't know if its that and, you know, the rain doesn't bother me, if that's in the forecast. I think this week we're going to be extremely lucky with that. But I just love these heavy golf courses. Growing up on poa annua, it suits my eye, so I always enjoy coming here.

DOUG MILNE: Open it up for questions.

Q. What would be your ideal of a great lunch right now? I'm curious more on the details on 10. What did you have left for your second and what club?
NICK TAYLOR: I hit a 4-iron in. I think I had, it was helping wind off the tee, hit a great drive there, so I maybe 225 to the, all the way to the back. It was a back pin so it was a 4-iron.

Q. And I know you like the golf courses, but what is it about the event that inspires you? What do you like best about the week?
NICK TAYLOR: It is always fun meeting new people. I've had different partners every year. You just can't beat these three golf courses. They're so fun to play. And yeah, it's a combination of things. Obviously, meeting new people and having conversations, their relaxing rounds, for the most part. Again, the weather helps out. But, yeah, it's just a great place to be.

Q. On that, how is a five-and-a-half-hour round relaxing? What are the keys for you to make that happen?
NICK TAYLOR: It was just a lot of time in between shots. You're never really in a rush. I played with Beau Hossler and I feel like we get along really well, so just very relaxed that way. Again, the weather helps out. If it's raining, it's windy, five and a half hours is a long round. But we were very relaxed today, joked all day, and I felt like the mood was great.

Q. You said the last two holes you had 3-iron, 5-iron?
NICK TAYLOR: 5-iron into 8. 3-iron off 9 tee, the par-3.

Q. How far and to how close?
NICK TAYLOR: Five -- the 5-iron was about 5 feet on hole 8. I think I had about 205 hole. And then they used the back tee on 9, which I had actually never seen. I think it was 240 hole 3-iron, about 18, 20 feet.

Q. That's a good way to end.

Q. How far does the ball not fly compared with say Phoenix last week or what have you?
NICK TAYLOR: It's a big difference. I did a little bit of Trackman work yesterday. My 9-iron, it was normalized, which means no wind. But it was going 140 yards max. Last week was probably 155, 160, so it's significant enough. The breeze is just heavier. So, yeah, it's a lot of calculations that you try to guess right and today we were fortunate to guess quite a few times right.

Q. The other thing, I'm not sure your history at the Hope or -- you're too young for that. It's the American Express in Palm Springs. Do you play that quite a bit?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I've played it every year.

Q. The difference on a multiple-course rotation like this, is there any secret to figuring out where you are in terms of getting to Sunday when you're all on one course? I mean, these are, I would think, different than the desert courses?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I feel like these three courses if the weather is similar every day that the scores are actually close to the same. Spyglass usually plays a little bit tougher. But since they have gone to the Stadium Course, that's usually a couple, shot and a half tougher, at least than La Quinta and Nicklaus Tournament. So that one's harder to gauge kind of where you are in the tournament until Sunday. But I feel like here everything's plays relatively equal.

Q. What did you see, did you see a round like this coming? Have you been building toward this?
NICK TAYLOR: I've been playing solid all year I've been driving it great. Again the putts fell today, which was nice. I've never really played great at Phoenix, so that was, I think that was my best finish I had last year so I guess -- or last week -- but I played really well in Hawaii, didn't have a great final round and I actually was playing well at the American Express, just had a weird Saturday round and missed the cut by a couple there. So the game's been solid, it's just kind of been growing. And it's early in the year, I feel like I always start off slow.

Q. To have won so early on TOUR, as a rookie I think, that was your first fall, right?

Q. Did that do anything, expectation-wise, for you going forward?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, I think it naturally does, I think without even trying you kind of expect that you're going to be in contention more often than you're not. I really, the last couple years, I feel like I played pretty well in certain stretches and been more in contention, but it still doesn't happen as often as I think you would like. You always want to be in contention more. So there was an adjustment period in there, but I feel like the last few years my game's much better than it was even when I won and now, obviously, getting more solid rounds, being more in contention, getting more comfortable when you're in those situations.

Q. Lastly, the numbers might be a little bit skewed here for you to answer it, but what do you think the answer would be from most players if they were asked if they thought winning was harder before they won or after the realization of how hard it is to win?
NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, winning so early might have jaded me for a little bit there, but for sure there's been tournaments where I felt like I probably played better golf and didn't win than the week that I did. I think you need a few bounces here or there and putts lip in at the right time, making putts at key moments. When you get growing up watching Tiger you think that winning for some reason is easy, but it's just, the reality is it isn't. So as many times as you get your self in contention I feel like those breaks one week will eventually kind of go your way, but it's extremely difficult.

DOUG MILNE: All right. Go eat.

NICK TAYLOR: Thank you.

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