January 7, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
Q. You made it look easy out there today. Eagle, seven birdies, easy peasy. I know it wasn't as easy as I'm making it out to be, was it?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, I mean, I saw the scores last year. I hadn't been here since 2014 and saw Xander shoot 11-under, I think, the last round and kind of know the scores are out here. The wind wasn't pumping like it normally does out here and got on a roll, hit the ball really well. I think I only missed maybe two or three greens out there and it was fun to make that many birdies. And that chip-in at 9 was a kind of icing on the cake.
Q. You mentioned you hadn't been here since 2014, just talk about how special it is to accomplish getting back here to Kapalua?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, even though I didn't win this year or this past year, 2020, I felt like I played really well, probably had the most consistent season I've had on the PGA TOUR in my, this is my 10th year, so my last nine years. And it was nice for us to get the invite back and it's always nice starting off the year here in Kapalua. It's one of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen and the golf course is a lot of fun. And they did some great renovations. The greens are awesome this year. The place is in great shape.
Q. Yeah, it's playing a little more run out too on the fairways.
Final question: Do you ever stand there, like, on 17th tee and just, or even some of the, 10, 11, you look like, get mesmerized, right, distracted by how beautiful it is here?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, I mean, coming from, I grew up in south Georgia, so we didn't have any of these views like we have out here. So it's awesome to be able to play these places. And I think walking up some of these hills is tough. You got to take a breath once you get to the tee and it's nice to look out there and see Molokai and see the ocean right there. It's one of the best places on earth.
Q. Shoots a 65. If you paid attention to how Harris has been performing on the PGA TOUR, this should not be a surprise because his last nine starts he has five Top-10s and you ended the year with a victory at the QBE shootout thanks in part to your partner, Matt Kuchar, as well. What did you do so well out there today Harris?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Really everything. I know this place leads to a lot of birdies and if I can hit the fairway, I feel like my iron game's in really good shape right now and can give myself a lot of chances and did I that.
Chipping in on No. 9 right here behind me for eagle was kind of icing on the cake on the front nine and kind of gave me some good mo going into the back nine and just made some really good putts. I mean, I felt like I hit my irons well, I hit my wedges well, and just gave myself a lot of chances out there today.
Q. You got some good mo heading into 2021. I want to go back to last season. You're one of only four players who finished last season top-20 in strokes gained tee to green and top-20 in putting. How important was last season in your maturation process and to be a world class player?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, it was really big. I feel like I got a great team back home in Sea Island and we have been working really hard and just figuring out the best system for me.
I feel like with my coach Justin Parsons, he's been really adamant that I stay on topic and I don't start trying different things, because I would say 2017 through 2019 I probably played a tournament with a different swing thought every single time. So he really helped me out a lot and has been on me about staying on my swing keys and really just working on my alignment and my takeaway and it's really helping out.
Q. How would you assess a very clean round out there today?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, it was awesome. I got off to a really good start, making probably a 20-footer on No. 2, and that's what you got to do out here. I love these Bermuda greens. I grew up on greens very similar to this.
And just got hot with the putter. I felt like I was hitting the ball really welcoming into it, and I feel like my iron game is probably one of my strengths. And I think I only missed two or three greens out there today. I think I chipped one time, so a couple greens I did miss, I was still putting from the fringe. So just overall a really good ball-striking round and good putting round.
Q. How much work did you put in over the break? You said you were hitting it really well, you felt comfortable with your game?
HARRIS ENGLISH: I didn't take a ton of time off. Coming off the QBE shootout winning with Matt, it was great. I love that tournament and it kind of gave me some confidence of how to close out a tournament, even though it is a team event, you're in the heat of the moment and being able to close it out like I did. And I didn't take a ton of time off. I was still working out, still working with my coach, Justin, and my putting coach down in Jacksonville, still putting in the work to get here and then be able to get off 2021 to a good start.
Q. Do you think that the way that the wrap-around season has gone over the last, what, seven or eight years they have done it kind of helps when coming to the new year, you're not feeling like it's just a complete new start, that you still are playing deep into the year even though you want to take some time off, but you're kind of keeping the momentum?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, it definitely helps for guys who are playing well the end of last year coming into this year and I feel like I was doing that. Top-10 at RSM, top-10 at Mayakoba, so I felt like I was playing really well and didn't really want to take time off. I wanted to play as soon as I could. And even coming out here, I spent some time in Palm Springs, La Quinta, to kind of get ready to break up the trip a little bit and to kind of hone in my game a little more.
Q. You look back on the last year-plus, since you got your card back at the Korn Ferry TOUR finals, we always say confidence is kind of can be fleeting, but you've ridden this wave of confidence and how much, from that time where maybe the confidence wasn't as high until now, what's the difference?
HARRIS ENGLISH: It's just the consistency of my golf, keeping the ball in play. I feel like tee to green I've gotten so much better since three or four years ago, just the consistency of my shots. I'm not hitting these wayward shots. I know what I'm doing. My coach keeps me on topic a lot and I kind of -- as all golfers, you kind of, your head kind of spins and like to try different stuff, and it's easy, too, with the best players in the world to see what they're doing and trying to do the same thing, but we figured out a system of what I do best and how I swing the golf club best and he keeps me in the moment and on topic.
Q. Do you feel different inside? Like, do you feel different, like, confidence-wise? When you come to the golf course, do you feel like, I know I can go out here, I know I can win any week?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, yeah, I mean, it was nice playing well in the U.S. Open. That was a big confidence boost for me. Really the first major I ever contended in and played really well. And just stuff like that, I mean, it's just little steps on TOUR that help build your confidence to where you know you can do it day-in and day-out, because it's tough to do it for four days out here and I feel like I've done it a lot this year and just keep pressing on.
Q. You've only been here once before. Did you see a 65 coming when you woke up this morning?
HARRIS ENGLISH: I mean, I've watched this tournament a lot. I mean, that's the, I guess the thing of coming here once and not being here for seven years is you really miss it and you really are gunning to get back here. So I watched this tournament every single year, so I kind of know how these shots play. I know how to play this course and I saw some low scores last year. I mean, I saw Xander finish with a 62 last year and I know it's out there. I mean, you drive the ball well out here, you're going to have a lot of short irons, a lot of wedges, and you just got to get your putting dialed in. I feel like did I that today, gave myself a lot of chances, and rolled in a couple longer putts.
Q. You guys have been, have had breaks between your last time here and this year. Stewart hasn't been here since 2010. Sergio hasn't been here since 2006. Yourself, Adam Scott, I believe, 2014 as well. What's the secret to scoring well today?
HARRIS ENGLISH: Well, the wind was down a little bit, so you could be more aggressive at the pins. The greens are relatively soft. It rained a little bit this morning and yesterday. So I mean, not seeing the balls bounce as much, you can keep the ball in the fairway a little more. And I mean, just hitting as many greens as you can and giving yourself a chance with the putter, and I felt like that was the key to my success today.
Q. What's it going to take to win this thing? What kind of score?
HARRIS ENGLISH: I really have no idea. It's all based on the weather out here. You get some wind, dry this place out a little bit, you never really know. I'm going to keep plugging along, keep trying to hit as many greens as I can and get the putter going.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports