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January 9, 2021

Ryan Palmer

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Plantation Course at Kapalua

Quick Quotes

Q. From your perspective take us in that room and go through the conversation with us with the rules officials?

RYAN PALMER: Well, when I walked in there, I saw Munch with a book out, John Munch, and I was like, What's this about? And I started going through my mind on the day. And then when he said, We have a situation on 9, and I immediately was, like, let's see, I hit a good 3-wood, fluffed a chip, told James I hit the wrong club, and then went to where I was ended up chipping again, I still had no idea. But then he showed me the video and I looked at it and I go, What am I looking at? And it took me watching it twice to understand what he was talking about and then, and discussed I kicked a divot, but the ball was five feet away from me where it ended up stopping, and I was, like, I don't know what, still, what you're asking me. Because there was no intention of me trying to help my ball because there was no way my ball was even close to where I was at. I was just discussing with James I hit the wrong wedge on the chip shot, in disgust, and then when I got there, I just kind of did the old kick the divot, pissed off motion and the ball stopped five feet away from me. So after that it was, based on the Rules of Golf, there was no intention of me trying to abuse the rule. There was no way, because that ball wasn't even going to be close to where I was at.

Q. Emotionally where were you in that conversation?

RYAN PALMER: I was fine. I mean, I was, like, confused really. Because I remember an incident with Neal years back and with the same situation and, but again, I was like, What I'm watching? I'm like, I have no idea really what I'm watching because there's no intention of me going -- now, if I would have ran three feet further to the right and kicked a divot where the ball ended up, okay, now, I see the issue. But from where I watched and where I was standing, there was no way of me improving my lie whatsoever.

Q. And by the way, you put together such a beautiful round. Does this upset you at all after that performance heading into tomorrow?

RYAN PALMER: No, not at all. If there's something I do wrong, I want to know and I want to be told about it and explain what I was thinking, what I was doing. And there's no way I'm ever going to abuse or try to cheat the game, cheat a rule. And there's no way I'm going to go over there and kick a divot out of the way. Now, if the ball was rolling towards that divot, yeah, I'm going to stop and go, please, don't hit it, please don't hit it. There's no way I'm going to go over there and kick a divot away to try to improve my lie at all.

Q. Finally, let's talk about this round. You shoot that beautiful 64. A, what excelled in your game today? And what kind of optimism do you have heading into the final round tomorrow?

RYAN PALMER: Yesterday I talked about my iron play not being like I wanted and today it was pretty spot on, I thought. Drove it well again, drove it a little better today. My short game has been there. Aside from the chip on 9, a great up-and-down for par.

But I tell you what, my putting has come around in these last four tournaments, going back to Shriners, Zozo, CJ Cup. I went to using a line on the ball and it's changed the game for me on the greens. I feel like I get over every putt. If James and I agree on the line, I just got to hit it. And I feel so confident I'm going to make a lot when I'm out there.

Q. I don't want to dwell on it, but just curious when you found out there might be an issue because it didn't seem to affect you if you heard about it on the back nine. You were on quite a run there.

RYAN PALMER: I had no idea until I got in the scoring area and I saw John Munch with the book out, and I was, like, well, curious what's going on. When he says we got an issue on 9, I started thinking, what on 9? I don't know. I fluffed the chip, chipped up and got up-and-down for par. Starting thinking, What could I have done wrong? Because I was in discussion with James. I told them, I said I used the wrong wedge there and I just wasn't happy.

And then when I watched it, I was actually, I asked John, what am I watching? When I saw it, I go, What are you showing me? And he showed me again. I saw I kicked it, but I'm also like, well, the ball's like five feet over there and it stopped. So that's, and I was, like, well, first of all, there was no intention of me trying to do anything to improve my lie.

So I don't know what, again, what we're watching, and he said, You know, he showed me the rules and said, If there's no intention of you, no intent to try to cheat or try to improve something, then we have no issue. And I said, Well, I don't see what we're looking at. And Collin Morikawa watched it and he agreed, like, there's nothing there that I would have seen.

Q. What is there is some great golf. You are playing some excellent golf this week. And when I talked to you after round 1, you said you really like how the game's feeling right now.

RYAN PALMER: Yeah, everything was there. I struck my irons well, my driver was even better today, my short game was on point for sure, and I made a lot of putts today too. It's, I went to a line, using on the greens back at Shriners to begin that three-week stretch. And every time I get over a putt now, if James and I agree with the line, I've got confidence I'm going to make it every time as long as I hit the right putt, so I'm excited where everything is right now.

Q. Are you eating the same thing for dinner, breakfast? Is there superstition that way?

RYAN PALMER: Nothing as far as what I'm eating, but I'll go enjoy a night again. I can't wait to talk to Jennifer and the kids back home. So, you know, I'll just keep enjoying watching football and relax.

Q. Talk about the situation on 9 and describe everything and the ruling and what you talked about with John Munch?

RYAN PALMER: Yeah, no, I got in the scoring area and saw John Munch in there with the rule book out and I started kind of going through the round, like, okay, I'm trying to figure this out. And then when he said, Ryan, we had a situation on 9, I started thinking about everything. I was, like, well, I hit a good 3-wood, fluffed a chip, didn't move the ball on the chip, got up-and-down for par, and I'm thinking, okay.

So he showed me the video and I literally asked him twice, What am I looking at? I had no idea what he was trying to show me. And he said, Let me show you again. And he mentioned the kicking the divot. Well, I know in frustration I was telling James I hit the wrong wedge on the chip shot and just kicked the divot, but also the ball stopped five feet away. And by the time I kicked it, the ball stopped at the same time. So I was like, first of all, there's no intention of me trying to improve -- if that ball's coming towards that divot, I'm going to stop and hopefully it doesn't hit it.

So that was, that came down to that. Collin watched it as well and he saw nothing there as well, and so, the whole thing is the intention of trying to improve, which was never a, never a thing for me.

Q. Very nice round. Describe your round. Talk us through the day.

RYAN PALMER: Yeah, it was good, just everything was on point today. Drove it well, iron play was there, like I want it to, short game was right there as well. I had a lot of great up-and-downs. And then the putting is feeling so good. I went to a line with my alignment on the greens and I'm getting over putts now and when James, James and I both agree that the line's there, now it's a matter of just letting go and hitting it. It's some of the best putting I'm doing right now and the most confident.

Q. What was the reason for going to the line? Is it just to try to get things started on the proper line?

RYAN PALMER: We were in the pro-am at Shriners and I just could not get it lined up. Lining it right, line it left, I finally said to James, Let's put a line on the ball, let's see if this works, and it started working immediately and I've stuck with it and it's freed me up a lot more on the greens.

Q. Bunched leaderboard. You're up there towards the top. What do you have to do tomorrow? What's one key for you to be successful to hopefully hold the trophy?

RYAN PALMER: Same thing. It's going to take a good round. I know Collin's near. I don't know where Harris finished. He's right there as well. Another low round, 4-, 5-, 6-under par.

Of course, Sunday is going to be a little tighter. With the final round, guys tend to tighten up a little more. But I know I've got to go out and play another low round and just play my game. And if things are there like I know they will be and we'll have a chance at the end, I think.

Q. You got to go low each round. Do you have the mentality of just firing and firing away?

RYAN PALMER: Not lately. I've always enjoyed the courses to where single digit's won, where par was a premium. But my game's there. It's there to shoot these kind of rounds and play these kind of tournaments. So I'm excited. I love where my game's at mentally, physically, everything about it. And I know we're going to give it go.

Q. Did see a week like this coming?

RYAN PALMER: No, I mean, I mainly come into the week with no expectations because I hadn't been playing much. I was at home for awhile. I didn't play much last week when we were here. Just enjoying vacation time. But I knew I was, my game was in solid shape. I just didn't know tournament play, how it would be. So a lot of things surprise you a little bit, but also I know I can play this game. I believe in myself and it's starting to show.

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