January 22, 2021
La Quinta, California, USA
La Quinta Country Club
Q. Great round. You're still in the hunt, just a shot out of the lead despite that bogey on the last. Talk about that round today and what was special.
BRANDON HAGY: Yeah, there's going to be some holes out there where you got to hit some solid shots, have some good process going into it. It was a little shaky early with the ball striking, made a couple good saves on the first couple holes, rolled in a good one on 13, the tougher par-3, so that kind of got me going.
But I just tried to hang in there. I knew I was rolling it pretty good and hitting some good iron shots, so just had to stick with it.
Q. Feeling nice to be back in contention. What's it like for you?
BRANDON HAGY: Yeah, for sure. I've had a stretch where I feel like I've been playing decent but just not scoring great and it can look like I'm missing a bunch of cuts, but it's like it's right there, I'm working on the right stuff. And I feel comfortable here. I'm a California kid, been to Palm Springs a ton of times, so I know the courses well.
Q. How would you sum up your career to this point?
BRANDON HAGY: It's a good question. I mean, I think if you asked me in high school, like, Would you be on the PGA TOUR right now at this point? I would be like, Hey, I'm ecstatic if that's the case. But I've played against a lot of guys that have gotten to the top of the rankings in the world and I feel like I have competed with these guys at each level, so I know it's in there. I got to keep getting better at the things I know I need to get better at. I'm going to hit the ball far. I got to get a little bit more efficient with the driver so I can hit it more and then hit my iron shots close. So I think I'm right there. You just got to keep having those events and keep getting opportunities, which I have had.
Q. You've had some injury trouble too.
BRANDON HAGY: Yeah, yeah.
Q. How much did that set you back?
BRANDON HAGY: I feel really good coming off the injury. I took like five or six months off. It took me a couple more months to get hitting full shots again and then start competing. The TOUR does a good job of giving you some starts on the Korn Ferry TOUR to kind of get back into it, and I almost won a couple of them, so I'm like, okay, I'm going to come right back, right?
But this is an entirely different level. And like all the guys out here, there's been situations where you have an injury or you get a little bit off and you lose a little bit of that confidence. I think that happened to me, if I was going to be honest. But I think I've really stuck with it. I've really tried to focus on my mental game, working on the parts of my game that I need to keep getting better at and you just got to keep giving yourself opportunities.
The first two rounds this tournament, I think is a good, it's showing me that the stuff that I've been working on, especially this off-season, is, it's definitely getting better.
Q. And when you had a couple bogeys kind of early in the round, to battle back from that, what does that do for your confidence?
BRANDON HAGY: Oh, I mean, I think it's huge. Golf is, part of the reason why we love the game is every round you're going to have situations, right, where you're going to have a par putt or you're going to have a bad kick and get behind a tree and have to punch it out, and you're going to have to stick with it. So I think the guys, we're out here on the PGA TOUR because we have been able to deal with those situations during our career and gotten better at that. So it's a big part of scoring. You got to turn, today easily could have been 74, 75, right? And you turn it into 2-under by sticking in there and making some saves and that could be big for the tournament.
Q. Was there a particular save or a moment out there that kind of stuck with you that kept you in it?
BRANDON HAGY: Yeah, I mean, the 11th hole, I didn't see the hole until the green basically. I was right at cart path on 17, then I was right again on 16, had to punch through the trees, got it up there. Hit a great punch shot just to get it into an easy chip to make par. So right there, right, par-5, you're kind of scrapping it down the opposite hole and you make a par and then you birdie two holes later.
So I mean, just stuff like that. I mean, I'll go clean up a few of the things that I know I've been working on on the range, and looking forward to the weekend.
Q. How has fatherhood changed you?
BRANDON HAGY: You know, it's so much fun, just interacting with her and I just feel like I'm focusing on trying to be just a better human for her, you know? So I'm definitely not -- I'm putting in the same amount of hours and my wife's been great, being able to let me do that -- but you look at her and you just want to be a better person. So I think that's definitely more in the forefront of my mind.
Q. One example of how you've become a better human since?
BRANDON HAGY: You know, I find myself -- I consider myself a pretty patient person, but you got to be even more patient. So I think that's a good trait for everybody to have. But every day's a different day and you have to have a lot of patience and compassion and I think that carries over into everyday life too.
Q. Are they back home or here?
BRANDON HAGY: No, they're here. They traveled to Sony -- we traveled actually the week before Sony and then we came to Sony as well and then here. So, yeah, it's been fun. She's traveling well, sleeping well, so that's been good.
Q. Any correspondence with Jon Rahm yet?
BRANDON HAGY: No, I haven't texted with him. I played with him a few weeks back, we're members at the same club in Scottsdale, Whisper Rock. So I know John pretty well. They're expecting too and I've been texting with him a little bit about that over the off-season. So it's fun, there's a lot of babies on TOUR.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports