January 22, 2021
La Quinta, California, USA
La Quinta Country Club
Q. Talk about your round today.
TONY FINAU: It was good. I scored it nicely. I got away with a couple drives, which is huge, just for momentum throughout a round. So I was able to kind of turn those bad drives into good holes and just ride that momentum throughout the day. So it was a solid round.
Q. When you see where the scores are at and that the Nicklaus Course has yielded lower is scores, how do you goal set within your round?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, I don't know about goal setting you know you're going to have some opportunities to score and if you hit enough fairways you're going to give yourself a bunch of looks. So I was able to do that today.
Actually missed quite a few putts, but obviously a few went in as well. So 66 I thought was a pretty good round today on Nicklaus.
Q. With the putts that you missed did you feel that it was line, speed or what can you try and work on going into the weekend?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, I think the greens just a little bit different than they are on Stadium. I think both golf courses are good, good enough greens to make putts, but just a little bit different. Sometimes adjusting to two different courses can create some problems and I think speed-wise it was a little bit different on Nicklaus. And that was the only issue, but again I was able to roll in at least a few.
Q. Different vibe this year, no fans, American Express has done a great job looking to raise more than a million for local charities. You were part of the charity event on Wednesday, what did that mean to you?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, I was pretty humbled just to be asked to do it. It was a lot of fun but the biggest part was raising money for the local charities. That's what the PGA TOUR does an amazing job of doing, giving back to the communities that we play in. And even on a different year like this the opportunity that we had to still raise a million dollars for the local charities here in Palm Springs is pretty special to be a part of. So I hope one of these years I can see kind of the physical evidence that that charity tournament provided for the local charity.
Q. What did you like most about your round out there today?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, putter felt good. A lot of putts actually I hit really good, didn't go in, but I was happy with the way I stroked it and I was able to kind of free up I feel like the rest of my game.
Q. What's the difference been for you these first two days versus the other times you've come out here and played?
TONY FINAU: I've scored it nicely and last year I played pretty well, I think the first couple days out here.
I put some good work in just in our off-season and even last week, not playing at the Sony, I was able to put some work in with my coach and just approach the part of the game that we feel like needs work. I've been able to do that and find some success here the first couple days.
Q. The bunker holeout, how much of a happy accident was that?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, well as soon as I hit it I actually I said, Go in. I hit a perfect bunker shot. So I think even if it doesn't go in it's going to hit the flag and at least stay close. It was a really, really hard shot, bad error on the shot before, leaving myself in that position, but it's always a bonus when you can do something like that and it ended up being huge for me, I was able to birdie a couple holes coming in after that.
Q. How much confidence do you have throughout your game going to the weekend playing back on the Stadium Course for two more rounds?
TONY FINAU: My game feels good. It's a golf course that fits someone that hits it far. I can reach all the par-5s on the Stadium. As we know in this game it's going to come down to scoring and come down to putting, especially on this type of golf course. I don't think you're going to hit too many balls out of bounds -- you might hit some in the water -- but ultimately the game comes down to who is going to make the most putts on the weekend and hopefully that's going to be me.
Q. What can you what did you feel like you needed to work on the most with Boyd?
TONY FINAU: I've been working, every since September -- I have kind of weakened my grip and that's something that -- I've always had a weak grip growing up, went to a strong grip, now back to going a little bit weaker and sometimes you have to get enough reps when you make a change.
And that's all it was last week, just making sure I hit enough shots to know what the golf ball's going to do and it seems like so far it's kind of paid off.
Q. Other guys have mentioned the fact that last year was so strange, you played so late in the season, do you feel like you didn't even have an off-season this year, does it feel like you just kind of spilled over into the new year?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, pretty much. Especially having qualified for Maui. I played the QBE. Really, I had two weeks off and we went over early to Maui, so really one week of being at home, so really not really an off-season.
But I kind of learned throughout my career you have to do your best to make your game sharp throughout all facets of the game throughout the whole year. Sometimes you're not going to have an off-season, pick and choose the tournaments and try and get your work in when you can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports