February 11, 2021
Pebble Beach, California, USA
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Q. Well played today. 10-under par, but that start, pretty impressive. 7-under par through 8 holes. What were conditions like for you when you first started this round?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I think we got Pebble in pretty much ideal conditions and I don't think it's going to be like that the rest of the week. The greens were good this morning and receptive, and so I hit a lot of good shots just right out of the gate and made everything. I didn't have very many long putts, but the mid-range putts that I did have I made all of them.
Q. Your ball striking was pretty impressive today. 10 of 14 fairways, 16 of 18 greens. Is that really just a continuation of the way your play has been this year?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, especially a continuation of the desert on the weekend. My swing feels really good right now. The ball's starting on the line that I'm seeing, and then my distance control has been really good, which is key out here. I try to leave myself below the hole a lot and I was able to do that.
Q. Obviously the really good finish birdieing 17 and 18. As you go to Spyglass Hill tomorrow, what's your approach to the second round knowing you're coming back here on the weekend?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I really like Spyglass Hill. It's one of my favorite courses out here. And, again, more of the same, just hit it really good and take my medicine when I can.
Today on the 4th hole I was aggressive off the tee and hit a driver. I found myself in a bunker 70 yards away and it was good to just make a 4 there and I was able to make 4 just because I kind of left it on the front fringe and just left myself in an easy spot. So I'll be aggressive when I can and play conservatively when I have to.
Q. Last time we saw you a few weeks ago 61 on Sunday. A few weeks off you shoot 62. How do you continue to have such great form disparity between the two courses in time and the only similarity is you're still in the State of California?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, my ball striking has been good. And the difference the last three rounds I played on TOUR is just making putts. I think I 1-putted every green on the front nine. So when you only have nine putts on nine holes it's no surprise you played really well. Some of that is set up by ball striking. I had a lot of really good looks. And every time you play Pebble Beach you kind of want to get off to a hot start on those first seven holes and today I had a great start.
Q. How much did these conditions or lack of them help to that quick start and able to see that through to the end.
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, definitely. You don't want to be on 5, 6, and 7 when the wind's blowing and it's raining out here, but it seems like that's what we're going to get the rest of the weekend, and so that's a fun challenge too. I'm glad on the day that it's scorable I got the golf course today.
Q. How do you build off this the next three days?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I think more of the same. My game's in a really good spot. I feel really comfortable. And I'm just going to stick to my routine. And I'll be aggressive off the tee when I can and aggressive into the greens when the hole location allows it and conservative when I have to. I think that's Pebble Beach, you want a lot of uphill putts and you want a lot of mindless pars.
Q. You mentioned sort of the conventional thinking Pebble and getting the first seven holes. How aggressive were you right out the gate, given both the first seven and the conditions, like you said?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Right, I don't think you have to be overly aggressive. It's just if you play the holes the correct way, you should have lots of birdie opportunities. And then the difference today between a good day or an average day would be I just made all the putts. So the first hole I just had a wedge into. The second hole I got up-and-down from just off the green. And for the most part, it's wedges all the way until you get to the 8th hole. So you do want to take advantage and today I did.
Q. Was it kind of strange to walk around in this tournament and not wait on any tee boxes? It seemed like the pace was so different than we usually see.
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, we did play a lot quicker, which is nice. Anytime you play this tournament and get finished under five hours it's a good day.
Q. Can you convey how different this place is on a day like today versus what we could see Saturday and Sunday?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, it's totally different. This place can be a bear when the wind's blowing, especially when you get out to that point on 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. So I'm sure the conditions will be a lot tougher this weekend, but I welcome the challenge and it will be fun.
Q. You figured the scores would be low today, I assume. Not just yours, but to see, you know...
PATRICK CANTLAY: When the wind's calm and the greens are receptive like they are, yeah, scores are going to be really low. I mean the golf course is in perfect shape.
Q. From a golf course perspective Rules were able to have more fun with the tees, pin locations because it's just a professional format this year. What differences, if any, did you notice out there today?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I don't think a ton of differences. I saw a lot of the same hole locations we usually see out here. The greens are so small and so undulated that there's only so many hole locations on these greens.
So it does feel like we have seen a lot of the hole locations over and over and over again and I don't think there's too much different, we just played a little faster.
Q. Do you recall shooting 61, 62 back-to-back?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I definitely don't. But the weekend in the desert, 126 on the weekend is pretty darn good. So this isn't the same tournament with 61, 62, but I feel like I'm in a groove right now, I'm playing really well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports