February 14, 2021
Pebble Beach, California, USA
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Q. (No Microphone.)
MAVERICK MCNEALY: I putted a very timid start on 1. A very bad bogey on 1 and that kind of flipped the switch that I didn't want to let that happen again, and I was just very committed and decisive on every shot I hit and was really, really happy with how I got it going on the back nine there.
Q. How did you handle your emotions throughout the day?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: It was fun. I had a lot of fun. It was great to be back in that position, and obviously was chasing from an early point and when it got intense just breathe a little bit, focus on the shot you want to hit, and I executed pretty darn well coming down the stretch I thought.
Q. How much did you gain from college golf?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: I would say it helps, but this is a completely different game. At the end of the day, it's still golf, but I was very present at every shot in hand today. I just had one job and that was to hit the shot in front of me. So obviously I wasn't thinking too much about college or things in the past. I know I can handle the golf ball that was sitting right there in front of me.
Q. Can you talk about your mindset and your emotions on the 18th tee? You knew you had a shot. You hit two really good shots to give yourself a look at eagle.
MAVERICK MCNEALY: Yeah, I did. Standing on the 18th tee, I love being under pressure because you get the adrenaline pumping and you can hit shots that you can't hit under normal circumstances. I knew my heart was racing and I had a lot of adrenaline pumping on 18, so I just made sure I used it and I just smashed it just left of that tree and hit a great drive, and then obviously it was pretty clear what I needed on the approach shot, just keep it out to the right of that hole.
Q. When you make that putt and walk off green, do you think you may be in a playoff or did you see Daniel's second shot?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: No, I didn't. I didn't know what was going on. I was just trying to hit that last putt with perfect speed and I thought I had a chance halfway there, it just didn't break as much to the left as I expected. So it was really, I did my part.
Q. How much confidence does this week give you going forward into the PGA TOUR season?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: It gives me a lot of confidence. I've always been a guy that has to earn my own confidence. I can't stand there and just tell myself I'm good at something or I'm doing something right. I have to earn it with myself too. I feel like I earned a lot of confidence this week. I'm excited to get to playing again next week.
Q. Does this help formulate beliefs that you can win out on this TOUR?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: I wouldn't be teeing it up if I didn't think I could win. I think it's very, very hard to win on the PGA TOUR. There's so many great players and the fields are so deep every week, you have to play really exceptional golf to get the job done and you don't have to be perfect, but you have to play really, really good and I'm just excited to keep going and take on next week at Riviera.
Q. Got to be pretty proud, best finish on the PGA TOUR. What was it like for you out there today, finishing off that back nine?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: It was fun. I had the adrenaline pumping coming down the stretch there and feelings that I hadn't really felt on the golf course in a little while, trying to close this out and give myself a chance. But I was really, really happy with how I committed to every shot. I hit some great shots coming down the stretch, hit a lot of really good putts and finally found that feel with the putter that I feel gave me a chance.
Q. Obviously you're early on in your career, what did you learn about yourself this week?
MAVERICK MCNEALY: I think I just am believing a little more in the process that I have, what I'm doing. I'm just constantly dialing in on things I need to do to play well any given week and I'm really proud with how I turned around the feel with the putter.
The first two weeks of this new year I did not like what I was feeling with the putter at all and that was my strength last year. And I think Travis and I have probably spent four or five hours on the putting green, my caddie and I, just in the rain Thursday afternoon, every day, just trying to get a feel, just dialing in the speed and the pace and it paid off on the back nine finally.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports