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May 20, 2021

Gary Woodland

Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the 2021 PGA Championship here at the Ocean Course. We have Gary Woodland in front of us right now. He opened with a 2-under-par 70.

Gary, some solid play to put yourself in a pretty good position.

GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, happy with today. It's a beast out there. Obviously you start into the wind and then you get eight holes downwind and then you finish into the wind, so it's a mental battle. Long day out there, 5-1/2 hours. I played great. I controlled the ball pretty well. Made some putts early in the round, which was nice, and my iron play was steady all day. All in all happy where I am and excited to get after it in the morning.

THE MODERATOR: You're a guy known for his length, and this is a long course. You must not think about that week-to-week on Tour, but was that on your mind coming in here this week to South Carolina?

GARY WOODLAND: I think the big thing on my mind this week is I'm starting to play better. That's exciting. Anytime you're starting to play well coming into a major is a good thing. Knowing, anticipating the wind, I grew up playing in the wind and I enjoy playing in the wind and enjoy flighting the golf ball down, and on top of that it's one of the longest golf courses we're going to see, so I think it sets up well for me. It's in great shape. The greens are great. The paspalum is amazing. Excited about the week and really excited about where my game is.

Q. A lot of players through here have talked about patience. Would you term yourself a patient player? Did it come into play today as you posted that 70?

GARY WOODLAND: I think anytime you're at a major it's a mental battle. It's a grind. Obviously it's 72 holes; you have to stay patient, try to avoid the big number out here. The golf course is very tough. You're going to make a bogey, but there's some holes downwind that you can get and make birdie. You've got to stay patient. It's a key word this week, and hopefully I continue to do that.

Q. What was a highlight or two of the birdies?

GARY WOODLAND: It was nice to get one out of the gate on the first hole, and then the par 5, 16, was nice coming in. It was nice to birdie 14, the par 3. I hit a great shot in there, but that par 5 was -- 16 is tough into the wind. It's playing so long. I hit driver, 3-wood and had 100 yards left. That doesn't happen very often for me. Hit a great wedge in there. Knowing 17 and 18 are tough holes, it was nice to get that birdie there on 16, and I hit great shots in on 17 and 18, too.

The big one, I think 16 definitely is going to make dinner taste a little better coming in with another one.

Q. What was the club on 14? With your hip issues, I hear you have a new physio that's freed you up?

GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, I do. I hit a 5-iron on 14 there. I started working with a chiropractor there in Delray that works with Langer and a bunch of guys. Obviously Langer's health is pretty impressive, so anything I can do to keep up with that.

I've been pain-free for the most part outside of maybe a week or two since January. Excited about that. Excited about going back to Butch and Pete Cowen where I was a couple years ago. Just familiar with swing thoughts and practice schedules so that's been good the last couple weeks and it's starting to trend in the right direction.

Q. Is this the kind of course where if you do miss a shot here or there, you find yourself with shots that you don't practice more than a typical golf course?

GARY WOODLAND: Yeah, you're used to bad lies and some bunkers, but out here, being no bunkers out there, it's tough. You can get some stuff that probably should be raked and it's not raked, so you just got to anticipate that.

The big deal for me, there was a hole today, definitely on 15, I pulled it left off the tee. I definitely could have gave that a shot, but if I miss it, it comes up in another waste area by a ball, so we punched out, I hit a good shot in there 7 feet and I missed it. You just have to take your medicine. It's a long week. I know I'm playing well so I don't have to be too aggressive when I get out of play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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