July 8, 2021
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Omaha Country Club
THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to bring in Wes Short today after a 4-under par round of 66. Great round today. Can you tell us a little bit about it, maybe take us through your scorecard, especially the birdies you had today.
WES SHORT JR.: Well, one good thing I did today, I drove it really well, so that kind of sets up the course. I was going along pretty good, and then I made -- I can't remember which hole it was.
THE MODERATOR: You had birdies on 6 and 9 in the front.
WES SHORT JR.: Which one is 6 right now? I'm having a bit of trouble. Par-3?
THE MODERATOR: Par-5.
WES SHORT JR.: Par-5, okay. Yes, I remember I hit a good drive there, and I hit a 6-iron. Sorry, my over-50 memory is getting bad. I hit two good shots with a 6-iron into that hole and right below the hole about 20 feet and two-putted for the birdie there. Number 9, I hit a nice drive and an 8-iron to about six feet and made that.
I only missed two fairways today, and I think both of them was in the first cut, so that made it great. Then I missed -- on No. 10, pars sometimes help your round. Hit it just short of the green there, probably eight or ten yards, and got that up and down. Then the par-3 I birdied after that and hit a nice shot in there.
Then on 17, it was the second fairway I missed, but it was in the first cut. Hit a sand wedge in there probably to about ten feet and made it. Kind of stress free when you can keep it out of the rough. That rough's pretty bad.
THE MODERATOR: Yeah, it certainly is. A lot of players have been talking about that. Only six bogey-free rounds in 2013. You're the first one going off this year.
Last week you tied for third up in New York. Obviously another good round today. What really seems to be clicking with the game? You mentioned your driving. Anything else that's really stood out for you?
WES SHORT JR.: To tell you the truth, I guess at THE PLAYERS, the last round, I switched to cross-hand on the putting. I didn't hit it very well that last round, but I sure putted good. Then the putting seemed to carry over to last week, and today I putted well too. I didn't probably make a whole lot of putts today, but I hit a lot of good putts.
THE MODERATOR: Had you experimented with that in the past and kind of got away from that?
WES SHORT JR.: Every now and then, I might hit a hole or two cross-handed, but I made a decision to just go with it. Knock on wood, it's been pretty good.
THE MODERATOR: One note I know about you, age 52. You went through both stages of qualifying. You qualified for, at least to this point, your only U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2016. Talk a little about that and why you decided at age 52 why you were going to go for it.
WES SHORT JR.: I've been going to a lot of qualifying for that tournament, and I always wanted to play in it. So I still felt like I could compete, back then especially, because I hadn't really lost much yards then. It was great to play. I wish we had a little better weather. We had a big delay on like the 11th hole, and then I didn't really play very well after that delay. My back was really tight and stuff.
It was a good experience, and at least I can now say I played in a U.S. Open.
Q. Your overall impressions of the course? A lot of guys seeing it for the first time.
WES SHORT JR.: I think the course is very fair. It makes you hit very good shots. It penalizes you for just about every bad shot you hit, but it's fair. And they did a really good job today too of they moved up a couple of the tees on a couple of those really long par-4s, and that helped a lot, I think. I mean, we are over 50, so we don't need to be playing too many 500-yard par-4s.
Q. Just talk about being in this position after day one. Maybe stress free, you go in tomorrow knowing an average round is going to get you in contention for the weekend.
WES SHORT JR.: Yes, it makes it better, plus knowing you just -- well, there's not really stress free out there because you're going to have to hit fairways, but it makes it really nice to get a good round under your belt and ready for tomorrow.
Q. Off the bat, you're used to playing three rounds for each event and this one's a four-round one. Is your approach any different knowing that you have to play that extra round for 72 holes?
WES SHORT JR.: I only played nine holes each day on Tuesday and Wednesday, try to save my legs for the tournament because this is a hilly golf course also. I did approach it a little bit differently. I hit it really well last week, so I felt like my ball striking was pretty good. So I thought I would just try to save my legs for the 72 holes.
THE MODERATOR: And you're a Texan. Weather like this, you probably almost needed a quarter zip out there, right?
WES SHORT JR.: It was pretty hot there. I couldn't believe it. It was really nice today. I thought it was going to be a little hotter and humid, but it was perfect out there today.
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