August 4, 2021
Truckee, California, USA
Tahoe Mountain Club
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by 2013 Barracuda champion Gary Woodland. Gary, what's it like to be back here? Obviously at a different course than where you got your win in 2013. But what were your initial thoughts of the course?
GARY WOODLAND: It's nice to come back. Obviously some good memories here. It is a different golf course, but the area is just amazing. The weather's perfect.
So for me the new golf course change, I got in last night, played nine holes and then played the 18-hole pro-am today. It's definitely a different course than Montreux. Montreux allowed me to kind of bomb the golf ball a little bit and kind of hit it out there.
This golf course definitely makes you drive the golf ball. I think it's a little tougher. But there's a huge emphasis on driving the golf ball in the fairway because it's pretty narrow out there. The tree lines really come in a little bit.
But I think it's a great golf course. Should be a great event. Weather, we'll see how it goes. When it gets windy this week, it will be a pretty tough golf course.
Q. You mentioned driving the golf ball. Does that give you certain opportunities with par-5s and par-4s?
GARY WOODLAND: I think kind of where the run-out is and we're at altitude, so the golf ball is going a long way for me. I think there will be a lot of 3-woods for me this week. That's obviously wind depending. This morning there wasn't any wind. It would a lot of 3-woods off the tee. The driver is kind of just running out; the golf ball is going so far.
So, we'll see. Obviously wind depending, it's supposed to blow tomorrow. And I think it gets gusty in the afternoon. Hopefully you're playing late in the afternoon, you gotta battle that wind a little bit. I think for me dominantly it's going to be a lot of 3-woods for me and hopefully we get the golf ball in play and attack from there.
Q. The format different than stroke play. Do you have a different strategy going into this week that you discussed with your caddie or not change too much?
GARY WOODLAND: I think the big deal when you get to Stableford is it allows you to play more aggressive. I think I've played here twice, at Montreux twice, excuse me, and I had success both times playing aggressive. You're trying to put up points. The big numbers are not going to kill you as long as you don't have too many of them.
So for me it allows me to play aggressive, which for me right now it's a good thing, just to get back into that mentality. Obviously I hadn't played great the last year and a half. I'm starting to play better. I think coming out and having a week that allows me to play aggressive is a good thing. I'm looking forward to that.
Q. We're dwindling down to the final events of the regular season. 300 FedExCup points would be nice to add. Does that kind of weigh at all coming up to the final events?
A. The big deal for me, I'm starting to play -- I'm starting to trend in the right direction. Obviously this is a big week for me, where I am, I think 119 coming into this week. So anything you can do to prepare yourself -- and playing next week as well, getting ready for the playoffs -- and then anything can happen.
I've been in this position before where I came here, I think, 13 -- I was around the same number; I won, finished second at the first playoff event and I made it all the way to East Lake. That's definitely the goal. The goal is to play well this week, play well next week, get into the playoffs and then continue to trend in the right direction and get to East Lake.
Q. This is an event where you generally, typically do well, a win, and a runner-up finish. What about this event kind of matches your game?
GARY WOODLAND: I think the big deal, the Stableford allows you to play aggressive. I think sometimes when you're not playing great you can kind of get defensive and be a little too conservative sometimes.
It allows me to come out and attack and try to make a lot of birdies, which when you haven't been playing well you probably haven't been making many birdies. For me, I think it's a change in mindset. Maybe we should have Stableford every week for me; that might be a good thing. But I'm excited to get here this week and try to play aggressive and make some birdies and see where that adds up at the end of the week.
Q. An off week last week. Able to take some rest? What's the mindset coming into the week and where is your game trending?
GARY WOODLAND: I played well at the 3M in Minneapolis. My wife and I went on a getaway to Colorado a couple days to kind of shut it down. Got back to work on Wednesday.
So preparing hard, knowing that this week's a big week, next week's a big week and then the playoffs start. So ideal would be to play five weeks in a row which I haven't done in a long time.
So took a couple days to rest early last week and then got back to work. And trying to ride the momentum from the 3M and ride it all the way through.
Q. Colorado last week. Were you getting used to elevation?
GARY WOODLAND: Trying to get to that altitude to get prepared. But that was no golf clubs. That was two days of getaway and shut the brain down, knowing that I had a big stretch coming up, trying to be fresh coming in.
Q. Your family with you this week at all?
GARY WOODLAND: I'm solo this week. We have three kids. The twin girls turned two last Sunday. We had a bunch of family in town, which was nice. But we're strictly golf the next couple of weeks and hopefully I can see them when I get done.
Q. You're here in beautiful Truckee. Any sights you'll see off the course this week?
GARY WOODLAND: I'm not. I'm staying close by. It's a beautiful area; there are a lot of great restaurants. It's nice at night, cools down so you can sit outside. Which is great. Coming from Kansas, it was 110-degree heat index last week, so I wasn't getting outside eating too much.
But it's nice. Enjoying it, enjoying the fresh air knowing we're getting to the East Coast where it's going to be hot in the next couple of weeks. Enjoying the fresh air this week and hopefully have a great week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports