March 10, 2022
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA
Q. I know you guys deal with weather delays all the time, but there hasn't been one in a while. Did today feel a little weird?
KEITH MITCHELL: Definitely. It's weird because you knew you were probably going to have one before you teed off, so you're kind of prepared for it. You wake up to a text at 5:30 saying it's already delayed an hour, then you get delayed again.
It just is what it is. There's nothing you can do. You can't control it. We just hung out in the locker room and just had a good time for a couple hours, had some lunch and had no wind when we came out, which was huge. Greens were soft. Really the only tough shot with soft greens was 17 just because it's so hard to keep it on the top shelf without spinning it down. All in all, just glad to be done, obviously.
Q. You mentioned all the people who have helped you. Who do you think has been the most influential in this process of yours?
KEITH MITCHELL: It's hard to give anybody more credit than somebody else, but there's guys like Ramon Bescansa has helped me with putting, Parker McLachlin helped me with my short game, Scott Fawcett has helped me with some course management. Even back like a year ago when I was really in like a wall, Michael Phelps was talking to me because I was not giving it my all and he was kind of helping me through some like downs and kind of really hit the reset button about a year ago.
That kind of started everything, getting a mentality, getting some coaching and really just not just feeling sorry for yourself out here. We're playing on the best Tour in the world, and golf is really hard and it beats you up, and the more you can persevere, the better you can be in the long-term.
Q. Michael Phelps-Michael Phelps?
KEITH MITCHELL: Yes, like the swimmer. You heard of him?
Q. Yes, I have. Just making sure. How did that come about?
KEITH MITCHELL: We had dinner a long time ago in Phoenix and he was talking about some really thoughtful things that apply to every sport. I'll never forget, it really made an impact on me. It's not just your typical golf stuff like one shot at a time and stay patient. It was more of kind of how to act and focus on the course, which is how you would do in swim meets.
He's talked to every great athlete in the world, and I just remember feeling like a loser talking to him sometimes, how I felt on the golf course, like pity and sorrow, and this game is hard. He just pretty much said there's no place for that if you want to be at the top.
That was probably a year, year and a half ago, when I was probably the lowest I've been in the World Rankings since I got on the PGA TOUR, and slowly been climbing up since then and added a lot of help between then.
Q. How often do you guys text, talk, whatever?
KEITH MITCHELL: I mean, we're acquaintances. I've seen him a couple times since, but I wouldn't say anything more. One call with him is pretty impactful, I can promise you that.
Q. Talk to me about -- Jacksonville has a lot of history for Georgia. Anything a little extra coming to Florida-Georgia territory, with Georgia being the national champion?
KEITH MITCHELL: It's tough seeing a lot of Gator fans out there for sure, but I got a few "go Dawgs," so hopefully they'll be around for the weekend.
Q. How do you keep the momentum from this first round going into the rest of the tournament?
KEITH MITCHELL: Well, this is my fifth PLAYERS, so I've had a little bit of time to adjust to the spotlight a little bit at this golf tournament because in the Stadium on 17 and 18 is really unlike any other golf course and any other tournament. We all players treat this like a major, so it feels like it when you're out there. That would have been my first major, and I definitely did not handle it very well, so hopefully I can do better.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports