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May 16, 2022

Talor Gooch

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Southern Hills Country Club

Flash Quotes

JULIUS MASON: You are playing in your third PGA Championship. Is it fair to call this a home game for you, would you think?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, absolutely. I don't think I've ever driven to a major championship before so I drove up here this morning. So if you can drive to a tournament, that's pretty much a home game in my opinion.

JULIUS MASON: If were tough if we were to ask you the question, how many times have you plays Southern Hills in your lifetime, would you know the answer?

TALOR GOOCH: Roughly a dozen is what I keep telling people. The only time I played it in tournament play was the U.S. Am in 2009 maybe. That's the only tournament play I've had here but a couple times in college, a couple times in junior golf, and a couple times since touring pro, so probably a dozen.

JULIUS MASON: So advantage, you, going into the final round Thursday; correct?

TALOR GOOCH: Maybe, but I've only played it once since they kind of redid it a couple years ago. It's different enough now than what it was previously that it -- you know, hey, there's so many guys out here that have seen this course and have seen this course here in the last few weeks that's what's great about this course is there's no tricks. It's pretty straightforward.

And so you know, yeah, I'd say I have a little bit of an advantage but at the end of the day, it's such a phenomenal, straightforward course you don't need to play it a hundred times to find the tricks of it.

JULIUS MASON: How many pieces of clothing have the Southern Hills logo on it in your closet?

TALOR GOOCH: Actually, none. I was a junior golfer, I wasn't buying anything, and since here I haven't had to buy anything once since being on the PGA Tour. Me and my buddies were most concerned with the frozen clubbies than buying some gear. So let's just say the focus wasn't the gear on the day.

JULIUS MASON: Let's go talk to Kerry Cosby after this interview is over.

Q. Having played this in the past, what was your reaction to the new look?

TALOR GOOCH: The one time that I played it post the kind of redo it was blowing 30. It was about 50 degrees. And so needless to say, I didn't get a great first impression because it was just eating my lunch up.

But so today is the first time I've played it in more standard conditions, and I mean, it's just -- for the last, you know, couple months, my buddies out here that I play a lot of practice rounds with, I've tried to not over-hype place because it's one of my favorite places in the world.

And so I think it's phenomenal and I think it's going to be tough to find anyone that's going to speak any differently about it.

Q. As close as this is to Oklahoma State, how much orange do you think you'll see in the galleries this weekend, and how much fun is it to represent Oklahoma State here at Southern Hills?

TALOR GOOCH: Being an Oklahoman, I think most of us would agree, Tulsa leads a little bit more towards Oklahoma State, so it's always fun seeing the orange out. Just even today in the practice round there was a lot of "go Pokes" and a lot of orange, and it's awesome, man. It's what a kid from Oklahoma who went to Oklahoma State dreams about.

Q. You took a little bit longer trip to the Tour than some of the other Cowboys on the Tour right now. Because of knowing the PGA Championship is going to be in your home state, how much did that add to the drive of trying to establish yourself on Tour to be able to qualify for the field for this specific tournament?

TALOR GOOCH: Last year, when I won at the RSM, the final tournament of the fall season, you know, I know that was going to get me into all the majors this year, and it was just so special because again, this is what you dream about, playing the PGA Championship in your hometown at one of your favorite places in the world. Growing up watching Retief win here, watching Tiger win here; there's a luster about this place that makes it that much more special that this is the year that I guaranteed myself to play in all of the majors for the first time so it was very, very cool.

Q. What did you have to figure out? You obviously won a lot in your junior career, college, that sort of thing, but what did you have to figure out that helped you win on the PGA TOUR?

TALOR GOOCH: Man, that's a great question. I had to figure out how to fall in love with next day. How to fall in love with getting better. Next day. I've told people a lot that I don't have a whole bunch of goals. I know if I start to set goals for a few months down the road, a year down the road, I kind of get -- I lose track of the day-to-day process, and so I learned early on whenever I wasn't -- I turned pro and I didn't get straight to the PGA Tour, and all I could think about was getting to the PGA Tour, I realized I was looking so far down the road that I wasn't taking advantage of each day.

For me, biggest turn in my career is when I shifted my mindset and realized, let's get as good as we can today and then eventually, those days added up and it turned into a win on the Tour.

Q. If you had to narrow down to just a couple of things that this course really demands, and aside from that, from your standpoint, what are a couple things that you need to do with your game here to be successful?

TALOR GOOCH: Man, getting the ball in the fairway out here is going to be crucial. You almost have to play this course backwards, around greens, it's so penal, that the run-offs, it makes it so difficult to get the ball in the right place around the greens if you're not in the fairway.

And so you almost can't narrow it down because you have to do so much, so well to play well out here. You know, it's not just, oh, you've got to hit your driver well or oh, you've got to putt well. You've got to do everything well and that's what makes it a major championship golf course I think.

Q. You were a teenager in 2007 when Tiger was here. Were you here during the tournament? Did you watch live?

TALOR GOOCH: I remember a buddy calling me, saying, "Hey, I've got some tickets, do you want to come up?" And I remember thinking, it's like 105 degrees: I can go and watch this in person and sweat my butt off, or I can watch this on TV.

So I watched it on TV. I had spent a whole summer of playing junior golf sweating my butt off. I was like, you know, what I'm going to sit this one out and watch it on TV.

Q. Your hometown, Midwest City, how far away is that from here?

TALOR GOOCH: About an hour, 45.

Q. Southern Hills, a late add to the rotation, but as you were playing better, how much was this on your radar?

TALOR GOOCH: Once I saw it switched venues to this course, immediately I'm like, we've got to get there. And even so much to the point, you know, shortly after that, I started looking at Airbnbs and stuff to try to get a place reserved here.

Like I said, I'm going sound like a broken record, but it's a dream come true for an Oklahoma kid to go to Oklahoma State and to play PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Q. On that Airbnb, was that right after you won at RSM or even before that?

TALOR GOOCH: That kind of solidified it. I knew I was in a good enough position from a World Ranking perspective that I had played my way in but that completely solidified it.

Q. What does it feel like living out every Oklahoma kid's dream playing in a major in Oklahoma, and tell me about what the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour meant to you growing up.

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, I mean, where do I even start, you know, it's -- when you think about Southern Hills, the luster that it has for, I don't know how many -- do you know if there's any other Oklahoma kids here? Like born and bred?

Q. You're the only one.

TALOR GOOCH: That makes it even that much, you know, more special, right. And I mean, how many kids did we know growing up that were studs, right. So we know that the tip of mountain to get here, it's not easy. I don't take any of it for granted because I've seen so many kids that were so good throughout the years that haven't gone to this point. As humbly put as possible, I'm just grateful that I'm here.

OJGT, we've talked about my foundation and we've just started. We are going to help the OJGT, and we don't know how yet but it played such an integral part in my journey and my development as a junior golfer; it's invaluable for my journey and what it's done for me.

Q. Will the Malopino (ph) whole crew be out here this week?

TALOR GOOCH: You'll probably see some big Malopino on some hats.

Q. Can you talk about watching Tiger Woods, and now playing in it with Tiger and all the hoopla, what goes through your mind?

TALOR GOOCH: Everyone knows when Tiger is in the field, again, a broken record, there's just a different energy. I haven't gotten to play a whole bunch of events with him since being on Tour. Every time that he's in the same field, you just cherish it. We all know what he's been through and just, you know, again, I'm grateful to be in the same field as Tiger Woods, plain and simple.

Q. Does your dad ever talk to you about the time he spent in Tulsa playing for the Drillers?

TALOR GOOCH: Oh, yeah, in fact, I took a picture -- I could be mistaken but I took a picture of my Callaway bag because it had the same color scheme as what the Drillers color scheme is. I took a picture and wondered if there's any coincidence here.

My dad is a very humble person and doesn't like to talk about himself, but growing up, it was like, your dad is a pro ballplayer and you're asking everything. It's so cool to be playing at one of biggest stages in all of golf and all of sports where my dad played pro ball at.

Q. When you were at Oklahoma State, Rickie was around a lot, the guy that you guys idolized as looking towards the future. Now that he's become on Tour and playing with you. What's it like being basically a colleague with him now instead of that college kid looking up to him?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, he's been so incredibly general just and just humble and just likable from when I was 16-year-old, I caddied for him at the U.S. Pub Links right before he turned pro. He's just the same old pick. And so even though he was a larger-than-life figure in the golf world, because he spent so much time with us and was just such a normal guy, we never looked at him in the sense of like this superstar.

We knew he was a superstar because when we went to Murphies there was literally a card board cut out larger than him. We are like, okay, that's kind of cool.

Again, it's another dream-come-true thing when I was in high school, watching Rickie Fowler playing walker Cups and going straight to the TOUR and hoping to be on the same path as him and now we are living the same type of life. It's just crazy.

Q. Hate to ask another Tiger question but have to. Him just showing up at the Masters was good enough for most people. This seems mob more excitement though his adds are exactly the same. Do you have enough feeling to say whether you think he can contend or whether he can win?

TALOR GOOCH: I think if there's ever a question if Tiger can contend, we can all just kind of chuckle at that. Never is he going to be in a field where he can't contend. He might not have as good of odds in some places but I think as long as he's in the field, if he ever gets it slotted, no matter how old he is, no matter what's going on, he's always going to have a chance. I mean, it's Tiger Woods.

Q. How big is Midwest City and how would you describe it to people?

TALOR GOOCH: Midwest City, it's a decent size suburb. Everything is a little bit bigger in Texas and everything is a little bit smaller in Oklahoma I think, other than we beat them in a lot of stuff.

So we are bigger in some ways. But no, there's a big Air Force base there, and so you grow up with kids that are coming in and out of town, moving, traveling, doing the whole military thing and so that's a huge presence.

Sports is a huge, huge deal where I'm from. We always joke about one of my best buddies since we were this tall is a catcher for the Phillies. And people are always like, y'all got something in the water there, because sports is just -- there's such an emphasis on it. So you know, the military, sports, and family is just big.

Q. You're the only Oklahoman in the field. Do you feel any extra pressure with all the friends and family around and being th one true local, born and bred guy like you said?

TALOR GOOCH: Yes, but like it's a fun pressure. Kind of differently my freshman year at OSU, we played National Championship at Carson Creek. We were by far the best team all year, and so that -- (Zoom glitch) -- yeah, it's a fun pressure.

Q. How is your game?

TALOR GOOCH: Game feels good. I had two last weeks prior to the Byron Nelson, my first two-week off stretch of the season. I feel like I'm a little bit rested now especially after missing the cut last week. A couple more days to get a little R&R. Game feels good and obviously comfortable on this side of golf on this type of grass on these greens, and so if we can get a little bit of wind kicked up, I'll be even more comfortable. Game feels good.

Q. Did any holes stand out to you today or any section of golf course stand to you in particular, more special or difficult than what you expected?

TALOR GOOCH: Yeah, so I only played the front today. No. 2 is as hard as I remember it was. No. 3 is as tight as I remember it was. No. 5 is longer than what I remember it was. No. 7 was tougher. Each hole has its own story and that's what makes it so special.

No. 2, especially because it's right out the gate, it's just a brute. I don't know what the historically, the holes out here have been to par, and you know, what has been the toughest holes. But 2 is going to be up there but at the end of the day I don't know how you can step on 1 tee and not get goosebumps because it's just special.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks for sharing some time with us, good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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