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January 18, 2023

Patrick Cantlay

La Quinta, California, USA

PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Patrick Cantlay to the interview room here at The American Express. Welcome back. Making your fifth start. Entering this week coming in with three consecutive top 10s at this tournament. How are you feeling entering the week?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, good. I like playing California golf and so I played a lot of golf over the years here in the desert. Golf courses are usually in good shape. Especially La Quinta Country Club. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. What specifically about the multiple courses here do you like?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I mean, I think obviously it's target golf this week. Starting off the year with great weather like this and not a lot of wind on a golf course that's for the most part target golf is a good way to start your year. I've enjoyed coming here the last few years and I'm just happy to be here starting the year on the West Coast.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up here to some questions.

Q. You are a southern California guy. Went to college here. Junior golf. Do you remember maybe the first time you ever came to the desert to play?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I don't know about the desert, but I played Q-School here I think in maybe 2012. That might have been the first time I played these couple golf courses here.

Q. The last couple of years you've been the guy that everybody looks at and says, He's going to go low. 61 on Stadium, 62 last year to start at La Quinta. Is that the mindset that you have to have coming in here?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I think so. Everyone always gets into the mid 20s it seems like at this tournament, barring some big wind or something like that. Seems like this year we'll have basically no wind and perfect conditions. So I would expect a really low four-day total and you got to make a bunch of birdies at this tournament if you want to compete.

Q. You're on that rotation that starts at La Quinta. You've been on that rotation for a couple of years, I think. Is that the course you feel like you have to attack or can you afford to attack that course?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I think La Quinta is probably the easiest of the three. Nicklaus Tournament can be pretty easy as well. Stadium's definitely the most difficult. La Quinta Country Club's in such good shape that it feels like you should make almost every putt you hit out there. If you drive your golf ball well this week, especially at La Quinta, you should have a birdie look on pretty much every hole.

Q. I have a Torrey Pines question. You're not in the field. I don't think you are.

PATRICK CANTLAY: Correct, I'm not.

Q. Jon Rahm's tough everywhere, but he's been particularly tough there. Won the U.S. Open. Won his first TOUR event there. What makes him so competitive week after week, but also at that place in particular?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, I think it's a long golf course with lots of rough. So there's a premium on driving. That's probably the reason.

Q. You do have three top 10s here. Even players that play well don't always put three top 10s together in three years. Is it just the conditions or is it the time of year where you're just ready to go play?

PATRICK CANTLAY: That's a good question. I think it's probably more predictable around these golf courses with not a lot of wind. As in, if you play well and hit good golf shots, you'll probably play well. There's not too many tricks or too many crazy things going on. You're not going to get the bad side of a draw or anything like that.

I've had a consistent last couple of years and so I try to every week I tee it up have a chance to win. I've had some chances here, but would like to get one here this week.

Q. Rahm was here and he was saying, you know, you can get a couple of tournaments off the books here and I think at Torrey, which were not the designated events. Has that been a struggle for you in terms of your scheduling or has it just been pretty much what you would normally do?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I don't think so. I think a lot of those designated events are already on my schedule. So I'm going to have a pretty similar schedule this year to schedules I've had in the past.

Q. Is there a tournament that you're going to add or unfortunately have to knock off?

PATRICK CANTLAY: I'm not sure. No. It will be most of the tournaments that I played before, I think. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Back in 2013 you competed as a sponsor exemption here. Can you speak to the important relationship you have with this tournament?

PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, it was obviously awesome of them to give me a sponsor's exemption back then. It feels like a long time ago that I played. I don't think I made the cut that week.

But I played the tournament the last few years and have a really good relationship with Steve Squeri who has done a lot for this tournament. So he's a great guy and has really elevated the feel of this event and is doing a great job. So I'm happy to come here and support him.

THE MODERATOR: We will keep it short and sweet.

PATRICK CANTLAY: All right. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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