June 3, 2023
Dublin, Ohio, USA
Q. Two eagles in a round. I know it's happened once before. How special is that?
DENNY McCARTHY: Pretty special, especially at this place when I'm not the longest attack the par-5s, if you will. 7's a really, really tough tee shot. It's just super narrow with a bunch of bunkers and you got to thread it in a perfect gap, and I did that.
And I had a really good number for a hybrid and threaded another one right up the gut of the green and that one was nice to have 2 or 3 feet. I don't know how far it was.
Then 15 was downwind again. So hit a good tee shot, landed a 4-iron perfectly, one step on the green, got back there in that back section of 20, 25 feet and I knew what that putt did and was able to pour that one in too. So it was nice to get both of those.
Putter warmed up for me on the back nine pretty nicely. I made a lot of putts, not just for those eagles, but a couple -- one for birdie and a couple others for par. It's just a hell of a golf course. It's really hard. Yeah, I don't know what else to say.
Q. 15-footer for par and another one that was like, I don't know, 12 or something like that?
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, it was -- I mean, you just know this place is going to be a grind, no matter. You can hit some good shots out here that don't hit the green and end up in some bad spots. You just kind of need to accept that going into the round. It's going to be a fight and it's a good thing that I'm a grindy, fighty competitor.
Q. To get two eagles, obviously, that's four shots. How huge a lift is that for you or anyone on this course?
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, it's big. Teeing off today I felt really good. I had a really good range session. I felt just in a really nice positive mood. Hit it in the creek on 2 and didn't let it bother me too much. To pick up four shots like that on the par-5s is massive. I didn't think I was out of the tournament. I felt like I had a good range session. I felt like I could come out and maybe make some noise early. Didn't quite do that.
The eagle on 7 kind of gave me a nice little boost and just fought really hard on the back nine, seeing the greens really well, just trusting my lines, hit 'em, moved on. It worked out pretty well for me.
Q. You earned a reputation as one of the best putters out here. I mean, just how much confidence do you have with that club right now?
DENNY McCARTHY: A lot. A lot. It's felt good in my hands for a month or two now. I mean, I hit a lot of good putts a lot of the times that don't go in, so it's frustrating. To be able to pour that many in consecutively on the back nine like I did was really nice.
It's obviously -- I don't need a confidence boost in that area, but it's nice to when you see 'em consecutively go in like that. Kind of needed 'em to keep myself within striking distance of the lead.
Q. You showed, you're also a two-sport athlete here at Columbus this week. How did that come about?
DENNY McCARTHY: I think that's part of the reason why I'm such a good putter. I've got really good hand-eye, always have. Kind of like a point-and-shoot mentality, being super reactionary. Basketball is probably my first love. I've said that probably a couple times in the shooting exhibitions that we've done. I played all the way through high school. Obviously I'm five-eight, five-nine and not going to be inside in the paint too much. I just love shooting around as a kid, whether it was in the winter, you know, I would shovel -- our neighbors had a sport court. I would shovel their sport court for free just so I could shoot hoops.
Q. Where did you grow up?
DENNY McCARTHY: In Maryland, just outside of DC, right between Baltimore and DC.
Q. What city?
DENNY McCARTHY: I grew up in Burtonsville. My parents live in Rockville now. So I just grew up -- I was always outside. I never played video games. I was always outside doing stuff. I absolutely love basketball, love golf, played baseball too. Love baseball.
So I was just always outside being competitive, playing with friends and, you know, shooting a basketball is just something that I happen to be pretty good at.
Q. Golfers usually have a pretty good memory of things that they do particularly well. Do you recall the last time that you had two eagles in a round?
DENNY McCARTHY: Did it happen recently?
Q. A couple years ago.
DENNY McCARTHY: A couple years ago. Man, I'm trying to think. Maybe Wyndham. Was it Wyndham? Maybe, like, 5 and 15 at Wyndham or something. Yeah, is that right?
Q. It was in round one.
DENNY McCARTHY: 5 and 15. I'm just thinking of like the two most gettable par-5s there. I do remember eagling -- I've eagled 15, I think, a couple times there. That's funny. I do remember -- I could probably go through my round and tell you my front numbers and hole numbers exactly today.
Q. Lastly, you put yourself in position to win several times out here in the last few years. How comfortable are you getting in that position and is it a test on your patience?
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, for sure it is today. Just even those par saves I made on the back nine. I think I just really stayed in the moment. I didn't feel -- sometimes when things can start going south you can start feeling the heat of the moment. You start feeling really hot, you feel rushed, you feel like things are spinning out of control. I think Derek my caddie and I have done a role good job of just, it's okay, there's nothing I can do about the shot that I just hit. I've been in this position enough to where I've got nothing to lose I've got nothing to be scared off. So it's what, like if I feel antsy or nervous about a shot, it's okay for me to step back and be like, I got nothing to loose, just see your shot, picture it, hit it and move on. I think that's something I've done a really good job of the more I put myself in the situation.
Q. And basketball growing up, were you like a star in high school?
DENNY McCARTHY: I was definitely not the star. My junior year we had a lot of really good, we had a really good team a lot of D-I players. I was probably 8th or 9th man to start the year. And then about a quarter of the way through the season coach found out that I could really shoot. And our point guard was going to Georgetown and he was one of the best players in the area. So when he -- I became sixth man basically after he found out I could really shoot the ball. I fit in well with the team just because he was able to drive and collapse two or three defenders and kick it out to me and I fit in perfectly for that. Senior year a lot of those guys left and I still had a good year. I mean, obviously, like I said, I was a 2 guard. Shooting a lot of 3-pointers was kind of my niche.
Q. Who was the guard?
DENNY McCARTHY: His name is Markel Starks. He's playing over in Europe now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports