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October 11, 2007

D.J. Trahan


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: D.J., thanks for joining us after a first-round 65 on the TPC Summerlin course. Maybe make some comments about your round out there today, a good one.
D.J. TRAHAN: Yeah, today was a great day. Hit the ball very, very well. Obviously the conditions were pretty good for some good golf today, so I was able to take advantage of that. I hit it sold and hit a lot of greens and putted well.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Maybe some comments about your year. You're exempt again through next year, but I'm sure you'd like to finish out the year strong with some good finishes and some good play.
D.J. TRAHAN: Yeah, absolutely. I really have made a lot of cuts this year, I think 17 cuts. I haven't finished well. Only had two Top 10s, and it's just been a tough, long year from the fence that it's tough to feel like you're playing a lot better than what you're really getting out of your game.
Ultimately I know need to work on my putting and make more putts. It's a frustrating position to be in, but I am fortunate to have won last year and not be on that bubble like a lot of guys are with some heavy stresses with only a few weeks left.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If you had to pinpoint, something you'd like to improve it would it would be putting?
D.J. TRAHAN: Yeah. I've hit the ball well all year and worked hard on the rest of my short game, and it's gotten a lot better. But 3-putting two often and not capitalizing when you've got those 10-, 12-, 15-foot birdie putts, you've got to sneak in a few of those if not more every day.
Obviously to go low you have to putt well for 18 holes. It's just been a struggle getting momentum with the putter, If I could find any at all.
Obviously if I can work on that and get that improved I think I'll be good to go.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Okay. Questions.

Q. D.J., why was your putter so effective today?
D.J. TRAHAN: Well, I wasn't actually really that close. I obviously made some short birdie putts. I made good putts today. I made a couple good par saves and a couple nice birdie putts as well.
I actually worked on my putter a little bit earlier in the week and flattened it out and made kind of an adjustment on the lie angle that way. I kind of went back to some basics and started doing some drills that I used to do. I think that's something I need to get into.
I think maybe I just got a little bit too lazy on the putting green and just went out and wasn't focusing enough and I was just going out and hitting a lot of putts and didn't really have any general idea of what I was trying to accomplish.
In general I don't think that's really good practice at all. Obviously when you're out there and you're just hitting putts to hit putts you're not putting any thought or doing anything productive by doing that. So I just put a chalk line down and do some drills and try to get back to the basics.

Q. (No microphone.)
D.J. TRAHAN: I think putting is what it is: It can be good or bad key. You can let it be your Achilles heel or I think you can do the right things and improve and become a good putter. I don't think anybody has necessarily got to be a bad putter. Anybody can be good putter if they do the right things and work at it.

Q. This is a tournament that historically you have to go low to win. How much of that is on your mind and in your focus when you come here?
D.J. TRAHAN: I think it's in a lot guys' focus. These golf courses are both very playable, and if the conditions permit you know you're going to have to go low. Obviously I heard there's going to be a lot of wind tomorrow, so tomorrow might be more after survival day. If the weekend is good guys are obviously going to continuing to low on the weekend.
I think they said 22-under won last year. You're just going to have to expect it. The greens are perfect, so when you're putting on perfect greens and obviously if the conditions are good with not a lot wind, you know you're going to have to make a lot birdies to win. It's like that every year. I don't see how it could change unless you had tough conditions.

Q. At what point today do you sense you were going to have the kind of round you wound up with?
D.J. TRAHAN: I started off strong. I made about an 18-footer on the first hole for birdie, and hit a great ball there and a nice wedge. It was kind of a tough pin to get to in the sense that the greens are firm so you have to land it in a perfect spot.
There as a little upslope and then a downslope and I left it 18 feet short. You don't expect to make those and I made it right off the bat. Obviously the eagle on 3, I'm 3-under through 3, I knew I was off to a good start and that was nice.

Q. (No microphone.)
D.J. TRAHAN: Obviously you feel a lot better when you start off well than if you make a couple bogeys in the first few holes. But I felt good right from the get-go. The swing felt good on the range today and the putts were falling early, so the putter felt good all day.

Q. You mentioned it being a long, hard year and you haven't got as much out of your game as you thought you would. Having broken through your first title last season, what were your expectations for this year?
D.J. TRAHAN: I think they were a lot higher. Obviously I've been disappointed with my year. I'm not disappointed with the fact that I feel like I played a lot of solid golf, I'm just disappointed that I just haven't gotten the results and the finishes that I would have imagined myself getting.
I played a lot of solid golf and finished way back in the pack. Like I said, I think a big part of that is the putter. I've really hit the ball pretty solid all year. I've certainly worked a lot on my short game and my chipping and pitching and bunker has gotten a lot better.
So with that said, I think that leaves one Achilles heel in there to work on.

Q. I want to go back to your card here. You're cruising along and you bogey 11 and you hold it together at 12. Talk about that little sequence where you were able to regroup and regain your focus? Bogeys here are killers.
D.J. TRAHAN: Sure. I mean, you can't make many of them if you want to contend in this tournament. 11 was a little bit unfortunate. They had the pin back there. I hit a good drive down the left side and it kicked into the left rough. I didn't really see much of a fly or lie. I thought I had a pretty good lie. It kind of jumped a little bit. The pin was right on the back edge there probably only about five paces from going over.
There was a valley over the green there and I kind of caught that flier. It flew all the way to the back of the green and went over the green. It was a little bit unfortunate I think because the ball flew, and disappointing at the same time because that's the one place you don't want to hit it with that pin.
It was a stupid and costly bogey, but I came back with a solid hole on the next hole. They've got a tough front right pin on 12 where water comes into play. It's definitely not a very easy hole to birdie. You got to hit a really good shot in there and a really nice putt or something to make birdie.
And then to come back and make birdie on the Par 5 on the next hole I got up and down out of the trap. Didn't have a very good lie in the bunker, so I hit a great bunker shot there and hot about a 6-footer for birdie.
So that was huge and got me back on track after making the bogey.

Q. (No microphone.)
D.J. TRAHAN: Yeah, I mean, I think it was a solid day for the most part. Any time you make a bogey you want to have that bounce back. Fortunately for me I was able to -- a couple holes later I took advantage of a Par 5 like I was supposed to and had a nice bounce back there.

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