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October 11, 2007

Jeff Overton


JOAN ALEXANDER: Thanks for joining us here in the media center for the Frys.com Open. Nice start to the week.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, not bad.
JOAN ALEXANDER: You're pretty secure on the Money List at 111, but it would be nice to get a good finish this week. Talk about coming to Vegas and what you did well today.
JEFF OVERTON: Vegas, there's a lot of good things to do. Always fun. Obviously Viva Las Vegas, right? Went to the Danny Gans show last night and he was awesome.
Just went out there today and I -- I mean, I played these golf courses a couple times the last year and a half or so. I just hit a lot of really good drives, just bombed it. I'd like to see what my driving average was today, but it had to be over 330 I think.
Just had a bunch of flip wedges in, you know, just kept hitting them close. I was able to knock down a lot my ten-footers. Everything I had inside ten feet for birdie or eagle I think I made, so that was good.
JOAN ALEXANDER: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously coming to a place like this you know it's a real birdiefest. How much pressure do you put on yourself standing on the first tee to get off to a fast start?
JEFF OVERTON: I kind of just came into this week just wanting to have a good time. It's Vegas. Have fun, go make as many birdies as I can.
It's a fun golf course and you can get to a lot of the Par 5s. And I told myself, Let's just try to go out there and hit some really good shots on the greens and really take it deep.
It was a fun round. Only made three bogeys. You know, I missed a couple putts for par that I think were better than some of other putts that I hit for birdie. You'll have that. The greens are phenomenal. They're rolling -- I don't know what they're rolling, probably 13 on the stimp I would think. You hit it 20 feet and you're almost scared of 3-putting it. It's fun.

Q. What happened on 16, second shot in the water?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I hit my drive a little right and I had 178 downwind, downhill in the rough, and the ball was sitting right on the very top of the Bermuda grass. I'm like, Well, if I hit 7-iron it's going to go over the green and it's going to be right on a downslope and you might not even be able to hit it on the green without hitting it back in the water.
I was like, We'll muster up on an 8-iron. And 8-iron should be perfect, because 5% less of 180 is roughly about 172, and hit my 8-iron about 165, 170 yards anyway.
And downwind, downhill I thought my 8-iron should be perfect. Just before I hit it I was like, Well, let's go ahead and try and hit it real high up in the air. I was almost actually scared of 8-iron going over, and way too far over.
I hit it perfect. When it came off the club I was like, Wow, that's going to be good. But after I thought about it, I think I just opened the club face a little bit, just enough that the ball just kind of rolled up my club face off the Bermuda and it just came up a few yards short.

Q. On 15 when you birdied it seemed like you were debating clubs there for a few minutes. Which one did you choose?
JEFF OVERTON: 15? Oh, yeah, yeah. I hit a 3-wood in that green actually. I just hit it awesome. I thought I hit it about ten feet, but it just barely trickled off. The greens and the fairways are so fast and tight and firm.
You're kind of scared to chunk it or blade it when you hit those little chips. I was like, You know, let's just chip it, because we putted well earlier.
The thing is like there's some Rye grass on the first -- like there's a first cut. The fairways are Bermuda, but there's like the two feet of Rye grass. When you putt it and it rolls over that Rye grass it just slows way up and it's really hard to judge it.
I was like, Let's go just go out and hit a little flip wedge. We got a good wedge game. So just chipped up there and knocked her out.

Q. Two-part question. How do you evaluate your year so far? What did you learn about yourself as a player at the Wyndham? Three-shot lead going into the final round but you were overtaken.
JEFF OVERTON: You know, I've come to the conclusion that I think I have a lot of talent. I hit the ball well and I know that I have the ability to play out here. My year's gone pretty well.
Last year I made 19 cuts and I just didn't -- never really finish in that top 5 where you make all the money to keep the top 125 list. This year I haven't got in very many tournaments, but I've really gone out there with a fresher attitude and just trying to win the golf tournaments.
I feel like just being older and more and more, getting more and more maturity, you know, through the experience. I think the Wyndham, having that three-shot lead it was definitely nerve wracking. At the same time, you shoot 2-under with a three-shot lead and you lose to a great guy and a great player, I mean, you can't really be too upset with yourself.
At the same time, I know I let a couple shots get away from me the last round and just continue to try to get better.

Q. One more question on the Wyndham. Kind of bittersweet memory, but the course that got you into the FedExCup playoff. What gave more satisfaction: That or securing the winning point for the U.S. in the Walker Cup as an amateur?
JEFF OVERTON: Securing our point in the Walker Cup was definitely the highlight my career. Any time you get to the opportunity to represent the USA in a team match it sends shivers right down my spine. There's just something about it that when you're playing for your country you're going out there and giving it your all you almost don't even get nervous.
You want to make it and win so bad that you're right in the zone. Whereas if you're playing by yourself sometimes and it's against somebody else and you get a little 10-footer or whatever to save par you get a little nervous. But if it's that 10-footer to win a match for your country, it's an awesome feeling and that was definitely the most fun.

Q. You were driving the ball so well. Did even some of the ones you hit surprise you a little bit how far they went?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I've played this golf course a lot and I never remember hitting -- having like 75 yards in on 10. You know, tomorrow when I play it again I'm going to hit two. I'm didn't realize I could hit it that far on that hole.
The last hole I had 460 or whatever yards or whatever and just have 100 -- nothing in. The ball I just was hitting the driver -- like I said, I hit 3-wood onto that green 290 yards I think to the front edge and I hit 3-wood five yards on the front edge.
I was hitting it good and really hitting it far. It's fun when the ball is going out there like that.

Q. Looking for ShotLink stats and backing up what you were saying, driving the ball really well and leaving yourself with fairly short approaches, hitting it close, it looks like the longest putt all day was on 15. Was it?
JEFF OVERTON: Hang on. Longest putt that I made or had?
JOAN ALEXANDER: That you made.

Q. That you made.
JEFF OVERTON: No, I didn't make -- no, a 27 footer, I didn't make that.
JOAN ALEXANDER: I'll help you out.
JEFF OVERTON: I think the longest putt that I made was inside 10 feet, I think. I don't think I made anything outside of 10 feet. I hit it to about that distance but I missed that putt.
15 I chipped it up there about two feet and made it. 15 I birdied it but I hit it just off the green and I chipped it up there like that (indicating) Yeah, I probably had that far for eagle.
I had that far for eagle on the fringe and I chipped it up there. I mean, I thought the greens were -- they're so fast it's hard to make putts outside of 10, 15 feet. They're perfect, but they're just so many little breaks with these mountains and stuff that they're hard to read.

Q. I guess at what point did you feel like this was going to be a pretty good round for you?
JEFF OVERTON: Whenever I eagled the third hole to get to 3-under I'm like, You know, I haven't really hit many balls this week and I didn't really even know where it was going for the most part.
So like I said, I was just coming out here to have fun. I eagled that had hole and the next hole I just drive it right down the pipe and knocked on like there like three feet and made birdie again. I'm like, This could be a pretty good round.
And then I once against hit it all over the next flag but it just went a little long. I just hit so many good shots. I drove it really well. You know, you start making birdies and you don't feel like you have to -- you don't feel like you have to do extraordinary things. They just kind of come. And that's kind of what happened.

Q. Given the number that you put up today and knowing that it'll be a little bit windy tomorrow and you play at Canyons. It obviously requires a whole different game management. Is it more or less pressure?
JEFF OVERTON: You know, like I was saying earlier, I just came here and I'm just having a good time this week. I'm going to try to play my best game. I want to go out there and try to make as many birdies as I can and just have fun with it it's, because that's what it's all about.
I had a long last three weeks and played all three weeks, and I need to have a one more good tournament to go ahead and secure my card for next year.
You know, we're here to try to win. Obviously that's what motivates us every time we step foot on the golf course. But as far as being pressure and stuff like that, you know, there's four rounds of golf, and tomorrow's on a different golf course. You know, I've seen both of these and I've played them a lot in the last couple years.
My caddie on the bag this week is actually a professional poker player who loves out here. He's from my hometown. He's on the bag this week and we're just out there having some fun and making a lot birdies. His name is Pat Cruise.

Q. (No microphone.)
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. He's been out here, and like I said, last couple winters I've come out here for a week or two and played the golf courses. The desert golf is just fun I think. It's awesome.
You can just hit these little drives that get about this high (indicating) off the ground and just go, so it's fun.

Q. The last major coming into this tournament something that maybe you can take into every event?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah. I find that every tournament you play in -- we're always trying to get better, and I find at this level it's a big mental -- it's all mental and emotional.
I find that sometimes going out there and just having fun and not thinking about anything, you know, you can play some of your best golf. Other times if you go out there and don't think about anything you shoot 80.
It's finding that happy medium where you're really into your and also having fun and get just letting it go. I and I was there. Unfortunately just had a couple small slip ups. If I had it all over again I would have hit the exact same shot. Can't do anything about that, so...

Q. What club did you use for your second shot the third?
JEFF OVERTON: On the 3rd hole I hit a 7-iron three feet, I think.
JOAN ALEXANDER: Is that the one you're talking about?

Q. No, no. On the fun approach, did you find it difficult to keep that going when you turned pro?
JEFF OVERTON: You know, soon as I turned pro I had to go -- went and to tried to Monday qualify for some Nationwides. I was actually three for three on Monday and I made all the cuts.
Then I went to Q-School and, you know, you're just out there by yourself and it's hard to have fun. You're out here and you're doing what you love, but at the same time it's such a grind. You sit there at Q-School right before you tee off at every single stage your stomach drops and you feel like you're going puke and you don't even want to be there.
But you find a way to muster up enough courage to get out there and perform and get a good enough round to get you to the next stage.
All you have a sudden here we are. We've worked so hard at it. When you start kind of letting loose sometimes you can shoot some of your best rounds.
JOAN ALEXANDER: Thank you for your time.

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