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April 22, 2008

Colt Knost


JOHN BUSH: We've got Colt Knost here with us at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Thanks for coming by and spending a few minutes with us. We'll get your comments on playing here this year after -- obviously you participated here last year as an amateur. It's been quite a year for you since then. Let's just get your thoughts on your playing.
COLT KNOST: I'm real excited to be back. This is one where my career got kicked off, really. There's nothing better than playing in your hometown I don't think. But I'm just excited to get the week started.

Q. Obviously it's been an interesting ride for you, bridging being an amateur to becoming a pro. What's that been like?
COLT KNOST: I mean, it's been great. I mean, it's still golf, but I mean, obviously I'm playing for my living now and I'm having fun with everything. I'm just now starting to get comfortable out here where I'm getting used to doing everyday things being a professional. But I'm having a great time with it and I'm finally starting to play a little better, so it's great.
JOHN BUSH: Speaking of that, recently finished tied for 4th at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship at the Nationwide Tour. Just talk a little bit about your season out there so far.
COLT KNOST: Yeah, I mean, the year got off to a little bit of a rough start I'd say. I was kind of going through a lot with dealing with everything, but like I said, I'm starting to get more and more comfortable out here. I guess I've made three cuts in a row now, so I guess I'm starting to get in a little bit of a rhythm. I think it's all about comfort out here and finding out who you are as a player. I mean, I'm just -- obviously I'm still really young, learning a lot of things, and taking everything in that I can and seeing what happens.

Q. What are some of the tough things about starting out, not knowing much about the cities that you're going to? Are there travel things that have been surprises for you, or what's been the biggest adjustment?
COLT KNOST: For me obviously playing three or four weeks in a row is a little different. I'm not used to doing that in amateur golf. That's obviously an adjustment, being able to learn all the new courses. I mean, last year that was my third or fourth year playing amateur golf, and the courses were starting to become more and more familiar.
That's the advantage all the veterans have out here. They've played the courses 10 or 15 years in a row. For me I'm just starting. I see them on Monday and Tuesday and then I've got to go tee it up and see what happens. That's obviously an adjustment.
With me, with my decision I made, turning professional, I mean, going through all that was pretty tough. I had to deal with that. It's not very often I play a bad round and then I get interviewed. That was a big adjustment for me. I mean, which obviously I'm very happy with the things I did last summer, but that was something that came along with it. So I mean, I didn't mind it at all, it was just tough, especially when I was struggling. Now the game is coming around and I'm feeling great, and things are starting to become a lot easier for me.

Q. After all of the great golf that you had played the previous six, seven months or whatever, going into Q-school, what did you think about your chances? That's a grind event; you play a lot of golf in a short time. But you must have felt that you would play better, I guess?
COLT KNOST: Yeah, that's one of the main reasons I turned pro is I was on such a roll and I was playing so great that I thought I could cruise right through Q-school and hopefully get a PGA TOUR card out of the deal. I cruised through first and second stage really good and then got to final stage and just -- I don't know if I just put a little too much pressure on myself or what, just didn't perform the way I wanted to. It was a tough golf course for me setup wise, but obviously disappointed in how I played, but for me it's better off where I'm at now. Being on the Nationwide Tour, getting to play six, seven events out here is just perfect for me this first year out. The Nationwide Tour is helping me a lot, getting me ready to be a professional, and I think I'll be better prepared once I get out here.

Q. Do you have an experienced caddie?
COLT KNOST: I actually switched caddies this week. I went back to my college roommate who caddied for me in this last year. For me, I mean, I'm a guy that does a lot of things himself, yardage-wise and everything, and makes a lot of decisions myself. I just want someone I'm very comfortable with on the bag, and for me -- next to Rooney Smith, this guy probably knows my golf swing the best out of anybody. For me it's more being comfortable out there, and that's why I switched.
JOHN BUSH: Have you gotten the chance to play the course yet this week?
COLT KNOST: Yeah, I played yesterday. I mean, everything is amazing. I've never seen it in such good shape. There's not a bad spot on the golf course. The changes are great. It's a lot harder, I think. I think the scores are going to be a lot higher this year if the wind blows. It's obviously a lot -- it's not a whole lot longer but it plays longer it seems like. It's a totally different golf course.
Back to saying how the veterans have such an advantage of playing the courses so often, this week no one has played it. So I think I wouldn't be surprised if a young guy wins this week.

Q. In a roundabout way, did your experience here, your success here, influence your decision?
COLT KNOST: No, I don't think so, really. I just think this event gave me so much confidence that I could compete out here. I didn't look back to this and say, I did that, I think I should turn pro. It just really gave me the self-confidence I needed to show that I was one of the best players in the country at the time. I think I was lacking that before this event last year.

Q. You had so much going on a year ago this week with the Monday qualifier, getting in, your college team was trying to compete, there was some stuff about you joining them. I mean, it seems like all of that this time around is going to be stripped away quite a bit.
COLT KNOST: Yeah, I mean, this week honestly I'm really relaxed. Like I said, I'm happy to be back. But for me, I mean, honestly I have nothing to lose this week being on these sponsor exemptions. Right now my main focus is the Nationwide Tour and getting in that Top 25.
For this week I'm just going to go out and be relaxed and play aggressive and see what happens to me. Obviously I'm going -- my goal this year is not just to make the cut like last year. I want to compete and -- I mean, play well here and give myself that self-confidence once again that I'm one of the better players out here, and we'll see what happens with this week. Like I said, I have nothing to lose, so might as well be aggressive and have fun with it.

Q. Have you settled down, and where are you living?
COLT KNOST: I'm still in the same place I was in college and playing at Royal Oaks. Nothing is new. I'm going to stay at home this week, which is great.
JOHN BUSH: Colt, play well this week.
COLT KNOST: Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts

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