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June 11, 2009

Mathias Gronberg


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Mathias Gronberg. Very nice 4-under par round to start the 2009 St. Jude Classic. Par for those, of you that don't know, Mathias has an interesting story. He one the Nationwide Tour event last week, the Prince George's County's playing 36 holes on Sunday and then drove to New York for the U.S. Open qualifier playing 36 holes on Monday. Very nice start to your week.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Thank you. Very, very happy with 4-under today. It was quite windy at the end of the round, and we got some rain as well, couple of holes with rain. So very happy with the round.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: You just want to go through your birdies -- you go bogey and any other good saves you may have had?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: I rolled in a birdie putt on hole No. 2 from probably about 20 feet. I pulled my wedge. It wasn't a good wedge shot. Made the putt. So kind of made a feel-good putt kind of to make birdie there.
I birdied hole No. 5, which is almost taking a full shot on the whole field, probably. It's a tough par 4. I hit 5-iron into maybe 3 feet and rolled in the birdie putt there.
Then I bogeyed hole No. 12. I had a 9-iron from the middle of the fairway. Unfortunately, I pulled it. I got plugged in the bunker, decided to play very safe. Played it safely up on the green and 2-putted for a bogey and then made a good par save on the next hole from the greenside bunker on 13, and then rounded -- ended up the round with birdieing 14, 15 and 16.
14 I hit a 4-iron in on the par 3 to probably about 8 feet and made it, made the putt, and hit a wedge in on the next hole, on hole No. 15 to probably 3 feet and rolled in the birdie putt there.
And then I 2-putted 16 from just off the fringe, and the three birdies I did there really felt great to make them because I thought I played a little bit better than I had scored to just be 1-under and was very happy to see myself making the birdies, and I know it's not that easy out there. So it was -- very happy with that finish.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Talk about the course conditions. Wind seems to be picking up now and coming from a different direction. Did the rain overnight sort of help you this morning, you think a little bit?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah, I think it always makes it -- I actually was surprised. I backed up the wedge on the first hole, spun it off the green on the first hole, and I had heard rumors that it was hard greens. And so obviously the rain made them softer and more spinnier and then the green is in great condition, probably the best I've seen it. I'd prefer it to play like this a little bit green fairways, the golf balls stay on the fairway a little bit more.
Normally in the years past, they've been rock hard and bouncing off the fairways a little bit and the golf course is a little bit more playable, I think and -- but the greens are tricky as usual, quite a bit of grain. You got to be careful. Some very, very fast putts down grain downhill, and it's a tough golf course.
Leader four, 5-under in the morning wave, it just shows that it's a tough golf course.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay. We'll just go to questions. Wait for the mike, if you could.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about playing 72 holes in two days and how you got rested and got ready to play again?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah. I didn't manage to play so good Monday in the qualifying. I won the tournament. It got pretty late. I left the golf course probably at 7:30 Sunday night and drove home to New Jersey, in Springlake, New Jersey, for three and a half hours and then slept overnight and drove two hours in the morning out to the golf course, and we played -- I played 36 holes, shot 4-over par.
I never really played that good. The body felt a little bit stiff, rightly so, probably because I played 25 holes, 36, 36, and Tuesday I was dead. I had a morning nap, I had an afternoon nap. I played with the kids a little bit at home and decided not to fly out Tuesday.
Normally I always come out on a Tuesday morning, but I decided to wait until Wednesday morning to fly out and just came here around 3:30 and practiced a little bit in the afternoon yesterday and felt good and I played here -- I think this is my sixth year of playing the event.
So I know the golf course, I know where you should hit the golf ball, but I think it was a very good decision to stay at home Tuesday and rest Tuesday and Wednesday and not play any golf kind of.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Next? Anything?

Q. Just to follow-up on that, how helpful do you think that rest -- as much golf as you had played, do you think that may have helped you just kind of come in here and put things together for a good start?
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Yeah. I think playing a lot of golf, obviously, you start thinking in the same -- you create more of a routine on how you think on the golf course. I felt very comfortable today, and obviously just playing 18 holes feels so little. It didn't feel like -- I actually was walking up 17 fairway and I was thinking, "Oh, I feel really good," especially when I knew that I didn't have to play another round of golf.
It prepares you -- obviously I played very good golf Sunday. I shot 12-under par, 67, 65 and that really gave me a good confident boost hopefully for the rest of the year, not only for this tournament but for the rest of the year.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Anything else?
Mathias, continued good luck.
MATHIAS GRONBERG: Thank you so much.

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