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July 2, 2009

Bryce Molder


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bryce Molder, thanks for joining us here after a first round 6-under par 64 here at the AT&T National. If we could start with some opening comments, a recent stretch of great play, including a tie for second at the St. Jude Classic a few weeks back. Maybe just some opening comments.
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, I think the funny part was I played this golf course on Tuesday for the first time, and it was about 6:45 in the morning, no adrenaline, kind of the way Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays are. I didn't really see where any birdies where out there, other than just a few holes.
And then all of a sudden 1, 2, 4 and 5 I make birdies and just -- you know, so I don't know what to say about that, other than I think I just went out there with no expectations other than just trying to hit the first fairway and go from there, and on a golf course like this you have to play it like that.
On the back I didn't hit it quite as well. It was a little sloppy at times. Also I got a couple of little mud balls and the greens got a little bit bumpy. But I putted really, really well. I was fortunate that the ball stayed on line. Probably more than anything I putted really well today.

Q. What do you attribute the last month to, the way you've played?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, everybody keeps asking me what's different --

Q. I didn't say it that way, did I?
BRYCE MOLDER: No, but I get that question a lot. What's going on, why are you playing so well. You know, I think I started playing well about a month and a half ago. I started to settle down. I found a little mental game that I can kind of play out there that gets me in the right frame of mind.
You know, I don't know. I think I just happened to play well in Dallas and that gave me some confidence. I didn't finish it off very well. Two weeks later I got a start in Memphis, and I just played great. And I think that settles you down.
I think one thing I talked about there after playing with Brian Gay is that his golf game is not the same as a lot of guys out here as far as there's so many guys that bomb it and everything, but he putts so well and he keeps the ball in play. And I think the biggest part of playing with him, what meant so much, was just seeing that he's extremely comfortable with who he is as a player, as a person out there.
And I think it's more important how you see yourself than what type of player you really are. And I think that's a big part of it is I've been able to take whatever shots I can play with at that time, take it to the golf course and try to score. When I've played my best golf, that's what I've done.
Last week was a big week for me because I finished 19th, and I didn't feel like I played very well at all. And there have been times in my career where I've played really, really well and finished 20th or 30th. That's what I mean by I think it's important -- to answer your question, that was like five minutes, but the short answer to that question is I think I have a little bit more confidence in who I am as a player now. I gathered that last year on the Nationwide Tour. Now it's carrying over out here.

Q. Who did you play with today?
BRYCE MOLDER: I played with Robert Garrigus and Nicholas Thompson.

Q. So playing within yourself, that's real easy playing with Robert then?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, once he hits it out there, you just kind of know, well, I'm not going to hit it anywhere near that, so I'm just going to hit my shots. The guys that hit it a little bit past you, you're like, oh, I might get that one. Yeah, he hits -- he hit a 2-iron on one hole and I hit a little driver and we were right next to each other. Go figure (laughing).

Q. Did you ever have trouble early on after you turned pro being with someone who was just killing it out there?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, not really that. I think it was more just I did struggle earlier in my career with not only shooting a 65 or 64 or 68, but it had to be the right way. You hit a lot of fairways, you hit a lot of greens, you missed some putts so you can complain about that it should have been lower, and I kind of forgot that the best part of my game was my putting, and there's a lot of people that would be very envious of that.
At one time I would have almost felt bad about making a run of decent-sized putts, and now I don't because that's the best part of my game.

Q. Did you happen to look at the British Open standings nicely posted for you in the locker room?
BRYCE MOLDER: I didn't see it in the locker room, but I did check late Sunday afternoon. I mean, that would be a tremendous honor to play in the Open Championship, which I never have. I've played in England and Scotland a little bit as an amateur in some team events, the Walker Cup and --

Q. Where was that?
BRYCE MOLDER: That was in Nairn. We actually played Turnberry on our way up there. And the Palmer Cup, as well.
And so I love the golf over there. It would be a great challenge and a great honor to play.
That being said, there's so many things that can happen between now and Sunday that depending on who plays well and who doesn't, all this kind of stuff, I'm going to try to ignore that as much as I can and just play golf. It's hard to, but...

Q. Where was the Palmer Cup?
BRYCE MOLDER: The Palmer Cup was at St. Andrews, the old and the new course.

Q. What do you think you need to do to continue this climb up the leaderboard for the week?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, if I putt well, that helps. I had a lot of good looks at birdie, I read the putts well and I made them, and that's really important. You can hit a lot of really good shots, and if you're misreading putts or you're not leaving them in the right spots then you don't really have chances, but I had a lot of chances, so that's great.
Also I got myself out of trouble pretty well, too. Hopefully you're not in much trouble, but you're going to in a 72-hole event, but it's how you respond to it and how you handle the trouble. It's a combination of things, but making some putts, if I keep putting well, then that's going to be my way of hunting some of those guys down.

Q. You had a big bunker save on 17?
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah, 17, that was when I got a little bit of a mud ball, and I mis-hit it, as well. No green to work with, it was running away from me, and I just decided to hit it 15 feet past the hole, and I accidentally hit it five feet past the hole. It looked like I hit a great shot, and to be honest with you I landed it about five or six feet short of where I was trying to. But that's what happens. If I try to land it there, it's a foot short and I'm still in the rough.
I was going to try to make a spectacular putt. Instead I happened to accidentally hit a spectacular bunker shot. But those are the kind of things.
10, I hit it in the hazard -- 11, excuse me, I hit it in the hazard and I was able to play it out of it with a wedge, knocked it to six feet and made it. Those are the little things that make a good round into a great round.

Q. You mentioned getting a start in Memphis. How did you get in there?
BRYCE MOLDER: I'm sorry, I just said the next start that I got. Yeah, it was through my number, but there was two weeks where I didn't get in.

Q. Memorial and --
BRYCE MOLDER: And Colonial.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we can go through your card real quick.
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah, I started off, driver and a 9-iron on No. 1 to about 15 feet and made that.
Next hole was a par-3 that you're just trying to get it on the putting surface, and I hit it to four feet.

Q. Another accident?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, it was pretty much where I was trying to look, but to be honest with you, with wind and enough variables from 230 something yards, 240 yards, pretty lucky to hit it four feet.

Q. What did you hit?
BRYCE MOLDER: It was a back right pin, a 3-wood into the wind.

Q. Was that when you got an indication that this would be different than Tuesday morning?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, that's when I was like, well, if you're going to make some birdies out here, you've got to steal a couple, and that was one.
Even at that point to sit there and say, well, you're going to have seven birdies today, I would have been like, well, show me where. But it played a little different.
And like I said, on Mondays and Tuesdays, especially when you play the week before, for me there's no adrenaline, your swing feels kind of loose and your body just doesn't -- not that you don't want to be out there, but you just don't have the adrenaline. The golf course plays pretty long and pretty tough.
No. 3, unfortunately middle of the fairway with an 8-iron, and I don't know if it was because I hit it a little heavy or because there was a little bit of mud. But it went a little left, bad chip. Thought I made my putt but didn't.
The next hole is a little dogleg right. I hit a driver in the fairway and hit a 7-iron, lands past the hole and it comes back to two feet.
Next hole I hit a driver and a perfect sand wedge, perfect yardage, perfect everything, and spun it back to about four or five feet.
Good par on 6.
Made a 20-footer on 7, the par-3, 15- or 20-footer.
The next hole I had another perfect wedge on No. 8 and hit it to about five feet, made another good putt.
A couple of good pars, and then I hit it close on the par-3, 13, to about five or six feet and made that.
And then from there it was just some holes that I had a chance to make birdie and didn't and some holes where I definitely could have made bogey and had a good save.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Bryce Molder, thank you. Best of luck the rest of the week.

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