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July 9, 2009

Jason Day


DOUG MILNE: Jason Day, well done after round 1 of the 2009 John Deere Classic, 5-under par 66 without a bogey on your scorecard. You're amidst a good year. You've had a pair of Top 5 finishes at Colonial and Puerto Rico, tied for second there. Just some comments on the round today and kind of assess the state of your game as you're heading into round 2 and then the weekend.
JASON DAY: I hit it pretty good today. I missed only one fairway and hit 15 out of 18 greens today. Overall I hit it pretty solid. I just gave myself a lot of opportunities out there to -- a lot of good putts to make birdies. I'm very happy where I am right now and just overall very happy with my game.

Q. This was your first pro event?
JASON DAY: This was my first pro event three years ago, yes. Good memories, yeah. I love coming back here. They've treated me so well here as my first start, and I just enjoy coming back here to play.

Q. Have you felt pressure to validate some of the hype that accompanied you coming out here?
JASON DAY: Yeah, there's a little bit of pressure, but I'm not worried about that anymore. I'm just worried about how I play. It's just little steps from here. Like I said with the comment about Tiger, it's a slow process. It wasn't going to be tomorrow. It's going to take some time to finally get out there and try and challenge him.
You know, it's just little footsteps just in the right direction here and there, just working on the right things and just keep chipping away at it.

Q. Is that what people don't understand when we put a tag like that on you and now we put it on Rory McIlroy?
JASON DAY: Well, Tiger is a different guy. He's an amazing golfer, a very smart guy. His golf IQ is very smart. He's been doing it for so long. Once you keep doing it, you know how to do it. It's very hard for you to stuff it up.
You get the Tiger being the next big thing, the guy that's going to beat Tiger, and it does take time. If you're a young guy like Rory it will take time to beat Tiger. But as long as we keep working on the right things and hopefully someday we'll be at his level.

Q. Did you go through a humbling process?
JASON DAY: I've been pretty humbled my whole career, I guess. You know, in spurts you get a little bit confident just the way you're playing, but I think that comment with Tiger just got taken out of context, just got too much hype over just a small comment, and I think they read into it too much.

Q. You've watched guys like Adam Scott and Sergio who have never quite maybe accomplished, at least yet, what's expected of them to accomplish, and is that a cautionary tale, and what do you take from their experience?
JASON DAY: Yeah, I've watched those guys, and they might be happy where they are, and they might be happy just -- it's $15 to $20 million a year, I guess. If they're like me I'm sure they're urging to get out there and win some more. They want to be hungry and they want to win more tournaments.
Like myself, I'm really, really hungry to just go out there and try and win. As long as I can get that first win, I think some more will follow.

Q. With your birdies, did you feel they were more the result of good approach shots, or were you making some pretty good putts?
JASON DAY: I made a few long putts actually. I think there was two or three of them that I made over 20, 25 feet at least. I hit a lot of long irons close today, and I was kind of struggling on the shorter irons because they were so soft that we were getting a lot of spin. I guess we had to go up a club and swing softer, and it's just hard to gauge the speed and the distance.

Q. Is it lonely being a teenager out here? Rory and Danny Lee, do they have kind of a different life?
JASON DAY: It's not lonely for me. I really enjoy coming out and playing every tournament that I play in, especially I have my fiancé traveling around with me pretty much every week. It's just a bunch of fun. I enjoy living here and I enjoy playing the TOUR.

Q. Is there any advice you'd offer those two teens?
JASON DAY: Just stay patient. Stay patient and just let it happen and just make sure you work on the small things. Don't try and get ahead of yourself. That's pretty much it. You just want to keep chipping away at it. You look at most guys out here that are winning, like the Kenny Perries and all those other guys that are in their 30s to 40s, and we're all young guys out here, and as long as you keep learning each week and improving, then you're moving in the right direction, I think.

Q. What do you think about Kenny Perry doing what he's doing?
JASON DAY: It doesn't really amaze me at all. He's obviously a great golfer. I heard a comment the week that he won in Hartford. He's been going to that event 21 years, so you'd think he'd know the course like the back of his hand and he'd feel very comfortable with it. It doesn't surprise me at all because he's done this so many times before and he's very comfortable with every course that he plays because he knows the courses. He's playing really good golf right now.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you've learned in the three years?
JASON DAY: I think the biggest lesson for me is to just -- I needed to stay patient and not fire at so many pins. There's a number of lessons that I needed to learn, but I think the biggest one now is trying to stay motivated. You've got to rewrite goals and reevaluate, and there's a number of things that can go wrong.
You give a guy like nearly a million bucks that's 21, it's pretty hard to find motivation. As long as you just keep reevaluating and keep moving forward, I think just keep setting the goals a little bit higher and higher each time, and I guess that's how you get to being one of the great golfers.
DOUG MILNE: If you wouldn't mind real quick just running us through your birdies, clubs and yardage.
JASON DAY: Okay, the 2nd hole, I hit driver, had 4-iron in my hand from about 220, hit it just short left, chipped up to about a yard and a half and holed the putt.
Then the 4th hole, I hit driver down there, had about 158, hit 8-iron just about 25 feet right and holed the putt.
Birdie on 6, I hit 3-iron, wedge from 120, hit it behind the hole about 25 feet and holed the putt.
10, driver, 4-iron down the middle and then had sand wedge in my hand from about 80 yards. Hit it to about a yard.
Birdie on 16, I hit a 9-iron 25 feet above the hole and holed it.
DOUG MILNE: Thanks for your time. Best of luck.

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