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August 1, 2009

Matt Harmon


MARK WILLIAMS: Matt Harmon, thanks for joining us, 70 on the third round, 10-under after three rounds. You're in pretty good position. Interesting start to your week to get here. Just talk us through that, what happened on Monday and Tuesday here and how you basically had to get here.
MATT HARMON: Well, on Monday I played the four spot at the Monday qualifier and played a nice round.
Unfortunately, my brother-in-law who was caddying for me raked a bunker before I hit out of a bunker and caused a two-stroke penalty, so I went from being in the tournament, was not even in a playoff to being out by one, and it was pretty tough to take because I've had some close misses over the past few weeks.
But went home. I had to refocus because there's a Hooter's event going on in Austin, Texas. That's where I play most of my events, and I was on a plane on Tuesday morning from Grand Rapids to Minnesota and then as I was boarding my Minnesota flight down to Texas, I got a phone call from Robb Grainger, tournament director here, and he invited me to play, and you can't pass that up. So I spent all Tuesday afternoon trying to find my clubs and find some flights back to Grand Blanc.
MARK WILLIAMS: We'll open it up for questions.

Q. At 17, you being the local kid, did you get a little extra cheers out there?
MATT HARMON: Yeah. I couldn't really tell. I'm sure it probably worked out that way, but I was so focused on what I was doing on the other holes, I couldn't really pay attention to the crowd roars, and all that kind of stuff that was going on.

Q. Everywhere you looked, there were Grand Rapids faces out there. Did that kind of make it hard to focus or was that helping to keep you in it?
MATT HARMON: No. Grand Rapids face or another face, there's a lot of people out there, so I think actually the more distractions out there, it's easier for me to kind of focus in on what I'm trying to do because my brain's not telling me to do 15 different things. It's telling me someone's shouting over in the crowd.

Q. The first two days you said you weren't nervous and you just went on playing the way you were playing, playing well. Were there any nerves today or was it any different today because you made the cut and now you're making as good a paycheck as you can?
MATT HARMON: No. There's no pressure on me. It's a win-win situation. So I haven't felt nerves. The first tee shot of the day when they call your name and you got all those people screaming for you, you get going a little bit.
But Matt Jones and his caddie, I've played with them the past three days, and they've been terrific and I've really had a good time with them.

Q. How do you feel you actually played today?
MATT HARMON: I played very well, not efficiently, though. I didn't hit my wedges very nicely. Had a lot of putts that I could have made that I probably should have made that I didn't, so I had a nice ball-striking day. The long game was really clicking, and I gotta be pleased with my position going into tomorrow.

Q. What's your experience been here on this course in the past, one? And two, looked like you guys seemed to enjoy the crowd on 17. What was that like for you here on the weekend, a part of that group out there?
MATT HARMON: Yeah. It's just been a great experience with all the people cheering for me, and you know, hearing some roars here and there across the way, and it's just an electrifying crowd out there. It really -- it's something I'm not used to, but I welcome it with all arms.

Q. Matt, getting those birdies on 1 and 2, did that settle any nerves you might have had and help build a little confidence?
MATT HARMON: Yeah. Those were probably the easiest yardages I had today throughout my whole round. They were perfect yardages, so I was fortunate that my ball ended up there. I don't know why it did, so it was nice to get off and hit a couple of shots where I could just hit a nice normal shot. I didn't have to do anything funny, and I tried to run with it a little bit. I got going on the Front 9 for a little while, but just a few mistakes kind of kept out a really good round.

Q. You don't seem like you have a pulse, Matt. You're in here, I mean we got guys in here that have been on the Tour 20 years come in and they're like, oh, my gosh. They're really emotional. Are you really working to keep that down or are you always like this?
MATT HARMON: No. Pretty calm, cool all the time, I guess. I don't know. I get it from my mom because if you see my dad out there, I'm sure he's jumping all over the place.

Q. What does it mean to you? I mean you're -- I think this is your second year as a pro?
MATT HARMON: Second full year.

Q. Second full year. Young guy, an incredible story, actually everything you've gone through this week. The kind of stuff we salivate about. What does it mean to you, just, hey, I had a good finish at the Buick Open? You're fourth in contention at a PGA TOUR event.
MATT HARMON: Yeah. I mean my teacher and I and then some other people that helped me out with all the different parts of the game, we've always talked about it that, you know, I might have the skill and the talent and the will to some day play out here, so we just keep biding our time and letting opportunities and keep trying to take advantage of some opportunities.
And I'm going to be out here some day. I don't know when it's going to be. PGA TOUR Q-School is not an easy thing, but hey, maybe if I catch lightning and ball tomorrow, I can make a run at it.

Q. With the six birdies today after two 68s, are you confident there's a low number out there for you to grab?
MATT HARMON: Definitely. You can take advantage of these par-5s. I think I did that today. I think I hit all of them in two. So once you do that, if you just hit some nice wedge shots on the other holes, you can get on a run and shoot 9, 10, 11-under out here.

Q. Plenty of reason for fans to be cheering for you anyway, but with what happened on Monday, do you feel more people are saying, hey, this is a good story; let's jump on this?
MATT HARMON: Yeah. I've gotten a million questions about how tired I am, from all the travel and emotional roller coaster it's been, but you know, it's been just a great week. I've had just an awesome time this week.

Q. Matt, anything you can tell us about your conversation with your brother-in-law after he prematurely raked the bunker?
MATT HARMON: Well, on the course I lied to him and told him he didn't break the rule because I knew -- he keeps me calm out there, just being himself. He's good with that, so I didn't want him to kind of change his demeanor at all.
And then afterwards, we talked about it, and I told him I don't want to hear anything about it ever again. It's just -- it is what it is, and you know, one week's not going to make or break my life, so it didn't really matter.

Q. He's still on your bag now, right?
MATT HARMON: Yeah. He needed some redemption, so I brought him this week.
MARK WILLIAMS: Just before we let you go, I just want to ask you what your upcoming schedule is after this when it's over on Sunday? What's your next couple of weeks look like?
MATT HARMON: I have a flight on Tuesday to go back down to Texas. There's another Hooter's event down there. Actually I'll be defending down there the event. So I was really looking forward to that one, but who knows? If I have to make a flight change to Reno, I'll be happy to do that.
MARK WILLIAMS: We appreciate you coming in. Thanks for your time.
MATT HARMON: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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