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April 2, 2010

Bryce Molder


MARK WILLIAMS: Bryce Molder, thanks for joining us. 6-under 66 in Round 2. Bogey-free. Go with the first round 69, 9 up for the tournament at the Shell Houston Open. Current leader and talk about your round today. Obviously, you're in pretty good form.
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. It was not an easy round at all with the wind blowing and everything, you certainly really have to pick your spots to be aggressive and the right club, the right flag or pin placement and the right wind to do so and I -- really a good combination of playing the tough holes really well, hitting the fat part of the green, hitting the middle of the green and make something really routine pars.
And then on the easier holes of the day, I just -- just the opposite, I was able to be aggressive and hit some close with the wedges and made some putts on top of that. So it was just a good, overall good day.
MARK WILLIAMS: Looks like you had a couple good breaks, chip-in at 15, and talk about the last, the shot on the last.
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. I thought when it took off, I had a 6-iron from the middle of the fairway. I was just trying to hit up the middle of the green. The wind was doing some funny stuff with these kind of storms and the clouds around. It just kind of died and almost went right to left instead of straight down. Almost dead straight down all day there.
I was surprised to see it tail down to the left, and I thought it was enough club to carry. One it started tailing that way, I knew something funny was going on. I was probably a foot away from going in the water. Just one of those kind of days where good stuff happened.
MARK WILLIAMS: Let's have some questions for Bryce.

Q. Bryce, sometimes golfers say they see a round like this coming. Did you see a round like this coming today?
BRYCE MOLDER: I've had a good start to the year so far, a really good solid start, and I know it's never far off. I certainly didn't -- I didn't see being the leader after 36 holes there. Doesn't surprise me, because when things go well -- and I haven't been hitting my wedges very well, I haven't been making a lot of putts, and there I went around and I did. When that happens, you certainly can. I'm not in the kind of form that I was a month, two months ago ball striking. I pretty well play a cut for the most part. That's what I feel comfortable, hitting a little bit of a fade. And right now when I try to hit a fade, it doesn't fade. And so I'm playing a hook right now. I'm playing a draw with my irons and somewhat with my driver.
I'm okay with that. All I need is a pattern that's consistent and one that I can rely on. But it does make you a little uncomfortable, because you have to, you know, your lines are a little different off the tee and everything.
It goes back to your question, did I expect it or see it coming? No. But I'm not surprised, you know.

Q. When did you commit to the draw hook?
BRYCE MOLDER: Last week at Bay Hill. I kind of just fought it and fought it, and then finally I hit a couple shots that I tried to turn over, tried to draw, and they were really good and crisp and pure and right at the flag.
I thought, huh, okay, let's try it again, let's try it again. That was my best way of getting around the golf course. That's all that really matters is having a pattern that you can rely on. Sometimes you don't have that. That's when you're really in trouble.
But for the most part, I think this golf course -- I think if you can turn the ball over off the tee, I think it helps. I think some of the wind directions where you're -- where it's left to right, it helps to be able to turn it over back into it. Maybe kind of a blessing in disguise.

Q. Is that part of the experience you gain over years of being able the make an adjustment like that versus maybe fighting it?
BRYCE MOLDER: And be comfortable with it and to know there's not just one way to play. There's not just one ball flight that plays well out here. There's a bunch. And really all that matters is it ends up where you're wanting it to. Doesn't matter what it looks like and doesn't even matter what it feels like.
It helps when it feels good, but it is -- that does come from experience and just, you know, going through that enough times and knowing you can kind of fall back on it.

Q. Percy was in here before. He said he's not preventing himself from thinking about next week, winning here and playing at Augusta. What's your mindset? Do you keep that out of your mind and say I got to focus on this?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, you know, you put me on the top of a building and tell me not to be scared, I'm still going to be scared (laughter). If you tell me not to think about next week or if I'm trying to tell myself, well, I'm still thinking about next week.
Is it in the front of my mind? No. Would it mean the world, you know, to play at Augusta? Yes. That's certainly part of what, you know, what this week is a little bit about for some of us. Some, it's just getting prepared for next week.
But in the end, it's the golf shots. There's more made of that than there should be. Once you're out there and over the ball, you're really not thinking, well, maybe this is what could or could not get me in next week.
If you ask me that Sunday afternoon, I got 2-shot lead walking down the last hole, maybe so. But, you know, I haven't won on the PGA Tour. So my first -- when I win out here, first and foremost, it's going to be exciting to win on the PGA Tour, and the things that come with it are secondary.

Q. Do you feel like playing in the last group at St. Jude last year, some of your other opportunities to be in the hunt have prepared you for this weekend?
BRYCE MOLDER: It does. I mean, the more you're there, the more comfortable you get. The more recent it's been, the more comfortable you are. You know, it's nerves and all that stuff, but that's a good thing because when you're in 50th place and you wake up on Saturday, you're not nervous because there's nothing to be nervous about yet.
So it's a good thing, and you learn to -- I wouldn't say enjoy it. You just deal with it. It's just there. It's part of it. When you're nervous, it's a good thing, you know, and -- but dealing with playing and expectations and trying to get committed out there and all these kind of things, you just have to be there to learn it and go through it, and it's a process.

Q. What do you take away that particular instance?
BRYCE MOLDER: The one thing I took away I think more than anything was playing with Brian Gay. It's no secret, he's one of the shorter hitters out here, obviously one of the straighter hitters, great putter. And, you know, it was great for me to watch somebody who just found a way to play golf their way and it's right. There's no right or wrong way.
It was great to watch him win going away, and it's not that your traditional guys that bomb it out there and hitting wedges in every hole. He knows what he does well, and he did that. And that's the biggest difference in the last two, three years for me to kind of keep improving is to really grab hold of what am I good at.
I'm good at putting. So if that means I make every putt, good. I used to -- I didn't want that stigma of oh, he's a great putter, which means you're lucky, whatever. Everybody is aiming at the hole. Everybody is trying to make putts.
The same way with the guy that hits the ball extremely straight. You don't ever call that guy lucky. Once I came to enjoy the fact that's what I do, I hit shots, and it may not always be pretty, but it's just a matter of getting it done.
MARK WILLIAMS: Well, you've had 16 1-putts and a chip-in in 36 holes. So that was obviously on the 15th, which we just talked about. But you mind going over the birdies today.
BRYCE MOLDER: I started off on No. 1, got a really good look at birdie, maybe 8 feet, and made it. I had a couple of close ones in there actually on the front that I didn't make. I was playing really, really sharply on the front.
No. 8, I chipped it up to, gosh, 2, 3 inches. No. 12, the short par 4. I got a bit aggressive hitting driver off the tee. I ended up in a perfect spot, chipped it up to 3 feet.
Par 5, a little bit crooked off the tee but good layup, and I hit a wedge from 84 yards to about 4 feet.
MARK WILLIAMS: That was 13.
Then two holes later, 15, I thought I laid it up to a perfect spot. I thought I hit a perfect wedge. The wind got it, came up just short and chipped in, probably a 20-foot, little chip-in there.
At 17, I really long tough hole. I left it about 30 feet short, and one of those you're just trying to putt it towards the hole and see how close you can get it, and the hole got in the way.
MARK WILLIAMS: Great. Anything further for Bryce? Thanks again and good luck on the weekend.
BRYCE MOLDER: Thank you.

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