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June 12, 2010

Robert Garrigus


COLIN MURRAY: Alright, Robert. Thanks for joining us here in the interview room at the St. Jude Classic, presented by Smith & Nephew. Great playing, second consecutive 66 out there today. I know it wasn't quite the finish you look for, but if you could talk about the stretch over the first three days here, and we'll go from there.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Really, all started at the beginning of the week when I didn't have any energy to do anything, really. I had food poisoning on Friday night. And I got out here on Sunday night to try to qualify for the U.S. Open. And I really wanted to play at Pebble Beach, but I guess this week is more important.
I really didn't feel good the first three days. I didn't have any energy, didn't have enough fluids. I drank about 25 gallons of water in three days. Really didn't practice a whole lot. I got some good momentum in Dallas at the Byron Nelson, and it's continuing now. It's nice.
COLIN MURRAY: Could you talk about the 66 today on a day that seemed like it was pretty difficult out there scoring-wise.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah. You know, I kind of had -- only mental error of the week on No. 3, the par 5, missed a little short putt there, and that kind of woke me up.
Then I birdied the next hole and just kind of stayed patient all day and then hit it real close on 11. Made birdie there and started stroking it real well coming down the backside. Hit it real close for eagle on 16, and that was a nice boost.
17, hit a mediocre tee shot that didn't kick off the hill. Then I hit a hooking 6-iron from like 210 we had to the hole and hit a great shot there. It was exactly how I drew it up and it landed perfect. Just over the back of the green. Didn't make a good swing on 18 there, but that's alright. I made a good putt for bogey and got it in the hole.
COLIN MURRAY: Questions.

Q. Robert, can you talk about you've had a piece of a lead before and I think last year after the first round at Pebble. Having a 2-stroke lead over a field that includes folks, fairly strong field, when did it hit your head that you had the lead and that you had a chance to take it into the house going into the final round?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: You know, I was kind of peeking all day. I have a problem looking at the leaderboard all the time, but I took a peek on No. 11, saw that I was right there near the lead or maybe birdied to take the lead or something like that. I just put it out of my head. After that I really didn't look. I didn't know what anybody was doing behind me. I was just concentrating on my game, which I should probably do tomorrow.
I have to go out and play very well, think well, and, you know, it's kind of nice to have a 2-shot lead. It's not Sunday. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and it should be fun.

Q. How did you hold up during -- through the heat, given your ailment that you've been fighting off?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I did well. My caddy has been on me all week to keep getting fluids and get electrolytes and Gatorade. I've done well this week. I've been doing really well when I go home. Drink two to three liters of water after my round. I'll probably be doing that this afternoon.
The first two days weren't too bad. We kind got lucky. The first round in the morning didn't get above eight. I looked at my caddy, this is ridiculous, this is perfect. I don't think I've ever said that in my life before (laughter).
That's kind of nice to have some cooler weather on the first day so it didn't take so much out of it for the weekend. It's nice.

Q. There was tar on your bag or --

Q. Was that tar?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: That was my bag. I don't know what's in the bag. We're going to find out here in a minute. I kept setting my clubs in the bag and I pull them out and have a bunch -- looked like there was a gummy bear or something stuck in there. Slimy.
It was like gummy bears every once in a while on the golf course to keep the sugar up. It seemed like we set it down in the parking lot or set it on cement somewhere and the tar got underneath one of the little rivets in the bottom of it and sticking in the bottom of my grips.
On 17 I grabbed my club, and then I took my grip and my left pinky stuck to my club. That usually moves a little bit for me, my grip moves a little bit. I stuck it and hooked it over to the left, and I looked at him, my caddy, and said, "We've got to get the tar out of the bottom of the bag."
Q. Can you go back through the eagle on 16 and what you hit to get in there and just what it meant to you?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah. You know, I hadn't taken advantage of the -- I thought I was 1-over par on the par-5s all week. I told myself, "You're going to play this one well." I told myself that there was no way I wasn't making birdie.
I hit a perfect tee shot, it was perfect trajectory, went right through the wind. I had 198 to the flag, something like that. I was going to hit 7-iron, but I kind of felt like holding off a 6 into the wind, because if I hit 7 and got up in the wind, it would come up short.
I hit it absolutely perfect, dead straight at the flag. It landed nice and soft in the upslope to the green. The putt, Lee Janzen gave me a perfect read. It actually squeaked a little right. It was kind of nice to get his read on that one. Hit a perfect stroke and rolled right in. Kind of nice to have one fall, kind of lay the plan right.

Q. What did you eat that caused the food poisoning, do you know?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Think it was clam chowder. That was my fault because it was in Phoenix. You never eat clam chowder in Phoenix (laughter). That was the soup of the day. I was like -- well, I love clam chowder. I've always loved clam chowder. Never got food poisoning.
I was at Diamondbacks game Friday night, four hours after I had eaten it. I had to leave the game. I threw up on the way home, threw up three times in a night. I weighed about 194 pounds, which is 6 pounds lighter than I usually weigh. Lost a lot of fluid, and I can't tell you how much water and Gatorade I've drank in the past eight days.

Q. Did you try to do some qualifying? I saw you withdrew. How much were you able to make it through before, and what was the decision to try and recover in time for this week, for this event?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: You know, I made 7 holes and I was about 6-over par and I had nothing. It wasn't even that bad, really. The weather wasn't bad. It wasn't that hot. I was telling everybody I felt like I went a fight with Tyson.
All my body was aching. I was hurting. I went back to the hotel and slept for five hours, woke up and ate and slept till 10:00 the next day. I slept ten hours last night. I'm still just kind of trying to get out of it, you know.
I was kind of weak on Wednesday. I came out and practiced, and I was still, you know, not a hundred percent. But then I woke up on Thursday and felt pretty good. And Wednesday night -- I'm a huge Blackhawks fan, and they won the Stanley Cup. I had a 7:00 tee time. I knew I had a 5:00 wakeup call.
I stayed up until about 2:00 and I really -- I've never seen a Chicago team win a Championship except for the Bears in '85. I didn't know what it was like to actually win, how hard it is to win something. I figured, what the hell, if Blackhawks can win the Stanley Cup, I can win a PGA TOUR event. I kept thinking about the Blackhawks all the day. It's great. I love hockey. Had to slip that one in there (laughter).

Q. I got to follow-up. Idaho, Arizona, how did you become a hawks fan or a Chicago fan?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: When I was growing up, we had WGN, grandpa routed for Cubs. It was just -- all I've ever rooted for was Chicago teams because I grew up in Portland.
I was born in Idaho, moved to Portland, and we had WGN. And that's the only baseball team that I ever watched was the Cubs. And obviously Walter Payton was one of my favorite football players, and Michael Jordan was my favorite basketball player, and Jeremy Roenick was one of my favorite hockey players.
I actually got to play with Jeremy in '92 or '93, something like that. That was one of the highlights of my life, just to play with him and to see him -- see his interview the other night was pretty cool.
When he started tearing up and all that stuff and Dan Patrick asked him, "Why are you tearing up?"
He's like, "It's the Blackhawks, man." He's loyal, he's a good guy, and I mean hockey -- I get so pumped up for hockey. I don't get pumped up on the golf course, but if the Blackhawks score, I think I woke up the entire hotel the other night (laughter).
There are cement walls. I was screaming pretty loud. I scared my wife the other day because she was in the hotel and the Blackhawks scored. And she was in the shower, and I made her jump 2 feet, and she started screaming at me because I was yelling too loud and -- I don't know. I just get real excited. It's kind of nice to have the Stanley Cup. It's cool.

Q. You talked about getting the putter rolling and had some momentum since Dallas. What has lead to that?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Well, I kind of -- I felt something in my stroke probably on the third or fourth hole in Dallas. Because I have such a short putter, when I get over it, everything is out and extended. Sometimes my left elbow gets out of the way and everything breaks down. So I've been tucking my left elbow in to my side so my shoulders rock more. And I'll tell you what, I've been making so many good strokes and I haven't really worried about where it's going. That's really what you're supposed to do, the top players in the world do it.
They hit putts on line all the time. I'm glad I'm able to do that. I knew Scott. I have a new Scotty Cameron putter. It's face-balanced. That thing rolls good. It's kind of nice to have something I can trust.

Q. Your increased size. You talked about that the other day.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: "Shoestring" and I lengthened it. He wanted to get it to 30. I said no, I want to keep it in the 20s. Made it 29 1/2. Just stood me up just a little bit more and make it comfortable, get my eyes over the ball.
I felt like I was getting down over it too much and having too many armsy putts. When I can roll it with my shoulders, make a big, big difference. The ball rolls nice, started on line more. Today on the front side, I was kind of battling with starting it on line. Once I made one, it was on, it was kind of nice to get a little -- didn't matter.
It was 3 feet and I made it and it finally -- I made a good stroke, hit it where I wanted to, and made the next one. And then I made the one on 15 and 16, you know, nice that I made the one on 18. It's kind of funny how that works sometimes. If you don't make one, you don't get the confidence or roll. Like Lee Janzen, he made one on the par 3. He made an eagle and made some good strokes coming home. It's kind of golf, how it works.
COLIN MURRAY: Alright. Robert, thanks for joining us and good luck tomorrow.

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