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June 23, 2010

Hunter Mahan


MARK STEVENS: I'D like to welcome Hunter Mahan to the interview room. Hunter won here for his first TOUR event in 2007. Actually his last four finishes here are T2 the year before he won, then he won; T2 the year after and last year was T4, so he's got a great history of finishes here at Travelers Championship. Right now Hunter is 19th in the FedExCup points. A win here would bump him up well into the Top 5 for the season's FedExCup points. Hunter, if you'd talk a little bit about your season so far and your thoughts coming into the tournament that obviously you enjoy the course.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I've had a great run here, love the golf course, fun golf course to play. I think all the pros, we all enjoy playing it. It's nice to come out and make some birdies and eagles, and it's a really exciting event for all the fans. The fans come out here and support this event really well.
Travelers has done a great job over the past four or five years of, you know, making this tournament one of the better tournaments on TOUR. Nathan has done a great job of running this great event and giving us all the pros, everything we need and Andy and Jay have done a superb job of giving us a great practice facility. So this tournament's gotten better and better each year. I've been here since I was a rookie.
MARK STEVENS: We hear a lot of players talking about courses that fit their eye from time to time. Maybe if you'd talk a little bit about this course and how it might fit your eye.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I mean it's a pretty fair golf course. I mean there's been all kinds of championships that have played well here, so I've just had good luck on the greens, able to make some putts out here. And I just like the -- every hole seems to set up well for me. I feel like I make birdie on every single hole, and it's just an exciting place to play, a lot of energy when you come out here and play. The fans are awesome. They come out on the weekend. It's a great spot on TOUR.
MARK STEVENS: Before we take questions, Hunter had a special Pro Am round today. He was paired with three Wounded Warriors. Dan Nevins is here from the Wounded Warrior Project, and Hunter, with his sponsor Under Armour, he's taken on Under Armour Freedom, which you see on his shirt, so he's going to become very involved with this project. If you want to make a couple comments about that and the round today, playing with the three Wounded Warriors and then we'll take some questions from the media.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I've been associated with the Wounded Warriors for the past few years. It's just a great organization that is helping veterans kind of get back on their feet, in a way, and giving them -- Under Armour actually, the year of freedom they've just started coming out July 2nd. It's a great way for myself and Under Armour to get involved with Wounded Warriors and help out from a monetary perspective, from a product, doing events having them come out like they did today and have some fun and play golf.
It's just an exciting kind of adventure we're doing, and it's pretty special to have Dan right here and have the guys come out and play today. We had a great time playing. It's kind of fun just to kind of see what's happening with the Wounded Warriors and see the progress that a lot of guys are making. So it's pretty exciting.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you. Now we'll take some questions.

Q. Have you played with any of them before, Hunter? And Dan, is this the first time you've ever played with the pros?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I played David Feherty's tournament last year, his charity thing, and I played with a few guys. So it's always a lot of fun. I mean it really is. Playing with Dan today, we had a great time. Can't wait to do it again.
DAN NEVINS: And for me, I've had the good fortune of being in another Pro Am, but this was the most special for me because in other Pro Ams I'm just one of the foursome playing with the pro and it's a lot of fun, but today I was with two of my brothers, and Hunter's just been great.
I haven't met Hunter until today, but I kind of watched all the stuff that he has been doing on his own time and really supporting so many organizations that do so many wonderful things for our military, and I know it's important to him. And it's important to us that we have great people out there who are willing to raise their hand and do stuff, to say thanks and to show that they care.
And Travelers has just done an amazing job with Military Appreciation Week. This has just been -- I'm beside myself how great this has been, and I can echo the comments from my buddies earlier. They were just all beside themselves. I've never had an experience like this, so this was really, really special.

Q. What did you shoot?
DAN NEVINS: Shot a 87, a little painful. Hurts a little bit. One birdie, so you get one birdie makes you feel good, makes you want to come back. It was a short par-4.

Q. What's your handicap?
DAN NEVINS: I don't have any legs. (Laughs). Just kidding. No, it's a 9.6 is my index.

Q. That's pretty good.
DAN NEVINS: Well, I'm working on it. I'm working on it. My short game is pretty good, because I'm never on the green in two. So there you go.
I live in Jacksonville, Florida now. I used to work for the PGA TOUR up until about 15 months ago. I left to work for Wounded Warrior Project full time who were supported through Birdies For the Brave which is the big TOUR initiative to support the military, so it's a national thing for me.
It was Wounded Warrior Project that was at my bedside at Walter Reed in 2004 and gave me this backpack. It was just a calling card to so many different rehabilitative programs, and they're the ones who introduced me to golf really. I mean I played before I got hurt, but maybe 10 times total, and it was military golf and not left, right, left. It was smash a drive, drink a beer, hang out with your friends and then go out afterwards. And not keep score.

Q. Hunter, how is the course playing compared to other years you've been out here?
HUNTER MAHAN: It's playing good. It's a little tough. We had a lot of rain last night. But hopefully the weather stays away. The greens should be firm, I would think.
It's obviously in great shape. From tee to green there's a lot of grass everywhere. It's in perfect shape. So hopefully the rain stays away, the greens get a little firmer, give a little defense for the golf course. But it's good like always.

Q. You started off pretty good with the win and everything, and the last few weeks I saw you missed a cut. Is there anything in particular that's got you a little funky or anything you're working on?
HUNTER MAHAN: No. Everything is good. I was just talking to my teacher, Shawn Foley, and we were talking about things, and it's -- I think it's just, you know, it's one of those things. It's life. I mean it's just -- stuff happens. A putt here, a shot there could have changed things around a little bit, but it's not far off at all. I mean I expect to have a good week this week, and I'm not at all really concerned about it or anything like that. I mean it's right there. I'm really happy with where my game is right now, really. I mean I couldn't be happier.

Q. (No microphone).
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. That's what I'm hoping for. I mean that's the next step, I think.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Thanks a lot, Hunter. And Dan, appreciate your time.
HUNTER MAHAN: Okay. Thanks.

End of FastScripts

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