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July 18, 2010

John Smoltz


THE MODERATOR: John, this is your second tournament, and first time as a contender. Where was your head walking into the week, and what was different about what your expectations were?
JOHN SMOLTZ: Well, I made one mistake, and that was I played a little too much golf here before the actual first round. And I hit the wall Friday and had just a horrible round, and then refreshed my mind and just started getting back to my swing.
I didn't know what to expect. I knew the greens were tough, but I had a 64 and a 66 in the Pro-Am, so I was feeling good coming into Friday. And Friday actually just cost me a lot more than some places, because I put myself in a big hole.
And then today I had 17 -- 16 birdie putts and an eagle and only made four birdies. That's what it comes down to. And the last putt is going to sting for a while.
I had putts today that completely went off the putter in a different direction, and it makes you feel like -- it makes you feel like you don't know what you're doing.
And it's pretty humiliating, but that's what these greens do. You just gotta get a little bit lucky and have the ball bounce your way. But overall, if I could get away from the disappointment of that last putt, I'm pretty thrilled with finishing tied for second, even though that putt would have put me in second.

Q. So you had fatigue, you felt fatigue on Friday?
JOHN SMOLTZ: Well, you know, you're grinding and you get out in your first round and you try -- I try to emulate the Pro-Am. But you know it means more, and I lost my rhythm. I got some tough breaks and lost my rhythm with my driver, and it really cost me.
And I think I had nine points going into the back nine on the 14th hole, and the second round I birdied the first three holes to have nine points after 3.
So I felt like I had a chance to really light it up. But you need that ball to go in the hole. I learned some things. I learned some anxious moments when your heart's racing, which is going to be great for me. It's more tournament play that I play in. I've got another big tournament in a week. I'm just excited about getting in tournament play.
As mad as I am right now, I'll use it as a great learning lesson for the next time in that position.

Q. Is this an event that you can win in future years?
JOHN SMOLTZ: Yes, I didn't come here to think I couldn't win, and I thought I could win this year. But when the ball doesn't go in the hole and your mind starts telling you keep stroking it, that's all you can do. And these greens will make you go a little crazy. And the last eight holes I went a little crazy thinking I was going to make a lot of putts and only came away really making a couple.

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