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October 20, 2010

Hunter Mahan


Q. Your strategy for tomorrow, does the (Indiscernible)?
HUNTER MAHAN: No question. This course obviously plays hard and fast. The weather is usually pretty hot, but it's actually pretty cool and got a good amount of rain the last couple days, so you can be aggressive.

Q. Nick said he thinks that the winning score will be in the mid to high 20s because he thinks guys are just going to be firing away.
HUNTER MAHAN: It could be, yeah.

Q. Does this play to your advantage, do you think, or will you go for it a lot?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. Actually, if it gets pretty hot and make a bunch of birdies. I've shot some pretty low rounds in my day. Yeah, the course really doesn't favor anybody. I think anybody can go low. So it's pretty much a wide-open contest, I would think.

Q. Let's talk about the aftermath from Celtic Manor. You've had a couple weeks off now. Is it still lingering in your mind or are you able to put it behind you and just get refocused on now?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. It was over, you know, at the end of the match with a handshake. I mean it was kind of done.
I mean it's, no question, one of the greatest experiences any golfer can ever have playing in a Ryder Cup event. Seems like the last few years it's gotten more amped up, it seems like.
It used to be so -- the last 20 years it's so back and forth. It's been so close that I think it's really grabbed -- kind of grabbed the country and people are really paying interest to it. To me it's just the best time of golf. I only take positives from it, that's for sure.

Q. I was going to ask you, what positives do you take from it that'll help you down the road, whether it's this week or the rest of your career?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I felt like I played really good that day. I just didn't make any putts. I mean the front nine I had five holes of putts that I should have made, and that's what kind of put me in the position I was in being 3 down going into the back nine there, and I had a good lead against Graham.
I actually hit it great, and I thought I was handling everything pretty well and had a shot at being in that position. I don't know if I'll ever be in a situation like that again. You know, I was excited to have that opportunity to have a chance to win the Cup like that. It was a great experience.

Q. Did you consider at all just shutting it down the rest of the year after that and say, let me get away from golf?
HUNTER MAHAN: No. I never -- I mean I think the best thing about it is I was kind of just one week. It's four days of golf and then it's kind of over after that, you know.
I think you saw it, just the emotion of the week. I mean it's a long week. You know, you put everything you have into that week and then it's kind of over and you have nothing left. And then I'm here in Vegas trying to win this event. So I think it's pretty easy to put behind you because I took a lot of good things from it. I don't take anything bad from it.

Q. I imagine you're going to get a lot of support when you tee off tomorrow. There's such great empathy for what you were trying to do out there in Wales and stuff. How much will that help you emotionally, kind of get you fired up, just knowing that you have fans pulling for you?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. For sure.

Q. And they love you.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I think people appreciate the showing of the emotions and showing that they care. You know, only thing we were going to win was a Cup. We weren't going to win any money. I mean we were trying to play for our country and we were trying to play for each other and we were trying to play for Corey. And that's it. And there's no better honor than that.
I think it's great and I've got a lot of texts and Emails from people that I've never met, and I really appreciate the fact that how much we care about the Ryder Cup and how much it actually means to us. Sometimes they haven't seen that before.

Q. What have you done since you got back? Chill out back home or go on vacation?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I'm going to go home for a week and just vacation for a few days. And it's nice to do that, I've played a lot of golf, the FedExCup and the Ryder Cup. So a lot going on. So it was nice to clear everything out and start fresh this week.

Q. There's some pretty big-name players here.

Q. Do you think that will kind of jump start things, hopefully and get it to where the TOUR could look at trying to move this event to the spring, because that's their ultimate goal is really trying to make it work here.
HUNTER MAHAN: Absolutely. This event has been a staple on the PGA TOUR for a long time and it's incredible for Justin Timberlake to kind of step up and put his name on it. You know, when he puts his name on something, it means something, and golf means a lot to him. I saw him on ESPN, and you could see how much he cares about this event and about the game in general, so he's all about making the game better for everybody, and I know the TOUR is going to make the most effort they can to get this event back to being one of the best events on TOUR, and I think they're on the right track really.

Q. Yeah. I was just asking Watney about the fact that it's hard to get all the top players to come out this late in the year.

Q. But yet, guys like yourself are here playing, he's playing. All those UNLV guys are playing.

Q. I mean it's a pretty good field of good golfers.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. Oh, there is. No question. No question.

Q. Do people at some point need to get away from the whole Tiger/Phil thing and realize that there's not two tours, one they play and one where they don't play. It seems like it's very unfair to guys like yourself and all the other proceeds who are really busting their hump every week trying to make this thing work.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. You know, except Tiger and Phil have done a lot for golf, so it's hard to criticize them or anything like that. I think they've brought a lot of attention to the game and that's helped us as players and young players.
So I don't think so. I think people try to win the FedExCup. You know, there's a bunch of tournaments this year and there's going to be a lot of good golf. I don't feel at all disrespected by anybody or anything. I'm just excited about this week. It's a great event. And you know, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. I was asking Watney if he thought he was playing well enough to win, and he thought that, you know, if he gets his putter working, he thinks he can. I'll ask you the same thing. Is your game in good enough shape at this point where you think you can win this week?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. It seems good. I feel pretty refreshed, and I haven't felt that way in a while, so I'm feeling good about it. And kind of same thing with nick. You kind of just need to make some putts out here is going to be the key. If you can hit it great. If you don't, it's going to be the guy who makes a bunch of putts and probably the guy who makes a lot of eagles, too.

Q. Good. Thanks so much for your time.

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