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January 18, 2011

Jeff Overton


MARK STEVENS: Jeff Overton. Like to welcome Jeff Overton. Jeff, great year last year, with the Ryder Cup appearance you made your first appearance at the Bob Hope Classic. If you want to talk about that and then coming back this year and what you expect to start the year out.
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, it was a great year last year. Didn't take as much time off as this past year as I had the last couple years so I'm looking forward to just kind of getting right back into things. Had a great ball striking week last week, just switched to Cleveland irons and they worked very well. I think we were in the top-10 in ball striking and some of the stats last week, greens hit and fairways hit. I just didn't get the putter going.
But this is a week you got to make a lot of putts and the putter seems like it's coming around. Yeah, just looking forward to going and trying to make a whole lot of birdies.
MARK STEVENS: Do you have the same expectations as just picking up from last year and building on that?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, you know, I mean I still ride the confidence and just being comfortable, I felt a whole lot more comfortable last year and I felt like that was a really big thing for me, because when you're comfortable it's easier to get confident and when your confidence is high you're going to play well and I had the combination of those two things going for me.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Questions.

Q. Obviously you played well enough to get on the Ryder Cup team, was that something that boosted your confidence even more than just playing well, being considered being one of those 12 guys?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, any time you're on a team with the kind of players that are on that team it's pretty, it's pretty awesome and it makes you feel like, wow, I've actually made it, my game is as good as anybody's and I can perform at that level, at any level. It just gives you that much more confidence, I guess because you know if you play your game can you beat anybody.

Q. I grew up in Indiana, I listened to Slick Leonard growing up. Did you hear anything from him after the Ryder Cup?
JEFF OVERTON: No, I didn't. No. I didn't hear anything from him.

Q. Are you a big Pacers fan though? Obviously, that's where you got --
JEFF OVERTON: Well I was a big Reggie Miller fan. My friends in high school, we played on a really competitive golf team. And one of my friends, we thought it was so funny, because they always yell every time Reggie would make a three. And he would, next thing I know it just kind of carried over to the golf course and he would yell, like making 20 footers, and just to make fun of Slick a little bit. And he would just go nuts, you know. Just run around us just, yeah, just, you know and go bananas and I just, it kind of picked it up I started saying it, too. Like when you had a little, like a little match between the other teammates and you made like a 25-footer on the last hole, just to kind of rub it in. And you would kind of run around and do a little screaming and yelling.
And it just, it just kind of hung, it just kind of carried over. The next thing I know when I made that shot like the emotion just got the best of me and I just kind of lost it and that was the first thing that came to my mind.

Q. This is your second time at this tournament. Is it hard as a younger player or somebody who hasn't had as much time here, like Stewart Cink who was here a minute ago, to get a grip on the golf courses and get enough time on the golf courses in order to feel completely confident?
JEFF OVERTON: You know, it's definitely a tough thing. I played last year -- I wasn't even going to play last year because I had never played. The first three years I just, first two years I didn't get in the tournament and the third year I was like, well, I never played, I'll just take the week off. And last year I was like, I need to get some rounds in, I'm just not swinging it very well. And I realized that I think it's a really great golf course, I feel like inside 120 yards was probably one of my strengths last year, like 75 to 120 yards and along with hitting the ball fairly straight and far and when I broke things down I feel like this golf course really sets up well for me because I can put my ball in a lot of really good positions to make birdies.
And I just felt like this place setup great for me and I think that the knowledge of it is big, especially around the greens and some of the approach shots, knowing the little small things, but at the same time if you're executing shots and you're putting good strokes on it, you're going to figure out the rest of the stuff, even though you haven't played the course that much.

Q. Recent history here of a lot of guys getting their first PGA TOUR wins. Bill Haas, Pat Perez, Charley Hoffman who was here. What's the difference between having a great year and having a great tournament and maybe getting that, pushing to that victory?
JEFF OVERTON: What's the difference between what now?

Q. Between playing well and then pushing to a victory.
JEFF OVERTON: Well, I mean I feel like when you're playing well results happen according to how hard you've been working and how your game's been going.
When you have three seconds and two thirds, I felt like two of my second places I didn't lose the tournament, somebody just played a little bit better. And when you're playing the best players in the world that happens.
But it's just, the results just weren't there. I just never got that victory and at the same time it kind of kept pushing me to continue to get to that winners circle. And it probably helped me to have that many top finishes, because if I would have won it's easy to get complacent and you just kind of are like, man, wow, you kind of take a step back and you're like, oh, rather than continuing to push.
And it helped because I learned if I did win that I would know I would want to continue to work harder because the ultimate goal is to win Majors and to be as high ranked in the world as possible.

Q. You can't say if someone shoots a 59 that you lost the tournament, right?
JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I mean unless, you look back on it, I had 35 putts that day, too, so it's, you know even though I shot 3-under, I hit every green in regulation, par-5s in two, but you break it down, if you make, you don't have three 3-putts, you can't, it's hard to win golf tournaments 3-putting in the final round.
But at the same time the greens were dicey, late in the day, with the softness of them and, but -- and that was one of my strengths all year is my putting and just one of those things, that's just the game of golf.
So, but, 59s are, you know, it's almost like when people win out here it's like they're destined to win and it was Appleby's destiny. It's a great story, especially with what has happened with him and his wife and stuff. It was good to see a great guy kind of come out and win Comeback Player of the Year.
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Thanks a lot, Jeff, good luck this week.
JEFF OVERTON: Thank you.

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