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January 19, 2011

Brendan Steele


Q. How did it go out there today?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, it's nice to come home to an event that I always kind of came down to growing up and to actually be on the other side of the ropes is a real treat. And I didn't have a very good week last week, but just kind of had to get the first one out of the way, I think.
And I came back and worked with my coach a little bit the last two days and he seemed to get me sorted out. So I got off to a really good start today and then kind of a roller coaster ride. Had kind of a bad middle, just kind of fell asleep for about seven holes, six, seven holes, something like that, and woke back up for the finish.

Q. Talk to me about nerves coming in this week.
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, definitely. I mean, always nerves in any kind of competitive golf. Always nervous.
I think if you don't feel that, then you don't care enough, when you're on the first tee, at least.
And a little bit more for me the last two weeks than I had playing Nationwide Tour the last year, last couple years. I started getting pretty comfortable out there, knowing that I belonged out there and out here I'm trying to just kind of find my way and just, I know if I play my game I'll be fine, but it's hard to kind of keep it in your on mind there.

Q. Who was all out here to watch you today?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, a bunch of people, my parents are out, a few family friends, Jack Clark.

Q. How often have you played these courses growing up around here?
BRENDAN STEELE: I didn't play these exact courses very often. I hadn't played this one until yesterday ever before. And the two PGA West courses I hadn't played at all until two weeks ago I came down. I played SilverRock in some mini-tour events, so I played five or six times out there. But it's been a few years. I played a lot at PGA West, but never those two courses.

Q. Did you have an inkling that you would be comfortable coming out here?
BRENDAN STEELE: Oh, yeah, definitely. The grass is pretty comfortable and familiar and I tend to like the tournaments where the courses play a little bit easier, too. So you get weather like this and you can get after it a little bit.

Q. Your timetable getting here to the TOUR, you say you're ahead of schedule in terms of what you thought?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, maybe slightly ahead or just about on. I just kind of, I progressively have gotten better since I turned pro in 2005. So it's nice to see that improvement every year and it's always a change when you step up to the next level.
I had that step from Canadian TOUR to Nationwide Tour and now I've got it from Nationwide Tour to the PGA TOUR. You got to kind of figure out where you belong and what you need to do, but I think it's actually going to be easier for me to make the transition from Nationwide Tour to PGA TOUR than it was from Canadian TOUR to Nationwide Tour.
I feel like I fit in a little bit more, I'm a little bit more mature with my game, I understand it a little bit better, so I feel like I belong a little bit more off the bat.

Q. Do you remember the first time that you came to this tournament as a kid?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah. Me and my dad and my brother came, I was probably eight or nine years old, probably would have been like '91 or '92. And before I was even playing golf. I wasn't, I hadn't even started yet, I was playing baseball or soccer. But I was always fascinated with it even though I wasn't playing.

Q. Do you have vivid memories of that?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I do. I do. All the, I got autographs from all sorts of celebrities and players and just I got an autograph, I remember it was kind of a colder day that year, we were walking around and Corey Pavin has always been one of my favorite players, so I saw Corey and went over and he was really nice and gave me an autograph and he was wearing his Ryder Cup jacket from the year before, so that can probably date it a little bit easier, but, yeah, that's the most vivid memory that I have of it.

Q. What does a moment like that do for a kid?
BRENDAN STEELE: He'll always be a favorite of mine just from taking that 15 seconds to be nice and sign my program. It makes a big impact on you. And that's kind of what I've tried to do with any kind of kids that I run into, any people in general, but especially with the kids. They remember -- I still remember that there were guys that weren't that friendly or were like, I'll get you after the round or whatever, and those guys didn't become my favorites, you know.
But I remember like Corey and then Craig Stadler, I handed him a thing as he walked up with a Sharpie, I didn't have the cap off of it, and he went walking by me, but he grabbed it and took the cap off and whipped it over his head, threw it over his head and I caught it. So those are my two best memories from my first trip.

End of FastScripts

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