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June 3, 2011

Jonathan Byrd


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Jonathan Byrd, thanks for joining us here after a second round 67 to follow a first round 71. Nice playing over the first couple of days. Maybe some opening comments, please.
JONATHAN BYRD: I played just as well today as I did yesterday. I just went bogey-free today, and yesterday I had a double and three bogeys, I think. I was very clean today. I was proud of the way I struck the ball around the golf course and was able to hit the ball the right distance a lot, and I had a lot of good birdie looks.

Q. I had no idea that Furman had made it to the finals until I saw who your caddie was this week. I take it that's just a temporary one-off gig?
JONATHAN BYRD: Yeah, it was a little bittersweet for my brother to be here this week because obviously he'd much rather be at Nationals with his team and trying to compete for a national championship. But it was a pretty good door prize to be able to come caddie here at such a great tournament.
My caddie Adam Hayes is with his wife right now. They had their first child about two weeks ago. This is his third week off. He's been able to enjoy that with her, and he'll be back out next week. It's been pretty fun with my brother. He's done a great job.

Q. It's Jordan?

Q. Has he done it for you before?
JONATHAN BYRD: He has. I think this is his fourth time. I know he's caddied Hartford, somewhere else -- maybe Hartford twice, and then Castle Pines, so he's enjoying -- this walk is pretty difficult but not quite as hard as Castle Pines. We had 36 holes on Sunday the year he caddied and then he took a red-eye home. That's about as hard as it gets.

Q. Speaking of 36 holes, are you in the Open? You don't have to play Monday?
JONATHAN BYRD: I don't, thank goodness. This is one of the first years in a while. No British Open qualifier or U.S. Open qualifier. Very grateful.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the things you're doing right this year? It's been pretty consistent and you've contended a couple times.
JONATHAN BYRD: Simple equals success for me. That's kind of my motto for the year. I work hard. I try to do all the right things, and I feel like I can compete out here at the highest level. But just the simpler I keep things from every part of my game, you know, and just go out there and be an athlete with a simple game plan, simple swing thoughts and don't change a lot when it gets off, it just keeps me more consistent and keeps me around the -- keeps me in the game. You know, miss less cuts.
And then I'm putting a little better this year. I'm putting a lot better inside probably six feet than I did the last couple years, and that's turning 70s into 67s and 73s into 70s and making the distance.

Q. I'm sure you got asked this in the immediate aftermath, but was it a little odd, you and Glover going at it for the title in Charlotte against a guy you had ridden in the van with for many years?
JONATHAN BYRD: Well, Lucas always got the front seat, so I was always behind Lucas in the van, in the team van. He had to have shotgun. He had to have control of the radio, and he always got to pick what restaurant we went to. Only child.
I was a second born, so I was used to kind of just going with it. But yeah, that was pretty fun. I guess it was surreal, but you know, we love to compete out here, whether it's with Lucas on the last hole or anybody else. It's just fun being in the mix. You know, obviously I would have rather won the golf tournament than finished second, but that was just a lot of fun. I was happy for him and happy at the experience that I got from just playing great under the gun, closing the tournament to get in the playoff. I felt like I won even though I didn't win.

Q. Is Jordan a couple years older?
JONATHAN BYRD: 18 months. Two years in school. He played golf at Furman. He was their conference champion one year, so he was a good player, and he tried to play professionally for a little while, and then working a financial job, working for a hedge fund for about four years or three years, and then he got into coaching.

Q. Ended up at Furman because of the connection with you there?
JONATHAN BYRD: I'm sure that played some role into it, but I think his personality and just how he goes about things got him the job. He interviewed with Larry Penley, and he's good friends with Charles Warren and Lucas and all the guys I played with and we all played together growing up. So having those guys behind him thinking he would be a good assistant there got him the job.

Q. Was Mike Hoey on your team there?
JONATHAN BYRD: Michael Hoey, yeah. Great player.

Q. Must have been some team.
JONATHAN BYRD: (Nodding head.)

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