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June 25, 2011

Bryce Molder


DOUG MILNE: Okay. Like to welcome Bryce Molder. Bryce, you're one off the lead going into the final round. Do you want to talk about your round today and then we'll take some questions.
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. It was funny, for the first 27 holes of the event, I played as solid as I've played all year. I got up this morning for the third morning in a row at 5, which is really early coming from the West Coast, and just was not feeling very good. I did not hit it very well.
I managed to shoot one-under on that nine holes, but I putted well and went straight to the range and just worked for 30 or 40 minutes, got stretched out, which felt a lot better because I wasn't feeling great. And then when I got to the range again to warm up, I could already tell that the club was in a better spot and it felt a little better.
And early on I felt very comfortable out there, and that was really my key. It has been for a little while is just trying to get comfortable and try to hit some shots and have some fun. Let me just go through the round.
Yeah, I hit it close on No. 2, a little wedge shot and made about a five-footer. Turned around on No. 3 and just kind of made a mess of the hole, hit it down the fairway, left it short and right and missed a five-footer for par. Coming back on the next hole, the toughest hole of the golf course, it was playing a little easier today because it was downwind, but No. 4 I hit a 4-iron from 211, 210, something like that, hit it to a foot, which is always fun.
And then No. 6 was the momentum builder really. I hit really the only poor tee shot of the day and just made a mess of the par-5, hit it to about 40 feet and made a long putt. All of a sudden, you know, frees you up some more. I hit it close on the next hole, No. 7, I hit it to about a foot and a half with a 9-iron; hit it to about six feet on No. 9 and made it for birdie. Went around again, good up-and-down on 14. And then No. 15, hit a really good tee shot just left of the flag just off the green and made a tap-in for birdie.
And then 17 happened, which was pretty fun. I hit an 8-iron, a little bit of a flier and got about -- well, somebody told me it was 38 feet over the flag. And you know, again, from that distance and that much break and downhill, you're just trying to get it close, and what do you know, the hole gets in the way. So I made that one. So that was the round.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Questions?

Q. You talk about getting up at 5 in the morning. Obviously it's been a crazy week. We've heard guys say all week I'm tired. It's hard to go out and grind it out. How tough is it to get back mentally into this game especially now that it's the weekend?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, it's such a strange -- and it's not that it doesn't happen very often because it does, but we're so used to the routine of the week. And it just feels different.
You know, everybody kind of keeps joking around. I was playing with guys this morning. It's Saturday morning. We're finishing our Friday round and we're just kind of like, what day is it? Where are we and what day is it?
And you know, you just kind of -- you spend a lot of time on the golf course and a little bit of time in the hotel room trying to get some sleep. And I don't think fatigue is an issue. You know, you have a chance to get enough sleep, but it's just a strange overall week when it happens like this, and so it's nice to get back on schedule and everything will feel pretty back to normal tomorrow and hopefully be able to sleep in, sleep in a little bit.

Q. You hear a lot of guys who are in contention after three rounds talk about the need to stay aggressive. Is that easier to do at an event like this where birdies are just flying all over the place?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, I think there's different ways to describe -- there's different ways to be aggressive, and I love the way that Rory talked about it. It's funny we can just use him by his first name now, huh? Or is it Mr. McIlroy? I don't know, you know.
But he talked about it might not necessarily be aggressive at the flag or aggressive decision making, but aggressive swings to a specific target. And so I guess you do want to have the mindset of birdies and you do want to be 15 and 20 feet, trying to make those putts, and when the greens are a little bit slower because they've been wet, you can do that. And you kind of have to remind yourself.
But I think it's just as difficult as, you know, when you're playing a golf course that's playing tough to do the same thing. It's just pick whatever the target is and be aggressive to that target. And I think it's all the same thing. But it is -- you know, it's a mindset of, yeah, I need to make some birdies. You can't get comfortable out there. Yeah, because you never know what can happen the last seven or eight holes. Anybody is still kind of in it.

Q. Have you been in the final group on a Sunday before and can you talk a little bit about the opportunity that you'll have tomorrow?
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. I think I have maybe three or four times. And I've just done okay. It's a great opportunity. It means you're doing a lot of things well. And it means that if you can do it for three rounds, you can do it for four.
But you know, then again, it is different. And I haven't handled it really well. And I think it's just been my -- not my preparation, not my intention. Just my overall, I think the overall energy that I show up with to the golf course. And that's what I've tried to change for the last month because I was struggling a lot.
And you know, how do you build momentum, how do you -- when you don't have any. So with a buddy we just tried to work on just trying to change the energy, showing up with a different energy. I don't even like different mindset, but just a different energy and just enjoy being out there and kind of separating results from the process.
And that's everything. You know, nobody does that perfectly. But when you can do that, at least you're free enough that the results are what they should be instead of being -- that's the way I was playing about six or eight weeks ago. I started playing better, but I was almost waiting for something bad to happen or just holding on. And that's a hard thing not to do. It's very difficult, and so that's why I was working on that. And you know, I've gotta just try and do the same thing tomorrow.

Q. One of those times where you were in the final group, do you remember when those would have been?
BRYCE MOLDER: My first event as a professional at the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2001 I was in the final group the last day. I didn't -- you know, I was just 22 and didn't know any better. That's kind of how it happens.
And then it took me another six or seven years, in Memphis, just a few years back I was in the final group where I finished second. Last year -- yeah, that's right. In Houston, Shell Houston Open and then also Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial. I don't think I was at Pebble this year. I think I was second-to-last group at Pebble this year. I've been second-to-last group a few other times and same kind of feeling.

Q. Three of the last five winners here won their first PGA TOUR victory here. Does that give you any kind of confidence going into tomorrow? Why do you think that is that so many guys have got it their first time?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, I think -- I don't have much of an answer other than it's probably more of a coincidence than anything else. I know also that it being sandwiched between two of our bigger events, you know, you might have some guys that are younger guys, you know, on TOUR or they're just establishing themselves before they've won. And maybe I'm trying to find something, but -- so you know, that's -- unfortunately that's the best answer I can give you.

Q. How tough will it be to stay in the moment and not get ahead of yourself for that first victory tomorrow?
BRYCE MOLDER: It's probably the toughest thing that we do because just, you know, going back to Rory, nobody will doubt that -- or second guess that he was playing the best of everyone at the Masters and he just wasn't quite ready yet. And then the same thing happened, not a coincidence, at the next major he shows up and he wins by -- if the tournament kept going, he would have won by 75.
And it's just part of the learning process, and sometimes you learn it early and quickly and sometimes you don't. But that's part of the fun we have.

Q. Kind of talk about that learning curve and being 22 years old, the last grouping of the day. Obviously Patrick Cantlay dealing with that kind of pressure for the first time in his amateur career. What advice would you have for him? This is a kid that has a huge following today, people screaming at him. I can't imagine the mentality as a player, but what would you tell him to kind of get refocused?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, I would tell him to write down some notes just of what today was like. Tonight do that and then tomorrow do the same thing of what tomorrow is going to be like because these are invaluable experiences and there's a lot of 30 and 40-year-olds that would love to remember what it felt like when we were 20.
Just like when you're 20, you know, you think, gosh, if I can just putt like I did when I was 10, because there was no come-back putt. When you're 10 feet, you're not thinking about the next one. All of a sudden you've three-putted enough times and you start thinking about that. It's the same thing.
This game -- we get more polished. Our physical game gets more polished and our emotional game gets beat up as you get older, and it's not really fair playing against somebody that hasn't gotten beat up yet.
But I would say that, just to remember what this feels like because it's fun -- I mean obviously go have a great time and realize, you know, if he could realize early on that, you know, all you can do is accept the results and move on and have a good time with it. Then -- you know, I mean obviously he's unbelievably talented.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Thanks a lot, Bryce. Good luck tomorrow.

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