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July 9, 2011

Brendon de Jonge


THE MODERATOR: Okay. Well, Brendon, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Quite a good Round 3 out of you. I believe, if I looked correctly, tied your career-low round of 63. Obviously a lot of things going your way. If you could just talk a little bit about the round and how you're feeling as we head into the final round tomorrow. It's obviously still very much game on.
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. Obviously I got off to a great start today, which was the key to set up the round. Yeah, I think tomorrow's going to be more of the same. You're going to have to make a bunch of birdies. The golf course is in such good condition, the ball's going so far, that you get a lot of wedges in your hand.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. With that we'll go ahead and open it up and take some questions.

Q. Brendon, you shoot that 63 and you gain no round on Stricker. What's that like?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I almost expect it around here. Obviously he knows how to play this golf course very, very well. He's very comfortable around it. But no, it's nice. I do have a chance tomorrow, which is great.

Q. What's clicking with you right now? What part of your game is really key to your climbing up?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I've managed to make a bunch of 8, 10-footers, which you have to obviously to shoot some good scores, and therefore made a bunch of birdies. I haven't actually hit it that great, but I've been able to manage it fairly well.

Q. Last year you finished seventh here. How much did you learn about this course from that year?
BRENDON DE JONGE: A lot. You know, a lot. I realize that you gotta take advantage of a bunch of holes out there, and there's also a bunch of tough holes where you're happy to make a par and now you know hopefully how to play it the way it's supposed to be.

Q. What was your mindset going into this round?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Just try and make as many birdies as I could. I teed off obviously late and saw great scores when we teed off. Everybody was making a bunch of birdies, so you realize you have to.

Q. You were in this position earlier this year at Transitions. What did you take away from that experience that you can apply tomorrow?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Just trying to slow down. Do things at my own speed. I think when I get under the gun I start going a little bit quick. Just kind of slow down and take an extra deep breath every now and then.

Q. Brendon, to say you do have a chance tomorrow, is that realistic considering that guy that you're going to be chasing and what he's done around here the last two years?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. I would like to think so. Yeah, I think anybody's got a chance that's within a couple. Obviously you're going to have to play a very good round of golf. But yeah, I think everybody feels like they've got a chance.

Q. Do you focus on a low score or do you just go out?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I'll just go out and try and play the best round I can.

Q. Were you cognizant of Steve's putt on 18?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. I just saw the scoreboard when I was looking down there. He made a 15-footer or something for par. Yeah, I watched the scoreboards pretty much all day, just a quick glance here and there.

Q. Is it a different mindset playing tomorrow with Steve knowing his track record here as opposed to maybe with somebody else?
BRENDON DE JONGE: You know, I think regardless of who it is, you're going to have to play a good round of golf and you're going to have to make a bunch of birdies.

Q. (Indiscernible). Does that make it more fun or more daunting?
BRENDON DE JONGE: You know, I think a win regardless of who you beat would be wonderful. But yeah, definitely an awesome challenge.

Q. You're from Zimbabwe. Who did you look to as a role model when you were coming up?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Nick Price, definitely. I've become very good friends with him as well and it's tough to find a better guy to have as a role model.

Q. How did your family end up in Zimbabwe?
BRENDON DE JONGE: My mom's third generation. My dad's family moved from Holland when he was real young, and then I was born and raised there.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BRENDON DE JONGE: No. I live over here now. But yeah, my friends are still there, but I live over here now.

Q. How often do you get back there?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I haven't been back since 2007.

Q. Have you played with Steve before?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Practice round, I believe, yeah. No competitive rounds.

Q. What do you see in his game that explains what he does at this golf course?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Just extremely solid and one of the best in the world. I mean he's obviously a wonderful putter. Everyone knows. Doesn't hit very many bad shots.

Q. Will you talk to Nick tonight?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I'll probably get a text message from Nick, I would imagine. He's kind of stopped texting me before final rounds because it hasn't worked out too well. So we'll see how that goes.

Q. He did text you before the Transitions?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yes, he did. And then he had another text after the final round, which wasn't as nice as the one before the final round.

Q. Does this correspond to your play? Is it an enjoyable course? Do you like the birdie type of mentality, or lower scoring courses or higher scoring courses?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I've typically had more success on tougher golf courses, but no, it is nice to play a golf course where you can make a bunch of birdies.
You still gotta play well to do it. You can't just expect to go out there and let it happen. But you do have to play well.

Q. Has anything changed about the course?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. It did firm up a little bit today. Our last nine holes the ball was definitely bouncing a little bit more. We had a little bit of breeze out there, and it dried it out. I know there's a chance of rain tomorrow. I don't know if we're going to get it or not. If we don't, the golf course is going to be pretty firm.

Q. What's going to be the key to making the most out of all the birdies that kept coming?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I think, you know, at times you can tend to get overaggressive, go at flags that you shouldn't. I think that's the key for me. If I get a good number, go for a flag. If not, just hit it in the middle of the green and hopefully make a 20-footer.

Q. Is that more difficult to have that mentality right away when you're going into a final day situation knowing that you're right there and you're going down to win the title?
BRENDON DE JONGE: It can be, but I think you just have to be disciplined. You know, go in with that mindset before you tee off and tell yourself stick to it.

Q. I know you've played well and I've watched you a couple times. Is there something about the courses or the climate or the bent grass greens in this part of the country, the Midwest that you prefer?
BRENDON DE JONGE: I do prefer the bent grass greens, definitely. I grew up on bent grass greens. I've always struggled on Bermuda. I think that's it. I see the line a little bit easier.

Q. If there were a front runner now with what's his name on the sidelines, as good as Steve, and it seems like maybe Sundays are hard on the leaders over the last couple years, maybe harder than they have been.
BRENDON DE JONGE: Well, Steve's obviously got a lot to look back on. He's got the past success the last couple years, so I don't think he's going to struggle too much tomorrow.

Q. (Indiscernible) break it down where you're at right now?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yes and no. I played nicely at the beginning of the season and managed to turn a lot of good finishes into top 20s, and then I've actually struggled the last couple months, but finally starting to feel a little bit better again.

Q. You talked about looking at scoreboards today. Will it be good to have Steve in your sights tomorrow?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. I think I'm going to know what he would be doing regardless if we're in the same group or not. There's a million scoreboards out there. So if you want to know, you can.
THE MODERATOR: Brendon, last thing if you wouldn't mind, just running us through your birdies and bogeys, just give us some clubs and yardages as best you recall.
BRENDON DE JONGE: No. 2, I hit a 5-iron in the middle of the green, two-putted that. No. 3, they had the tees way up. I hit a wedge in there about four feet. No. 5, I hit a wedge in there about eight feet.
No. 6 I hit a wedge in there about five feet. No. 8 I hit an 8-iron to about four feet. 11, I hit about a 15-footer. 13 I drove it in the fairway bunker, hit a poor fairway bunker shot, didn't get up-and-down. 14, drove it just on the fringe and two-putted that. 17 hit a 5-iron just on the left fringe and two-putted that. And then 18 chopped one out of the right rough and made about a 15-footer there for birdie.

Q. Can you talk about that birdie on 18? What did that mean?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. Obviously it was kind of a make-or-break shot. I got a little bit lucky, it went through the bottom leaves of the tree and it worked out great, but yeah, it definitely gave me a lot of momentum going into tomorrow.

Q. Did you feel like you had to go for it?
BRENDON DE JONGE: Yeah. I had enough of a shot to go for it.

Q. How difficult was the shot there?
BRENDON DE JONGE: It wasn't easy. I mean obviously the rough could have turned it over and it could have gone out a little bit left, but it came out nicely.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Well, Brendon, we appreciate your time. Keep it up.

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