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September 4, 2011

Brendan Steele


MARK STEVENS: Brendan Steele, welcome to the media center, another 67 after a 67 yesterday. If you want to talk about your round and the eagle on the last, we'll take some questions.
BRENDAN STEELE: Sure. Let's see, actually knocked it over the green on the 1st hole and had to get it up-and-down there, make about a six-foot putt, so that kind of got my round going the right way. Sometimes those par saves are more important than even hitting a good shot in there. I was able to come right back on the 2nd hole and hit driver, 6-iron in there to about 30 feet and make a 3. We were off and running there.
Then the course kind of toughened up with the wind blowing all sorts of different directions, some that we had seen before, some that we hadn't, and made kind of a long stretch of pars until 10, hit it pretty close there, about ten feet, and made a birdie there.
Got kind of a bad bounce, didn't think I hit that bad of a shot with a 6-iron into 14 and struggled to make a bogey. And then made a putt up the tier on 16 and hit 5-iron into 18 about four feet for eagle. So that's always a nice way to finish and jump up the board a little bit.

Q. When you finished your round there were six guys tied at 10. What do you expect tomorrow? Seems like it's going to be a total shootout.
BRENDAN STEELE: Sure. It's not even just that there's so many guys, it's who the guys are, too. There's a lot of talent there. Somebody is going to have to definitely go and take this tournament. It's not going to be given to them. Somebody is going to have to go and shoot a really low round. I know Phil shot 63, I think, this morning, and there were some other good ones this morning. I didn't see it out there this afternoon, but if somebody could go do something like that, 65, 66 is probably what it's going to take from one of the guys that's near the lead.

Q. I'm not sure if you've been asked this, but what did you take away from Atlanta that perhaps can help you tomorrow?
BRENDAN STEELE: You know, a lot of things. It definitely hurt a lot right when I got done, especially, and it didn't even hurt so much that I didn't win the golf tournament, it just hurt that I didn't have really the game that I wanted to take out there. A solid finish would have been big for me; something top 5, top 10 I would have taken a lot from. But looking at the positives, I led a major through three rounds. It wasn't a one-round kind of fluke, who-is-this-guy type thing. I was up there with the best players in the world through three rounds, so can definitely take a lot from that. And then also having a win this year and a win at the end of last year in the Nationwide Tour Championship, I feel pretty confident about my game and where it sits compared to the best players in the world.

Q. And you put Idlewild on the map?
BRENDAN STEELE: Trying to put Idlewild on the map.

Q. When you were going about your stretch of pars, and I don't know how much you look at leaderboards out there, but I've got to think there were some times you didn't see your name on the front page because it's so bunched up. Were you surprised to see the day shake out the way it has?
BRENDAN STEELE: A little bit, but it was kind of bunched up to start with, and guys got out there a couple hours in front of me and were able to get a little better conditions and post some good birdies in there, and so they jump over you, and if you can stay patient out here, you will get your chances if you just keep hitting quality shots. I definitely was down a little bit further. I think I was like 17th after I made the bogey on 14, so that shows you how quick things can change a round. You make one putt on 16 and hit a couple of good shots into 18, and all of a sudden you're in the lead.
It's pretty wild that way, the way it's bunched up right now.

Q. How hard is it to stay patient tomorrow?
BRENDAN STEELE: It's always harder on the final round to stay patient, but --

Q. With 50 guys in contention?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, and there's 50 guys in contention. So you get out there, and somebody is 6-under through 8 before you've even teed off, and you think, okay, I've got to really make up some ground here. But that's really not the case. You never know where you're going to get them. I wasn't expecting to make it up the tier on 16, and I also wasn't expecting to hit it as close as I did on 18. But you just never know, so you've just got to keep plugging away and hitting quality shots, and you'll get rewarded.

Q. In other sports when you get to the Playoffs there's a distinct new feel and atmosphere. Can you give us some sense if you feel anything different being in the Playoffs in golf?
BRENDAN STEELE: Sure. There's definitely a difference. In the end it's all just golf. You kind of try to trick yourself and just convince yourself that it's all the same. But guys are really focused on where they sit, what number they sit on, whether they're going to get to play next week, positioning themselves to get to Atlanta. That's the goal for everybody out here is to make sure we play in Atlanta. That's a big goal for me. After I won that was something that I really set in my mind, and I'd like to play a good round tomorrow and just really solidify myself towards that spot and be able to just to play solid next week to get through, not have to do anything crazy.

Q. You had mentioned 65, 66 tomorrow. Last year Charley shot 62. Do you see 62 out there maybe or maybe in the middle of the pack?
BRENDAN STEELE: Maybe from the middle of the pack if they get an early enough start. If the wind blows like it did today, I don't see that. That would be a world-class type round. I mean, that would be a career type day. I don't know what the conditions were like when Charley shot that last year. I wasn't quite up here yet.
But I definitely think that there is a 64, 65 if somebody goes out there and just does everything right. But that being said, it's going to be tough to do that, and you can see that 2-, 3-under is a pretty good score around here. It holds you in pretty good position.
But I expect a guy like Watson or Donald or Watney or somebody to go and shoot something really good like that.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Brendan. Good look tomorrow.

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