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September 25, 2011

Hunter Mahan


JOHN BUSH: Hunter Mahan joins us here at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. What a day out there, came up a little bit short. If you can just comment on your thoughts, please.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, you know, long, tough day, a lot on the line and everything. I couldn't have been happier with how I played, I just can't make a putt. I didn't have my first birdie until 18, and I had a ton of looks. They were close, too. Just didn't make a putt.
I thought I had one on the second playoff hole and then he hits it out of the water to two feet, so it seemed like he was destined to win this week.
JOHN BUSH: Talk about your thoughts, not just the tournament on the line but the $10 million up for grabs, too.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, there was a lot on the line, and it's kind of all or nothing because I don't know what I finished in the FedEx, 8th or something like that. But yeah, it's -- I don't know if I'll ever be in that position again, but it was fun. To make three pars in a row on 18, 17 and 18 again, that's pretty good.

Q. You had a good year, but you did not win this year. Do you feel like in a way that it wasn't your year because of that factor?
HUNTER MAHAN: Because of what?

Q. Because you did not win a tournament this year, correct?

Q. And you came close today. Do you think that was sort of a running theme for you for the year, that you just couldn't --
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, game was -- I don't know, nine or ten top 10s this year. It was solid, you know, but it wasn't great. I had a chance at Pebble, just missed out there and missed out here. But I was close all year.
You know, pretty happy with the way I played this week. I played pretty good. I hit a lot of good shots. Like I said, I couldn't buy a putt today, and that's the way it goes sometimes, and that's the way our years are sometimes.
I think I may have made more money this year than I ever have, I'm not sure, but I didn't win. It's weird. It's weird. Golf is a funny game like that. If I've learned anything, I can't be really disappointed. I can't be mad or disappointed or angry about the day. That's not what it's about.

Q. What were the clubs you hit into 18? And did the ball just not turn over for you?
HUNTER MAHAN: I hit 3-iron the first time, and I just yanked it a little bit, and I hit another 3-iron and just fanned it out to the right, and I hit a 4-iron and just fanned it out. Just not good shots, not good quality shots. In regulation was probably my best up-and-down I've had in a long time. It wasn't an easy shot, especially with the circumstances and everything. But got a good up-and-down, but just didn't make good swings.

Q. Were there times out there, especially during the playoff, when you looked at a certain shot or a putt and said, this putt could be worth $10 million or that putt could be worth $10 million, that type of thing?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I thought he had a tough putt on the first playoff hole, and I had almost the exact same putt I had in regulation, so I felt confident about that.
And he poured it right in the middle. And then when he hit it -- on 17, when he hit it in the water and everything, I'm standing there with a wedge in my hand, and I'm like, this is the most important wedge I've ever had, flushed it, hit a perfect shot, and then he hits it two feet, and I hit a really good putt, it was just a tad too hard. Less speed and it goes right in the middle.
You definitely have those feelings out there, but you're going to waste a lot of energy trying not to think about it because it's going to pop in there. I think it's just human nature.

Q. When he was hitting his shot out of the water, did you flash back to your shot the first round and think, man, this is going to be difficult for him?
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, obviously I was in the fairway and everything, and like -- we knew in the practice rounds, we kind of looked over there and we saw that the water was very low, and we saw that there was a little bit of space, a little gap over there, so if you hit a shot and it just trickled down, it probably wasn't going to reach the water.
I hit a shot over there in practice just to see how it would be, and it was firm sand. I hit a pretty good shot out of there. It wasn't really that difficult. I knew the way the crowd sounded, it looked like he had a good shot, and it probably just crept through. I figured, boy, he's in the water. If he hits it within ten feet, it's going to be a hell of a shot, and he hit it two feet, so you've got to tip your hat to him.

Q. The way the whole day played out, there were so many scenarios and everything changed in a second. Did you pay much attention to that or were you able to just focus on all I can do is win the tournament and whatever else happens, happens?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I looked -- when I saw -- actually saw when Webb got done, and I was like tied for second, I saw where I wasn't going to be in the FedExCup, and I realized you're either going to win and get everything, or you're not. So we were kind of thinking of stuff, it's time to go hit some big shots and make birdies and maybe eagle on 15 and try to just win it outright because that's the way the math was. It just kind of added up that way.
If you won -- actually I didn't know if Luke -- I thought -- since Luke finished so high, I thought he was going to win no matter what, but I guess he ended up not. But I kind of saw the last couple holes, I figured it was going to be the FedEx and TOUR Championship all together.

Q. When you're two or three shots back with three or four holes to play and you get in a playoff, do you view it as a bonus and you can't be too disappointed with what happened?
HUNTER MAHAN: No, like I said, I was very happy with the way I played today, I just literally didn't make a putt. I made about a 4-footer on 15, and I was -- that was pretty much it today. I don't know if I made a putt outside of that. And I feel like I hit good putts. I didn't feel like they were bad strokes, they were just kind of misreads, some were too high, some were too low, and I could never get any kind of momentum going the right way.
You know, luckily Bill came back to us, really, and it felt like -- like I said, I felt like the first time on a playoff hole I felt like I had a chance. Played 17, thought I had a chance there, too. That's golf. That's the way it is. Sometimes things just don't go your way, but I'm not at all disappointed how I played today.
JOHN BUSH: Hunter, we appreciate your time.

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