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October 9, 2011

Bryce Molder


THE MODERATOR: I'd like to congratulate Bryce Molder, winning the 2011 Frys.com Open. Bryce, if you want to kind of go through your thoughts on picking up your first TOUR win and then we'll have some questions.
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. First of all, it's kind of still sinking in and probably will be for a little while.
I've had a few questions already about how does it feel to finally win, and I'm trying not to look at it as if there were expectations before this. It's just -- it's very gratifying. It's a lot of fun to be in contention and want to be there. And to be honest, that was my biggest hurdle for the last few years is I've gotten myself into contention; and to be brutally honest, I didn't want to be there, and I wasn't ready for dealing with the nerves yet and the shots, and really the failure yet.
And all of a sudden once you're ready to deal with the failure, all of a sudden you can free things up and play, so that's what I've been working on for a little while now. And it's fun to be out there to -- and hit some shots in those circumstances knowing everything's on the line, and you really -- you really don't care that much. And it's a fun way to play golf.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions?

Q. (Indiscernible).
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah. It's such a strange dynamic, a playoff, because it's just the two of you now, and you've had nerves all day long, and there's only so long that your body can be nervous. And you almost kind of get through it. You still have the adrenaline and that's why a lot of times you see some great golf in playoffs.
And it was crazy. I kept thinking let's just -- we don't need to come back tomorrow. I'm sure everybody else was thinking that as well, but it was, we were almost kind of laughing to each other, that you know, we're trying to finish this thing, too, guys. We know there's a lot of people with planes to catch and homes to go home to.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, it's funny. I hit it in that hazard the first two rounds, and the second round I had a pretty similar lie, pretty similar shot, and I almost hit it in the exact same spot right on the front edge of the green. And you know, it wasn't an easy shot. It certainly wasn't heroic. I'd love to tell you it was buried a lot more than it was. I knew if I could just get a decent club on it, it would go somewhat where I was looking. And unfortunately for Briny he missed a couple of makeable putts on 18 that would have won it. I kind of missed some on 17, so it kind of -- like you said, it kind of went back and forth.

Q. What did you hit on that?
BRYCE MOLDER: I think it was a 9-iron. I think I had 140 yards and it actually came out a little softer than I thought, but when you've got it choked up down to the steel, you're really just kind of happy to hit it solid.

Q. Given everything the way it happened in the playoff and then Briny two-putts there on the last hole, you're standing over that putt. Just take us through sort of what's going through your mind at that point.
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, the hardest part in that situation is we both got six feet, is to not hope that he misses, and not only because you don't want to see it end that way, but because you've gotta prepare yourself like you have to make it. In the back of your mind you'd certainly rather have to two-putt to win the tournament, but at that point, especially after so many holes.
And those are the little battles that you're always kind of fighting the whole time is, whether it's in regulation, trying to stay away from the leaderboards and kind of keep an eye on things. It's just kind of doing what you can do.

Q. But after he makes it, I mean are you standing over thinking, I really want to get this over with?
BRYCE MOLDER: I mean, yes, you know. And again, I went back to what I was trying to do all day and for the last really four or five or six months is when I'm really trying hard is to care less and just see if I could free up my putter.
And you know, late in the day the greens were, you know, a little bumpy and they were starting to grow in, and so you just have to kind of forget about all that and know that you just -- always my thought is just, you know, two inches in front of the ball, just get it started on a decent line and that's all you can do. Once it leaves your putter there's nothing else you can do, so that's what I was trying to do, and to be honest with you, I don't really know exactly what all was going through my head.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BRYCE MOLDER: I did. And I turned around. I wasn't -- I was aware of what the leaderboards were doing, especially with some of the holes you have coming in. It could change the way, you know, you play some holes. And I just happened to catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye that he was to 17, and I just kind of thought -- you know, I told my caddy, Eric, I said, all right; we gotta get one more. And he kind of didn't know what I was talking about.
I said, well, he just made a two, I said let's go get one. Fortunately I hit a good shot, and then I had maybe 15 feet up the hill, and actually I think I pulled it a little bit, but it happened to go in.

Q. Bryce, what was your thinking on the final playoff hole when Mark came in to do the measurement with the flag stick? It looked like there was only a quarter of an inch between the length of yours and Briny's putt. And what was going through your mind? You kind of had a reaction like you didn't really care who was putting.
BRYCE MOLDER: I thought it was the tournament already that it was his, and then they brought the flag stick out. I was doing something else, and I turned around, and all of a sudden -- you know, I started thinking about like, you know, NFL or something, we've got the instant replay here and is it going to overturn the call. And it was very close.
And you know, whether it makes a difference, it could. You know, I would think he probably would have wanted to -- I don't know. I don't know what he would have wanted in that position, but yeah, it was extremely close.

Q. Do you like the 17th and 18th holes here and --
BRYCE MOLDER: I like them now.

Q. And will you start -- have you packed up and were ready to go, would you have had to unpack if you had to stay and come back tomorrow morning?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, I was packed up, ready to go to the airport at 7:20. I don't think I'm going to make that flight. So yeah.
And as far as those final holes go, I mean they're great. A lot of drama, you know, and 17 with it being drivable, it happened to be downwind, so there wasn't much of a question as to whether you would go for it.
And then 18 actually, for my taste I'm glad that they got -- they used the left tee box there. It just created, I felt like, a better -- visually a better hole for me.
We were kind of hitting over the hazard instead of across it, a little bit. It didn't matter much. But -- and it was nice playing those holes downwind. But 18 can get really tight.

Q. In general, and I don't mean this facetiously, is this now one of your favorite courses to play?
BRYCE MOLDER: Well, I already really enjoyed the golf course before I got here, and I was looking forward to being here. And you're always going to hold a pretty special place in your mind when you win a golf tournament and you do something pretty special.
Just down the road, Pebble Beach I've always thought is my favorite place to play golf, and this isn't too far away. It kind of has the same feel, the same smell, the same -- you know. But I did -- officially it does set up well for me, and I felt like a big part of it for me is visual, being able to read the greens, or seeing the break in the greens and being able to pick good lines off the tee.
But it'll -- even if I hated the golf course and hated the layout, which I don't, I'd hold a pretty special place in my heart.

Q. Bryce, you mentioned the 17th. How frustrating was it for you in the playoff to keep hitting great tee shots there, but not getting the hang of that line of putt?
BRYCE MOLDER: I -- you know, the hole just kind of -- even in regulation I had about a 10 or 12-footer for birdie, and it actually horse-shoed, and I just kept thinking is this hole going to do me in, even though I'm hitting some good shots.
But sometimes you get putts, certain lines on putts where you just don't feel like you can make it where the last time we played it Briny and I were literally on the same line because I had to move my mark, and his broke right and mine broke left. And sometimes that happens.
So I was a little upset that I felt like the first time around, the first playoff and the third playoff hole times playing it I hit good putts, and I felt like they were going to go in and they didn't. I hit a pretty poor putt the other time. But you just never know how it's going to come out.

Q. When you had the two-shot lead, you were 230 I think into the par-5 and you opted to lay up and then you don't make birdie there. Were there any demons creeping in there where you thought I should have gone for it?
BRYCE MOLDER: Yeah, and the numbers -- if it was just the numbers, I would have gone for it, but it was the fact that it played a good ten yards uphill and then there was also a good bit of breeze at the time in and off the left.
And I mean that's -- you know, everybody has holes in their game, and 3-wood off the ground is kind of a hole for me. That's not -- and not that I can't pull the shot off, but I felt like, you know, I'm putting so well right now and I'm wedging it so well that I'm just going to try to play to my strength.
And so as soon as I did that and the wind kept -- I would have been a little upset if the wind would have died that I didn't wait a second, but once I got up there and saw where you could miss it and whatever, it was the right play for me.
And then it came to 17 where I kind of had am I two shots up, am I one shot, what am I, and I just decided you know what, crazy things can happen coming in here, so I might as well try to make a birdie.

Q. Bryce, you've had a few less starts than Briny. You had 131 to be exact. What was the hardest part for you to get to this point to win?
BRYCE MOLDER: You know, it took a long time. I went through a really struggle -- that's great English. I really struggled a lot from about 2003 to about 2006 or '7, and just to get comfortable back playing on the PGA TOUR and getting comfortable to where I could actually get in contention took a lot.
And then I've been in the final group some and I've been -- I've had some chances going into the last day, and I felt like I was really upset because I felt like I didn't give myself a chance to win at all, not because I wasn't hitting the shots, but because I showed up and I played scared. I played to not mess up.
And it took a lot of work to fight through that, and it's -- there's some guys that have the hammer down 100 miles per hour and that's all they know, and I'm not that guy. So it took a lot.
But it was -- you know, I woke up this morning and really and truly -- didn't have a funny feeling, hey, I think I'm going to win this. I just felt like, you know, I want to be me today. And there were a lot of days where I couldn't -- it wasn't that I just couldn't wait for it to be over with, but a little bit. And I think a lot of guys would be lying if they told you they hadn't felt that before.
And so to be brutally honest, it took a lot to just get myself to that position.

Q. You were a four-time All America at Georgia Tech and former College Player of the Year. Is that correct?
BRYCE MOLDER: That is correct. Yeah, that was a long time ago. That was a lot of fun. That was when the game seemed pretty easy, and I watched some of these guys, Patrick Cantlay, you know, they don't know how hard it is yet. It's almost not fair that they're competing against us, but yeah.

Q. During a college tournament you shot a 60 at Hilton Head.
BRYCE MOLDER: I did. I shot a 60, 12-under, and I actually didn't win the golf tournament. Somebody shot 63 in my group and clipped me by a shot. That was another one of those days where at the end of the day you almost -- win, lose, whatever, you're just glad to be a part of it.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
BRYCE MOLDER: Yes, it does. I probably won't get a letter from them like I did then, but yeah, I think it was '98 or '99 I shot 60 playing with President Clinton, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Well, thanks a lot, Bryce, good luck next week.
BRYCE MOLDER: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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