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October 19, 2011
KEEGAN BRADLEY -4 Total (71)
CHARL SCHWARTZEL -3 Total (65)
RORY McILROY +3 Total (75)
DARREN CLARKE +9 Total (74)
JULIUS MASON: Darren, your first participation in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, you did like the front nine, didn't you?
DARREN CLARKE: Yeah, it was good. Obviously I haven't played well the past two days, but it's been a pleasure to be here, thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though I got a little bit annoyed when I was out on the golf course, it's been great, really good.
Q. Wondering how you feel about your game, and working on your swing, what you've seen this week, any indications that it's where you want to be?
DARREN CLARKE: It's okay, ongoing, ongoing. I've just been making a few changes and getting way too steep on my backswing and that's from playing in a lot of wind. Been doing that at home, and just have to get it back again. Just taking me a little bit of time, that's all. A shame I played so poorly this week, but I'm here for a good reason, so not too bad, not all bad. Looking forward to a very bad hangover in the morning.
Q. Where are you headed next?
DARREN CLARKE: Next week, I was scheduled to play Valderrama next week, but I'm not playing now because I've decided that Bermuda is such a beautiful place that I'm going to stay on for a few extra days. So I'm going to stay and have a nice time; my fianc√É¬©e and my family is here. So I'm going to have a have a vacation instead of going back home to play. So next one will be HSBC in Shanghai, that will be next.
JULIUS MASON: Charl Schwartzel in at minus three. Charl, a different day than yesterday a little bit.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: A lot more red numbers than those blue ones than yesterday.
JULIUS MASON: How was it out there today.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: Today was tough. The wind was very strong. It made shots difficult. And you know, I just made a nice putt there on 5, which is the first one that felt like the whole tournament, and a long one on 6.
And all of a sudden it felt like, I can do this, I can make a few putts out there. My stroke started to become a little smoother and I can see the lines a bit better and made a whole bunch of birdies and got myself in it.
Q. What was it like to get back in there, starting seven shots back, and next thing you know you're tied for the lead?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I mean, the only way for me that I thought was any chance was to have weather like this. If it was a good day, we were in there just for spectators. I was happy to see the wind up. I know I can play well in the wind. It's a matter of making a few putts out there, and you know, started getting it going.
I could see Keegan and Rory, they weren't making as many birdies as yesterday and they were coming back a little bit. So I knew I could make it up -- I didn't think I was going to make five in a row, but I was very pleased and got myself in it the back nine. That's quite exciting.
Q. Did Darren's putt give you any kind of a line on 18 on your putt?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: I sort of saw it, but it was difficult from the angle; it's hard to get in. I was a bit late.
But I had a feeling, I saw his wedge finish, so I had a feeling it would come slightly off the left. I hit a great putt, about a meter to go, it looked like it was going to be middle.
Q. The chip-in on 9, that really set you off, didn't it, for the back nine, wondering if you would just talk us through that.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: 9, I got myself in the back bunker, but Rory hit a great bunker shot, and that was as close as you were going to get it if you were going to pitch it on the green.
So I was just trying pitch it was -- pretty much what I did, in the fringe. That was the only putt that was going to kill it. And you know, it would have broken the momentum quite a bit to walk off there with a bogey after a run of birdies. Shots like that, you get that feeling that maybe this is going to be another one of those days.
Q. Were you a little disappointed you didn't hit your second shot a little closer on 18, and were you trying to bring it back often slope?
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: When I walked over the green going from 9 to 10, I looked at that slope. It's very risky trying to pitch it short of that flag, because that ball could finish seven feet short. So I was always going for the slope, just left and long. You know, that ball maybe pitched a foot too far. I said to myself, a little unlucky there. A foot shorter, rolled down and maybe got a maximum of eight feet for birdies.
I was going for that slope but that wind is strong, carried the ball a bit further.
JULIUS MASON: Rory McIlroy, finishing even in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Rory, let's talk a little bit about your day today, not quite like yesterday, either, was it.
RORY McILROY: No, it wasn't. Yeah, I didn't quite have control of the golf ball like I did yesterday. It was tough, the wind out there was tough. It was tricky. And you know, I didn't -- I got off to a decent start but bogeying the 7th, a pretty easy par 5, wasn't ideal. And then you follow that up with two other bogeys.
So I obviously still had a chance going into the back nine. I just didn't do enough when I needed to.
Q. What do you make of Charl's birdie run, considering what the conditions were like out there?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it was incredible. Starting from the fifth, it was incredible. You know, capped it off with that bunker shot on 9, I mean, I thought he had a tougher bunker shot than me. And I thought I did well to get it 15 feet past the flag, and he just pitched it in the perfect spot on fringe and trickled straight down there into the hole. 6-under today -- 6-under? Yeah, 6-under out there today was a very, very good score.
Q. You hit such terrific drive on 15 yesterday, perhaps did you overswing today?
RORY McILROY: No, you know, I had confidence going onto that tee, considering how good I hit the drive yesterday. And I just hit it a little too far left. The wind was down off the left and I was trying to just flight it off the last bunker there and I just hit it dead straight.
You know, it was still a nice par and I felt that if I hit a good tee shot there, I would have got it on to the green it would have been an easy birdie or even an eagle chance.
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, Keegan Bradley is your 29th PGA Grand Slam of Golf Champion.
Keegan, take a deep breath, we know you were taking a lot of pictures down there, but looks like you held on today.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it was a very tough day, very windy. But I played very well on the back nine, which is very important on this course and I had a lot of fun.
Q. You would have watched the Masters and Charl chasing down Rory; what's it like to be on the receiving end of that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, what he did in the middle part of that round was pretty amazing. Felt like he was going to birdie every hole, and then when he was hitting kind of a bad shot, he made that bunker shot on 9. Pretty spectacular golf. He's a very, very good player, and it was really fun to watch.
Q. How does it feel to beat the best of the best for the year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It feels great. It was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be. Maybe because of the players that were here. I'm sure everybody wanted to win it.
And coming down the stretch, it felt like any other tournament that I played in. It was very, very intense, and I was nervous over that 5-footer to win.
Q. Can you talk about the critical shots on 16 and 17, the tee shot on 16 and the approach shot on 17. And just talk about ending the year on a high.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, the shot on 16 was my best of the week. And I actually got like this gust of wind on my putt. My hat almost flew off and I barely made contact with the ball.
On 17, my caddie, Pepsi talked me into hitting that 3-hybrid. I actually wanted to hit 4, and it was the right club. That was actually probably the best shot I hit all week. And it was just a really good shot. Again, I hit another good putt there that just didn't go in.
Like he said, this is a lot more intense than I thought it would be, which makes it even more rewarding to win it. And also, just to have the guys that were in the field and to beat them, some of the best players in the world, makes it even more special. And it was a lot of fun being out there.
Q. How seriously did you take this coming into the event? You seemed very disturbed with yourself when you hit your shot into 5.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Oh, yeah, I took it very seriously. It has to do with the players in the field, how strong they are, and how world-class these players are. I treated it just like any other golf tournament.
And you know, like I said about three times, it was different than I thought it was going to be, and I'm glad I was ready to play.
Q. That chip on 18, what was going through your mind there?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I knew Charl was -- I just had this feeling, I was thinking to myself, I'd better get this up-and-down, and maybe get into a playoff.
I just had this feeling he was going to make it and he hit a really good putt. I was nervous -- this was no -- this felt like a tournament on the PGA TOUR or any tournament. I was very nervous and I hit a very good chip and an even better putt.
Q. What was going through your mind, playoffs, this could go all the way, another hole after 18:
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I was thinking it's probably going to go to a playoff considering how my year has gone with these playoffs. But it was awesome. My whole family was there, too. I wanted to win in front of them especially, and it makes it even more special.
It was just a lot of fun, and it's really nice to get to know some of these guys out here. I don't really know them that well and now if I go over to Europe and play, I can hang out with these guys.
Q. As a fellow Red Sox fan, just wondering from this makes it any easier to forget how they blew the end of the season?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It actually does, to be honest with you (laughter).
Yeah, I am a huge Red Sox and sports fan and the thought of no Celtics season is even more scarier to me. But yeah, it does a little bit.
Q. Could you reflect a little bit about everything that's happened to you this year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I mean, it's a really nice way to kind of cap off the year. I've still got a lot of golf to play. I'm still going over to Asia in a couple of days and playing in Tiger's Chevron and Shark Shootout.
But this is a really very nice way to top off the season, and it's been crazy. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year I would have won the Grand Slam of Golf tournament, I probably would have laughed at you. It all kind of seems like a dream right now.
JULIUS MASON: Keegan Bradley, thanks very much for popping in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports