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February 3, 2012

Spencer Levin


DOUG MILNE:テつ Spencer Levin, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.テつ Quite the successful second round, 8‑under 63, bogey‑free, clean card today.テつ Why don't you just start with telling us what's going right.
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ You know, I don't know.テつ It's kind of weird.テつ Yesterday on the range before I teed off, I didn't feel good about my swing at all.テつ I was hitting it all over the range, and I bogeyed my first hole of the tournament and told my caddie going to the next tee, This might be a nine‑hole week here.テつ That shows you what I know, shows you how crazy this game is, I guess.
After that I kind of‑‑ I really don't know, I just started playing good, simple as that.テつ I wish I could tell you more.

Q.テつ Was there any change in your swing thought or anything like that that triggered it?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Well, it was funny because my dad was saying I was swinging great on the range, and I'm looking, like really, because I couldn't hit a shot I wanted to, and he's telling me don't worry about it, you're going to hit it good, just keep trusting your swing.
He's right so far.テつ I just trusted what he was saying and kind of got a little bit comfortable in that first round and started hitting some good shots, then my confidence started getting a little bit higher.テつ I felt really good today.テつ I felt really good off the tee.テつ I felt really good with my irons.テつ So it's just amazing how quick your mind can change in this game.

Q.テつ How did the day start?テつ You had to finish round 1?

Q.テつ How did that go?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, let's see, I started on No.7 tee, I had three holes to go.テつ Last night the horn blew when I was over my putt.テつ I had a long putt, and I lagged it to about four feet.テつ Hunter Haas and Chad Campbell were in my group and they both wanted to wait, and I just figured I'd try and make it.テつ I figured I don't want to start missing that in the morning.テつ If I miss it tonight, I'll be all right tomorrow, I just didn't want to start my day off missing that, and then I made it which was nice.
And then on 7 it was playing pretty hard, tough par‑3, I hit it in there about three feet to start the day, which was great, made birdie, couldn't have started better, and then birdied my first two holes the second round.
I started off with good momentum and a good mind frame, which helped me throughout the round for sure.

Q.テつ I think you've had a lowest round for the last two weeks on the PGA TOUR with your 10‑under on Thursday last week.テつ Are you a streaky player or is there something about your game where you can just kind of keep it on the floor?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ You know, I don't know.テつ I tend the last couple years, I seem to make a lot of cuts and be pretty consistent, don't go super low a lot, just these last two weeks were‑‑ usually just solid, making cuts kind of a deal, but it's nice to have a low one once in a while.テつ I wish I could explain it.テつ I've been putting really well, and if you're going to shoot a low round you've got to putt good.
Just hopefully‑‑ I feel like I'm getting better overall as a player.テつ Last week I played great the first round and didn't play well the rest of the week, but overall I think my game is getting better, so hopefully ‑‑ that's everybody's goal is just try and improve, and that's what I'm trying to do.

Q.テつ Are you hitting it close this week or making a lot of long putts or medium length putts?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I'd say I made a lot of‑‑ trying to look back, I made a bunch of 12‑, 15‑footers so far, hit a few close here and there, but just playing pretty solid.テつ Around the greens it's been good, getting up‑and‑down when I have to, and just overall pretty good.テつ Holed a bunker shot, made a ten‑footer, just making a lot of mid‑range putts, and that's what my scores are.

Q.テつ Have you made any changes at all to your putting?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, I got a new putter.テつ Actually I started with a new putter this year. テつIt's still a belly putter; it's pretty close to my other one.テつ It's a TaylorMade Belly Spider.テつ It's kind of‑‑ it's got a little different hosel on it, but yeah, it feels really good.テつ I've been using that all year, and I like it.テつ It's been working.

Q.テつ Have you worked with anybody on using that club or have you kind of figured it out on your own?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ No, not really.テつ Just my dad has helped me with it a little bit, but he just kind of‑‑ it's a little different than normal stroke obviously because your hands aren't moving but the putter head is moving.テつ I just kind of watched other guys do it.テつ I pretty much tried it because I played with Webb in, let's see, our rookie year.テつ We both were on the TOUR our rookie year the same year, and every time I played with him, he was putting great.テつ I'm like, man, I've got to try that.テつ I pretty much tried it because I saw him and a few other guys, every time I played with a guy with a belly they'd putt good, so I figured I might as well give it a shot, and I like it.テつ It feels pretty good.

Q.テつ You're stuck with it now, huh?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, who knows for how long.テつ At least until tomorrow anyway.

Q.テつ You play traditional golf courses pretty good.テつ This is a little looser atmosphere out here.テつ Do you think come Sunday that will benefit you to kind of have a looser atmosphere to win the first one?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ You know, I never really thought about that.テつ I don't know, those fans on 16 are pretty cool.テつ The guys on the left were cool.テつ They were rooting for me, so hopefully they keep rooting for me, so that felt pretty good.テつ That kind of eased it up a little bit.
I don't know; that's a good question.テつ But it sure is a lot of fun, though, man.テつ Those last few holes are a lot of fun.テつ It's a cool feeling going to 16.テつ It's‑‑ you can't really buy that feeling.テつ It's pretty cool.テつ It's a lot of fun.

Q.テつ How did you get the eagle?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I knocked it right up the middle of the green.テつ I thought it was going to be on the green and it went just over in the bunker and I made the bunker shot, so that was pretty cool.

Q.テつ Did you learn anything from your close call last year?テつ Was that Puerto Rico or Mayakoba?

Q.テつ Did you take anything out of that that you can use next time you're in the hunt on Sunday?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ You know, actually I wasn't in the last group.テつ I think I was either one or two groups from the last group.テつ Might have been second to the last group.テつ But I just‑‑ Johnson I think had a pretty good lead.テつ I think he was at least three or four ahead of me starting the day, and I shot maybe 2 or 3.テつ But I just got off to a really start, shot I think 4‑ or 5‑under on that front nine.テつ That was just a hot Sunday, which was nice, at the right time.テつ Obviously you're going to need something like that a lot of times to win.テつ You see it a lot.
But I don't really know if I've learned anything necessarily, just you're going to have to‑‑ I've learned, though, that you can't get stagnant on it.テつ The guys are always going to be playing well.テつ Somebody is going to be shooting low every day, so if you're playing well, chances are someone else is, too.テつ I've learned that each level as a pro, mini‑Tour, Canadian, Nationwide to here, just the level gets a little higher, and the value of one shot is always a little bit higher.テつ I'm starting to learn that, and just trying to keep making birdies.テつ I know everybody says that, but you really have to do that out here.テつ I've noticed that.

Q.テつ And that's experience you can't replicate or practice, you just have to get there a few times and hopefully get used to it?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Right.テつ It's like you don't want to get too tentative or play away from shots, and that's what I'm learning, too, because it's easy to get like that sometimes.テつ If you want to play well and make birdies you can't do that, so I'm just going to try and stay as aggressive as I can the next two days.

Q.テつ How important was the par save out of the water on 15 to keep your momentum into 16 and 17?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, that was huge.テつ I took a drop and the ball rolled into‑‑ I tried to drop it right here, and as firm and fast as the fairways are, the ball rolled a good step and a half into this sand divot.テつ I didn't even see it over there.テつ Some weird thoughts were going through my head then.
But I actually hit a great shot.テつ I hit it out of the sand divot to about ten feet.テつ I was just trying to get it on the green really and had a look at par and made that.
So the momentum from being in the sand divot to making a par and then going 2, 2 on the next two holes was huge.テつ It could have gone the other way.テつ That's a big reason why I'm at this score for sure.

Q.テつ What was it like walking up 18 with a big red 14 on the card?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, that was pretty cool.テつ One other time at Bay Hill last year I played good in the afternoon on Thursday and then I think I was first off on Friday, and I think I already had a couple‑shot lead, then I was like 3‑under early and I had a six‑shot lead and looked at the board, and it kind of freaked me out a little bit.
But I tried not to look at it.テつ I had a feeling.テつ I glanced at it when I was on 13, and I saw where I was‑‑ I'm sorry, what hole is that?テつ Par‑3, the water on the right, 12.テつ Hit a good shot in there, made birdie and looked up and saw I think at that time I had a three‑shot lead or something.テつ So I kind of knew where I was, and then I just tried not to think about it and finished good, which was nice.

Q.テつ You had to be pretty careful with that putt on 18.テつ It looked like you could‑‑
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, that was a fast one.テつ I didn't really get it started on line, but I just nudged it and it still went a foot and a half by.テつ That one was pretty fast.テつ But that was a tough pin because if you get left of it, it's off the green, so I hit a good second shot there, and it was nice.

Q.テつ Does it feel any different if you're leading by‑‑ instead of leading by 2 if you're leading by a touchdown, does that feel weird at all?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know if I've ever led after 36 holes in a PGA TOUR event.テつ I think I did one time at a Nationwide, but I don't know.テつ I don't even know if I've ever been tied for the lead after two rounds of a PGA TOUR event.テつ I wish I could tell you, but I don't know.

Q.テつ Is big lead different than the small lead I guess?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know.

Q.テつ What is your favorite part about your career and playing golf, and conversely, what about golf frustrates you the most that maybe you like least about it?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ My favorite part?テつ I don't know, I think the best part about golf is no matter what level you get to, whether you're a 25 handicapper or one of the best players in the world, you can always get better.テつ And that's kind of a cool thing.テつ You're never going to master the game.テつ It's tough.テつ And I think that's what makes it so great is just how hard it is, and I think that's why people like it so much.
And the most frustrating part is just exactly what I just said.テつ That's the most frustrating part, too.

Q.テつ What did you hear at 16 today, anything clever or different or unusual?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ No, they were chanting my name, though.テつ They didn't really say it right, they were saying Levin, Levin, Levin.テつ I thought that was pretty cool.テつ I've been called a lot worse than that, so that was pretty cool to have them on your side, those guys on the left.テつ They seem to know a lot.

Q.テつ They've got sheets, they've done research?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, you can tell they've done their homework because I've heard them say some things to some guys, and I was like, wow, really?

Q.テつ That's the best they got, just your name?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ That's good enough for me.テつ I like that.

Q.テつ Are you sure they weren't saying "eleven," because you were 11‑under par?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I don't know.

Q.テつ Did they know the Joe Montana tie at all?テつ Did that come up at all?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ The Joe Montana?

Q.テつ There was something in the bio there that said your middle name‑‑
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ My dad says I am, my mom said I'm sure, but my dad says I am.

Q.テつ He has a good record on Super Bowl weekend.
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, he's all right.テつ He was pretty good.テつ He's all right.

Q.テつ Did your caddie win the caddie race there at 16?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ I don't know, Hunter was in the bunker, so I think it might have been a wash.テつ I don't know, did he?

Q.テつ I don't know.テつ Did he touch the green before the other one?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ What color was his bib, do you remember?

Q.テつ You mentioned your dad told you to trust your swing when you were practicing.テつ How much has that trust in your game been with you this week and just all aspects of trust, not thinking about it as much?
SPENCER LEVIN:テつ Yeah, well, it's kind of weird, like I wasn't hitting it good, like I said, on the range Thursday, and then you hear a lot of guys say‑‑ I think sometimes I think too much, and a lot of guys I'm sure do worry about what they're doing on the range because it's been ‑‑ I've had days where I can't miss on the range and then don't hit it good and vice versa.
Basically I didn't feel great, so I said, well, I might as well trust it because it's not going good worrying about it.テつ I didn't really expect anything anyway.
Hopefully I can just keep trying to believe in myself and just keep trying to make my swing, and we'll see what happens.テつ I'm going to give it my best shot.テつ It should be fun.テつ I'm looking forward to it.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Spencer, thank you.テつ Nice playing.

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