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February 23, 2012

Hunter Mahan


Q.  Seem like you got on quite a roll there for a little bit?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, two good shots on the first hole and then misjudged the chip.  Hit a good putt that didn't go in.
From there, played 2 as good as I could, you know, hit a good chip, made birdie
3, hit it right on the green, hit a good putt, didn't go in.  Y.E. made an a great putt there.
Next hole hit a really nice wedge shot.  Someone said it hit the pin twice.  Kind of hard to believe.  I don't know how that happened, but they said I hit it twice.  I had a gimme there.
Had a great 9‑iron to the next hole to a couple of feet, I don't know four or five feet, made a real good putt.
Bunker ‑‑ holed the bunker shot on the next hole.
I hit a really nice iron shot on the next hole.
I mean, I was just hitting ‑‑ and then I hit a good wedge shot and a good putt on the next hole.  I was playing as well as I could, hitting fairways and greens, giving myself good looks.  If you hit it good around here where these pins are and you get on the right level, you are going to have some putts.  You are going to be able to make some putts.  Today I was able to do that.

Q.  Take me through that bunker shot.  What was your reaction there when you saw it dropped in?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I hit a great shot in.  I thought we holed it from when I hit it, and it just hit on top and rolled down.  I thought we would get it close.  I didn't feel like it was going to run away too fast from me.  Felt good coming out of there.  Then as soon as I stood up, it was catching the left lip and it went in.  So that's ‑‑ that was a nice bonus there.

Q.  Playing in match play, how important is it ‑‑ guys kind of differ, but to get off on a jump like that and to have a lead kind of the rest of the day, how important is that for you?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I mean, you like to but sometimes it doesn't happen.  I was 2 down yesterday.  I had to kind of fight my way back.  That's the goal.  That's the goal to get off to a good start and put the pressure on him.  It's really after nine holes.  After three holes, it's kind of tough to determine who is going to win.

Q.  Stricker as a couple of holes left, but you could potentially match up with him tomorrow.  I know you guys have played in the Presidents Cup several years ago.  What does he bring to any guy on Tour?  Is he like a mentor type?  How much do you enjoy playing with him?
HUNTER MAHAN:  We had a great match a few years ago at another golf course.  I think it went to like 21 holes or 20 holes.  It was a lot of fun.
Steve has a great perspective on life because he was a great player early on and then he kind of oh lost it, kind of disappeared.  Then he's worked his butt off to get back to this position and being a top 5 player in the world.  It's pretty amazing.  He's a great guy to talk to.  He's so open, so nice.  I mean, he's just a normal guy who plays golf for a living and that's it.  There's no more ‑‑ there's no celebrity to him whatsoever.  He's a great guy to be around and has great energy.

Q.  You have been now on some Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams.  How does that experience help you this week here at the match play, just getting some match play under your belt at the highest level?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, it's always ‑‑ I tell you, it doesn't hurt.  It doesn't hurt.  Maybe that's why we do well in Presidents Cups because we have that extreme pressure and Ryder Cups and we're a little bit looser in Presidents Cups.
Match play is ‑‑ you have got to be mentally strong.  You have got to forget the past and move on and try to hit that next shot good.  It's snot about what you score, it's about how many holes you win.  The more times you play, the more experience you have is a good thing.

Q.  What have you learned about match play since your first Accenture through the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup to where you are now?  Is it that patience after three holes to not get too down?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, it's ‑‑ the tide can turn so fast that you are never out of it.  You never know what can happen.  We saw two guys yesterday win holes taking an unplayable lie, so you are never out of it.  These holes, especially with the desert, and all the surrounding areas here, it's just ‑‑ you just have to keep your head up all day.  You can never get down on yourself because you never know what can happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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