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February 26, 2012

Hunter Mahan


Q.  How did you get it done today?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Just solid, good golf.  I avoided some mistakes early.  I was able to make some nice par putts.  And from there I just tried to hit fairways and greens and not try to hurt myself.

Q.  When Mark missed that little one at No.1, did you feel like things were going to go your way today?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I wasn't sure.  You just never know in match play.  I wasn't going to expect him to keep doing that.  I knew he was a solid player and a good putter.  I got lucky there. When you play Mark Wilson, you've got to play solid.

Q.  You move on to the championship final.  What does it mean to be in that final?
HUNTER MAHAN:  It's a great feeling.  It's a long, brutal week.  You've got to beat five great players to get here.  I've got to beat one more incredible player to win.  It's going to be a tough match.  I'm very proud of myself.

Q.  This morning was cold, kind of long.  You had to make a few putts.
HUNTER MAHAN:  And luckily I did early and I kind of got some momentum going.

Q.  Absolutely.  You got in the match early.  You had the lead and then you were able to withstand a couple of birdies out of Mark Wilson back at 10 and 11?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, Mark is a good, solid player.  I hit it a couple of feet on 10 there from the bunker and felt that was going to get us one and he chipped in.  It was a great match.

Q.  Then you were able to close it out with a superb drive at 15 to go 2‑up in the match?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, I had a good drive, left myself a good approach shot there.

Q.  You have either No. 2 in the world or a No. 3 in the world in those two guys behind you this afternoon.  What is your outlook on the matchup coming?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I'm not concerned really.  I just have to play good solid golf, hit fairways and greens, and just try to put the pressure on him and maybe I'll have the opportunity to do that.

Q.  You're through to the final.  How pleased are you with your day today?
HUNTER MAHAN:  I'm very pleased.  It was early this morning.  It was very chilly.  It was playing tougher because it was playing longer, and this is a long golf course.  It was playing tough.  I kind of toughed it out there and made some nice par putts early and got the advantage and kept it up throughout the round.

Q.  You played beautifully and suddenly a shank at the 5th, that can be horribly unsettling.  What went through your mind after that?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, I was trying to rip a sand wedge.  I was trying to hit it like a driver.  It was funny, it ended up right on the teeing ground.  There's so much desert over there, and my ball ends up on the teeing ground.  I hit a great pitch to like three feet and of course he makes it.  I'm a human being; I make silly mistakes sometimes and that was one of them.

Q.  Able to put it out of your mind, though, because the next wedge you hit must have been a bit frightening or not?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Not the pitch shot.  The 8‑iron was a little bit like let's just hit it solid.  Let's not get too crazy with it.  Stuff like that happens.

Q.  25 birdies in your last 60 holes.  What really is the key to that?  Putting?  Hitting it close?
HUNTER MAHAN:  It's everything out here.  You can't just hit the greens, you're going to have 20‑footers over these mounds and it's going to be tough to make putts.  So it's a combination of things, good driving, killing the par‑5s, good chips and stuff, a combination of things.  But without the putter, I really wouldn't have had a chance.

Q.  How does this compare to your best ever form?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah, this is pretty good.  That stretch I had the last few days was pretty awesome.  I was pretty impressed myself with it, just to be able to have my whole repertoire of the game was awesome.  But I had a tough opponent.

Q.  How do you approach the final?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Keep playing golf.  I can't affect his play in any way except hit it close.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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