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TRANSITIONS CHAMPIONSHIP


March 16, 2012


George McNeill


PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA

PHIL STAMBAUGH:テつ George, 3‑under par 68 today and you are tied for the clubhouse lead at 7‑under.テつ You just want to take us through the round if you could?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I mean, first hole I made birdie.テつ Hit a driver and a 5‑wood just off the edge of the green and chipped and putt.
3, I made bogey.テつ Missed the green, hit actually a pretty decent chip and a good putt.テつ Just didn't go in.テつ So that's the way it goes.
4, birdie, 7‑iron to 15 feet and made that.
7, birdie there.テつ 5‑wood and 9‑iron to 15 feet and made that.
9, a driver and pitching wedge to about six feet.
12, a 5‑iron off the tee and then a 9‑iron to about ten or 12 feet and made that.
Bogey on the last but everybody else did that so I don't feel bad.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:テつ Did you have a shot at par?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, I hit it right on the edge of the green on the right and it's just that green is a tough green to putt.テつ That's the way it goes.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:テつ Your good play continues; any reason for that?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ It's just golf.テつ You've got to ride it while you're hot.テつ That's basically what I'm trying to do.テつ I feel good with the way I'm swinging at it and the way I'm thinking around the golf course.テつ I'm used to making birdies obviously from last week, so I'm just trying to continue that.

Q.テつ When did it feel like your streak started?テつ When did you feel it coming on, or did you?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, a little bit in L.A. actually. テつMy scores didn't show it but I felt good with what I was doing with my game.テつ And then the Honda, I missed the cut by a shot but I walked way from there and I said, wow, I don't know how I missed the cut, because I felt like I hit it nice and played well.テつ Even the guys I played with, they are like, man, you're swinging at it good.
So there and then the following week, I went down to Puerto Rico.

Q.テつ Did the 68 feel like a 66?テつ Did you leave some shots out there?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I probably left a couple out there.テつ Missed a few putts here and there.テつ It was just a nice, average round I guess.テつ I don't want to say I could have played better or course, but overall, I just felt like, yeah, I could probably have had a few more shots; if I don't make the two bogeys, I'm two shots better.テつ But of course I made a couple 15‑footers in there, too.テつ Overall, I felt like that's about what I was going to shoot today.

Q.テつ How about conditions?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Conditions I think were ideal for scoring today.テつ Well, this morning.テつ Very little wind and greens are soft and they are putting perfect.テつ So rough isn't very high.テつ So if you do hit it in there, you can still play out of it.テつ That's just‑‑ this is very much a position golf course, so when you put yourself into positions, you get opportunities.

Q.テつ What did you think of Harrington yesterday?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I don't know, I mean, that's incredible; to shoot that, I don't care what‑‑ he could be hitting it from the 150s all day, you shoot 61, that's still pretty solid.テつ I mean, that's just an incredible round on this golf course.

Q.テつ Did you see that score before you went on?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ Somebody.

Q.テつ I know you're used to that out here but‑‑
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ My caddie said, "You have a 10‑under in you today?"
"What are talking about?"テつ (Laughter).
I turn around on the putting green and there's a scoreboard there.テつ I said, "Wow, did he play all the holes?"
It was very surprising.

Q.テつ That happens a lot out here; how do you deal with that?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I just realize there are scores to be had and you just try and go low.

Q.テつ Was there a sense today that you had to go low with Pテδ。draig already way out there?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ No, not really, because if history shows, not too many more than 10‑under win here.テつ So I know the course is going to get tougher over the weekend.テつ The forecast is for nice, dry weather.テつ No rain I don't think forecasted.テつ So the course should firm up a little bit and the greens get a little faster, they are going to set some pins in some good spots.
So I mean, I was thinking 10‑ or 12‑under as a total for four days would be a great score.テつ And he still has to play today, and it's going to be a little bit windier today than the afternoon, which is what we had yesterday afternoon.テつ So I don't‑‑ no, I didn't feel any pressure to shoot a low one.
Like I said, I'll go out and see what I can do and add them up at the end.

Q.テつ Just kind of chip away; right?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ In Puerto Rico last week, across the water at Doral ‑‑ is Doral in your long‑term goals?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Yeah, I would love to go to any World Golf Championships, and Doral would be great, because obviously I live here in Florida.テつ A lot of friends that are here in Florida; a lot of friends came up today to watch.テつ They are all‑‑ they were all telling me that; why aren't you playing in Doral.
I said, "Well, not eligible for it this year."テつ That's absolutely a goal.

Q.テつ And you said, why didn't you come to Puerto Rico?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ On Saturday night I had a bunch of guys calling me saying, "How do we get down there?"
I said, "Well, I'm sure they have flights."

Q.テつ Did anybody come down?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ No.

Q.テつ Going to watch some basketball this afternoon?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Going to watch some basketball this afternoon.テつ Go get some work done here for the next 30 minutes or so, and I don't even know what time it is.テつ 2:45 tip off I think it is.

Q.テつ And USF is playing tonight, too, late?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Yeah, my brother graduated from there, so I guess I can pull for them.

Q.テつ Which game are you looking at?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Florida State.

Q.テつ If you pick out one shot today, is there one best shot you hit today that you were happiest with?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Maybe the 9‑iron, the second shot on 12.テつ Wind was down and it was right‑to‑left and was kind of in between, and I just said, well, instead of trying to hit a hard and hooking wedge, I said, you know, I'm just going to aim about four feet left of it and hold it up against the wind and be aggressive with it and it worked out.テつ As soon as I hit it, I went, wow, that's exactly what I was looking for.
So it's kind of cool when that happens.

Q.テつ How were the galleries out there?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, I had 15 or 20 people, a bunch of buddies following me that came up from home.テつ So my gallery wasn't bad.テつ They were all cheering for me.テつ (Laughter) it was a lot of fun.
But it looked like some of the other holes, it looked like there was some big groups out there.

Q.テつ Do you have your own cheer?テつ Do they have anything to yell?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ They yell a lot of things at me.

Q.テつ How about the printable ones?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Robert Garrigus calls me "Hip Hip Jor‑hay".テつ And they all call me Jorge.

Q.テつ Any reason, just to be different?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, George.テつ It was probably more fitting last week.テつ But it's just I've always been known as Jorge.

Q.テつ Wonder if there was a story behind it.
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ No.

Q.テつ Was there a time when you would have ended a good round with a bogey that you would have been walking around miserable, and today you're not; is that some kind of maturity after playing for a while?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Yeah, but being comfortable with what I'm doing.テつ You're going to make bogeys.テつ It's going to happen.テつ Yeah, you never want to finish on a bogey, but it's the way it goes.
You can't‑‑ if I make bogey on a final hole at Palm Springs, yeah, I'm probably a little more ticked off.テつ But out here, that's a tough finishing hole, and like I said, a lot of people are going to make bogey there.テつ So I don't feel like I lost a shot.

Q.テつ Have you always had that kind of attitude or is that something you learn through experience?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ Well, you learn it but I've always had an attitude that stuff happens and you just go with it.

Q.テつ Is any part of your heritage Irish?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ A lot of it, yeah.

Q.テつ So you'll have green on tomorrow?
GEORGE McNEILL:テつ I will have green on tomorrow.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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