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April 21, 2012

Ben Curtis


Q.テつ Let's welcome the 3rd round leader of the Valero Texas Open, Ben Curtis.
Ben if you wouldn't mind, just give us some general thoughts on your round and we'll open it up to questions.
BEN CURTIS:テつ Well, for 16 of the holes I played really solidly -- 15, really.テつ You know, such a tough day out there today.テつ You know, the greens are getting firmer and faster and the wind picking up.
Just played extremely tough.テつ So, you know you're going to make mistakes, you got to accept it and move on and that's what I did when I made those doubles and that bogey on 15 but, you know, you can't get too upset about it and just move forward and play golf and, you know, just try to be patient.
I felt like I was putting okay.テつ I didn't putt great today but putted pretty well and made a couple putts.

Q.テつ So two double bogies, three birdies, a bogey and you're three strokes up.テつ Does that say a little something about how hard the course played, kind of soldiered on?
BEN CURTIS:テつ It's such a tough course.テつ You hit the ball fine off the tee.テつ It doesn't take that much of a bad swing to do it.
Like on 15 I didn't feel like I made that bad of a swing, just hitting into the wind the ball once it starts spinning sideways it goes and -- it's such -- you know, when there's no wind on Tuesday, there was maybe five mile an hour wind and felt like everybody talked about how tight it was.テつ Just didn't seem that tight.
But then, you know, the wind picked up yesterday and you could -- it, all of a sudden, gets really tight.テつ So, I'm just pleased the way I played and hung in there and, you know, you're going to have to do the same thing tomorrow.テつ I don't know what the wind forecast is.

Q.テつ Much better.
BEN CURTIS:テつ Much better.テつ That's nice.テつ I have to go out there and shoot a good score.

Q.テつ Talk about 17, the shot out of the bunker, 50-something yards.テつ Hit it as close as you did.テつ Excellent shot.
BEN CURTIS:テつ Yeah.テつ You know, good thing there wasn't a bunker to go over near the green and it was kind of sloped down to the green so I just took out a pitching wedge and opened it up a little bit, not a lot and just did a chunk and roll and made sure -- worse case scenario, if I left it in the fringe just short of the green it wasn't that hard of an up and down and just came out the way I was hoping and it released up.
It could have hit and checked up right there in the first cut, the fringe, but it got a nice bounce and rolled up next to the hole.
You know, it was probably the easiest shot for that length of a shot, bunker shot you're going to have but I'll take it.テつ Still not an easy shot but I'll take it.

Q.テつ How do you feel being in this position going into tomorrow?
BEN CURTIS:テつ It's better than being three down (laughter).テつ I have to play well.テつ I just got to make sure that I stay focused on what I do and not what everybody else is doing and then everything should work out as planned.
If you don't focus in on what the rest of the leaders are doing, that's when -- in the past when I've played well in these circumstances, that's what I did, I just focused in on my game and at the end of 18 holes it's good enough to win, great.テつ If not, I have to shake the guy's hand that won and move forward.

Q.テつ At No. 8 you hit up against the mesquite, having played down the 2 fairway.テつ Can you talk about that thinking there?テつ Obviously you had no shot.テつ You weren't going to Phil Mickelson it and go left-handed.
BEN CURTIS:テつ Yeah.テつ It was probably 30 yards of that stuff I had to get through just to get back into play.テつ So it was an easy decision to go backwards, play down No. 2.
So, Ricky and I, my caddy, were joking we were on the second hole for about 50 minutes today (laughter) just playing it backwards.テつ Just felt like that was the -- hitting my 3rd shot, just felt like even though I probably was 30 yards further back than when I hit it if I played the hole properly but it just felt that that was the easiest way to get myself back into play and, you know, it wasn't that hard of a fourth shot.
Just kind of blocked it a little bit.テつ Didn't hit a bad shot, leaked it a little bit to the right.テつ Where the pin was, difficult up and down but yeah, it's going to happen.テつ It's a tough hole with the length of it.

Q.テつ When you talk about a hole like that though in the scope of your day to kind of grit your way through a hole like that after starting with a double, do you have any sense of satisfaction in the way you kind of soldiered through those moments on this course today to be in the position you are going into tomorrow?
BEN CURTIS:テつ Definitely.テつ I told myself on the 10th tee, "Just give yourself six good chances on this nine holes and good things will happen" and that's what I did.
You know, I had the good looks coming in and no tap-ins or anything like that but, you know, other than 17, but I gave myself a lot of good looks.テつ That's all you can do on a tough day like today.
I'm just glad that I stayed focused and it's easy, like you say, just let it go, you know, make two doubles through 8, but it could have been a lot different if some guys started playing really well and were chasing me or got ahead of me.
Then you get in a different mode.テつ Now, all of a sudden, you think you got to make birdies.テつ Knowing if I just played solid coming in everything would be all right.

Q.テつ Are you one of these guys, do you look at the leaderboard or do you let yourself --
BEN CURTIS:テつ Yeah, I do, I look at it.テつ Today, you don't really think about where you're going to finish.テつ Tomorrow, 9 holes to go, I'll have a look and see where you stand.テつ I'm going to focus on my game and just try to keep hitting quality shots and making some putts.
NELSON SILVERIO:テつ All right.テつ Thank you Ben Curtis.
BEN CURTIS:テつ Thanks guys.

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