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May 31, 2012

Ben Curtis


Q.   How was it out there?  Guys keep talking about how firm and fast the golf course is and they're not familiar with it.
BEN CURTIS:  Well, it is firm.  The greens are really firm.  The fairways, some of them are somewhat soft, but most of them are pretty firm.  But yeah, it's an awfully tough test.  If you miss the fairways or the greens you've got a really hard up‑and‑down.

Q.  How do you feel about today?
BEN CURTIS:  I hit it better.  I was hitting it poorly last week and up until today, so it was nice to hit a few good shots, and I gave myself ten really good chances for birdie today.

Q.  The consistency that you had, how were you able to achieve that?
BEN CURTIS:  Well, I've been putting well and just saving myself when you need to, and today I hit a‑‑ let a couple get away on 1 and 4, but hit a couple bad putts.  But other than that, I played pretty solid.  That's been the key so far is just making some birdies.  I feel good with the putter, so just giving myself quite a few chances, and I'm actually making them now instead of just missing them.  That's been the big difference.

Q.  Is it kind of overstating it to say that this is a different course maybe than you've played?  Is it dramatically faster and harder?
BEN CURTIS:  Well, personally I thought some of the greens weren't as fast as in the years past.  But they're definitely firm.  I remember a few years ago when we had the rough that was up to our knees, I remember how it was really firm that year.  But yeah, very similar condition‑wise.
But yeah, I think the fairways are just going to get faster as the week goes on.  Some of them‑‑ today they did not really roll that far, but you could tell some of them were running out.
And same with the greens.  I hit a couple shots I thought were going to release and they didn't, and a few I didn't think were going to release did.  That part was tough, and that's what makes it so unique and tough out there.

Q.  Being from here this probably doesn't surprise you but they're calling for significant rain overnight.
BEN CURTIS:  Well, it's been so dry here.  It was supposed to rain on Tuesday or Wednesday or whatever it was, and it disappeared.  So who knows what's going to happen.

Q.  This course can take a lot of rain and it won't affect it, right?
BEN CURTIS:  Yeah, I would think so, with the drainage.  I'm sure they have the SubAir system.  It doesn't matter, the greens have always been really fast no matter if it's been soft or not.

Q.  Did you have a key hole or shot that you made today?
BEN CURTIS:  No, nothing really.  Nothing really.  14 I hit it to about a foot and a half or so and then birdied 15 and 16.  15, it was just in the green side bunker, made about an eight‑footer for birdie.  And then hit a great shot on 16 to ten feet or so.  But other than that, yeah, nothing‑‑

Q.  You have a lot of experience with this course, but it's fast and firm and a lot of people struggled.  Was it about the putting?
BEN CURTIS:  Yeah, you've just got to understand there's so much slope on these greens that you may not see at some point.  Coming here year after year you get a feel where the pins are and you get a feel how much break there is in them.  Especially when they're this fast, you're hitting it so soft around the hole that they're breaking so much.  It definitely does play a big part of it.  But if you're just slightly off, then that's where it's really tough.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BEN CURTIS:  Well, yeah, I mean, it was just one of those things where I've been on a roll, and I haven't practiced a lot or anything, just been playing a lot.  Just play the round and go home.  Yeah, so the confidence is definitely there, just the big thing is I made some big numbers in that stretch there.  I made quite a few doubles and bogeys, so it's not like I'm not making those, just making a lot of‑‑ I just feel like I can make a bounce back.  And I'm swinging well, so over here‑‑ I didn't last week, but here I've been swing well, and it's been the difference between shooting an average score and a good score.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BEN CURTIS:  Well, it definitely is.  It plays like a fifth major for me, just because I grew up watching this event and coming here every year.  Yeah, so it's very important to me, definitely.

Q.  Do you feel like because you've played well that your expectations here are higher?
BEN CURTIS:  Well, I mean, we'll see on Sunday, or tomorrow and Sunday.  I'm not really focusing on that right now.  I've just got to keep improving what I've been doing the last couple days to see improvements in the game, and that's what I'm going to focus on.

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