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June 16, 2012

Casey Wittenberg


Q.  67 at any point in a U.S. Open is a good score.  Describe how it worked for you today?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I drove the ball great.  I put it in play and the greens were fairly receptive being early in the morning and I was fortunate enough to wiggle in some putts.

Q.  What goes into your mindset in trying to play a third round?  You certainly you want to climb the leaderboard, but how do you approach it in the situation you're in?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  It's a hard golf course.  You just got to keep everything out in front of you and just play golf.  Take your opportunities when they come and fortunately today I hit some good iron shots that gave me some more opportunities than I had earlier in the week, and I was able to make some putts.

Q.  Is it more relaxing now in this third round than maybe the pressure of the opening two?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  Maybe.  It's only the fourth time I've ever played the golf course, so I feel like I'm learning the golf course day by day where you can play from an where you can't play from.  We got fortunate being able to tee off in one of the earlier groups.
The greens were definitely softer today than they were even yesterday and I played in the morning, and I thought that ‑‑ but the golf course is setup good.  If you hit good iron shots it's not overly long.  So if you can put the ball in the fairway, which is task, you can have opportunities to make birdies.

Q.  Playing early is one thing, but what could you do today that maybe the first two rounds didn't allow you to do?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I think I hit the ball closer to the hole.  Maybe played a little bit more aggressive from the fairway and it gave me a few better looks, to be honest.  And I drove to know the 7th green today and made a good putt for eagle there and that kind of got me going.

Q.  One more round and I guess the same strategy applies now, just try to do what you did today?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  The course will play firmer for me tomorrow than it did today, which is nice in some ways, because the ball goes a long way off the tee but it's gift to keep the ball in the fairway because of it.  I'll have to get out there and do my thing and just try and hit golf shots and hopefully make some birdies.

Q.  What do the subsequent groups, what are they going to encounter this afternoon?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I think for probably the next hour to hour and a half I think that the course is probably still fairly receptive, unless the wind starts blowing.  But I think by the time Tiger and those guys tee off, I think it's going to be a brick.
There are a lot of front pin placements out there and it's hard to get to those front pin placements when it gets a little crusty in the afternoons.  I'm sure with the sun being out and everybody walking on those greens I'm sure it's going to be a challenge.

Q.  Can i ask you about your birdies today?  You had a birdie on 4.  What did you hit on 4?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I hit a hybrid off the tee and then I hate 7‑iron pin high left about 15 feet and it was a lightning putt, but I was lucky enough to make it.

Q.  How about on the par‑3, 7th?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  The par‑4, 7th I hit a great grave up there probably 20 feet pin high right and was able to roll that in and kind of get my round going.

Q.  That's great.  And you finished with two birdies.  How did those go?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I got lucky on 17.  I hit it just behind the hole on the right side and if it hadn't have gone in it was probably going a significant amount by.  But that green is very difficult and extremely fast.  By far the fastest green we have on the golf course.  I was fortunate that ball went in.

Q.  What about 18?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  18, I hit an okay iron off the tee in the right first cut and then a great 8‑iron around the tree up there about pin high left about 20 feet and I had hit that putt in the practice round, so I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to do and I was able to make it.

Q.  You started with a bogey.  How did that affect you how you played the following holes?  You were just trying to keep it going after the bogey and wait for that first birdie?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  I think I bogeyed it every day I played it.  So it's a hard hole to hit the ball in the fairway for me and it's a hard hole for everybody.  So just tried to put it behind me and just play golf from there.

Q.  Take pride in the fact you're tied for the low round of the championship?
CASEY WITTENBERG:  Yeah, for sure.  You always love shooting under par in a U.S. Open.  I think that's the lowest score I've ever shot in a U.S. Open.  So it's something I can build on and hopefully I can play some good golf tomorrow.

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