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June 21, 2012

David Mathis


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome David Mathis into the interview room after a 6‑under par 64.  David, that opening was pretty good today.  Really good.  Can we get some comments on your round as a whole and particularly that start?
DAVID MATHIS:  Okay.  Yeah.  I played really solid all day through that stretch of holes from hole 18 all the way around to my front.
I was hitting a lot of great shots and I guess it felt like a lull compared to how I started.  But I birdied the 10th, which was my first, and then to make a hole‑in‑one on No. 11 and made a long, long putt on 12 just really got me jump started for the day.  And good place to start from for sure.
JOHN BUSH:  Which club did you hit on No. 11?
DAVID MATHIS:  I think we had 45‑hole or something, plays down the hill maybe 10 or something.  We were just trying to cut a 9‑iron in there to that back right pin, and I hit it just pretty much perfect where we were looking to hit it, and kind of bounced a little right and went right in the hole.  So it was good.
JOHN BUSH:  All right.  Questions.

Q.  Have you ever been the leader of a tournament after the first round before?
DAVID MATHIS:  I have.  Last year at Memphis I was leading after the first round, and I think I ended up finishing 15th or something maybe, give or take some spots.  I can't really remember.
So yeah, I've been in that spot before, but you know, there's so much golf left, you're just thankful to play a solid round whether you're in first or whether you're in fifth.  It's all about trying to build on it and being there toward the end and giving yourself an opportunity to win.  So you know, it's a good start and just want to build on that.

Q.  Your season, you missed 10 of your first 11 cuts.  And since then you've had a pretty good showing.  Can you talk about what turned around in your year?
DAVID MATHIS:  Yeah.  You know, it's really interesting.  At the start of the year it was, wow, I had some equipment issues going, and it was tough.  And when I finally got those ironed out I started seeing some results in my practice at home and in my practice rounds and I elected to play San Antonio kind of out of the blue.  I originally hadn't had it on my schedule.  And when I started seeing some results there, and I think I finished 17, and it just gave me some confidence really.  Kind of felt like I was playing a little bit how I was toward the end of last year and I was going, okay, hey, I'm starting to do a lot of good things and just kept building on it and having some good finishes and like a nine‑hole stretch or something or one round that kept me from giving myself a chance to win with nine holes to play.  But it's been the way I started the year, feels like I played awesome compared to how I started for sure.

Q.  Can you tell us about the equipment issue you mentioned?
DAVID MATHIS:  I had an issue with the golf ball.  I was trying to ‑‑ I was changing golf balls and newer technology pretty much, and when I was working with it at home, it was great, but I was playing in 60‑degree weather and the ground is soft.  Now I show up in Hawaii and the wind's blowing 30 miles an hour and the ground is firm.  Because everybody is different with their spin rate and launch angle, and you know, I was just having a tough time getting adjusted to that.  So when I went back to my old golf ball, it kind of ironed some of those issues I was having earlier in the season out and I'm kind of back to where I was.

Q.  You missed the cut obviously last week at the U. S. Open.  Did that actually help playing a course that hard coming into this, complete opposite of that?
DAVID MATHIS:  Yeah, it's quite a bit different obviously.  You still have to hit the shots.  The Open was obviously a difficult golf course, but very, very fair and I've always heard ‑‑ it was my first major, and I'd always heard about how you strike it, you know, hit it in the fairway, give yourself opportunities, and I did that, and I just putted the golf ball atrociously.
And it was really ‑‑ you know, sometimes I've been mad, I guess you could say, or upset at myself, but I was more just completely disappointed after last week.  But I spent a lot of time working on that coming into this week, and so fortunately it paid off with some of the putts I managed to hole.

Q.  What's gone right for you the last few years that you've had more success on the TOUR?
DAVID MATHIS:  You know, I think the longer you're out here‑‑ I was talking with my caddie about that today, about certain pin placements out here even that you know you can't miss it over here or you can't miss it over there.  And the longer you play out here and it's consistently similar golf courses or the same courses, you become more comfortable.  You know what it's like under the gun and you know what it's like when it's firm and fast.  And I think it's just a big comfort factor being out here multiple years, I guess you could say.
So you know, getting more used to what goes on.  I think if you stay out here you become a little more comfortable too.

Q.  Can you just tell us a little more after those first three holes what your emotions were?  Do you talk to your caddie and how do you keep yourself under control for the rest of the round after starting like that?
DAVID MATHIS:  You know, my caddie was great about it.  He's no different than if we birdie one hole out of the first five.  He's like, "great shot."  And he's real even keel.  So I try to be the same way, try to stay just steady and recognize the old cliche, one shot at a time, stay in the present, try not to think ahead.  And we managed to do that for the most part.  But we've done that pretty well ever since we've worked together.  Some days you make more birdies than others.

Q.  Obviously the way you played, it doesn't look like the weather affected you that much, but what was it like out there?
DAVID MATHIS:  Hot.  Yeah, you know, being from North Carolina I'm pretty used to that.  When I got on the range this morning, I saw in the car on the way over here it was like 92 and that was like 10:00 this morning, and I'm like, man, it's going to be a scorcher today.  But with a little bit of breeze blowing, I was like, man, this is actually not bad out.  Pretty much what I'm used to with the humid and the heat.  I've heard different reports.  Could be warmer tomorrow or not as warm.  I'm not really sure.  But I was fortunate.  Didn't bother me too bad.  Just have to drink a lot of water.

Q.  Have you ever had anything resembling 6‑under after six holes?
DAVID MATHIS:  Yes.  I have.  I was playing with a buddy of mine up in Canada at this little golf course, a really nice country club he's a member of, and we were playing these couple of guys, and I think I birdied the first seven ‑‑ or eight.  Seven, yeah, birdied the first seven holes.  But in a tournament, no.  In a tournament, no.  I've had some nice rounds, but nothing like that.

Q.  How many hole‑in‑ones have you had and how many on TOUR?
DAVID MATHIS:  First one on TOUR.  Actually, second one in competition.  First one on TOUR so to speak, and I'm thinking I've maybe had maybe four or five, you know.  I think that's about right.

Q.  Is that all?
DAVID MATHIS:  It's not that many really.  Some guys have like 10, 12, like twice as many.  But yeah, it was cool.  It was cool.
JOHN BUSH:  All right.  Anything else?  All right, David.  I think that's got it.

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