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July 12, 2012
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I really have worked hard. You know, it's one of those things that I put a lot effort into it and I'm seeing results, which is nice.
Q. What got you started on the whole thing?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: You know, last year at the end of the year, I made 1.5 million and I felt like I didn't do anything great. I know I got potential to win a lot of golf tournaments. I thought I won a couple this year. I've had a lot of good chances.
Just that fact and all the kids coming out nowadays, we're playing against 21, 22, 19, 16 year olds that are coming out and can absolutely walk around the golf course with no problems.
I was carrying around 210 pounds and sweating coming down Sunday and not making good swings and not thinking right because my fitness wasn't right and I wasn't eating right. My energy level wasn't there. Now it's so much easier to play golf.
I'm telling you, on Sunday I've had a couple bad weekends the middle of the year, but until Memphis‑‑ no, until Memorial, I was number one scoring average on Sunday, and number two 2 on Saturday. Last year I was in the 150s.
So the fitness is just gives me a completely different outlook on how I'm playing on the weekend. That's probably been the biggest part.
Q. That will keep you motivated to stay on this.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely.
Q. You got results.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. Saw it right a way. I'm almost down to 180 pounds. It's kind of crazy how much weight I've lost, but I'm getting fit and I'm putting more weight on because I'm starting to do some strength stuff. I got down to 180 and it was a little too much. So started to do some weight lifting and more weights.
Yeah, very motivated to stay on this little fitness thing because it's really helped me. Some guys it doesn't. Duval gone for a while. Kind of hurt his game. (Indiscernible) tried to lose some weight.
It's really helping. I've been there on Sunday. I've shot some low rounds over the weekend and went from 50th to the top 10. I mean, those weeks help a lot. Towards the end of the year they pay dividends, for sure.
Q. What's the toughest thing to give up? Fried chicken you know or a Dr. Pepper or...
ROBERT GARRIGUS: In & Out french fries by far and away the hardest things to stay away from. I've had an In & Out burger. I've had a couple of 'em. Have not had french fries from a fast food restaurant since Disney last year.
Had french fries. Had two or three here and there. I shared some with Camilo. I saw him eating them and I was like, Well, if he's eating french fries I can have a couple. This guy doesn't have any fat on him. I tease him about that.
He's like, Hey, bro, come over and share some french fries. I'm like, you know what? Whatever, I haven't had 'em since Disney.
That's been the hardest thing. Restaurants serves everything with french fries. Steak or burger, whatever, they say, Do you want fries? I say no pretty much every the time. The results are too much to go digging into a bag of french fries, you know.
Q. (No microphone.)
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Absolutely. The people that were watching the golf tournament that whole week, I had food poisoning the whole week. I drank 36 gallons of water trying to stay hydrated because it was 140 degrees.
On Sunday I got on the 18th tee box and I don't remember a thing. I blacked out. I was so tired. My legs didn't work. I got to 17, 71 holes of perfect golf pretty much for me, and I was, exhausted. To make the putt to get to the playoffs was probably the best putt of my life. I was done.
I made a good swing in the playoff, too, and it went right behind the tree. It wasn't in the cards for me to win that tournament, as much as I would like to think if I had known how much I was ahead I would have hit 5‑iron and laid up to I would've won the tournament.
To come back and win Disney just showed that I was ready to win, but just I needed a couple good breaks. That tournament, I was like, Man, if I wouldn't have had my wits about me, if I had been in shape, I would have won. I would have won by five.
But Memphis happened the way it did because it needed it happen. Get a slap in the face, so to speak. Kind of jump started the whole year really, which is kind of cool. It didn't affect me at all. It was actually a lot fun to be in that position. It wasn't fun to do what I did, but that was probably one of the thrills of my life in golf just because I was beating the No. 2 player in the world pretty good ‑ even if it's in a playoff.
That was a lot of fun. Actually gave me a lot of confidence. Didn't do opposite, which a lot people thought it would, which is kind of how I wanted it.
Q. Why did it take you then until the end of last year to realize fitness was going to be your answer?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I don't know what it was. It was kind of like when I decided just to go to rehab. Kind of one of those things like, Hey, you need it get your butt in gear.
I felt like I was strong, but I wasn't strong on the weekend ever. If I played well, it was just kind of an inconsistent thing. Maybe caught fire with my putter here and there. I started working out and I switched to the long putter. That changed everything.
I hadn't played one golf tournament with the long putter my entire life, putted with the short putter for 14 years, and I go out in the first tournament and I am 6‑over through eight holes. I'm like, what the hell am I doing?
I mean, I'm six over. You're not going to make the cut; et alone have a chance. I had a one‑shot lead going into the last four holes, so I kind of‑‑ you know, I'll not say‑‑ my caddie told me on the 9th hole, I was standing on the 18th fairway, he's like, We're probably not going to win this golf tournament, but we'll go ahead and try it from here on out.
I was 6‑over through three holes in Palm Springs and laughing at myself. I was so mad because I put so much effort into it. I put everything I had into the workouts that week and I putted three hours a day just trying to get a feel for it.
To go out and do that the first nine holes, I was like, You've got to be kidding me. I played the next 45 holes 24‑under par after that and almost shot 59 on the other golf course.
So the fitness and the long putter, everything is many coming together well this year. Having a lot fun. Got a good guy on the bag. Doesn't split his head open every week? You heard about that, didn't you? Last week at Congressional he had 40 stitches in his head on Thursday at noon; I tee off at 1:00.
Comes back out next day, 6: 30 in the morning, ready to go. I thought that was pretty cool. He cut his head on the caddie trailer. The little awning that come down there where the trailer hitch is, he ducked underneath it and came up and‑‑ oh, 40 stitches in his head.
He's out here this week and barely looks like he even had anything happen to him. Plastic surgeon did a great job.
Q. Did you just go nuts from Disney up until the start of the season?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, I really did. I mean, I was working out morning and afternoon of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Eve. I did not let up until‑‑ I mean, when I take a week off I don't touch a club and I work out three times hard and I do cardio every day.
I just don't eat fatty foods anymore. I've been going at it ever since Disney last year. Now I'm at a level of fitness where I'm burning 5,000 calories a day. I can't eat enough food to gain weight.
Q. Who is the taekwondo again?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Eric Ah Yuen. Two world championships in taekwondo, two gold medals in the Olympics. He travels with me full time. He works Arjun Atwal, Steve Wheatcroft, and Garth Mulroy. He's got four guys out here. He likes to keep it small.
A lot of the guys have like ten dudes and it's hard. They got to be out here every week. But he helps me so much. He gives me energy drinks and food on the golf courses which I never used to drink or eat before.
It just mikes a huge difference when you finish, especially today. It's 90 degrees and I was walking up and down the hills, and I finished and almost birdied 18 because I had the energy and I was thinking well. I never used to be able to do that. That makes a huge difference.
Q. How did you make the change going from the shortest to longest putter on TOUR? Short version. Your putter had its own Twitter account, as I recall.
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, I made up a nickname. It was Mini Me, and then I put a contest out on Twitter to see who could come up with the best name. The guy was like, Well, if it's Mini‑Me, big putter has to be Dr. Evil.
You know, the biggest difference with the switch, the short version is my coach, Jim Ahern, he won a couple tournaments on the senior tour. He knows what he's talking about. He's a good guy. He told me, Hey, we need to switch something up. You're putting stats are awful. You're 150th in putting.
I started putting with a 46‑, 47‑inch putter and I liked it. I was actually rolling it pretty good. As soon as I started putting with it, I'm like, You know what? This could be good. I didn't have the right head or shaft yet, but, I mean, the overall feel of it was, oh, my God, this is awesome.
I practiced with it all winter. I grinded and grinded and grinded. As soon as I got out here, I'm like, Man when I get on flat greens this thing is going to be awesome. The biggest difference is short putts. I was lined up left 90% of the time with my little putter on like a five‑footer and always wondered why am I starting on that left edge? I felt like I was making a bad stroke. Wasn't making a bad stroke, I was just aimed there.
Now on a five‑foot putt I know exactly where I'm aiming every single time and I just make my stroke. It makes such a big difference.
Q. How long is the short putter?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: 27 inches.
Q. And the 47‑inch putter, is longer than Bradleys?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: You know what, Chris Kirk has a 45‑inch belly putter. But mine is a chest putter, so I'm still bent over it like my old putter but it's in my chest.
So I kind of do it different than everybody else. I think a normal chest putter is probably 52, maybe 51 inches, something like that. I think Adam Scott's is like 50, 51. Obviously I've go to do it different because I'm crazy. So I put a 47‑inch putt in my chest and bend over like I am putting with my old one. It feels natural, so it's kind of a variation.
Q. So doesn't feel like a long putter?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: No, it really doesn't. Kind of just feels like I've got my hand all the way down on it like a short putter but I'm gripping it like with a claw hand and it feels natural, which is kind of strange.
Q. (No microphone.)
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I think back to Hawaii, and it doesn't get talked about much, but I shot 24‑under par on a golf course I had never seen before, first time as a winner. Should have won the golf tournament. Missed an eagle put on 18. Nobody had hit it inside 144 feet all day, I hit it in 10.
I played a lot of good golf in my career that I kind of probably should have been couple strokes better may be.
You can look back and say I've played a lot of good golf, but also spent seven years on the Nationwide Tour grinding my butt off getting through Q‑School after my eighth try, you know.
I really don't look at the negatives hardly ever because it just brings you down. I know I've got a lot of good golf and tournaments I can win. Especially the way I'm hitting it. I am starting to swing a little smoother, hit a little straighter, got the putter going.
So I'm really looking forward to the next four or five years. This is going to the prime of my career.
Also look at Steve Stricker or Jim Furyk. They've won so much in their 40s. That's encouragement. I'm 34 years old. I got a lot of time left. I really never look back.
Q. (No microphone.)
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Yeah, absolutely. You know, kind of just felt like I could be‑‑ I want to play in the Ryder Cup, I want to play in the Masters, I want to do all that stuff because I feel like I could win on any golf course on the PGA TOUR, doesn't matter short or long.
That's one of the things that kind of lit fire underneath me just saying, Hey, you're better than this. If you put 110% in every time you go out it and every time you workout you've got a plan, goals ‑ I've never never had that before ‑ it's really paying off.
Mark Wilson made a putt in the dark on me there in Palm Springs. I lost in the playoff to Luke Donald. I'm getting beat by these world ranked players on top of the world. I know I can compete with 'em every week.
I'm not trying to be arrogant. It's just I how I'm hitting it. And I know if I hit it straight and I get my putter going, it can get sick for me.
Q. What was the number one highlight of today's run?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: Probably the eagle on 17. Everybody probably thinks I bombed it down there and had a 7‑iron in or whatever. I actually hit the tee off the tee. I had 287 yards to the hole and had to hook a 5‑wood about 40 yards and hit, fly it 270, and I hit it exactly where I wanted to.
Started it right at the green and lifted about 30, 35 yards and landed right in the middle of the green. Had a putt the broke about four feet up the hill and down the hill and made it. That was a great highlight to the day. Exactly how I pictured it ‑ after the first shot. (Laughter.)
The first shot was perfect, and then hit the tree and dropped straight down the fairway. That was fine.
Q. How long was the putter?
ROBERT GARRIGUS: About 30 feet, probably 35. Pretty long putt.
Q. (Question regarding weight loss and gained yardage.)
ROBERT GARRIGUS: I've gained yardage. I don't know how. I'm more flexible so I don't have to take it back as far to generate as much power. I feel like my legs have gotten so much stronger. There is no fat on my legs anymore and they used to be a little chubby. Right now I'm just at full strength, which is kind of fun.
I did Palm Springs and people said, Man you're skinny. Are you going to lose 20 more? I'm like, No.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports