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July 25, 2012

Hunter Mahan


DOUG MILNE:テつ We're pleased to welcome Hunter Mahan into the interview room.テつ Hunter is a two‑time champion on the PGA TOUR this year and he's making his eighth RBC Canadian Open start.テつ You've never missed a cut in this tournament and you have a couple of Top 10 finishes.テつ I think he T4'd in 2004 and T5'd in 2007 I believe.テつ So you have some success here.テつ Talk about how you're playing this year and coming into this week.
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Yeah.テつ I feel good about my game right now.テつ I'm excited for this run we've got coming up the next two months.テつ So going to keep working and save energy and just try to keep getting better every single day is kind of what I'm trying to do and trying to improve my game as much as I can each day.
And this is a great week.テつ This is a great tournament, and it's a great golf course.テつ So excited about the possibility of this week and excited about my game right now.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Let's open it up for questions.

Q.テつ What do you like out there?テつ Why does it fit your eye?テつ What is it about the golf course and maybe this style of golf course that Hunter Mahan appreciates?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Well, it's a ball striker's course.テつ You gotta be able to hit fairways.テつ You gotta be able to hit greens.テつ It's not really a course you can attack from the rough, and you don't want to be putting for par around here.テつ There's too many tough holes.テつ With only a couple par‑5s there's not a whole lot of chances to be a couple over and get it back.テつ You really gotta keep the ball in play and play from the fairways and play from the middle of the green.テつ If you get it in the middle of the green all day long, you're going to be in pretty good shape.テつ So you gotta be smart out there.テつ But it's a ball striker's place, and I trust my ball striking.

Q.テつ Can you characterize your working relationship with Sean these days?テつ We chatted with him earlier.テつ How often do you see him?テつ Has that changed?テつ Are there more demands on his time versus your time given he's thinned himself out and he's got more players?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ No.テつ I think playing golf for myself is really the, other than family, is the most important thing I can do.テつ And for Foley teaching golf is his true passion and his love.テつ So it's an easy fix for us.テつ We always have demands on us, but we know what's important, and it's an easy ‑‑ it's really easy, you know.テつ It's really easy to see him and talk to him, you know.テつ It's just a cycle of trying to get better, and he knows my swing very well, and he does a great job of knowing what I need to work on.テつ So whether he's there or not, I know what I need to get better and keep improving.
But he's a great communicator, and we have a great relationship and a great working relationship.テつ We know how to talk to one another and get the most out of one another when he comes out, but this time of year he's out quite a bit.

Q.テつ Lastly, any change when he took on Tiger?テつ I mean obviously Shawn's not working with him anymore, but was there any change in your ability to get access or because you're at the same events there's no problem?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ No.テつ We've never had a problem.

Q.テつ With all the Canadians in your camp and the RBC sponsorship, what does the Canadian Open mean to you and does it mean more now than you thought it would at the beginning of your career?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ It's always been a big event.テつ It went through kind of a tough time in the probably mid 2000s, I guess, and then RBC came along, and I think they really rejuvenated the event and made it, you know, a top priority on the PGA TOUR, a top place that guys want to play.テつ And they've done a great job of making it enticing for players to play.
And I still think it's a big event and it's a great event.テつ The list of champions here is really second to none.テつ The courses are always amazing.テつ Canada has an incredible amount of awesome courses all around Toronto.テつ And beautiful cities, too, so we get to go to some pretty cool places.テつ There's so many great courses around Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and here in Hamilton, so this is an event I always look forward to and I always get excited for.

Q.テつ What do you like about Canadians and any chance we can make you an honorary Canadian for the week?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Yeah.テつ What do I like about Canadians?テつ How polite they are.テつ Their love of sports.テつ They love golf.テつ You are going to see the fans out here are going to awesome.テつ They really ‑‑ I can't tell you how many times they say thank you for coming to Canada.テつ They really appreciate us coming up here and playing.テつ And it makes you feel good, makes you feel good to come up here and play and try to entertain them for a few days.テつ But it's a great country and we always get to go to great spots while we're here.

Q.テつ Is there anything that those guys do, Sean and everything that you sort of say, that's typically Canadian?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Foley is not typically Canadian.

Q.テつ He's not typically anything.
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ He's different.

Q.テつ Is there anything they do, like do they watch more hockey and talk hockey or anything?テつ Is there anything they do?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Davies loves hockey.テつ He's a big hockey guy.テつ It's in his blood.テつ It's in every Canadian's blood.テつ Davies is one of the nicest guys I've ever met.テつ Foley is, too.
But I don't know.テつ They just ‑‑ they're so proud of being Canadian, you know, and I think every Canadian, they're very, very proud of where they came from and who they are, no matter where they live, they're still Canadian.

Q.テつ Also, I understand you went to Niagara Falls yesterday.テつ Probably the highlight of your trip?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Yeah.テつ Niagara Falls was a highlight.テつ My wife had never been there.テつ I've been there a few times playing amateur tournaments.テつ Being this close to it we kind of had to go, it's kind of our obligation to go and see it.テつ It's an incredible sight.テつ It really is.テつ It's not something you see every day.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ No.テつ I told her I didn't want to go because I didn't want to have to get dressed and then drive all the way back up here.テつ I've been on it before.テつ It's pretty amazing, and the jet boat tours.テつ That's one of the best things I've ever done in my life.テつ The jet boat's pretty awesome.テつ But it was a beautiful day yesterday.テつ It's a beautiful part of the country to kind of be in and kind of soak it all in.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ Yeah, exactly.

Q.テつ And also, what has to go right for you this week to contend here?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ I just gotta keep my head up all week.テつ I feel great about my game.テつ Every part of my game I'm confident in and I don't have any doubts about what I'm doing.テつ I know exactly how I want to hit the shots.テつ So I just have to keep my head up and play and not really ‑‑ my goal is not to really worry about results.テつ Just worry about hitting each shot as good as I can and just count them up at the end of the day, because everything feels so good, I don't want to think too far ahead.

Q.テつ You mentioned how big this tournament is for you, but there's still a lot of big names who bypass this week.テつ I'm just wondering with the title sponsor now on board, how much bigger could this tournament be if it got moved back in the schedule say to September?
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ I think it's an unfortunate problem we have on TOUR.テつ There's so many good tournaments now that scheduling is very, very difficult.テつ With the season ending so early, it's hard to get all these tournaments compacted into a great date.テつ Everybody wants a great date, that's so important for these tournaments, and this is a very tough run right now.テつ It's pretty difficult with two major and World Golf event and the Canadian Open which really is one of the best events on tour, and I think it is.テつ It's just a tough spot.
And you know, I don't know what they can do about it, but I hope they get a better date because I think they deserve a field that's worthy of this great event and the great champions that have been here.
You know, and RBC's shown an investment in the game of golf, and with PGA TOUR having sponsors, and Hilton Head, they're invested and they're ready to go.テつ They want to do everything they can.テつ So hopefully something will be worked out to where they have a little more prominent positioning on the schedule.テつ But you know, I don't know.テつ As long as they still have a tournament, I'm still going to show up.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Anything else?テつ Hunter, we appreciate your time.テつ Thanks for coming in.
HUNTER MAHAN:テつ No problem.

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