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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP


May 10, 2013


Hunter Mahan


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA

Q.  How much did the course change in terms of the way it was playing over the course of the afternoon?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, you know, the wind is pretty consistent here, the wind picked up at maybe 11:00 or so, starts picking up a little bit.¬† Yesterday when we played in the morning it almost all day the wind was coming out of different directions so we saw 18 was like playing into the wind, so it was a little different today for us.¬† But the course is‑‑ it's in such great shape right now, it's going to be nice for the greens staff and everybody because they just let nature take its course out here and let the greens naturally get a little harder and faster.¬† But the course is in great shape, and it's only going to play tougher from here on out.

Q.  I'm sure you'll keep an eye on the weather, but do you have an idea of what number it's going to take here this week?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† It's hard to figure.¬† I don't expect‑‑ I don't think we expect 5‑, 6‑under rounds like we've had the last two days.¬† You know, it's hard to say 12, 13, 14.¬† You just don't know.
But with this golf course anything in the red is good.

Q.¬† You came off yesterday and you said you were really excited about your ball‑striking.¬† Feel the same way today?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, I hit it good.¬† I didn't hit it‑‑ I hit a few squirrelly shots on the back but actually hit it great all day and gave myself a lot of good looks.¬† This is kind of a ball striker's course.¬† You've got to hit a lot of fairways out here; you can't play from the rough because you can't hit the greens.¬† You have to be I think a great lag putter.¬† You can't leave yourself three‑, four‑footers all day, it's going to be too taxing.

Q.  How important is experience on this course?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, you really need to know this place and see all the conditions that it can be played at so you can understand how each hole can play, and some holes seem to play longer than others and vice versa.¬† Experience always helps here, and great ball‑striking I think helps a lot here.

Q.  I think the scores, some people from the outside think, wow, it's playing easy.
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, I think we've had‑‑ well, we've had a bunch of rain on the weekend, and it kind of led to the softness of the course and everything.¬† Usually it's a lot faster by Friday afternoon.¬† The greens are in perfect shape because they're still holding shots and you can still be aggressive.¬† But they're slowly kind of picking up the pace, and by tomorrow afternoon I expect them to be much firmer and much faster, and then you really have to start thinking about your second shots and where you want to land the ball.

Q.  How do you like your chances?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, I'm excited. ¬†It's always nice to be in the hunt and be up there.¬† I like the way I'm hitting it right now, and I like the way I'm doing everything right now.¬† I feel like I can get up‑and‑down and I can hit fairways, I just have to go out there and trust it and let it happen.

Q.  Tough golf course, windy afternoon.  How would you assess things?
HUNTER MAHAN:¬† Yeah, I played solid today.¬† I hit a lot of good quality shots, and this course is‑‑ like you said, the wind is up a little bit and it gets a little tricky inside the trees on the back nine for sure, and the greens are firming out.¬† Happy to get 2‑under and looking forward to the weekend.

Q.  I was standing on the hill behind 17, you hit your shot and you immediately turned around with your back to the green.  What was going on there?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Well, there was a click and it was loud enough to where I heard it and it was right in my backswing, and that's not something we appreciate as players on the TOUR.  It's something that's very fixable, just turn your phone on silent or not do it at all.  It's disappointing when people do that.  It's kind of a key shot there, I wasn't very appreciative of that.

Q.  You start thinking about that when you get on the plane?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Yeah.

Q.¬† I was like, it looks pretty good, I just didn't realize‑‑
HUNTER MAHAN:  It had nothing to do with my shot.  I knew I hit it good and the line was fine, but I was irritated that I heard a sound.

Q.  You've been here for a number of years now.  You know how tough this golf course gets on the weekend.  What does that mean for scoring, four shots back?
HUNTER MAHAN:  Well, there's a lot of golf left.  We're only half over.  The winning score could be 11, it could easily be less than that.  You just don't know.  We know it's going to be great weather.  The wind is going to be not blowing hard but it's going to be blowing like this, so it's going to be drying out.  You really have to pick your spots out here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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