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September 18, 2004

Hunter Mahan


PHIL STAMBAUGH: The Texas Open continues to be good to you. Last year I guess you had your career low and you top it by 2 today with 62. Just talk a little bit about the round and how you played.

HUNTER MAHAN: I played solid, great finish. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of putts. It was solid, no mistakes really.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: You just want to talk us through your round, just all the birdies and if there were any good saves?

HUNTER MAHAN: I birdied the 1st hole. I hit -- from there just played pretty solid, nothing special.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: 1 and 8 and 9.

HUNTER MAHAN: I birdied 8, made a putt there. Greens were a little problem today, really wasn't reading them right. Made a good putt on 8, made a good putt on 9.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: What did you hit into 8 and about how long?

HUNTER MAHAN: 8 we were 94 yards, an L-wedge.

9 was 83, hit another L-wedge.

I birdied 11, hit 3-wood down there about 72 yards and hit an L-wedge, made a good putt.

I hit driver on 12 and was able to get it way down there. I only had maybe 103 yards in the breeze and hit a sand wedge.

My wedges have been so solid all week. The greens have been real receptive. You can hit right at it. It's not going to spin back or forward, it's just going to stop.

I hit another sand wedge on the par 3 to about three feet, made that.

I hit a driver, 5-iron into the par 5, 14, and hit it about 25 feet below the hole, two-putted there for birdie.

I crushed a drive down 15, had 184, hit 7-iron there, a good shot, probably about 18 feet, and just made a good putt, just misread it.

I hit a good putt on 16, just didn't have enough speed on it.

I hit it to a couple feet on 17, made birdie there.



PHIL STAMBAUGH: Two feet, three feet?

HUNTER MAHAN: About two feet, I guess.

I just missed the edge of the green on 18, hit it there in two , made a good putt there.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: On 1, what did you do, 1st hole?

HUNTER MAHAN: I hit driver, hit 3-wood down there about 45 yards, hit an L-wedge to about three feet there.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: So a pretty good day. Sort of maybe talk about playing in Texas, being from Texas and then shooting a score today.

HUNTER MAHAN: I played here quite a few times in junior golf, and the last two years I've played here. I just feel comfortable on this golf course. I just seem to play well here. There's something about it that fits my eye. The greens are always in perfect shape. They're never too hard or too soft. The course is in good shape right now. You stay patient, you can make a lot of birdies out here.

Q. As you were going through your round, looks like you had kind of a steady stretch there on the front nine and then you had birdies on six out of seven holes. I mean, you kind of really caught a nice tailwind there.

HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah. I hit the ball good for those holes 2 through 7. I hit it solid. I had a lot of nice putts, just didn't read them right. The greens are tricky and you've got to pay attention to that. I had some decent opportunities and just didn't make them. I wasn't too worried about it, just tried to keep playing.

Yeah, 8 and 9 had a couple good putts. They both had a couple inches of break in them. Just to be able to see the putt and make it -- my speed has been perfect. I haven't hit anything too far by or too short, so I'm able to trust that and just stroke it on my line and not worry about too much.

Q. Anything in particular that helped you kind of decipher the greens a little bit more when you made that run?

HUNTER MAHAN: Not really. I mean, I just kept asking my caddie Bob Riefke where the green was, and that gave me a little bit of idea how it was going to break. But I just tried to stay patient and keep stroking.

Q. You said you've played this a lot in junior golf and other -- but you haven't had a round anything like this today, have you?

HUNTER MAHAN: I haven't played as well.

Q. Is there any difference to that, any confidence factor or any kind of intangible?

HUNTER MAHAN: Probably just being a little more mature than I have been the last couple years, not worrying about making the cut or anything. I've just been playing golf this week and not worried about anything else. You know, I'm just taking the experiences that I've had in the past and trying to take them into today and tomorrow.

Q. Conditions out there weather-wise?

HUNTER MAHAN: It's hot. That's about the only problem. The fairways are just awesome. The greens are perfect. They're receptive but they're not spinning back so you don't really have to judge too much into that. You can be right at the hole and aggressive.

Q. Any wind issues?

HUNTER MAHAN: It's blowing the pins around, but it's not doing much. I'm not counting too much on it, whether it's in or helping or anything like that or left or right. I'm just trying to hit it. It hasn't done too much to my ball.

Q. Did you play the Pub Links here when it was at Pecan Valley?

HUNTER MAHAN: It was just like a junior tournament, like an FCWT tournament, and just little stuff as a junior, nothing big. Just played here maybe two or three times in a tournament.

Q. So you're sitting pretty good right now. Thinking about tomorrow, obviously you try to dial it in today like you did today, right?


Q. Being in this position going into Sunday, how do you --

HUNTER MAHAN: Just not worry about it, not worry about the leaderboard, not worry about anybody else, just do what you can do and just play my game and just take the confidence that I had today about making putts and staying patient and hitting it good. If I don't get off to a great start, it's not going to really upset me too much because I've been hitting it good. There's no reason to get away from that. I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing all week.

Q. Young guy like you, how do you not worry about leaderboard?

HUNTER MAHAN: I've been pretty lucky. These last fours weeks I've played pretty well. I was in contention at Reno and lost in a playoff there, and I was in contention last week in Canada, Top 5 there. I've just been learning a lot.

I've secured my card for next year, so I don't think that's an issue for me like it is for some other guys. I'm just playing golf. I'm not worried about the leaderboard. If I shoot 80, it's going to happen. Nothing I can do about it. I've just got to do what I can do on that day.

Q. The playoff at the Reno-Tahoe, does that help you with confidence going into the final day, knowing that you've kind of been in that position recently?

HUNTER MAHAN: Absolutely. I've been there a couple weeks ago. I played solid all day that week, and the wind was really just kind of swirling all around and it's going to cost you a few shots. I just played. I didn't really worry about the leaderboard too much, just tried to not look at it, just not even -- the last thing in my mind, just trying to hit that shot in front of me as good as I can.

Last week it was tougher than it was at Reno because I knew I needed a good finish to keep my card for next year, and I played real solid, and it was a tough golf course and I was able to really play well when I had to and hit some good shots when I had to. That was really big for me to be in that situation. That was key.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Continued good luck. Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts.

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