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June 25, 2013

Chris Stroud


THE MODERATOR:テつ I'd like to welcome Chris Stroud.
Chris, you had an exciting playoff last week.テつ If you want to kind of talk a little bit, do a recap on that, and then we'll have a few questions.
CHRIS STROUD:テつ It was definitely electric for me, guys.テつ All my life, I've dreamed of being in that situation.テつ I practiced extensively hours and hours.テつ We all do.テつ To be able to pull it off and chip something in like that, hit a great chip under the gun when you need to to get into a playoff was awesome.テつ I was just as excited as the crowd was.テつ I'll always have that memory to pull from no matter what.
What's really cool, I asked my caddie, I said, where did you put that golf ball?テつ And he actually saved it, and he put it in my bag.テつ I've got that ball for sure.テつ And he didn't even clean it off or anything, still got the little mark on it from me chipping it.テつ It was a great moment for me.テつ All I can ask for is more chances to be in moments like that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions.

Q.テつ Chris, what's your takeaway from the end of that?テつ Is it more excitement from getting into the mix and chipping it on 18 and getting into the playoff, or is it disappointment from not winning the playoff?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ Right after the tournament was over with, I was a little bit disappointed.テつ I was frustrated.テつ I couldn't believe I played so well and I still didn't win the golf tournament.
But after a couple of hours went by and I started seeing all the text messages and calls and pictures and video and people showing me stuff saying, man, how proud they were, it started sinking in.テつ I was like, I've got to be positive about this.テつ I've got to understand it could have easily missed the hole.テつ That chip could have gone by 12, 15 feet and made bogey and finished third and not even have a chance to win the tournament, and I wouldn't be here talking about it.
I've got to look at it positively.テつ I hit an awesome chip under the gun.テつ I did everything I possibly could, and then Ken hit a great shot on the second playoff hole to win.
To be honest, I've got no regrets.テつ I wouldn't have done anything differently.テつ Ken just won the playoff outright, and I couldn't do anything about it.
I couldn't get that ball to stop.テつ Three times in a row, I could not get that ball closer than 20‑‑ I think that last time, 25, 30 feet.テつ I don't think I could have hit a better shot than that.テつ I absolutely nipped it off that downhill slope, downwind, and it still landed and kicked four or five feet in the air.テつ It was just a very firm green, a very tough pin to get to.

Q.テつ You said you have no regrets.テつ Would you, looking back on it, maybe hit a different club off the tee to have more‑‑
CHRIS STROUD:テつ I don't think so.テつ My caddie and I talked about it afterwards.テつ If I would have done that, I would have been putting the bunker left, and maybe that rough on the right, putting that more in play because the fairway gets flat up there about 280 yards, 290, and then it runs.
Well, if you hit 3 wood, you're probably going to land a little short and then roll, but it also goes left.テつ So if you pull a 3 wood a little bit, you have a chance to go into that bunker.テつ That bunker shot is going to be a lot harder than that 80‑yard shot from the fairway.
I didn't want to take that chance.テつ I already hit two perfect drives down the middle before.テつ I did the same thing.テつ I teed the ball up at the same exact spot, aimed at the same exact tower, and I hit three identical drives right down the middle.テつ They ended up literally three feet from each other, all three divots right there.
That's another great thing to pull from for me, knowing I can hit a great drive under pressure when I need to.

Q.テつ I'm just wondering, do you have to learn how to turn a negative into a positive and make that emotional rebound.テつ Are you better equipped at that now than you were when you started?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ You know, I think it's a choice.テつ People ask me all the time, how are you so positive, Chris?テつ How do you always say the most positive things in situations?テつ I think it's a choice.テつ People can be negative or positive.
I choose to be positive because I don't want to dwell on the negative and have all these negative thoughts and feelings in myself about something and have regrets.テつ I choose to be positive about the situation.テつ I did everything I possibly could.
The only thing I possibly could regret is on 13 I had a birdie putt right up the hill from about 6 feet, and I didn't quite commit 100 percent mentally to that spot I was trying to aim at, and I was sort of, kind of wishing it in the hole.テつ That's the only thing I could possibly think of that I would have changed the entire day.
So I choose‑‑ I think it's a choice to be positive, and I choose to take the best things I can possibly do and move on, give myself another chance hopefully this week to win a golf tournament and down the road.

Q.テつ How do you balance the physically taxing part of playing extra holes, obviously, on a Sunday, bouncing back and kind of carrying that momentum into this week?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ Most important thing, I believe, that I've learned is rest.テつ When you're playing well, you need to rest more than anything.テつ Less is more, almost like a Stricker.テつ Stricker, Tiger Woods.
All the top guys in the world, they understand how important rest is, mental and physical rest.テつ I actually came to the golf course today to do‑‑ to do all my media obligations and then be done.テつ I'm not going to practice.テつ I'm not going to go see the golf course.テつ My caddie‑‑ I know the golf course plenty well.テつ My caddie is out there looking at some stuff.
I'll come out tomorrow and practice.テつ I'm going to watch "Monsters Inc" with my little 3‑year‑old in a little bit.テつ I want to get away from the golf course, get away from thinking about golf, and just completely rest my mind and get myself prepared for this week, and I believe that's the best way for me to do it.
The travel part is really the most difficult thing, I think, that people don't understand on the PGA Tour.テつ We travel nine, ten months of the year, in planes, on the road.テつ You're in and out of hotels.テつ That's the most difficult part, I believe, for me.
The practice, the golf, the golf swings, the heat, dealing with all that, that's easy for me.テつ That's what I've always wanted to do.テつ That's what I love to do.テつ But the travel part is the difficult part.テつ So trying to deal with getting in and out of hotels, I believe, is the most difficult part for me, and in and out of jets.テつ So rest, rest, rest for me.テつ Rehydrate and rest.

Q.テつ How long did‑‑ I know you talked about positive thoughts, but how long did it linger on Sunday night for you?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ You know, it‑‑ I felt like I thought about it for two or three hours, what I could have done differently, and I really couldn't come up with anything.テつ It was almost making me frustrated.テつ It was like what could I have done?テつ I did everything I possibly could to the best.
I hit three really good wedge shots from that same spot.テつ One, the first time, I was in regulation, I pulled it a little bit, but I hit it the exact yardage I wanted to, went over the green.テつ The second time I was trying to open it up a little more and hit almost like a flop shot, and I hit that perfect, but it went in the bunker.
The third time I told myself I'm going to aim a little bit left, be a little bit less aggressive, and let it release more, and give it more room to release, and I hit a perfect shot there, and it still went 25 feet by.
So I'd say two or three hours went by, and I tried to think what could I have done differently?テつ I couldn't think of anything that I could have done yesterday‑‑ or Sunday.テつ I played great, gave myself an opportunity.テつ Mentally I was just as sharp as I've ever been.テつ Nothing but great things to pull from it.

Q.テつ Does it make it harder or easier going into this week?テつ By that I mean, you're obviously in contention, and there's so much that gets poured into that.テつ Then obviously turn around here and go right back into it.
CHRIS STROUD:テつ Yeah, I think there's a good and bad side.テつ The good thing is I don't feel like I need to practice too much to be ready for this week for the golf swing or anything.テつ I think I've just got to get my strategy ready, where I'm going to be aggressive, where I'm going to be‑‑ what spots I'm going to play to, how many drives I'm going to hit off the tee boxes, that kind of thing.
Like rest is the most important, like I said.テつ You want to‑‑ it would be nice to have a week off.テつ I think I would probably lose that sharpness.テつ So I have to build back up.テつ I have to practice two or three really hard days to get the sharpness.テつ So I feel very sharp.
I'm actually pretty excited to get back out there.テつ If I can just rest my mind, rest my body, and get ready for Thursday, I believe I can go out there and hopefully give myself a chance to have a chance in the last nine holes.テつ That's all we can pray for every week.

Q.テつ Chris, you played with Bubba on Sunday.テつ You sort of had a front row seat to what happened on 16.テつ What did you make of that outburst on 16?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ I've known Bubba for a long time.テつ He's an awesome character.テつ I love playing with him.テつ I was a little bit surprised.
I think what happens as golfers‑‑ we all make mistakes.テつ We all do things we shouldn't in different situations in different lights.テつ He's got a lot of focus on him right now with being the Master's champion from a year and a half ago, and he's won the Travelers, obviously, before.テつ And he was in the lead‑‑ I think all day he was a little bit uncomfortable.テつ He wasn't quite hitting the ball like he normally does.テつ I've played tons of rounds with him.テつ So when he's sharp, he's on.
He hit some really nice shots on 10, 11 and 12‑‑ or 10, 11, 13, hit a couple of really nice wedge shots, and he looked like he was back in control.テつ Then he hit a couple of loose shots again on 14, hit kind of a loose shot on 15, the par 4 drivable, and he just didn't seem comfortable.テつ I think in his mind all day he was sort of almost surprised that he was in the lead, it felt like to me.
But you would think with his caliber of play that he's had, that he would be able to overcome, like, hey, I'm not playing my best, but I can still win this golf tournament.テつ For him to hit that one shot poorly and then just go off like that was very surprising.テつ For being that close, he could have easily have made a bogey there or at least a double and still been okay.
My caddie and I were talking about it the whole way up to the green while he was in the drop circle.テつ He just talked himself out of the tournament.
I think more than anything he'll learn from that.テつ I think the next time he's in that situation, I think he'll draw and say, you know what, I'm not going to do that again.テつ I'm going to choose to be positive with myself and just be he persistent and just do the best I can.
That's what I did because it actually almost kind of helped me because I saw how frustrated he was getting.テつ I could have easily been frustrated myself.テつ I did birdie 15, hit a great up and down on 15.
I knew ‑‑ I mean, the tournament still wasn't all out.テつ Ken still had a couple of holes left to play, and now Bubba is probably going to make a bogey or worse here on this par 3.テつ And if I go down there and make a birdie‑‑ I'm thinking, if I can make two birdies, maybe even three birdies, I can win this thing right now.テつ I went up there, hit a great putt, almost made the putt on 16, and that's how it is.
For Bubba to do that was a little bit of a surprise.テつ I'm sure he'll learn from it.

Q.テつ I know you can't tell when you're out on the course, but most of that was caught by TV cameras and microphones.テつ Does that happen more frequently than we realize out on tour, but it's just not picked up on TV?
CHRIS STROUD:テつ I don't think too much.テつ The guys are very respectful for the most part, and everybody's in the zone.テつ Everybody wants to win.テつ Everybody's tough on themselves.テつ They want to be the best they can be.
For me, I only get frustrated when I don't mentally commit.テつ Your body's not going to be perfect every day, but you want your mind to be as sharp as it possibly can be.テつ If you commit to the right things, if you commit to those targets or whatever you're trying to do, I typically don't get mad, but we've all done it.
Everybody is guilty of it.テつ It just happened to be when he was in the lead.テつ If it could have been any other part of the other golf course or any part of the tournament that all the cameras weren't on him that much, it wouldn't have been talked about much.
I'm sure he'll learn from it.テつ I'm sure he's not happy about it.テつ I know he's not happy he did all that.テつ But he'll learn, and I'm sure he'll get past it.

Q.テつ Last year the heat and humidity kind of threw a wrench in your plans.

Q.テつ If you could just kind of‑‑ your thoughts on what went down last year and the precautions you're taking this year.
CHRIS STROUD:テつ Yeah, that's exactly.テつ I was just talking to somebody earlier.テつ Last year I was playing pretty solid golf.テつ I think I was playing with Graham DeLaet and maybe Greg Owen, I believe.テつ We teed off early on Thursday and Friday really late.テつ It was ridiculous hot.テつ I mean, I think it was over 100 degrees.テつ Humidity was super high.テつ The heat index was supposed to be in the teens, 115 or something like that.
So I hydrated like crazy last year the entire week, and I just remember I was on hole No.16, No.17 green, which was my 26th hole, and I was playing decent.テつ I was hanging in there, but I was starting to get frustrated because I was just feeling so weak and tired.テつ I started seeing black spots on the green.テつ I bent down and hit this putt, to line it up, and I remember getting up, and I was like whoa.テつ I got really light‑headed.
I told the caddie to bring over the towel, and I cooled my head off a little bit.テつ I actually had a trainer‑‑ one of the trainer guys come out, physio guys come out and check me, make sure I was okay.テつ I talked to the rules official.テつ I said, man, I don't feel good.テつ Do I look okay?テつ I was worried I might pass out right there.
We were walking down 18, and I was literally, felt like I was about to fall over.テつ One of the guys came out and said, man, man, you're really overheated.テつ What do you want to do?テつ And I said, I don't think I can do this anymore.テつ And I hit my shot, and I literally on 18‑‑ I think I was in the left rough from like 200 yards.テつ I hit it as hard as I could, and it went like 100 yards.テつ I felt like it went nowhere.テつ I had no energy left, no power.
So I withdrew.テつ I go into the trailer, and they put ice packs on me, on my chest, my neck.テつ I didn't even feel them.テつ That's how hot I was, that it felt normal to me.テつ Jeff in the trailer said I was extremely overheated and probably close to being super dehydrated and about to pass out.
Definitely, when the weather gets that hot, you have to be very careful, and this week I'll be drinking lots of water, lots of electrolytes, and try to do my best to stay in the shade as much as possible.テつ Hopefully, it's not going to be as hot as last year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks for your time, Chris.テつ Good luck this week.
CHRIS STROUD:テつ I appreciate it.テつ Thank you, guys.

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