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February 19, 2014

Jason Day


KELLY BARNES:  Please welcome Jason Day to the interview room.  You got off to a good start winning in the first round.  Obviously this year a lot different than last year with the weather.  Are you feeling good heading into tomorrow and more comfortable?
JASON DAY:  Yeah, I'm pretty glad that we have some nice weather this year.  This is my fourth time and it's snowed a couple of times.  So it's nice to see nice weather and it's good for the fans, good for golf.
I got off to a nice start winning other Thorbjorn.  And my game feels good right now.  I'm not sure who I have next in the next round, but I'm sure it's going to be just as tough.  And today was more of a mental grind for me today, just to get through the round.  I played as good as I could.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
JASON DAY:  I was just looking at it today.  There were some holes where I was at least 70, 80 yards ahead of him.  Certain lines I could take.  Certain bunkers I can carry.  I think he was‑‑ there's one hole, I think it was 5, just around the corner, he was hitting a long iron in and I had a lob wedge in my hand.  So definitely it makes it so much easier when you have length at this course, because it's long.  It is a long course.
And then once I missed the greens today, I didn't miss an up and down, which was good.  The short game saved myself.  I didn't make a bogey out there today.  And this kind of format is‑‑ you've just got to keep yourself into it.  You've got to keep yourself in it, keep grinding away, and not give up, because anything can happen.
I remember I think it was last year or the year before I was four or five down with four or five to play and ended up winning on the 19th hole.  As long as you keep your head up and keep going and not give up you've got a good chance.

Q.  You mentioned in your first answer that you had to‑‑ you were really mentally grinding out there?

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about what that's like for you?
JASON DAY:  Well, it's like being around the lead on Sunday and trying to win a golf tournament.  And that's what it feels like every day here, playing against‑‑ because you're just playing against a guy across the tee from you.  You're not playing the whole field.  You just have to go out there and beat that guy on the day.
And today I shot‑‑ giving myself the last two putts, I shot 5‑under.  I played solid play, I played solid golf.  But just the amount of stress and pressure you put on yourself out there is‑‑ especially coming down the final few holes, it's very stressful.
For me to grind it out, because I did miss a few greens with wedges in my hand, and to be honest, you shouldn't be missing greens with wedges.  You should be somewhere around the hole, at least, give yourself an opportunity for birdie.  You miss a green and you put yourself in a pretty awkward position, and you're just trying to keep the round going, keep the round moving and really keep the momentum in going in the right direction.
For me in the back nine, it was a great back nine, because there were a lot of wins and a lot of losses.  It was up and down the whole back nine.  I'm just happy that I got in.  I'm going to get some rest this afternoon and get into the round tomorrow.

Q.  So that was a great description of what you do.  Can you tell us how you do it?

Q.  How you maintain the mental state of mind?
JASON DAY:  Just don't give up.  Winning is everything.  So just don't give up until it's over.  And that's pretty much when I'm out there and I'm just trying to grind it out, grind it out, grind it out, even though I may be four or five down, one or two years ago, I've got to do something, got to find a way to win.  And that's pretty much it.  That's everything.

Q.  Do you feel like the greens are soft enough to be aggressive or do you still have to be careful out there?
JASON DAY:  No, you have to be careful, especially on the downwind shots.  Starting on 1 we had a‑‑ it wasn't blowing a lot, but I had a wedge in my hand, a 52‑degree wedge and landed it pin‑high and it bounced ten yards.  Certain shots into the wind it wasn't as bad, because obviously it's coming in softer, but definitely downwind or crosswind shots were difficult.  You had to give it a little bit more bounce and roll.
But the greens were pretty receptive today.  I think they were more than playable for most of the plays out there.  And overall it was a pretty tough golf course.  But it's a good golf course for match play because there's a lot of risk reward kind of holes that you can go out there.  The par‑5s, I didn't really capitalize on the par‑5s today.  With my length I should be doing that.  Definitely a lot of great holes to make it a great match play tournament.
KELLY BARNES:  Thank you for coming in, Jason.

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