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THE HONDA CLASSIC


February 27, 2014


Russell Henley


PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA

RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Even though I struck it fairly solid and I have to do a better job tomorrow of fine tuning, of getting the right club, the right shot, matching it up into the wind to give it proper distance control.

Q.テつ The conditions didn't do what we expected, especially on the back, the wind couldn't make up its mind whether it was going to blow or not.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ It was inconsistent in the direction it because blowing but it wasn't very strong.テつ I felt like it was very scorable.テつ You could with good shots get the ball close, and the greens are very well conditioned.テつ If you hit it 15, 20, 30 feet, there's not too much pitch in them and you can make those putts so there were a lot birdies there.

Q.テつ How different is the approach, a veteran of the PGA TOUR and you're seeing a track for the first time, you haven't seen that in a while.テつ What's it like trying to approach this week?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I'm a little uncertain times where I want to go all the time because I'm not as familiar with the course but you should be able to pick that up quickly with the yardage books and I've got a great caddie.テつ So those things are not as important as the execution, hitting the right shot and pulling it off.
The course was in wonderful condition, very gettable today because the wind wasn't‑‑ it was still up but it wasn't blowing that strong and the greens are in such great shape, if you hit it close, you should be able to make those putts, they don't have a lot of break in them around the hole which I really like.テつ I feel like if you hit a good iron shot to 15, ten, 15 feet you should be rewarded with a good birdie putt and you certainly are that‑‑ rewarded here.

Q.テつ Did your playing partners tell you it gets harder out here‑‑
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I'm sure it does, there's a lot of crosswinds and hitting these fairways and hitting these greens into crosswinds can be very difficult.

Q.テつ On No.2, were you in the water or in the mud or what?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ It was in the water but it was only about a third submerged.テつ So I was able to get a ball on it very cleanly.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you missed a lot of makeable birdies today?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ What I missed was opportunities from the fairway to get the ball close, and it's not as though I hit bad shots per se, but I didn't hit the right shot for the wind and the conditions to get the ball close to the hole, and I was repeatedly 30 feet plus from an opportunity to get good birdie putts at it.
So tomorrow I've got to hit the ball closer but the game feels pretty good and I should have a good chance tomorrow.

Q.テつ How close a call was 17?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I got very lucky that the ball stayed up.テつ It shouldn't have.テつ It hit high up on the bank, above the line, and got caught up in the last foot or two and then it had a great lie, so I got very lucky in turning a five into a three there.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...

Q.テつ Terrific round of 64, birdieing the first four, how did you manage to do that?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Hit it in the fairway.テつ If you can hit it in the fairway, you can get a good lie‑‑ started out with a really good drive and a really good 4‑iron so nice way to start the day.

Q.テつ Your best shot of the round might have resulted with this blob of mud you have on your visor.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Yeah, I was in the middle of the fairway on 3, hit a great drive in to the 6‑iron on the par five, hit a horrendous shot way left barely into the water and did a Haas, went into the water like at East Lake, got in there and knocked it on to the green.テつ I've never hit that shot in my life before.テつ Tried to treat it like a bunker shot or something like that.

Q.テつ Now, you hit 17 greens in regulation.テつ Obviously you're happy with a round of 64, but do you feel like you left any shots out there?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I got a good break, a couple really good breaks today, and saving par.テつ I definitely barely missed a bunch of really makeable putts on my back nine, the front nine.テつ Out here, it's just such a tough course, you've got to do everything right, and you know, they are not always going‑‑ they are not all going to go in, so I'm just trying to give myself chances.

Q.テつ Great playing, a 64 for you, it started with four consecutive birdies on the back nine.テつ What were you doing so well to start this day?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Give myself chances.テつ It's such a tough start starting on 10 and 11, got to hit the fairway I did that and hit some really nice iron shots in there.テつ These greens are putting really, really well just like they did last year, my first time playing.テつ Just give myself chances.

Q.テつ Came to 17 on the par3, hit the tee ball, I don't know if originally you could tell what had happened, and thought it might have been in the bank, as it turns out it was in the bank.テつ Describe that whole season and getting up‑and‑down for par?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ That's such a tough hole to get the right distance and really feel comfortable over that tee shot.テつ It's kind of downwind and there's trouble all around.テつ I pushed a 7‑iron just a little bit and you can't afford to do that on that hole.テつ Luckily I had a decent lie in the hazard, and went down there and just popped it out on the green and went right to the hole.

Q.テつ On the par5 third, you had a ball that was partially submerged, you take the sock and shoe off, pull the pants leg up.テつ Describe that?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I've never hit it out of the water like that.テつ Obviously seen Bill Haas do it over and over on the highlights of THE TOUR Championship.テつ I just got in there and I figured worst case, I could at least dump it out into the bunker and it came out really high and really soft and I was very surprised at how good it came out.

Q.テつ How comfortable are you after shooting 64 in fairly benign afternoon conditions, now that you get to come back in the morning where it may be the same kind of thing?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Well, you know, the wind switched a little bit around today.テつ Definitely wasn't near as hard as last year but the main deal with this golf course is hitting fairways.テつ So probably going to hit a couple balls, keep my confidence up and hopefully I can come out and have a good round.テつ I'm just really having a great time out here.

Q.テつ Four birdies out of the gate, five out of your first six, how good of a round was it?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ It was a good start.テつ I just fed off my start, hit it really well from the start all the way through the whole front nine through the actual back nine and gave myself a lot of chances.テつ I feel really good on these greens and it added up to a nice start.

Q.テつ You came into this week missing three of your last four cuts.テつ What does a round like this do for you confidence‑wise moving forward?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I think getting some confidence coming into here, I missed Riviera, shot 66 Friday and went from almost last place to almost making the cut on Friday.テつ Just to know I can jump that far up one day gave me confidence.テつ Just trying to play good golf and not be too technical.テつ That seems to be where I struggle with my game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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