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March 1, 2014

Russell Henley


MARK STEVENS:テつテつ Like to welcome Russell Henley, shot a 2‑under today.テつ Under the circumstances of the wind, you've got to feel good about that score today.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I did.テつ Got off to a tough start.テつ I felt like I was playing, hitting the ball pretty decent the first couple holes and didn't really get much out of it.テつ But hang tough and‑‑ I hung tough and ended up having some things go my way on the back.

Q.テつ Can you just talk a little bit about chasing and what you know about Rory, have you guys been paired before, and talk about tomorrow.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I haven't been paired with him.テつ You know, this golf course is so hard; it demands a lot out of your game, and the wind's been changing on us, and it's firmed up a little bit.
I think you've got to play all 18 holes every single time.テつ That's really important for me, because there's never a place where the course really let's up on you.テつ It's really hard the whole time, and not once did I really feel like, okay, well this is a birdie hole.
Most of the time, it's, okay, I've really got to get this in the fairway, I've really got to get this close to the green.テつ It's just such a tough course, and when I think about chasing, I'm not really going to, I'm trying not to pay attention to what Rory is doing.テつ Obviously he's playing great and he's been in this situation a little bit more than me.
But I still have a lot of confidence and I'm just going to try to play my game and not worry about what he's doing too much.

Q.テつ Would you prefer to be leading?テつ Probably sounds like a silly question but sometimes it's difficult to sit on the lead.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ It is difficult.テつ Obviously I'd like to be way ahead if I could, but in this situation, for me to be in the last group is pretty nice.テつ I think I would definitely like to be leading but on this course, two shots is a lot but it's also manageable.
テつAt the same time, I think there are a couple guys at 9 and 8.テつ I think everybody has a good chance; whoever plays a really solid round.

Q.テつ So how far back do you think are the guys that are a danger; guys that are six, seven behind, do they have a chance?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ If Rory plays like he normally plays‑‑ I don't know, it's hard for me to say.テつ I think if somebody goes low and shoots a 63, they could have a chance.テつ But I would say around five shots maybe.テつ That's a tough question, though.テつ Sorry I don't have a better answer.

Q.テつ You began your PGA TOUR career as good as humanly possible.テつ How would you characterize the rest of your 2013 and what did maybe you learn about yourself?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I learned a lot.テつ Playing out here with these guys teaches you a lot about yourself, about your game.テつ I grew a lot last year as a person and I'm still growing.テつ It will beat you up if you let it, and every time you‑‑ I haven't been playing my best the start of this year but I think a lot of that is more me getting in my own way.
I think my game's been there.テつ It just has not really shown that much.テつ But I'm starting to try to really keep things really simple out here, because for me, I make them complicated in a heartbeat and last year I think was a very tough year towards the end of the year for me.テつ I didn't play like I wanted, but at the same time, I think grew a lot and I'm going to take a lot from that in the future.

Q.テつ You just mentioned taking things complicated.テつ How did you make it complicated?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Let's just say I don't have a good tournament, a couple tournaments in a row don't go how you want it to, you start trying to change a lot of what got you there.テつ For me, I've never really thought too much about everything in my game.テつ I just try to be athletic and the more I can keep it simple like that, the better.

Q.テつ Talk about your challenge tomorrow, a lot of expectations are there Rory is going to win, he obviously has played well in the lead for most of his career.テつ Just talk about the challenge of trying to beat him.
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Yeah, I live for it.テつ I don't think there's‑‑ I think this is one of those things where, you know, it doesn't get much better.テつ I'm in the final group with a great player; I haven't played with him yet but I've heard great things about him.テつ I just hope I can go out there and play well.
I can't wait and hopefully I can be in this situation a lot more in the future.

Q.テつ Following up on that, you hear the circus out there, it's going to be pretty crazy tomorrow probably just because Rory has that sort of stature.テつ What's the closest you've been to experiencing what you'll experience tomorrow?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I don't know, I guess Phoenix, playing Phoenix (laughter), the stadium hole.
I think playing in the final group at the Sony last year.テつ I think playing the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach when I was an Am; I can think of a lot of tournaments I'm going to pull from, but hopefully at worst case, I can learn a lot from it and I think putting myself in this situation, no matter what happens tomorrow, I'm going to be a better player afterwards.

Q.テつ Is there a certain sense that maybe the attention will be on him so you'll be under the radar and do your thing?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ I think he's really used to it.テつ I don't think it's like any different than any other day for him.テつ But you know, I'm just excited‑‑ just excited to be there and I'm going to try not to worry about anything else.

Q.テつ When you walked into the media room at Sony, your mom was on the phone yelling at you for not smiling enough.テつ You're going to try smiling more tomorrow?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ It's usually not a problem, but yeah, thanks for the reminder, I might do that.テつ (Laughter).

Q.テつ Being from Georgia and everything, have you thought about winning tomorrow will get you in the Masters again and other things it would do for you?
RUSSELL HENLEY:テつ Sure, there's not a day goes by I don't think about the Masters.テつ I grew up in Macon, Georgia.テつテつ Went to the Masters growing up as a kid almost every year on Saturday or Sunday.テつ So not a day goes by I don't think about that, and that probably gets in my way more than it helps but you know, it's such a long way off to even be talking about that.テつ But absolutely.
MARK STEVENS:テつテつ Thanks for your time, Russell, good luck tomorrow.

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