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VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP


March 16, 2014


John Senden


PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA

DOUG MILNE:テつ All right.テつ We'd like to welcome John Senden, 2014 Valspar Championship winner.
John, congratulations on your second career PGA TOUR victory.テつ Twice a runner up here before today.テつ 1-under 70 today.
Good enough to get the job done on a tough day.テつ With all that said, congratulations, and we'll turn it over to you for some comments.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Felt good today.テつ It was a tough day.テつ I knew warming up today the wind, it was a good test for all players today and I've been feeling good.
I've been working really hard with my coach, Ian Triggs and he was out here this week with me.テつ After two days I was 1-over and feeling like I was getting a little bit, you know, busy with the mind out there with the conditions but trying to really concentrate on some good thoughts with the swing and because I really thought my chipping and putting was right there for the week and managed to control my swing speed all day, both days on the weekend and that really felt like I was in more control mentally to handle the conditions, especially for this golf course.
It's a great test of golf.テつ I love coming here.テつ A couple of runner-up finishes gives me confidence here and to come out on top today was another dream come true.
DOUG MILNE:テつ With that, we'll take questions.

Q.テつ You talked about the chip-in on 16.テつ What was going through your mind?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ After my tee shot I got a pretty good break there with hitting the tree and dropping straight down.テつ Then hit, I felt, a really good second shot to get in in some sort of position near the green and then walking up to the shot I just had felt like okay, I need to hit a really good shot here to get this up and down and try to have a chance to do something down the stretch as well, and then just got up there and just let it go and hit it and I thought it come out well.テつ It's going to be in a reasonably good spot.テつ It disappeared.テつ Was amazing.テつ It felt good.

Q.テつ You won with your short game.テつ You've been known as a ball-striker.テつ There for a number of years were you 2nd, 3rd on Tour with ball striking and win with a chip-in and 21 footer.テつ That's interesting.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ With all the good quality players out here on the PGA TOUR, the young guys coming up now, you really got to do everything great, I believe, to win and look, I've been doing a lot of things great but it's about continuing to believe that I can actually do it.
This weekend was a chance for me to get out there and show that and especially coming down the stretch, it was one of those deals where it was up and down but I just knew that -- I just had to hang about and try to change momentum somehow and, you know, the short game come through and it has been pretty good, my short game improving I guess you call it from the last 18 months, I guess, and that has been the difference in my scoring ability and putting yourself in positions to win tournaments.

Q.テつ You came in this week 11th in putting.テつ What have you done to improve your putting?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I've been working hard with a number of people.テつ I've been working hard with Ian Triggs with it and Ian Baker-Finch gave me a few tips there awhile back and also Pat O'Brien out of Dallas, he's been helping me out as well.
Saying that, it has really sort of improved a few issues in regards to the posture and just working hard to lighten up and to -- to believe that I'm hitting good putts all the time rather than just some of the time and letting me -- letting the mental distractions change myself technically.テつ I believe that today was a good test and hung on.

Q.テつ What's that putt like on 14, John, and how hard is it coming off from the standpoint of stopping some bleeding there?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ That was one time in the round today where I actually felt more comfortable on the green than where I was on, say, on 11, 12 and 13.
I felt like I was quite, quite, you know, starting to sneak the feelings of, you know, coming down the stretch, but then when I hit that putt on 14, I struck it well and it went straight in the middle.
That kind of pretty much eased the tension and I know I didn't play 15 well but I still felt good so it was a matter of me just staying with it.テつ That was a possible turning point on the back-9 for me.

Q.テつ John, this time as you already talked about, it opens up a lot of doors and Augusta next month which must be pretty pleasing.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yes.テつ Yes.テつ As you know, Augusta is one of the greatest tournaments ever and to get back there again this year will be fantastic and, you know it's amazing.
It's just a dream come true to get back there again and, you know, whatever else comes with it as well which is, you know the PGA and the British Open, the big tournaments coming up.
So I can reset the schedule a little bit more and -- but also take some confidence from the win and keep believing that I can produce this form to give myself a chance to, you know, get the ultimate dream possibly of winning a Major Championship.

Q.テつ How much were you thinking about the Masters in the last month or so?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I wasn't really thinking about it at all, even today.テつ I was just thinking that I really wanted to work hard on my ability to stay present with what I was doing technically and especially mentally, it was -- it was about trying to work hard to believe that I can get it done.
If I was thinking about those issues outside I think it would have distracted me away from all that other business.
But, you know, the whole thing about the time between the John Deere Classic and this win, there's been a pretty good team that I've had in regards to my parents, "Triggsy", my wife, Jackie, my son, Jacob and those types -- those people and all my closer friends, that's what I call the team that you need to have the full support from to be able to go out there and produce great golf.
Because if everything is taken care of on the sidelines and everything is great and it is great, you got the best chance to go out there and do your job well and that's what's happened all this time and I'm proud to have my support team that's made the difference, I believe.

Q.テつ Following up on the Masters question, you didn't let it get into your mind today or recently but were you at all disappointed that you hadn't made it in at this point to this point?テつ Obviously you played it a few times.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Last year I had a really good opportunity to go really well in regards to the schedule that I had.テつ I was like 38th in the world starting the year.テつ Dropped right back to at 100.
I feel like I put that down to a couple little minor injuries that I had.テつ I had a little rib ailment and also a wrist ailment as well.テつ Because the body wasn't working so well, the hands were taking over and I started to get some wrist problems.
I believe that that was kind of distracting for me.テつ That kind of slowed up the process of what I was trying to do and -- but, you know, getting through that and starting fresh this year and knowing that my body was feeling better from January 1, I felt like I was, you know, in a good place physically and starting to work it out mentally.

Q.テつ John, on the subject of confidence, you chip-in on 16, you make the putt on 17, now you're standing over the putt on 18.
How much did what happened on 16 and 17 settle you, if you will, standing over what looked to be a tough two-putt?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ Sometimes I believe that when you are -- when you have momentum going your way, you feel like that you got some calmness going on standing on the 18th hole.テつ Difference between leading by two, making a couple mistakes and having to do something at the last to get it done, whereas I had the momentum to go forward rather than come back.
Actually felt a little bit nervous on the 18th tee being a little bit busy about the situation but on the second shot and the first putt on the 18th hole I felt pretty good.
It was one of those putts that on the 18th hole that I knew that if I look into it too much it would have -- I'd be busy on it and probably wouldn't have hit a good putt.
I looked at it lightly and felt it.テつ Tried to run it off.テつ I was lucky to get it down there a couple inches and tap it in.

Q.テつ That's the follow-up, the relief to having virtually no work to do on the second one?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Right.テつ Exactly.テつ That's something that can really sort of distract you as well.テつ You don't want to think, I don't want to leave myself something to make because it is difficult and the biggest challenge is to hit putts or shots out there and try not to think what they're worth.

Q.テつ What's that putt do on 18?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Well, I aimed at least ten feet right of the hole.テつ Comes up over the ridge and flattens out down to the hole.テつ Into the grain up the hill and down-grain.

Q.テつ Swing little bit left?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Definitely breaking left.テつ Ten feet.

Q.テつ You weren't thinking any of this, just get up and whack it, huh?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I wasn't really thinking of a perfect line.テつ I could see it.テつ I could see a picture.テつ That's what I felt.

Q.テつ Did you hit the iron off the tee because you knew you had the two shot lead?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ One shot lead, right?

Q.テつ Two at that point.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Really?テつ I didn't know that.テつ I thought it was one.テつ I knew -- I knew that hole was playing short, down-breeze, and that particular 2-iron I hit goes a good distance.
You don't want to hit driver or 3-wood because it narrows up at that point and that was a good feeling for me, too, hitting -- I hit that club well and stepping up there and hitting it and I -- it wasn't the greatest shot.

Q.テつ Had you hit it other days?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yeah.テつ Not on 18.テつ No, it was drivers most days.

Q.テつ You hurt the rib in Malaysia at the end of '12; is that right?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I hurt my rib at the beginning of last year, 12 months ago.

Q.テつ How did you hurt it?テつ How bad was it?テつ How much did it set you back?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I felt like it was almost -- you know, I have a stretching issue.テつ Going through working out, doing stretching and at the time didn't hurt but I felt like it was more like the intercostal muscles that join the ribs to the midline.
And what used to happen in the swing, I used to swing and feel like I couldn't get through the ball.テつ So then I have to, you know, compensate with my hands and then that really sort of, you know, threw the wrist out as well almost and got started to get some pain, wrist pain from that.
Lots of things going on physically last year that I didn't really -- wasn't too happy with but I scraped through the year last year and ending up like 105, 109.テつ It wasn't great.テつ It was hard work last year.

Q.テつ John, looked like you had wrist pain just lifting the trophy fee.テつ Is that the heaviest trophy ever?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Yes.テつ Must weigh 50 pounds.

Q.テつ Nice to end this run of home grown victories on the PGA TOUR, wouldn't it?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ Absolutely.テつ It's one of those things that you gain confidence from playing well at home and then bring it on -- last year, 3rd place behind Rory and Scotty, one of the top players in the world and take that confidence to the new year which I've been doing so far.

Q.テつ How different, if at all, is the thrill of winning today compared to the John Deere of '06?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ The John Deere Classic was special.テつ It was my first PGA TOUR event, win, and that will always be fantastic but, you know, beating a field is probably higher in ranking and full FedExCup Points.
It is something that makes you believe more that you can get it done again rather than, you know, just once, and thinking back then in '06, was it something out of the flash in the pan?テつ I don't believe so.テつ But now it feels like -- it makes me feel, consolidates (sic) from the John Deere.

Q.テつ You mentioned yesterday about being able to do it under pressure today.テつ How were the nerves today throughout the round?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ The nerves were great teeing off.テつ Felt good.テつ Warmed up well.テつ Felt really good probably through 11 holes today.
And then I think the wind got up a lot and difficult holes, 12, 13, I think that, you know, I just started to -- I hit some pretty good shots but the wind knocked it down, held it up, that sort of business.
It wasn't easy today.テつ You could tell by the scoring I felt pretty good most of the day today.テつ I had to be strong.
We good?

Q.テつ John, where was that win at the Open?テつ Was that the --
JOHN SENDEN:テつ Royal Sydney.

Q.テつ Where were you waiting and watching as Kevin played the last?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ I was with Steve Sands behind the 18th box there near the scorer's hut.

Q.テつ Did you get any sense at all that Benny Everill was hyperventilating in L.A.?
JOHN SENDEN:テつ May be.テつ I didn't turn my phone on because I know there's going to be 4,000 messages.テつ So, I'm sure he'll be wanting to speak.

Q.テつ Seven years, been a long time coming.
JOHN SENDEN:テつ It feels good to do it again after 7 years.テつ Lots of good things to come.
DOUG MILNE:テつ All right.テつ John congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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