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August 15, 2014

Heath Slocum


MARK STEVENS:  We'd like to welcome Heath Slocum.  Thank you for taking the time.  If you want to kind of go through your round today and what was going well and maybe the changes in the course from yesterday late to this morning.
HEATH SLOCUM:  Yeah.  You know, it's funny, I got to first hole this morning and get to the first hole and those greens were just fast and -- as they were yesterday afternoon even though they were pure.
There were some difficult pins out there I thought today.  I played great.  I hit lots of fairways.  I think I only missed a couple.  Hit some good quality iron shots and my putter again was working and I definitely made a couple good saves and couple putts on the front for birdie and then I had a little stretch on the back, 13, 14, 15, and 16 that I hit good iron shots but also made really quality putts to cap those off.
MARK STEVENS:  Questions?

Q.  Can you just talk a little bit about the FedExCup, your position?  I know a couple years ago you, I guess, missed the cut and still made and won Barclays.
HEATH SLOCUM:  That's right.  By the skin of my teeth.

Q.  Things could kind of turn pretty fast.
HEATH SLOCUM:  They can.  I don't even know what it would take.  I haven't even looked or calculated.  I'll be honest, I came into this week trying to create a little bit of momentum for me to whether I could somehow get myself into The Playoffs or into the Web Finals.
I wanted to kind create some momentum because I feel like it's been a couple years where it's been rough but I feel like I've made lot of progress this year and played actually some of the best golf at times that I have but I haven't put them together.
Like my putting is better, my iron game is better and I just haven't put it all together.  Last few days it's all kind of clicked.  Again, that's kind of what I was looking forward, to put something together just to move forward.

Q.  Two questions.  Were you injured last year?
HEATH SLOCUM:  I wish I could say yes but, no, I wasn't.  Kind of played that way (laughter).

Q.  What is it about having your back against the wall that makes you play good golf?
HEATH SLOCUM:  You know, I wish I could answer that.  It's actually come up lately that I've made some cuts by the skin of my teeth when, you know, I played some solid back-9s to do that.  I don't know.
I think maybe I just finally have let go and that's been one of my biggest things, sometimes it's just getting out of my own way, just stop trying to do too much.
That's been a big part of the last few years where I haven't played as well.  I just more get out of my own way.  Then I'll continue to try different things or try to find like the secret or the magic when sometimes you just have to take a step back and just go -- have fun with it.  Go play.
I know how to do it.  I've done it before.  This week I kind of just -- I had a good week of practice last week where I kind of let go.  I said, "You know what, It's all here.  See if you can't go play golf and enjoy it."  And I mean sometimes just going and enjoy yourself and you play some of your best golf.

Q.  Heath, you talked about the stretch on the back-9 where you birdied four straight holes.  Was there a turning point that helped spark that for you?
What was it like to play like that?
HEATH SLOCUM:  On 12 I missed kind of my 4 hybrid and came up well short of that green and had a really kind of tough chip up and over that hill.  I hit a really good one, kind of made a good ticklish putt that broke from about four feet, you're playing it like three cups, and then I hit a really good drive after that, good iron shot and made a long one.
Yeah, from there just the momentum, two quality shots into 14, made a good putt and 15, again, made a putt and then 16 I hit a really good 8-iron in there to couple feet.
So, it was a good stretch and obviously at this point you're going to need a lot.  You're going to have to have some of that to keep yourself in contention and go for it.

Q.  You talk about wanting to get out of your way.  Is it a mental thing as much as technique?
HEATH SLOCUM:  It's more of a mental thing, absolutely that yeah, you don't -- sometimes you don't feel -- your swing doesn't feel good but then you can -- your brain will process it and start searching, trying to find that feeling and then before long -- physically you're probably still all right but mentally you're still kind of searching for that validation that you're trying to give yourself where I've had a lot of help lately from a lot of people that just trying to get myself just to let go and go out and enjoy it and have fun with it.

Q.  Do you work with a mental coach?
HEATH SLOCUM:  I do.  I've got a coach that -- swing coach that is a big part of that and my wife as well, she's awesome, that she understands that kind of part and, hey, she knows me well enough to just see to tell me, "Hey look, just go play golf."
I've got a lot of, you know, people, you know, helping me along.  So, I mean Brett McCabe, Mark Blackburn and my wife.  I've got -- that's the thing.  I've got a team around me starting with even a trainer, Steve Adams, that's another positive influence and then my caddy, GW.
Again, you've got that kind of positive energy surrounding you and all telling you kind of the same thing and helping you get there.  It's still a work in progress but, you know, I've gotten two days under my belt.  I will say, no matter win, lose or draw I will go have fun the next two days.
I do miss this feeling of being in contention.  So, not being in contention for awhile I'm going to savor it.

Q.  Heath, you mentioned the course was set-up maybe a little harder, the pins -- you shot the same score as yesterday though.  Was it just better ball striking for you?
HEATH SLOCUM:  I made some longer putts today.  Yesterday -- I would say yesterday I kind of played probably a little more solid in some of the spots but I hit some really good quality ones today.  I made 7 birdies today.  I had some quality shots.  Yeah, the putter was the key.

Q.  Heath, over last four, five years this has been part of the calendar where you've played some of the your best golf.
Is there something about being on the bubble, against the wall, needing a high finish that kind of brings out the best in you?
HEATH SLOCUM:  I guess.  I mean I'd like to say some of my best golf, too, was like in '7 I was really consistent.  Yeah, I think this goes back to the same thing I was talking about, maybe it gets me to that point just to, I won't say freewheel it, but let go just a little bit and nothing to lose and I do, maybe I just relax a little bit and allow myself to play better golf.
MARK STEVENS:  Thanks for your time.  Good luck tomorrow.
HEATH SLOCUM:  Appreciate it.  Thank you all.

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