|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
April 2, 2012
ED HERLIHY:Â Good afternoon.Â Thank you for coming, everyone, and thank you to Kyle Stanley for taking some time off from his schedule this afternoon to visit with us.
As many of you know, this week Kyle is making his Masters debut here at the Masters Tournament.Â He earned his invitation with an incredible, thrilling victory at the Phoenix Open not long ago.Â It was his first PGA Tour title of his career, and at that event he made an incredible comeback, coming back from eight shots back entering into the final round.
Welcome to the Masters.Â Before we take any questions, why don't you tell us about your first impressions of the Tournament.
KYLE STANLEY:Â I'm just so excited to be here.Â When I was at Clemson, we came down here and played, I think that was my sophomore year, and I had not been back until last week.Â I came in Sunday and then played Monday, Tuesday, Houston.
Beautiful place.Â The Masters is probably the only event that I watched every year as a kid growing up.Â To be here and be in the Tournament is pretty special.
Q.Â Just talk about your season to this point.Â You've kind of already been at the highest of highs and lowest of lows, and it's just April 1 or 2.Â Just kind of talk to us about your season thus far.
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, you know, it kind of feels like it's been a long year already.Â There's a couple of weeks that definitely took a little bit out of me.Â But I'm pretty happy with where my game is at.Â I know it probably has not shown the past month or so, but I'm driving it well, which is big this week.Â I'm just trying to get better and work on the right things with my coaches and try to get my wedge game a little bit better, and my putting.
Just trying to be process‑oriented and focus on the things that I need to do to get better.
Q.Â With what you went through when you lost that one tournament and then to turn around and come from behind and win that tournament, I don't know if pressure will be like that day‑to‑day here at the Masters, but you've been through two extremes in pressures.Â Can that help you for your first Masters?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Absolutely.Â Definitely in San Diego I felt the pressure.Â Didn't handle it very well.
The following week, felt it again, and you know, handled it better.Â But it's the Masters.Â Whether it's Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, you're going to feel some pressure.Â So I'll be able to draw upon some of my past experiences from those couple weeks and hopefully take some positives from it.
Q.Â If you were just a guy from Washington who was here for the first time, that might be one thing.Â The fact that you played college just up the road, you've been here several times, does that maybe take away some of the angst and some of the questions about how to play this course?
KYLE STANLEY:Â I don't know about that.Â There are a lot of subtleties here especially on the greens.Â I don't think it matters where you're from; you still have to learn them.Â You can't really do it in one or two days.Â That's why I came in last week prior to the event and spent a lot of time on these greens.Â I don't think you can ever get too comfortable on them.Â They are very difficult.
Just spending time on this golf course and trying to get as comfortable as I can.
Q.Â What are the thought processes of being a first‑time player here?Â You mentioned the greens.Â What else is there?
KYLE STANLEY:Â You know, probably just the whole aura of the Tournament.Â I think you just really have to believe in yourself, believe in what you're doing, and just really focus on the process.Â This is one of those golf courses where I think it's really just about putting yourself in quality positions; knowing where to put the ball at each pin; getting it in play off the tee obviously.
If you're on the wrong side of some of these pins, it can be very difficult, so I think just knowing where to put the ball is going to be key this week.
Q.Â Do you have to pretend it's just another golf tournament, even though it really isn't?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Well, you know it's not.Â But yeah, I think you've got to stay pretty neutral, pretty even‑keeled.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, everything leading up to the Tournament, that's kind of your prep work, and really the only thing that as a golfer that you can control is trying to be as prepared as possible.
The fun starts on Thursday.Â So, you know, just got to go out there, and, like I said, focus on the process and just have a good time.
Q.Â Do you think it's pretty cool out there‑‑ there's a couple fans, even more than a couple, wearing their Clemson gear, and you have four golfers from your school in this tournament.Â Talk about your Clemson ties and how Clemson is representing here at the Masters.
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, it's nice.Â We are not too far from Clemson, just a couple hours.Â I came down and watched the event when I was at school.Â There's a lot of orange out there, so it will be nice to have some Clemson fans cheering us on this week.Â I think there are four of us; it will be fun.
Q.Â There's an article this past week about your work ethic and burning your midnight oil at Clemson on the lighted driving range.Â Where does that come from?Â You talked about the process.Â How does the work ethic and the process go hand in hand, or do they?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, I definitely think they do.Â I think no matter what event it is, you know, you need to do what you need to do to be prepared.
Starting out when I first started playing golf, and probably early high school, I really didn't work on it.Â I just wasn't a hard worker at all.Â And I was probably 15 or so, I think I missed the cut, and the high school state‑‑ well, I know I missed the cut in the high school state tournament, and we had a four‑ or five‑hour drive back.Â I remember just talking to my dad and he just kind of explained to me, listen, if you want to be really good, if you want to be one of the best players in the world, you know you're going to have to work at it.
I kind of made the transformation pretty quickly.Â Since then, I always modelled Vijay growing up.Â He was always one of my favorite players.Â You always hear about how hard he works.Â Yeah, I definitely try to do what I need to do to be prepared.Â Definitely put the time in.
Q.Â Was it as simple as your dad saying that and it clicked, or did it take a little longer than that?
KYLE STANLEY:Â It happened pretty quickly.Â I've always loved golf.Â It's always kind of been my biggest passion.Â So it is pretty easy for me.Â But it is one of those deals where you just kind of have to figure out what your priorities are, and once I did that, it just really gave me something to focus on.
Q.Â So was having the lighted driving range a big sell for recruiting?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, and Coach Penley putting up the lighted driving range by the football field is probably one of the main reasons I went there.Â You could pretty much practice whenever you wanted.Â It was pretty cool.
Q.Â What was the latest you were ever out there, or earliest?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Probably 3:00.
Q.Â Three in the morning?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah.
Q.Â Are you playing with Jonathan and Lucas tomorrow?
KYLE STANLEY:Â No.
Q.Â But to have those guys out here, do you have more of a connection going to Jonathan and Lucas considering they have been out on the PGA TOUR longer, that it's easier to go to them than some other guys because of the connection you have to Clemson?
KYLE STANLEY:Â About what?
Q.Â About handling the TOUR or the course here this week or just about being a professional in general.
KYLE STANLEY:Â Definitely with those Clemson ties, Jonathan, Lucas, DJ, they have always been really good about helping out with the younger guys and taking us under their wing.Â Yeah, I wouldn't say I really do that anymore.Â When I first got out here, I maybe talked to them a little bit but not too much.
Q.Â Have you thought about how proud Larry probably is, for this week especially, four of his guys are out there, and the success obviously that you've had to this point.
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, probably.Â You know, he helped me a lot when I was in school.Â Like I said, he's one of the main reasons why I went there.Â I just thought him as a coach would best prepare me to get out here and do what I'm doing.
So, yeah, it's great.Â I think the fact that there are four of us here is pretty cool.Â I'm not sure, Oklahoma State maybe has more than that; I'm not sure.
But it's pretty neat.
Q.Â Where was the state tournament in high school that you mentioned?Â You ended up at Clemson.Â Was it close?Â Did you almost go somewhere else?Â And the other thing, could you talk to us about‑‑ when you say your last shot has to be a good one, has it been true you walked away and walked to the car and said, nah, that's not good enough, and walked back again?
KYLE STANLEY:Â The first question, Spokane, that's where the state tournament was.
Sorry, I forgot the second one.Â What was it?
Q.Â Were there other schools besides Clemson?Â Did you almost go somewhere else?
KYLE STANLEY:Â I would say I probably narrowed it down to Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Clemson.Â Pretty much looking at schools in the South Carolina, Georgia area.
And, yeah, I have done that (smiling).
Q.Â Did you get to the car and start driving or just get to the car?
KYLE STANLEY:Â Yeah, I'm sure there's been a couple times where I've come back.
You know, I think Coach has been there a couple times with me where I did that in school.Â But yeah, I always want to finish off a practice session on a good note.
Q.Â Was that just your thing, or did somebody‑‑ your dad or coach or something tell you once, never leave without making a good‑‑
KYLE STANLEY:Â Not really.Â It's probably a little bit of an OCD thing, to be honest (laughter), but yeah.
Q.Â Going back to that stretch at the end of January, the Farmers, people said it was heartbreaking to watch, and then you turn around in Phoenix and the great come‑from‑behind win; what do you learn about yourself in that roller coaster that will make you better here and down the road?
KYLE STANLEY:Â After San Diego, I knew it was going to be‑‑ I knew probably the biggest thing that I was going to take out from it was I just kind of challenged myself to see if I could put it behind me.Â I think probably the biggest thing I learned was just mentally maybe I'm a little bit tougher than I thought I was.
Yeah, I think any time you're in a situation where you have to do things under pressure, you have to handle yourself under pressure, I think the fact that it didn't happen; happened for me in San Diego, but I was able to rebound pretty quickly the next week was pretty nice.
Yeah, just knowing that you can execute shots when you need to is just a little bit of a confidence builder.
ED HERLIHY:Â I have a question.Â Because we don't have lights on until 3 o'clock in the morning here, how are you going to spend the rest of your day in your practice session?
KYLE STANLEY:Â I rented out this house this week, so I'm with my agent, Brad, and one of my best friends from Oklahoma, so we'll probably just relax and watch the basketball game.Â Go Kansas.
ED HERLIHY:Â Kyle, thank you so much and good luck in your first Masters.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports