|Fred Couples - Phil Mickelson - Brian Davis - Tommy Gainey - Louis Oosthuizen - Phil Mickelson (No.2) - March 30, 2012
An Interview with Fred Couples
FRED COUPLES: I went to school here and I played a lot of years. Obviously I skipped it, I guess, a few times. I just like the course. I did win on the other one (members course), I think. I think it's kind of an exciting time before Augusta. I can try and get the juices up. The problem is we're going to see what happens this afternoon, when I'm trying to play 33 holes. The first 18 I played very, very well, made a few putts coming in (including the birdie at 18). I drove the ball very well. I did drive it to the right on 18, which is kind of understandable with the ocean to the left. But I hit most of the fairways and made some putts. I birdied four of the last five holes.
Q. Are you worried at all about the fitness and longevity of this day?
FRED COUPLES: Of course I am. Last week at Mississippi (on The Champions Tour) I one-handed that. Out here you can't really do that. You've got to drive it in play. It's a long course. So we'll see what happens.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
An Interview with Phil Mickelson
Q. Phil, well played out there, nice come back to get things going this morning.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah. We had some good conditions because the wind wasn't really blowing. It was ideal. The only exception being, you know, if you hit a good tee shot, you were going to have a lot of mud on your ball. Other than that, we had phenomenal conditions to come out and play.
Q. Looks like you're putting well?
PHIL MICKELSON: I felt good with the putter all year. You get greens like this where they're so true, you should make everything. It's frustrating when you miss one, because they're just perfect greens.
Q. Well played today. Get a little bit of rest. See you this afternoon.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thank you.
Q. Thanks so much.
Here with the defending champion who closed in 65 to win the title a year ago. Opened with 65 today. Other than the hiccup on 13, pretty good round.
PHIL MICKELSON: I played really well. I swung it well and, you know, there's not much you can do about stuff like that. Every shot in the fairway had a bunch of mud on it. It was tough maneuvering around there. There was no wind. The conditions were ideal. The greens were immaculate. If you could get it on the surface, you felt like could you make some putts.
Q. Few schools of thoughts playing before the Majors. Why do you do it and why does it help you for next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: For me personally it gets me in a competitive frame of mind. I don't like having a ten-day break between competitive rounds. It's an individual thing. Everybody has got to find out what's best for them.
Q. How much inspiration do you take coming back to a town that's meant so much to you both on and off the course?
PHIL MICKELSON: I enjoy coming back here because there's a lot of people that have done a lot for me and my family. After winning last year, I got a lot of great memories, too, of the golf course and playing out here.
Q. Great putting, nine out of the first ten greens, one putt.
PHIL MICKELSON: A fun round. The course is in immaculate shape. We had great conditions today without the wind, and the golf course was soft and so you could get at a lot of pins, lot of the tucked pins you could get at. Played aggressively today. I was able to get seven. Fred shot five. Charl was up there, too.
Q. Was the mud a factor?
PHIL MICKELSON: The only downside, every ball hit in the fairway had a clump of mud. I had one that shot left on 13 in the hazard, but again, if -- the conditions were so good that you could really get aggressive and make a lot of putts on the greens. Greens are just pristine.
Q. How disconcerting was it to have to stop yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I like being able to come out and play a lot of holes in one day, because if you start playing well, you get in a good rhythm. You can really make a lot of birdies, especially out here. I think it might be a benefit to be able the play 33 holes today because I feel like I've been playing well and now I can get a good rhythm going in the second round, too.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
An Interview with Brian Davis
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Brian Davis into the interview room here at the Shell Houston Open. Just one bogey on his card through 36 holes, including a bogey-free 7-under, 65 today. Brian, long day for you. Just comment on some great golf.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, it was a good day at the office today. It was tougher this morning because we didn't have ball in hand to start the round and we had the rain yesterday. This morning was pretty tough. The ball was flying everywhere. Got the ball in hand this afternoon, you know, got a flag to go at. You'll see some low scores out there this afternoon. It's going to be a low scoring first couple of rounds.
JOHN BUSH: Talk about your confidence level right now after a really good week last week at Bay Hill.
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, I was lucky enough Mr. Palmer extended me an invitation, because I finished 71st on the Money List last year and Top 70 get on that. I had a terrible start on the West Coast. I wasn't in the tournament, but actually took the invitation and had a great weekend, finished fourth and brought some momentum in here.
Even though the course was really playing long today, which obviously, as you know, I'm not the longest but I'm straight, I played some good golf and obviously put myself into position for the week.
JOHN BUSH: Questions.
Q. What have you kind of keyed on that dialed you in?
BRIAN DAVIS: I made a lot of changes in the -- at the end of the last season, lot of the changes. From start to finish, basically, and had a terrible, you know, West Coast, it just didn't click and I was really struggling. And saw some signs at the Honda, Puerto Rico was good, then didn't carry it on Sunday. In Tampa played really well, felt I played better than the way I finished. Then obviously T-4 last week. So momentum has been there, it's been getting better, and obviously a couple of good rounds.
Q. Can you highlight those changes a little bit?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah. I lost my father at the end of the last year and just a number of things. You know, changing caddies, sports psychologist, working on getting my swing back where I want it to be and, you know, to improve it as well but get rid of the faults I had. Just manage my time better, practicing, family.
Took a whole look, you know, everything basically. Spent a lot of time in the winter with Bob Winters and, you know, just felt really good coming out to start the season and I played awful. So it was quite hard to take me. You go backwards, it seems like.
But, it's one of them things you got to stay the course and keep at it.
Q. Can you talk a little bit what happened to your father?
BRIAN DAVIS: Yeah, he had cancer and passed away last year. It was obviously a tough time for me and time to maybe reassess my life and look at what I'm doing, which I did, and it's been a positive.
Q. How much a role did he play in the game of golf for you?
BRIAN DAVIS: Everything. One of those things where I was very close to my parents. I just had to search for, you know, finding a way. No one can explain what it's like. It's one of those things you have to go through and, you know, took me awhile to sort of get through that and, you know, get myself ready to play.
Q. Playing -- how much more difficult is it, you said you had a good day of golf, to sustain that through 32 as opposed to playing 18?
BRIAN DAVIS: It's actually easier if you find your mojo early, you're not going to stop and wait until tomorrow. You can keep playing.
You know, I just -- as I said, this morning was a lot tougher, every fairway I had a mud ball, so the balls were going haywire and a lot tougher. This afternoon you could be more aggressive, and obviously hitting fairways, I was able to clean the ball and play aggressive shots.
Q. Your game has been Top 50 player in the world. Obviously you play at a high level. How close do you feel like you are to getting that kind of form again, because it's kind of where you're shooting?
BRIAN DAVIS: It's one of them things the last few years, things going on and I've been around Top 100 in the world, but just not been able to crack that Top 50, and I obviously play a lot. So it helps in the world rankings, but it was one of those things where it only takes one week out here and everything changes and I just -- as I said, last year I made a lot of changes at the end of the season.
I wasn't -- not that I was playing bad or I was having -- I finished 37 on the FedExCup. I missed a few things at the end of the season because of what was going on at home. It's not like I was playing awful, but I just need to step it up and take the next step, and obviously I'm very well aware that I need to start winning, and it's one of those things where you can't force it. You just got to keep putting yourself into position.
Q. Which you've obviously done a number of times already. Is that something that is maybe one of your biggest battles, fight that whole notion of --
BRIAN DAVIS: Probably the highlight of the off-season and to this season was, you know, taking a look at everything I did on and off the golf course, not just when I play in a tournament. I think I'm more prepared going forward now this year. Even though I had a terrible start of the season, I'm more prepared. You know, when the situations come up, when you get in that position, hopefully I'll do the right thing.
And there's been a lot of tournaments, I haven't given many tournaments away. Guys have shot low in the rounds to take it away from me. It's one of those things. I won in Europe a couple times. It just happened. Then I went to Q-School and came over here. Just one of those things.
I haven't had total control of my game the last few years even though I've done well and numerous second place finishes and played some good golf. I haven't had the consistency probably mentally as well as physically.
Q. What's the biggest difference in your mental approach, what was lacking?
BRIAN DAVIS: Obviously I had three young kids. As you know, that changes everything, practice time, sleep time, and just everything, really, and just -- it's just a big change in anybody's life.
My family traveled with me to start with, and then all of a sudden, they're not out on Tour anymore. You go through a lot of changes in a few years and health issues, few things going on. It was one of those things where just, you know, little bit distraction and you just put in the time and it's not structured in a way that it should be. It's very hard.
I really struggle when my kids say "Can we go do this" and I should be practicing. It's hard to juggle that around. You got to give yourself some time as well, and obviously we took -- looked over that at the end of the last year and changed my practice routines, changed a lot of things.
And even though, as I said, I didn't perform at the start of the year, I was actually happier. I felt better about everything. Obviously at the end of the day, nothing matters but results.
Q. What were some of the health issues that you faced?
BRIAN DAVIS: With my kids. I've had a few things myself, but no big deal. I had a few problems with the kids when they were born and stuff like that. You guys all know if you've got kids, it adds another variable, and when you're trying to travel every week, it can sometimes get tough. It's one of those things you got to sometimes be able to just walk out of the house and just go do what you got to do. Time management, as everybody knows.
JOHN BUSH: All right.
Q. So what have you done to change your practice schedule?
BRIAN DAVIS: Be more definitive with my time. When it's my time, it's my time. When it's their time, it's their time. Just draw the line. That's very, very hard. I find that very hard to do. But, you know, it's actually my family life is a lot better because I'm not feeling guilty that I should be practicing or I should be with the kids or I should -- I'm actually in a much better place because of that.
JOHN BUSH: Brian, we appreciate your time in here. Keep it going.
BRIAN DAVIS: Thank you.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
An Interview with Tommy Gainey
Q. Tommy, a long day of golf but very well played.
TOMMY GAINEY: You know what, actually you talking about a long day. How about a long year so far for me? It's been a bad year so far. Just trying to work out the kinks, and I think I made the switch to a different Odyssey putter, and I'm going to tell you what, I'm glad I made the switch because I putted lights out for two days and missed four, five inside of ten feet. It could have been a lot lower than what it is now, but I'm very happy.
Q. I was going to say you made three of them from outside 20 in the second round. You must like that putter.
TOMMY GAINEY: I'm in love with it right now. I'm glad to see it finally going in the hole. You know, I just got to take it over to the weekend.
Q. How long do you usually stay in love with a putter, though? Players and their the putters don't usually stay married very long.
TOMMY GAINEY: The last one I had for just over two years, but, you know, sometimes when you get in a slump, it's time to make a change. Most of the time, change is for the better, and for me, it was for the better and, you know, I'm loving it right now.
Q. Ball striking just fine.
TOMMY GAINEY: Ball striking is coming around. I haven't hit it very good this year. Right now it's impressive for me, so I'm loving it.
Q. Good golf course for you, I would think?
TOMMY GAINEY: It is a good golf course, but after the 3 inches of rain, ball in hand, so I mean you expect low scores.
Q. There will be some lower scores from the afternoon group when they finish. Then you guys will get back out. Good luck to you.
TOMMY GAINEY: Thank you.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
An Interview with Louis Oosthuizen
DOUG MILNE: Louis, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. Very successful second round, 6-under 66 today. Lot of golf here and there over the past couple of days. Just some comments on your first two rounds and finding yourself at the top of the leaderboard at 11-under as you head into the weekend.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, it's a good spot to be in going into the weekend. I don't know if it will be leading, probably be close. But yeah, I played nicely. I hit my irons very well today, which was both rounds. Struggled a little bit off the tee. Now and then working on something. So, you know, hopefully I've got it spot on next week. But yeah, I'm happy. Putting well, giving myself the opportunities, which is good.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. With that we'll open it up and take a few questions.
Q. Are you working on the tee shots with Augusta in mind?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: No. Just few changes in the swing, just little bit. It's more feel. Uncomfortable on a few shots. So, yeah, I got a few tee shots got to work harder, and it's just -- you know, it's just tough, tough on a few holes.
But, yeah, you know, I'm getting there. I feel like I hit it really well today, one bad tee shot, but I'm close. So, yeah, hopefully got it spot on next week.
Q. Are you trying to make some changes that are sort of designed to get you back to when you were hitting the ball so well in '10 or some -- are you kind of evolving into a --
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: You're always trying to get better and -- swing-wise. You know, I hit it well at the Open in 2010, and I feel like I'm very close to hitting it like I did there. You know, swing-wise, I feel confident. It's just I've been trying a few different new drivers and actually back to the driver that I hit in 2010.
So, yeah, you know, you always trying a few different things, but, yeah.
Q. I know you don't win a golf tournament on Friday. What does it mean to you to be in a position right now going into round three?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's a good opportunity to, you know, to get up there and try and have a shot at the last nine on Sunday. You know, I'm not sure what the weather is going to be on the weekend. Hopefully we get four rounds in.
Yeah, it's a good opportunity, and the way I'm hitting it, I feel confident.
Q. You played 15 events in America on the PGA TOUR. Is that the plan moving forward? Are you going to play more PGA TOUR events?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I'll still do both, European Tour and U.S. Tour. I struggled last year schedule-wise because it was the first time trying it and it's a lot of flying, but I think got the schedule down this year, and, you know, we'll be doing both again.
Q. Do you have any idea how many miles you put on last year?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I have no idea, but it was a lot.
Q. What is the biggest thing you learned from that in terms of how to manage your scheduling or manage the wear and tear?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I played so long in Europe, seven years, and know exactly which tournament you play every year. All of a sudden, you've got two tours and we try and support Sunshine Tour back in South Africa, as well. It's difficult. We try to. It makes the schedule tough you. You know, December is when most guys rest. We try and play a few events in South Africa, and then the first week in January, we play in Africa Open. So it makes your schedule rough, but, you know, it's what we do, we should get it right by now.
Q. You said you went back to the driver from 2010. What model is that?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It's the Rapture V2. I just went back to the same shaft. And, you know, my swing has changed a bit from the last two years, so that's why I'm struggling a little bit with that shaft. But when I get it right, I get it really good. Luckily the last two rounds now was a lot more good drives than bad ones. Yeah, it's very close to just get the feel of it and it will be good then.
Q. This morning Phil said that anytime you're on the greens, it's like you feel like it should go in from wherever you putt. Was that the case this afternoon still?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah, for sure. The greens were perfect. I just couldn't get it to the hole. I struggled with the speed. It was a little slower than, you know, it was on Tuesday and Wednesday but, you know, there's no excuse. It was running perfect. I just couldn't get it to the hole and it was frustrating on a few putts.
Q. How comfortable do you feel being on this golf course, seeing that most of the tee shots kind of suit a right to left kind of shape?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Yeah. I try and work the ball the other way off the tee, left to right. But, you know, if you hit it well, it doesn't really matter. If you feel like you're hitting your driver well, doesn't matter. But, you know, driver, I always try to work it the other way, and then when I got a 3-wood in my hand, I try to work it right to left.
On a few holes, you know, you can hit 3-wood, I do it, but I was playing really a bit longer today, because you didn't get any run on the ball. So you had to take driver on most of the holes.
Q. Do you feel more comfortable in Houston than, say, some other PGA TOUR events or kind of just another week?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: I think you try and feel like it's just another week. I just think I'm getting to the point where my game is getting better, and, you know, I played it nicely from Friday to Sunday at Tampa and found a few things in my game, and it's just nice getting the feel again.
Q. How many holes did you get in today?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: Thirty-two and a half.
Q. It can cut either way. Do you feel like the way were you hitting, it was good to just keep playing?
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN: It was great. If you play well, to keep the momentum going is great. Just grab lunch and go on. I would have loved to tee off my third round now (laughter).
Yeah, it's always good when you have that momentum, and, you know, but when tomorrow comes, you'll be fine. You'll be well rested and just focus on the next round.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. We know you're anxious to get out and get some dinner. Thanks for your time, and keep it up.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
An Interview with Phil Mickelson (Interview No.2)
Q. Long day out there, wasn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was. We had great playing conditions in the second round with lift, clean and place. I didn't really take advantage of the opportunity there to get the mud off. We got two more rounds on the weekend. Looking forward to it.
Q. You've all got to be really pleased with your golf game?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm excited about the weekend and excited about next week.
Q. Go home and get some rest. We'll see you tomorrow.
A Thanks, Mark.
Q. Did you ever play that many holes to catch up to you?
PHIL MICKELSON: I really enjoy it because you can get in a good rhythm if you start striking the ball well, you can get a hot hand and make some birdies. I think there's an advantage there to be able to keep playing if you're playing well.
We had some great conditions today. The wind was very soft. The greens are beautiful here, and when we were able to lift, clean and place the second round and get the mud off the ball, we're able to be to be much more aggressive to the pins.
I played pretty well the second round, but I didn't get the score that I had hoped. I got to light it up on the weekend.
Q. Your position isn't to bad?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a lot better position than I was in last week heading into the weekend. I feel really good on this golf course, and my game feels good. Hopefully I can shoot a little bit lower round than I did this afternoon.
Q. What did the heat do to the course in the second round, the humidity?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if the heat and humidity did much. The course conditions being soft, it allowed us to be more aggressive, and being able to get rid of the mud off the ball in the fairway allowed us to have much more control and get after some of the pins.
Q. You've won here, especially coming into this, does this add any more confidence back to the mental part of game, that you've done well here?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it's good to play well and build some momentum, especially heading into next week, but having a good finish, having a win, if possible, that all builds confidence heading into big events.
This is a big event in and of itself and last year was my only win. So I look back on last year and this is the highlight right here being in Houston.
Q. You showed a willingness to change clubs. Have you shown you're willing to be more open-minded, even switch week to week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm always looking for some type of advantage if I can find it. I think that certain clubs perform or needed more on certain courses, and sometimes I may have a 5-wood, sometimes I may switch it out for a 3-iron. Certainly the British Open, I'm going the want to keep the ball down and go to a 3-iron. Here the ground is soft, and I put in a 5-wood. Those type of subtle changes can allow a player to maybe salvage a stroke here or there throughout the week.
Q. Did you get something to eat?
PHIL MICKELSON: We had an hour's break. There was plenty of time to get something to eat.
Q. What's the highlight of your round?
PHIL MICKELSON: This morning I played really well and had some good opportunities that I took advantage of. I made some good putts. I don't know if there's any one particular one, but the second round, I played well, too, but I didn't quite get the score. I wasn't quite as hot with the putter. Had a lot come close but not quite go in. So, there's a lot of good things to move on for the weekend.
Q. Any unforeseen weather you see the course setting up for big numbers to be scored this weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think because of the softness allows us to be more aggressive. The course has a lot of hidden trouble. There's lakes that cut in the landing areas, cut in up by the green. Very uncomfortable feel, especially when it's firm and fast, because balls will bounce in the water and you don't know where you have to play it.
With it being soft, you can be more aggressive and you can fly the ball to the hole. A lot of the holes are cut around the water and try to make some birdies on holes that maybe in the past you might play a little more conservative. I expect nine. I expect the scores to be a little lower.
Q. Here with Phil Michelson. After first round, you told me you were excited to get over there even though it was a long day of golf. You felt you could keep the momentum going. How much of a struggle was it even though you shot 2-under?
PHIL MICKELSON: I played really well. I didn't quite take advantage of the opportunities that I did in the morning round where I hit a lot of good shots close, 10, 12, 15 footers I made in the first round, I caught lips in the second. There was a lot of good things to build on heading into the weekend. I feel really good about where my game is at. I'll be able to shoot a little bit lower score than I did this afternoon.
Q. You hit more greens in the second round. Is the putter not as warm as you hoped?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit putts that weren't the right read or too firm or too easy on the speed, but they all had good chances. They just didn't quite go in.
Q. 25-under par your last four rounds here. What is it about this place?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the greens are beautiful, so you get hot with the putter, you can make a lot of birdies. Today with the golf course being soft, there was a lot of birdies there because you could get off of the pins that were tough and have confidence that the ball will stop as opposed to bouncing off into trouble.
Q. How do you like your chances over the weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: I played well here on this golf course. I'm in much better shape now than I was last year at this time heading into the weekend. It's going to take a couple good rounds. My game feels sharp. I'm looking forward to get back out there.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports