#CIMBClassic Rd 4 What They Said

Sun 23 Oct 2016

#CIMBClassic Rd 4 What They Said

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Justin Thomas (Usa) – Final Round 64 (-8), Total 265 (-23)


ALEX URBAN: You had a little bit more cushion this year coming down the stretch. Talk about the win today, your second career PGA TOUR victory.


JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was obviously a fun day. It couldn't have happened if it wasn't for my finish yesterday. That was huge for me and put me in a good position to have a chance to win today. I definitely owe a lot of it to that.


But yeah, it was a very easy day, I guess you could say. Those up-and-downs on 12 and 13 were huge. I really just laid the sod over a wedge on 12 and hit a good drive on 13, but those two up-and-downs were good to get me a little bit of a lead.


Yeah, those putts on 16, 17, were nice to give me a little cushion going into 18.


Q. I guess you're going for the hat trick next year?


Justin Thomas of United States Justin Thomas of United States


JUSTIN THOMAS: Absolutely.


Q. Comparing the two victories, this year, three strokes less, how did the course play in comparison to last year? Now that it's called TPC, is it a better course?


JUSTIN THOMAS: Same course. The greens are a little firm they are year. I would say they were a little faster last year, so that was different. It was tough to get the ball close to the hole in you're in the rough. Getting it in the fairway was a lot more of a premium this year versus last year. There was zero wind last year and this year there actually was.


Today was swirling a good bit. It obviously wasn't high or gusting that much but it was enough that you really to think about what you're doing. There were a couple times today, Jimmy and I waited until we got the wind that we wanted to hit the club, because you know, if you get in some bad spots out here, you can't really get it up-and-down.


I would say the difference, it was a little harder this and the wind made it tougher.


Q. You obviously kept yourself in it yesterday to win today. How huge was that for you to motivate yourself?


JUSTIN THOMAS: It was huge. I was behind the 8-ball big time. I really was -- I think I looked up at the leaderboard and I was like 14 green. I knew that I was better than that. I knew that I had a lead and I had not played with the lead really too many times.


I think here last year was the only other time, maybe a couple times I was tied for 36 holes, and I just didn't handle it very well. I didn't play well and I just -- I mean, I told Jimmy, he did an unbelievable job of keeping me calm and just saying, you know, we know that we can make as birdies as anybody, and we had 23 holes left to try to make a lot of birdies and fortunately we did.


I owe a lot to him but definitely I played great. It's definitely huge for me and my confidence going forward.


Q. What went through your mind when Anirban made the nine?


JUSTIN THOMAS: That was just unfortunate, it really was. You never want something like that to happen. That's one of the things that happens when you win, you get a little luckier breaks. You get fortunate. You know, Anirban, he really played well. He hit some really, really good putts that didn't go in, and you know, there's nothing for him to be down or upset about. Obviously he had a lead going into today but I think me shooting 8-under is going to help a little bit, if that makes sense. It's not like if he just would have shot even par or something like he did, he would have won. He's a really good buddy of mine. I like him a lot. We play at the same club in Florida. He's a good competitor and he's a great sport out there.


Q. Where do you from here?


JUSTIN THOMAS: I go to China.


Q. Good confidence booster?


JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I'm very excited to go. I feel like I'm playing well. I'm in pretty good form right now. I just was six, seven holes away really from winning the Safeway Open, as well.


I feel like I just need to continue to build on this momentum and try to use this as kind of a springboard to the start of the year and to try to move up in the World Rankings and get in that Top-10, get in that top five.


But I've got to take it one step at a time. When I get back tonight, I need to think of the things that happened, what I did well, and you know, tomorrow, it's a new week, so got to regroup and get started again.


ALEX URBAN: You were exempt into a lot of the things you get for winning a tournament on the PGA TOUR, and one of the things you were not exempt for is the PGA TOUR Tournament of Champions. Talk about that.


JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm so excited to get back to Kapalua, I really am. It maybe is the most fun tournament I've ever played in because it's obviously a huge tournament, all the winners for the whole year.


But to start the year in Hawai'i is usually very fun. It means that you've done something great the previous year, whatever it was, to win. It's a fun course and it will give me a lit of motivation, for sure, to practice this off-season to play well there. But it's a fun, relaxing week. I'm sure my parents are just as excited as I am.


ALEX URBAN: If you can close with some comments on the week overall and what it means to win back-to-back at the CIMB Classic.


JUSTIN THOMAS: It's great to win again here. It's obviously a place I'm very comfortable with and I think a lot of that is because of just everything that goes on here. I mean, the fan base and the tournament that Tom puts on, everything, is done very well. It's very exciting to come back. This is by far my favorite place I've been out of the country or that we go to out of the country. It's definitely worth the 24- or 25-hour travel day that it was to get here.


Yeah, thank you all, and this is a huge win for me, because I've never really played with a lead like that, and was able to close it off. So I'll be able to hopefully build on that going forward and look forward to coming back next year.


ALEX URBAN: Congratulations to our 2016 CIMB Champion, Justin Thomas.


Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) – Final Round 66 (-6), Total 268 (-20)


Hideki Matsuyama of  Japan Hideki Matsuyama of Japan


Q. Good way to finish?


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yeah, I played well. I hoped to make a charge earlier but it didn't happen, but I got it around.


Q. Are you disappointed with the second place finish?


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yeah, of course. A little disappointed not winning, but Justin played great and he deserved to win.


Q. Were you looking at the leaderboard out there, seeing what the leaders were doing and what you needed to do?


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I was watching the leaderboard but they were just too far ahead of me.


Q. How is the game feeling for you after these four rounds here?


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I really didn't hit the ball like I would like to have, but I'm happy with the finish.


Anirban Lahiri (Ind) – Final Round 72 (E), Total 269 (-19)


Q. Your best finish so far on the PGA TOUR. What's going through your mind right now?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Disappointment obviously. It was obviously a harder start. I got unlucky with the tee shot and just compounded my errors. My short game again, coming up a little bit to bite me.


But obviously I tried my best. I fought back as best I could, but I just couldn't get the putts to fall on the back nine. I had numerous lipouts and then just really disappointed that I didn't birdie 17 or 18 or even 16, for that matter. Just didn't get the numbers right with my wedges. I didn't hit them close. It's very disappointing.


I would have obviously liked to have gotten over the line, but it's a tough pill to swallow.


Q. What was different today compared to the last few days?


Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Well, I didn't make a nine, that was the first thing.


I seemed to get some momentum going on the front nine but then I made a bogey immediately after I made an eagle on 5 and that killed it. It didn't come in bunches. You need to make birdies here in bunches. You need to roll two, three in a row.


I had a lot of good looks, but I just didn't manage to hole as many as I needed to. I think I hit a lot of good putts but it wasn't meant to be. So super disappointed.


Q. What are some of the positives that you can take from this week?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Lots of positives. Obviously I've made a lot of birdies over these last five rounds that I've played. I'm in a good place. I'm off to a decent start, good start I would say, on the PGA TOUR.


But again, just missed out on a large number of FedExCup points, World Ranking points, just down the stretch interest in the end. So feeling a bit disappointed with that, yeah.


Q. Do you feel confident going into another big week next week in Shanghai?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Well, I'm not in next week. Whenever I tee it up next, likely to be in Turkey, hopefully I can put myself in this situation again. The only thing I can look at, if I keep putting myself in contention, I'm bound to convert one sooner rather than later.


Q. Does this give you confidence that you will get over the line on the PGA TOUR sooner rather than later?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I have the confidence. It's not like I need additional confidence. But I need validation now. I need validation in terms of my game. I need to see that happen. It's just not happened enough, and it's been a year of near misses so far.


I mean, it's a good problem to have I guess, but it's something that I want to change obviously the rest of this season on the PGA TOUR. Not the way I would like to play on a Sunday, not at all. It's hard.


Q. How was the feeling like when you left the practice range this morning?


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I was feeling good. I just wanted to stick to my plan and just keep finding greens, keep giving myself good looks. But I didn't hit it very close and I've been putting a little bit better than I did today. I missed a short one on 5 and missed a couple others that I could have holed. Lipped out three of the first four on the back nine, and 10,11 and 13.


They kill your momentum. If those putts go in, suddenly I've got two in a row, three in a row, whatever, three in four holes, and that's how you build your score. That's how you make a charge. But just didn't happen today. I tried my best. But I was just not as sharp as I needed to be coming down the home stretch.


But I've got no regrets. Obviously very, very disappointed.


Q. I suppose that shows the level of the PGA TOUR.


ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I know what it is. I've been there all year. You can't have an off-day, really. You can have an off-hole and make a bogey or a double even and get away with it, but you can't make nines on a Sunday and expect to win a tournament. It's hard.


I still believed I could come back from that and I tried my best, but to come back from that, you need to do something special. You need to make those 20-, 25-footers and you need to convert your half-chances and it just didn't happen for me.


Derek Fathauer (Usa) – Final Round 67 (-5), Total 269 (-19)


Q. 67 today, was that what you were looking for, even to try to go a little deeper to put pressure on the leaders?


DEREK FATHAUER: I thought I did pretty good. Didn't play the back nine as well as I should have but I played a solid round of golf and pretty pleased with it.


Q. Running by three right now, good result at the end for you?


DEREK FATHAUER: Yeah, good start to the season. Finished 15th last week and third this week, so good start.


Q. Was there a thought that you could put some pressure on the leaders early on, knowing that the lead was four to start off?


DEREK FATHAUER: I didn't see it. I didn't see the leaderboard until the back nine and Justin was playing pretty good. So just kind of stuck with what I was doing. Unfortunately made a bogey on the par 3 and didn't make any kind of birdies. But all in all, solid day.


Q. So a lot to take forward to next week and the rest of the season?


DEREK FATHAUER: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I'll learn a lot from this this week. It will be a good year for me. Pretty excited.


Scott Hend (Aus) – Final Round 67 (-5), Total 273 (-15)


Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia


Q. Another solid day. Can you talk us through your round?


SCOTT HEND: I just had two blips, 3-putt bogey at the first and hit a bad drive on 18 but all in all the day was pretty solid in the middle and not quite enough to sort of get up to Anirban unfortunately.


Q. What were the conditions out there today like?


SCOTT HEND: Yeah, the wind was a little tricky. Seemed like it was coming from a couple directions at times. But the course is quite gettable, quite scorable, and I've had a pretty good weekend.


Q. How much did the food poisoning hurt you this week?


SCOTT HEND: My ribs are no good from throwing up. Just had no strength at all, so took me a fair while to get over it. Pretty ordinary case but obviously on the weekend I was feeling much better and back to full strength again. Just got to be a little bit careful.


Q. A good performance here and good momentum you're riding; are you confident about next week?


SCOTT HEND: We'll see what happens. Different sort of grass. Different golf course. But I really enjoy playing that course. I struggle a little bit around here, so to try and finish around the Top-10 is a pretty good effort for me on this golf course.


Q. In terms of your game, the way you played this week, I think there's a lot of positives that you can take into next week?


SCOTT HEND: Of course. It's just unfortunate, like I said, that I was really, really sick for the last week. And I spent all day Monday in bed with diarrhea and just sore ribs from throwing up. To sort of recover this quick, it's pretty good.


Unfortunately I wasn't fully fit on Thursday and it is what it is. I can't really control that. It's just unfortunate that I was the one who got sick.


Q. Can you give us a bit of reflection on the Order of Merit race right now?


SCOTT HEND: Depends on what Anirban does whether I'm able to win the Order of Merit or not. It's all in Anirban's hands right now. If he can finish second, he can overtake me. The money is so big here; doesn't matter how many times you win during the year, unless you play good here, it's very difficult to win the Order of Merit.