#CIMBClassic Rd 2 What They Said

Fri 30 Oct 2015

#CIMBClassic Rd 2 What They Said

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Justin Thomas – Second Round 61 (-11), Total 129 (-15)
THE MODERATOR: All right, Justin, great playing today. 11-under, 61. Career low round in relation to par. Your previous low was a 9-under 61 at the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii and it ties Nick Watney's tournament 2012 tournament course record. Talk about what was going right for you today.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was obviously a great day. It was one of those days when you kind of get unconscious and get rolling out there. They don't happen too often.
But I just got off to a good start. Being 5-under through five, those first five or six holes are pretty scorable and I played them well. So that got me in it. And kind of got me in that attack mind frame.
And I really hit it well today. I gave myself a lot of really close, easy birdie putts. If I missed the green, I missed it in a good spot where I could get it up-and-down. So it was a fun day.
Justin Thomas of USA Justin Thomas of USA
Q. When did you start thinking about the possibility of shooting 59?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It first came up in my mind after I birdied 11 or I guess 11 and 12, when I got to 8-under through 11, I felt like that I had a chance. You don't think about it too much really, so I tried not to.
But, yeah, I would say after I birdied 14, 15, I knew I just needed to get, I guess, two of my last three. And then, I mean, they're all pretty easy holes. They're all wedge holes. So it was obviously unfortunate not to get that number, but I'm sure I'll have many more chances in my career.
THE MODERATOR: And then speaking of your career, this is the third time you've been in the lead or could he lead going into the third round. Talk about what you learned from those past experiences.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I just learned to stay patient more than anything. Obviously, it's a great position to be in, but there's a lot of golf left. I just need to keep firing. As today showed, you can get hot out there, you can really make a lot of birdies. Looking at the leaderboard, it's, you need to make a lot of birdies just to kind of keep pace or get ahead of pace. So I just need to stay patient and play well, so just keep doing what I'm doing and have some fun out there.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll take some questions.
Q. So what's the game plan for tomorrow?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Try to make a bunch of birdies again. No bogeys is also nice. But I just need to just try to put it in the fairway and be able to attack as much as I can and make a lot of birdies.
Q. Can you share with us your thoughts about our golf course this year?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's great. I never have been here before. Especially this part of the world. It was my body's still adjusting. Today was actually good, I slept until 5:30, so I wasn't too tired when I got out here. But no, it's been great.
The course is good. The fairways are narrow. So it's a shame that it rains as much as it does, but obviously there's not a whole lot we can do about that. So, the course being soft definitely changes how it's played.
But it's still a great venue and you can see why a lot of guys come back here every year. The views out there are pretty cool. You got a lot of tee shots kind of looking down at the water or some lakes around the greens or stuff like that. So it's very, very pretty.
Q. Does it make a difference to you to be playing so late? Would you rather play on the front nine first or the second nine first? Is there a difference to you? You started at 9:35.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Oh, in regards to Thursday, Friday?
Q. Yeah.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I mean it's -- you obviously always have an early and late tee time, so that's just how it is. But I like the morning tee times. I don't sleep very late, so it's hard, being over here with the rain, playing early is better for me, because I usually can't sleep in the States past about 8:30 or 9. So those 1 o'clock tee times are hard.
But yeah, having two morning tee times here was ideal, I guess. But especially for all of us with the time change it makes it a lot easier.
Q. The pitch marks on the green, playing as you did right at the end, does that make a difference?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It definitely does. Honestly, it depends a lot on the greens. These greens doesn't spike up as easily as say like poa annua and/or bent greens or anything like that. But it's just kind of the texture of the grass. They're really not that soft, they have a good firmness underneath them, so it's not like you see a lot of footprints or anything out there. Obviously you're still going to get your spike marks and stuff like that. But everybody has to play with that. So you just kind of have to put that behind you.
Q. Talk us through the eagle on the third hole.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I hit a good drive out there. I had 213 front, 223 hole. I remember seeing the pin yesterday, kind of had a back stop behind it. I hit a full 5-iron about probably 218 or so, something like that. So, I knew if I hit it hard I could get it there, just be on the upslope, take a little loft off of it.
I hit it really good, just barely right of it. It landed maybe two inches or so just short of green or so and rolled up there to six feet and just an easy right-to-left putt. So it's always nice to get those 3s on the par-5s.
Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's from the movie Wedding Crashers, actually. I don't know. I just, it's a funny movie, but I think it's a pretty good motto, just because it's, and especially in this part, nobody is really going to feel sorry for you and nobody really cares about -- I mean, obviously, some people, but in regards to players or you guys, you all don't care that I think my putt on 17 should have gone in and it didn't. It's just the reality that it is. You got to get over it and keep playing and just keep playing and try to do what you have to do.
Q. (No Microphone.)
JUSTIN THOMAS: I don't know. I guess just growing up, I was kind of growing up, when I was young, in his hey day when he was number 8 after Kobe and he was just killing it out there and it was fun watching him play. I really, you know, it's a shame I didn't get to watch MJ play in his prime, just from seeing all his videos and everything of what he did, it was very Kobesque and I just think it's really cool when those, you see guys like LeBron and people in other sports, when it's crunch time and it's like Steph Curry too, when they need to perform, they need to do something, they make it happen. And I just think that's a cool trait.
Q. Does it make any difference to you who you're playing with tomorrow? Does it matter to you who you're playing with?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, if I get to the last group on Saturday for the rest of the year, I don't care who I play with, that's for sure.
No, but you have some people that you like to play with more so than others. But it's nothing against other people, it's just the nature of what it is. You're better friends with some guys more than others. But I guess I'll play with Steele tomorrow and he's a really good friend of mine. I don't know if we'll be two or threesomes. I'm assuming threesomes. So everybody out here is a great person and fun to be around, so I just kind of embrace all the parings, I think.
Q. What do you think actually that you did right that made your day a good one?
JUSTIN THOMAS: I hit the ball really well. I didn't really make too many mistakes. If I hit it in the rough, I seemed to have a good lie or could do something with it to get it up near the hole. But I had a lot of birdie putts that really weren't very stressful. I mean, I just think most of them maybe, except for one of them was probably inside of like 10, 12 feet. So, those are just kind of stress free where you can just get up there and you know you got four feet, just get your read and hit it. And being able to hit it solid like that just kind of takes, by the end of the day you're not as worn out. And it makes it a lot easier.
Brendan Steele (Usa) – Second Round 63 (-9), Total 130 (-9)
Brendan Steele of USA Brendan Steele of USA
Q. Obviously, 9-under par today. Finished with a birdie. That had to have felt good.
BRENDAN STEELE: It's always good to finish with a birdie. Doesn't matter what you shoot. Always makes lunch or dinner or whatever taste good, and you feel a little bit better about it. So it's always nice.
Q. What is it about the golf course that suits your game?
BRENDAN STEELE: I'm doing a lot of things well right now.
I'm putting the ball in some pretty good spots.
I've got a little more length than I had the last time I was here in 2013, so I can cover a few more bunkers.
So playing the course a little bit differently than I did last time, probably four or five of the holes. So rolling it really well. So a good combination.
Q. What is your mindset heading into the weekend here?
BRENDAN STEELE: I'm trying to be really patient and I'm trying to be really positive this week.
I had a really nice week going a couple weeks ago, at Frys, and that didn't end up how I wanted it and was pretty bummed last week. I was kind of almost grieving for Sunday and attitude was really poor and everything.
So I tried to just really hit the reset this week and get the attitude going and stay positive.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the work you do for Grandfathers for Golf?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I can. It's a local charity from where I grew up in the Hemet, San-Jacinto Valley that I've been a part of since basically right when I turned pro.
Q. 2005.
BRENDAN STEELE: 2005. Yeah. And what they do is they provide a safe after-school activity for children in lower income areas and that wouldn't necessarily have access to golf. So, it's just a good way for kids to learn the game and have just a safe activity more than anything. Introduce everybody to it and give them somewhere to go and a good environment.
Q. How does it kind of change your outlook towards life when you're very involved in a charity like this?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, that kind of stuff is fantastic. I love the junior growth of the game kind of stuff because it's, I remember what it was like to be a kid and to look up to the guys playing out here and it's huge. I mean it's really, really important. It's fun.
Q. So how long has this program been going on?
BRENDAN STEELE: I think it started when I was in high school. So it's probably been going about 15 years now.
Q. Any good golfers have come out of the program?
BRENDAN STEELE: Nobody like on the PGA TOUR or anything.
Q. But getting there?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I think the play's getting better, but it's not really about like becoming a pro out of there, it's more just about kids that wouldn't necessarily get a chance to play getting to play.
Q. How was the experience being kind of an announcer the first day of the U.S. Open?
BRENDAN STEELE: The U.S. Open? That was fun. I've actually hosted Morning Drive for two hours before, too, so I did that in 2011, but it was fun to go on there.
And it was a little bit different because you're talking about other players' games, so I'm used to talking about my game and I can kind of tell you where I sit, but from an outsider's perspective, you have to be a little bit more objective and a little bit more careful what you say, but it was fun.
Q. So was it the kind of love that you have for the game that kind of prompted you to go there?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I mean just this game gives you a lot of opportunities and you kind of just make the best out of them and that.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan Hideki Matsuyama of Japan
Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 131 (-13)
Q. (No Microphone.)
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I played well again today. I didn't quite hit the ball or putt it as well as I did yesterday, but I'm happy the way I got it around and into the hole.
Q. What is your strategy going into the weekend?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: I'm just going to try to do the exactly what I've done the first two days and hopefully that's good enough.
Q. Does the heat change the way that you prepare? Does it change the way that you feel during a round of golf?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: You know, when it's so hot, we all sweat a lot and it's important to, for me anyway, to make sure I've got a towel handy and don't let my grips get wet at all. Also, the concentration level that you need is much more difficult in the heat and you really need to be careful of that, how you're concentrating in order to score well.
Spencer Levin (Usa) – Second Round 64 (-8), total 131 (-13)
Q. Nice clean round of golf today. Really good playing. What was working for you out there?
SPENCER LEVIN: I putted really good today. I made a lots of putts. And that kind of what makes you play good, right? So, my putter has been good the last couple days, and that's why I'm playing well.
Q. Is there something about the greens?
SPENCER LEVIN: I don't know. I really like them. I don't know if there's a particular reason I'm making putts so far.
But yeah, I like them. They're a speed you can be aggressive on and, yeah, that's why I've been playing well, because I've been putting well the last couple days.
Q. Obviously, a lot of low scores out there. Is that something you think about? Do you feel like you have to keep pace?
SPENCER LEVIN: Oh, yeah, you're looking at the board there, and you know guys are going to keep making birdies. And I feel like every time I made a birdie, the other guy was making a birdie, too. And that's kind of playing the TOUR's like that.
If you're making a lots of birdies, there's somebody else who is, too. So, you just got to keep going and that kind of seems to be the theme this week. You're going to have to shoot, who knows how many under to win. So you can't really get comfortable with whatever score you got, you just got to keep trying to keep making birdies.
Scott Piercy (Usa) – Second Round 69 (-2), Total 131 (-13)
Q. Thoughts on your round for the day.
SCOTT PIERCY: I got off to a good start. I made some good putts early.
I think the heat got to me a little bit today and I made some mistakes.
I 3-putted the par-5, No. 5.
I hit some bad chips on No. 3, the par-5. Didn't make birdie.
Missed a short putt on 18.
I just kind of got out of sync on -- started really on No. 1, when I made the turn and just kind of struggled. I think it's the heat, just kind of got to me. I'm still right there, but obviously I would like to be two or three better.
Q. How do you bounce back from this heading into the weekend?
SCOTT PIERCY: Well, it's hard to follow-up 10-under anyways. So, I felt like I did pretty good. The heat kind of got to me afterwards. So, I felt like I did all right, but just warm-up in the morning, get it back together, and keep going.
Q. Are you going to practice or sit back and recharge your batteries?
SCOTT PIERCY: Just recharge the batteries. It wasn't terrible, terrible, it was just a little out of sync and when you're firing on everything and then out of sync a little bit, seems like it's really bad, but it's really not that bad. Probably a couple little mental errors and the body was tired, so.
Paul Peterson (Usa) Second Round 67 (-5), Total 137 (-7)
Scott Piercy of USA Scott Piercy of USA
Q. Thoughts on your round for today.
PAUL PETERSON: Really steady. Took advantage of the par-5s really well today, compared to yesterday, maybe just one more. But really steady.
Hit some great iron shots.
Seemed like every putt wanted to at least go in, which was good.
So, I'm happy about Friday and where my game is heading to the weekend.
Q. What happened yesterday as compared to today? You made quite a nice move up the leaderboard today.
PAUL PETERSON: I think it was just a little bit more converting.
I hit a few more greens on the front nine today than I did yesterday.
Seems like yesterday some of the putts I made were, unfortunately, par saves as opposed to birdies. But I think sometimes those are the biggest momentum swingers.
So I had some good positive momentum to kind of keep me in the round yesterday.
And then played well on the back nine to post under par. I thought something around, if I shot something in the 60s yesterday, I was going to be really, really happy.
But I just controlled my ball really nice today and stuck to my process. And I'm converting really, really well inside 125 right now. So, yeah, just happy with where my game's at and looking to build to the weekend.
Q. Obviously, a good position for the weekend as well.
PAUL PETERSON: Yeah, I haven't seen anything, no leaderboard watching. So I know there's some guys ahead of me and I got some work to do. But, yeah, just looking forward to the weekend and moving up.
Q. The highlight of the day must have been the four straight birdies in a row. 9,10,11 or -- maybe your best birdie of the day?
PAUL PETERSON: Best birdie of the day? That birdie I made on 13 was great. That was a plus. Hitting 6-iron in there close and making that one. So that was fun.
And, yeah, I'm really, really happy with where my game's at and just looking -- I love this golf course. Good memories from Maybank. So, looking forward to the weekend.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind) Second Round 67 (-5), Total 137 (-7)
Q. Thoughts on your round today. 5-under.
ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Yeah, I got off to a good start, what I was looking for, really. And just on the back nine was terrible on the greens. I think I gave myself a lot of chances on 10, 11, 13, 14, just didn't make anything.
And got a little frustrated I think after the 14th miss. And we were standing on the tee for a long time, because a lot of groups got held up because it was drivable. And I just lost my concentration sitting around. Got a little stiff.
Made a bogey on 15. That's not what I needed.
So I was happy that I made birdie on 17.
And saved a good par on 18.
But I just gave easily gave two or three shots away on the back nine. Disappointed, given how I started, but I guess I just have to do a little better on the weekend.
Q. Talk us through that eagle.
ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I hit a good drive. Anything on that fairway is good. It was just an in between number between my four and 5-iron. So I just decided to kind of hit a low 5-iron and try and run it up that slope and I hit it absolutely perfect, obviously, nice to tap that in and be 4-under after 4. That's 4-under after 5, that's the kind of start you're looking for.
So I'm going to need to do that again tomorrow and continue it. I think it was the way the course is playing, with no rough, it all down to your putting. Guys are shooting 10-, 11-under, because you're holing those 10, 15 footers. And I think I did some of that on the front nine, but back nine was just absolutely dry.
So, just got to putt a little bit better. I'm feeling good, obviously, with my game, energy level is good, which I'm happy about. So hopefully I'll have another big weekend like I did at the Malaysian Open.