#CIMBClassic - What they said

Wed 19 Oct 2016

#CIMBClassic - What they said


Justin Thomas (USA)

ALEX URBAN: We'd like to welcome our defending champion here at the CIMB Classic, Justin Thomas, to the interview room.

You had your first PGA TOUR victory here last year, three birdies out of your last four holes to win. What does it mean to be back here, and talk a little bit about that win last year and what it means to you.

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it's great to be back. I've never had the opportunity to come to a tournament as a defending champion before, so just being out there today and my caddie, Jimmy, and I kind of talking about some things that happened last year and just the good vibes we have and the good memories. It's fun. Hopefully we can recreate some of those good memories and good things that happened out there.

But yeah, I'm excited to be back this week. It's always exciting for me to travel to different places and get outside of America. Malaysia is my favorite place to come to. Kuala Lumpur is great with all the things that we can do and all of us can really enjoy it and the golf course is great and the fans are great. It's been enjoyable.

Q. Since you were here last time, the name of it golf could you be has changed from KLGC Jakarta to TPC Kuala Lumpur. Does that make a big difference in America, the attraction of the course here?

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I think any time you can add TPC to something, it has maybe a little bit different meaning to us. I feel like we maybe associate ourselves a little bit with TPC golf courses. I remember I was with Alex when he told me the news, and it was a cool deal, for sure, to be able to come back and know this is a TPC now instead of not TPC.

It's definitely a cool addition to the golf course. I don't think in terms of what changes in the golf course and everything like that, it's a little bit outside of my knowledge, but yeah, it's definitely cool to have that TPC there.

Q. Do you feel that your career is just about to take off, or are you getting there?

JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I think this only being my third year, I feel like I have a lot of years ahead of me and hopefully a lot of great years. That's the crazy part about this game is that you don't really know what's going to happen and you don't know what lies ahead.

I know what is meant to be is going to happen, but I feel like I have -- I feel like I have the firepower; I have the game to where I can do some pretty cool and special things out here. It's just a matter of if I put myself to it and I put the work in and I do everything I need to do.

But I feel like I've definitely been trending the right direction the last year. I would say honestly since this event, any time you can win in this sport is very huge and good for your confidence, so I learned a lot of things from that week and can build a lot of positives off of this event last year.

Hopefully I can say that it was just a springboard for a great run.

Q. What's your idea of success?

JUSTIN THOMAS: To be the best. I think it's a great question, because everyone's definition of success is different. I don't necessarily mean you have to win or you have to be No. 1 in the world, this and that. Obviously that's what I play for.

But I think in terms of what is successful, you need to kind of assess on what we're talking about. If you feel like your driving was successful this year; and if my driving is going to be different versus someone like Colt Knost who hits a lot of fairways, and I don't hit as many fairways as him. In terms of that, it kind of depends on the scale of what we're talking about.

But in terms of a whole, I expect a lot out of myself, so I hope to be the best.

Q. In life?

JUSTIN THOMAS: In life? That's deep. That's tough. (Laughter) it's just a Wednesday afternoon.

It's tough. I mean, I want to be having fun first and foremost. Although I don't have that much fun if I'm not playing well because I'm extremely competitive. The time that golf -- I don't get excited to go play, I don't get excited when I'm in the hunt and I'm not excited to go to a tournament, that's when I'll be done.

But I don't know, I would just say that a good, long year, a great long year, and hopefully a lot of majors and a lot of wins and team wins, Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups. But I also want to be a great role model to kids and I want to be someone that people look up to and can reach out to for help.

Q. What about family?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm just 23, I don't need to talk about family.

Q. You shot a record-breaking 26-under to win. Do you think you must achieve the same score to defend your title?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I'll take 26-under right now if I could every time we play. But no, I don't know, it depends. It was a freaky year. Scores were a lot lower than usual. I know scores are usually low here. It's just what the conditions of the golf course and it being as short as it is with a lot of birdies. You never know. It's a course -- it's a course 20-under could win. I could see if someone gets hot -- I felt like I could have been 30-under last year. You never know what can happen. It's a place where someone can really get rolling and go two or three days and shoot some really, really low scores. Like I said, I'll take 26-under right now.

Q. Is there something different you're going to do this year, or is there something the same you're going to do this year?

JUSTIN THOMAS: I'm going to try to take it the same way do I every tournament, and last year. You just try to get a good game plan. I feel like my caddie and I, we have a good game plan for it, so just try to stick to that. Take it one shot at a time and one hole at a time and hopefully it results to a lot of birdies.

It's not a course you have to overthink. It's all in front of you. Just hit here, hit there and make the putt and beat everybody else. No, there won't be anything too different than what I did last year. I felt like we had a great game plan and more importantly just need to get rested and get my body feeling fresh for tomorrow.

Ryan Moore (USA)

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have Ryan Moore in with us here at the CIMB Classic. You holed the winning putt in The Ryder Cup a few weeks ago. You must be delighted to be back at TPC KL.

RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I am. I look forward to this event obviously every single year. It's treated me really well. I think I only missed it one year in all the years since it's been around and that's only because my son was born. It's an event I love. I love coming to KL. It's just a week I enjoy.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You're just coming off the course from the Pro-Am. How is the golf course looking compared to previous years?

RYAN MOORE: I would call it very similar to last year where there's not as much rough. So you can get away with missing a few fairways. But it's in great condition. Probably the best the greens have been in the years we've been here. Just really healthy and really, really smooth.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: The Ryder Cup, the winning moment, how was that experience, not just the singles day but throughout the week.

RYAN MOORE: It's like nothing else in golf that I've ever experienced. It was an incredible week. It's just so different than what we do every single week on TOUR. We get to play with teammates and go out there -- it was just fun.

It was a really fun environment to play in. I was fortunate to be the person to get that final point, to get the clinching point for the U.S. That's something I'll have the rest of my life.

Q. Your thoughts on playing the Pro-Am?

RYAN MOORE: In general or today?

Q. In general.

RYAN MOORE: It's part of our week. I think it's so unique to golf because it's not very often -- you can't go out on a football field and play football with players. You can't go on a basketball court. So for guys to kind of get inside the ropes with us and walk around and hit shots and play the course with us, it's a unique thing that golf that I think is great.

Yeah, there's days where it can get long and drag out a little bit, but I get to play with different people that I've enjoyed playing with over the years. I've actually gotten some friendships and great relationships from them.

Q. Do you have a cough or something?

RYAN MOORE: I do. I've had it for a little while. Basically if my four-year-old son gets sick, I get sick. He gets me every time.

It's not too bad, I don't know what it is, but it's just a little cough. It's nothing. I've had this for like a week, so hopefully it's on the side of getting a little bit better.

Q. One of the problems of golf today is it takes a lot of time. Do you have any views on ways and means of making it perhaps shorter, in general terms. For example, the Pro-Am.

RYAN MOORE: No, I don't have any good solutions. Like what we did today, being a shamble, I think that helps, all the guys coming from one spot in the fairway which helps.

I don't have any real good ideas for -- I mean, it's a long day. I mean, that's just kind of how golf works.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: What is it about TPC KL that suits your game?

RYAN MOORE: Well, personally I like it a little better when there's a little more rough. It's a little more punishing for the guys who hit it a little bit further and who don't hit it in the fairway as often as me.

It's a course I'm very comfortable on. I like a lot of the tee shots. I tend to putt well on these greens. I read them well and been able to make a lot of putts over the last few years, so I hope that continues obviously.

But like last year, the scoring was quite a bit lower and that was basically just because there wasn't any rough. So you weren't getting punished on par 5s. When you missed a fairway, you would have to lay up with a sand wedge or pitching wedge and you could still get on or around green with a long iron or hybrid. That's where the difference in scoring happened last year.

So it looks like it's going to be, again, very similar to that so we'll probably see a little better scoring again this year.

Q. What is the game plan this year then?

RYAN MOORE: Make birdies. Obviously we saw last year, so I shot 14-under in the first year I won here and then I shot 17-under the next year to win by three, and then I shot 17-under last year to lose by nine.

So that's a really big difference and the rough is that difference. I mean, it was really long and really difficult to hit out of those first two years. In the last couple, it's just not punishing.

So you can still make birdies when you miss fairways. That's the goal. I think last year I played -- I felt pretty good but there were a lot of other guys that took advantage of the par 5s and just scored a little better than me. Just got to go out and make some birdies.

Q. You played some of your best golf in the last year; what does that do for your confidence after The Ryder Cup coming here to an event you've won twice?

RYAN MOORE: It's huge. Golf is all about confidence and the better you play, you just keep getting more and more of it.

You know, I had a nice break. I had played a lot of golf in that stretch. I played nine out of ten weeks, including The Ryder Cup. So to have a nice break, kind of get to sit back and reflect on that, that 2 1/2 months or so of good golf and figure out maybe why it was happening, and figure out ways of how to continue it.

But yeah, it improves your confidence a lot. It makes you feel good, and especially coming to a course that I've had success on and I feel good on to begin with. I like where my game is trending. I've been saying that for awhile. I've been working with a new trainer. I've had some things hurting for the last few years and those things are not hurting as much anymore. I've almost gone to the point where we can start building on it and getting stronger and moving better.

It's amazing, you just don't give those things that much credit sometimes. I had an ankle that hurt for quite a while and it was to the point where I almost forgot about it because it hurt so much, just constantly. And to have that not hurting and be able to move a little bit better through the golf ball, it's amazing how much confidence that gives you, just being able to go play and not have your mind worried about that nagging all the time.

I like where I'm going with my game. I think I'm excited for these -- I'm playing this week and next week and the week after this in Vegas to finish off my season and I'm going to have some good, quality time off that I'm really looking forward to help even further those things that I've been working on. I'm even more excited for next year already at just how much better I've felt the last few months.

Q. What would you like to do off the golf course?


Q. Anywhere.

RYAN MOORE: Anywhere. Well, I have a four-year-old son, so most of my time off the golf course is spent playing with him, which includes a lot of action figures and superheros and that kind of stuff. He gets to tell me what super hero I'm being that day, whether it's Ironman or Black Panther or all these different ones. He gets to beat me up. That's what I do most of the time off the golf course.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Which superhero would you like to be?

RYAN MOORE: Oh, man, that's a tough choice because I watch all those movies. Ironman would be tough to beat. I think I would probably stick with him.

Patrick Reed (USA)

ALEX URBAN: We'd like to welcome Patrick Reed to the interview room here at the CIMB Classic.

You've been one of the hottest players in the last few months, a win in the FedExCup Playoffs, nice finish there and obviously your performance in The Ryder Cup. Talk about the start of this new PGA TOUR season and being here at the CIMB Classic.

PATRICK REED: This event is very important to all of us. It's kind of one of these events that you want to get off to the right start to start the season. Also, you want to finish off the year correctly. You know, the calendar year, this is one of the last events you play before you have a little bit of a break.

So it's very important. It's one of these weeks that it's very nice to come over and awesome golf course, but you make the best of it, and go out and play some good golf.

Q. Just wondering in terms of your goals, what have you got in the short term, medium term, long term?

PATRICK REED: Really short term is just continue working on what we've been doing. Just improve on the things that I've been feeling like I've been struggling. One of those is consistency on ball-striking, and really, to win golf tournaments. Keep on getting ourselves in contention and close off some events.

I made a really good run last year at the end of this year, I think it was five out of six events I played that I was Top-10 in the end but I didn't win. I would like to turn some of those Top-10s into wins in hopefully that last part of the year and carry some momentum into January.

Q. Being No. 1, is that one of the goals?

PATRICK REED: It is. But I wouldn't really say that's kind of short term because it's a long ways away. I would need probably a major, a major win, and a couple other wins, as well, to get to that spot.

Q. Can you talk to us about The Ryder Cup experience? That was like something else.

PATRICK REED: Yeah, Ryder Cup was amazing. That was my fourth time representing the country playing in some kind of team event, and you know, that was the first one finally at home where I was on home soil, playing in front of our home crowd.

You know, the first Ryder Cup I played in over at Gleneagles, I played really well, but it felt so empty because the team didn't win. Even though with me playing well, at the end of the day, it didn't feel that great because the ultimate goal is to get the cup back and have the team win.

So this year, with how we all played and to play the way we did, and the fans were just insane. I mean, they were so energetic and kind of allowed everyone else to be even more energetic. Because of that, kind of pulled us through and helped us play a little better, and you know, allowed us to keep the Cup.

Q. What has been the key to your consistency?

PATRICK REED: Really I just think it's the hard work we put into it. The easiest way to become consistent at something is to practice it over and over and over again. We've put in a ton of reps with it, with every aspect of the game and it's starting to show on the consistency level. Now I just want to take the consistency I had last year and just kind of bump it up a little bit where the consistency gets even better where Top-25s get turned into Top-20s and Top-20s get turned into Top-10s and Top-10s get turned into top 5s or wins. That's just all about trying to have your bad days get a little better and have your good days hopefully improve to great days.

Q. So how are you getting used to the heat here now?

PATRICK REED: It's hot. But I live in Houston, in Houston, Texas. I see a lot of this kind of weather. It's 90 to 100 degrees and I have the 85 to 95 percent humidity on top of it. If feels a lot like home. I think the hard thing for us coming over is not the heat but the time change.

The jet-lag, flying from home Sunday is when we left but we get here Tuesday morning, and so I got in yesterday. I stayed up yesterday and I was up for close to 48 straight hours. So body is a little tired. But I slept great last night and get to bed early tonight, I should be well rested and good to go for tomorrow.

Q. So what's the game plan for this week?

PATRICK REED: Win. Go out and try to win a golf tournament. The easiest way to do that is to make sure that we're very comfortable off the tees and comfortable around the greens.

The good thing is it's my fourth year in a row playing, so I'm comfortable with the golf course. I know what to expect and you have to mentally be strong around this golf course because out in the middle of nowhere, the horn blew right before I came in.

You're going to have times that you're going to come off the golf course because of a weather delay. It's just like anywhere that is hot and humid; a thunderstorm is going to brew and come up very quickly. It's just something that you have to mentally be able to handle.

Q. Is it still ten percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration?

PATRICK REED: I would say it's probably close to 80/20. You know, there's nothing like having that drive and that kind of motivation from things you saw growing up to things you see now that just kind of keep you going where you can turn a four- or five-hour day into six or seven because you want to get that much better.

I also feel like I've grown up a lot since I've turned professional and I kind of know what my limits are, because you can also overdo things. So I felt like I've really figured out with my coach and my team of what works best for me and how much time I can spend out on the golf course and how much time I can think about golf.

It's key, because any day on the PGA TOUR, you have to be mentally and physically ready because things could get sideways pretty quickly.

Sergio GarciĀ­a (ESP)

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Sergio Garcia in with us, your fourth visit to the CIMB Classic where you finished second two years ago. Tell us your thoughts about coming back to this golf course and what it means to you.

SERGIO GARCIA: It's great. Good fun to be back here in Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Excited about the week. Obviously a little bit of jet-lag but hopefully we'll get rid of it quickly.

Other than that, the course looks nice. The greens are a little on the slow side at the moment but the course probably looks the best I've seen it these past four years, so we're excited about the cheek.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: It's your first event back since The Ryder Cup in the States. What have you been doing over the last couple weeks.

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, a couple corporate days for some of my sponsors and a little bit of practice, a little bit of downtime. So two weeks off, it was nice.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: This is the start of the PGA TOUR season, strange as it sounds, but looking forward to the next 2 1/2 months before 2016 comes to a close, have you set yourself any little goals for yourself to achieve.

SERGIO GARCIA: No, just the only thing I want to do is play as hard as I can. I have this week, next week and then Dubai. So I have three weeks to finish my year, my calendar year. I'm excited about it, so hopefully I can keep playing like I played at The Ryder Cup and have a chance of winning these next few weeks, and then we can get ready for Christmas, New Year's, and kind of relax a little bit.

Q. You're a known quantity on the international scene. Is there anything that you feel that you still want to do?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, obviously you always want to play the best you can and improve as much as possible. That's why we say that what we try to do is improve every year.

So there's obviously things that you still want to achieve or be able to achieve them, or at least give yourself a chance of achieving those goals. But nothing particular, like being No. 1 in the world or anything like that. Obviously if it happens it would be great. But it's not something that it's like the main goal like maybe it was when I was 20, 22. Just keep improving, stay healthy and play as well as possible.

Q. You're no stranger to Malaysia. You won in Johor. What is it that appeals to you about this country in terms of continually coming back?

SERGIO GARCIA: Well, it's great timing-wise in the schedule. It fits nicely for me. I said I always like to come to Asia towards the end of the year and obviously playing three or four tournaments around here.

I've visited many countries around Asia and it's always fun to come back. Obviously I've done well here in this tournament before, so it's a course that I feel quite comfortable on it and I'm always excited to come back and play it.

Q. This year, what has it been like with The Ryder Cup, do you think it's been a good year or what?

SERGIO GARCIA: Yeah, I think it's been a pretty solid year. There's no doubt that I would have liked to have played the Playoffs a little bit better than I did, or at least play those two weekends a little bit better to get into Atlanta.

But overall, I think it's been a pretty solid year. Obviously we won on the PGA TOUR again, which is always nice. Solid, quite consistent in most of the majors. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way the year has gone.

Q. I think there was one year where you were playing pretty well here. So what are your hopes for this week?

SERGIO GARCIA: Same thing. Play as well as possible and have a chance to win on the weekend. That would be nice. That's always our goal. You know, hopefully I'll be able to do that.

Q. Do you have thoughts on the next Ryder Cup on home turf?

SERGIO GARCIA: It's two years ago. It's a long time (laughter).

No, I'm excited about it. I'm excited because it's going to be in France. It's a great golf course. Obviously now the Americans have won it, so we want to get it back. It would be -- once it gets close to that time, I'm sure it will be very, very exciting.

But at the moment, no, there's not any thoughts about it.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: On The Ryder Cup, Rory has said that he wants Thomas as his long-term partner. Is it going to be the same case with you and Rafa?

SERGIO GARCIA: That would be nice for sure. We have a great relationship, Rafa and I. We are good friends and we gelled nicely at The Ryder Cup. The couple of matches we played, we felt very, very comfortable and played really good golf together. Hopefully it would be nice if we could both make the team and if we both do that, then probably we might play some matches together.

Q. What do you think you need to do to get the cup back?

SERGIO GARCIA: Get 14 1/2 points. It's as simple as that (laughter).

Scott Hend

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have scoot Hend from Australia, currently No. 1 on the Asia Order of Merit, two wins this season. Tell us what you're feeling and what are your expectations ahead this week?

SCOTT HEND: Obviously because ten guys from The Asian Tour are here, so big chance to try and move up the Order of Merit and hold your position. It's a very important week in that respect. And also a chance, a possibility of getting a U.S. Tour card if I win this event.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You played in the Pro-Am this morning. How is the course playing as to what you've seen over the years here?

SCOTT HEND: I think the rough is a little bit less. The greens seem to be a little bit slower. In saying that, the condition of the greens are good and the fairways have nice grass on them. Should be a pretty low-scoring week I would think, because a lot of the bushes have been cleared out a little bit. You can sort of hit it a little bit off-line and get away with it.

Q. Just wondering, what are you expecting to take from this tournament?

SCOTT HEND: A lot of money. I'd like to get a whole handful of World Ranking points because it's a very strong field. This week is quite important in FedEx points and also World Ranking points.

Q. Do you have any goals, targets you've set for yourself the next couple years?

SCOTT HEND: Well, I'm 43 now, so my goal is obviously to win as many tournaments as possible before the Senior Tour, and then I'd like to obtain The Asian Tour Order of Merit title. And possibly in the next few coming years, maybe get back on the PGA TOUR. But right now I'm quite happy playing where I am in Europe and Asia and trying to win tournaments, and that's what I'm trying to achieve.

Q. What is your idea of success?

SCOTT HEND: When I've finished my career, my children and my grandchildren see the titles that I've won or if they travel around the world and play golf and walk into a golf course where a tournament I've won and my name is on the board or a trophy, and they can see that and they can remember that possibly when I'm gone in 50 years' time or I'm not here. That's one part of being successful and what I think is success.

And the other thing is being able to live happily and not want for anything of the basics and being able to make a good living out of the game.

Q. A legacy like Arnie's?


CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You talked about the Order of Merit. Why is it important for to you try to grab that Order of Merit for the first time in your career in Asia?

SCOTT HEND: I've been fortunate enough to win nine times in Asia obviously and I finished second a fair few times. On the Order of Merit, I think I finished twice in second position and I finished fourth maybe two or three times.

So for me, I'm from Australia and I'm very close to Asia, and being able to win the Order of Merit, it's just a goal of mine to achieve. And obviously some other goals I have in line, if they fall in line, I'll win the Order of Merit. Every little goal becomes a big goal.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Is the world's Top-50 among the goals of yours, as well?

SCOTT HEND: Yeah, I'd like to play the U.S. Masters next year, yeah.


SCOTT HEND: I've never played the Masters and I think it would be a golf course I would be able to play very well around. Obviously like a lot of people, have seen it, every April, turn on the TV, watch the Masters, watch Augusta. I would like to be there once and walk down a couple of fairways.

I'd love to play there, play the tournament. It's the only major that is played on the same golf course every single year, and you know, especially after Adam's won; Greg Norman played fantastic there for quite a lot of years. It's just a golf course and a golf tournament that I'd really love to play.

Q. You've been playing quite well. What is it in your game that has improved? What's going well?

SCOTT HEND: Patience. A bit more patience. Not trying to push that hard straightaway. Just the realization that you can't do everything perfect. We all want to do something perfect, but you can't do everything perfect, especially in this game. It's about just being patient and taking it on the chin.

Q. Who do you have on the bag?

SCOTT HEND: Tiny has come back after his trip around Australia. He came back at Crans-Montana in Switzerland a few weeks ago, and we lost in a playoff, unfortunately. It's great to be back together and we're going to have another good go at it.

He just wanted to have a bit of time off, a bit of a break. He went on holiday and drove around Australia for 13 weeks and did the camping bit and the fishing and stuff. He and his wife wanted to have a trip they had planned for a long time. So he went and did that, and I pursued the golf.

Q. So how many years were you together?

SCOTT HEND: Oh, I've known Tony 20-odd years. He played the Web.com Tour himself. He played The European Tour Challenge Tour. He played The Asian Tour for eight or nine years and then he had a bad injury in his left arm. He's got really bad tendonitis, so could only play three or four days in a row. He offered his services to come and caddie for me. We used to room together all the time when he was playing on Tour, anyway, and just a good partnership.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You played a couple of seasons on the PGA TOUR in the mid 2000s, and you've played a lot on The Asian Tour now. When you look at the playing standards of the PGA TOUR and the Asian Tour, is it a vast difference there, or is it just a small little difference there now?

SCOTT HEND: I think in general, the guys on the PGA TOUR are much better putters week-in, week-out. That's all they concentrate on is putting and chipping. They just get it up-and-down.

Ball-striking-wise, I think there's a lot of really good ball-strikers on the Asian Tour, but the standard of putting isn't quite as good. Because every week we putt on a different surface; whereas in the US, the West Coast is one surface, middle of the country is pretty much bent, and you get a bit of poa annua and a bit of bent and bermuda on the East Coast. But you don't see the jump from paspalum, bermudagrass, back to paspalum, back to some really grainy grass. They have greens that are really quick every week like Japan and they are always very good putters.

Scott Hend

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have scoot Hend from Australia, currently No. 1 on the Asia Order of Merit, two wins this season. Tell us what you're feeling and what are your expectations ahead this week?

SCOTT HEND: Obviously because ten guys from The Asian Tour are here, so big

chance to try and move up the Order of Merit and hold your position. It's a very important week in that respect. And also a chance, a possibility of getting a U.S. Tour card if I win this event.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You played in the Pro-Am this morning. How is the course playing as to what you've seen over the years here?

SCOTT HEND: I think the rough is a little bit less. The greens seem to be a little bit slower. In saying that