Media Center Interviews
April 20, 2018
Second Round Interview with Grayson Murray
Q. Grayson, leading the field in strokes gained off the tee, what's been the secret to your success so far with the driver?
GRAYSON MURRAY: Yeah, I've been hitting it well off the tee all year, honestly, once I switched to a new driver in Palm Springs. That's the strength of my game when I'm on, so it's nice to have it clicking this week. I switched -- like I said yesterday in the interview I think with you or someone else, I did a little tweaking with my swing at the top and it just frees me to go at it at the bottom kind of as hard as I want. That's kind of what I'm doing. I'm kind of unleashing it at times when I can and just kind of putting my 90 percent on it when I don't need the extra yardage.
Q. You doubled the par-3 17th yesterday, bogeyed it today. It was your third-to-last hole. Then you get to 18 and absolutely smoke a 3-wood going into that par 5. How much heat was on that swing?
GRAYSON MURRAY: A lot, the tee ball especially and then the second. Those were the two best shots I've hit into a par 5 in a long time. To be pin high just on the fringe on that hole is -- I didn't even think I could do it, but easy birdie there so that was a nice bounce-back. The pin on No. 9 was tough, so I'm happy with the par there on the last. I had chances today. I think I actually played better today than I did yesterday. I just hit a couple bad chips and left me kind of a longer par putt than I wanted on those chips, and you're not going to make every six-footer you look at. Hopefully I can just chip it to two or three feet and make those.
Q. You mentioned the swing changes that you made and you also said early in the week that when that happens and you're compressing the golf ball well, it doesn't move too much in the wind. How much confidence does that give you when you're battling these conditions?
GRAYSON MURRAY: A lot. When I put a good swing on it, the ball hardly moves. Gives me a lot of confidence knowing that in the crosswinds -- usually the left-to-right winds are not my forte because I'm a fader of the ball, but knowing I can stand up there, tee it up on the right side of the tee box and pretty much just hit it straight and maybe fall just a hair right gives me just a lot of confidence. And like you said, strokes gained off the tee is a big stat that I look at because it gives me confidence for the rest of my game.
Q. Grayson, when you teed off today, did you know what Zach had done?
GRAYSON MURRAY: I did, I saw his score. I think he got it to 8 under today, didn't he?
Q. He shot 65.
GRAYSON MURRAY: Yeah, 7 under. Obviously Zach's a great player and he's won here before. To be honest, I think our wave was a little tougher.
Q. I think you did get the wrong end.
GRAYSON MURRAY: But that's how it always happens. You either get lucky or you don't and it evens out eventually in our sport. I'm just happy that I think I'm -- was Landry in my wave? I can't remember.
GRAYSON MURRAY: He was not? My caddie and I were just trying to win our wave basically the first two days.
Q. He was in your wave, yes.
GRAYSON MURRAY: Okay. So we tied with him so that we did our job basically. Now the next two days we're going to be playing in the same conditions. Obviously, like I said, Zach's a two-time major champion, he's not going to fall back. Who's up there also?
Q. Ryan Moore.
GRAYSON MURRAY: Yeah, Ryder Cupper, you know, so he's not going to fall back, either. So I've still got to keep the pedal down. I'm an underdog in this situation, which I love to be, so just keep doing what I'm doing.
Q. Does it give you a little bit of freedom to be an underdog?
GRAYSON MURRAY: I don't think so. I mean, I still have the expectations that those guys do, I want to win just like they do. I have won out here before so I'm familiar with the situation. It's just a matter of you've got to get good breaks when you win a golf tournament and you've got to take advantage of those good breaks and you've got to limit your mistakes. I felt like I've done a pretty good job of that the first two rounds. Like to clean up a few things, but if I just keep hitting it like I am off the tee, then I think I'll have a chance.