Media Center Interviews
April 2, 2023
Final Round Interview with Ryan Gerard
Q. Ryan, congratulations, looks like you've done enough this week to lock up special temporary membership on the PGA TOUR. What are the emotions right now?
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I don't think it's really set in yet. You know, I didn't play great this week, but I guess I played well enough to get it done. So just it's a dream come true, like lifelong dream come true. Just "Ryan Gerard, PGA TOUR member," that's pretty sweet.
I've worked my whole life to get to this point and I know this is just the beginning, but it's a big step in the chapter and I'm really excited and grateful I think are the words that I'd say. Like really excited.
Q. There was a bit of stress early in the week, I know you were right on that cut line, didn't know if you were going to get in. Just describe what those moments were like waiting to see if you were going to make the weekend.
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, I think just kind of not having any control. Like your number's posted, you're watching guys out there hit good shots, make good putts. Everyone out here's a really good player, so it's not likely that they go backwards usually. It's just I needed to play better and I didn't.
I got lucky that I got a chance to sneak in T-65 to get to the weekend. When you get an opportunity, you've got to take advantage of it. I'd like to say I did because I got the membership that I needed, but I didn't really play as well as I'd like to. So I think I'm just really excited that I have a chance to play on the PGA TOUR going forward.
Q. Let's talk about this whole stretch. You started it by Monday qualifying for Honda, T-4 at Honda. Did you think at that Monday qualifier that you were going to end up where you are right now?
RYAN GERARD: No. I mean, did I think I was a good enough player to play out here? Absolutely. I mean, you've got to have the confidence that you can go out there and perform.
But I would have never imagined that standing there on Tuesday grinding in the third hole of a playoff of a Monday qualifier that I'd be on the PGA TOUR playing five, six weeks later. So that is really, really special and a bit unexpected. We'll take it.
Q. I'm sure you'll take it. Describe what the past couple of months have been like since Honda, understanding that this is very much an opportunity in your sights and continually chasing it through various opportunities.
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, it's been a whirlwind. It's been a lot of golf, a lot of travel. Not that I'm complaining because I want to do this for a living. Like it's a dream that I get to wake up every day and hit golf balls and get paid to do it if you play well, but I just, it's been chaotic, it's been stressful, it's been crazy. But those are all good things in the grand scheme of life that I'm in a position where it's, hey, you've got to get on this flight to go play a golf tournament in another country or another state or wherever it might be just last minute, like that stuff, it's really cool. It's not anything that I was expecting to be doing. Like that was supposed to be my offseason, I was supposed to have my nice little five-week break, go hang out, see some coaches, hang out with some friends, but I'd take this over that any day.
Q. Now that you've done this, what's next? I know it hasn't sunken in yet, but how do you start thinking about life on the PGA TOUR in a bit of a different context?
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, I think a lot of it is just, hey, the monkey's off the back, I don't really have to worry about -- I mean, you've still got to worry about it a little bit, but like I've kind of locked up. Like hey, I don't have a finite amount of starts yet, I can kind of get unlimited starts, kind of put the pedal to the metal and try and execute and have fun and enjoy it and play to the best of my ability. I think just being able to do that is going to be a little bit freeing.
So I'm excited to go out there and take advantage of any more opportunities I get and just, I mean, you watch these tournaments on TV growing up. I went to my first ever golf tournament when I was like 8 or 9. Just seeing guys play like that is really cool and just to be here and be a part of it and to also have that opportunity to go play in a PGA TOUR event, win a PGA TOUR, something like that would be just icing on the cake.
Q. I want to ask you a little more specifically about today. Is it weird emotions coming into a day knowing you really don't have to have a great round, you just have to go out and be steady?
RYAN GERARD: It's definitely something like I was thinking about. Especially I had a bad stretch kind of in the middle of the round there where it was starting to go a little bit sideways. It wasn't like I was hitting bad shots, I kind of wasn't putting the ball in the hole well.
So yeah, I think a couple times coming in I was like, hey, you know what, we're just going to hit it in the fairway and hit a quality shot here. If I do that, I'll be just fine. But there's trouble lurking out here, the desert, forest, whatever you want to call it, a lot of rocks, a lot of junk that you can hit your ball into. Especially when it got windier, it was just really putting a premium on hitting it in the fairway and making sure I was playing smart going down the stretch.
Q. Did you have an eye on any of the scoreboards today?
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, but the scoreboards don't count as high as I was shooting. I knew kind of where I stood, I knew kind of what I thought I needed to shoot and I was playing solid. When I got to a point where I felt like, hey, like not making a lot of putts, just kind of hitting it average, let's just go kind of make sure that we take care of business.
Q. And lastly from me, I saw your text exchange with Ryan from Monday Q just kind of feeling that things have slipped through your fingers. Now that you've secured it, can you look back on some of those times where you felt like maybe you let an opportunity go and how gratifying it is to have made it to the other side?
RYAN GERARD: Yeah, I think I had a pretty good opportunity at Valspar and I just didn't have it on the weekend. I don't really know, some days are like that. I just couldn't quite put it together and I felt like I was chasing for a while.
But then, I don't know, golf's weird, man. Sometimes you play really well, sometimes you don't. I don't feel like my game is in a bad spot, but I don't think I've really pieced it
100 percent together the last two, three weeks. So I feel like to be able to show up with not your best stuff and still be able to get it done, granted I wasn't that far out, it's some confidence I can take positives away from that. But I think the biggest thing is just we got the monkey off the back, I'm excited and I'm ready to see what happens next.
Q. How do you celebrate? What's the celebration like tonight?
RYAN GERARD: I don't know if we're celebrating. I'm going to get on a flight and go see my swing coach, so the grind doesn't stop. Might get some In-N-Out, don't have those on the east coast.