Accenture Match Play interview: Hunter Mahantext sizeFebruary 22, 2013
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DOUG MILNE: Hunter Mahan, thanks for joining us, 4 & 3, successful victory today, your second match at the Accenture Match Play Championship, just some comments on the match and then we'll take questions.
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, played pretty solid today, hit a lot of fairways and greens, and I was able to put the pressure kind of on my opponent once I got going on the back nine with the first four holes there. That was obviously key and important.
You know, just hit a lot of good quality shots today. If you put the ball on the fairway and on the green here, it's going to be a lot easier to score. Obviously the desert and the bunkers and everything, they come into play pretty quickly, so it's important to know exactly where you're trying to hit it.
Q. I think you might have just answered this, but what is it about this golf course?
HUNTER MAHAN: Well, I think I just feel comfortable on it. Just from the tees to the greens and everything, I feel like I just know where I need to hit it. I feel like I just have a good understanding of this place. Once you get on the greens, the greens are pretty difficult. They have a lot of slopes and a lot of variations. Luckily it seems like they haven't gotten too fast with the snow and everything. They're not super quick, so you don't have to worry about hitting putts too hard or anything.
I don't know, it's just I have a good sense about this place and good feel. I think we do a good job of figuring out how far the club is going and how far the ball is going, because with the temperature and kind of being up elevation wise a little bit, it's easy to kind of fly it over holes and fly it too short. Hitting good iron shots has definitely been the key for this year and last year.
Q. Does the way you played last week carry over into this week, and how instrumental was that to this?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I thought I played really well last week. I mean, I didn't make anything it felt like all week, but I hit a lot of good shots. I hit a ton of fairways and a ton of greens. In match play it's frustrating when your opponent keeps hitting fairways and greens. I've seen it, and it's just if I can do that, feel comfortable off the tee and everything, I've got a good feel for these greens, so I don't feel like I'm giving too many holes away on three putts or anything like that.
Confidence is high. I know I can play this place well, and I know I can beat anybody on any given day.
Q. Most tournaments it's kind of like there's a straight ahead focus and you kind of put one foot in front of the other. In match play, when it's just you and a guy, do you ever take a peek over at his face to see how he's handling things? How much does that happen?
HUNTER MAHAN: Not too much, I guess. I mean, everyone here is a great player. I'm not really worried about anyone's demeanor or anything like that.
I think myself, I try to control my demeanor and everything and try and look very stoic and like I'm not worried about anything. But I don't know, it's still about executing, still about hitting good quality shots. That's all I try to do out here because I know how difficult this place can be.
Q. Talking last year at East Lake after kind of a disappointing finish to the season, you talked about going into the off season and regrouping with Sean and the rest of your team. You've obviously done that. Can you kind of just explain that process of how you sat down and evaluated the year and got prepared for this year?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I think we're imperfect people trying to play an imperfect game. So I never want to be afraid to try things. I feel like we tried some things last year and I was trying things, and some things just didn't work out, and some things didn't work out as well as I would have liked. But we tried, and I was trying, and things just didn't meld together.
I think this off season we tried to break things down, make things a little bit more simple, and just get back to playing golf and finding things I need to work on and things that are important to my game and just work on that stuff. I feel like I play my best when I'm when it's very clear to me what I have to do from a swing perspective, mental perspective, and everything that has to go with the game of golf. I feel very clear in what I have to do right now, and that allows me to go out there and play golf and play free.
DOUG MILNE: Hunter, congratulations. Thanks for your time.