American Century Championship
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Mardy Fish, now at the front of the stage. Great round today, 27 points. Everybody was talking who was going to have a big round today. 27 is a pretty good number. Take us through it.
MARDY FISH: It’s a good number. Certainly the eagle on 18 helps a lot in that regard. But you’re kind of just looking to finish the round with a 3-pointer and get out of there. And, yeah, so the eagle on 18 was a bonus.
Other than that, I played pretty solid. A couple of bad putting holes. I think I three-putted four greens. Those were my four bogeys. So get the speed down a little bit better tomorrow and hit it the same and we’ll have a lot of looks.
And these greens are really tough to read. They’re really tough to — sort of feel like sometimes you get lucky to make it. They’re just so fast, and in the afternoons, with the poa annua, it’s just hard to know where it’s going to go exactly. And you could see the break, and it may bounce off a little bit of poa annua or something and push it offline.
So you’ve got to just stay calm and hit as many good putts as you can, hit it as — give yourself as many chances, 10, 12, 15 feet, something like that, on most of the holes.
Other than that, I hit it pretty good. And a shot or two here or there, but I was happy how I hit it.
Q. Were the three-putts all long putts, the start of the run, or run a couple short —
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it wasn’t like I missed a 2- or 3-footer, something like that. It’s more that sort of lag putting. They weren’t makeable putts. It was just, let’s get this down in two, and just rammed I think most of them by except for one on No. 12. I was down there in the bowl. That’s a tough one to get speed right on.
So it happens. It’s not the best part of my game. Again, just happy the way I finished and that will give me a good taste going into tomorrow.
Q. So four birdies, four birdies, four bogeys today, and the eagle. Pretty good round of golf. And we saw Mark Mulder do something pretty similar.
MARDY FISH: Today?
Q. Yeah, today. So guess what, you guys are fighting it out again. Mulder has 43. And you have 42. I thought he just eagled 18?
MARDY FISH: 16. He’s an eagle machine, that guy. He makes more eagles than pars here I think.
THE MODERATOR: Yesterday he didn’t make a par on the back nine. You’ve got to love that.
MARDY FISH: I saw that.
Q. How long was the putt on 18?
MARDY FISH: I didn’t have a ruler out. I don’t know. It’s like 8 feet. Probably 8 feet or so. Maybe 6 feet.
Q. Are you putting — how is your putting this year compared to 2020?
MARDY FISH: Compared to 2020?
MARDY FISH: I just ran into one round in 2020. It was 37 points in one round. It’s almost what I have in two days. That was just kind of a special day, I made a few. Look, I hit it fine on the front and then just made — birdied, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. I didn’t even know it. I kind of blacked out.
Q. How about your game compared to 2020?
MARDY FISH: It’s way better. Way more of an idea of my game, holding back. I’m not driving the ball very well this week, which is usually my strength. So I’ve had to kind of pull myself back a little bit.
In 2020 I hit a bunch of drivers and just sort of hit them on almost every hole — No. 10, No. 8. And today I hit irons there because I’m not really sure where my driver’s going at the moment.
But came up with a good one again on 16 and 18. Didn’t birdie 16, but hit a good driver there. So it wasn’t bad.
Q. So your game is way better than 2020.
MARDY FISH: I think you only get better until you get worse.
Q. So where is your confidence going into tomorrow?
MARDY FISH: It’s good. Like I said, it was nice to finish like that. It’s kind of the only thing — you finish with a bogey or something and it’s kind of the taste in your mouth. Yesterday I was a bit disappointed in how I played and maybe even how I competed a little bit. So we’ll jump in the lake and do it over again tomorrow.
Q. Who do you expect to be your biggest challenge, biggest competition tomorrow?
MARDY FISH: It seems like Mark. I’m sure Annika is up there. On purpose I didn’t look at the scoreboard. So I don’t know where anyone is or where I stand at all.
Q. And your biggest difference today to increase the 12 points, the birdie?
MARDY FISH: I was really sloppy yesterday. Made a bunch of bogeys. Made a double bogey on a driver/wedge-type hole. So it’s kind of just eliminating that. I usually don’t start great at this tournament for some reason, even though I was here all week and sort of practicing, getting ready and everything.
I haven’t had like a great first round here. But I’ve had a lot of good second rounds. So today was no different.
Q. You’re not the only one to mention that the greens are really moving. What’s the biggest difference to do that from last year?
MARDY FISH: Every year they’re fast. Every year they’re tough to — it’s tough to make putts here. It’s either the reading or speed, marrying the two together, it’s pretty hard to do here. Some of these putts you’re just getting it started, and you’re just hoping to get it started on the correct line. And a lot of times it’s hard to marry those two together. We’re not professionals. So it’s pretty difficult.
Q. Do you always not watch the scoreboard when you’re playing?
MARDY FISH: No, not always. I was just pretty disappointed. I think yesterday was the worst round I’ve had here, maybe, in eight years. So the whole time I was here. Maybe not. But one of the worst ones. And it was so fun to — Jake Owen and I are best friends since we’ve been five years old. So having him out here and his girls and my kids and his family and my family and stuff is really special, and then to play with him yesterday.
And we usually play better than that. So that was disappointing a little bit. But we came back and rectified it.
Q. Tell us about the crowds over the last couple of days. Yesterday was nuts and today —
MARDY FISH: Today felt like there were between 16 and 18, there were 50,000 people in that little area. So certainly the most fans I’ve ever seen either out here or ever in a golf tournament that I’ve been a part of — or really seen.
I’ve never been to Phoenix, the Scottsdale Open or Phoenix Open, whatever that’s called. I haven’t been there.
But apart from that, I don’t know if there’s a better sort of entertainment scene out there than here.
Q. Any louder on 17 that you noticed?
MARDY FISH: It’s pretty loud. You are just hoping — I told Alfonso when we were out there, I was happy to get it airborne every time on 17. It’s pretty nerve — there’s a lot of people out there.
Again, we’re not here because of our golf. It’s something else that we probably did pretty good. And so if I were to play tennis in front of those people, it would be no problem. But golf’s a little different. A little more nerve-racking.