Being a Kentucky boy, how exciting was it for you to make the Ryder Cup team?
It was my main goal all year. I didn’t get in on points, but I played well enough to get looked at. So I was excited for the opportunity.
So you feel like this year’s been a success?
Yeah, I feel like it’s been a pretty good year for me. I started out hot, had a little slump in the middle, but then started to play well again. I don’t think it’s my best year or anything like that. I think I can do a lot better.
How did you think you performed in the PGA Championship (Holmes was leading after 54 holes before a final-round 81)?
It was a pretty good tournament for me. I played well. I was in the last group and I had a bad last day, but it shows that I can get up there [on the leaderboard in a major].
What was the pressure of leading a major like for you?
You know, in my opinion, it was just like leading any other golf tournament. You still gotta go out there and play golf. I didn’t really enjoy having to wait [in a rain delay] for a day and a half to get to play again, but that’s just the way it goes. Everybody had to do it.
You’ve won the FBR Open twice in the past three years. Is there something about the TPC Scottsdale that clicks with you?
I like the way the course sets up for me. I have great memories there, and the course really sets up good for me off the tee and for my approach shots. I just like it all the way around.
This year, Phil Mickelson really rallied to push a playoff with you on Sunday. Were you intimidated by him?
I felt good. I was ready. He’d been sitting and watching for 30 minutes, and I had just got done playing, so I felt comfortable. I felt the hole (No. 18) favored me a little bit because I was able to hit over the bunkers, and I was just ready to go. I was excited about being in my first playoff against a very good player.
You won your first FBR very early in your career. What was it like dealing with that success so quickly?
Winning that early was very exciting. But it was pretty tough, too, coming straight out of college and getting thrown into the pro spotlight like that. I wouldn’t change anything, but it was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. I probably wasn’t quite ready for it yet, but I think I’ve adjusted.