An Interview with: JEFF QUINNEY

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Jeff Quinney, thanks for joining us after a first round 63.  Current leader in the clubhouse.  Long ways to go but obviously a good start for you making your four start ever here at the Wyndham Championship.

Maybe a few comments.

JEFF QUINNEY:  I’m just in a position right now where I’ve only played 11 events this year and haven’t had a great go of it when I’ve had the chance, the only chance I get in The Playoffs is probably winning this week and coming with the attitude of all in, you know, basically just push all your chips in and this is what I got.

It’s my last chance and don’t hold back, try to get out of my own way.  Putter got kind of hot and just made 8 birdies and went from there.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Paul Casey was in here a bit earlier and shot 5-under and mentioned the condition of the golf course, particularly the greens were just in great shape and he said it’s basically if you hit the right putt, it was going to go in.

Maybe some comments about the golf course.

JEFF QUINNEY:  The golf course is in great shape.  Obviously you need to take advantage of the morning round.  I think the greens are going to be a little bit smoother then.  I made some good par saves early and then was able to just make some birdies out of even some troubled areas.

The golf course — the bunkers are great, the rough is just the right length where if you do miss it it’s going to be penalizing.  You got to hit fairways.  Have plenty of short irons out there, two par-5s are reachable and birdie-able.  The greens are soft so you can be real aggressive.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Nice start.  We’ll take some questions, please.

Q.  Lee played well today.  How much does that help that one is also playing as well you do?

JEFF QUINNEY:  We kind of had opposite hot nines.  I had a hot first nine, he had a hot second nine.  We were both 6 going into the last hole.  He ended up 3-putting.  I ended up birding it.

Our group saw a lot of putts go in the hole.  Even Charles Warren, I think he shot 3, 4-under as well.  He was just cranking it off the tees.  You could see a positive shot down the middle every time.  Sometimes we need to see that.

When you see somebody in front of you hit a good shot it’s easy to follow that.  We had a good group and good time chatting out there and fed off one another, yeah.

Q.  After posting a score in the opening round like 7-under, what do you look to do tomorrow?  Do you play a little bit safer, do you still stick with the all-in-type attitude?

JEFF QUINNEY:  I think you look in past years.  I think 16 to 20-under wins out here.  You know, the greens are soft.

The afternoon might be a little bit tougher, the wind might pick up a little bit.  Like I said, I’m down to my last chips here.  You go for it.  Protecting is not going to get me anything else.  I’m going to go for it all.

You obviously have to pick your shots.  You can’t shoot at every flag.  If you have a comfortable club and yardage, I’m going to go for everything.

Q.  You played so few events this year.  Is it hard to get going when you are out there?

JEFF QUINNEY:  Once you do get in you put a little pressure on yourself, I’ve got to take advantage of this week.  Sometimes you’re Monday qualifying, you’re watching the alternate list of whether you’re going to get in.

I think it’s been frustrating.  This is my first year I’ve been non-exempt for five years and so I think you just expect it to be somewhere else and it’s a struggle mentally to fight that.

I still got the game.  I just need the opportunities and not to get in your own way and try to force things.  You know, sometimes you kind of play your way into playing better and I didn’t have that opportunity playing some smaller purses and some opposite field events where you don’t get as many points but maybe too much pressure on myself and I need to get out of my own way.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  If you had to put your finger on kind of one or two things that you kind of have lost — lost the last couple of years that you had maybe your first couple of years, what would that be?

JEFF QUINNEY:  I played great on the West Coast.  I’m a West Coast guy.  I would love playing in California and Arizona and I just didn’t take advantage of those courses.

My game is not suitable to every course out here.  I think I pick and choose the courses to suit my game such as Riviera or Colonial or The Players where I didn’t get in those this year and those are the courses that my putting is my strength and my wedges.

Those are the type of courses when I go to a John Deere where it’s a birdie fest and it’s soft, it’s not so much suited to my game.

Not being able to choose my schedule and choose the courses that fit my eye, it’s a little bit of a disadvantage because you’re forced to play where you can.

Q.  Having said that then, do you think there’s something overall of a disadvantage here or what do you find this course is like the West Coast courses?

JEFF QUINNEY:  Obviously I’ve learned to play the bermuda over the years.  I prefer the bent grass but you just adapt and that’s part of the professional process.  I grew up in Oregon, Northwest.  You couldn’t get anymore different conditions than our grasses are, humidity.  Even in Arizona where I live now, it’s more of desert grasses and stuff.

This course I don’t think is overly long.  It’s more of a placement off the tee, 3-woods, hybrids.  You can get aggressive where you want.  So it’s — length is not the key out here as much as some other courses.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Before we finish up.  Obviously you birdied the last hole.  Go through your last hole there, No. 9.

JEFF QUINNEY:  No. 9 — I was a little disappointed on 8.  I didn’t make birdie.  Had a 9-iron in my hand there and hit it to 20 feet.

I was disappointed on a few of those shots today where I didn’t stuff it, you know, I hit it 15, 20 feet.  I was lucky to make a few of those.

I wanted to hit it close on the last hole luckily put it within three feet.  I had a straight downhill putt.  If I didn’t make it, I have six feet coming back.

It’s always nice to finish on birdie on the last hole.  Actually start one at the flag and walk away feeling good about myself and something to build on for tomorrow.

Q.  Any other shots you recall that kind of got you going today?

JEFF QUINNEY:  Definitely.  On 14, dogleg left, long par 4, I kind of blocked it right and had a chance to go out of bounds.  I hit a provisional.  It was only probably 15, 18 inches in bounds against a tree root and ended up hitting an awesome hybrid to about four feet somehow and made birdie, made 3.  Walked away there maybe making 6 and made 3.  So kind of a complete flip.

Q.  Tomorrow you start in the afternoon.  Here do you think that that’s more of an exaggerated disadvantage because someone like yourself can go out and post such a high — score, a nice score that you have difficult time catching up with?

Is that a disadvantage starting in the afternoon?

JEFF QUINNEY:  I don’t know if it’s a disadvantage.  The ball is going to go a little bit further.  Maybe you can hit less clubs off the tees, the fairways are going to chase out, the holes are going to be playing shorter, but, at the same time, the greens are soft so it’s a little bit of traffic in the afternoon.

Sometimes you get a bad bounce or a spike here and there.  In the morning the surfaces are usually perfect.  After you have 156 guys through, your putting may not be as exact as you want it just by the bad breaks of the bounce here or there.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN:  Anything else?  Okay.  Jeff Quinney, thank you.




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