2014 Senior PGA Championship interview with: MARCO DAWSON

2014 Senior PGA Championship interview with: MARCO DAWSON

May 24, 2014

KELLY ELBIN: In with a 7 under par 64, the low round thus far in the championship, Marco Dawson is the leader in the 75th Senior PGA Championship Presented By KitchenAid. Marco, your 64 today ties the low third round score in the history of this championship. Went from 2 over at the start to 5 under currently. Congratulations on a great round.

MARCO DAWSON: Thank you.

KELLY ELBIN: Everything just kind of clicked, you had a tremendous stretch of birdies there, seven within a nine hole span.

MARCO DAWSON: I didn't realize that until somebody told me that.

KELLY ELBIN: Talk about what was different today than the first two days.

MARCO DAWSON: Probably the bounces that I got on the greens. The first two days I got a few of them that kind of went toward the hole, but for the most part they went away from the hole.

That's kind of frustrating when you hit good shots and they go away from the hole.

Today I hit some good shots and some that were okay and they ended up really good.

So they caught the mounds just right and so I had  and those ended up close. They weren't six, eight, 10 footers, they were two feet, most of them. So I made a lot of 2 footers today.

KELLY ELBIN: Terrific. If you would go through your nine birdies as well as two bogeys.

MARCO DAWSON: Yeah, let's see, 2, I kind of tried to hit a cut shot there and I just hit it straight and the wind took it off the green. I thought I hit a decent chip and just missed the putt.

Then the third hole, I just  yesterday I laid up and gave myself a chance at birdie there and today I saw where the pin was and I thought, well, anything out to the right of the green will be okay. I hit a good 3 wood and it bounced over the green side bunker between the two on the right. It was not an easy chip shot but it wasn't that difficult. I hit it probably four feet, made that one.

Next hole hit a good shot about 12 feet.

Fifth hole I hit one there, I got a good bounce off the mound, hit to the right of the pin from the rough, went up the mound, came back down, I don't know, eight feet.

7, I hit a good drive and I hit a 5 iron to the left of the pin and caught the mound and rolled it right down there two feet.

9, hit a wedge from a hundred yards. Hit it to the right of the pin, landed, went back and rolled back down the hill to about a foot.

10, same thing. Hit it short of the pin with a wedge, went to that slope, came all the way back to about a foot. Six inches maybe.

The next hole, I did hit a really good shot, just two and a half feet, three feet from the pin on the right with a 9 iron.

15, hit a wedge, I thought it was pretty good, but it hit the mound and came back. So I had about 15 feet, maybe. Made that putt.

Then 16, yeah, just that was one of the things that I've been fighting was a shot with the irons to the right. That swing showed up there and I buried it in the bunker right. Perfect drive, too.

17, hit a good shot.

Then 18 I was in the fairway bunker and hit a real good iron shot.

KELLY ELBIN: What did you hit there?

MARCO DAWSON: 8 iron. A chip 8 iron out of the bunker. It was a good lie. Into the wind. I hit it  I think it landed pin high and went 15 feet by the hole. Made a good putt.

KELLY ELBIN: 26 putts for the round and birdied all of the par 5s. Open it up for questions, please.

Q. How much are you going to pay me tomorrow to come talk to you in the locker room?

MARCO DAWSON: Yeah, how many holes did you follow today?

Q. Two.

MARCO DAWSON: I was 3 over when you followed me, so you shouldn't have followed me at all.

Q. You look on the leaderboard and, obviously, leading you see three Hall of Famers, Ryder Cup captains, other stalwarts of this game, really. Never been in this position before, how are you going to approach tomorrow, what are you expecting, and what are you looking forward to?

MARCO DAWSON: Well, the good thing is, for me, I used to be uncomfortable with my driver years ago and that's where I  right from the tee, if you're not comfortable off the tee, you're not getting a good start.

So one of the things I've been doing extremely well the last five or six years is driving the ball.

If I have a bad week or if I feel terrible with my short game or irons or anything, as soon as I put the driver in my hand, everything changes and it feels good.

So with that in mind, I know it's going to be pretty good off the tee. So I don't have to worry about that.

Like I said, with my irons though I've been kind of struggling with them and so most of the time, it's not too bad, I can manage it, but there's certain times where there's a pin or a wind that just doesn't feel comfortable and so I'm going to have to deal with that.

Those are the shots that I have to do better at when I'm not comfortable and how I need to approach it, so that's probably what I'll try and figure out later on today. What's the best way to go about, if I'm not comfortable with this shot at all, what am I going to do. Because it's easy when you're comfortable. It's just go through the motions kind of.

So when things are not comfortable, that's where I think those guys that are Hall of Famers, they know how to adjust, they know what to do, where I'm struggling in that department. So that's what I'm going to try and figure out.

Q. You described the many good bounces you got today. Compared to most regular courses, how much does this course require you to sort of take the good with the bad, the bad with the good, in terms of the luck of the bounce?

MARCO DAWSON: I think it's just comes down to patience. I played with a fellow, two guys the last two days and one of them is a really good player and you can see the frustration on him with all of it. He would hit good shots and he just did not get any results. And I could see it on his face.

And I thought, okay, well, this is where you really got to be patient. Take those bounces, take it, swallow it, whatever. And something good's going to happen every now and then, you might even hit a bad shot and end up good.

So that's kind of the attitude, that's the way I see it, is you just got to be patient on the greens. You know you're not going to get good bounces all the time and you know you're going to get some decent ones after a bad shot. So you're going to get some luck and you're going to get some bad luck.

KELLY ELBIN: You tied for ninth last week at Regions Tradition, does that give you a little bit of confidence coming in, first top 10 finish on Champions Tour.

MARCO DAWSON: Starting out the year I played at the ACE, yeah, played at the ACE and it was odd that, to play in a tournament without a cut. I thought, well  I was still under the mentality that I was playing under a cut. And I thought, I got to get out of that mentality, you're just out here to have fun and just play as good as you can play.

Then the next week got a little bit easier in Atlanta, I played decent there.

Last week, it was just a lot more fun, knowing that nothing was going to happen, I was going to play three days, no matter what. So it was just easier to play that way.

Plus, it was getting back to playing with the guys that I used to play with years ago that it was fun early on in my career to play with those guys and now to come back, it was kind of like stepping back into time when I first came out here. It's a lot of fun.

Q. Never won on TOUR, one web.com win, what would winning this event mean to you in your career?

MARCO DAWSON: I would pat myself on the back for probably doing the best job I could mentally. I think that's where I struggled in years past. I would get down when I didn't play well and I would let it bother me.

Whereas, thinking that I needed to play perfect golf to win a tournament, when knowing that you don't.

So as long as you just stay calm and just go about your business, knowing, okay, I might make a bogey or two or three  just like today, it's hard to imagine you can shoot 64 and make two bogeys, but that's what happened.

So, I'm just going to go out and I know I'm going to be okay with the driver and I'm just going to try and get comfortable with my iron game. I'm putting well and my short game's good, so I don't have any problem there. It's just, I'm just going to try and get comfortable with the shots into the greens.

KELLY ELBIN: Marco Dawson, the leader at the Senior PGA Championship. Thanks.

MARCO DAWSON: All right. Thanks.

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