The Port Arthur News
FORT WORTH —
Below are Chris Stroud’s remarks in the press room after Saturday’s third round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth.
Q. Chris, that was a lot of fun there on 18, you rolled that last one in in front of this crowd that loves a guy from Texas. You are playing out of Houston now?
STROUD: Yes, not too far from home. I live in Houston now. It's a great golf course for me. I got a lot of family and friends out here. It's awesome to play great in front of your family. I've been playing pretty well the last few months. I have just been trying to put things together. This golf course kind of takes driver out of my hands. So it's a lot more mid irons and, you know, it's all about hitting it close and making a putt, and I am doing that so far.
Q. 67 today, what kept it going for you out there today?
STROUD: You know, the thing I've been struggling with the last couple of months, I've been playing, very, very well, but I've been missing those one or two putts for par to save the round and keep it going. I tend to be making those this week. The short game is a little sharper this week. I just love this course. It's such a great course. I wish we had more like it.
Q. 10-under par, playing the final round, a chance at victory, give me your outlook for Sunday here at Colonial?
STROUD: You know, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm just going to put blinders on, not look at anything and just play the best I can. I mean this would be an incredible dream to win this tournament. This is one of the best tournaments, I think, on the TOUR and, you know, being this close to home would be incredible. I would really enjoy to be able to play in front of my family and friends that well.
Q. All told, it's a nice way to finish with a birdie on 18 particularly when the back 9 was really bedeviling to a lot of guys here. How do you feel about your play?
STROUD: 18 played pretty easy today. It's almost downwind. And the pin is in the front so it's a wedge today. We were all being really aggressive to that pin. You know, it's a great track. You can't fake your way around it. You got to hit a lot of great shots. If you miss it, if your short iron is off a little bit, or any iron you are hitting in, there is little bitty pockets, you have to hit them in, and if you don't, it's a tough up and down. So I'm hitting a lot of good golf shots. If I miss it, I tend to be on the green, 30, 40 feet. It just suits me. It's a good golf course. Making a couple of birdies coming down the stretch is nice.
Q. Everyone wants that first win, do you draw any motivation from so many guys that have gotten that first trophy?
STROUD: Yes, I mean I would love to win. I feel like when I first came out here I thought I was going to win right off the bat. It's very humbling to me. I'm just going to do the best I can and not worry about that. If I play my game and play really well tomorrow I will have a great shot. That's all I can worry about. And if it comes down to the stretch I need a birdie on 18, I'm going to do it the best I can.
Q. Overall, what is the one thing that you think would be the key for you, execution, strategy on the final day?
STROUD: Keeping the ball in the fairway for me. The last few years that's been my struggle. But I've really tried to get the ball under control off the tee box. If I hit it from the fairway I'm really pretty good. I feel like my iron game is pretty sharp. I got a good short game. But I can't get myself into birdie looks if I'm not in the fairway. So if I can keep the ball in the fairway tomorrow, I think I'll play really well.
Q. Do you think the conditions on the greens will hold up through tomorrow?
STROUD: I don't see the greens changing much. I don't think they are going to get much firmer. I wish they would. Because it would be more difficult to hold the greens for guys that miss the fairway. But it's playing much easier than normal. Still you got to go out there and hit a lot of good golf shots.
Q. What's the bill for tomorrow, and motivation?
CHRIS STROUD: For me, I'm going to keep doing the same thing. Not a lot of drivers on this golf course for me. I'm sure that's the case for a lot of guys. I only hit three or four drivers, just keep it in the fairway, keep it in play, give myself a wedge. Give myself a short iron to the pins. I'm sure the pins will be a little bit more difficult placement tomorrow. Today there was some easy pins out there. The wind switched a little bit. It was more south today which I thought made some holes way more difficult and made a lot more holes easier. So it was out there today.
Q. You got to feel like it's there for the taking?
STROUD: It's there, it's there. But I mean you got to treat it like any other round. You got to go out there and give yourself a lot of looks and see if you can make some putts.