Brendon Todd: Round Two Interview Room
BETH MAJOR: Welcome to the 2014 U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. We'd like to welcome Brendon Todd, who finished his first round 1-under 69, with a 3-under 67 today, and currently stands 4-under for the championship. Can you talk a little bit about the play in Pinehurst and how you found the course so far in the first two rounds?
BRENDON TODD: Definitely a little easier than the practice rounds. They watered a little bit there before my Thursday morning round, which I think allowed us to hold the greens. I played pretty solid the first round, only made two bogeys. Today hit it even better. Really struck it well there for the first ten holes, making a couple of nice birdies with up-and-downs on 3 and 5. And then made some nice bunker saves for par on 11 and 16 and 17. And got one more birdie there on the back nine on 13. So very happy with my play so far.
BETH MAJOR: You talked about the rounds, the number of rounds you've played here over the years. How much of a comfort and how much confidence does that give you as you actually begin the U.S. Open play?
BRENDON TODD: I think there's familiarity with the area. I've played pretty much all my competitive golf in the southeast of the U.S., so I'm really comfortable on Bermudagrass. I really like Bermuda fairways, and the greens are rolling really well. I feel really good on this course, the surface.
Q. Congratulations on shooting yourself into the position that you're in right now. Is this just another day at the office for you or are you cognizant of where you are and how special this place is and how many people you have really pulling for you to stay where you're at and maybe even improve on it?
BRENDON TODD: Yes, I've definitely made an effort the last two days to pay attention to the fact that I'm playing in my first Major in a place that I hold close to my heart here in Pinehurst. But at the same time, I feel like I've gone about my business just like always. My caddie and I are very disciplined out there. We've really done a good job so far.
Q. Two rounds to play, do you change anything? You're six strokes back, and of course you know it's the U.S. Open?
BRENDON TODD: I don't think I'll change anything. I hope I get a little bit better every day. If I can go out there and hit a couple more quality shots tomorrow, make one extra putt, shoot maybe 3 or 4-under again, if the conditions are similar. What Martin does really doesn't affect what I do until maybe the back nine on Sunday.
Q. You mentioned the sand save on 16. The putt, I'm guessing that's the kind of tester you take on the back yard or in your first practice round. You're standing over a ball like that at the U.S. Open, did you feel where you were there, is that one of those moments where, okay, this is real?
BRENDON TODD: Yeah, that one was pretty big for me. It's kind of like the putt you have at the end of every putting drill you've done. It's the one you've got to make to hang in there and win the drill. I think I used that experience and put it right in the middle.
Q. Your caddie was kind of pumped, but you didn't really show that much emotion, is that just how you cope with all that stuff?
BRENDON TODD: Was that on 16, he was pumped?
Q. On the second save on 17.
BRENDON TODD: I think the fact that I got two difficult bunker shots up and down in a row is huge momentum to kind of stave off the bogeys for the day. And my caddie is a very excitable guy. I'm not. I mean, fist pumping is not in my nature really, unless I'm under some kind of immense pressure and it comes out without my controlling it.
Q. What's been the key to your good play of late? You're on a nice little run, what parts of your game have stepped up?
BRENDON TODD: I think the key has been eliminating the one bad shot that might cause a double bogey or might prevent you from maintaining momentum. And my short game has been just a little bit cleaner here the last month, again, helping me maintain momentum for every round and eliminate some of those wasted bogeys.
Q. I was curious what you think of Kaymer's performance, where he is. Does he need to come back or on this course can anybody get him?
BRENDON TODD: Kaymer's performance has been incredible. He's playing a brand of golf that we haven't seen probably in a long time, since maybe Tiger. Yeah, probably, he might need to come back a little bit. I don't think there's too many -- too much opportunity to shoot 6-under on the weekend or 8-under on the weekend if he were to get a couple more. We're going to go out and do our best. We really have to capitalize on the holes you have a wedge or par 5, where we might get up by the green in two. And hope he doesn't play his best brand of golf.
Q. Tomorrow you'll be playing late in the afternoon and you'll be playing with Martin in the last group. Do you have any idea of what that's going to be like? And also the question I forgot, have you had a chance to see Kaymer at all play before you went out today?
BRENDON TODD: I did watch about an hour or so of the coverage this morning. One of the things I noticed about him was how upset he was on 17 when he landed his 6-iron like ten feet left of the flag. So obviously he's very confident right now. I think being in the last group tomorrow is going to feel similar to how it felt at Dallas being in the last group on Saturday, given that was the first time I had a lead in a PGA TOUR event, after Friday I was in the last group. This is a Major, a little bigger stage. But now that I have played so well over the last month, I'm a little more comfortable now than I was before. And I think it's going to feel pretty similar and if I can just go out there and remain calm, I think I'm going to play really well.
Q. I was just wondering, coming into this season you had one career top 10. Could you have foreseen such a hot stretch like this. I think you had five this year and three in a row, and then obviously the play over the first two days?
BRENDON TODD: Yeah, I saw it coming. I only got ten starts on the PGA TOUR last year. And I had five top-20s, and a shot away from four top-10s. I feel like I should have done it last year. I just couldn't get it done. And this year I've just been able to take that momentum and put it to work.
BETH MAJOR: Very well done so far here at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Keep it going this weekend. We look forward to chatting with you again.
BRENDON TODD: Thank you.
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