Sanderson Farms Championship

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Andy Ogletree

Quick Quotes

Q. Thoughts on your opening round 5-under?

ANDY OGLETREE: I shot -- it was great, obviously it's just great to be playing golf again. I had six months of -- I had a lot going on with surgery and everything and I'm just happy to be playing golf again. Regardless of score, I'm playing pain free and that's kind of most important to me right now. I think it's kind of freed me up. I don't really have any expectations, this is my first PGA TOUR event in six months, so obviously I'm pleased with the start but I'm more happy to be pain free and just playing golf again.

Q. First start back with your back. How are you feeling?

ANDY OGLETREE: Yeah, I'm feeling well. I had a long three, four months of rehab that I couldn't play golf. And my hip's feeling well again, I feel like I'm getting through the ball a lot better than I was before I had the surgery. It's showing on the golf course, I'm hitting a lot of good shots, so looking to keep it going for the next few days.

Q. Does it make it more meaningful that your first start back is kind of a home event?

ANDY OGLETREE: Yeah, this is kind of the one we had circled hoping that I would get a sponsor invite into this one and kind of all of my rehab and preparation was kind of hoping that I would get a start here. So it's kind of all worked out kind of the way we wanted to and really happy to be playing in Mississippi, a lot of familiar faces out here this week, a lot of friends and family out watching, so it's a good time and I'm glad everyone gets to see me play.

Q. Does it put more pressure having all these friends and family following you?

ANDY OGLETREE: No, I've always played better with a crowd, so it's nice. The first nine PGA TOUR events I played I had no crowds because it was throughout COVID and all the protocol and everything. But it's nice to have some people out there clapping every now and then.

Q. Five fellow Mississippians in the field and a lot of familiar faces between the U.S. Amateur, nice to see some buddies out here?

ANDY OGLETREE: Yeah, it's crazy, even the Walker Cup team I played on there's a lot of familiar guys and it seems like everyone's kind of making their way out here, so it's a lot of fun. Obviously the more people you can know the more comfortable you can get out here and I'm definitely, I played enough out here that I feel really comfortable now.

Q. The winning score has been about 20-under. Does that add any pressure?

ANDY OGLETREE: No, I think you kind of know coming into the week what the winning score was. I know it was 18-under last year. But greens are so good out here if you just hit it well you can make a lot of putts. And obviously they're fast and the rough is up, but if you hit fairway, the greens are so good you're going to make some putts. So I don't think there's any added pressure knowing that the winning score is going to be around 15 to 20, probably.

Q. How have you seen your game grow since you've been a professional?

ANDY OGLETREE: Yeah, I think it's more so not so much my game, my game's pretty similar to how it was when I turned pro, but I've gotten a lot better at preparation, I've gotten a lot better at managing the week. I'm not going out and playing 18 holes on Wednesday afternoon anymore. I learned a lot about how to manage the week and kind of what goes into it and what you need to do to play well on Sunday afternoon. So I think I just have a lot better understanding of kind of what I need to do to play well. So I think I guess you could say that translates to my game is better, but it's more so just the prep.

Q. Earlier you were asked about all the Mississippians out here. You're actually paired up with one of them today. Just how has that been so far today?

ANDY OGLETREE: We had a really comfortable group. It's been great. Also Kurt was, he grew up really close friends to one of my Georgia Tech teammates, they grew up in the same city in Chico, California. So really comfortable pairing today, obviously playing with Chad, he went to Mississippi State and I've kind of had a lot of connections with him and I had some connections with Kurt as well. So we had a good time and everyone played well, so I think that kind of momentum feeds off of each other and makes it at will easier to play well.

Q. How important is it to be right now in your career to do well here?

ANDY OGLETREE: I mean, I hope to be playing this game for a long time, so I would say I'm just going to give it my best, the result is not the end-all be-all for me, it's playing four rounds pain free and just getting better, because I have Korn Ferry Q-School coming up in a couple weeks and everything that I'm kind of doing right now is preparing me for that.

So but, yeah, I mean -- I lost my train of thought because of this guy, but, yeah, it's all good.

Q. The wave of young golfers from Mississippi. You played with one today. There's others in the field. Seems like maybe this wave of young players who has come through this state is making an impact?

ANDY OGLETREE: Yeah, it really is. Just a few names that come to mind is when I was going through the recruiting process at Mississippi there was me, Wilson Furr, Braden Thornberry Davis Riley, Hayden Buckley, everyone's kind of making their way out on the PGA TOUR now, so it's really cool to see all the young guys from Mississippi, it shows a lot, give a lot of credit to the Mississippi Junior Golf Association, I think we all played that when we were super young and I think people don't realize how good the talent level is in Mississippi and it's good to see everyone doing well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
112938-1-1044 2021-09-30 18:28:00 GMT

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