Sanderson Farms Championship

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Ford Clegg

Quick Quotes

Q. Making your PGA TOUR debut this week after getting in on a sponsor exemption. First round on TOUR, how was that experience for you?

FORD CLEGG: I had a great time. It was very fun. I was a little shaky. Wish my driver was a little straighter. But even par, I'm not complaining one bit. I have a chance to make the cut tomorrow and do something special.

Q. What did you feel like you did well with your game today?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, I just kept it in play, kept double bogeys off the card. Never really was stressed in anything. Just kind of recovering where I needed to. My approaches were pretty solid when I was in a good spot.

Q. Was there a particular highlight out there that kind of kept your round going or something that you did that you look back on and said was pretty good?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, 17, my eighth hole, I hit an okay wedge in there about 25, 30 feet short of the pin and then dripped it in, so that got me back to even and got me some momentum making the turn.

Q. Now that the first round is out of the way, looking back at the start of the week and going through the practice, seeing some of the guys on the range, what sort of stood out to you?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, I think you just watch how these guys prepare, and they do a very good job of it, and making notes, watching some of need to make sure I continue to prepare at an elite level. I wouldn't change a whole lot about what I did, but just the thought that goes behind everything that they do, and then as far as course management, I need to play the par-5s a little sharper, have some better looks on those and not be struggling to make 5s.

Q. Being here in Mississippi, what's it like to have -- I kind of saw your support group out there. What's it like to have them out there with you?

FORD CLEGG: It's fun. I've got most of my family here. There's a lot of Mississippi State fans out here. I heard "Hail State" a lot, which is always fun to hear. It's nice to be not too far away from school and to represent this state well after they took a chance on me as far as letting me come to Mississippi State and represent them. It's very fun.

Q. Coach Dusty was speaking highly of you earlier and what you meant to him being one of his first recruits and now seeing you at this level. What does it mean to you to be part of the culture building for him as part of that program at State?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, it was super fun. We took a team that was around 75th in the country my first year and after five years we made it to the National Championship. I think we finished 18th last year. To go from not competitive at all to one of the competitive with everybody else, it was fun to build that program.

It's fun getting to go back and see the guys and make sure that culture stays where we built it.

Q. You were kind of up and down throughout the first nine holes and settled in there until the bogey at 8. What did you think you did better on your back half?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, my tee balls were a lot better. I think the first fairway I hit was on 17. Made the turn, hit a couple early on that side, and just -- I felt more comfortable. I knew I was going to have jitters. I talked to some people about it. Just kind of accepting them and using them in a way.

But once I made the turn, I was comfortable and felt like I was just playing golf again.

Q. I know golf is like a game of continuously learning and growing, but you were leading your Bulldogs when you were back in college. What is maybe something that you've taken from that game that's helped you this year?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, some of the stuff we talk about as a team, doing the simple things well. We have a strike system where we couldn't make bogeys on par-5s, bogeys inside 150, three-putts, those little things that you have to do at a really high level out here. That was kind of what I relied on to keep me in a good spot, to clean up that back nine for sure.

Q. What was that feeling of putting in that scorecard there after you finished 18 of having that first round on the PGA TOUR out of the way?

FORD CLEGG: Yeah, it was good. It's nice to be out here ready to go practice and rest so I can give it a good run tomorrow.

I want to compete at a high level, so it's also fun just to get to be here and experience it.

It's kind of taking both sides of it next day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
137494-1-1002 2023-10-05 21:23:00 GMT

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