Sanderson Farms Championship

Friday, October 6, 2023

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

Ben Griffin

Quick Quotes

Q. Your career-low round on the PGA TOUR. Excellent play. If we can get some comments.

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, it was solid. It's a golf course I really like. I feel really comfortable out on it. Bermudagrass is one of my favorites to putt on and even chip on. It gets kind of grainy and I feel like I'm able to take advantage of the sharpness of my short game, and it can expose some guys this week. I haven't had to use my short game really a ton. Hit a lot of greens the first two rounds, gave myself a lot of putts, and today everything was pretty much solid.

I maybe had like one kind of hiccup and was able to get up-and-down. Other than that, I kept the ball in front of me. Missed it in the right spots. That's crucial in this game, manage misses and play angle golf a lot of times to some of these pins. It was just really solid. Made a good amount of putts, and just trying to keep doing the same stuff. I know it's repetitive.

Q. Take us through the eagle on 14.

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, hit a great drive. Wind was off the left, which is an uncomfortable wind for me typically but really kind of trusted a visual and hit a great tee shot to put it in the fairway and have a chance to go for it in two. I actually took my backswing back and someone had just chipped in on a hole beside me, so I stepped back off of it and kind of hit a little bit of a thin 3-wood I would say, but it still chased up there and went all the way to the back of the green from 65, 70 feet. I'm just trying to lag it, and it was just a bonus to see it drop.

But that's what has to happen out here when you have those low 60s kind of days. You've got to probably chip-in or make a long one somewhere, and that was definitely a bonus and a nice bonus.

Q. How excited are you for the next two days?

BEN GRIFFIN: Very. You know, this is everyone's dream. When I'm a kid, I want to be in the lead through 36 holes in PGA TOUR events, especially 72 holes. But yeah, it's just a good feeling. It's rewarding to be in the position I'm in, and it really just comes down to self-belief to be able to get it done this weekend and just keep doing the same stuff. My physical game is there, I've just got to keep staying strong.

Q. Did mom see?

BEN GRIFFIN: I don't know. I think I waved and said "hey mom" on 14. I don't know if the cameras picked that up. Yeah, my parents were -- I don't know if they got back, but they were on their 30th anniversary trip to Turks & Caicos, so I don't know if they have TV out there or not, but I'm sure they're enjoying watching me on TV, and hopefully she sees it.

Q. Would you call it like unconscious or blackout mode some people call it when you go super low, or were you just having --

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, blacking out is a good thing when it's on the golf course and you're not doing anything you're not supposed to be doing off the course at night. Yeah, we talk about that a lot out here, kind of blacking out and kind of getting in just the right head space where you're just kind of attacking.

I even kind of felt like a little bit of nerves coming down the last two and was still able to execute. Playing on a lead is hard and it's something I've done, but it's hard to really execute.

I was very proud of the way I handled myself and was awesome to see those shots. Probably a little bit of blackout, but I really felt like I just stayed calm. I didn't really think about anything too much, just trying to hit good shots and let the putts fall if they do.

Q. Meanwhile in Evansville, Indiana, something you're very familiar with, Korn Ferry TOUR Finals, a lot of pressure, a lot of stakes on the line. What would be your message to players out there that are competing for their dreams?

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, that's an awesome venue to have the final event because that's another course that will expose you if you're off a little bit. It's a really tough test. I played it last year. I didn't play necessarily great but I had already secured my card from the regular season.

But yeah, you've just got to be gritty. The guys are on the bubble. You've just got to believe in yourself, and it may come down to a shot or two, so you can't let up your focus at all, especially in the last event. I know it kind of all comes down to it, but it's important for those guys on the outside looking in to really trust their game plan and try not to do anything extraordinary down the stretch.

But it'll be fun to watch those guys. I was trying to watch some last night. They kept showing the Sanderson Farms, but I'd say there is 10 times more pressure than this week right now for those guys. Pulling for a few friends, and pulling for everyone to play well, and it'll be cool to see the next generation of guys, rookies on TOUR next year.

Q. You mentioned earlier what this tournament means to you. What is it about this tournament and what's your comfort level here?

BEN GRIFFIN: Well, I'm primarily vegan. I'm plant based, so it's the Sanderson Farms tournament, so it's kind of a funny one. I just want the headline to say, Vegan wins chicken championship. I mean, it's bad. This is bad. But I've got to be honest with you guys, that's kind of a motivator for me. I think it would be kind of funny of a headline if I get it done.

We'll see what happens.

But yeah, it's more than just that. The golf course, I like it a lot. I played it last year, love putting on Bermudagrass, chipping on Bermudagrass. It's tough and can expose players.

It's just a comfortable course for me. I have good targets out there on a lot of tee shots that might be a little tricky, and I just feel comfortable. That's the most important thing on courses if you like them or not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
137571-1-1002 2023-10-06 23:43:00 GMT

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