Sony Open in Hawaii

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Waialae Country Club

Peter Malnati

Quick Quotes

Q. 62 today. I have to imagine the way the fall ended last year, you were itching to get back on the golf course the way you were playing, and validated it today. What a great round.

PETER MALNATI: Thanks so much. I appreciate it.

I soaked up the time at home, though, that was really nice. I was playing great obviously last fall and kind of just tried to keep the momentum going over the little break and do just enough work to stay sharp and to come out and play well here today. It felt really great.

Q. How did you find the golf course leading into today and what did you do to take advantage of it?

PETER MALNATI: It has firmed up tremendously even as the week's gone on. It was somewhat firm to start the week but today, actually I hit a drive today on the 5th hole. It's straight downwind, so it's not like I hit it that far, but 360 to go through the fairway into the creek and I was like, "Yeah, it's a driver."

My caddie was like, "You want to think about it?"

I was like, "No, it's driver." I hit it in the creek. It's crazy. The course, it's so much fun when it's firm because that's how this course was meant to play.

You know, I just really, really enjoy it. You have to control the ball a little bit more off the tee, which hitting fairways hasn't necessarily been my strong suit lately, but control off the tee has always been, so I think it really does suit me well like you said.

Q. To get this score on the board on the day that's forecast to be the windiest of the days. You got out early before the tradewinds kick up, and it's supposed to calm the next few days. How important was it to put that number on the board for you?

PETER MALNATI: Yeah, I mean, it's always great to play well. I obviously look at the weather start of each day. Didn't really know what you just told me, but yeah, to play well, it's always good. And the more you can play well at the start, the easier it is to kind of roll that into more. So to get a good number on the board early, it feels great.

Q. Talking to a few guys about this week, as the game goes to distance, are there places you can't win?

PETER MALNATI: Where I can't win? I hit it far now. I'm longer than average I think.

Q. Are you longer than Cam Champ?

PETER MALNATI: No. But he's pretty long. There's not places I can't win. There's probably conditions in which I can't win. But like golf courses, I've never been to Augusta. Augusta probably ain't going to suit me great but I putt it really well and I hear you have to do that there.

Q. You do. You have to do it everywhere. What conditions are you talking about, do you think?

PETER MALNATI: When it's super wet and we're doing everything through the air -- one of my favorite things to criticize, a weird way to say something, I absolutely hate it when I'm watching golf on TV, which is rare, and I hear the commentators say, oh, this course is all about angles.

Golf, on TV -- that's rarely ever true. Have you ever watched golf on TV? Like, look at the way Jason Day hits it. Angles don't mean anything when you fly it to the hole. Like just fly it to the hole and land it next to the hole. Angles aren't important. So when people say, oh, this golf course is all about angles, that's not true. Like that doesn't matter.

And so there's places that are the big, wide open course when is they get really soft like it's going to be tough to hit three clubs longer into a green and compete. But when the ball is bouncing and going crazy places, like here, I hit several drives ShotLink will say they went 320 plus. Like when the ball is bouncing like that, I can play anywhere.

Q. Kind of the overall point I wanted to make is have you ever had an attitude of turning up at a tournament and thinking, I can't win here and let's do the best we can?

PETER MALNATI: Yeah, doing best I can is kind of always my attitude, really. But I'm trying to think. I've been really bad at golf for a lot of my PGA TOUR career. I've been on TOUR seven years and there's been several times when I've had no chance to win because I just haven't been good enough.

I don't feel that way anymore. I feel like right now -- I am even trying to think, what would be a course that just on paper wouldn't suit me and I can't even think of one anymore.

I used to think of the old Houston course. That didn't suit me and I led through two rounds there last year. Like just play well. Like just play well, and I can play anywhere, and right now obviously I'm feeling pretty good.

Q. What's your driving distance rank, roughly?

PETER MALNATI: I don't know the answer to that but I do know that like I play with these guys and I would say about half the guys I play with hit it a little past me and half the guys the I play with hit shorter than me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
103949-2-1003 2021-01-15 03:10:00 GMT

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