Sony Open in Hawaii

Friday, January 12, 2024

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Waialae Country Club

Ben Griffin

Quick Quotes

Q. Ben, 8-under, great position. Awesome round today. How would you assess what was clicking for you and just what were the key moments of the round?

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, hit a lot of fairways and made a lot of putts. Only had one kind of hiccup. Hit it in a hazard, really it was almost the ocean, on 11.

Got up and down and made a bogey there.

But otherwise, I mean, I had it rolling. Missed a couple putts that you wish you made, but I made a lot more other ones that I probably shouldn't have.

Kept it in play. That was a premium yesterday. I only hit four fairways I think. Today I'm guessing it was ten at least.

Credit a lot of my birdies to that. Being in the short grass, wedges around here, short golf course. Got to take advantage of your opportunities.

Par-5s, played them really. I really wasn't doing a whole lot through the first 8 holes. Kicked it into gear as I was making the turn.

Felt like the back nine had maybe a few more birdies to offer. The front had some pretty tough tee shots in spots and not as many short irons.

Just felt like I did a good job. Managed my game. Felt like coming off the off-season one of the toughest things is course management because I go home and all I do is attack pins, and when you get on TOUR you got to be a little bit more cautious to some of the tucked pins.

Maybe didn't do quite as good a job yesterday, but today did a little bit better. Hopefully continue to trend that direction the rest of the weekend.

Q. Off-season what did you do? What were the last six weeks --

BEN GRIFFIN: What didn't I do? I flew nine times in December, which was dumb. I feel like I need an off-season for my off-season right now, put the clubs up for a couple weeks.

On tour we grind nonstop, so when we get the opportunity to take a break, for me it's super important to get away from it, come back fresh, and want it more.

For me, the first couple weeks, Thanksgiving through beginning of December didn't do much. Maybe a vacation or two. Then the rest of December, catching up with family over the holidays, hanging out with sponsors, doing a lot more than I probably should have.

Nonetheless, I got away from golf, which I think is really important. In the off-season guys talk about trying to work on their games and get in different positions. For me, I know my game is there. I contended a couple times last fall and last year.

For me, taking a step away was good. Feel fresh. I feel like my game isn't as sharp as I want it, but when it comes game time I feel like I'm a game-time player. I let it rip and see what happens. Good so far.

Q. What's one of the trips you took or off -- beat kind of things.

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, so I did the Wednesday pro-am for the Hero even though I wasn't in the field. Got invited to play in that. Went to Turks and Caicos, which was nice. All year we rack up points traveling and hotel, so basically had a free trip to Turks and Caicos, which was fun. Used all points for the flights and hotel and everything.

Then came back and relaxed at home for a couple days, and then I was really on the go with family, sponsors, and couple pro-ams I played in, too. It was very busy off-season. Probably should've stayed put a little bit more, but I feel like my life is a plane seat and a hotel room. Might as well keep doing it.

Q. Let's talk about the difference in conditions, 5 for example.

BEN GRIFFIN: 5, it's a par-4, and unfortunately I had a third shot from about 100 yards there yesterday. That's not good. Today I had a second shot from 160, so a little bit better.

Yeah, no, it makes a huge difference. A hole like No. 1, for instance, yesterday we were making the turn and none of us got to the green in two. We were all in the rough off the tee, but we all had 240 plus; today I had a 6-iron in.

I think you saw the same things yesterday in the morning. Scores were a little bit better. Less wind, so the course was a little more manageable. This afternoon is probably going to be a little tougher than this morning, but wind direction changed to where it wasn't as bad. I felt like some of the hard holes were into the wind yesterday, which made them even tougher.

Wind plays a huge factor in island golf. It was nice to be the first group out this morning, fresh greens, and make a lot of birdies. That was fun.

Q. Eagled the 9th hole for the second day in a row. Talk about that hole.

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, we need more of those holes out here. I wish there was 18 No. 9s, because I would be like 49-under. That would be cool.

Yeah, straightaway par-5 and I've hit good tee shots on it the last two days. With the wind where it is, it is playing almost shorter than the first hole which is a par-4.

So I've had short irons into that par-5. It is one of those holes if you hit the fairway you know you're going to have a good chance at an eagle. If not, hopefully a tap-in birdie.

Had a couple 15-footers. Rolled them pretty much right in the middle. Hopefully can eagle the next two days, too.

Q. Three birdies in a row had to feel good on the back none.

BEN GRIFFIN: Felt really good, yeah. Enjoyed that feeling. No, three birdies in a row was nice. Came off a bogey and I basically felt like the entire day I felt really good about my game. Knew I was going to bounce back and make a birdie. Drained a couple 25-footers and stuck it close on 14.

Then really I had good looks on 15 and 16 too, but can't birdie them all. I made a bunch of birdies and that was really nice.

Q. Overheard you talking about what you're going to do after the round today.

BEN GRIFFIN: Yeah, so went on Turo last night, which is a car airbnb. I was in bed at 9:30, way past my bedtime because I woke up at 4:00 this morning. I was like, I am going to rent a car, so me and Dana, are going to drive around the island after this, which will be fun, and go see what Hawai'i has to offer.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
140349-1-1041 2024-01-13 00:15:00 GMT

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