Chubb Classic presented by SERVPRO

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburón Golf Club

Steven Alker

Quick Quotes

Q. Great round today; when you open a round with five 3s, I guess it could be a pretty good day.

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, five of the first six I think it was, so yeah, nice start. Just tried to keep things rolling. Actually I think I three-putted 7, and then I got going again and birdied 8, so kept my round rolling, which was nice.

Q. What seemed to be working nicely with the game today?

STEVEN ALKER: Pretty much everything. I just tidied up my ball-striking. Hit a few balls after the round yesterday and wasn't quite starting the ball on line yesterday, so I got it on target, hitting the shaped shots I wanted. Obviously putted nicely, inside sort of 12, 15 feet, I was very pleased with that part of the game.

Q. Even with the off-season layoff, your ball-striking and your game was so good last year. Do you just pretty much feel you picked up where you left off?

STEVEN ALKER: No, not quite. Not quite. I didn't do as much work as I could have over the off-season, but I had some good downtime. I just wanted to come in fresh for the season.

Hawai'i was a bit like that. Like the last kind of 27 holes were really good, 36 holes were good. I started getting into it. Yeah, it's just building. I'm down in New Zealand next week, so looking forward to just trying to play nicely down there, as well.

Q. Was it good to get that Friday round over and done with?

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, yeah, it was. It was, what's the word, properly a little bit emotional actually, just a whole mix of emotions. Torrance being on the bag has been great, doing good numbers and working good. Yeah, you just miss the small things that Sam said and did. But yeah, it was just nice to get through that Friday.

I think the hardest thing was just getting my thoughts clear and trying to hit the shots, and it wasn't quite there.

Q. Now mentally back into the game?

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, you know, I just tried to kind of free it up and hit some shots today, focus on where I'm going, what I want to do, and that went nicely because it was good. I think I hit one of Sam's shots on 18 there. My second shot was hard. It was one of his shots. That reminded me of him today.

Q. What was the shot? What did you face?

STEVEN ALKER: Well, I only had like 215 to the hole on 18. I hit a horrible hook down there. I was trying to hook it in a little bit but I just hooked it left of the bunkers, which is terrible, so we won't talk about that, and then I had my work cut out trying to get over the bunker, so just happy to make 5.

Q. You talked about the emotional part of yesterday. What got you through that? Were there just times when you looked over expecting to hear something, just those odd moments?

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, just odd moments. I think just things you talk about down the fairway. Just through the years you talk and all that sort of stuff.

It's going to be hard to replace. I don't know how long it's going to take to get a full timer, but in the meantime I've got some fill-ins and my wife is going to caddie here and there, so yeah, looking forward to that, too.

Q. Will your wife caddie for you in New Zealand?

STEVEN ALKER: She is, she's going to caddie for me down there. I think it's best she is in the ropes with so many people down there. It would drive her nuts if she walked around the golf course. Yeah, and she hasn't done it for quite a few years. I'm not sure how far back we're going. If I recall, just a small tournament -- I think the U.S. Open she caddied.

Q. At a U.S. Open?

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, I think it was. It might have been like -- not Merion. South Carolina -- sorry, name just left me. Pinehurst. Yep, she was there. I think that might have been the last one.

Q. What's it like just to put yourself in position to win tomorrow? It's a great leaderboard.

STEVEN ALKER: Yeah, well, the guys have got a bunch of holes to play. There's a bunch of par-5s coming in, so I might be 3, 4, who knows, maybe 5 behind. Yeah, just nice to get a good one in and go hard tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
129152-1-1002 2023-02-18 21:26:00 GMT

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