Charles Schwab Challenge

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Colonial CC

Emiliano Grillo

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge champion Emiliano Grillo to the interview room. He wins for the second time on the PGA TOUR.

Emiliano, it's been almost eight years. Welcome back into that chair, if we could get some comments on being back in the winners circle.

EMILIANO GRILLO: It feels great. The wait was definitely worth it. It was long, but it was worth it. Happy to be champion in Colonial. I get to put my name right next to Roberto De Vicenzo, which is 40, 50 years ago. I'm excited.

I said it a few times that I wasn't going to retire without winning here, and I'm lucky that I got it done in the last year before the renovations. I'm excited. I'm happy. That's the way I can put it.

THE MODERATOR: Just talk a little bit about how your goals change now for the rest of the season going forward.

EMILIANO GRILLO: They don't change. I'm going to try to go next week and hit the first fairway and the first green and make that putt. That's my plan for next week.

After that, I'll probably take a little break before I guess I'm getting to U.S. Open now. Goals don't change. I'll try to get the third win now.

THE MODERATOR: Before questions, just take us through that last playoff hole on No. 16, the tee shot and then the putt.

EMILIANO GRILLO: Obviously we're playing from the same distance, same hole location. I was able to hit a perfect shot in there. I was 18, 20 feet past the hole. This one went a little bit right of where I wanted, grabbed the entire slope, and finished left of the hole. It's pretty impressive considering how far right it bounced.

Obviously Adam, the shot that he got to pull from behind the green was incredible. I thought I was almost looking to -- obviously I was thinking that I needed to make that putt because I was getting ready for -- it's a match play situation. You're expecting your opponent to pull the shots, and he did. He hit it inside four feet, four or five feet.

I just hit a great putt, and it went dead center. So the emotions were very high.

Q. On the 18th hole, your ball had quite the journey in the water. That was pretty bizarre. Can you kind of walk us through what you saw and just your whole reaction to the sequence.

EMILIANO GRILLO: I've done it before. I've hit the exact same shot to the right of the tree. I knew it, when I saw one of the marshals walk right of the tree, I knew it was going to be a long wait until that ball stopped. It stopped for like five, ten seconds at one moment. I actually thought I got lucky. So I had a big window. Then five seconds later, the ball kept moving.

I tried my hardest to make a 5. I wasn't able. I knew that, if I finish ahead of Scottie Scheffler, I was going to have a chance still. So I was -- after my, whatever, third shot, that was my only goal was to have a chance for that 5.

Q. It was actually 66 years since Roberto won, just to give you that time frame. As the second Argentinean champion here, what do the name and the man Roberto De Vicenzo mean in Argentina, and what did he mean to the game of golf in your country?

EMILIANO GRILLO: Obviously, think about it. You said 1960 something? 1957. He was a legend. He won this tournament 36 years before I was born. Obviously to me, I looked up to him. He's got an Open Championship and a tournament here in Colonial. So I wanted to put my name right next to his badly, and thankfully I got it done.

I guess I should kind of do the same for The Open. Hopefully I can go back to The Open this year, next year, and have a chance. Just having my name right next to his is very special.

Q. Like you said, when the ball stopped there in that water for a couple seconds, at that point, were you going to try to hit from that? What were you going to try to do?

EMILIANO GRILLO: I was hoping for the ball to stop so I could get it in the fairway and have a chance. I knew that wherever it was dropping was going to be on the cart path or the side of the hill, and the situation wasn't going to be ideal.

After hitting my shot in the water, I'm like, okay, what's the easiest way to make a 5 from here? The easiest would have been the ball to stop at some point, get in the fairway, hit the green, and two-putt. That would have been an ideal situation, just give myself a putt from the green for 4.

Obviously that ball, when it stopped, it stopped like right in front of a branch and a rock, and it was almost an unplayable shot. So I just had to get my stuff together and try to make a 5 from there.

Q. Once that hole was done and you were waiting, because obviously Adam had gotten -- had matched you a couple holes back, what was your thought process as you waited for the playoff? How did you kind of get your mind settled back in to get ready for that?

EMILIANO GRILLO: It wasn't up to me. We had a baby 14 months ago, and my perspective changed. It wasn't going to change me. It wasn't going to change my excitement to call my family and see my little boy. It wasn't up to me. It was up to Adam.

He hit a great putt. I think, if he would have hit it a little bit firmer, it would have gone in. The story would have been a little bit different. He would have been sitting here probably an hour earlier, but that's golf. He hit great shots there on 18, then on the first playoff hole, and then I guess a bit of a wrong club. Then on 16 a great shot from the back, and it forced me to make the putt.

One bad swing all day. I didn't have my driver today. It's usually the strongest part of my game, and I didn't have it today. I hit perfect 3-woods all week. I look at James and said, hey, we should hit a 3-wood on 18. It's downwind. I'm still going to hit a wedge on the second shot, and we kind of did that. Perfect putt, but it didn't go in. The rest is history, I guess.

Q. How did you get the idea to bring the kids over on the 1st tee when you were practicing for the playoff?

EMILIANO GRILLO: I guess it was a little bit of a trick to get my head out of the situation. There's two kids right next to the 1st tee, and I'm like, hey, you guys want to hit balls? I wish -- they're 7, 8 years old or however old they are. José Cóceres did it with me when I was 7, 8 years old, and that was the greatest experience of all, just watching him and hitting his clubs. I kind of got to do it with them, and hopefully they'll remember that.

It's also something that it helped to get my mind off the situation. I just made a double. I basically gave the tournament away, and it wasn't up to me. It wasn't in my hands. It was a moment that I needed to get my head out of that.

Q. You played in the Presidents Cup as a captain's pick in 2017. Next year it's in Canada. How meaningful would it be for you to perhaps qualify on points next year?

EMILIANO GRILLO: I think we're, what, over a year away from it. So it's a long way. Obviously it's one of my favorite tournaments. I was able to do it there in Liberty National. Obviously we didn't play great, but the mentality of the team changed quite a bit and very close the last two years, the last two editions, I would say.

Yeah, I love Mike. Mike is a great person. We share a lot of people in common. I'm excited. I'm excited where everything is at. I'm excited that I get to go to some places that I've been wanting to go for the last seven years. I guess Tournament of Champions, looking forward to that. Going back to the Masters. There's a lot of things before Presidents Cup that I'm looking forward to.

But if I keep playing this way, if I keep hitting fairways, greens, and putting the same way, I should be able to sleep easy at night knowing that I can get it done and be on the team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133213-1-1182 2023-05-28 23:37:00 GMT

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