Travelers Championship

Friday, June 23, 2023

Cromwell, Connecticut, USA

TPC River Highlands

Denny McCarthy

Quick Quotes

Q. Denny, after that bogey on 2, did you kind of maybe refocus a little bit? You said it was a sloppy bogey.

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I mean, I didn't hit a bad 3-wood. Got a really firm left kick and left me in an awkward spot and didn't manage it very well.

If anything, I had to miss that ball, you know, awkward little 70 yard shot, only trying to hit it 40, 50 yards. If anything I had to leave it short and kind of blasted it over the green, which wasn't a good spot.

But refocused nicely. 3 is not an easy tee shot. I just blasted driver up over the tree. It was nice to just get right back into my rhythm I had been playing in.

It was a tough day early. Those holes aren't easy on the front. 3, 4, 5, not an easy stretch; 7 and 8, not that easy either.

So just stayed really patient until I found a nice groove there in the middle in the back nine.

Q. Is it hard to be patient knowing it takes a lot of birdies to stay in contention?

DENNY McCARTHY: No, because I knew I was playing that stretch of 4, 5, 6 -- or 3, 4, 5, sorry -- there is not going to be a ton of birdies on those holes necessarily.

I was still at 9-under par. There wasn't -- you know, no need to panic. The back nine here, middle of the round and back nine is a gettable stretch, so I knew I had that coming up.

I knew I was still playing really well. Wasn't like I was timid or hitting any poor shots. I was playing well, so that was the key thing to kind of focus on, just keep doing what I'm doing. Just wasn't going my way early. Obviously a lot of things went my way yesterday.

Today I just had a couple in-between numbers early. It was a little awkward some shots, but settled in nicely and played a really nice back nine.

Q. Denny, 125 is the new 36-hole course record here. What does that mean for you in terms of consistency for the rest of the weekend?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, it's nice, but golf tournaments aren't 36 holes unfortunately, so I know there is still a lot of golf left. I'm playing some really nice golf, so I'm looking forward to having fun this weekend and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Q. 18 golfers won their first TOUR event here. It's known for giving younger golfers their first starts and first wins. Does that mean something to you, the opportunity to join that group?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, that would be cool. I didn't know that. It's not something I'm really thinking about. I'm not -- I don't want look too far ahead.

I've been playing some nice golf coming into this. Just keep trying to get better every day. Still some things -- I'm going to go over to the range. There are still some things I think I can improve on for the weekend.

So I'm just going to go out, like I said, and enjoy the challenge and try and have as much fun as I can.

Q. Are you playing with as much confidence as you have in your profession fall career right now?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I would say it's definitely up there. All the shots I've hit the last few days have been really -- I mean, I've just been having a really clear picture. Even hit some kind of off-speed pitches, if you will, taking 7-iron into the wind from 155, hitting a chippy cut, kind if like a Bubba Watson type shot.

That's when I'm at my best: When I am seeing those shots, pulling the club, and hitting it.

So I've done that really well. Even today I was kind of in between clubs and either trap turned one or soft, cut one.

So to me that's fun when I'm in that mindset where I'm seeing shots like that. That's really comforting. Playing with a lot of freedom and confidence for sure.

Q. And 11-under on the back nine over the two days. Is there something about the back nine that you're seeing that's making that...

DENNY McCARTHY: Is it 11 or 10? Shot 5 and 5.

Q. Is it 10?

DENNY McCARTHY: Maybe it's 10, maybe it's 11. No, that's a gettable stretch. Like I said yesterday, it's probably my favorite nine holes on TOUR because there is such a variety of holes and it's fun and entertaining for us players and the fans.

You get a short par-3 on 11.

12 is a cool little hole.

13 is a gettable par-5.

There is a lot of risk in those holes, too.

And obviously 15, the drivable one.

It's just a really fun nine holes to play. I look forward to it every time I get there.

Q. Is it hard to get going early in a round after you go stupid low the day before?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I played a nice hole on 1 and missed 10-footer. Would've been nice to brush that in and continue; didn't happen that way. Missed that.

Made a little bit of a slopey bogey on 2.

So it was a little slow out of the gates. Like I said, we did a really good job of just settling into the round. I wasn't hitting any bad, loose shots. Just wasn't going my way like it was yesterday early on.

Just had to remind myself that I was still playing quality golf, hitting good shots; just wasn't making birdies from them. So I knew that stretch was coming; just had to stay patient.

Q. When you see all the scores here, is this a place where you just can't take your foot off the gas?

DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, for the most par. There is a handful of holes and pins where you want to be somewhat conservative to, but a lot of green light opportunities out here, and I think most guys know that.

Fastscripts by ASAP Sports...

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
134262-1-1041 2023-06-23 17:50:00 GMT

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