Sanderson Farms Championship

Friday, October 2, 2020

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Country Club of Jackson

MJ Daffue

Quick Quotes

Q. You've got to be pleased.

MJ DAFFUE: Yeah, you know, it was a strange day. Every time I hit the fairway I had a massive mud ball, and every time I didn't hit the fairway I was out of position. 3-under par, you know, I felt like I hit the ball in good positions and had some good putts, so yeah, I'm happy with how I'm playing. Obviously I wish I was a little bit better, but it was a solid day.

Q. You Monday qualified, and whether it's Korn Ferry or PGA TOUR, you've done it like nine times out of 14 tries. What is the mindset of why you're so successful at a Monday qualifier?

MJ DAFFUE: You're trying to give away my secrets now? Well, in all honesty, I feel like this game in general, every round you play, if you putt 18 times for birdie, you should be all right. These days it helps to hit the ball well, but if you get it on the green and putt, especially on greens like this and they're so good, I think if you can get your putting into a way where it's good, then that's the recipe, I guess. When you get into a playoff you can't just make a par. You've got to make birdies and get through. I guess every round to me, I just take it as a Monday qualifier.

Q. You're obviously from South Africa; who's your guy? Are you a Ernie Els guy? Somebody more modern? Who do you like?

MJ DAFFUE: You know, I'm actually a Retief guy. I was fortunate enough to meet him when I was 11. My dad worked with his brother. We're actually really good friends now, and it's kind of a dream come true being able to be good friends with your idol or your role model.

But I grew up with a lot of guys -- Dylan Frittelli, we grew up in the same town, grew up playing against Branden, Brandon Stone, George Coetzee, Erik van Rooyen, so it's a small world, and most of those guys are -- all of them are really nice. Been able to get to know Louis and Charl, so always been fans, and just picking their brains on what they do differently, you know.

Q. Lastly, you had the college bag, the Lamar University bag. You don't see that too often unless it's college guys who are getting an opportunity. Tell us why that's so special and why are you carrying the bag?

MJ DAFFUE: Well, it's simple. I was with a club company and I just decided to kind of do the free agent thing, just play what I play best with. I did get a call from another company saying that they'll support me with equipment, so I decided to just put the college bag back in play this week. My caddie is a very happy guy, too. You know, if it wasn't for Lamar, I wouldn't be here. They gave me a scholarship to come over to America and I'll get my citizenship in April, so it's a big deal.

Q. Take me through the eight-for-two playoff.

MJ DAFFUE: The eight-for-two? It was like I said. Eight for two, the first -- I was in the second group of four, and so in the first group two guys made birdie, so basically you know if you don't make birdie, you don't move on. You try to birdie every hole. The one was a really easy par-5 and the next hole was a hard par-4. So it was like, if you don't make birdie, you just need to make a par and try and make a birdie or a par, and eventually seven holes later one guy made par on a par-5, which ended -- in today's game, you can't make pars on par-5s really.

Q. You said you don't want to give away your secret, but do you have a formula for --

MJ DAFFUE: Yeah, me and my coach have been working, sitting down, and my game has mainly improved on paper, just how do I tap into what makes me my best. There's all these zones, and for a long time there's this one zone which is arousal and anxiety I saw as a bad thing. If you're in the zone, you're in the zone, and control is also a bad spot, but in control, sometimes you get lazy, you make mental mistakes, which I need to start viewing being arousal and a little anxious about what I'm doing as a good thing. I mean, there's no way Tiger Woods last year won the Masters and he wasn't anxious on the last few holes, but the best players are able to tap into it and just say, my best comes out when I feel this little bit nervous.

That's something we've worked on. Obviously just missing the ball in better spots, always keeping the slope in your favorite, stuff like that.

Q. What would winning this tournament mean to you?

MJ DAFFUE: That's a good question. I try not to think about it. Like I told Mark yesterday, I've been in position -- I've been top 10 at Workday with one round to go and top 20 at Silverado.

Trying to do everything at once, get all those points at once or trying to win, it will really eat at you. So I'm just trying to chip away at it. I'm in a good position, and try to get to a target score for the week and just keep hitting the shots and try to hit good putts.

But winning, obviously, life changing. It would be great for my family, and I just wish this COVID thing would go away so my parents could come visit. We have a six-week-old boy and they haven't seen him.

Q. What's your son's name?

MJ DAFFUE: His name is Oliver, Oliver Mathys.

Q. What are you doing well this week?

MJ DAFFUE: You know, I'm driving the ball better. Even though I think my fairway stats are not great, but as far as like when I'm trying to hit a shot, it's coming out that way, and then I'm putting well, and I think I may be No. 1 in approach to the greens. That always helps when you hit it close to the hole.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102142-1-1002 2020-10-02 19:07:00 GMT

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