Shriners Children's Open

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Harry Hall

Press Conference

JACK RYAN: We'll get started here. We'd like to welcome PGA TOUR rookie Harry Hall into the interview room at the Shriners Children's Open. Harry is making his eighth PGA TOUR start this week and third as a member. You finished T8 here on a sponsor exemption last year. This is a course you're very familiar with. If you could give us some background on how long you've been playing here, how often you've played it, and just comment on being here playing the tournament.

HARRY HALL: Just want to say it's my first proper press conference. That's pretty cool.

I've been playing TPC Summerlin since I came to UNLV in 2015, and we came out here as a team and we played some qualifiers to get into the tournament. I've got some good memories just taking it deep around TPC Summerlin. Since I turned pro a couple years ago, I got Korn Ferry TOUR status straight out of Q-school, and everybody is treating me like family here.

Played the course probably over 100 times and really excited to get going this week.

JACK RYAN: Like I said, this is your third start of the season. If you could comment on your goals in your rookie season on TOUR.

HARRY HALL: Yeah, I went through them the other day. I think Top 40 on the FedExCup is a goal. Playing that Ryder Cup in Rome next year would be very cool.

Q. I see you've been paired with Taylor for the first two rounds. Can you talk about your history with Taylor together. You go way back to UNLV.

HARRY HALL: Yeah, when I went to UNLV in 2015 Taylor was a junior and we spent two years on the team together. He's a great player, and what he's done since he's turned pro has been fantastic. Ever since we shared a room at stage 1 and stage 2 of Q-school together back in 2019, we've played probably every week at Shadow Creek in a little game.

It's great to be paired with him this week and also Justin Suh who's another guy that moved to Vegas a couple years ago, hopefully we can get some crowd support. Taylor and I have got some history on this golf course as far as last year, Patrick, who's the tournament director, he was really tied up between picking Taylor and I for an exemption, and he actually made us play for it, a two-man -- it was a stroke-play event, just Taylor and I, and we played on a Friday a couple weeks prior to this event, and I managed to beat Taylor by one to get into the Shriners last year, and I ended up coming eighth, so that was a big moment in my career.

I always knew Taylor would be out here one day, and playing together on Thursday and Friday this week is a special moment for me and a special moment for the community and UNLV golf. Hopefully we can get some support and play good golf, too.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the course here since you're so familiar with it. I was talking to Bobby Weed, the designer, and he said, when you step on the first tee, you'd better put your foot on the gas and never let up for 18 holes. What's the mentality of knowing you've got to make a lot of birdies?

HARRY HALL: I think the last thing that us pros think about is going out there and having to make a lot of birdies. I think everyone is so good that if we put it in the fairway and we've got a short distance in that we're just going to make them. This course allows you to do that. 2,500 feet, the ball travels far, and it's so hot here in Vegas that we're able to hit a lot of drivers and have a lot of wedges in our hands if you can find the fairway.

As far as going out there and knowing that you have to make a lot of birdies, really we're just going out there to play our own games and that'll happen if we play well enough.

Q. You've played, I think, eight PGA TOUR events but you've played a high level of golf on the Korn Ferry. What's the biggest thing you've learned during your time playing professional golf?

HARRY HALL: The value of a shot. I was having dinner with a few Callaway guys last night, and the difference between making the TOUR Championship and losing your card is 0.9 of a shot, which isn't that much. I think I've just seen that through being on the Korn Ferry TOUR and how my stroke average has evolved from when I turned professional until now, and my bad golf and my good golf really is separated by just a shot and that the importance of choosing the right club or the right line or hitting the putt that correct speed, whether it's one out of 68 shots, it's a fine line between playing good and really excelling out here.

I think that's the biggest key that I've taken is the value of every shot, and that's something that Coach Knight at UNLV and Phil Rowe taught me real well.

Q. Put into words what the difference between the Korn Ferry TOUR and the PGA TOUR level is.

HARRY HALL: It's interesting because seeing Taylor Montgomery and a few other Korn Ferry TOUR guys play really well starting off this year, and also just the way I played at the Shriners last year, I think if we play a similar standard of golf to what we've played on the Korn Ferry TOUR, to obviously finish in that top 25 throughout the season, I think it's not too much different. A lot of people can say that I've missed two cuts already and is the standard different; well, I just haven't executed the shots that I was trying to hit and I haven't played very well. But hopefully I can change that this week.

But as far as you ask a lot of those guys, and I don't think they'd tell you too much difference, and you see a lot of the Korn Ferry TOUR graduates like Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Young and Sungjae Im that have come out the last few years on this Tour and they've excelled on the Korn Ferry TOUR, I think it shows you the difference might not be as big as people think.

Q. How competitive was that 36-hole match last year, because I know you two have a pretty good relationship.

HARRY HALL: It was just 18 holes, actually. 18-hole stroke play to get into the Shriners, and it was pretty mellow at the start. We were joking around, and by about hole 4 we were pretty competitive.

I think we were quite close, both 2-under or 3-under playing 13, and I think I eagled it and Taylor bogeyed it and I had a little three-shot cushion going into the last few holes, which was big.

We're still friends no matter what happens then, what happens this week. Taylor is like a brother to me, and with his dad Monty at Shadow Creek and all his friends and my friends, so I'm very fortunate that they've treated me as part of the family over the last few years, and I don't think that will ever change, whether we're competing for this trophy this week or maybe the Ryder Cup next year.

Q. You've told me in jest, but the story of when you first came here and you played with Taylor and the discrepancy between his ball-striking and yours and more of swing speeds. Can you kind of tell us that again, because it is quite shocking the difference of you two at that time.

HARRY HALL: Well, yeah. Imagine Taylor growing up at Shadow Creek all his life and I grew up at West Cornwall Golf Club that is 5500 yards long and you have to -- I go back there and hit a 6-iron off every par-4 now.

I came to UNLV swinging it about 104 miles an hour and Taylor was swinging it 135, and I'd hit driver off the 1st at Shadow Creek and he'd hit a 4-iron.

At the start of the year we actually did a long drive competition with a friend of ours at Shadow Creek, and I beat him. I swung it 126 miles an hour, and that's a part of my game that has evolved since being in America and trying to figure out how to get better.

Taylor has obviously honed it down a little bit just to hit it straighter and find a way to score himself, too.

Yeah, it's amazing your environment that you grow up in and how that dictates you as a golfer. It wasn't until I came to UNLV that I learned how to really strike the ball well and hit it high and hit it far, and Taylor kind of had all the pieces of the puzzle when I came, and he just had to really learn how to hone it down and hit it straight, and he's figured that out and I've figured it out how to hit it further. Hopefully we can both be some of the best players in the world.

Q. Does he understand British humor? Are you able to give him a bit of stick?

HARRY HALL: He gives me way more stick than I give him. Yeah, I think that's just part of him being in his comfort zone here in town and having the edge on me probably as far as age and game. Yeah, definitely over the last few years, just -- Taylor is pretty clutch when it comes to playing at Shadow Creek. He's probably a bit scared of me now. I'm probably the only guy that's probably even with him as far as playing him on a regular basis.

Q. In the old days, in decades past, there was a long sounding board, a long time for rookies to get up on TOUR and find their groove, but in the last five, seven, even ten years, it's now come on TOUR, win, young guys are not afraid of anything. Is that the sort of mentality you bring in, like why can't it be me every week?

HARRY HALL: Well, I'm not really stressing about the last couple weeks. It's a long year, especially with the schedule changes. I've got the game to win on the Korn Ferry TOUR, and I've done it twice, and I think that same standard of golf will be very close, and if not, we'll get the job done out here.

As I get older and wiser and better with my skills, then I think I can win out here and hopefully be here for the next 25 years.

I think the Korn Ferry TOUR itself has grown as a Tour, even since when I've been out there for two and a half years now. I think the PGA TOUR is a great place to be, and no matter what Tour you're on, it really excels you to get the most out of your game.

Q. Is there a balance to be made with the new rookie allowance where you balance between obviously you can put everything in place, you don't have to worry about certain things now, but also don't get complacent, keep your foot on the floor?

HARRY HALL: Yeah. The rookie allowance and the league minimum I guess it's called is an addition to the TOUR this year that has been nice. But as far as it making a real difference, you don't want it to be a good thing because if it is a good thing for you, then you've lost your card.

I don't think it matters as far as -- I think you just have to know that you're at the top of the game, your bank balance is going to get bigger, and you shouldn't let that stop you from what you've worked on the last 20 years for me to be here, and I'm going to keep playing this game for the next 25 hopefully.

Whether or not it makes me enjoy life a little more or not, I'm still playing golf. It's where I've always wanted to be no matter what my bank account looks like.

Yeah, the league minimum definitely assists guys as far as getting the advantage that the top players have as far as booking all your expenses and hiring the right people to make you the best yourself, but it hasn't changed what I'm doing.

Q. You cheekily sort of mentioned the Ryder Cup. Clearly that's a dream of yours, to one day play in that competition. Can you just throw us those top-level goals, top-level dreams that you want to achieve in this game.

HARRY HALL: I really want a green jacket. West Cornwall Golf Club already has three majors from "Long" Jim Barnes back in the early 20th century. He won the PGA twice, one Open and one U.S. Open. If I can win that green jacket, then West Cornwall has all four majors, and I would say that I've achieved everything I wanted to in this game if I could get a green jacket.

JACK RYAN: Harry, thank you very much, and congratulations on your first official press conference on the PGA TOUR.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125443-1-1002 2022-10-05 17:17:00 GMT

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