Shriners Children's Open

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Taylor Montgomery

Press Conference

JACK RYAN: We'd like to welcome PGA TOUR rookie Taylor Montgomery into the interview room at the Shriners Children's Open. Taylor is making his third start as a member this season, coming off of back-to-back top 10s at the Fortinet Championship and the Sanderson Farms Championship. Just to start, obviously a local player. What's it like playing in the Shriners Children's Open for the first time as a member?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: It's awesome. Just sleeping in your own bed, waking up, playing a practice round, going home, acting like there's no golf tournament happening, it's really nice. It's a special week for sure. Got a lot of family coming out. I'm excited to play.

JACK RYAN: Back-to-back top 10s to start the year. What's been the key to keeping your strong play going from the Korn Ferry TOUR and getting off to such a great start?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I think just practicing and having a really good focus when I am practicing. I didn't play as many events last year as I wanted to. I just felt like if I can really practice well, I can go into the tournaments and have a really fresh mindset and play well. That's helped a lot.

It's tough for me to go more than three weeks in a row. Just kind of mentally I get a little sloppy. I think that's been the big key to playing well for me.

Q. How pleased are you with the last two Sundays that you've had? These past two PGA TOUR events your Sunday scoring has propelled you up the leaderboard.

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I have a few buddies back in Arizona who have been giving me a lot of hell for the way I played my Sundays -- I just felt like I couldn't get anything going out on the Korn Ferry TOUR. You shoot 2- or 3-under and you're going to get lapped on Sundays.

After Napa, I shot 8-under. It was probably one of the best rounds of my career for sure. I made sure I sent them a little text to let them know.

Q. You're known as a phenomenal putter; what is the best tip and what is your mindset when it comes to your putting?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Well, I have a dad who's probably one of the worst putters, and he's really pushed that aspect of the game on me, and I've seen how much it affected him and his career in golf.

I just felt like I needed to make that like my strong point. I've always had the same practice. I used either the Pelz device or now I use the putting plates because they sit a little lower to the ground. If you can read the greens, start your ball on your line and have good speed, then you're not going to be a bad putter.

Q. I've heard you say that about your dad, and I understand his game is not great right now, but what is a strength of his game over the years that you've taken away, a positive from his game?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: He's a really good iron player, very good. He's getting older now and his work ethic is slacking, that's for sure.

Q. We just had Harry in here, and he talked a lot about you. I'm going to get to you talk about him. You get to play with him two rounds this week. Can you just talk about your relationship with Harry going back to UNLV?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Oh, Harry has been great. I feel like the guy gets 20 pounds heavier and grows five inches every year. When he first came in as a freshman, he was just this scrawny dude, and now he's like a giant.

He's been a great friend of mine. We play golf at Shadow Creek all the time. It's cool seeing the way his game has developed. His short game and putting is unbelievable. It's fun to watch him. I hope he does really well this year.

Q. Does it give you comfort to have the first two rounds playing with someone who's a really good friend? Does that help?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Oh, yeah, definitely. Him and I last year, he kicked my ass out here for the qualifier, so it'll be fun playing with him. He's just a really good guy, and he's really smart with his game, and the future is very bright for him.

Q. There's a lot of talk about you lately about your phenomenal streak of no -- I forget how many rounds over par you've shot since April. Maybe only two. You just finished really high at Korn Ferry, started with two top 10s, but in that whole stretch, no wins. How frustrating is it to not have a win, and what do you need to do to get over that last hump?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: It's definitely frustrating. Golf is four rounds, and it's such a long time frame. I grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, pretty much every sport, and kind of got into golf later on. The hardest part about it is keeping that like mental concentration for that long.

I feel like I've just made a few bonehead mistakes that prevent you from winning, because these guys are really good. I feel like I go on these runs where I shoot like 30 on nine holes and then I shoot like 1-over on nine holes. Like it's just -- I just want to get a little more consistent in that aspect.

I think that'll help me win.

Q. How do you go about doing that?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I don't know. I think Lou, my caddie, is doing a pretty good job. When I work on something, whether it's golf or playing in a tournament, like I have full concentration, and it's nearly impossible to have concentration for the five hours even when you're walking to your ball. You kind of need to reset your mind and stuff like that. That's been hard for me. I'm pretty intense, even though it doesn't look like it from the outside.

I think if I can get my mind off of golf sometimes like when I'm not over the shot, I think that will help me a lot.

Q. I just want to go back to that qualifier that you just mentioned because he had a little fun with it. Given where you both are now, it's fair game. How did you respond to that, and how cool is it now that you are both where you are?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I wasn't playing as good as Harry at that time for sure. I mean, he got in and we were actually tied on the last hole, and I thought I was one or two down -- one down actually. I thought I was one down going into 18, and we were actually tied.

We both made par, and I just -- it's really cool seeing how well he played last year. I handled it really well. I mean, I lost, so you kind of go home and watch him on TV, and it was really cool to see him do well. I know that was a big paycheck for him, his first start of his pro career, I think, on the PGA TOUR, so that was really cool to see him do so well.

Q. I'm guessing it was just a mini-motivator for you, too, like okay, I know this guy, I'm beating him all the time, he just finished eighth on TOUR, it's time for me to step it up?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: Yeah, definitely. But last year I struggled hitting an 8-iron on the center of the green. That was kind of my main concern is trying to figure out my iron game last year.

This year I've done a pretty good job of that. It can definitely get a little better. But I'm excited to see how this week plays out.

Q. It's well-documented the 26, the losing the Playoffs, a lot of downs but now a lot of ups this year. With all that, what is the biggest thing you've learned so far as a professional golfer?

TAYLOR MONTGOMERY: I would say always look forward. If you look back and you can kind of get stuck on your past -- like whether you win or miss the cut, just kind of move on. That's the biggest part for me in trying to -- I know everybody says it, but get better every day.

I kind of have been doing that with my practicing, just committing a lot of focus to my practice, and we'll see how long that can last.

JACK RYAN: I think those are all the questions we have. Taylor, thank you for your time, and best of luck this week in your home game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125444-1-1002 2022-10-05 17:35:00 GMT

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