Shriners Children's Open

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Maverick McNealy

Quick Quotes

Q. Maverick, as it's been mentioned to you a couple times in other interviews, you're low score here at this tournament. What was working so well for you out there today?

MAVERICK McNEALY: It was a really good day with the putter, that's for sure. I capitalized on my opportunities. I was very patient today. When I wasn't in position, Travis and I had a really good game plan, just dumped it to the middle of the greens and lag putted.

You always know that the last -- the other PGA TOUR players out here that live in Vegas, we call 13 through 16 Birdies Alley. You know you're going to have a lot of opportunities at the end of the round.

So when I got through the first eight under par, I figured gas is on the right and hit it at the flag, and I got some putts to go.

Q. So as a Vegas guy now, you've had a lot of close calls but no win yet. How big would it be to finally get the win in Las Vegas?

MAVERICK McNEALY: It would be fun. It would definitely be easier to celebrate with friends and family now that they're all here. It's a really fun week because I have probably 15 to 20 people out watching on a given day. If I get to the weekend, it will be a big crowd.

It's really cool for me to show them what I spend 365 days a year working on and what I dedicate my life to. And it's really fun to share with them what I do on a daily basis.

Q. I saw a lot of Team Mav hats and shirts out there today. Can you talk about your relationship with Las Vegas, how long you've been here and why you chose to come here?

MAVERICK McNEALY: So Sam Ryder, he and I on the 1st hole, we were talking about the first time we played together five years ago. It was 2017 when we played this tournament. We were paired together. It felt like yesterday, but it also feels like forever ago.

That was the week that I packed up everything I owned in my mom's old Ford Explorer and drove to Las Vegas and moved here. I've been a proud resident for five years, a hockey fan and lucky to get to play a golf course like this, TPC Summerlin. Right next door, TPC Las Vegas, The Summit, Shadow Creek. There's a lot of great golf courses out here.

It's been awesome. My three brothers now live with me. We're all living in the same house together. Joseph Bramlett lives with me. He's also on TOUR. And my parents are 15 minutes down the street. Really put my roots down here.

Q. What do you do when you're not focused on golf?

MAVERICK McNEALY: When I'm not focused on golf, pretty much all summer I practiced every morning, and I alternate days working out at Greathouse Physical Therapy right across the street, and working on my private pilot's license.

Q. And you play out of Summit, is that correct?

MAVERICK McNEALY: Summit, TPC Vegas, TPC Summerlin, and Shadow Creek. It's a pretty great lineup.

Q. Can you estimate how many times you've probably played this course? Can you put a number on that?

MAVERICK McNEALY: That's a good question. Well, I'm home 15 to 16 weeks a year. I probably play it minimum twice a week when I'm home. So 30 by five. 100 to 150 times.

Q. I was talking to the tournament director, and they redid a lot of the fairways and stuff. He said it didn't reopen until this past Monday and that you hit the first ball. Did you notice right away a difference in the course and the conditions?

MAVERICK McNEALY: It's very different. Different type of grass on the fairways, different grass on the greens. I wanted to be the first guy out at least on one of the nines and take the first divot, so I was here at 6:30 ready to tee off.

It's the best turf coverage I've seen on the fairways. It's a more drought resistant grass, so it will take less water. It should be better year round. And the greens are a different strain of grass than they actually have at The Summit Club. It's more heat resistant, more cold resistant, takes less water.

And I noticed a lot of putts that used to break to the strip don't go as much anymore, as kind of a general theme. I think over time the greens settle and everything kind of slopes down towards the strip downhill. We're a good four or five feet higher than all the casinos down there. I think, when they redid the greens, some of that tendency kind of went away.

I think 15, 20 years ago those putts will break back down towards the strip, but it's just a little different.

Q. You kind of sound like an agronomist. The layout is basically the same. It's really just the turf and the greens and all that?

MAVERICK McNEALY: I would say minor difference is they flattened out some areas on the greens, which you would think would make it easier, but it's allowed them to speed up the greens and jam the pins in more difficult spots. You can put them closer to the edge.

There was a hole today with a front left pin that in the past was too slopy to put a hole location, but now they can stick one up in the front there next to that hazard short.

I'm sure we'll see a couple more new ones. They have a mid right shelf on 18 that I think they're going to use. It's definitely subtly different, but I think overall it's going to make the course a little more challenging.

Q. Since it is playing a little different, does that take away the knowledge that you've gained or that people that know the course and played the tournament a lot, does it take away a little bit of that knowledge?

MAVERICK McNEALY: It definitely does. I think there's still a familiarity with sight picture, and there's some guys who -- this golf course is going to reward a lot of shots from 80 to 160 yards. That's just the layout of the holes. So the guys that are good at that are still going to have their sweet spot here.

But definitely have to kind of unlearn a lot of the putts that you remember seeing. But that being said, I know how far the ball goes when it gets hot here. I've played here in all temperatures and all conditions. I've seen pretty much every wind direction here. So there's still an advantage there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
125480-1-1182 2022-10-06 20:12:00 GMT

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