The American Express

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

La Quinta, California, USA

La Quinta Country Club

Andrew Landry

Press Conference

MARK WILLIAMS: We would like to welcome Andrew Landry, defending champion of the American Express. Thanks for joining us for a little Bit of time here. Last year was pretty spectacular for you, 31 birdies. That's hard for a lot of people to comprehend. Do you feel that's in you again this year and what it will be like defending this championship?

ANDREW LANDRY: Yeah, it's always in the picture. I don't know if 31 will make it this year, but La Quinta Country Club is always a hot spot for me and I've played really well there in the past. I think I got a couple 63s or -- 63s, 64, 65, something like that. So making a lot of birdies out there is super key to getting a good start, and trying to get off to a hot birdie run because you just go out there and make a bunch of birdies and it gives you confidence going into the Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Course.

So it's going to be a little bit interesting, and the greens are a lot firmer here this year, and so some of those pin locations are going to be a little bit harder to get to. Thankfully we got a little bit of rain today and over the night, so it's going to be interesting to see how the course plays.

MARK WILLIAMS: That's a good point. Without La Quinta this year, the birdie number might be a little less.

You've had a chance to defend a tournament after you won Valero Texas Open, I think, in 2018, what was the experience like for you coming back to a place where you had won and what did you learn from that situation.

ANDREW LANDRY: I didn't learn anything, to be honest with you. I didn't do a very good job defending San Antonio and I think that I put a little bit too much pressure on myself. And it was kind of funny, the week, so San Antonio ran in -- ran into Tiger on Sunday at Augusta National and he was walking up 18 green and I was walking off 9, and he was like, What are you doing here? He goes, like, Shouldn't you be he defending? Like, just kind of giving me a little jab. I was like, whatever.

But, no, he's -- that was just funny. But he -- anyway, yeah, I'm looking forward to defending and doing my thing out here. I've played well here in the past and I know how to play the golf course. It's a Pete Dye design, and just try to hit it close to the trouble and you're going to have great shots into the greens, and it's just designed of how he designs his courses, so I kind of have a good knowledge on what to do and how to play the golf course and I've done well here.

MARK WILLIAMS: Before we take some questions just one last one for me. Last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii was your 100th start on the PGA TOUR. Does it feel like a hundred starts to you or how do you describe that? Has it gone quickly or has it been like a slow journey?

ANDREW LANDRY: It's gone pretty quick. It's gone really quick, but I look back and I'm, like, this is only my fifth year on TOUR, and I'm like, Wow, that's, it seems like I've been on TOUR for 10 years. But the years out here go so fast and especially now with just a few playoff events and starting now in August and September and not leading all the way into the later part. But it's kind of crazy how fast these things go by and it can sneak up on you quick, so you got to go off and get off to a good start in the fall series and, which I did, I got off to a really good start, and I think I had a 4th at RSM, which is another great place for me and I love being out there.

But, yeah, I'm just looking forward to getting back and just trying to get off to a good start like I did at RSM and try to get, rack up those FedExCup points, that's what it's about all year, and try to get myself deep into the playoffs.

MARK WILLIAMS: All right, you got it. Open it up to questions.

Q. It does kind of feel like a different tournament than the one you played in last year, with no La Quinta and with maybe some tougher greens out there because of the no amateurs, I think. They have made it a little tougher. But does it really feel like it's been a year and does it really feel like you're coming back to the same event?

ANDREW LANDRY: No and no. It doesn't feel like it's been a year. It feels like yesterday. It's not the same, you know, with the amateurs rolling around and getting to see some of those guys that I have met over the last couple years and I've known a couple. A couple guys from Austin play in it, and it's fun. This place is like a Pebble Beach, where you get to see a lot of amateurs and play with them and it's really fun to play with amateurs in an event. And some people don't like it and that may be why they skip Pebble or skip the American Express, but I enjoy it. I enjoy playing with the amateurs and just getting out there and competing.

It's just going to feel, it's going to be a little bit different. I think, like you said, the greens are a little bit firmer and the pin locations are, we're going to at least see one more pin location that we haven't seen in the past, and some of the overseed didn't pop for some reason. I'm not sure what happened, so we might see a little bit different pin locations altogether. So it could be a little bit of an adjustment for all of us. So we always get them kind of close to the same spots, but some of those spots, some of the seed didn't pop real well, so we might see something different.

Q. You talked before the tournament or a couple of weeks ago about the fact that all three of these courses kind of suit your game a little bit, maybe La Quinta more than the other two, but still, do you still feel comfortable?

ANDREW LANDRY: Absolutely. A hundred percent. I think it's nice to be able to just stay here and not have to -- it makes our practice rounds a lot easier because we're not having to fly in on, from Sony on Sunday night or Monday morning early and have to go out and play a practice round Monday, have to go play a practice round Tuesday and Wednesday because there's three golf courses. So I got to get a little bit more rest and played nine on Monday, played 18 yesterday, and I'll hit another nine holes today.

So I've been feeling real rested this week. So it's been nice to be able to get some sleep and not have to rush around this place.

Q. The 100 TOUR starts. I think of back to meeting you at Q-School, 2014 on the Korn Ferry TOUR, and I was wondering if you could kind of think back to your mini-tour days and Korn Ferry TOUR days and kind of reflect on the vibes and the memories that come up when you think of playing on those smaller tours.

ANDREW LANDRY: Yeah, I remember them like yesterday. It was funny, we looked back at some of our taxes, our, like, tax record stuff, and I was like, I only played eight events in an entire year? And I was like, no wonder I never made it on TOUR. I'm, like, I got to get out and go play some golf.

But, yeah, I've looked back and met -- I've got friends out here that I played the mini-tours with and, yeah, I do remember those days like yesterday, and it's all part of the journey and everybody had to do it. There's a select few guys that didn't have to do that and, but I think that that is what kind of makes you humble and keeps you motivated to keep going and you don't want to go back there.

So, yeah, but the WEB.COM, or the Korn Ferry TOUR now, I played the WEB.COM whenever it was that, but the Korn Ferry now was such a great TOUR and what they have done with the schedule and the changes over the years and the traveling, it teaches you so much on how to be a PGA TOUR player. And I love the fact -- it at first, whenever I first went through Q-School, they just changed it to whenever you had to go to the Korn Ferry and then make your way up to the PGA TOUR and I was so mad about it. I was like, man, I just wish that I could just go straight to the PGA TOUR. But I would maybe have never -- I know for a fact I wouldn't have because I played one year on the Korn Ferry and got out here and lost my card.

So it teaches you so much on how to win out there and how to manage your game week-to-week and it's the absolute best thing that happened to me and I give all the credit to the PGA TOUR for allowing us to play a TOUR like that, a developmental TOUR that teaches us so much. So that's great memories that I've had out there, and all the guys in the truck and spending those weeks out there, and they have done a great job.

Q. This year, it's unique with no Q-School last year, so a lot of kids out of college are going to be on the sponsor invite Monday qualifier, scatter shot schedule. What would be kind of your advice and thoughts to those kids that are embarking on that unique challenge this year?

ANDREW LANDRY: Just stay patient. Everybody kind of is in a bad spot this year and we were fortunate enough to be given another year on the PGA TOUR, last year was kind of a wash year, it was a wash year, but just stay patient and keep on moving in the right direction and keep grinding at your game and it happened for a reason. It's, this is a great opportunity for guys that were on the Korn Ferry that didn't play as well and they have gotten an opportunity now to have a whole another year just keep those points going and that's another year under their belt and so that's really cool and just keep grinding at it and keep learning every single week and trying to be better.

MARK WILLIAMS: One more question before you go. I'm sure you heard the news yesterday about Tiger Woods undergoing another back surgery, just what was your reaction to that news? When did you hear it.

ANDREW LANDRY: I just heard it, actually I was in dining just a minute ago and I saw it on the TV. I was -- it's kind of crazy. I'm guessing that he pulled out of Torrey Pines and Riviera, right? Something like that? Is that right?

MARK WILLIAMS: Correct. He's not playing either of those two events. He's still going to host the Genesis Invitational event though, but he's not playing.

ANDREW LANDRY: Well we need Tiger and he's the reason that we do what we do and he was a, he's always been someone that I've looked up to, I watched as a kid and it's so cool to see him out here. He's still like a super hero to me. I think he's a super hero to a lot of guys.

But just to be able to have him out on the TOUR is a big part and I hope that his back gets better and we see him more soon.

MARK WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. Well, thanks for the comments and we appreciate you making the time to speak with us and good luck with your title defense this week at the American Express.

ANDREW LANDRY: Thanks, appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
104030-2-1001 2021-01-20 23:49:00 GMT

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