RBC Canadian Open

Friday, June 9, 2023

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

Wil Bateman

Quick Quotes

Q. Second round 6-under, 66. So far it's the round of the tournament. What was working well today?

WIL BATEMAN: I made a quick putter change there five minutes before my tee time. I felt like that was the difference. I felt like I struck it pretty well yesterday, just couldn't get anything going. Then I made a couple putts there early and that kind of kept the momentum going.

Q. You're talking about momentum. Obviously an excellent start and you kept it going after the turn. How important was it to just make one birdie, make another and just keep it rolling?

WIL BATEMAN: I was just trying to stay patient out there. Obviously conditions were really tough early. So to get through that stretch of golf and then I knew that there was some good weather coming and the wind was supposed to die down, so just getting through those first couple holes early and then yeah, I think I made four in a row from 17 to 2. I was just trying to keep hitting the shots and just let the outcome take care of itself.

Q. At any point during the day did it register where you were on the leaderboard? Did you kind of realize what was happening?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, I mean a little bit, obviously. When they bring out the cameras and the little fuzzy little mic you know you're doing something right. But I just tried to just stay in the moment and, yeah, just really excited for the weekend.

Q. You mentioned staying in the moment. What does that look like for you? Like are you sort of a meditation guy or just focused on the nuts and bolts of your game, how do you do it?

WIL BATEMAN: I just breathe. I think that's the main thing. Yeah, I just really focus on my breathing. Especially if things get tough. Like it did early. Or if you're playing well I just go back to my breathing and just staying in the moment and kind of using those cues of being near the lead or if you're near the cut or whatever, I just kind of, it's just a cue for me to just breathe.

Q. What's the support been like from the Canadian fans for you so far?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, it's been incredible. I got my whole family here this week. Which has been amazing. My brother's here with his girlfriend and my dad and mom and step mom, step dad and it's just, it's awesome. Obviously all the fans coming out to watch is incredible. This is my first National Open and it's just been a blast.

Q. Last year you were No. 1 on PGA TOUR Canada. No. 2 is Jake Knapp and you played with him this week. Can you talk about how special it is to do so well in your home country and then also share that with Jake?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, I mean, I say this all the time, Jake's one of the best guys out there on the Korn Ferry Tour. I was super pumped when we got paired together. He's just a really nice guy and fun to play with. Obviously to be in this position in Canada is amazing. I'm not trying to get ahead of myself at all. Just get that first tee shot in the fairway on 1 and then go from there.

Q. On your last hole I saw you share a moment with your caddie, just a little hug and showed a little emotion. Can you talk about how special that moment was to finish your round?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, I was honestly when I was out there I was kind of, obviously in a great position, but I was trying to hold myself together a little bit. I knew that there was a lot of golf to play, but, yeah, I mean Colby and I, I feel like we work so well together and we have definitely had our tough times on the Korn Ferry Tour, but I felt like we have learned a lot from each other. I think that the tough times are obviously getting better and I felt like we were working really well as a team. This week's been great. Even, yeah, the last couple events I just feel like we're finding our rhythm.

Q. I know you don't have too much PGA TOUR experience so as you go into the weekend are you just embracing the fact that you have a chance to contend in your National Open or are you just kind of trying to play it off as just another tournament and go about business as usual?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, I mean, coming here this week I just try to treat it as another tournament. That's, honestly, coming here I knew I was a little bit nervous but then when I got out there and played some practice rounds it really does feel like another tournament. Obviously it's a bigger stage and players are better. But everybody's trying to do the same thing. Still trying to get the ball in the hole. So obviously this weekend's going to be electric. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Is it going to be more difficult to keep that mindset now after what you did today?

WIL BATEMAN: I don't think so. I feel like I've had really good practice, especially on PGA TOUR Canada and then on the Korn Ferry Tour. Just playing a lot of golf and playing some tournaments and stuff. I feel like I'm in a good position. Like I said, I'm just trying to get the ball in the hole.

Q. Speaking of PGA TOUR Canada, I'm curious what you made of the PGA TOUR Americas with combining Latinoamérica and Canada. I know you spent a decent amount of time on the Canadian TOUR.

WIL BATEMAN: I think it's going to be great for everyone. I haven't heard the details of the purses and stuff, but I know that a 15-event season is going to be a whole lot better than splitting the time between Canada and Latin. So I feel like combining the seasons is going to be great for the guys and I think it's going to help some gaze too to just coming out of college to help them travel a bit. Being down in Latin America I feel like is tougher travel. Then you come up to Canada and it's similar to the U.S.

Q. Was that a difficult transition for you when you were getting started?

WIL BATEMAN: Yeah, I mean, traveling in Latin America is hard. There's just no way around it. When you're going to Argentina and Chile and places like that, it definitely is tough. But I feel like being out there and learning how to travel and getting around it makes the travel in the U.S. and Canada much easier.

Q. The putter comment from earlier. Did you go blade to mallet, shorter, longer, why, what ended up happening with the putter?

WIL BATEMAN: Honestly, I felt like I hit it great yesterday and just, I didn't make anything at all. Last night I was like, you know what, I'm just going to put the blade in the bag and go warm-up with it this morning and see what happens. We were actually stuck in traffic coming back from the range, so I had about seven minutes until my tee time when I got on the putting green. I took the blade out, I'm like, okay, let's just see. I made like the first six putts from like 20 feet or so. And I was like, okay, this is in the bag today.

Q. Why did you have multiple putters to begin with?

WIL BATEMAN: You ask my friends, I got a lot. A lot of putters. I like to dabble. But, yeah, I mean, I just think the putter that I put in the bag just has a little bit heavier of a weight to it and the other one's super soft. So I feel like these greens with end-over-end roll on that blade I felt like it helped.

Q. When was the last time you would have putted with this particular blade putter in a tournament round?

WIL BATEMAN: That's my first round putting with that putter, yeah.

Q. So it's staying in the bag?

WIL BATEMAN: It's staying in the bag, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133772-1-1044 2023-06-09 18:49:00 GMT

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