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Jason Dufner & Brandt Snedeker - December 7, 2016


DAVE SENKO: We'd like to welcome our defending champions, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Dufner. Maybe just get us started, what do you remember about last year's win, if each of you could just talk a little bit about that.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, I think last year, we both I know I did, use it for a steppingstone to have a really good comeback year for us. Just remember on Sunday, Jason played great all week tee to green, played phenomenal, and we kind of made it easy on each other, made a lot of key putts when we had to. It was a lot of fun. I thought Sunday was a lot of stress and some moments where you got worried about. We had a lot of fun on Sunday, made the putts we needed to make. We both hit quality shots under the pressure that we were under and kind of build on that for the rest of the year. So it was a great steppingstone for both of us, I think, to have kind of a year we both won again there on the west coast not too long after that. It was definitely a positive for us going into the offseason.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I'd say the same thing. I think this event for whatever reason kind of gets bunched up on Sunday. It seems like there's five or six teams that have a chance and I just remember last year we had a chipin or two and that kind of separated us from being able to win compared to the rest of the field. So it will be kind of the same thing this week. I think the field will get bunched up, everybody's shooting kind of around the same score. So it was nice to kind of step up in those situations and execute and kind of be able to get the victory that way, and then just kind of building on. I think winning kind of breeds more winning. So we both felt confident with our game going into the beginning of '16 and I played pretty good at Sony and won the next week, and then Brandt won the next week at Farmers. So it's a good event this time of year. Gives you kind of an indication of how you're playing, what you need to work on heading into the regular season next year in '17.

DAVE SENKO: How different or difficult is it coming in as defending champions?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: It isn't any different, you know. I don't think anybody tabbed us as the can'tbeat team last year or they're tabbing us that way this year. I feel like Duf and I have a great rapport with each other. We kind of play similar style games and hopefully we'll have a really good chance at having a chance this week. But you need some good breaks and some stuff to happen for you to win golf tournaments, and we had that last year with a couple chipins and long putts made. We'll need that again this year if we want a chance to win it. But I don't think there's any extra pressure. Completely different year. We're playing a couple very different teams than we played against last year, and current form kind of takes precedent over any kind of good mojo you have being back with somebody else.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I didn't really think about anything about being defending, to be honest, team event. We've got a great field this week. Is there 12 teams? So you've got 24 really great players. Any one of those teams can win, it's just a matter of where their games are at and kind of who makes the long putt and who maybe chips one in or holes one out from the fairway because you'll see on Sunday more often than not this event goes right down to the last two or three holes and whoever kind of makes a move on one of those three or two of those three holes is who's holding the trophy. So it's a fun event, I like playing. It's a little different format. I like using it at the end of the year, kind of see where your game's at, what you need to work on for the next four, six weeks to get started for '17.

DAVE SENKO: What's the most difficult thing that new teams face when they play an event like this with the different formats?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Probably like just getting used to each other in that no matter what Duf does, we kind of learned it last year, you've got to have thick skin and kind of just say you're not going to hurt my feelings or you're not going do something, I know you're not trying to put me in a bunker or do whatever. So you have to get over that really quickly.

And then having realistic expectations, too. Like you have alternate shot, it's tough at first if you haven't played it in a long time and realize, okay, we're not going to shoot 2 under par today more than likely. We've got to be okay with making some pars on some holes and wait until we have good chances and kind of adjusting your strategy that way.

But I think the biggest thing with having a good teammate's having guys that kind of can play off each other's strengths and weaknesses and guys that get along really well, never have to worry about offending each other or doing anything like that, which Duf and I've known each other for long enough that I know what he's going to tell me before he even says it and vice versa, so we don't have to worry about those kind of issues arising.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I'd say the same thing. I've played a lot of golf with Brandt going back to when we were on what's now the Web.com Tour and kind of came up on the PGA Tour at the same time, so we've played a ton of golf. I know his game fairly well, he knows my game fairly well, comfortable with each other. I feel like both of us can step in if one or the other has a question, you know, advicewise and not feel like I don't know what to say to him, I don't know how he's going to take this. We kind of know each other that way. So I think that can be an advantage, but I think a lot of the teams here have played multiple times and have been around each other. It's kind of a mixed bag this week.

Q. Thoughts on the golf course compared to last year? No layout changes or anything like that, but definitely some different things?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, we have some new tees and the grass. Obviously regrassed the whole golf course, greens are a lot firmer this year than they were last year so it's hard to get the ball really close. Course is in great shape otherwise. Kind of redone some teeing areas, redone some bunkering around the golf course, so visually kind of changed some lines probably off tees and stuff like that. But definitely a little bit tougher than it has been in years past with new tees on 9 and 18. Have some new bunkering that comes into play quite a bit more than it used to be so definitely tighten up a little bit, if anything, and then obviously a little bit more length. So new greens being firm, the scores are still going to be low but not as low as they have been years past.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, same thing. I think the new grass is going to help with some of the chipping and pitching. That grass has been down for a while so it was kind of getting to the point where they needed to replace it. There's a little bit less grain, a little bit fuller around the green, so pitching and chipping will be a little bit easier, I think. But usually don't pitch and chip too much in that scramble and bestball format. Not much changes. A couple tee boxes make a couple holes a little bit longer. I think they expanded some of the greens, too, to give it a little bit more area for some hole locations and pin spots, but it's pretty much the same. If the wind gets going like it did yesterday, it will be pretty challenging.

Q. How about the bunker on 18?

JASON DUFNER: That's not in play for me so I didn't even see it.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, not in play for me, either.

JASON DUFNER: I'm short of it on my tee shot and I can get over it on my second shot, so it's out of play.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: You have to ask Gary Woodland or one of those other guys that hit it hard. We don't have to worry about it.

Q. What do either of you guys think of Lexi Thompson being in, the first female since Annika Sorenstam about 10 years ago, how exciting is that to have her and Bryson in it and just I guess having 23 guys and one female play?

BRANDT SNEDEKER: I'm excited about it. I hope I don't have to play with her so she blows it by me because I heard she can really hit it hard and compress a golf ball. She's obviously really, really talented in what she does. She's I think top5 in the world on the women's tour. I love watching her play. She swings at it great and has kind of gotten better and better every year it seems like. So I'll be curious to go out on the range and watch her hit a few and see how she does. She and Bryson should be a pretty good team. Bryson's playing some great golf. Fun to see some young people get a chance and see how they handle it. I'll be watching like everybody else. Kind of interesting to see how it goes.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I play the CVS event from every year so a couple of the females from the LPGA play. I actually played with Lexi and Bryson there this year. I think it's great to kind of cross over and dip your toe into the competitive realm with the boys. Obviously she's earned a right to be here. I think she's a great player. A lot of the girls out there I think are great players, so it will be fun and interesting. And she can hit it, she can play, and she will hit it by you.

BRANDT SNEDEKER: Yeah, thanks.

JASON DUFNER: She did multiple times at CVS. I think it's great that they can cross over and step into over here a little bit.

DAVE SENKO: Jason, would you care to comment on you went to the Grace Place I guess on Monday? Was it Sunday or Monday?


DAVE SENKO: Talk a little bit about that.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah. So one of the things that I came up with with my foundation is everywhere that I've won, being defending this week and in a couple weeks at Humana, I wanted to do something for the local community, give back, because it's real easy for me to just come here, win a tournament, grab all that reward and just go on about my business.

So I had my foundation team research a place here called Grace Place and they work with a whole community there and they work it's kind of a community center and they do a lot of stuff for literacy and just kind of adjusting to living here in the United States. And they feed kids, they feed about 200 kids every day.

So I went over there and fed some meals and hung out with them for about an hour and a half and then made a donation for their holiday feeding program. It was kind of cool just to see what they do here in the local community. Just a nice way to kind of get my foundation tied into something we're doing here in the Naples region and look forward to doing something again in Palm Springs in a couple weeks.


About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 180 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California–based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $733 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016.
About The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is renowned for its exceptional personalized service, inventive cuisine and luxurious accommodations, with panoramic views of the adjacent Greg Norman-designed Tiburón Golf Club. The 295-room Mediterranean-style resort, ranked as one of the top hotels in the U.S. by U.S. New & World Report is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburón. The course is the host location for both the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout, held in December and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, held in November.  

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