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Harris English & Matt Kuchar - December 9, 2016


DAVE SENKO: Well, Harris and Matt, thanks for joining us. 6under 66 today and a oneshot lead going into tomorrow. Maybe just some quick thoughts from each of you on your day and then we'll get some questions.

MATT KUCHAR: Starting this morning I knew it was going to be a challenge. Alternate shot's always a tricky format. If you would have told us 6 under bogey-free in today's conditions, we'd take that straightaway. I'd be surprised if another group was bogey-free today. It was good golf. I don't remember a hole being nervous that we might walk away with a bogey. Every hole we kind of had a chance and it was a good, fun round of golf to the.

HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, I mean, warming up on the range this morning, the wind's pumping into you and you kind of know that this format is a little tougher than yesterday. Yesterday you kind of had the partner that you can freewheel it a little bit, but today it was tough. But playing bogey-free golf, 6 under was awesome. That's kind of what we set out to do and looking forward to tomorrow kind of in the position that we've wanted to be in.

DAVE SENKO: You've gotten off to a good start both days, I think you birdied 1 and 2 yesterday and today. I think I looked up you're 114 under par since you guys teamed up going into tomorrow. Maybe just your thoughts on this different format tomorrow?

MATT KUCHAR: Different format, par is clearly not going to win this thing. We've got to go out and make birdies. Best ball. There are a number of holes where you can take advantage. I think our game plan, same as everybody's game plan, have two chances at birdie, have two looks at it. The more holes we can do that, the better the chances of making some birdies. So we'll stick to the same plan. I'll get on the tee, try to put it on the fairway, let Harris move it a little further along down the fairway and try to get a couple looks at birdie.

DAVE SENKO: Was there any letup at all in the weather or was it pretty constant from start to finish?

HARRIS ENGLISH: It was pretty constant. I guess you get back there in the trees, the last  yeah, it was tough. You had to hit quality golf shots. You had to hit it solid. And some of the putts were a little tougher because the wind was blowing pretty hard. All in all, it was just a tougher day.

Q. You parred the last seven holes. Did you just not have as many good opportunities or something messed the rhythm up a little bit?

MATT KUCHAR: It was one of those things, we had a couple good looks. A couple slid by the edge and that's part of the deal, you can't make them all. It was nice a couple on the front did go in and then a couple on the back just slid by. But still bogeyfree, there aren't that many good looks. 17's the one you kind of really want to make birdie on. On the green in two, but really tough twoputt and just barely let that one escape us. Other than that, I don't see any other one that just really got away from us.

Q. How do you guys explain why a Bulldog and a Yellow Jacket play so well together here?

MATT KUCHAR: That is a good question. It's a unique pairing that way and there's a decent rivalry, but I think both of us look at it as more respecting each other's games. We have very similar laid back, easygoing personalities. Just kind of we let that bit slide and just try to play some good golf together.

Q. Speaking of yellow jackets, you had to deal with something on 7, what was going on there?

HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, I'm not really scared of the yellow jacket or bee, I just didn't want to somehow touch the ball and Kuch be a little mad at me. But it was just a weird situation where normally you can get it to fly off, but that bee did not want to leave that golf ball. I mean, any situation like that, you want to do the right thing and call in an official to make sure it's all right. But yeah, we were dealing, got him off of there and continued to play.

Q. Any superstitions maybe for the week?

HARRIS ENGLISH: I don't think so. I'm not a very superstitious person.

MATT KUCHAR: Nor me. We'll keep up the same stuff. We're not going back to the same place for dinner tonight, I know that. We had an awesome dinner at Sea Salt last night. We'll be somewhere else tonight, still undetermined. So not too many superstitions.

Q. What was the highlight for you guys, was there a shot or a hole?

MATT KUCHAR: Today, birdieing the second hole. That's a hard, hard hole, hard approach. I hit a nice approach in and Harris was able to make a 10 or 12-footer. I kind of knew things were good escaping that hole feeling like we  birdieing the first two in this format, that was we had at least a shot advantage on the field by going 2 under through two.

Q. Who made birdie at No. 1?

MATT KUCHAR: I made the putt, 10-footer on the first.

Q. You guys have a pretty good margin, the last two groups are your two pairings. Is that good to have that right there, and somebody will probably go kind of low by the time you get out there.

MATT KUCHAR: I'm sure we're looking at the people we figure, the real challenger with Stricker and Kelly. Seems like we've got a gap over third. They played some good golf, certainly had a great finish. But they're both steady and you get them with looks at birdies and they're going to get them to go down. They're kind of quite good when it goes to converting opportunities.

So nice to have a oneshot lead, but we certainly, that's no great cushion against guys like that that can really do some scoring. I thought what we did on day one going 15 under was just a remarkable round of golf. For them to go 16 under, you know they're on some good form. So we know we've got our work cut out for us. It will take a lot of birdies for us to claim this title.

Q. How does the mindset change because it looked like you guys were maybe going to run away with it, you were up as many as four and then they kind of rallied.

MATT KUCHAR: We would have the same game plan tomorrow whether we're up four or up one. You have to keep plodding away having two chances at birdies. You keep trying to make pars out here and these guys are going to catch you and pass you.


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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