A look at some of the quotes from the top players after the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, where Rickie Fowler and Bryson DeChambeau share the lead.
What would it mean to your family if you were able to take home a win?
FOWLER: Well this is a place that, from the first couple times I played it, knew it was just kind of a matter of time before I would win here.
I know I can win here, I put myself in position plenty of times.
So, no, it would be a perfect week to do it. Thunderbirds have always been great to me, giving me a sponsor exemption here back when I was in school at Oklahoma State. And since I don’t play as many tournaments on the West Coast, I get a lot of friends and family that come out here, so it makes for a fun Sunday night.
Even though we, I have a shoot on Monday, so wouldn’t be too much fun, but, no, this is a special place and having some people out following and supporting, it would make it that much more special.
T1 (-10, 66-66)
Do you think playing this way and getting to the third round in contention is a stepping stone of getting back to where you want to be?
MICKELSON: I think so. I had signs last year at Napa, finishing third, my only tournament for this wraparound season and at the Presidents Cup where I played very well, where I handled pressure.
But after three months off, for me to get into contention I was certainly rusty the first two days. I felt like my game was good but I wasn’t as dialed in mentally on seeing the shot.
I started to see what I didn’t want to have happen. You can’t do that out here.
T8 (-7, 70-65)
You came here a couple years ago you were No. 2 in the world, now you have two kids. How do you balance all of that? I saw that you said Jack Nicklaus learned how to do it, you’re kind of wrestling with it. How do you deal with that with such monstrous talent that you have?
WATSON: Not very good at it, obviously. You got to pick and choose your battles. Last year I wasn’t very good at golf, but I guess I was good as a dad and a husband. I would rather be that than a good golfer.
So, no, it’s just you’re learning, you’re learning a process. I didn’t win as a junior on the big stage. I went to college and won a couple tournaments. Made it to the pros, didn’t win for awhile. You’re always taking that next step up the ladder, trying to get better at the game. You’re also trying to get better at life itself. It’s a slow process.
Last year was a challenging year for me and my family. Me physically, I went down to 165 pounds, which I was up to 210 at one time during my career — I guess I fluctuate a lot — but, so I wasn’t very healthy as I needed to be last year.
So trying to get back healthy, my son’s in kindergarten, my wife had knee surgery, so there’s a lot of things we’re battling. But struggling on the golf course is not very bad.
T19 (-6, 67-69)
How close do you think you need to be at the end of the day to have a chance? What’s the bigger deal, the number of strokes or number of players?
THOMAS: Probably number of players, I would say for sure. But if I could stay within five, that would be great.
You can go shoot 8 or 9 under in a heartbeat out here. It’s hard if you’re five back and you’re in 15th or 20th as opposed to five back and you’re in 6th or 7th, but, yeah, we’ll just wait and see.
T19 (-6, 68-68)
Credits: ASAP Sports, Getty Images