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AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP

July 24, 2016

Mark Mulder Mardy Fish Jack Wagner

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We have our 2016 champion, Mark Mulder, in the interview room, along with Jack Wagner and Mardy Fish.

Mark, congratulations on a great round today. A lot of shots. A lot of great birdies out there from all three of you guys.

You are the first two time or back-to-back winner since Rick Rhoden 2008, 2009. Congratulations.

(Applause.)

MARK MULDER: Appreciate it. I knew going into today I needed to make a bunch of birdies, and I didn't make many putts the last few days. Today is one of those days I knew I had to. Luckily they started rolling in, and you start getting that -- there's kind of a vibe out there. It's kind of a feeling at times.

Our group had it. And I had it. And that's all that really matters. And that's what I was looking for, and once they started rolling in, I started making a bunch. My caddie was giving me some good reads.

And before you know it, you start to get the lead. And I kind of kept my head down and try to keep making birdies not paying attention to where I'm at until 18 when I finally asked where I was at.

But other than that, it was a fun day, and I'm glad I finished it off.

Q. Four consecutive birdies, 6, 7, 8, 9, not a bad way to finish off the front nine.
MARK MULDER: I've always struggled on those holes. And last year I birdied those holes on day two of the tournament, I believe.

So just like anything else, you get on a little bit of a roll, all of a sudden I started feeling comfortable. I hit the ball nice and close. Had anywhere from 40 to 80 yards into those greens, or at least 8, 9, 10, right around there, and you make some putts, and that's what this is.

A lot of us can hit the ball really good. It becomes a putting contest at some point, and today I made a bunch.

Q. Mardy, you had a pretty good look on 18 for an eagle that would have tied it and forced a playoff. How far was that putt, and what were you thinking standing over that one?
MARDY FISH: When we got up there, I thought Mark most likely parred 18, so I thought I had to hit in on the second shot on 18, and I didn't think we had a chance, then I thought maybe the scoreboard was wrong. And then I thought I had that putt to tie.

MARK MULDER: Just choked (laughter).

MARDY FISH: I don't know, 12 feet, something like that, ten feet. It wasn't a very tough putt. In the context of the rest of the putts, throughout the week, weekend, that was a relatively easy one. I didn't make many, so...

Q. You were all grinding pretty good on the front. Jack, you were moving well on the front, then all of a sudden he runs off, four in a row. What were you thinking?
JACK WAGNER: Mardy and I were pretty close, the whole front nine never got a hot streak going. We were kind of staying in it, hoping something would happen. I think it was eight when Mardy and I finally noticed Mark was in the 60s and we were making some pars.

So I personally just the last two days have been kind of even par rounds for me, just never got anything going like I did the first day. And I think Mark and I were in the press conference yesterday and we were talking about today, and Mark's the one who did it. Mark is the one who made the birdies, made the putts.

And I think we all knew going in, the top four, five guys knew that somebody had to get hot. And that was what was going to happen, otherwise it was going to be a logjam around 70 points or 67 points.

Q. Mark, yesterday you mentioned you were in your comfort spot at five points behind. Can you kind of compare that to pitching, being a starter, especially? Does that relate at all?
MARK MULDER: No, not really, I just think it was a little ironic, I was five points back last year and I was five points back this year.

Nothing different about it. I was in a completely different group. I still needed to go out and make some putts, which I did last year, and I was fortunate enough to do this year.

Really has nothing to do with pitching. It's just -- pitching and golf are about the only two things in sports -- and maybe serving a tennis ball, where nothing can happen until you do it. And that's about it.

And I think maybe that's a help. But to be honest, man, you gotta have confidence out there. You still have to hit the golf shot.

Q. I could have looked this up, but were you ever a closer in baseball?
MARK MULDER: No.

Q. Because you were kind of a closer last year and this year.
MARK MULDER: I never was. I was always a starter. I think I made maybe two relief appearances my whole career. Closing wouldn't have been for me. I didn't have the short memory like a closer needs to have.

Q. Record round in the tournament history is 33 points, you got 29 today, with a bogey on 18. What did you think coming down?
MARK MULDER: I really wasn't thinking anything. Until 18th fairway when I asked Charlie Rymer where I stood, I didn't look at a scoreboard the entire day. And I kept telling my buddy, Kenny, who was caddying for me: Don't tell me anything. I had no idea where I stood until 18th fairway, and then I go and make a bogey from middle of the fairway.

So I probably shouldn't have asked. The point is I was trying to get my head down, make birdies. I knew I was a group in front of them, and I need to put some pressure on them and that was my mindset the entire day.

Q. From day one, everyone said how fast the greens were. After Wells and Clemens and a bunch of big football players, did the greens hold up for you today?
MARDY FISH: The greens were fantastic. I asked Notah Begay today, he said they have probably 20 percent of their tournaments as fast as that, otherwise the PGA TOUR has the rest of them are a bit slower. And I asked Annika last night -- she hadn't played on the course, so I would be hard pressed to think they could get too much faster with a lot of wind, they could be -- the ball could be moving around, too.

So we got incredible weather as well. So there were really not many excuses.

JACK WAGNER: I just think that the odds-makers, if you look at who they made the two favorites, it was Mark and Mardy. And when you put a test out there for any type of scratch golfers or even professional golfers, when it comes to greens, it's really going to -- these guys are both really great ball strikers, and they probably would say their putting is sometimes their weakest spot. So for me I don't hit the ball as near as them, but I think my putting and chipping is my strong point.

So I felt I had to putt great this week to compete with these guys. But Mark putted great today, and that's what happens. It kind of -- it will definitely separate the better players when the greens are good.

MARK MULDER: Well, I kind of said from the beginning how good the greens were. I was in here on, what, Wednesday or Thursday. I thought low to mid 70s was going to win this thing.

I said to my caddie today -- I had a bet with him that I had to get to 30 points. I said if I get to 30 I win this thing, because that number -- they would have had to have looked at that behind me and I was just trying to get there that whole day.

So you gotta make some putts. And today I finally did, because I had it the ball really well on Friday and Saturday and didn't make -- I did not make anything that I looked at.

So today was nice to finally see some putts go in and make some confident strokes and hear the bottom of the cup.

Q. And, by the way, that commemorative tree that had the names I mentioned yesterday, had the other two-time winners, unfortunately, Mark, it was cut down for the construction.
MARK MULDER: It's a beautiful resort. It will be next year. (Laughter).

Q. You said earlier in the week that you were going to -- you were kind of blaming your mom for not getting the bet down last year. Did we resolve that issue this year?
MARK MULDER: Yeah, I took care of that. My parents are here. My wife took care of that bet a few days ago. So she'll have to go collect on it tonight before we leave.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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