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JOHN DEERE CLASSIC

July 12, 2018

Steve Wheatcroft

Silvis, Illinois

Q. Well, Steve, a 62, which is your best round on the PGA TOUR. Putter was dialed in, irons were dialed in.
But you made a tweak to your driver, and that paid off today. How so?

STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah. I've been playing well the; last few weeks. Just the driver. I'd hit one or two screw balls around that cost me a bogey or double bogey. It's really, really hurt me.

Got tired of that. Luckily the Callaway guys came out and worked with me a little bit yesterday. We put a new driver head on. Felt great on the range. I hadn't played one hole of golf with it and just trusted it today.

It was really good. It's nice knowing that I could aim down the middle and it wasn't going to be a wipe right; wasn't going to be anything crazy.

Q. Looking for a little momentum as we inch closer to FedExCup Playoffs. You've had a really long stretch already. How are you keeping focused and what are you focused on?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I'm just focused on playing and making birdies. I'm so far behind the eight ball at this point I just want to keep playing golf, keep making birdies. 62, we'll try to three more 62s at 'em and hopefully that's good enough.

No, it's a long stretch right now. I went from not playing golf at all, not getting into any tournaments, to now playing six out of seven weeks.

I just rest when I can rest and try not to overexert myself on the range.

Q. Okay, but six birdies in a row to finish your first round. How much momentum can that give you going into the second?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I tried to keep the round going. I asked if we could just go to the first tee and start round two.

No, I don't know if I've ever done that to finish a round. It was great. Yeah, I would just try to keep doing what I'm doing. Played really well. Played really solid, with the exception of one hole. I scrambled on 9.

Other than that, just try to keep it going.

Q. So you got to tell me about this kid.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, he just showed up on 13. He was just standing there with his hand out, so I high fived him.

I made birdie on 13 and he was standing there. He was like, Hey, great birdie. I'm like, Hey, thanks a lot. Every time we would walk by we would kind of fist bump him. We were all high fiving him.

I just kept seeing him as we were walking off the green. I gave him a ball. I was like, Look, you have been here since -- every since you showed up I made six straight birdies.

Q. That is kind of freaky.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, see if I can kidnap him for tomorrow.

Q. I was going to say, you got to find out his name because I selfishly want to know so I can find the kid.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah. It was funny though. I kept looking, Yeah, he's back again. Why is he following our group?

We didn't remember seeing -- even Keith said something to me. I don't remember seeing him until like 13. I'm like, That's about right.

Q. Golf gods are delivering.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I'll take it.

Q. Is your family here with you this week?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: They're not. They actually went home Sunday under to of Greenbrier.

Q. Do you have your passport?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I do. I think I have. Yeah.

Q. Did you intentionally do that or you always carry it?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I always carry it with me. No, trust me. No, I was not planning on -- I would figure it out. I would find a way to get there if I could. If I needed it, so be it. But yeah, it was the least of my worries.

Q. Fantastic round, especially getting hot late. How did that feel?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Felt great. I was 2-under through 12. I had a lot of good birdie looks that hadn't fallen yet. I was just trying to get some momentum going.

Luckily hit one to about five feet on 13, about five feet on 14, and five feet on 15. So nice to make some easier birdies. I didn't hit my best shot on 16, but poured in a nice 25-footer there.

Yeah, to birdie the last two as well was a nice finish.

Q. When you're rolling like that, you want to keep playing?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah. I wanted to keep going. Go to the first tee and let's start round two.

Yeah, it was great. Hopefully roll the momentum over into tomorrow and keep the birdies going.

Q. What is your thought process going into tomorrow? You know there are big number and a lot of scoring out there as well.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, I mean, I shot 9-under and might not even be leading tomorrow morning. It is what it is.

I know have to go low here. Two Web.Com Tour events I won on I shot 29 and 24-under, so I know how to go low. I've done that when I'm playing well, and I feel like I'm playing really well right now.

Hopefully we can roll it into three more good days.

Q. Last two tournaments you make the cuts; you felt like the game was kind of rounding into form?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, I mean, I've played well. Last week I was in 21st going into Sunday and shot 6-over par. I don't know what caused it. I don't know -- I told somebody earlier I missed one shot through ten holes and was 2-over par last week on Sunday.

It's just a goofy game. You can hit a lot of great shots and not get rewarded, and then you can hit some so-so shot that fall your way. Just try to stay patient and try to finish it off.

Q. You put the new driver head on yesterday. When was the last time before that you had made a big tweak to your equipment?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: To a driver, I hadn't touched my driver. Even the reps said they didn't have any information on it, because they sent it to me -- I think probably sent it to me in September. I liked it. I liked it a lot. It's been pretty good all year.

Again, when I get it under pressure or into the wind I get this kind of ball that squirts right on me and can get me into some trouble. Last week we two different balls. On Saturday I hit one in the water on 16; Sunday hit one out of bounds on 12 when shouldn't have been in play.

Just got tired of that ball popping up. So luckily he brought a driver head out yesterday afternoon, and we tried it and seemed to work really well.

Q. How is it different?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: It's just a little different on the setup, so a little more closed face maybe than what mine was so that I don't have to worry about wiping across it. The misses are just soft cuts instead of the big fades.

But I hadn't played a hole of golf with it until today. It was a nice start for that driver today.

Q. The 18th hole is one of the most difficult holes on the TOUR and you birdied it. Since you're talking about drivers, how did you come up to the 18th hole mentally?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: It's a daunting hole. I've always had trouble with that tee ball. For some reason I just hit it right. So it was nice -- again, going back to the driver, it was nice that I had have a driver where I didn't have to worry about that. I could just aim it down the left center, swing hard, and...

I hit a good one there. It was a perfect 6-iron number, but it's still a really brutal shot. I knew the slope would kind of kick it down to the left. I just tried to hit it in the middle of the green and let it funnel down, and that's exactly what it did.

Q. When you're riding a wave like you were today, how do you try to stay in the moment and not think too much ahead?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I'm just literally trying to hit good shots each time I would swing. You get a good number, you just try to picture your shot, stay in the moment, and just try to hit that shot at hand.

If you don't, you either go up and figure out how to make the long birdie putt or -- you know, just one shot at a time and don't get ahead of yourself score-wise.

Out here you look up and you're always -- you know you make a birdie and you think you took the lead. Nope, that other guy made birdie, too.

Q. Right.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: It's a birdie fest because the greens are soft right now. The wind is blowing, but the greens are soft and receptive and rolling pretty well. You know you have to keep making birdies here.

Q. (Indiscernible)...especially getting out there early and the conditions you had today.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, it's in great shape. It's a little soft, but I know with this heat and with the wind they have to protect it a little bit. They don't want to lose it for Sunday.

Yeah, it's definitely soft. You can throw wedges right at the flag. You have to worry about spinning them too much instead of bouncing into the flag. After a few holes you kind of got a feel for them and go from there.

The tee balls aren't running too hard in the fairway, so, again, you can be pretty aggressive with your lines.

Yeah, just keep making birdies. When the fairways and greens are soft, guys out here are good and they're going to keep making birdies.

Q. Did you see anything like this coming today?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: Yeah, if you would've told me. I know if you look at my scores and my record for the year you wouldn't have believed it, but I've been playing some good golf the last month. I had a couple terrible Sundays to fall way back.

But I've been slowly like putting the pieces together here and putting the swing together. The driver was the one club that I just didn't feel great with. I think I fixed that. I am hoping I fixed that yesterday.

Just roll with what we got now. I know I've been swinging well. It's just a matter of putting it together and doing it at the right times.

Q. Was there a mentality change in the last month or so? Obviously weren't playing very well in the spring.
STEVE WHEATCROFT: No. I mean, I've 40 years old. I'm realistic about where I'm at in my career at this point. I'm well back in the FedExCup. I've got a long ways to go.

I am just trying to play some good golf. If I play some good golf, the results will take care of themselves.

Yeah, it's been a brutal year, to be honest with you. It's probably the worst year I've had so far, but I don't feel like I'm playing the worst golf of my career. I actually feel like I am playing good golf. I'm just not getting the results outs it.

It's a weird thing to say until you go through it. It's kind of hard to explain to people, but I feel like it's close. 62 didn't surprise me today. Maybe a little bit just with the new driver and new club going into play.

But it was rock solid and the rest of the game was there.

Q. Got your passport with you?
STEVE WHEATCROFT: I do. I usually carry it with me in my carry-on. Yeah, that's what I just told the Golf Channel was that's the last thing I was worried about this week was making sure I had my passport.

I just wanted to play some good golf and come up with a good finish.

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