Hunter Mahan Saturday (Third Round)
Q. Rough finish but a good round of golf. You'll take it or how do you feel?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, those last two holes are the hardest holes on the course probably, so I did a lot of good things today. I hung in there for a while then had a good stretch, so hit a lot of good shots. And it's a tough place. You really can't be upset at shooting under par.
Q. Nobody has really separated, once they get to the top, they seem to come back to earth. Why is it that nobody can separate themselves from anybody else?
HUNTER MAHAN: Because this course is very penalizing. You can't hit it. If you hit an errant shot, you're going to have a tough time making par. It's hard to string along three, four, five birdies in a row. It's easy to make pars and even the putts. Even if you hit a good shot, you still have a putt that probably is going to break a lot and have difficult speed. So this course tests you from tee to green.
Q. How does it feel to be right in there going into a Sunday?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, feels good. It's exciting. I feel like my game's been good for a while and I felt like this course suits me pretty well. The U.S. Open does. I'm a good ball‑striker and you just got to make ‑‑ get my short game a little bit better to kind of save those big up‑and‑downs and make those 6‑, 8‑footers for par and I felt like I did that today. And it feels good to be in the hunt and be in contention.
Q. Some of the guys have talked about how tough the pin placements have been just the past ‑‑ today and yesterday. What do you think they're going to do for tomorrow?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, there aren't ‑‑ we were all talking and looking at the pins, there aren't many pins, there's like four maybe and on some holes it seems like there's only three, just because of the speed of the greens and the slope. Obviously, these greens last time they played here, I don't know how fast they were, they were closer to a six or seven. And when they're rolling over 1, it's very difficult.
I don't think that they're going to diabolical at all tomorrow, they're going to be in the same spots, some easy ones and some tough ones. Just a very challenging course from tee to green.
Q. How would you describe the closing holes, 14 through 18?
HUNTER MAHAN: I would say they're ‑‑ 14's a good hole, it's not, the tee shot's right out in front of you. You can see it, which makes it a lot easier. The second shot's straight uphill. But it's not ‑‑ you know, you can get on the green and you can make a two‑putt.
Q. But as total of holes. How difficult ‑‑ you talk about diabolical, just the challenge there.
HUNTER MAHAN: It's the teeth of the course. The Tournament's really not going to ‑‑ you just don't know what's going to happen. It's going to be a very, very exciting finish because I don't think any lead is safe, and there's an opportunity to make two or three birdies in there. So it's a great finish, it's got a clash of I won't say easy holes but gettable holes.
And obviously 17 and 18, 18 is 530 yards uphill. So it's a brutal hole.