Catching Up with Brendon Todd

Now things are starting to get serious at the Byron Nelson Tournament. Photo Courtesy:
Now things are starting to get serious at the Byron Nelson Tournament. Photo Courtesy:

By Will Martin

This could and perhaps should be the theme for Round Two Friday at the Byron Nelson Tournament this day at the Four Seasons in Irving, Texas. Especially if you happen to be a fan of the Beatles.

Quite the cluster of players who shot in the low to mid sixties on this day. Wind was at a minimum and, as you can imagine, with warmer weather making its way into the Metroplex the greens, the speed of play, and the pin placement seemed to make for some incredible rounds and low scores.

Your current leader after 36 holes is Brendon Todd. A six under 64 for an eight under par score and two stroke lead over a host of golfers, including Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer, Graham Delaet, Tim Herron, Charles Howell III, Mike Weir, Morgan Hoffman, to name a few.

Paul Casey with the back nine of his life shooting a 27! Scott Scheffler makes the cut and goes into the weekend. Jordan Spieth also played a solid round and enters play Saturday in a six way tie at -3.

The man of the hour after a solid 64 is Brendon Todd. Here is what he had to say after his round atop the leader board.

Great playing out there today…If we can get comments on your round?
Thanks a lot. Very pleased with the round obviously. Its nice to put two under par rounds together before the cut and that’s been a challenge for me this year. I was patient today, I parred the first six holes, and hten hit a wedge close after driving it into the fairway bunker on 7, the Par 5. The tee shot was frustrating but the close wedge shot was huge, then made a long putt for birdie on 8 and hit great shots on the back nine, continuously setting up close birdies.

Recap your season for us up to this point?
My best season yet so far on the PGA Tour. Made all four cuts in the fall and made the –and then finished 6th at the Humana. That was my first time in the final group on a Sunday, so that was fun, good experience. Played another good weekend in dry, windy San Antonio, much like the conditions here so I think dry and windy probably suits my game. Excited to be here in the last group on the weekend, here.

So what got you going and especially on the back nine? You really tore it up on the back.
You know, I think just those pars I saved on the front nine and then making that long putt for birdie on 8 gave me that nice confidence boost going back to the back nine and thinking that I was going to have opportunities to tear it up, especially after playing the the back nine 4-under yesterday, I was able to turn with some confidence there.

Had you seem this coming? You talked about the process of building up and playing better this year. Did you sense that you were going to have a good week this week?
Did I sense what?

Did you sense you were going to have a good week?
I did. I was an alternate last week for the Players, so I was in Jacksonville practicing, my caddy and I had an awesome practice, lots of good short-game work, and I have been hitting the ball solid for about a year and a half now so for me it was about being patient and waiting for the weeks to come where I would get the ups and downs and make some birdies.

You tied for 17th here last year. Are you learning more about this course, and if so, what?
Yeah, last year on the weekend it was really windy and I played a lot like today where I drove the ball pretty straight in the right spots, and I was able to hit some iron shots close in the wind. I really think the more you play here the more you realize you’ve got to play smart into the greens because the pins are always tucked into these sections where if you go at it and you miss the green you’re dead. So I htink the more times I play here, the more patient I get.

So you played well on the back nine and Paul Casey shot 27 on the back nine today.
Did he? Wow!

27 is a great number anywhere, can you fathom getting close to that?
No, I don’t see 27 out there on the back nine. Wedge on 10,11,16 is reachable for everybody but me. I don’t see how you shoot 27 there.

Going on from that, isn’t the back nine harder than the front?
I don’t know, hasn’t played harder for me this week. Obviously wasn’t harder for Paul today. It could be the wind and the way they set the pins up so far. I noticed they used the back pins on three so they could have set the front up a little more difficult the first couple of days than they will on the weekend.

A few of the guys said yesterday that they thought the pins were a little tough. Did you sense that at all yesterday? Did you feel like they may have balanced it out today a little bit?
Um, no. I think the pins–I think evergreen has four sections and three of the sections are diffficult. So I think you’re going to have pretty difficult pins every day here, and I think that, like I said, yesterday I had some tough pins and today some tough pins. Back on 17 is a tough pin here actually. I think back on 14 is pretty tough, back left on 12 is pretty tough. I think the pins are pretty equal.

Never had a lead on a PGA Tour after a round. Talk about the weekend.
Obviously I’m excited to get tout there with the crowds and get out to there and play, have a good routine, communicate with my caddy well and being committed to my reads on the greens and seeing if the putts fall.

Seems like the scores aren’t dreadfully low. What is it about this course every year that makes par stand up so well?
Number one it’s a par 70. Par 70’s if you look down the PGA TOUR we’re much less likely to get to 10 under with only two par 5s  for the week. Like I said, too, around the greens is nearly impossible so it keeps people from getting too in check and from shooting low numbers but there were low numbers today. I shot 64, Paul had a 64 or 65, Retief had a 65, I saw nothing but 60’s when I looked at the leaderboard.

That would be you mind-set going into the weekend, you learn to go play into the greens more cautiously, if you will?
For me I’m putting well so anytime I can get the ball into green on regulation is good for me. I’m going to have a chance to make birdie or easy par so that’s for me the goal. How can I get the ball on to the green in regulation.

Once you saw all the 60’s did you feel any sense of urgency to go low this afternoon, too?
I felt urgency to capitalize on playing well. I feel like my game was good enough to play well this week all four days,, and in the past I’ve always had a hiccup around before the cut so my goal is, if the red numbers are out there, let’s do it!

Moderator: Keep it going Brendon. Thanks for your time!

Two rounds in and two rounds to go. To a great weekend. No telling what’s going to happen!