Pre-Tournament Interview with Ryan Palmer

THE MODERATOR: Ryan, thanks for joining us. You are making your 20th start this week at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Just what has this event meant to you? It's your hometown event, home course. Just being here this week, how special is that?
RYAN PALMER: 20th start, whoo. I guess the old cliche, it's my fifth major. It's very special. It's the one tournament I look forward to the most. I probably cherish it the most because of being a member here for a long time now, just the friends I've made throughout my years here.
I've had some close calls, which is nice, but just being a part of this tournament each and every year, it's hard to put into words what it would mean if it did did happen, but I try not to think about it as much. It's one I want the most.
THE MODERATOR: You call it a non-major. It is currently the longest standing non-major event on PGA TOUR. Again, coming off this T-10 finish coming into this, how do you carry that momentum into this week with the fans here supporting you?
RYAN PALMER: It's been a good week off so far. I didn't play last week. Seeing the weather, I was enjoying it from my couch. No, I spent a lot of good time keeping my momentum going, just from practice days.
Then I played yesterday in the U.S. Open qualifier here in the Dallas area. I played well in the first round, which kept my feeling going, but I kind of stalled there and ended up missing by one.
Yeah, then a little short practice today, it's still there. I love where my game's at. I kept saying all along it's trending, it's moving in the right direction. What happened at Wells Fargo, and then to play well at Byron Nelson, it's so close. I could tell in the way I'm hitting it, and the short game's getting there. Yeah, it's going to be a fun week.
THE MODERATOR: This course is about to undergo a huge renovation. You talk about how special that is. What does that mean for this club to you having this as your home course?
RYAN PALMER: It's going to be spectacular. I was very fortunate to be part of it. They brought myself and James Edmondson, who caddied for me for 20 years, he's a member as well, and they brought us both in on -- not the design team, but just went through with Gil Hans and his team, and I went through with the TOUR officials on Thursday, the final walkthrough.
We kind of put our little stamp of approval, I guess you could say, of being a TOUR player. I was able to talk about different shots we wanted to see, what we don't do and don't want you to do to the golf course.
The plans are going to be unbelievable. This will be the best golf course in town easily, I think, after it's all said and done. Just the way it plays, it stands up to the game's greatest each and every year, and this course shows. I think it's going to get harder for us, and I'm excited for the membership and for the city of Fort Worth.
THE MODERATOR: Last week you said you did take off -- I misspoke. Coming off that T-8 finish at Byron. Someone else who did not take last week off and will be joining you as a sponsor exemption is PGA pro Michael Block. Just what did you see in his game, and how excited are you to have him at this event this week?
RYAN PALMER: Yeah, that was actually fun to watch. I'm sure like a lot of people who sat there on Sunday watching, we just wanted to see what he did. He played a lot better than I probably gave him credit for.
It was unbelievable watching that and what he showcased. Then I found out late Sunday night he received an exemption into this tournament, which is very special. I'm so excited to meet him and congratulate him on what he did last week, which is unprecedented for sure, especially for a PGA of America member, and he qualified for next year's PGA.
Yeah, it was fun to watch. I really enjoyed watching him battle and fight. What an unbelievable, just a great story for the game of golf. Excited to see him this week.
THE MODERATOR: I don't know who would know here. I was able to talk to your agent about it, but you have a tea named after you with HTeaO. Do you enjoy a Ryan Palmer every now and then?
RYAN PALMER: I do. They're popping up everywhere. It's nice. HTeaO, yeah. It kind of started back in Amarillo, Texas, where I grew up, in a restaurant and Justin Howe, who started HTeaO. Someone told me, do you know your name's on a tea in one of these shops? I had no clue.
It turned into a great thing. They've been a part of our foundation, the Ryan Palmer Foundation, the last several years. They donated $8,000 during the month of October for breast cancer to our foundation last year. So they are selling a lot of tea.
Yeah, it's cool. It's fun to be a part of that. We've had some great events together.
Q. Ryan, for what Michael has done this past weekend, how big is that for growing the game of golf? Just in general here and beyond.
RYAN PALMER: I think it just shows anybody can do it. Not anybody can do it, but if you believe in what you're doing and put the work in, you never know what's going to happen. I've always said winning on the PGA TOUR is the hardest thing to do, but you never know when that's going to happen.
You may wake up one Sunday morning and you've had the best day of your life, and the next thing you know, you're winning. He obviously didn't come in there expecting to do that, I'm sure, but after that, his confidence is built, and it's high, and he's here this week playing. He's going to be playing in Canada.
I'll be cheering along with a lot of other folks cheering him on to see him play well. But it's very, very cool to see it happen to a guy that's been around the game of golf. He's given back, teaches. He plays the game as well, but he's also a big part of the Professional Golf Association. It's cool to see a guy like that succeed.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks, Ryan.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
132921-1-1182 2023-05-23 19:44:00 GMT