Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Notable Quotes: Valspar Championship, Saturday’s 3rd Round – Casey Leads Johnson by 1 at 9-under

NBC Sports Notable Quotes
Valspar Championship
Third Round
Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club (Copperhead Course)
Palm Harbor, Fla.
Saturday, March 23, 2019

Valspar Championship Third Round Leaderboard
Paul Casey -9
Dustin Johnson -8
Jason Kokrak -7
Luke Donald -6
Scott Stallings -6

**Live tournament coverage of Sunday’s final round begins on GOLF Channel at 1 p.m. ET, continuing on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.

On Paul Casey, leader at 9-under par (3-under 68 on Saturday)
Paul Azinger – “It is a tough course to sleep on the lead, especially when Dustin Johnson is trailing you. Paul Casey has really been the star of the show.”
Notah Begay – “Casey is not one of those guys whose name pops in your head when we talk about the long hitters, but he certainly has the ability to move it out there, especially when he hits it on the screws.”
Begay – “This man has been impressive today. Just complete control of his golf ball. It has been fun to watch.”

On Dustin Johnson, 2nd at 8-under par (4-under 67 on Saturday)
Azinger – “Pretty impressive to see a guy carry the ball that far and be that accurate. He will be hard to beat if he keeps that up.”
Mackay – “This man has no fear.”
Dan Hicks – “Dustin Johnson continues to post good score after good score even when he doesn’t have his full arsenal.”

Dustin Johnson speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round
Dustin Johnson – “Around here birdies are good on any hole. Birdieing the last hole, it was a big birdie. If it gets me in that last group than I’m in a good position either way, going into tomorrow. I felt like I played really solid. Missed a couple of short birdie opportunities but other than that, I played really well.”

On Jason Kokrak, 3rd at 7-under par (5-under 66 on Saturday)
Azinger – “This is the real deal to make a 1 on a hole like that [No. 15]. Something you will never forget as a player.”
Azinger – “When you are standing on 15, generally you are hoping to just walk away with a par.”
Hicks – “Just perfect. And he left the stick in.”
Feherty – “He is the leader so far this week in strokes gained putting. I always feel like I should explain what this means because it took me two years to figure out what that meant.”
Azinger – “He is a cocky player when he gets it going. There is no stopping this guy. He believes in himself. If he keeps it going like this, I don’t think he is the type that will back off. I’m really surprised he hasn’t won yet.”

Jason Kokrak speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round
Jason Kokrak – “I think it is a good, hard golf course. There is nothing crazy about it. It is right there in front of you. You have to hit golf shots to win here. It is a hard finish here at 16,17 and 18. They are tough pars. You’ve got to get it early and stay patient.”
Kokrak (on the hole-in-one) – “We had 194 to carry it into the down grain part. It was downwind, we hit 8-iron and we know if we flushed it, it would be perfect, and it went in just like a putt. A lot of fun to always make an ace out on Tour.”
Kokrak – “It is one of those things that any Tour player, you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low. You make a good swing you get rewarded, you make a bad swing you get penalized. I made a good swing and made a 1. You just have to try to hit golf shots, one after another. One doesn’t mean any more than the other.”

On Luke Donald, T4 at 6-under par (1-under 70 on Saturday)
Jim “Bones” Mackay – “Good to have Luke back. He is one heck of a player and a fierce competitor. Seen him play a lot of Ryder Cup golf, he can get it done when he’s healthy.”
Hicks – “What a Saturday this has been for Luke Donald. Just his second event of the year.”
Azinger – “He is some kind of scrambler.”

On the Valspar Championship and the Copperhead Course
Paul Azinger – “It is fair as much as anything. I believe every player out here believes they can play well on hard golf courses, and this one is really, really hard. It may be the hardest course on the Florida Swing. All in all, the players love it here because it is fair and it is a great test.”
Notah Begay – “There are a few who have been bitten at the Snake Pit over the years.”
Feherty – “I have been bitten twice by a snake. Not the same snake but they give me the willies just the thought of it…It happened at the PGA Championship in Europe. I was playing a practice round with my friend Sam Torrance and he managed to trap the only poisonous snake in the British Isles. He trapped it underneath his 2-iron and asked me to take a look at it and I did.”
Hicks – “Wouldn’t you know it, you and your buddy Sam Torrance getting into trouble.”
Feherty – “Two weeks in the hospital.”
Azinger – “Where did he bite you, in the ankle?”
Feherty – “The end of my finger. There are only two ways you can get bitten by a snake. You either have to be really unlucky or really stupid. I’ll give you one guess.”

-NBC Sports Group-