05-23-2018 Interview with Aaron Wise

Interview with Aaron Wise

THE MODERATOR: Go ahead and get started here with Aaron Wise at the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational. Aaron won the AT&T Byron Nelson last week for his first career win on the PGA TOUR.

You were the second player ever to win on the Web.com Tour, the Mackenzie Tour, and the PGA TOUR, and you're the second youngest winner of the AT&T Byron Nelson behind only Tiger Woods. Have you had a chance to let those kinds of things sink in for you?

AARON WISE: Not really. You know, it's been kind of crazy for me, and especially trying to get ready for this event as well. Obviously I'm playing great and I want that to continue.

Between dealing with all the media and trying to prepare and bet my game ready, I haven't had much time to really sit down and think about it.

Those are two incredible facts. I think I played with -- was Adam Hadwith the other one that did it? I think I played a practice round with him.

THE MODERATOR: Mackenzie Hughes.

AARON WISE: Mackenzie Hughes.

THE MODERATOR: Yeah. He was the other one.

AARON WISE: So that's pretty good company. That really speaks to a special player if you're able to work through all those ranks and get a win. You know, that stat gives me a bunch of confidence because it's pretty cool to have started from the Mackenzie Tour and worked your way all the way up.

THE MODERATOR: Following the runner-up at Wells Fargo and then you win at Byron Nelson, a lot was made of your composure down the stretch in each of those events.

Have you had a chance to think about that and what characteristics about you allowed you to have that composure in those moments?

AARON WISE: Yeah, a lot of people have asked me about that. The only thing I can really put it down to is just the things I've been through in my life. You know, practicing at not a great golf course and really maybe not getting all the opportunities other people have, but making the most of them, and the self-belief that's given me.

I think that shows. In the toughest situations when the pressure is on you, I feel like I've really been able to perform well, which has surprised me just as much as all of you. You never know until you're there.

It was pretty cool to see some of shots I pulled off down the stretch, both at Quail Hollow and last week at Byron Nelson.


Q. Seems like really low scores pretty much every week. Is that the trend? Why do you suppose that is? Especially last week with what you did there.
AARON WISE: Yeah, you know, it's just a lot of good golfers out here now. As the sport has grown and more money has gotten involved, I think you've gotten better and better athletes playing it.

That shows in just how far the guys hit the ball now. You're just really able to really take apart golf courses. It's hard. They set them up as good as they can, as fair as they can, which is huge.

But in today as word it's just kind of what it is. People are going to go low. I think the fans really embrace that. It's great for golf. People want to watch guys hit the ball really far and make some birdies.

I think it's just helped the sport kind of take off as well.

Q. The traditional scouting report here has been, as Jordan said, hit to the 150 marker, whatever that takes, and playing from there. Then Jon Rahm talks about hitting driver on every hole and just going for it. Where in that spectrum do you think you'll fall with this course?
AARON WISE: It's funny you say that actually. I was talking to my caddie. Those are the two ways to play this course. I think that's why you can see everyone can win out here. It's aggressive to take driver and hit driver on every hole, but it can give you a big advantage if you're hitting it well. Jon is probably the straightest driver of the ball out for how long he hits it, so I don't doubt that strategy.

But there other guys who are great with their irons and wedges. Zach Johnson and guys like that have played well and won here. You can kind of approach them both ways. I played my first 18 around here yesterday so I am still trying to get a bearing of it. I'm excited I get nine more holes to get a look.

But it's totally different to last week. Last week was grind, bomb and gouge, and this week is very position golf.

Q. Last week's big question, Internet sensation, was Yanny versus Laurel. Now everybody is trying figure out what you said to your girlfriend on the 18th when you won.
AARON WISE: No, that was fun. No, she flew in that day and surprised me. She was absolutely ecstatic about it, and so I was I. We were talking about that on the green. She asked me if I knew she was coming, and I actually had checked her location earlier so I kind of ruined her surprise a little bit.

But no, it was a ton of fun. None of my team was there on Saturday, so it was really cool for them all to fly in on Sunday and for me to share that moment with them.

Q. What is it like two weeks in a row having to get prepared for courses that you haven't played? Coming off a win and having to start over again.
AARON WISE: Yeah, I been doing that all year. Other than the Fall Series, I played a good amount of them. Since then it's been all learning.

You know, like I said, it's a ton of work for me just because all these guys have played these courses for so many years and I'm trying to learn them on the fly. It keeps me sharp because I have to play a lot of holes; I have to really put in the time. I can't kind of do it in a half way. I have to go all in if I want to play well in these tournaments.

So it's kept me sharp and I really enjoy it. It's cool coming from a course like last week to this week because that's literally completely opposite. I think that's kind of fun. You can't keep the same mentality. You've got to really change it up.

I just enjoy all that.

Q. (No microphone.)
AARON WISE: Later I'm on the front.

Q. Just a quick question. As far as being a rookie and not learning the golf courses, do you have like a mentor, another player that has kind of taken you under their wing to help and you guide you a little bit week to week? On the LPGA they had Big Sisters, you know, players who would kind of take some of the rookies under their win.
AARON WISE: No, I wouldn't say I have one player it particular that I've followed. I try to learn from a bunch. Coach out here works with Scott Piercy and Patrick Rogers as well, so I tend to play some practice rounds with them and kind of pick their brain on it.

I just try to go out there -- it's almost nice because I get a little fresh mind at it. I feel like you can kind of get stuck into doing the same thing when you play these courses over and over again.

It's pretty cool to go out there and look at everything with a fresh mind. Me and my caddie just kind of figure it out, and we really enjoy that.

Q. Can you talk about the shock of opening up your bank account yesterday and seeing direct deposit?
AARON WISE: I didn't. I don't know if the money is there. I don't know what you're talking about.

No, it's pretty cool. I don't play golf for the money. That's kind of coming with it. Ever since I've turned pro I've kind of had enough money in the bank to know that I would be able if play golf for a long time without worrying about it.

That's the attitude I keep. I play it because I love it and it's the best sport in the word. I think it's amazing; I think it's fun. Those are kind of the reasons I do it; not because my bank account has grown.

Q. Are you going to reward yourself?
AARON WISE: Probably. Probably when I get home and get some time I'll maybe get myself a nice grille or something that I've really been wanting. I'm not going to spend a bunch of it, but I'll probably treat myself a little bit.

Q. I was hoping somebody else would ask this question. You talked about on the 18th. One of the other things the Internet was buzzing about was you went in for the kiss and seemed you got denied a little bit there. Did you guys talk about that?
AARON WISE: Yeah, I been giving her [a hard time] about that. A lot has been made about that. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me go in for the kiss.

No hard feelings at all. We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was.

Q. Besides seeing your girlfriend and having that as a surprise, were you surprised by anyone that congratulated you after the win?
AARON WISE: You know, I had the Crenshaws, the Nelsons, Gary Player on Twitter, Justin Thomas. I mean, there was a bunch of people that -- I didn't even know Justin Thomas knew my name because I've never really talked to him. For him to go on social media and say, Great job; it was coming; we all knew it was, is just pretty cool for me because he's world No. 1. To have that guy know who I am and that I'm competing in these golf tournaments is pretty cool.

Q. Have you gotten to play with Norman Xiong at all? I know you guys didn't overlap.
AARON WISE: No. He grew up actually a mile from where I did kind of down in Southern California. I knew him from junior golf way back when. Then my girlfriend obviously goes to Oregon, so I played a good amount with him and the team up there the last couple years.

On top of that, he's a special kid. He's really a good friend and a really good dude. I can't wait to see him. He's turning pro this year I'm pretty sure. I can't wait to see the splash he makes. He hits the ball a long ways and can really hit his irons well and putt great.

I think he is going to be great fit for the tour. I think it's just a matter of the time until he's out here, and I can't wait to see it.

Q. If you were in a lineup this week, who would be one and who would be two?
AARON WISE: You're going to have to ask Casey that. I don't know. I hope it's me, but you never know. If I was still playing at Oregon -- I mean, the kids these days are so good Norman could maybe be better than me. He's a great player, a special talent, and I'm wishing him the best of luck this week.

Q. What do you know about the tradition of Colonial, Hogan's Alley and longest hosting of a PGA TOUR?
AARON WISE: Yeah, a decent amount. It's a truly special place. I was lucky enough to play a college event my freshman year here, the Nike Invitational. The wall they have out by the first tee, it's just really cool to see some of the names on the trophy, some of the history, all the shots that have been hit, all the way from back when to even like Spieth's chip-in when he won here on 17.

There is a ton of history. It's a really cool venue. It's pretty fun to go from a place like last week, which is a totally clean slate almost in a way to this week being very old-country-club-style golf course and with all the history behind it.

Q. Kind of along those lines, when you're doing a crash course to play Colonial, what are the most important things? You've got a day to figure it out, what's the key?
AARON WISE: The keys for me when I play practice round are really figuring out the lines off the tee just so I'm hitting the fairway.

From there, I just kind of mark the severity around the greens just so I know when pins are tucked in certain spots, like left of this green is way worse or it's not really that bad, so I can tell how aggressive I have to play to the pins.

Other than that, the books these days, the yardage books and greens books make it really easy to play golf kind of blind. I really rely on those when I play. It's a huge help. With all those things, it's just the lines off the tee that I really need to get when I play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #2 by #179 at 2018-05-23 18:22:00 GMT