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To say Jonas Blixt was excited following the Frys.com Open is like saying the starving man had an appetite. After sinking a clutch four-foot par putt on the 18th hole at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., to finish 16-under 268, the 28-year-old Swede nailed down his first win on the PGA Tour by a stroke over Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak.
In addition to securing his PGA Tour card for the 2013 season, Blixt earned $900,000, a silver trophy and a place in next year's season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the event at Kapalua's Plantation Course that's reserved only for the previous year's winners.
Blixt became the third rookie to win in 2012, following John Huh in the Mayakoba Golf Classic in February and Ted Potter Jr. in the Greenbrier Classic in July.
But what made the erstwhile soccer and hockey player especially exuberant was that his family was in California for the tournament. All his kin stormed the 18th green when that final putt fell, showering him with liquids and leaping around in madcap celebration.
After the awards ceremony, Blixt met with reporters and discussed his thrilling day. Here's what he had to say during the Q&A.
MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the 2012 Frys.com Open winner, Jonas Blixt. Jonas, congratulations on the win. Last week you fired a pretty good warning shot across the bow in Las Vegas, and here you are in San Martin this week with your first PGA Tour title and a trophy right next to you. Comments at week here at CordeValle.
JONAS BLIXT: I couldn't be happier. There are a lot of people that I want to thank, everyone from Puma, Titleist, Cobra. My family is here. Huge reach out to my caddie, Zack. He's been with me for four years. He's a big part of this. So I really can't believe this is happening.
MODERATOR: With that, we'll take some questions.
Q. Just after last week, you come here on Monday or Tuesday and what is your thinking? Pretty confident? How were you feeling leading up to the tournament?
JONAS BLIXT: Well, the weird part is I've been working on some stuff with my swing, and I wasn't feeling completely 100% about my swing. I just told myself, Just give it a good hit every time and see what happens. Just focus. You can't do anything better than your best. That's what I did on every shot.
Q. You had quite a few Top 10s obviously this year. How much has this been building? What was different this week or what did you learn from your year that allowed you to get over the hump today?
JONAS BLIXT: First of all, my family is here so it's been really relaxed. I've barely touched a golf club after a round, which is really weird for me. A lot of people would say that's really weird. Just kind of forgot your question, to be honest with you. (Laughing.)
Q. You've obviously played well at times this year. Just curious what you gained from that or was it the momentum from last week?
JONAS BLIXT: Okay, I got it. I mean, you learn something every time. Last week I didn't play very well in the final round. I got a little too cute with some shots and wasn't aggressive enough. So I told myself in the end of the day, just stay as aggressive as you can and put pressure on them. Feels pretty good when I get on the green and am competing with someone else. I'm pretty confident with my putter. So that's what I tried to do all day.
Q. Obviously a strong round today. Didn't start out that way. Couple bogeys early on. How tough was it to get past that, or was not that difficult?
JONAS BLIXT: Not too bad. It's just golf. It's just, you know, a golf club and a ball, trying to hit it into a little hole. Try not put too much pressure and emphasis on the bad stuff. I hit a couple bad shots there and I paid for it, but was still in it. So just keep on doing my best and stay aggressive and we'll see what happens.
Q. Talk about the good stuff. The birdie on 17, were you aware of the field, where everything was tied up at that point?
JONAS BLIXT: Absolutely.
Q. Talk about the shot that got you on the green from just off the fairway.
JONAS BLIXT: On 17?
Q. Yeah, second shot on 17.
JONAS BLIXT: It was a bad lie. It was one of those that sometimes you can get a good lie in the rough and you can kind of fluff it up and get some check on it; this one was terrible. So I told my caddie, I got to put a full swing on it. I tried to land it on the bottom of the hill. At least it stayed on the green and, I mean, to the ball came out really good. It just didn't check like I thought knew it was going to do. I knew I was going to have to make a putt for birdie, and I did.
Q. Can you give us a sense of your background growing up in Sweden, how you got interested in golf? Was Jesper Parnevik an inspiration at all or other Swedish golfers? What sort of got your started in the game?
JONAS BLIXT: It's all my dad. My dad Loves the game. He's the biggest grinder I know. He always wants to compete. The more pressure you put on him the better he plays. I never really had a role model in golf growing up. I was more interested in ice hockey. I wanted to be an ice hockey player. You know, you play a lot of golf in the summer there, and I never really got big enough or good enough to play ice hockey. Golf kind of suited me pretty well. Just kept on playing golf and try to make a career out of it.
Q. What's your dad's name?
JONAS BLIXT: This is going to be crazy.
Q. Spell it.
JONAS BLIXT: H a n s. It's two names in one. Second one is o v e.
Q. O v e?
JONAS BLIXT: Uh huh.
Q. Do you remember your first round of golf with him, or what about the game attracted him so much and got you involved?
JONAS BLIXT: I mean, I remember like fall nights when it's really dark. I mean, we just kept on playing until we couldn't see the ball. It was crazy. Dad didn't want to go home; I didn't want to go home. One specific time I remember, my first memory on the golf course really. I was eight I think and my dad took me out and played I think 27 holes. My mom was furious afterwards. She was really nice to me that night, just like pampering me, and not very nice with my dad. I mean, he's a hard worker, my dad. My whole family is. I think that's where it comes from.
Q. You brought up ice hockey. I cover a lot more hockey than golf. What position were you playing?
JONAS BLIXT: I was a defender.
Q. What age did you decide that wasn't going to work?
JONAS BLIXT: 16, 17. I played until I was 18. I love ice hockey. It's the greatest sport ever. The lockout just kills me right now.
Q. I was about to ask your thoughts on the lockout, too.
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, it's so much fun. I hope they make a deal soon.
Q. Can you give us a sense, I mean, hockey is much bigger in Sweden than golf.
JONAS BLIXT: Yes. Well...
Q. Where does it fit in the culture of Sweden?
JONAS BLIXT: Yeah, well, soccer is the most popular sport, and then I would say ice hockey is after that.
Q. Where is golf?
JONAS BLIXT: Not too far away. I think golf is like the third most popular sport over there. If you're a guy, you want to play hockey. It's like baseball over here. The tough guys play hockey, you know, the guys with no teeth. All the girls, they play hockey. (Laughter.)
MODERATOR: Okay. Jonas, congratulations on the win. Look forward to many more down the road.
JONAS BLIXT: Thank you very much. Thank you, guys.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.