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July 8, 2014

Russell Knox


THE MODERATOR:テつ Russell, thanks very much for joining us today.テつ Am I right in thinking it's your first time playing as a pro back home in Scotland.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Must be a nice feeling for you.
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah, I turned pro in 2007, and to wait seven years for it is hopefully well worth the wait.
But no, I'm thrilled to be here, and I've looked forward to this very much.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And what are your first impressions of the place.
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ It was a shame how perfect the weather is today, because I mean when you play a links course and it's this nice, you get a false sense of how difficult the course actually is.
I mean it's flawless.テつ I mean the course is absolutely perfect.テつ And I love links golf, but I know come Thursday when I tee off it's going to be pouring rain and blowing 20 miles an hour and just extremely difficult.
But today was as good a day as you could ever hope for, and it's great to be back playing links golf.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Good stuff.テつ Take some questions.

Q.テつ Do you remember the course from when you were here before?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean there was definitely a few holes which I didn't remember, but there was a lot that I did.テつ I think I might‑‑ I've played 13 holes, I think, so far.テつ I think the last five there might have been a few changes.テつ But I would say I've remembered half the holes.

Q.テつ You talk about this isn't what you expected?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I think on a day like today it's very fair.テつ I mean the course is very tight.テつ You have to hit it within the high grass, for sure.テつ But the length isn't too much of an issue.テつ The course isn't overly long because the ball rolls for miles here as well, which is nice.
But you just gotta keep it in play.テつ You have to hit it straight, and if you don't, you're in big trouble.

Q.テつ What do you enjoy most about being back in Scotland and is there anything you miss about the States?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I really enjoy the bacon here.テつ Bacon and egg rolls in the morning.テつ The breakfast.テつ The breakfast in the U. S. is not as good as here.テつ And I miss prawn cocktail crisps the most.テつ I love those.テつ You don't get those.
But no, obviously I've been in the United States for a long time now, and I'm very happy there.テつ I see myself living there for the rest of my life.テつ My dad's from California, so we've been over there a lot when I was younger.
I mean I definitely see myself as being 100 percent Scottish, though, so when I do get to come home, which is hopefully more often in the future, I mean I love it here.テつ I love links golf.テつ I love the people.テつ I love everything about this country.
I just have been fortunate in the United States to have played well, and that's where I'm going to be, but hopefully my game progresses to a point where I need to take up membership here and play more here for teams down the road, which I would be thrilled with.テつ And it's very easy to come home.テつ I love it here.

Q.テつ Does it feel at all strange going back?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah, it does.テつ Especially to play in this tournament, because when I left here in 2003, I mean I was much better at fテδコtbol than I was at golf.テつ To come back, and I've had some success, is a weird feeling, seeing people which I always thought I would never be as good as.テつ And now I'm as good or maybe even a little better on paper.テつ It does feel weird to come home.
But it's more of a really good feeling.テつ I mean I wish‑‑ I'm kind of mad at myself that I haven't come home more often, especially the last couple years, with it being at Castle Stuart, right next to where I lived.テつ Would have been incredible.テつ But I mean my goal is to play in the PGA TOUR the last couple years, and I just haven't played well enough to justify missing a couple tournaments, whereas, this year I've rewarded myself with good play to come here, and this is definitely going to be the highlight of my whole year.

Q.テつ You said you were better at fテδコtbol than golf.テつ I mean how good were you at fテδコtbol?テつ Were you at the level that you could have made a career at it?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I mean I played for Inverness Caledonian Thistle youth teams growing up, and I mean we would travel down to Glasgow all the time playing Celtic and Rangers youth teams and whatnot.テつ I mean I loved it.テつ Ever since I was born I had a fテδコtbol at my feet.テつ I mean it was my life.テつ I mean I trained‑‑ played in three or four different teams, trained five days a week, and it was only the weekends I really played golf with my dad.
And it was really‑‑ this tournament I played here, I think it was in 2005, the Scottish stroke play.テつ This tournament almost changed things for me because it was one of my first good finishes in a Scottish amateur golf event, four days.テつ I think I finished close to tenth, twelfth, eighth, somewhere in there.テつ And that was kind of the tournament where I was like, oh, I'm actually not bad at golf.テつ And then I think I went the next week and played in the Scottish youth somewhere and finished fourth.テつ So that was a very important little stretch for me to be like, okay, well, I'm not just a fテδコtbol player playing golf.テつ I can do this.テつ And then going on the U. S. on a scholarship is where I made all my improvements.

Q.テつ Which position did you play?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ At midfield.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ The guy that coached us was a guy called John Beaton.テつ And he was my manager for a couple of different teams I played for at Inverness.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I can't remember.テつ I'm not sure.テつ I'm not sure if any of my teammates actually went on to play.テつ I know a few guys played in the Highland league for teams, and Mirren and Elgin and whatnot, I think, but I'm not sure if anyone from the teams I played has really made it big.テつ I don't believe so.テつ Maybe.

Q.テつ Do you notice a difference in the attention you're getting now, Russell?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ This is nice.テつ It's nice to feel somewhat liked.テつ Yeah, no, not really.テつ I mean a few people have recognized me that I wouldn't have expected which is nice.テつ I mean everyone likes to be patted on the back and say well done.テつ It's not something I really look for or need.テつ It's nice to get the attention sometimes, but if I played a little better and got more, it would be nice.テつ But it's all part of it, and hopefully, I mean if I see myself wanting to be one of the top players, you better get used to it or it's not going to happen.

Q.テつ Are you on the reserve list next week?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I don't think so.

Q.テつ You are.
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I haven't even looked.

Q.テつ Will you go back to Inverness at all?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ If I don't play next week, I'm going to stay for a week.テつ My wife's over.テつ I'm not sure what we're going to do.
I might go back to Inverness.テつ I know we want to go to Edinburgh.テつ She's never been here.テつ She's been here two times, we did the all Inverness thing.テつ My sister got married.テつ So I think she would like to see Edinburgh and maybe go to St. Andrews.テつ But I would like to go to Inverness and see some people I haven't seen in a long time.

Q.テつ Do you have a realistic goal this week?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I mean I would like to see I don't really care how I play.テつ But I mean of course I do.テつ I mean that's why I'm here.
I don't know.テつ I mean it's always nice to play four days as a pro and make a check.テつ But it would be nice to get in the mix, as everyone would say.
I would say‑‑ I mean I always just go for Top‑25.テつ If you can finish in the Top‑25, you've played nice golf and you've just not been quite good enough to win.テつ But if you can finish in the Top‑25, you know you've played very good.テつ So I kind of strive for that.テつ And if something else happens and you can move up, then great.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I saw that.テつ Yeah.テつ My friend I'm staying with lives five minutes from here, and I asked him, and he said, yeah, they're away.テつ So I was pretty bummed about that.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah.テつ Absolutely.テつ If they keep winning.テつ I heard they won their first leg pretty easily.テつ I need to go down to the sports store and buy a strip so I can wear it when I'm back over in the States.

Q.テつ The shots you need to play in links golf, do they come back to you quite easily, quite second nature?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah.テつ I think so.テつ I mean to be honest, my game from when I lived here to the U. S. really hasn't changed much.テつ I mean I still‑‑ I love hitting a low ball off the tee, and I've just taken that straight to the United States.テつ I mean there's a lot of people over there that just don't have that shot.テつ But I mean growing up here in the wind, and on the links, I mean if you can't hit it through the wind, you might as well quit.

Q.テつ Martin Laird has got a very high ball.
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ Yeah.テつ He hits it to the moon, which over there is incredible.テつ Or here.テつ I mean downwind, I mean obviously Martin's a great enough player that he can adapt to any conditions.
But it is nice‑‑ I mean my first instinct is to hit it low and use the ground.テつ It's difficult at times in the U. S., but I've just changed my clubs to be able to hit it higher over there.
But hitting it low is never‑‑ is very natural for me.テつ So I mean if I had to play links golf my whole life, I would love it.テつ I mean this is how golf should be played, and I think a lot of people have the same opinion.

Q.テつ Did you play the trump course the other day?テつ Is what did you make of that?
RUSSELL KNOX:テつ I took last week off, and I traveled over with three golf balls.テつ I stood on the first tee, and I thought, there's no way I'm going to finish.テつ I think I lost a ball on the third hole, and I was just‑‑ we ended up only playing nine.テつ But I was pretty nervous the last six holes there because I mean there's stuff‑‑ it's the hardest course I think I've ever seen in my life.テつ I mean it's almost too hard, I think.テつ I played one tee forward from the very back, and I mean it's an incredible place.テつ It's just extremely difficult.テつ Every hole is a beast.
But I mean, no, it's an incredible place, and I would like to go back and play the Back 9.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, guys.テつ Good luck this week.テつ

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