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June 19, 2015

Tony Finau


Q. Did you like this place when you first saw it?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, I did, for sure. I think the golf course plays good. If you hit the ball far, if you can fly it far and hit it with some length, I think it sets up pretty good for you.

Q. How much having Greg as your caddie help you out on this course?
TONY FINAU: It helps me quite a bit. I noticed the more I saw the golf course the more I was accustomed to the hills and the slopes around the greens. But the one thing that you can't teach is experience, and that's what my caddie has. It's been a huge asset to me so far this week.

Q. Throughout the day are you leaning on his experience?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, for sure, for sure. There's quite a few blind shots and you just have to know where to miss, I feel like, is a big part of it, and he's been able to help with that.

Q. Your birdies today, describe them.
TONY FINAU: Yeah. I think I had five -- six birdies, I think. And, yeah, I feel like eliminating the big number is the biggest thing. But I was able to make some nice putts when I needed to make some after I hit some good shots. And that was the key point for me, when I hit some good quality shots I was able to make some putts to cap it off, which I don't think you're going to get a lot of great opportunities, but when you do have those I was able to capitalize.

Q. When did you first play the course?
TONY FINAU: I played Monday. I played nine on Monday, eight on Tuesday, and another nine on Wednesday.

Q. The course is new, but this is your first Open, as well. Did you have any expectations about the way the tournament is run, in terms of playing it? I'm sure you watched it a lot as a kid.
TONY FINAU: I'm excited to be here, for sure. Being my first major I think that's probably the best way I can explain my emotions is just excitement. I'm really excited to be out here and I think it's shown so far. I was pretty anxious to get my first major started. But as far as expectations, I know I've been playing well, I've had some nice finishes on Tour, which is good leading up into a major. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself there, but just enjoy the week. It's my first major, as I mentioned, so if I just -- I feel like have fun and play free, then I'll be fine. Tee it high and hit it far.

Q. What about the double?
TONY FINAU: I took a drop from a sprinkler head and the ball was quite a bit below my feet and didn't play enough left, hanging lie, and I missed right into the fescue. And you're a little bit off line here and it's easy to make a bogey or double out here and I made double.

Q. After the interesting odyssey you've had since turning pro at 17, you're having a nice year as a rookie. What's it like living this dream that you've tried to get for so long?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, it's nice, for sure. I mean, emotionally and financially it's really nice. But it's been quite the journey to get to this point. But it's what I've worked so hard for, I feel like, to get to this point in my career, to have these opportunities playing in these big events. It feels really good.

Q. Besides your nervousness or getting ready to play yesterday, did you reflect on that yesterday as you teed off in your first major, what a trip it's been to this point?
TONY FINAU: Not really. I didn't really do much reflecting. It was nice just to have some nice finishes so far on the PGA Tour in my rookie season. I've teed it up against the best in the world a few times this year. So I knew as far as the competition, I've played against the competition I'll be playing with again this week, so I was pretty comfortable just being here.

Q. The birdie on the last hole?
TONY FINAU: That was huge. I made a nice 30-footer on 9 and finished with a birdie on 18 yesterday. So anytime you can finish with a birdie I think is a great thing.

Q. Can you talk about your relationship with Daniel and how it feels to both come out here and play so well?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, for sure. I didn't play much junior golf with Daniel, he's from Utah and so am I. It's a big golf family, two guys that I've looked up to is my coach Boyd and Daniel Summerhays. I didn't play much golf with him, but being out here this year as a rookie I've leaned on him for some experience and just different golf courses and just the Tour life in general. So our relationship is growing. And it's just nice to see us both play well this week so far.

Q. Did you happen to notice that he was briefly in the lead?
TONY FINAU: Yeah, I looked over and saw he was leading the tournament. That was cool to see. He's a great player. And I wish him the best this week.
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