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June 19, 2015

Ben Martin


Q. Feel okay about the round?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, overall on the round, even par, so anytime I think you shoot even par in a U.S. Open it's going to be a good round. Obviously I would have liked to have finished a little better. Got a little aggressive on two putts, on 17 and 18, knocking them back. I left two short yesterday, finishing up, so I think I had that in the back of my mind little bit. But played solid most of the day. Drove the ball well. I could have made a couple more putts, but good shape going into the weekend.

Q. Two days ago if you knew you were 3-under at this point, would you have taken that?
BEN MARTIN: Sure. I got here last Friday, so I've been out here for a week getting to know the course. I felt like you could shoot under par here. And I was thinking 1 or 2-under today would have a good chance to win, so I'm right in the position that I thought I needed to be in.

Q. How do you feel about the difference of the grass condition between morning and afternoon?
BEN MARTIN: I played most of my practice rounds in the afternoon, so I got to know the course a little bit better in the afternoon. I played one round in the morning on Monday, I believe, Sunday or Monday. And it doesn't play drastically different. I thought it would, but once the sun came out today and it got a little warmer I think it played very similar to 4:00 or 5:00 yesterday.

Q. You were in the lead for a little while. Did you notice that and what did that feel like?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, I didn't really pay much attention to it. I guess I rolled in birdie on 15, got to 5-under. It was a nice birdie putt there and still had three holes to play. I was hoping to finish strong and like I said, just maybe got a little bit too aggressive on coming down the stretch. But I'm still, even though I gave a few away, I'm in the right position for the weekend.

Q. Anything special for that moment, hey, I'm in the U.S. Open lead, at least I got here right now, the weekend to go?
BEN MARTIN: Not really. I was just trying to play the best round of golf I could in the second round. And then tomorrow I'll try to play the best round I can on Saturday. I'm not really worried about adding them all up until 72 holes.

Q. How did you feel about 1 and 18 being switched?
BEN MARTIN: Well, I kind of expected it. I figured they would play two and two and just flip-flop. I would guess tomorrow we would go back to the other way, and Sunday finish with 18 as a par-4. 18 as a par-4 is tougher, because you have to carry the left bunker, and I'm kind of right in that range of being able to carry the left bunker and then you have to worry about if you hit it too far in the right bunker, and those traps are both layups. So it makes it a little tougher on the tee shot and obviously coming into that green with a long iron is not easy, either. But I think it makes for an exciting finish. And that green is probably the most undulating out here. So it's a tough hole as a par-4. It's probably -- I think it's designed as a par 5 green. But really at the end of the day I guess I'm trying to make the lowest score I can on the hole no matter what the par is.

Q. Can you talk about your thoughts going into your first weekend at a U.S. Open and being in the position that you're in?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, it's exciting to be here for the first time as a pro. Third U.S. Open, and being in contention. Talking to you all is always a good thing to do after the round. But I guess at the end of the day I'd like to kind of forget all the things about the U.S. Open and what tournament I'm playing in and really just go out and play the best 18 holes I can on Saturday, the best 18 I can on Sunday, and then kind of think about all those things that could happen. I'm going to try my best to do that. We'll see how it goes. But more than anything I'm going to enjoy the moment. That's really why I love to play this game is to be in contention on Sunday on the back nine, being a little nervous, get the adrenaline flowing and just having fun.

Q. How hard is it to pretend this is just another championship? It's got to be tough.
BEN MARTIN: I don't want this to come out the wrong way, but for me, I grew up an hour from Augusta. So the Masters was always at the top of everything for me. So not to diminish the other three majors because this is still a very special event, being our national Open. But it's just I grew up going to Augusta since I was seven or eight years old and for me that one is -- I was really nervous at Augusta this year, all the way through. So it almost helps with the other three majors of taking a little bit of the pressure off.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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