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June 27, 2015

Grant Waite


THE MODERATOR: Next up, Grant Waite, shot a 1 under, 69 today. He's 4 under for the Championship.

Q. First of all, good round of golf. Can you talk about highlights of the day and being in there?
GRANT WAITE: Well, a highlight of the day is to be teeing off kind of later in the U.S. Open, Senior Open. It's a real -- it's a great feeling, and it's a great privilege to be in contention. So that's the first thing. I played very nicely today, gave myself a lot of opportunities. I hit some nice putts. They just didn't fall in, but that's golf. Some days it works that way. Second round, yesterday, I didn't play that great and made a few putts that really mattered. So golf gives it to you and takes it away. It's just a day-to-day thing.

Q. Did you have any real good par saves today or anything?
GRANT WAITE: I think 18 -- I didn't have any real good par saves. I only missed a few greens. But 18, making birdie on 18 was a real bonus. It's a bonus. I hit a 3 wood off the tee. Hit a very nice shot, but it just ran through the fairway. I got an iffy lie that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get it over the hazard and onto the green. So I took the risk, and I made a very nice contact and flew on the green, took a nice little roll in there about six feet and made that. I'm standing there, my second shot, I'm just hoping to make par somehow, and make birdie. So a real bonus. That's a great finishing hole. Whoever wins tomorrow will have to play that hole. If you have to make par to win the Championship, you've earned it because it's a great hole.

Q. What was the yardage of the club you hit in there?
GRANT WAITE: I had 191 yards, and I hit a 6 iron.

Q. Good shot.
GRANT WAITE: Yeah, it was a very good shot. So that was nice, because now you walk off the golf course, I made bogey on 17 from a very nice shot, and nice putt and just didn't go in. If you walk off on 18 and make another bogey, you're kind of going backwards. So that turned things around so that the evening will be a little bit better. Dinner will taste a little bit better with a birdie on 18. I'm grateful to have the opportunity tomorrow, and if I can play like I did today and just have a few putts fall in, that would be great.

Q. Very crowded leaderboard. Does that change how you approach the day?
GRANT WAITE: I think that's a testament to the course. This is the U.S. Senior Open. There's a lot of very good players out there that are capable of winning. This is really what you want. The USGA has set the course up such that it resembles a U.S. Open. It's very fair. The fairways are wider on the longer holes and narrow on the short holes. If you miss a fairway, you're going to struggle for par, but you can do it. As a consequence, it's hard to make a lot of birdies, and you can make a few bogeys here and there. It keeps everyone in it. This should be very exciting tomorrow. There's lots of very good players with a chance to win. If you love golf, you'll tune in to watch or come out to watch. This is what it's all about, a lot of good players with a chance to win.

Q. Does that packed leaderboard make you more competitive to make sure you've got it?
GRANT WAITE: To be honest, the first nine holes, you go out tomorrow, you're just kind of playing, hitting your shots, getting around the course based on your risk/reward, how you feel, the club you've got, the yardage, pin placements -- all of those things you factor into what you're doing. But if you're with nine holes to play and within a couple shots of the lead and five or six players, you have to make decisions on how aggressive you want to be. I think that that bodes well for the tournament to make it exciting down the stretch. 16, 17, 18 are all you want at the finishing holes for a Major Championship. This is a very, very good golf course to hold this event. I think tomorrow is going to be exciting. It's going to be challenging, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Did you come in here playing well? Were you expecting to contend?
GRANT WAITE: That's a good question. I always feel like my game's good enough. I hit a lot of good shots, and I can play some very nice golf. I haven't contended in enough tournaments this year. I got off to a very poor start at the start of the year. I had some things going on off the golf course that were distracting and really struggled the first four or five tournaments. Since then, I've put together some nice tournaments and playing better. Played nicely at the PGA, just didn't do a good job scoring. Then at the PLAYERS Championship, again, I played pretty nicely the last nine holes. I had a few three-putts to end up finishing out of it a little bit further. But I always felt like I was in the tournament to some degree. So those things help. Then at Iowa, the week before the PLAYERS, I was leading early in the second round. So my performance has gotten better, and I've kind of got in and around it. So when you do that, you start to -- things settle down a little bit, and you feel like your game's good to go. Coming into this tournament, I felt like my practice was going well. This is a U.S. Open-type setup. So you just don't know. Just a few shots here or there. It still comes down to making the right play at the right time, driving the ball pretty well, and then just have a few putts fall in. So based on how I played today, I'm trending. I'll answer the question as I'm trending, but my expectations, going in, certainly wasn't necessarily that I'm going to play well and have a chance to win. Now that I'm there and I feel pretty good about my game, I'm going to go out tomorrow with the attitude that I'm going to play as well as I can and give myself a chance and enjoy the moment.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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