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July 9, 2015

Daniel Summerhays


Q. Daniel, a nice solid start for you. You bring it home in 4-under par in your final nine, including a birdie on the 18th.
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, the 18th hole, I'll tell you what, it's not the easiest hole on the golf course today. It's always a tough drive, and I tugged a 7-iron just perfect just below the hole between the pin and the water, and had a nice uphill putt.

Q. 14 greens in the opening round, 26 putts, that's usually a pretty good combination, but you've been putting well the entire year.
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, you know, my putting has saved me this year. Today I was able to hit a few more solid iron shots actually on target. The greens are absolutely perfect here. It is so fun to putt on these greens here at the TPC Deere Run. I mean, you get the right read and if you start it on line, you know it's going in, so it's really enjoyable.

Q. It seems to me it's not just that they're rolling true, they're holding. These greens are receptive so you can be aggressive.
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, it rained a whole lot on Monday night here. They are, they're holding. Hopefully they'll get a little firmer and faster as the week progresses and make it a little more challenging. But I obviously enjoy playing this golf course, and it's good to make a few birdies.

Q. What are some hole locations we should be looking out for this afternoon?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: You know, I think the one on 15 is pretty tough. That's a tough hole anyway, but they have it right on the front right, and it's a little bit downwind today, so that could be a little tricky, tight spot to hit it in. And then I think the other tricky one I thought today was on -- well, No. 9 is always a tough hole. That's just over a slope. And then 8, it's in that front little spot there, you've got to hit a really nice shot. But overall the greens, if you hit a good shot, the greens are going to stick. It doesn't really matter if it's over a bunker or whatnot, it's going to hold if you've hit a solidly struck shot.

Q. What is it about this place that things out the best in you?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: You know, I love the greens, first and foremost. I feel like I have a pretty easy time reading the greens here. I don't know if that has come through being here a few years in a row, and the greens are absolutely perfect. It's really fun to putt here. I think I have that mentality that if I can get a few good looks, I'm going to make some putts. Yeah, I've been putting pretty well all year. I haven't hit the ball really worth a lick, which has been unfortunate, but today I was able to start putting some good shots together, especially some iron shots. I've felt like I hit a lot of really solid mid-iron shots, and it translated into some birdies.

Q. Do you get a different vibe back here on this course with the success you've had here the last couple years?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, I think so. I have. I've played really well here, so it's nice to come back to a place that you've made a lot of birdies, and I think regardless of how you're playing coming in, you have that mindset a little bit. But I am starting to hit a few better shots, and that helps, because if you're not hitting it good out here, it can still be a challenge for sure. There are some difficult tee shots and some tough iron shots into the greens. But it feels nice to be back here.

Q. To be just two back now, how do you feel about that, before obviously the afternoon guys go off?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, this morning it was perfect. The greens were -- it was carpet. It was so nice. So it was good to get a good morning round in. Justin, he can make birdies at will, and so he'll be tough to keep up with if he continues to drive it how he usually does. But you've got to think about making seven, eight birdies a round out here and take that mindset to the afternoon tomorrow.

Q. Is that possible? Is the course playing any different, any more difficult this year, to keep you from making seven or eight birdies a round?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: A little bit because I think it rained a lot, and it's cooler. I mean, it was sweater weather this morning, which is unheard of at this tournament this time of year. I think it is playing a little bit longer than it normally does, but that'll probably change as the -- it's supposed to warm up, and I'm sure the fairways will start to dry out and you'll see some bombs off the tee.

Q. Did you have to unpack some of your British Open gear?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah. I always have a little black sweater with me, and that was definitely, definitely used.

Q. Talk about your season this year; a lot of cuts made, but it just seems like you're not able to get that big finish and get that low round. What's been going on?
DANIEL SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, statistically my ball-striking has been really poor this year. You know, the last three, four years I've been top 20 in strokes gained putting every year. I'm a good putter, and I rely on that a lot. It's been a frustrating year, but I think -- I think I'm getting better. As my expectations increase -- I hate to be too, too frustrated because I've got a job for next year. There are a lot of guys who would trade me instantly right now for where I stand on FedExCup and money and that, but definitely, it's definitely been a frustrating season, especially the last three months or so. You know, I had a good finish at Valero, and then really since early April, I haven't done a lick except for a couple rounds at the U.S. Open where I put some good shots together. I feel like I need to get back to a few basic things, and hopefully that'll translate into a little bit better ball-striking and good shots at the right moments. You know, like it was fun on 18 to hit a really nice iron shot in there, whereas in the past I'd get a few under and then a little bad swing and then it can kind of derail. So it was nice to hit string shots, good shots together, and I think the more I do that, I'll get that big finish that I'm looking for.
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