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July 23, 2015

Emiliano Grillo


MARK STEVENS: Very exciting, 8-under today. Just kind of take us through the round and what some of the highlights were?

EMILIANO GRILLO: Yeah, great birdie on the first hole, which is on the 10. It's very hard to hit a driver in the middle, and I did that, a great shot, and I made the putt. I knew it was a great start of the round. On the front I wasn't much -- I played solid the whole round. I played better on the back nine, which is harder, and the greens were drying out. I kept hitting some solid shots until the end of the round, and I made some good putts on the back nine.

MARK STEVENS: Last week you got a sponsor invitation into the Barbasol Championship. You had to birdie 16 and 18 of your last round on Sunday to top 10 into this week. Just kind of talk about that, and then you had to go through some process to get your visa to even get into the country this week?

EMILIANO GRILLO: Yeah, it was a crazy week. The last eight, nine days has been crazy. I played great the whole week. On the last round I was 1 shot behind, and a very poor start on the front nine. Then I knew I needed to make some ground on the back nine. A good birdie on the 17, and I thought I needed to birdie 17 and 18 as well. Missed a short putt on 17 for birdie. Then on the last one I saw the minus-12 was tied for 10, so I knew there was an amateur in front of us, and all I needed was to make the putt. I hit a very good, solid putt, and it went in. Then came the more complicated part which was flying to Buffalo and trying to get a permit to get over to Canada because I need a visa. And they told me that I wasn't able to get a visa in time, so I kind of had to go to the Canadian border and ask for permission to play this tournament. I got lucky enough to spend two hours in there, and they told me, hey, you can go. Just pay the permit and go ahead. I'm here now and a good, solid round today.

Q. When you say you went to the border, walk me through the process. Were you flying in, were you driving in?
EMILIANO GRILLO: No, I drove from Alabama to Atlanta and then I flew to Buffalo. Then I drove to the border which is 40 minutes and then another 40 minutes to here.

Q. What did they say when you got to the border and said, hey, I'm a professional golfer, I'm supposed to come play this tournament, but I don't have any paperwork?
EMILIANO GRILLO: Yeah, exactly. I had all the explanation papers. My manager did a great work with that. I basically asked them and told them I don't have a visa. I need a permit, so I'm here to ask you for a permit. There is kind of an exception for athletes, but Canada has to gain something, and I have to gain something at the same time, so it kind of worked at the same time.

Q. So you come here and shooting 8-under, then we've gained something and you've gained something.
EMILIANO GRILLO: Yeah, exactly, that's how it works.

Q. What is your attitude about tomorrow? Are you going to try to do more of the same?
EMILIANO GRILLO: It's the same. I mean, the course is going to play harder in the afternoon than it did this morning. I saw on the front you could basically land the ball a few feet short of the hole, and it would stay in the same place. Then in the afternoon it would be more rolling than that and more bouncing. Tomorrow afternoon's going to be even harder than today. I'm starting on the front nine, which is the hardest part of the golf course. So I know I'm with an even par 1-under, 1-over is going to be a good score. And I know I have three par-5s on the back nine, which I have to take advantage of.

Q. This is obviously a relatively unfamiliar position for you. Will you be thinking about the leaderboard or will you just play your round?
EMILIANO GRILLO: I've played the last four years on the European Tour, so I'm used to being on the leaderboard or in contention or having a good chance at a tournament. The more you think about being on the leaderboard, most likely you're going to make bogeys or not even going to make a birdie. So I just kept doing my thing and kept hitting good shots and good putts.

Q. So what led you -- I know you played some European Tour stuff, so what led you to play on these PGA TOUR events? Why now? How did this all sort of play out?
EMILIANO GRILLO: I had a good result in Puerto Rico. They always give me invites in there. They always give me an invitation for that tournament. Missed a short putt on 18 like everybody knows. It gave me some good amount of points. I knew I had to -- I knew I was good enough for the last four of the Web.com, but I knew I kind of wanted to keep playing here. After the invitation to the Barbasol which kind of suited my schedule if I didn't get into the open. Played well there and now I'm here.

Q. What is your status on the European Tour?
EMILIANO GRILLO: I'm like 30th or something.

MARK STEVENS: You're 30th on the Race to Dubai? Right around there?


Q. So how do you balance the two of them at this point? Just play here and there?
EMILIANO GRILLO: If I play well here, if I get my card here, then I'll definitely play more often here. I don't know if I'll play full here and nothing over there, but I'm going to try to maybe play both.
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