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August 17, 2015

Nathan Yankovich

Olympia Fields, Illinois

Q. Talk about finishing up that way with making that long birdie putt on 9, your 18th.
NATHAN YANKOVICH: You know, it was great. I hadn't made a birdie since that par-3, 3, and I just really couldn't get anything to go. I didn't hit anything too close on the back nine, but making that 35-footer from just off the green, it felt great.

Q. Was there anything that happened in your preparation that led to shooting a score like today?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: You know, I've been playing really well. After I qualified I really worked hard on my short game, putting and driving of the golf ball because I knew driving of the golf ball and putting and chipping was going to be very useful out here, so that was my main preparation. And then my -- I worked on my mid-iron game because I knew I was going to have a lot of mid-irons. I knew it was going to be a long golf course, and I really just kind of brushed up everything and focused on putting and driving the golf ball.

Q. Talk about the birdies at 10 and 11 because that got you off to a great start.
NATHAN YANKOVICH: Yeah, 10 is actually a funny story. So I hit the fairway and then missed the green right, which was pretty much jail, and I hit a chip just underneath of a limb that was right above me, and it one-hopped into the hole, so that was a great way to kick-start my round.

Q. Which club did you use that?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: A 60-degree wedge. And birdieing 11, too, I hit 4-iron right down the middle of the fairway and then wedged it to about three feet and knocked it in.

Q. Was there a par or a birdie that you felt kept the round going or saved the round?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: Honestly, a bogey was actually one that saved the round on my 11th hole, so 2. I sniped one left and it luckily hit a tree and kicked out into some gnarly rough, and I just tried to pitch it back out into the fairway, and it only went about 50 yards, and I had 190 left in, and I hit a 6-iron to the middle of the green and ran that one five feet by and then made the five-foot slider coming down, so that bogey kind of kept me in the round.

Q. I ask this because a lot of players in the field have played in that Illini Invitational. Have you played in that?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: I have not, no.

Q. So this is your first time here?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: I played it two weeks ago with one of my buddies, Gabe Aparati (phon), and we just played the North and then rode around the South, so that was the first time I had seen the golf course.

Q. And then last year you played in the Amateur in Atlanta?

Q. How did that help you coming into this one?
NATHAN YANKOVICH: It really helped me just with preparation and what I needed to work on coming in, and then just the comfortability factor. Stepping up on the first tee in your second U.S. Am is a little different than stepping up on your first. So the comfortability factor was huge, and yeah, it was all good.

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