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October 2, 2015

Paul Dunne

Carnoustie-Kingsbarns, Scotland

Q. Where does this situation on the leaderboard match up to your expectations coming into the week?
JIMMY MULLEN: I don't really know what my expectations were to be honest. Just out there trying to enjoy and learn really, and to be top of the leaderboard, can't really explain it really. It's a different experience. But I guess I'll just have to learn as I go along.

Q. How much different was that experience on Thursday morning, given all you've achieved as an amateur, but what did you think when you joined all the group on the range and then going to the first tee on Thursday?
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, the hardest bit for me is you watch the players growing up, from when I was a junior, and just realizing that you're playing against them now and seeing them on the range. I'm still a bit like, there's Kaymer and other people like that.

So I'm just trying to just let them do what they do and concentrate on what I do. I think I managed to stick to that quite well over the first two rounds. Got a little bit twitchy, tried lagging a few putts up on the back nine a bit. But I'm happy with my day's work here.

Q. What have you found out about yourself over these two days?
JIMMY MULLEN: That what I'm doing is on the right track. Obviously I've still got a long way to go, but if I keep doing what I'm doing, it seems to be doing okay. But there's a long way to go. It's only my first event as a pro.

Q. You're halfway through that first event, so when you go to that first tee tomorrow, will your attitude be any different than Thursday?
JIMMY MULLEN: Not at all. I know I've played the easier of the courses and I'm playing Carnoustie tomorrow, so I knew I had to do two good rounds over the first two days to take pressure off myself. I've played at Carnoustie a lot this year, so just stick to my game plan which me and my coach and Alex discussed and see what I can do.

Q. Has even one little thought crept into your mind; what will I do when I'm holding that trophy on Sunday evening?
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, it's impossible. Every time there's a scoreboard, I'm looking to see if my name is up there. It's impossible not to think about it, but I've got to just try and take care of tomorrow and see what happens on Sunday.

Q. Yesterday you said it was great, I didn't expect to lead this event, didn't expect to play so well at Kingsbarns. How do you sum up your emotions after a 69 at St. Andrews and clubhouse lead after the second round?
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, it's unbelievable, really, first event as a pro, it's the stuff you dream of, really. Yeah, I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself and look at the leaderboard and take it in. We're only halfway but see what we can do over the next couple days.

Q. Some golfers don't look at the leaderboard but I noticed you had a beaming smile as you walked around today. Do you look for your name at the top of the leaderboard?
JIMMY MULLEN: I look at every leaderboard there is to see what's going on. For me personally, I think it's good to see your name up there to know you're playing well and trust that while you're playing well, it can only help you with confidence, really, to see your name up there.

I look as much as I can at the leaderboards. Me and my partner, Miguel, he was complaining that his name wasn't on the leaderboard when we were leading the Pro-Am, so we are always looking up there, so it's nice for him as well.

Q. The Walker Cup guys, you and Paul Dunne doing well, is there something the unions are going to prepare amateurs for that moment when they turn professional?
JIMMY MULLEN: I just feel the coaching system is so good now that the players and traveling the world, playing with good players, I think it can only help us really. Paul, what he had done at The Open is fantastic. Even him, only those three rounds, gives everybody else confidence that it can be done.

So I think a lot of amateurs have a lot to thank Paul Dunne for what he done in The Open this year.

Q. Last night we were talking about your nutrition, you were going to eat the chicken pie and the flapjacks. Going to do the same again tonight?
JIMMY MULLEN: I might have to. It seems to be working all right. Yeah, I might have to. We'll have to wait and see.

Q. An event like the Dunhill, given that you know St. Andrews and Carnoustie, it must be almost a perfect event to be making your pro debut?
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, we tried quite hard to get an invite into this event, because I've played the St. Andrews Links Trophy here for the last three years, so that's 12, two practise rounds, that's 20 rounds I've played at least here and I've played Carnoustie six, seven times in the British Amateur this year.

So I can almost say -- I know they play Opens there, but I've played them in recent -- a couple of months ago, a few months ago. So you could say that us amateurs are a lot fresher how the courses are playing at the moment.

Yeah, I think it's a big advantage, and especially being links, which we only ever play links golf. Not that there's much wind out there at the moment, but I think it's a great advantage for us amateurs, yeah, definitely.

Q. Tell us about any messages from home.
JIMMY MULLEN: "I've got a lot of money on you and you was thousand to one on you at the start of the week" (laughter). They are just over the moon to see what I'm doing well and just saying they are proud and all the usual stuff, which is nice to see. Nice to see I've got so many people supporting me back home.

Q. Who got you into golf?
JIMMY MULLEN: My dad got me into golf but never really played to be honest. He took me down to the first nine-hole course when I was three. So he's been a big influence on my golf, definitely.

Q. What's his name?

Q. Was he a sportsman of any other kind?
JIMMY MULLEN: Never. He just loved golf and loved Payne Stewart, so that's why he got me into golf.

Q. The Walker Cup, to win four out of four, did you take a lot of confidence from that?
JIMMY MULLEN: I didn't know I was only the fourth player to do that, which is great. And to look at the players that's done it, that's going in the right direction. I mean, I can't really know what to say to be honest.

The big thing, like I said already, the big thing for me is what Paul Dunne done in The Open. I played with him the week before The Open in the European Championships and managed to beat him on the 20th hole and the next week he's winning The Open after three rounds. So for me, that was big, even though he was the one playing, it was a big confidence booster for myself.

Q. Because you went into the Walker Cup, your star was rising all the time. That must have been huge.
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, I mean, I knew I was the worst player -- I think I was, apart from the two Mid-Ams that obviously don't play week-in, week-out like the rest of us, I was the worst player there you could almost say.

But it's only a ranking system. It's only a number. Doesn't mean anything when you're on the tee. Doesn't mean anything about how you can handle the pressure on the golf course.

Q. Do you think the Q-School, playing last week, was a good preparation for this?
JIMMY MULLEN: It was a completely opposite golf course and not great condition. But it was good to play medal rounds, because the last time I played was match play at the Walker Cup, so it was good to get back into scoring golf after a few weeks of the Walker Cup.

Q. This week, guys saving cards, winning cards, there's been a story every year. But if you and Paul were going for the title, that would be an entirely new one, wouldn't it?
JIMMY MULLEN: Yeah, it would be good to play with him on Sunday, maybe in the last group, but we'll wait. That's a long way away. I mean, it's good to see me, Paul and the other guys that have got an invite from the Walker Cup playing well, and just nice to have the opportunity to play, as well. So very grateful for the invitation.

Q. Two days ago when you teed up, what were your aspirations?
JIMMY MULLEN: My game plan yesterday, I knew Kingsbarns was low-scoring, was to break 70. And then hopefully do it around here.

But I started birdie, birdie, so quickly dismissed that and tried to shoot as low as I can. But I'm just, like I've said already, it's only my first tournament. If I miss the cut, I miss the cut. But it just so happens, I managed at the moment to be tied or at the top of the leaderboard.

Q. Talking about your relationship with Paul, who was your golfing idol growing up?
JIMMY MULLEN: Tiger Woods, best player ever to live. So can't be anybody else, I don't think.

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