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January 21, 2016

Branden Grace

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. What is your verdict then on a very tidy-looking round of 66?
BRANDEN GRACE: It was good. Obviously started off strong from the start. Ball-striking coming into the week wasn't the best, so you know, did a lot of hard work on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, trying to get the game in pretty decent shape.

Today was something different. Hit the ball good from tee-to-green. A little bit of a couple of bad swings, lost concentration around the turn, but those things happen. And on a golf course like this, anything from four and better under is a great score out here. The rough is thick and you just need to know where to miss it and I think I've done that well today.

Q. Looked like it could have been better still but the wind's picked up.
BRANDEN GRACE: A little bit. There's a couple pin positions on the back nine you can't really attack. From the 12th onwards, there's some tricky ones, right at the front or right at the back.

The thing about this golf course is not to give yourself a chance to get it into trouble. That's what I did today. Obviously one bogey which was disappointing but still a good finish and I'll take 6-under for the first round.

Q. As the Qatar champion, is there something about desert golf that just appeals?
BRANDEN GRACE: Yeah, I love it. I love this place. It's always nice to come back. Zach and I spoke earlier in the week and he said this is his favourite course in the world. Something about it when you come to these places, the golf course is always in immaculate condition.

The guys that plays the best golf is going to win out here and same heading into the next couple. I'm fortunate so far in my career that the golf I've been playing in the beginning of the season has been good, so that's nice to know coming into these events.

Q. Your situation coming into the start is different; they have a bit of rust and you've hardly had a break and good, contending position in the SA Open.
BRANDEN GRACE: Sometimes you prefer having those extra two weeks off, but it's nice. It's always nice to play back home like you said and get things going. I had a break last week, going home, relaxing a little bit more and coming into these -- when you have a top five your first week, you always feel a little bit confident coming into these. So it's been so good so far.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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