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April 8, 2016

Bryson DeChambeau

Augusta, Georgia

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to welcome Bryson DeChambeau, U.S. Amateur champion, to the interview room. Bryson carded a fine 72 today, which included six birdies, which on top of his first round 72 puts him in 8th place, which is quite an impressive feat for an amateur, so we are very proud of you.
Bryson, congratulations. Perhaps tell us your thoughts about being on the leaderboard here on your first weekend?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, it was pretty special. To come out here and play as good of golf as I have, it's definitely one that I've been not only dreaming of but sort of knew that I could do it, as well. I knew that I was hitting it really well the past couple days coming in, and even the week before, coming into this week. I was really prepared with the golf course, comfortable out there.
Just dependent on the greens was the main factor for me and getting out there and being comfortable with hitting a 10‑footer straight down the slope, right past the hole and comfortably past the hole with the correct line and everything. That was the only thing that I had an issue with.
Missed a couple 6‑footers and 5‑footers today, but ultimately it's been an incredible experience so far, and I am looking forward to the weekend.

Q. You seem like the kind of guy who can put the last hole in perspective and realize you shot even par today, and you're only four shots back. Is that how you'll go into tonight and tomorrow, with trying to put that behind you that way?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: I'm only four shots back.

Q. Can you give us the detail and your thoughts shot by shot on 18, if you don't mind?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I pulled the drive, hit it into the holly bush for No.18, Holly, figures (laughter) had to take an unplayable. Brought it back to the tee because I had no shot from there. Ultimately did the same thing, pulled it a little bit, and went right next to a TOI. And that was pretty fortunate on my part, I got to actually drop it across about 40 yards away.
I had this nice cut 3‑wood up before the bunker and didn't get it up‑and‑down. But wasn't the easiest of up‑and‑downs and the ball didn't roll all the way back down. But, made a 7. I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I make (laughter).

Q. Can you talk about the shot into 11?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I pulled it, just like the drive on 18, but I got lucky that time and wound up eight feet away from the hole and played 14 inches of break, that's what it was, and made a good putt. Took advantage of a lucky break.
Tried to do the same thing on 13. Didn't get that up‑and‑down, but it was still a good up ‑‑ well, parred 13.

Q. The forecast calls for more wind, cold night and the greens are going to continue to firm up. Tactically will you think about a little different attack on certain holes knowing the forecast over the weekend?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Not really. I think the only thing I have to clean up is my par 5 play. I'm only, I think, 1‑under on the par 5s. If you want to win the Masters, you've got to play the par 5s really well. That's something I haven't taken advantage of.
8, I've been right in front of the green both times and made par, Had to struggle for par the first day.
13, didn't get up‑and‑down, made par both days.
15, made bogey yesterday and then made birdie today, which was nice.
And 2, I made birdie yesterday and par today. If I do better and at least birdie half of the holes‑‑ look, if I birdie half the holes on the par 5s these past couple days, I'm in the lead or close to the lead, right at the lead. So that's what I have to take care of, first and foremost.
From there on out, I can play the par 4s just as I know I can, and the par3s just as I know I can, and I'll be fine.

Q. Set aside 18, you were playing the best round of anybody in the field today. You mentioned the six birdies. What did you do particularly well today that allowed you to do what nobody else in the field was doing?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I was patient, very patient out there. 1, I got a good break, chipping it in on the first hole and kind of got me off to a good start.
You know, I just kept in play. I kept making my pars where they came and when I had an opportunity, I stuck a couple shots close. I was hitting it really well, and that ultimately allowed me to perform at a high level, a really high level, one that I know I can play in any tournament, any golf tournament. And I think that if I can stay that way and keep performing at the high level, I think you know the rest.

Q. Ultimately you talked about having a big impact on the game of golf and your career, and it seems like you're getting new fans every week and there's a lot of people out there rooting for you, especially at this event. Do you feel that? Do you feel yourself slowly starting to get that following out there?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, I mean, it's as much as me playing golf as it is growing the game. If I can do that, that's ultimately what I want to try and do, just like Arnold Palmer did and Jack Nicklaus.
I think yes, there is a following, and it's fun. It's fun to see those guys yelling your name out there and applauding you.

Q. We've seen lot of amateurs come and do well at the Masters, but to us, you don't look like an amateur. We don't feel like you're an amateur doing well. We feel like you're a player contending for victory. Is that how it seems to you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Yeah, and the reason is because I was an intern for the past seven, eight months, or six months. Right around when I won the U.S. Amateur, I knew I had this time to get ready, and kind of what we were trying to do was take my rookie year out of it. I'll still be a rookie, but at the same time that was our goal and I think we've done it so far beautifully.

Q. Are you nervous?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: No, not at all. I mean, on 18, everybody is going to go back to 18, oh, he was nervous, he was nervous. No, I hit two pulled drives. I don't like the left‑to‑right wind on that hole and ultimately with this closed gap, I thought seeing those flags out there on 1 right where the leaderboard is blowing to the right, I thought it was going to move it right, and subconsciously I came a little bit over the top and had a closed clubface. It was only two degrees closed. That's what does it.

Q. How do you describe your personal pride from what you're truly accomplishing here as a first‑time starter in this field?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, look, I don't want to be prideful in any situation. That's not good. I don't like that statement.
I would prefer more of a calm and understanding type of mentality. Again, if I can do that and be calm, understanding, I'll have plenty of opportunities out there. And I think that I'm only four back, and, look, if I don't play well over the weekend, I don't play well. And if I do, I do. And if I do that, which I know I can, it will be a cool journey.

Q. From everything you studied about the golf course and now having played it in two tournament rounds, tournament conditions, has there been anything that's surprised you?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Speed of the greens. That's one thing that I didn't know was going to happen. I didn't know how quick they were truly going to get. You have these ideas, and Tuesday, they were firm and fast. I didn't know if they were going to get any firmer and faster. I didn't know if they could. And they relaxed them a little bit, which was nice and generous on their end, especially with how much wind was out there. It would be tough to put some pins in certain locations with the speed of the greens and the firmness level.
But that was the one main thing that struck me is that I need to get used to these greens a little bit more.

Q. I saw your dad outside and he said he had a holy crop moment when you got to 3‑under and he looked up at the leaderboard. Did you have any of those moments out there today?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Well, I got to 4‑under on 15.

Q. That's the one I meant, I apologize (laughter).
Going up to 16 tee, I knew I could hit a great shot. Unfortunately the wind, it was gusting all day and it didn't push the ball right and ultimately I 3‑putted.
I think I've had a couple 3‑putts this week and that's just something you can't do in a major. But I haven't had that. Again, I know that I can play in these tournaments. I know I can perform at the highest level, as well.

Q. You went to the 18th tee box; were you even thinking, I may be in the final group on Saturday?

Q. Not at all?

Q. Wasn't a distraction?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Just hit a poor golf shot, pulled two shots into the holly bush.

Q. You never look ahead?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: (Shaking head no).

Q. You had a great chance to compare your game to Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, the first two rounds. What did you learn about yourself?
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: About myself? Again, that I know I can perform at the highest level. One thing that I do need to improve on is a little bit of my wedge play, if I can clean that up‑‑ watching Spieth hit these wedges to nothing every single time is just incredible. Definitely not there. I hope to be soon. And if that part of my game comes along, it will be a fun, fun journey.
THE MODERATOR: Jordan, we appreciate your great play.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU: Jordan? Am I Jordan (laughter)?
THE MODERATOR: Bryson, congratulations on your fine play. We wish you all the best this weekend. Thanks, Bryson (laughter).

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