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June 2, 2016

Brendan Steele

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Brendan, obviously, a great way to start the tournament and a great way to finish in the last round. Tell us what happened on the last hole.
BRENDAN STEELE: The last hole is a really tough hole. It's playing about as easy as it can right now. The weather is perfect. The greens are a little bit soft after that rain, which helped. Hit a great drive. Had a nice number to control an 8 iron in there. I told Christian, my caddie, these are shots I normally aim too far away from the hole, that I get a little too cautious with. We picked a really aggressive line, made a great swing, and it paid off.

Q. Can you tell when you're staring down (inaudible), thinking this is really good?
BRENDAN STEELE: Sometimes you're clueless. Sometimes you hit a really good shot right at it, plugs in the right bunker, bounces over the green or something. This was one of those where you're like, I wouldn't change it in the air. I wouldn't want it left or right or longer or shorter. That doesn't always mean that it's even going to be any good, let alone go in.

I found a lot of the time, the balls that actually go in are shots where you miss your number by three or four yards and it takes a bigger bounce than you think, and it all kind of works out. This one did exactly what we were trying to do. So a little bit of luck and a good swing.

Q. Your previous best here is 67, I want to say. What went well today? Do you feel like you were just swinging it well?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I was doing everything really well. I kind of came here a little unsure of how my game was. I've been swinging it pretty good. My short irons haven't been great. My chipping's been mediocre, and my putting hasn't been great while I was home the last couple of weeks. Needed to clean up a lot of things and was able to do that fortunately.

I tried to take a little different attitude into today than I've had. It becomes a little bit more like a job out here sometimes, which I didn't want it to be. I want to have a little bit more fun. Even when I made double on 14, I was trying to like be like, all right, this is what it's all about. You just made a double. Can you get in there and make a good swing and have a good finish still. That's the thing I'm most pleased about.

Q. (Inaudible) what helped you free yourself up in all parts of the game?
BRENDAN STEELE: I made like a 35-footer on the 2nd hole, so that kind of gives you a little bit of a kick start. I knew that I was swinging really well. So if I start to see some putts go in, then I'm going to get really excited about it. Definitely seeing that go in on the 2nd hole made me think that maybe today was going to be pretty good.

Q. Double on 14. The finishing holes here have a stiff reputation.

Q. How do you -- was it just the 15 previous holes, just like the momentum builds, and as you said, it was an aggressive play on 18? How do you kind of decide to attack those last three?
BRENDAN STEELE: We played -- I mean, 16, I don't know how you get it close to that hole. That green is still firmer than all the others. So that, we were just trying to survive.

And 17 we didn't play aggressive off the tee. Played back with 3 wood into the wider area, but then stayed really aggressive with the second shot.

And 18, you just -- I don't think you really have a choice. You kind of have to be aggressive on the tee shot, and then when you get up there and have a short club in, you try to be aggressive with the second shot.

As soon as you get defensive, you get in a lot of trouble around here. Whenever people ask me about this course, I tell them that I've never seen so many chips where I get up there and I go, I don't know how I can chip it inside of 30 feet. And it's the only course that we really play like that when you've got the big rough. It's kind of like Augusta with a slope, but then you've got way more rough. So it's definitely really tough around the greens. So you need to stay aggressive to hopefully avoid some of those shots.

Q. Are the conditions as good as you've seen here? Or is it accessible?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, definitely. That's as good as we're going to get. I think it's warm, soft, very little wind. With this course, you know, if you hit really good shots, you can shoot a good score. If you hit -- if you get a little bit off, you're in a lot of trouble. I think that's why you're seeing some good numbers today.

Q. They say it's a second shot course, and yet you're pretty much of a bomber too. Aren't you like top 15?
BRENDAN STEELE: I'm a pretty good driver of the ball as a rule. I hit it decently long and decently straight, so it's usually a pretty good combo.

But definitely a second shot golf course for sure. Fairly generous off the tee, but then got to hit your numbers and your spots, the little kind of quadrants and stuff out here, got to be really precise on them.

Q. Are you normally hitting 8 in on 18?
BRENDAN STEELE: I did in the practice round, but that's both really good tee shots to get me an 8 iron in.

Q. Where did the ball land in the practice round?
BRENDAN STEELE: I hit a good shot in the practice round. The pin was back left, I think, and I hit it to 15 feet maybe, yeah.

Q. I know you just kind of alluded to it, but with 14 having gone the way it did and you going, that's just the way it is, did that kind of relax you a little bit and just kind of get you back into your game?
BRENDAN STEELE: That's the thing. Out here, those are the big moments. Everybody wants to talk about like who's got the best swing or who can make this putt or that putt or whatever. But it's more about just being able to go, okay, I had a disaster, you know, something I'm not happy about. I had a gap wedge from the fairway and made a 6, right? How can you respond and make a good swing on the next hole because you're obviously swinging well, you're playing well. Don't let that define the day. Don't let it define the week. Those are kind of the inner battles, and I think that's why we love this game so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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