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June 9, 2016

Steve Stricker

Memphis, Tennessee

Q. Steve, 4-under, 66 in the 1st Round. Pretty nice finish. Talk about that triple birdie finish.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, that was nice to birdie the last three and -- but I had played solidly up to that point for the most part. Hit a ball in the water at the par 3, I think it's 13 or 14 in there somewhere but, yeah, it's just a good way to end the round and made a nice bunker shot at 17 to steal one there.

I was just trying to get it up and down and ended up going in. But, good way to finish the round and gives me some momentum into tomorrow.

Q. Is your all around game pretty solid?
STEVE STRICKER: It's not to bad. Helped playing the U.S. Open Qualifier on Monday. Kind of got me in the competitive mode early and kind of carried it into the round today. So, yeah, good -- felt good out there, I felt pretty relaxed and it's warm, you know, so I felt pretty loose.

Q. Are you surprised the scores aren't a little lower than they were today?
STEVE STRICKER: It's a tough course. No, I'm not. You got to really pay attention around here. You got to keep the ball in front of you. You can't -- you got to put it in play, bottom line. You got to get it in the fairway and if you're playing out of the rough around here it's going to be difficult.

So, first things first. That's getting it into play and then if you feel like challenging some of the pins you can but it's a good test.

Q. Steve, you heard about it being a test before. So, you actually to see it, is it the test you thought it would be?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah. I was -- when I went around here on Tuesday and then yesterday in the Pro-Am, you know, it's a good golf course. It's one that you really have to hit a lot of good, quality shots on and, like I said, just a second ago, you have to put in it play off the tee.

The rough is -- you can play out of the rough but you can't control the ball. You get those jumpers and the greens aren't that big so -- if you want to be aggressive into some of these hole locations you got to be playing from the fairway.

Q. Talk about the bunker shot again on 17.
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah. I had kind of a similar bunker shot at No. 10 where I had a lot of green to work with and I used my 54-degree and let it roll up to the hole. I hit it up to a couple inches on 10. Let's do the same thing.

It came out perfect and, you know, you're not trying to hole those out, at least I'm not, anyways. I was just trying to get it close and get it up and down and move on and so that was a real bonus there and stealing one at 18, too, is a good birdie there, too.

Q. Then after 17, you took a seat on the side. Just exhaustion?
STEVE STRICKER: It was shade and a seat. Taking advantage of both those things. It's hot. There's not a lot of breeze out there and the sun is hot and I'm from Wisconsin. We don't get this hot, usually. It's one of those days where you got to kind of conserve your energy as much as you can. That's what I tried to do at 17.

Q. Keep using the word "steal". Anybody around here knows if you go birdie, birdie, birdie on 16, 17, 18, it's pretty much stealing. It's got to give you so much of a boost of confidence as you try to put your head on the pillow.
STEVE STRICKER: That's some of the things I hadn't been doing well, you know, I've been letting rounds slip away when I've been playing fairly well. It was good to see it kind of turn the other way this time and that's the way I kind of ended up at the U.S. Open Qualifier.

I had a chance to make the U.S. Open and 3-putted 17 and birdied 18 and missed by a shot. I had an opportunity. I didn't take advantage of it Monday and today, you know, was different. So it was good to see that tide change a little bit

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