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June 17, 2016

Lee Slattery

Oakmont, Pennsylvania

Q. (No microphone)?
LEE SLATTERY: Getting up at quarter to 5:00 this morning. I mean, I was just saying before that, you know, feeling so tight on the back nine kind of gets you through. It's not about playing great golf. It's about finishing the round. I feel so tight now. I'm going to sleep well tonight, that's for sure. It has just been a really, really long day on a really tough golf course.

Q. You've obviously played really well. You must be pleased with a 72. How pleased are you with 68?
LEE SLATTERY: I played great this morning. I didn't hit a great tee shot off the first. After that, played some great golf.

This afternoon, just hit every fairway. I hit 14 fairways, which is key around here and it just sets up the hole every single time, and it means you can go for par 5s in two and take your chances whenever you get one. Me and Daniel today certainly did that. We were incredible.

Q. (No microphone)?
LEE SLATTERY: Well, I found out that he's top 10 [indiscernible] the last two years on the U.S. tour. You can see he rolls the ball really well and it suits him around here. He's a great player as well. I fancy he could do well this week.

We're just feeding off each other all day. I holed a chip shot, he'd hole a putt straight after it. We kept going. It's a great feeling. We definitely bounced off each other.

Q. Did the weather change your strategy at all after you go through the practice rounds, it's hot, it's dry, all the rain. Did you have to adjust your approach?
LEE SLATTERY: I've always said when you play a U.S. Open and it certainly happened at Olympic in 2012 as well, it changes every day. One of the key things to playing well at a U.S. Open is adapting to the weather changes, the green speeds and you've just got to be very good at that. And the more U.S. Opens you play, the more sort of you realize how quickly you have to adapt to certain circumstances out there. So yeah.

Q. You mentioned 2012 (inaudible) how does that feel?
LEE SLATTERY: It's a great feeling. It's a great feeling, especially a club as historic as Oakmont as well. This is a fabulous golf course, great golf club. It's just got a really nice feel about it.

I'm taking nothing away from Olympic Club. It was a great venue. It was my first U.S. Open. But this place just feels very, very special. And it is a very special golf course. It's very fair, but it's just so difficult.

Q. Tell us about the eagle on 12, I think it was.
LEE SLATTERY: I managed to get one out there in that hole. I hit a long drive down there, about 320 yards, and it meant I could have a go at the green, which was quite nice, really. Having not played it great yesterday as well, or early this morning, I think it was. It's very confusing. But yeah, just meant I could have a go at it. I hit a nice 3 wood. I could have hit it slightly better. I didn't really knuckle it, but it came up ten yards short of the green. I hit a lovely little chip, little bit of check, fell onto the front of the green and it seemed to take an eternity to get to the hole. But it dropped in, it was a great bonus at the time.

Q. How was the break (no microphone)?
LEE SLATTERY: I would have said, I probably played out 15 or 20 feet left of the hole, I would have said. And then, yeah, it just took a lot of break. I knew the first bounce was going to kick it to the right, but it also had to check up a little bit as well and it did both. When it fell onto the green, I thought, well, this is going to be close but never expected it to go in. It was a huge bonus.

Q. What did you think of Danny's round?
LEE SLATTERY: He played great, he putted well. He hit the ball solid. He's hit the ball solid all day. I hit the ball really solid this afternoon. He hit the ball really solid this morning, shot 4 over par, which I couldn't believe. It was the worst he could have been.

This afternoon he got the putt to go. He's a really, really good player. A solid ball striker, he's [indiscernible] and a great putter. Very good.

Q. What were the crowds like for you guys today? They've been through the weather with you guys?
LEE SLATTERY: They're very good. You get into the par 3s, the grand stands are full. I mean, it's great. I mean, if you hit a good shot, you get a big cheer no matter where you are on the golf course. It's obviously not like Phil Mickelson, who gets cheered onto every single tee and green. You've got to expect that. But they're still great out there. They've been very, very good.

Q. You won't know until second round's finished tomorrow afternoon exactly where you are. Do you feel you're in good enough shape to be contending this weekend?
LEE SLATTERY: I think so. I think having played on the European Tour now for 12 years, I think it is, I've got a couple of wins out there. People have always said to me you've got to try to move up to another level. I'm not, certainly not saying I'm going to come here and try and win the U.S. Open. If it happened, it would be a great feeling, obviously.

I feel like I'm at a time in my life, I'm 37 now, I've been on Tour for a long time. I feel I've got to try to elevate myself up to another level, whether it's this week, next week, whenever it is. I feel I've got to win something a little bit bigger to keep on achieving my goals in life.

Q. What are some of those goals (no microphone)?
LEE SLATTERY: I mean, I always wanted to win a European Tour. That happened. To win again was great. Obviously I want to play at Ryder cup. That would be a great feeling to get into a Ryder cup squad. Also just contend in bigger events and one day you never know. Like [indiscernible] said when he came over and played the British Open, you might just knock one of them off and it's a life changer. But you'll never do it unless you're in contention. So you've got to get yourself into contention and see how you do under the pressure.

Q. What did you make of the new pin location in the back on No. 6?
LEE SLATTERY: It was interesting. Trying to think. That was a par 3?

Q. Right.
LEE SLATTERY: I think this morning when we played it, it's a really tough shot. To get it in close there, you've got to hit a high towering 6 iron or a 5 iron. It was a really, really difficult shot. But, I mean, I think it's one of them holes, you know, a couple of the par 3s out here are fairly generous with pin positions and just the way they are with length.

I think to have a tricky par 3 or a tricky pin position on a par 3 is not a bad thing. It just means it's a sucker pin. Knock it 30 feet, try to make your birdie somewhere else.

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