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August 11, 2016

Bruce Fleisher

Columbus, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: Bruce Fleisher, 2 over par, 72, first round.

BRUCE FLEISHER: Did you say 2 under? It was 2 under?

Q. 2 over sounds pretty good too. It was hard out there.
BRUCE FLEISHER: It was. It was hard for me. You know, obviously, 12 -- was it 12? Yeah, 12. I flew it right in the hole. You know what, at that point, honestly, I don't care what I did after that, I've done it. Just to hit that shot.

Q. What was the club and the yardage?
BRUCE FLEISHER: I had about 110 yards, and it was a wedge. Actually, I didn't think I could even stop it on the green, but the hole stopped it. But that was fun.

Listen, it's too much golf for me. I just kind of hung in there. I mean, I'm hitting 3 woods and rescues all day long.

It was fun. It was a great challenge. A great challenge.

Q. Nice birdie at 18 too.
BRUCE FLEISHER: That was probably my best, yeah. Three just wonderful shots. And as good as I felt today over the putter, I'll probably feel that bad tomorrow. You know, it's funny how you just feel comfortable. Just out of the box I made like a 6-footer for par on 10. Just gives you a little boom. It was fun. It was fun.

Q. Putt at 18?
BRUCE FLEISHER: 18 was about a 12-footer, just -- I missed two real makable birdies, which kind of -- you can always go over your round. I'm sure everybody does. But when I see that, see the line, which I'm sure everybody sees the line, it makes it a lot easier. It was a little touch-and-go out there. You need affirmation, obviously, to make a good stroke.

Q. When you went around today, was there any memory that you haven't thought about that maybe came up at any point?
BRUCE FLEISHER: You know, honestly -- and you weren't there last night, or were you? It was a pretty special night with Jack. As you get older, you realize -- you get further and further away from this, but I'm very satisfied with the fact -- and I know you mentioned Salem next year. This is where it all started for me, and this is where it's going to finish.

We're all important. We're all God's children, right? Everybody's built a little different, but if I think about -- and I don't really like talking about myself because my career was so up and down, you know, in and out, but if it started for me here, to be part of history with Jack Nicklaus who grew up here, if it ends here, I'm very happy. Whether I shot 80 today or 90, I was really fine with it.

I think shooting 72 is such a bonus, and it's so special. Yeah, it's a damn good feeling. It's a damn good feeling. You know, 72 is 2 over par, but conditions were very difficult out there.

Q. Bruce, you have exceedingly low expectations for yourself.

Q. Does that free you up to play better?
BRUCE FLEISHER: Yeah, because, honestly, I'm okay. One of the things that everybody deals with -- and I'm sure you do too. We all do -- is our self-image, right? And when you're put on the stage, especially a professional golfer, probably any professional sport, you're dealing with protecting yourself, or you think you're protecting yourself. And I've learned the past three years after retiring that reality sets in, and honestly, it doesn't mean anything, you know.

And I think I've got it in the right place now. It took me a long time because you always felt -- I always felt I played for somebody else, even though you're really playing for your family and your friends, whatever. But so many people put so much emphasis on winning, on doing well, that this week, I knew in my heart -- and, honestly, I've not played in almost over a year. I couldn't walk because of my knee. And my expectations was absolutely zilch, so I was going to be fine if I played good, bad, or indifferent.

And Joe Inman actually called me last week when he found out he was teeing off with me. He said, you know, Bruce, I haven't teed it up in seven years with you guys. I said, promise you'll laugh with me because I know where you are in your life now. And I said, Joe, we're going to laugh all the way around.

It was fun. He didn't laugh a lot. He had a rough day. But, yeah, my expectations was -- I had no idea honestly.

Q. So hypothetically, you shoot 67 tomorrow.
BRUCE FLEISHER: You know what, I'll probably get very nervous on Saturday. God help me, you know. But you know what, I'm going to be trying because this is such a test of your endurance and of your patience, and it's really, really all about patience out there because you're going to get some funny lies, you're going to miss fairways. And, of course, this course is exceptionally long.

Boy, I'd love to shoot 67. Wow, what a way to finish.

Q. Anything around par is probably going to be pretty good.
BRUCE FLEISHER: Pretty good, yeah. I predict -- Vijay, I was seeing him earlier in the week, and he was knocking it in the trees. The advantage has got to be so overwhelming for a guy like him. There's probably a handful out here like him. Of course, he can play, and he's won Majors before. I thought this would be a great venue for Vijay.

4 under is a pretty darn good score, and I would be surprised at the end of the week if five guys were in the red. I don't think -- you know, you guys can make that happen too. USGA can make that happen.

Q. Get some rain, it might not be very low.
BRUCE FLEISHER: The pins. You put those pins, and the greens are firm. I don't think the rain's going to bother the greens at all.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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