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April 6, 2017

Russell Henley

Augusta, Georgia

Q. Good start. What was the key out there today?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I would say just being able to flight the ball lower than the tree line and just control my distances. I feel like I left myself in a really bad spot maybe once or twice, but the rest of the day I was hitting it in spots where I could score from and make pars and I made a couple putts.

Q. What about that stretch on the back nine, to make the three straight birdies.
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I thought I played number 10 really well and ‑‑ actually, I thought I played 11 not that bad and I somehow hit it 25 yards past the pin, which is not where you want to be. I didn't think the bogey was that bad on 10 and then I just, I didn't really lose any confidence from it. That's kind of what I did last week, I might have made a bogey or whatever, but you never really lose confidence, I felt I was doing what I was doing well with my game.
And I hit a great shot into 12, just kept it below the wind and hit it to about seven feet and made it.
And then I feel like I played 13 and 14 pretty well, but would have been happy with par from where I was. So, yeah, it was a fun day.

Q. How bad was the wind and dealing with it?
RUSSELL HENLEY: It's pretty bad, but I feel like I have a low ball flight. I feel like I know how to flight the ball into the wind and have gotten better and better at that. With the soft conditions, I just felt like I could play well today.
Obviously, I won last week and I'm feeling confident, but I was just excited to go out there and play and I just feel like I can play well on this course right now.

Q. What's a reasonably low score in these conditions, do you think?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Well, I think I left a couple out there in the first nine, for sure, so I think if somebody plays really well, they can probably shoot 5‑ or 6‑under and maybe they will shoot lower than that. It's tough, but it's doable.

Q. You're really intent on your own first shot, but did you get a chance to soak in the ceremony with Jack and Gary at all?
RUSSELL HENLEY: It was cool. I was warming up and they were hitting some balls on the range. So that was just really cool. You feel, like it's a weird presence, you feel from those guys that it's just, I just can't really still believe I'm here. I've only known I've been in this tournament for a couple days and next thing you know I'm right behind the ceremonial tee shot. So, it was really cool, really special, but tried to also kind of stay focused.

Q. Were you scrambling to try and make arrangements and get situated for the first Major of the year?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I got a good team around me and they kind of took care of it. I didn't have to scramble too much, we snuck in a house somebody backed out of and my parents are only a two‑hour drive away from Macon, where I grew up so it wasn't too bad.

Q. Did it help to also having played the Masters before that you weren't coming in last minute cramming?
RUSSELL HENLEY: This being my fourth one, I feel comfortable, as comfortable as you can feel and just really feel like I'm enjoying it, enjoying the challenge. It's a very unique course, you don't play another one like it the whole year, so it's just trying to just enjoy the challenge of the course.

Q. What was the weirdest wind shot you had today?
RUSSELL HENLEY: The weirdest? Let me think here. Number 11. Number 11 was just so hard into it us. And as you know, we're up on the hill ‑‑ well, it's not as high at this point, but you're pretty high on 11 and the wind is from the west, so it's straight into the wind there.
And when Daniel hit, it looked like his kind of ballooned up in the air. It hit on the front of the green.
And I kind of, I tried to hit a 5‑iron from 200 and I hit it solid, blocked it a little and I was about 25 yards past the pin. So I don't know what happened right there, I think it might have just stopped. I just think it gets tricky down there going around those trees and whatnot. So I would say Amen Corner is definitely really tough.

Q. You live in Charleston or Kiawah now?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Well, I play golf at Kiawah. I live in Charleston.

Q. Going back to the wind, is ball marking something you have to think about today?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, a couple times the ball was oscillating. I don't know how to spell oscillating, but I heard people say that. So I think it was definitely moving a little bit. But, yeah, a couple times on the more exposed ones. So when you get a little higher up, the higher greens on the course, you can get those gusts and you see the ball moving a little bit.

Q. Does it feel like it's an advantage now to have the round done with the way the wind is going to be stronger this afternoon?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, it does. I'm not going to hope that it gets harder or wish anything bad on anybody, but I'm definitely happy with under par. I feel that's pretty good, considering it was blowing 25.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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