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June 17, 2017

Eddie Pepperell

Erin, Wisconsin

Q. Talk about the golf instead.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Bit of an up-and-down round, really. I guess I didn't play too good going out, so it would be 2-under through 8. I was happy with it. Birdied the two par 5s with a 5-iron in and 7-iron in, so unconventional to say the least.

I was making the most of my day. I felt the back nine I had done the complete opposite. I didn't hit a bad shot. I hit maybe one 3-wood off 14 and ended up making a bogey in there. But other than that, hit a lot of nice shots and didn't hole what I could have.

But a good round of golf, you know. Could have been a lot worse, obviously. On a Saturday in a U.S. Open in a fairly decent position, obviously, I could have, you know, shot a bad round, but I didn't.

Yeah, carried on nicely. I felt like I've kept doing what I've been doing of late. Forgot about where I was playing. Didn't bother me too much. Just tried to enjoy the challenge of the course, particularly the greens and have fun out there as much as I could, really.

Q. How were the conditions from the overnight rain, did it make it a bit softer and greens a bit more receptive?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, the only thing that played different was just played a bit longer. You know, it was a couple holes that just played longer if you didn't quite get your driver away.

But it was certainly easier into the greens. Couple tougher pins, though. They were right where I played the practice round with Ross Fisher, and I said, Where do you think they'll put the pins?

And he said, Anywhere you don't think they'll put the pins. And he was dead right.

So they're all just on little knolls. I hit a great shot into the par-3, 16 with a 5-iron, and I've got an eight-foot for birdie with two foot of break in it, and you just don't get that.

Q. In terms of challenges this week, what's the challenge been like in terms of other courses, other events, other majors you've played?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Compared to other majors I've played?

Q. Yeah, other tournaments.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: It's brilliant. I haven't got anything bad to say about the golf course. I think the bunkers are maybe a little penalizing, and I think the course plays extremely well with the prevailing wind. I wouldn't want to play with the opposite wind because there would be some holes that would be a bit stupid. But I think it's played great. I've loved it. It's very fair.

Obviously you've seen the scores. You can shoot a bad number if you play bad off the tee. But you can also shoot a good number if you're in place. What more can you ask for? I haven't got anything bad to say.

Q. The U.S. Open last year (inaudible) you must be pretty proud of yourself?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I mean, I guess so. From the outside looking in, it might look like a huge difference. And it is. But I've done a couple of things lately that have -- I've driven the ball really well today. I wasn't hitting driver three months ago on a golf course. So to have that transition to come to U.S. Open and face some of those tee shots and not care about what's out there or when to pull the driver out and hit good tee shots, that's the thing I can take most pleasure from, because that wasn't what I was doing three months ago.

When you see guys who are, I know a couple guys who are in a similar position that I was in a few months ago and they're in that kind of position now, I feel for them. Because I was there, and I was afraid of pulling the driver out. To go out there on that golf course and feel like I can use it to my strength is really nice. The rest of my game is kind of building up around that, I guess.

Yeah, my putting has been a bit better this week as well. I haven't putted well for a long time. Everything's been bad. It just seems to be, you know, nicely coming back together.

Q. What's made the difference?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Oh, I could say a dog. There is a dog obviously in my life (laughing). Yeah, no, I mean, I've changed equipment. That's been the biggest thing. I have swung the club a bit better, but I've changed equipment. I've gone away from -- I've done a bit of learning, to be honest. I just always stuck new equipment in, new driver in, and the modern equipment, as you know, high launch, low spin.

My tendency when I get on the golf course is to actually hit a little down on it. I'm comfortable trying to shape it and squeeze it a little bit with the driver. But I had a set-up that was just not allowing me to do that.

So to come away from my equipment that I was with, and to be able to test and be able to put a club in and ball in play that I believe really benefits the way I like to play golf, that's made a huge difference. It's made the difference. Like I said, I'm not kidding, three months ago if I had come here I would not have broken out, because I would have hit 3-woods off the tees. This week I've come off really nice.

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