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July 5, 2017

Hideki Matsuyama

Portstewart, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Q. First of all, how much are you looking forward to your first Rolex Series and European Tour tournament this week?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: This is my first time in Ireland, and when I decided I was going to come, from that point on, I was just -- I couldn't wait to got here. I was just so excited. Looking forward to tomorrow and starting the tournament.

Q. What do you think of the course here at Portstewart?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: It's a great track. I mean, the yardage might not be as long as some of the other courses we play, but you have to keep the ball in the fairway off the tee. It's difficult and I'm going to have to play my best to be able to play well here.

Q. And this will be good preparation for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in two weeks' time.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yeah, this is really the first time I've come over to Europe early prior to The Open Championship. Playing here is going to be a great preparation, but first of all, I'm not thinking about The Open right now. I'm thinking about The Irish Open. Hopefully I can do my best.

Q. No. 2 in the world, you've had some great help along the way. What do you hope this will do to help golf in Japan and younger golfers in Japan?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Whenever I play, it usually gets on television back in Japan, and the youngsters are going to be treated with just a beautiful layout this week, and to be able to see how really beautiful Northern Ireland is; I'm anxious for that. Anxious to play well. I'm a long way from becoming No. 1 in the world, but that's all of our goals.

All I can do is just keep working as hard as I can.

Q. You're playing with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm for the first two days. How exciting will that be with huge crowds following you around this golf course?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, especially playing with Rory and Jon. I haven't played with Rory since February but I played with Jon, though, this will be the third event in a row I've played the first two days with Jon. They are great competitors and I know the galleries are going to be ten-deep on every hole.

Q. Your fellow countryman, Kei Nishikori, is playing at Wimbledon. Would it be nice to have a Japanese double?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA: Actually I'm going to be going to Wimbledon next week to watch some of the matches. Hopefully I'll be able to see him play. Hopefully he does well. But all I can do is take care of the business here in Northern Ireland by myself and hopefully we'll have a good result.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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