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July 13, 2017

Stephen Gallacher

Ayrshire, Scotland

Q. How were conditions?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: It was a tough day, right from the start. Tough to get it close. Greens were firming up since I played on Tuesday in the Pro-Am. It's an unbelievable difference how firm they were. Got it fast and fiery out there.

Q. Nice way around 12, 13, 14, kind of a telling thrust, as it were. What did you hole at 12?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I was thinking that myself. It was basically hang on for the five holes before that. I was struggling a wee bit. I started to hit fairways and hit it close. Just didn't really drive it great today but my short game is sharp, so that kept me in it.

Q. What did you hit in to 12?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I hit a drive just short of green and chipped it to about eight-foot.

13, hit it to about six-foot, and 2-putted 14.

Q. No bogeys, that must be pleasing?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, it was. A tough day. The greens are very slopey, anyway, and then you add in a cross wind, 15, 20-mile-an-hour, it's so hard to get it close.

So I'm delighted with that. As you can see with the scoring, it's quite bunched and there's different types of scores. Great start. Something to build on for the rest of the week.

Q. Have you started this well in Scottish Open before?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I've played in 21 of them. Haven't got a clue; probably. I don't know. I finished with a 63. That's the only thing I remember.

Q. Where was that?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Royal Aberdeen and Loch Lomond.

Q. Was it one of them days, it could have been easy to just let things get away from you a wee bit?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: It could have, yeah. There was about five or six holes in a row where I hit it in the rough and didn't have a lie and you're playing for 50 foot's a good shot. In fact, at 9, I was lying that bad, I just had to chip that bad. Only had a hundred yards and I couldn't go for the green. Just had to use the head and try to leave yourself putts that were -- you know, the easy putts from below the holes.

Q. Was that the best of your saves?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, 9 was good. Holed about a 10-footer there. Holed a lot of 9-, 10-footers today, which was nice.

Q. You talked earlier in the week about playing here a few years back.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, I've played it a lot. I think any time you're familiar with a golf course, it's easier than when you don't really know it. You know where to hit it and you know where to miss it. Definitely I've played it quite a lot.

Yeah, it's just one of the courses that you've got to get on the fairways to start, and you've got to leave it certain side of the holes. If you're off with your irons, you're not hitting it close; and if you're off with your driver, you can't hit it close. You need to really hit fairways and hit your irons close to shoot a good score.

I just kept missing fairways, and you kind of go at the pins.

Q. So many rewards on offer this week, home Open, and what could be on offer for next week. Do you use that for inspiration or do you try not to think about it?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I'd love to play in The Open, so you know you need to do well. Seen a couple of guys do it last week, which was brilliant, get more Scots in it. It's been my goal for the last three weeks was to try and make Birkdale. It's a good start to that.

Q. Do you use that kind of thing?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Definitely. No, no, you're using that. This is my only chance, isn't it. I'd love to play there. Obviously you'd love to win it, but just if you're in contention on Sunday, that's all you can ask, and every week.

Q. Does this give you even more satisfaction, given your injury issues of the past?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Injury's fine. It's just nice to play in your home country. Nice to play well anywhere. Started to play well last week in Ireland. It's not far away at all.

Q. How do you reflect on the opening exchange?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, it's a tough day. It's one of these days that you have to kind of use the head and if you hit it in the rough, you had to play away from pins. I'm off to a good start and delighted with that.

Q. Breeze get up a little bit for you guys this afternoon?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I think the course is drying out since I played the Pro-Am on Tuesday. I noticed a big difference on the greens. They are a lot firmer and the wind is up a little bit. I'd say it's a little bit bouncy in the afternoon. There will be a bit of give on the greens in the morning but that should even out tomorrow.

Q. The course should potentially get firm and faster over the next few weeks. What do you have to do well around this play out?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, it's a second-shot golf course I would say. The greens are quite severe in places, so you've got to leave it in the right place. Obviously if you're coming from the fairway and hitting your irons good, you can score well. But if you're coming from the rough, you've got to play safe and play away from the flags and 2-putt and try to get on to the next hole. So it's a good mix of holes here. You've got long par 5s, a bunch you can reach, short par 4s and long par 3s. It's a good mix. It's a tough track today with a crosswind straight across the course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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