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July 14, 2017

Patrick Rodgers

Silvis, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Patrick Rodgers into the interview room here at the John Deere Classic, our leader after two rounds. Patrick, this is a tournament that's a special place. You played here as an amateur twice, so good place to get a start here on the PGA TOUR. Now you're in this position, second time this season.

A little bit about your round today.

PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I love coming to this tournament, first of all. It's probably the most special stop on tour for me. It's crazy. It's already my sixth time playing here, so a lot of good feelings all week. Very comfortable in the area and on the golf course.

A lot of good memories dating back to amateur golf, and I think that's helped some good play, just having some good memories it lean back on. Yeah, it was nice. I put together a really nice round today. Was very much in control. Rolled in some nice putts and stayed very patient. Next thing I knew I looked up and I was 6-, 7-under for the round.

Yeah, it was nice to keep making birdies and keep the gas pedal down. It was tricky this afternoon with some breeze, but I know 13-under is not going to win the golf tournament, so I got to keep that same mindset for the next two rounds.

THE MODERATOR: For us, your 12th hole of the day, the third chip-in, talk a little bit about that shot from the rough.

PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, that was nice, because it was probably my worst swing of the day leading up to that shot. It was in a bad spot and left myself a tricky little chip.

It was nice. I was just able to kind of focus in, and it came out exactly like I thought it would. Nice to see it roll in there to keep the momentum going, because I just missed about a four-footer for eagle on No. 2 and then made a bad swing off 3.

So that really kept the momentum going, and then was able to birdie I think three of my next four or three of my next five after that. So definitely kept the momentum going for the round, and will be a highlight for a long time to look back on.


Q. For those of us who have never been there, what's it like to be in the zone and how do you stay in it?
PATRICK RODGERS: I was very present today. I was very much focused on the task at hand. I credit that to -- obviously I try to get there mentally every time I play, but the breezy conditions helped me get there a little bit because every shot was a little trickier than usual.

There are some shorter holes with big fairways that sometimes you can kind of fall asleep out there, but today it was breezy enough where you just had to be locked in for every shot. I did a nice job staying present and patient all day.

Like I said, it was one of those days where next thing you look up at the leaderboard and you're 6-, 7-, 8-under. It was nice to be in that place mentally today.

Q. Putter today, 150 feet of putts today. Same thing yesterday. Did you get a sense early that would be a key to your game coming in this week?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I've been putting nice for two or three months now, and it's taking some time for my ball striking to come around. I've put a lot of hard work in with my swing coach, and it's been a lot of time and effort the last threes months. It's nice to start seeing it pay off.

I've been rolling it like this for a while. It's just nice to be putting for birdie.

Q. At Farmer's you looked sensational; obviously had a big week there. Looked like this might be a huge season for you. You trailed off a little bit there. What's been the key to sort of get back there after that?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I've struggled tee to green this year. The way I swung it my best in my career, I got pretty far off from that. Most of my work the last two, three months is trying to get back to how I know I swing it my best, especially off the tee.

I think it's always been my advantage as a player. I hit it a long ways and keep in in play the majority of the time, have a lot of the control off the tee. That's something I've really struggled with that all year.

Like I said, a lot time and effort to get back to driving it the way I know I can. Credit to my coach for putting in the time with me, because we've got it back to a place where I can contend and hopefully win a golf tournament.

Q. How do you not get frustrated through all that? Have you been able to manage that?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I mean, I can't really answer that because I was frustrated. The only way I know how to handle it is just to put my head down and keep working. I've worked harder than I ever have and I'm more motivated. Just been a lot of the time and effort trying to get my game back to where I know I can contend and compete.

It wasn't a question of belief at any point. It was just frustrating to not get the results that you're used to seeing, that you expect out of yourself. So started to get out of the dirt, and here we are.

Q. What do you think you learned from being in contention at Torrey Pines or some of the other ones that you've been in contention at previous that you can apply to this weekend here?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I learned how comfortable I am in that position. The frustrating part so far probably this year and maybe a little bit in my career as a pro is not getting there as much as I would like to. I'm incredibly comfortable in contention. I feel like my whole career I've made a really good habit of winning golf tournaments in a variety of ways.

I'm just going to lean on how comfortable I felt with the lead or coming down the stretch with chances to win as a pro. I know I have the game and mentality to compete. Just have to lean on all the experience I have as a professional and as an amateur at winning golf tournaments.

Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK RODGERS: Ask that again.

Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK RODGERS: 2013, yeah. Yeah, I'll never forget looking up a little leaderboard - I think it was on the 13th green that year - third round. I saw my name up there by myself and I had the lead for the first time in a Tour event and started freaking out.

I mean, obviously I felt like I was good enough to compete on the PGA TOUR, but then it's a different thing to be doing it and see it all happening.

I've definitely come a long ways since then. I have a ton of memories to draw back on from that year, and then I've played a ton of rounds here and a lot of really quality rounds here. Just got to put that on repeat for two more days and see what happens.

THE MODERATOR: That was a really great memory.

PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, it was fun. My dad took a screenshot on his cell phone and framed it, so he enjoyed it, too.

THE MODERATOR: Wow. Maybe he'll get another one this week.


THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time, Patrick.

PATRICK RODGERS: Thanks so much.

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