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July 15, 2017

Patrick Rodgers

Silvis, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: Like to welcome back Patrick Rodgers to the interview room after 3-under, 68, in round three of the John Deere Classic.

Patrick, I heard you talking this morning. Quick hit on the range, and you just kind of stressed again how special this tournament is to you and how much it means to you. It certainly is evident from your play through three rounds this week.

With that, just a few comments on being in the position you are.

PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, this is an incredibly special week just all around. I have incredible memories here dating back -- I think I've played every year since 2012. Kind of my first taste of PGA TOUR golf was here; my first taste of being in contention on the PGA TOUR was here; I think it was the first golf tournament I ever came to as a spectator.

So just a lot of the incredible memories here. It's close to home, so it's been really special to have so many family and friends come over and support.

Regardless of how the golf goes, just seeing so many familiar faces, especially with the way our job is. We're just on the road so much throughout the year, so it's nice to see so many friends and put on some good quality golf.

THE MODERATOR: With that, take a few questions. You know the drill. Get a microphone.

Q. You had a very patient round, which was impressive. You didn't seem to rush or force things. Were you happy with the patience level you played with?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I had to be patient because I wasn't as sharp as I was the past couple days. I guess I did a good job mentally getting in with 3-under par, because I had a couple loose short irons, especially coming in.

All in all, if you told me at the start of the day I would have the same lead that I started with, then that's a positive thing. But I know it's going to be a shootout tomorrow because there are a lot of birdies to be made out here. I'm going to have to make my fair share in order to stay at the top.

Q. Talk about that mindset. You say it's going to be a shootout tomorrow. Seemed like it was a shootout today with some of the low numbers on the board. Did you look at the board and see the numbers and think, Man, I got to get it going today even?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I always look at the board. I think you just have to learn how to manage the leaderboard as a PGA TOUR player. I know there are some guys that try not to look at it, but it's always kind of there in your face.

So I thought I did a fine job. I would've liked to have extended my lead a little bit more and make a few more birdies coming in, but just didn't have my top, top quality stuff the last few holes.

It's such a marathon this week because you have to make so many birdies to win. Guys can come from pretty far behind and post a number and get up there with a chance late on Sunday.

You just have to have a very forward view. I'm just trying to make as many birdies as I can, so...

Q. You're leading this tournament in birdies right now, 19. What is it about this course with the greens that kind of fit you right now that you're rolling it so well?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, I'm putting it really nice. The thing that I'm doing a good job of is matching speed with line. So for me, these greens look about as fast as they are, and so my pace is very much dialed in.

The two three-putts I've had this week have just been goofy, long, really challenging putts on the 9th hole.

But I'm rolling it really nice, and most of my putts have been a miss or a foot by the hole, which is exactly what I am trying to do, so I'm able to see a lot more in the middle.

Q. Some might say a long time coming. I know there is whole round to go, but have you had a chance to sort of fathom what it might mean to you to win tomorrow?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, you're not going to win golf tournaments by sitting there and thinking about what it's going to mean to win when you're 18 holes away.

Fortunately for me, I've been in this position a lot in my career, both as an amateur and as a pro. So I feel like I've had every situation in a golf tournament. I don't discount anything college, amateur, and junior golf. I think they're all just experiences winning golf tournaments.

So I feel very, very comfortable in this position. Probably the most comfortable I feel any time on Tour is up here at the top of the leaderboard. So I am just going to try to carry that comfort and that confidence through to the end of the day tomorrow.

Q. How long ago does the 1 wins at Stanford feel?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yesterday and a lifetime all at the same time. I mean, there is no doubt that pro golf is incredibly challenging, and it's been challenging at times for me. It's been incredibly frustrating at times for me this year.

You have to do some serious soul searching, because the line is incredibly fine between great, great golf and going home on a Friday or just not playing the way that you want.

So there are so many good players out here that you have to play really quality golf in order to be consistent and contend on a consistent basis, and I've just really put in a ton of work. I owe a lot of credit to a lot of people to help me get back into this position this year.

Q. Sounds like you like being in this position and that you're comfortable with it. Is that how you manage looking at the leaderboard?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, yeah, this is exactly where I want to be. It's why I show up every week, to win.

I think Tiger started this mentality, or Mr. Jack Nicklaus before him. You play to win. I grew up playing all sports, and you don't play to finish second.

It's very rewarding to be up here right now. I know I have a long way to go, but I'm excited for the opportunity.

Q. Was it difficult to get to that comfort level as a pro, or was it right away?
PATRICK RODGERS: I had a lot of experience winning in collegiate and amateur golf, and I expected to many come out here and win right away. Probably the biggest frustrations as a pro have been not getting it done yet.

When you're used to having so much success and contending on a regular basis, you kind of thrive on that. Part of the frustrating part of professional golf for me so far has been not having as many chances as I would like.

Tomorrow would be a great, great time to start.

Q. Do you believe your contemporaries out there that say they're not going to be aware of the leaderboard tomorrow?
PATRICK RODGERS: Yeah, it's staring you in the face on almost every hole. I give them a lot credit if they didn't know where they were. I personally can't do that. My eyes are glued to it for some reason. I feel like I manage it just fine.

They can do whatever they want. I hope I get everyone's best golf tomorrow, and I hope I play just a little bit better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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