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July 16, 2017

Marina Alex

Bedminster, New Jersey

Q. If you don't mind, kind of give us your thoughts on the round.
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, it was a good round here. I was pretty comfortable to start and I felt like I struck the ball really well for the first 9, 10 holes. I kind of got a little unlucky on 11.

I thought I hit a really food drive and ended up being in the rough and made a really great up and down. Good birdie on 12 and then I kind of got a little nervous there in the back stretch and just wasn't really hitting it that great but I made some unbelievable up and downs to kind of keep me going. It was a great round.

Q. You're going to finish low American. Probably finish Top-10. How does that feel?
MARINA ALEX: It's great. Last time I had a Top-10 in a Major was my first year out here, British Open but this is awesome. This is really -- I feel like I've improved so much from then till now in terms of my game and just nice to be back close to the lead.

Q. Your thoughts on coming back to where you grew up playing the ultimate tournament and not only playing it but playing really well.
MARINA ALEX: I'm really happy with how I handled myself. It was tough going into it, I knew there was going to be a ton of fans and just a ton of pressure to play well and I handled it the best that I could. I'm pleased.

Q. Not to dismiss your performance, which of course is great, it does look like this will be the worse performance ever by American women at the U.S. Open.
Should there be some concern about that?

MARINA ALEX: No, sir. I don't think so. Next question.

Q. How has it helped you evolve as a player playing in a Major like this.
MARINA ALEX: It's just more experience for me being in contention and being under a lot of pressure and just figuring out ways to handle it, ways to just improve on dealing with the environment and how to hit quality shots when under a lot of pressure.

This is great experience for me.

Q. Is that something you only can be taught or you have to experience?
MARINA ALEX: It's all experience. I don't think anyone can teach you one way or the other. You can ask a lot of players who have been there. It's a learning process. Everyone is different. They handle it how they handle it. It's just me figuring out myself.

Q. How many relatives and friends were here to watch?
MARINA ALEX: A ton. My whole family was here, ton of people. I just saw my first grade teacher. Haven't seen her since second grade, probably.

You know, it's just a ton of people that have come out to watch and it's really great. It's awesome.

Q. That was the first grade teacher, the one you hugged at the end?

Q. Was that surprising?
MARINA ALEX: Yes. I haven't seen her since elementary school.

Q. People wanted to --
MARINA ALEX: Mrs. Friedman.

Q. All these people wanted to be a part of this.
MARINA ALEX: Every hole. It's cool. It's awesome. I'm really glad that the State of New Jersey and the community found it and interesting coming out to watch me and watching women's golf, being out here. I'm really happy.

Q. As far as your game, where do you go from here? Do you still feel like --
MARINA ALEX: There's a lot to work still to improve, mainly just handling myself under pressure and being able to play how I play, you know, the first two rounds, Saturday and Sunday and continuing to keep that up and try and handle the circumstances, you know better, each time.

Q. After the rollercoaster of yesterday, how gratifying was it to come out and go bogey-free?
MARINA ALEX: It was pretty great. From the 6th hole was a double bogey yesterday. I didn't drop a shot after that.

I'm really incredibly happy with that at a U.S. Open. That's kind -- that's pretty impressive, honestly, to not drop a shot for I don't know how many holes, 30, maybe? Not 30.

Q. 24?
MARINA ALEX: 18 today.

Q. 30.
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, 30. That's really good golf. I'm happy with that.

Q. What does that tell you?
MARINA ALEX: I'm close. I really need for things like that to happen. Like those first 6 holes, if I can really figure out how to not do that -- you know, bogies happen but to minimize that, not make it double bogies, that's kind of where the secret is.

Q. Where are you playing next?
MARINA ALEX: Toledo this coming week.

Q. You have to leave right a away?
MARINA ALEX: I have a Pro-Am tomorrow, charity golf event for Africa with Betsy King out at Plainfield. I fly out tomorrow night straight to Toledo to get ready for that event.

Q. This is Solheim Cup please. What are you taking away from this and what's your plans for the next four weeks, are you going to move up?
MARINA ALEX: Everyone is kind of gunning for the Solheim Cup. I'm keep playing well -- if I make the team, it's awesome. If I don't, I don't. I'm really having a great year.

Playing would be fantastic but if I don't make it I don't make it. It's not -- I'm still looking at how I'm performing throughout the year. It's such an improvement from the past few years.

That's extremely gratifying. If I make the team, that would be spectacular but if I don't, it is what it is. There's a ton of players playing well right now.

Q. What do you take away from this week that goes to prepare you for the British that you have had a best finish?
MARINA ALEX: I really like playing the British, the conditions. I think it's just good to have good memories from this week and it's just building a little bit of confidence going into that.

Thanks, guys.

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