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August 10, 2017

Chris Stroud

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. Even on the front side and then you start out the back side, two birdies and finish off with a birdie on 18. Talk about your day today.
CHRIS STROUD: Very relaxed day. I hit a lot of great shots. I didn't drive it as well as I liked to. I got away with a couple of squirrelly drives early. Gave myself a few chances, had some really nice up-and-downs from some easy spots. Didn't put too much stress on myself.

I get on the back nine. On 10, I hit three beautiful shots in there. On my third shot I hit it about four feet, 60 yard wedge. Got off to a good start.

11, hit a beautiful nine in there to about four or five feet and made that for birdie.

I actually had a 15 footer on 12 to go three in a row. Just left that a little low. Played great. Just solid.

Hit a great shot on 17, which is probably the hardest shot of the day.

Luckily, I've played this tournament and this golf course so many times. You have got to look beyond the intimidation. That hole is very difficult. It's intimidating but I knew if I just trust my swing, try to hit a good solid shot it will get on the green.

I actually hit it right where I was trying to hit it but the wind picked up and I came up a little short then I almost made a 50-footer. So happy to make it there.

Hit a beautiful drive, one of the best drives of the day for me on 18. 6-iron, I was in between two clubs, almost 7, went back to 6, hit it 12 to 15 feet and then made it.

Q. This is a course you really love?
CHRIS STROUD: I really do like this golf course. One of our best. Even before -- I don't think you can mess this golf course up. You have got to shape it both ways off the tee. You have got to shape it off the greens. You have got to stay in really good spots in the greens. They have done a great job. Definitely one of best on Tour.

Q. Can you describe what the last five days have been for you?
CHRIS STROUD: 1400 text messages, 55 voicemails, and probably another 100 emails. I have replayed to every single one of them. I'm a big believer in that. I told a few guys after golf is gone and done for me, all you have left is people and the relationships you have. I care more about people than I do about my golf. I was raised that way. I'm grateful. I'm grateful to have a chance to play on the tour and stay healthy.

Now I have got a two-year exemption. I'm in Kapalua. Just working my way up. Just going to keep living this foggy dream I'm in right now and ride it as long as I can.

Q. What were the logistics like? Did you have enough clothes and stuff like that?
CHRIS STROUD: Very difficult. I have been on the road for five weeks in a row. My plan was to go to Houston where I live, see my baby girls and have this week off and then go to Greensboro. Obviously winning got me in here. So I had to go from Reno to here.

My caddie and I, we found -- we had to drive two hours to Sacramento. We got two first class tickets Delta to Atlanta then Atlanta here on Tuesday. I'm sorry, Monday. Lost three hours. Get up late Tuesday. I think I woke up at 11:00. I couldn't tell what time it was. Open the curtains and it's bright. I went to bed at like 2:00.

My wife had to bring me extra clothes but that's a good problem to have. Did all that and I am just so thankful. The people have all my friends and family that have relied to me. It's a humbling experience.

Q. Your parents surprised you by showing up?
CHRIS STROUD: My wife, Wednesday morning, I'm out here practicing, she texts me, she goes, Hey, your parents surprised me. They drove over, they are going to fly up to you tomorrow. We're going to pay for their flights. I just want to let you know. They wanted to surprise you. So I said come on. So I got them a hotel at my place. They are staying here at DoubleTree. We had our celebration dinner last night, just us three. It was a dream. When I was nine years old, I knew I wanted to be on the PGA Tour. I got into college, I was 17, 18 years old. I knew I had a chance to be really good and get on the Tour.

When I got out here, obviously my dream was to win and be as good as I can. It's at least a 20-year dream came true.

Q. What kept you going that maybe this is going to happen some day, this win?
CHRIS STROUD: The opposite. All these years, I kept telling myself, you are going to win. You are great. Being super positive to myself. Not that that's a bad thing. It was putting a lot of pressure on myself, I didn't know it. I gave up on it.

About six months ago I said you know what, I've had ten years of good run out here. I've played well. I don't care if I win anymore. I want to win but I can't let that be on my shoulders all the time. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to play the best I can and let's just ride this out. I don't know if I'm good enough. I don't know if I'm good enough to win or keep my card. And since I surrendered to that, it's like all the sudden things got -- the weight is off my shoulders. All these people have told me this for years. To actually do that, I had to get to the bottom to figure that out. I literally just said you know what I'm done. I'm just going to do the best I can and have as much fun as I can. All of a sudden it falls in my lap.

Q. What does that tell you?
CHRIS STROUD: You hear it all the time. All the sports psychologists talk about it, all these great doctors. They talk about to have great success you have to surrender and give into it. It is hard to understand how to do that. You can read and try all you want and meditate. To actually really give it up and quit worrying about it, it's amazing.

Q. Can you give it up two week in a row?
CHRIS STROUD: I'm going to try. Today was one of the easiest rounds. Obviously I'm playing well. I'm swinging it nicely and putting it well. That has a lot to do with it. It's a deep confidence that I have.

The truth is my caddie is -- any time I start talking about golf, he says, no, no, we're not going to talk about golf. Stay distracted. I have used so little energy out there, it's incredible.

Q. What does he talk to you about?
CHRIS STROUD: Anything but golf. We talk about science. We talk about spirituality, baseball, football, Texans, Houston Astros. Anything to keep my mind off golf. As soon as I hit it, I'm talking about something else. If I say something he goes, hey, hey, hey, we don't care about golf. It's just an experiment we tried last week and it absolutely worked.

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