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August 12, 2017

Chris Stroud

Charlotte, North Carolina

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. I'm pleased to be joined by Chris Stroud.

Chris posted a third round 71 today, even par. He's currently tied for second place at 6-under par, one shot off the lead. His scorecard had four birdies and four bogeys.

I would just ask overall, your impressions of your play today and how you went in and came out of it.

CHRIS STROUD: You know, I think today, the No. 1 thing for me was, I didn't really hit a lot of great shots but I didn't really hit a lot of really bad shots. My bad shots were in play. Especially off the tee. I hit a few loose drives, but I was always playable and I made a lot of great up-and-downs, especially early.

And then I hit a few nice shots middle of the round. Didn't really make many putts, but I made some nice saves today. The golf course played very difficult, and obviously the last two holes -- I bogeyed the last two. I didn't hit a good putt on 17. Kind of pulled that and it almost went in. 18, I hit the best putt of the day and it didn't go in.

You know what, I've made a fair share of putts this week. I'm not upset about it. I'm just happy to have a chance to win tomorrow and see what happens.

JOHN DEVER: Seemed like a lot of guys on the leaderboard and I know you're focused on what you're doing, but really were having some tough times out there. On the golf course, what was presenting the most problems.

CHRIS STROUD: Putting yourself in the right position putting. There were some pins today that were easier to get to and a lot of flat spots, but then there were some that were very difficult to stay below the hole.

13 was a perfect example, the par 3. I barely got over that bunker. I thought I was on the green but I was actually in the rough there. Louis hit the best shot of the day there, and he had about a 9- or 10-footer, broke about two feet.

So very difficult to stay under the hole. And exactly like a major championship should be. To be honest, you know, tomorrow, if I can sharpen up a little bit and make a few more putts, give myself a few more opportunities and just stay calm, I think I've got a chance tomorrow.

Q. Took you a long time to get your win out here and you did that on Sunday. People around you talk about your positivity, always. Where do you pull that from?
CHRIS STROUD: You know, when I was in college, I moved out and went to Lamar University. It was only 30 minutes away. I turned down A&MM; I turned down Texas; I turned down Baylor; I turned down TCU. All these guys, they sent me letters. I went on a few recruiting trips. I went to Lamar University, 30 minutes away and moved out. I just enjoyed life. I was so happy. I have great parents.

In college, my nickname was Mr. Positivity. It carried on playing golf. It definitely helped me early on in my career, just overcoming some very difficult situations: Getting through first and second stage of Q-School, getting on TOUR in 2007. Been out here, I think this is my 11th season. To finally get a win is really magical. I'm still on cloud nine. I'm just enjoying it. Smiling the whole way, and you know what, like my caddie -- learned from Jackie Burke. He spends a lot of time with Jackie Burke, and Jackie said, "Casey, you've got to go play tournaments and let the tournament come to you." Casey told me that on Sunday before we teed off, and it worked. We're going to keep doing that.

JOHN DEVER: I like it.

Q. As you were maybe watching the last group struggle on 18, are you thinking about maybe the missed opportunities you had down the Green Mile, or are you kind of thinking that you've got new life now that you're closer?
CHRIS STROUD: I really didn't look at the scoreboard all day. I could go back and think, man, wish I would have made those two putts but honestly I did the best I could. There were a couple other putts I probably could have missed.

I pulled one on 13; it went in. I pushed one a little bit and hung in there and made it. I've made my fair share of putts this week. That's just how it is. These greens are very, very fast, very tricky. You've got to hit a lot of good putts.

Like I said, just to have a chance tomorrow, and if I keep putting myself in good positions, hopefully make the right putts at the right time and see what happens.

JOHN DEVER: Was there anything you learned last week to get over the hump that you can take and plug in tomorrow?

CHRIS STROUD: You know, just don't change anything. Don't mess up the streak, like Kevin Costner says in Bull Durham, one of my favorite movies, don't mess up the streak. I have the same everything I have last week. I have the same swing thoughts as last week, I have the same everything. I have the same routine warming up. I'm not going to change anything.

I'm don't change anything. I'm not going to practice after I'm done here like I've done the last five weeks. I'm going to go back and rest, get some good dinner, go shower. I don't know what time here teeing off tomorrow -- are we playing twosomes tomorrow? Threesomes? If we play twosomes that would be nice because we'll play a lot quicker.

It's just a dream come true to be here, to be up here, talking to you guys, the PGA Championship, one of the greatest tournaments in the world. You know, I've been waiting on this a long time. I didn't think it was going to take me this long but I'm glad I'm here.

Q. During all that time that you did not win out here, did you ever get frustrated or down on yourself?
CHRIS STROUD: Absolutely.

Q. Were you just positive on the outside or did you ever let that out?
CHRIS STROUD: It's a great question. I think the first three or four years, I was getting really frustrated and then I would tank. I would be mad for awhile. My manager really helped me the first three or four years on TOUR. Then I started levelling out. I realized, okay, you don't have to play great every week. It's really hard to play great on this tour because the guys are so good, because you can play great and finish 30th and in your mind you may think you played golf.

Joe Durant said he had some of his best ball-striking tournaments when he didn't win, and it's the same thing. The first few years, up and down, I started levelling out. And then honestly, about six months ago, I said, hey, I don't know if I'm ever going to win. I don't know if I can be No. 1 in the world. I don't know if I'm good enough. I don't know, anything. All I'm going to do is I'm going to do this every day. I'm going to go out there and play. I love this game. I'm going to respect it. I'm going to be grateful to be out here. I wake up every day, and I just say, I'm grateful to have a chance to play. I'm healthy. And just let it fall into place.

It seems that whatever I've done in the past has been just trying to force things, and I'm doing the opposite. I'm just allowing things to happen, and it seems to be a lot easier.

JOHN DEVER: Let's get you some dinner and rest.

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