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August 13, 2017

Chris Stroud

Charlotte, North Carolina

CHRIS STROUD: I hit one good putt on 14 and I'm like, all right, I got this. And then I never hit a good putt again. It's like, I don't know -- again, it's golf. It's a crazy game and it was a great experience.

I was extremely calm, like I thought I would be but it came down to putting. I've just got to have one more solid round of putting and I've got it.

Q. Talk about the last few holes.
CHRIS STROUD: Same thing. If I would have putted well -- you know, I missed that putt on 13, the par 3. I pulled that.

So it made me a little tighter on 14 tee. I blocked it in the bunker and hit it to 15 feet and had a good chance for birdie. I hit the best putt of the day, really, on 14. I thought I figured it out. Rolled it really good and didn't go in.

15, I get up there and hit two really nice shots just below the hole right where I was looking to be. Hit a pretty average chip shot and then I hit another really good putt, didn't go in.

And then 16, trying to be a little aggressive off the tee. All week I've just been trying to play a little draw and I knew the wind was off the left. I was like, I'm going to try to hammer one, get way down there so I could have a short iron in. I pulled it and didn't know the hazard was that close.

Back in the day, with all the experience I've had here, there's just rough down there. I thought I was fine. I got down and was like, oh, wow, the water's really close. It's definitely an experience.

But if you go back to making the putts, if I would have made the putts early, I wouldn't have thought about that like on 16. So no complaints.

I definitely need some rest. I'm going to go back and take a shower, go see my baby girls tonight and tomorrow. Fly back to go see Mark Brazil at the Wyndham Championship, who gave me a spot out of college, so I'm excited to see him and get ready for the FedEx.

At the end of the day, I have to get as much rest as I can, hydrate. Don't drink too much wine the next couple days.

Q. Sum up the last two weeks.
CHRIS STROUD: Dream come true. The final group in Sunday at the PGA Championship, absolutely unbelievable. You know, all these guys, J.T., I mean, he's a deserving champion. He came out hard. Once he won, everybody knew he was going to win a lot, and he won two in a row, I think, this year, both in Hawai'i he won, Mr. 59.

These guys are really good. The commercial's right.

Q. You talked about trying to play without a lot of expectations, just low key. Is it hard to do, though, given where you were?
CHRIS STROUD: There was definitely a little bit more energy out there today. We did a really good job -- I felt like when we made the turn, I went birdie, birdie on 8 and 9.

10, hit a beautiful wedge shot just behind the hole and went a little further than we wanted. My caddie and I were in a nice zone. We were talking slow, I was feeling good.

I hit a good drive on 11 and busted it way down there. I backed off the shot on 11 from the fairway. I think that was the turning point for me. Way down there, birdie hole. I've got 149 to the hole and I'm trying to land it 140. I felt the wind pick up and I backed off, because normally it's a chip, 9-iron. But I knew how flat it was up there.

Wanted to hit pitching wedge but I wanted to cut a nine. I'd rather cut a nine than try to draw a pitching wedge. I tried to cut it and thought I hit it perfect, and get up there and it landed all the way pin-high. It was nine yards too far. Then I hit a really nice chip and didn't finish as close as I wanted to. Then I hit a pretty good putt and it didn't go in. That was a big shift in the round.

You know, I made a couple putts on 8 and 9. Again, if you watch the ball, my ball wasn't rolling very good. Even when I made the putts, it was squirrelling. I knew something wasn't right. I was still making them. I wasn't trying to control anything. But in the end, that's what cost me. Just not having enough --

Q. Putting, the difference on the two sides.
CHRIS STROUD: Absolutely. Those last few holes, that's all an accumulation of not being able to make the putts when you need to, and then get a little tight on the fairway shots and hold on to them and hit them to the right.

Coming in I did everything right except for the tee shot on 16. No complaints.

Q. You're going to feel like a new guy heading into the Playoffs. Feel like a different player?
CHRIS STROUD: I'm a different player. I know hopefully -- I don't know if I'm going to move up much but hopefully I'll move up a little bit. I think I finish T-13 or something, which is a little disappointing, being in the final group.

But, you know, at the end of the day, once you get in the Playoffs, you've got to play great. We're all trying to win that FedExCup. This is one of greatest trophies to win. Wish I would have, but hopefully I'll have another shot.

Q. They say you have to lose a major before you win one.
CHRIS STROUD: I think that's pretty true. I didn't think about it much all day. I was hanging in there. Obviously winning the Wanamaker Trophy, is one of the greatest things in a golfer's life, a professional golfer. It would have been very special.

Had a lot of momentum coming in. But two weeks ago, to be in this situation is pretty amazing. Big dream come true.

Q. What do you take from this experience?
CHRIS STROUD: Just the putting. I missed out on that. I putted bad today and made me tight on the golf shots. I just couldn't figure it out. I mean, normally all week I've just been doing my same routine but I kept pulling putts, pushing them. I was like, I can't get the ball to roll right.

And the greens were a foot slower today which made a big difference. I left a lot of putts short, and so did Kevin. That was tough to adjust to because they still looked quick, but they were a little slower.

Either it rained last night or they did that on purpose to give guys a little more chances to make birdie. But they did a phenomenal job. The golf course is in the best shape I've ever seen it. I'm, again, thankful to be here.

Q. Sunday in a major struggling with the putting, is that physical or is that mental?
CHRIS STROUD: It starts out physical and it becomes mental. My caddie is like, "Hey, quit worrying about it."

I'm like, "It's hard not to worry about it. I have to figure out a way to roll the putt right."

It's not really trying to make the putt. It's about hitting the best putt you can to give it a chance to go in. I really wasn't hitting very good putts. So every time I hit it, it's like wobbling off line.

You know, when you come down the stretch, no matter what golf tournament you're playing, you want to hit the best putts you can, and I just didn't do that.

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