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August 17, 2017

Sam Saunders

Greensboro, North Carolina

Q. Sam, bogey-free 63 on your round out there today.
SAM SAUNDERS: Played will really solid. Just kind of -- I felt really comfortable. I was pretty nervous to be honest, kind of coming into this week because I know it's an important week for me.

One of those deals the anticipation is the hardest part. Once you get out there and start hitting balls you realize I'm playing really good golf and I've got control of what I'm doing.

You kind of settle into the routine. Today was no different. I drove the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots, made some putts.

Q. You said feeling the importance of the week, now you're off to a great start, you play in the Playoffs. The key to your game, keep it going --
SAM SAUNDERS: Like I said, I've been playing well enough, I've been putting myself in position the last few weeks, you know. It's not like I really come that close to winning but I've been up there. When you're up there you're close.

So, if I can just get myself up there with a chance on Sunday and just get hot for 9 holes, finish the back-9 on Sunday, in contention, then who knows, maybe I'll screw up and win a golf tournament one of these days. I'm kind of trying to hope to do that this week.

Q. You get to play a lot of great courses on Tour. What it's like competing at a place where your grandfather competed?
SAM SAUNDERS: Haven't changed it a whole lot. I like that. This is a golf course that has the integrity and has the character from the old days. Very playable golf course.

If you hit the ball well you can score out here. You get out of position and it's pretty tough. I really enjoy and I like to think about some of the old guys playing here and, you know, memories that they had.

Q. Finishing a long day in the heat but getting a birdie on last hole, I mean you can't feel any better than that. Dinner will taste good.
SAM SAUNDERS: It was nice. I knew I was kind of bogey-free all day, which was nice. I just wanted to finish off the round hitting good shots.

If I got the another one or two, great. Disappointing par on the 15th, the par-5. The key is not let those things get to you. It doesn't matter which holes you birdie as long as you get them.

It's easy to get frustrated when you make a par on an easy par-5, 5-iron into it. I know I'm putting well and sure is nice to feel comfortable making a nice, straightforward birdie like that on the last hole.

Q. You rubbed the plaque and even said something hopefully to bring you some good luck with your grandfather's plaque.
Obviously a good start.

SAM SAUNDERS: Sure. Yeah. It's a good start to the week. It's a long week ahead but certainly did my job for the 1st Round.

Q. What did you hit on 18?
SAM SAUNDERS: 9-iron in. It was a wedge number but I knew I had the slope behind me so I didn't want to risk anything coming off the front of that green. I hit a nice, smooth 9 and worked out as I planned.

Q. Not a lot of guys will admit they're nervous, Do you have a problem admitting that this week?
SAM SAUNDERS: I'm nervous when I tee off on Thursday at every single tournament. You should be. That's one thing I talked about with my granddad. If you're not nervous, he said, you should maybe look into doing something else. That means you don't care, don't want it. You should want to win every tournament. You should have a nervous excitement when you start every tournament on Thursday.

Q. Anything you do to handle nerves?
SAM SAUNDERS: Just go through the same stuff you do. Enjoy it, embrace those nerves and enjoy those feelings.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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