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September 1, 2017

Keith Mitchell

Columbus, Ohio

Q. We are here at the Scarlet course. First of all, I guess the natural question, got a big season opener tomorrow. How are you feeling about the Bulldogs?
KEITH MITCHELL: I would like to say it's one of those cupcake games, but Appalachian State came out and beat Michigan not too long ago. So we got that in the back of our minds for sure.

Q. So you got that going. It's going to be early tee times tomorrow, so you should have time to get the game. But in your own game what's been clicking so well to get to 10-under through two days?
KEITH MITCHELL: I guess just my intensity on the golf course, just being determined to play well. Everything's been nice out there. I really haven't had many par putts outside five feet. Just been very consistent and just playing -- these greens are so firm you gotta play really smart into where you're hitting the shots, and Pete and I have done a great job of just picking good numbers and hitting our targets and not trying to get to aggressive and then ^ make a couple putts here and there.

Q. How did the conditions for you in terms of difficulty this afternoon compare to yesterday morning?
KEITH MITCHELL: They were definitely windier. It was definitely colder. I mean I had four layers on most of the timeout there with some rain and some wind. So it was definitely different. Our yardages were different. Our club selection was different. The greens were probably the same firmness. A little rain came, but it didn't really do much to the green. It definitely played more difficult just because of the conditions.

Q. You found yourself near the 25th spot last week and coming up just one short, being able to channel that effectively like emotions from that into these two days? Has there been any correlation there or do you feel like it's a complete reset?
KEITH MITCHELL: I think it has a lot to do with it. It's more like a chip on my shoulder. I'm kind of just out here, you know, just playing with 100 percent on every shot. And you know when you get that close you're going to get one shot just away from a whole entire season of golf, you don't really have time to just sit back and be complacent on the golf course. So we've been trying to really go 100 percent on every shot, no matter what the circumstances are, and it's really paid off so far.

Q. I know earlier in the week on your Snapchat you said your caddy might have given you a bad yardage and your ball found the hazard, but you've been able to be pretty dialed in with the numbers this week so far?
KEITH MITCHELL: Yeah. That was late in the afternoon. I was getting a little tired. It might have been player error, but of course, you gotta blame it on your caddy in all circumstances like that (laughs).

Q. With this lead entering the weekend, when you have a lead when you're in that final group, how do you describe that feeling?
KEITH MITCHELL: It's definitely different this time. We had it last week going into the last round, and we were ten shots back going into Saturday. It's different this week. It's not about just finishing whatever the number might be; it's about winning. And last week we definitely tried to win. Brice was -- I've never seen anybody with that composure come down the stretch the swing he played, those birdies and just the swing he handled himself. He was impossible to catch. So you know, it's nice having a good lead, but we got two more rounds of golf out here and there's a lot of really amazing players, so I'm really not even trying to really think about the lead right now.

Q. I know we're only at 36 holes, but it's going well, and that putt on 6 falls. Didn't look like it was and then it did. You know things are going well this week.
KEITH MITCHELL: Yeah. That was a super fast putt. We weren't trying to be aggressive with it, and it just kind of barely fell in the front edge. And that was good because we didn't make a birdie on No. 4 when we had a short wedge. We had another short wedge there and hit a little past. So I was getting kind of frustrated just not giving myself as good of looks as I wanted to, but I knew I was putting well. So we hit a great putt there, and thank goodness, it made it to the hole.

Q. On 7 everyone has been laying up in front of that bunker and you went over it, obviously setting yourself up for birdie.
KEITH MITCHELL: Right. That was -- it was a tough number. Pete and I knew we had to hit it great to get over the bunker. I think it was 285 into the cold wind, and that was our game plan all week. We weren't going to stick from it because we knew if we hit a good drive, it was going to carry it. And that was probably the best swing I made all day. I flew it right over the center of the bunker, and I think I only had 60 yards to the flag. And when you have 60 yards to that hole, it makes it a whole different animal. It was definitely the best swing I made all week.

Q. How much more comfortable do you feel now with the lead after all the times you've kind of been in contention recently?
KEITH MITCHELL: It's tough to say because when you have the lead in any tournament, it's always a different feeling. I just think we can handle it better now. I felt better than I ever had last week when I had the lead going into Sunday. And then after what happened, I just feel like I'm just going to keep getting better and better.

So you know, it is only Friday afternoon. There's still some golf out there today even. So we're trying not to really feel like we're protecting a lead or anything like that. We gotta play great this weekend. And it might feel different on Sunday having the lead, but right now it's just trying to make it routine.

Q. 16 greens yesterday. You didn't have many -- you had some pretty easy par putts today. How good are you hitting the ball right now?
KEITH MITCHELL: Very well. I've kind of just -- I've been hitting a lot of knockdown shots out there, especially in the wind. Just keeping myself under control. A lot of times I get a little out of whack, I swing too hard and try to hit the ball too far and too high. So really working on that and kind of controlling my distances better and it's really paying off.

Q. Moving down to Sea Island help you play in the wind?
KEITH MITCHELL: Absolutely. Down there it blows 15 to 20 almost every day and good days it's still blowing a little bit. So it's huge, especially being in Georgia and Tennessee growing up. I never had to play in much wind, so it's been a huge part to my game.

Q. Do you feel bad for Tom not having a jacket?
KEITH MITCHELL: I had four layers on me. He had one. I really don't understand how he does that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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