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February 10, 2018

Troy Merritt

Pebble Beach, California

Q. Tough conditions coming in. How tough were they?
TROY MERRITT: We got to the fourth green there and it started kicking up a bit. And those last five holes were some pretty hardy holes. 6, 7 and 8 were probably playing some of the toughest holes that we played all week. The wind at least doubled, if not tripled. It went from no club to two clubs to almost four clubs. So just happy to get in. I played real solid. Can't really put a whole lot into the last few holes. Just trying to get it in and not make any big numbers. So happy heading into tomorrow.

Q. What do you take out of your opening, the first 13, 14 holes that you played pretty well?
TROY MERRITT: Yeah, I've been playing well. I had been just putting so much stress on my chipping and putting that I haven't made many putts. This week I changed it up. I changed the putter and tried to be a little bit quicker, just trying to putt with a little bit more feel and that's kind of been the big difference.

Q. Thoughts tomorrow going into Pebble on Sunday?
TROY MERRITT: Just get the ball in play. That's not too difficult out at Pebble, but you got to be pretty spot on with your approach shots and you have to be patient with the putts. You can hit putts out there that might get a bounce or two and not go in, but you might get a bounce or two and they might go in. Just got to do your best on every shot and put the best roll on it and see what happens.

Q. How challenging was it in comparison to the first two days?
TROY MERRITT: The first 12 holes we had, as the conditions are now, they're pretty benign. The first 12, the breeze is probably only eight to 15. Now we're probably gusting at least to over 30, so the last five holes played very, very tough. Made a few bogeys in that stretch, but didn't make any big numbers. We still have a chance tomorrow and the conditions will be a little better and we'll see if we can make some more birdies.

Q. Given those conditions did you feel you had to approach these holes more conservatively than perhaps two days before or yesterday?
TROY MERRITT: I was just trying to make sure I had, I took advantage of my good looks. We knew once we hit 4 and 5 that it was going to be a lot tougher, probably weren't going to make birdies, so we just tried to tread water with pars. We kept it in play for the most part, didn't really put any bad swings on it. But this wind, when it's this bad, if you get anything going off line, it's really going to be off line. We didn't get up-and-down on 16, but that was the big difference there. But I feel good about the game, I feel good with where things are. I haven't lost any confidence.

Q. If it makes you feel any better it wasn't any better at Pebble Beach today.
TROY MERRITT: No, I'm sure it was tough the last two hours here for everybody.

Q. You mentioned putter change. What did you change to?
TROY MERRITT: So last summer I put in a putter similar to the one I had used in the spring season and then the first four years as a pro. And it just so happened that I left my gamer at home by accident, so I didn't even have it with me, so it was a pretty easy decision. I had two rounds with the other putter. I used it all summer last year, I had a top-10 with it, felt good about it. If I was going to change it up, might as well change everything.

Q. So just a comment on you're about three or four groups behind Ted today, same golf course, same area, just some comments on his round. Is it something that you look at the scoreboard and you think, wow, he's tearing this place up and it's not that easy?
TROY MERRITT: Yeah, I think we saw him on the fourth green when we were on 17 tee.

TROY MERRITT: So about six holes behind him. I don't know how much of this breeze he had to play in, but it was, it's not like it wasn't windy at all today. I think he played a really good round to shoot 62. So I played with him in San Diego, he's hitting the ball well, he had a great score on the South Course on Thursday and he's a good player. He gets it around nice and he's going to be tough to chase down in the lead. Dustin as well.

Q. This is your seventh start around here. The other six haven't been productive for you. What have you done different to make this week work?
TROY MERRITT: This week I think it's helped that I was able to hit 2 irons off the tee, get the ball in play running down the fairway versus trying to force a driver or 3-wood. Because it's so soft you don't have to worry about controlling spin as much and the greens are a lot smoother than I played the first six times. And I made putts this year. I always have a good feeling when I come here, I love these three courses, but I just haven't made any cuts. It's a new season. I have a lot of confidence with the putter change early in the week. I've been hitting the ball well and I'm just being patient and not letting anything get to me and so far it's working.

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