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March 21, 2018

Jason Day

Austin, Texas

Q. You've won here before. What kind of vibe do you get when you come back to a course like this?
JASON DAY: It's crazy, obviously I hated it going away from Dove Mountain, but then we came in and played Austin Country Club. To be honest, I think it's a great venue for a match play golf course. There's drivable par-4s, somewhere you can make birdies, the greens are phenomenal this week. The greenskeepers did a great job coming into this week. And just coming back to good memories. The first match play event that we had here at Austin Country Club I ended up winning. It's good to come back to those memories.

Q. What about today?
JASON DAY: James, we were kind of trading blows back and forth on the front side. And I knew that 12, 13 were pretty big. I needed to go through there with some good, solid play. I made a birdie on the par 5, drove it up near the green, and unfortunately James gave me one there with a triple in the water. That was kind of nearly over the edge for him.

You can't understand estimate anyone in this kind of format, because it doesn't matter where you are ranked, you can come out and not have the greatest day and they can have the best day. You've always got to just keep going.

Q. Congratulations, the match ends here at 16. Your thoughts. It was a good match, but you were in control the whole way.
JASON DAY: Yeah, I'd like to say I felt like I was in control. At points I birdied 8 and 9, I played great golf going into 8 and unfortunately bogeyed two of those on the front side. But coming back and making a good birdie on 12, getting myself near the green on 13 was good. And then obviously just coming in and putting myself in good position for another birdie.

I played some good golf today. I think I made a total, before giving any putts, I think I made four or five birdies, somewhere in that range. But that's good to see, though, making a lot of birdies. Hopefully I can take that into tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned 13, that's one of the nuances of match play, because you drove it over the green, never had to hit another shot, because James hit two in the water, so that put you 3-up.
JASON DAY: Yeah, and that was kind of -- that was it. I knew that once I got to 2-up on 12, I said that I can't layup. I need to go for it, just to -- because I know that he didn't have that far to get there. And he could hit it a little right. And his play was always to lay up.

Once I hit mine up on the green I knew there was plenty of green to work with. I put the pressure back on top of him. And he just tugged it a little bit in the water.

That's just match play, you know what I mean? It's tough. Like I said before, you just can't underestimate anyone, because the moment that you do they can come out and ding you. I bogeyed 8 and the 9, which was not the greatest bogeys of all. But saved myself on 9. James gave me a little bit of a buffer there, which was nice. And coming into 14 -- I played is 12 and 13 great, got 3-up. Just steady golf.

Q. How critical was today getting a victory going into the next two days?
JASON DAY: Everyone says that. Obviously with this round robin format, you can't give yourself a buffer and think okay, I'm going to lose. And then something happens and you don't have a chance to get through. Every match is important. You can't underestimate anyone out here, because they're obviously here for a reason. They qualified for a reason. And getting off to a good start is key, but saying that, there's 7 matches, 7 guys you have to beat. And if you can beat those, at the end of the week you're holding the trophy. I just look at it as I need to win every single match.

Q. You referred to that every round here feels like a Sunday round?
JASON DAY: A hundred percent, yeah. And I think that's what's great about this format is you're grinding all the time. Every match is important because if you don't -- obviously everyone is here until Friday, but if you don't then you're leaving and you don't want to do that.

So coming into this event you know that -- my mental approach is always thinking that they're always going to examine out and play well. And every time they're on the green or every time they're around the green they're going to either hit it stone dead or chip it in to hole the putt. So that's why I'm always grinding, grinding, grinding, grinding. And I try not to let myself relax out there.

Q. Talk about Justin Thomas this last year.
JASON DAY: It's great. Obviously how he's played, it's no surprise, really, the fire power that he has. I think the touch that he has around the greens is just as impressive. It seems like everyone goes through ebbs and flows of how they're playing. And right now he's in a good space I think mentally and physically, and he's out there playing some good golf. It's something that we're always trying to strive for and chase for right now is the No. 1 spot, even though he's not No. 1. I think he's played probably the best out of everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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