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April 13, 2018

Chesson Hadley

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Q. You went out in 33, nice start. Then a couple of stumbles on the back nine. But it has to feel great to birdie two of the last four?
CHESSON HADLEY: Absolutely. Like you said, I got off to a great start. And then had some issues there on 12 and 14. But, you know, recovered well. That bounce back birdie on 15 was really nice. And hit some good shots coming in. And anytime you can birdie the last hole it makes you sleep better, makes your food taste better. So I'm very excited about the way I played so far.

Q. It looks like your scrambling was excellent again. Your putting was good. Do you think that was the strength today?
CHESSON HADLEY: Absolutely. My putting was absolutely the strength of the game so far. You know, I wouldn't say I hit it poorly. I've hit some high quality shots. My wedge game has been excellent. I'd like to be -- put it in between the trees a little bit more the next two days. But certainly very pleased with how I'm playing. If I can keep putting the way I am I think I'll be there close to the lead on Sunday.

Q. For the second straight day a round in the 60s. How would you compare this to what you did a day ago?
CHESSON HADLEY: The conditions were definitely easier this morning than it was yesterday afternoon. I wouldn't say I hit the ball as well. I hit it good. The putter was still working today. I made some nice par saves today. And I finished with a couple of birdies, which was nice. So I'm very pleased with the round for sure. And it puts me in a good spot for the weekend.

Q. After playing well yesterday what are some of the challenges to build and continue momentum on a golf course like this?
CHESSON HADLEY: Sure. You know, you have a really good round like this and your expectations rise a little bit. And that can kind of play with your mind a little bit. You always want to make sure that you have things in perspective. Each round is different. Each shot is different.

I feel like I did a good job of it today. Hopefully can hit a few more fairways tomorrow. I like the way I'm putting. If I can keep putting the way I am, I have a good feel for the greens and the speed right now. Looking forward to the weekend.

Q. After the year you had on the Web.com Tour in 2017, where is your confidence as you're back out here on Tour ready to break through?
CHESSON HADLEY: Sure. I'm very comfortable right now. I locked my card up very early in the year. Anytime you can do that it kind of sets you at ease.

This is my fourth year out here. I've seen all of these courses four times now. And that makes a big difference. I feel like my course management has been excellent this week. So I think that's part of the reason why I'm 8-under and close to the lead. But certainly playing with a lot of confidence right now and looking forward to carrying that into the weekend.

Q. Strong finish for a second straight day. Birdies on 15 and 18. How did the round go for you today?
CHESSON HADLEY: It was a great day. Again, was able to make some putts. Anytime you can make some putts it makes -- golf is never easy, but it seems to make it less stressful when you can make some putts. It was an awesome round today. The weather was outstanding again. And I put myself in a good spot for the weekend.

Q. When did the wind start picking up?
CHESSON HADLEY: It was very calm for our first 10, 11 holes and then it picked up a bit. I don't think it was super windy yesterday. It was windy, but not anything that we don't see regularly. But, yeah, conditions were prime for scoring early. And it was nice, I was able to take advantage of the front nine. And had a few mistakes there on the back, but this is not an easy track. Pete Dye makes it very difficult. I was able to recover with a few birdies coming down the stretch. Yeah, I feel really good right now.

Q. Feel good going into the weekend?
CHESSON HADLEY: Yeah, absolutely. I don't know what the lead will be. Doesn't really matter, I guess, until Sunday on the 72nd hole. But we're certainly in a very good position.

Q. You took a step back last year to the Web.com and won a few times and was able to really easily getting your card coming back here. What did last year do to kind of prepare you for this year?
CHESSON HADLEY: It just kind of restored some of the confidence that I had lost. This golf is a game that it takes no prisoners. It kicks you when you're up. It kicks you when you're down. It's a very humbling sport that we play. And so I was kicked in the teeth. But I was proud of myself for finding the confidence that I had lost and hanging tough and believing in myself and I certainly have a phenomenal support group, and they were a huge part of that. It's very nice to be back out here.

Q. Is there a way when you're getting kicked in the teeth to kind of manage that confidence so you don't hit as low a valley as you could?
CHESSON HADLEY: Maybe. Your mind resorts to the negative very quickly. And so I've won a bunch of golf tournaments and played very well out here. But when you're playing poorly you don't remember that -- you remember it, but you don't feel it. You don't feel that way. I think the older you get and the more you're out here that you can kind of manage it better. Hopefully I can learn from the past, like you said. And it's a cyclical game, I'm sure at some point I'm going to have a struggle in a few tournaments here, but hopefully I can remember some of the things that I've learned and not let that go on for months, maybe just keep it for a couple of weeks.

Q. Where do you suppose 8-under stands at the end of the day, any sense?
CHESSON HADLEY: I would probably think it would be -- it will be top five.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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