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May 11, 2018

Patrick Cantlay

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Well played. How satisfying was that?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Yeah, it was very satisfying. I played really well all day. I hit a lot of solid shots and stuck to my game plan, definitely felt comfortable, which was nice. I really like the golf course, so I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Q. (No Microphone.)
PATRICK CANTLAY: Nice to get my round going like that and to get into a little bit of a flow right from the start. 2 definitely is a birdie that you should make out there with that hole location today, but the other holes were nice bonuses.

Q. Last year you played quite well here, and then to the final round. How important is course knowledge and the smarts to get around here and knowing where to take on risk and where not to?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I would say big time. I really like this golf course. I like how in control of your golf ball you have to be to be able to perform well, how scorable it is if you do that. I think it does a great job of demanding accuracy off the tee and benefits you. It doesn't take driver out of your hands, but you can lay back on certain holes to certain hole locations. It reminds me a lot of Hilton Head, and I like that golf course, as well. So I feel really comfortable around here.

Q. Is it a take-your-medicine course, you have to take your medicine in a lot of places and say this is just the way it is?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I don't think so. If you get out of position, yes. But trying to do -- at least my game plan is a lot of times I want to get it down there and in the fairway and be aggressive off the tee. And then if I have to play lay back from a not great spot, then I'll do that and play safe on the way coming in. But I think you can really take advantage of this place and get a lot of wedges in your hands if you hit a lot of good tee shots.

Q. What's the deal with your shirt?
PATRICK CANTLAY: It's a fun shirt. Travis Mathew. They always have fun shirts and I like representing them. I have for a long time. They're a SoCal company; they like having fun and do a great job.

Q. Is that the weirdest one?
PATRICK CANTLAY: They've got some good eccentric shirts. But it's cool you can wear it out to dinner or do whatever.

Q. The four things don't link, the cactus, the sombrero, the whistle and the taco?
PATRICK CANTLAY: You can make of it as you want.

Q. Henrik said he was surprised how low the scores are and soft the greens are. Is that surprising to you, as well?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I think I watched a little bit on TV yesterday when I was having breakfast before I played in the afternoon, and I was surprised at how many shots spun back and how receptive the greens were and especially with no wind. It looked like they were making birdies left and right. But this golf course has a way of firming up over the weekend. Maybe the wind blows and get those afternoon tee times, and I'm sure it will play tough, and I'm sure it will get faster every day.

Q. Do you expect the setup to be a little more difficult on the weekend to try and sort of level off the scoring?
PATRICK CANTLAY: It depends on conditions, I think, a lot. But I think it will get firmer and faster, and I think that's something that I really like and something that will benefit even more good ball striking all day.

Q. How many drivers did you hit?
PATRICK CANTLAY: That's a good question. I don't know. I hit driver on 1, hit driver on 2, driver on 4, driver on 5, driver on 7, driver on 9, driver on 11, driver on 14, 15, 16.

Q. Does 17 enter your mind like when you're not playing? Like early in the round do you say I got to get through that thing? Is it hanging over your head?
PATRICK CANTLAY: No, I think it's 140 yards or 135 yards and you just try and have good distance control and hit it to the fat side and that's it.

Q. What happened on 9?
PATRICK CANTLAY: 9 actually I got a little bit of a bad break. I drove it left, which wasn't a good shot, but my shot coming out of the left trees there was a stick right in front of my ball and I couldn't tell if I could get it clean or not, and I made a really nice swing but I got all stick in front of the ball and it went in the water. I actually made -- I actually felt like every swing I made except the tee shot was really good on that hole and I got up-and-down for a 6.

Q. You mentioned liking the course. Comfortable, that's not a word that many associate to this place, but is there some truth to that for you?
PATRICK CANTLAY: Definitely. I look forward to this week. Hitting it the right distance and being in control of your golf ball goes so far out here, and I feel like that's one of my strengths, so I enjoy coming to this week.

Q. You talk about a strategy of trying to get it down there and laying back if you're out of position. How long did it take you to develop that strategy for someone playing in his second year? Right away?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I think that's a theme with Pete Dye golf courses. The 7th hole is a perfect example. It's not overly long; it's like 450 yards, and when it's hot you can get it down there, but he makes it look with the water on the left that you want to hit it to the right. But right is more dead than left if you were to pull it in that little bunker left near the water. Because the whole hole opens up to the left. So instead of laying back or moving over to the right, I like to try and get my drive down there in the middle of the fairway, and I've had wedge, wedge in I think the last two days. I maybe hit 9-iron yesterday.

Q. How confident were you coming into this week and when was the last time you were not confident coming into a week?
PATRICK CANTLAY: I usually feel like I prepare really well for events and work on my game accordingly so when I show up I'm ready to go. My game's been trending in the right direction. I enjoyed playing with Patrick Reed a couple of weeks ago at New Orleans and I played well at Hilton Head, so given I like the golf course, really excited coming into this week, and I love this place so it's fun to be here.

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