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May 19, 2018

Aaron Wise

Irving, Texas

SHARON SHIN: I'd like to welcome in Aaron Wise to the Interview Room of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Aaron, another great round today. You're tied for the lead with Marc Leishman heading into the final round. Your thoughts about today.

AARON WISE: Yeah. Thought it was a good day, played really tough out there. There was a ton of wind. Felt like I managed my game well. Maybe didn't have quite my best stuff and was really looking to separate it a bit more than we did.

I hung in there. Marc did great as well and we made some clutch pars and then snuck a few in there on 16 and 17, that really helped me. Overall, a great day. When I went out, you know, my number was 68 and I shot it so I can't be upset.

SHARON SHIN: You're gunning for your first win today. What are the nerves like heading into tomorrow?

AARON WISE: It's not tomorrow so I'm not nervous yet. We'll see. I was there a couple weeks ago down the stretch with a chance. I'm going to be looking back at that, you know, hopefully it will probably be about the same and I've been there at least now so maybe I have a little bit chance to closing this one out.

Q. You played in a little bit of wind yesterday. How much different was it today? Was it significantly different?
AARON WISE: Yeah. Yesterday was pretty tough in the afternoon but today was very different. We all teed off on 2 which was really my first shot because I hit a terrible shot off 1 and didn't have much.

My first real shot on 2 blew 30 yards right of where my target was. Everybody else in the group did the same thing. We all kind of realized at that point that it was blowing pretty good and it was going to be a tough day and we just kind of took it from there.

It played really hard today. It was definitely different.

Q. Yesterday you described the course as cool and fun. Is it as cool and fun when you're playing wind like this?
AARON WISE: Yeah, it is. It's a ton of fun. I love playing really firm golf courses because it brings a lot of thinking in and today I didn't have quite as many drivers as I had the last couple of days because it was firmer.

So, it was just managing it. You know, I think it's cool because I step up to a hole like 9 out here which I thought I was still going to get to the bunker, about 320 off the tee and I smoked a driver and I think I must have hit it over 400 yards. I had a flip wedge in there.

It's pretty cool to be able to make decisions like that and kind of use my advantage, which is my driving when I can and then -- but you still got to play safe. This course has enough teeth where you can't just bomb driver everywhere.

Q. Aaron, how much do you view tomorrow as match play with Marc Leishman and what is your match play experience?
AARON WISE: Yeah. I played match play in college a little bit, NCAAs and stuff like that. That's about it.

No, I don't really do it like that at all just because there's a lot of people in the field. We're lucky in a way because we're getting pretty similar tee times to everyone else. Not one tee start. Start off both tees in three-somes.

That helps us just as far as no one is getting out early with no wind and going to shoot a low one. It will play tough for everybody. Play pretty equal.

Me and Marc separate ourselves a little bit. I don't view it as match play. There's still some guys that can shoot low and even and post a number on us.

Q. Aaron, you mentioned the experiences you had a couple weeks ago. Also you've won pretty much every level you've played at.
How much will you lean on those kind of winning experiences at the previous levels?

AARON WISE: It's funny. Amanda asked me about that. Winning is winning at any level. You got to play really good. It's golf at the end of the day. The better you play -- if you play better than everyone else you're going to win.

That's why I play it. That's why I love this sport, and tomorrow is nothing different. There's a little more pressure on it because there's more people and it's a bigger scene but I felt like I did a great job of handling all that at Quail Hollow and being my second chance at it, I feel like it's only going to be better than that.

I feel like it's a great opportunity. You know, it will obviously be a huge day for me. I feel like having one go at it already I'm a little more confident going into it this time.

Q. Aaron, how do you describe your golf swing?
AARON WISE: Effortless but probably pretty powerful for a guy who is only 170 pounds. I think a lot of people get impressed with how far I hit it for how small my frame is, I guess you could say.

Q. If I could ask one more, what was the determining factor in your decision to turn pro when you did?
AARON WISE: You know, that's actually a good question. I played the "Match-Ams" way back over in Australia. That was the first tournament I ever played where I felt like I was the favorite to win, you know.

I just played incredible in college kind of starting my sophomore year. Everybody was kind of looking at me to win this big event and I went out there with all that pressure and I won and that gave me so much confidence in my game thinking that even though when everyone thinks I can win I can still go out there and do it with all that kind pressure.

I went back to college right after that, you know, that was in December so I went back January, back to college and kind of told Casey I was probably going to leave after that year because I felt like I was playing great and that tournament alone gave me so much confidence knowing that I could win even though everyone's expectations were that highly of me.

That's probably about the turning point when I thought I was going to turn pro.

Q. Aaron, kind of to piggyback on Adam's question, is there any part of you that feels ahead of the curve to be at this point in your pro career contending two straight weeks on the PGA TOUR?
AARON WISE: Absolutely, I am way ahead of the curve. It's pretty hard to do what I've done at such a young age. Only a few have done it.

I feel like it's easy for me to get in the groove of feeling like I'm behind, like let's not go back three weeks ago, I felt like I was kind of having a little lackluster of a year for what I wanted and didn't have some of the top finishes I wanted.

I had a lot of mid-20s, 18th place finishing but nothing close to the lead. I felt like I was having a little bit of lackluster. It's easy for me to get ahead of myself. I take it like it is.

I feel like I'm in a great spot for tomorrow and, yeah, I feel like I'm getting some great experience for a kid this young. It's only going to serve me well down the road.

Q. Aaron, according to your bio, you were prelaw. So you left school early.
Any part of you out here kind of wondering what it would have been like to go through Law School coming up?

AARON WISE: I'm having a ton of fun. No. This is great. This is what I've always kind of dreamed of doing. So for me to be here and to be in this situation, it's -- I don't really look back at that just because ever since I've known my own life, it's -- golf has been included in that and for me to be playing at the highest level, it's a dream come true for me.

So, I'm living my dream right now. No, I don't really think about what it could have been because that was kind of a Plan B. This is definitely Plan A for me.

Q. Aaron, you referenced Bandon Dunes, I think yesterday. Do you consider it that much of Bandon Dunes kind of similar to here and how much have you actually played down there?
AARON WISE: So I only made one trip down there with Oregon. We played a few of the golf courses in that trip and it's pretty dang similar.

The weather is way different. So just because of that I would consider this more like when I played down there in Australia, kind of on the Sand Belt, but it's very similar type of golf. You know, windy always there, windy here. You got to run the ball up and those are kind of my two experiences.

But yeah, it's pretty similar.

SHARON SHIN: Anymore questions? One more. Last question right here.

Q. You mentioned Quail Hollow a couple of times.
How much difference will it be actually sharing the lead going into the final round?

AARON WISE: I mean no different. I felt like I was playing great there and had a chance to win and I feel the same here. It's a great opportunity.

I feel like I might be a little more comfortable this time because I've actually finally done it and -- you know, but, overall, it's the same thing. It's golf. I got to go out there and play well.

If I don't go out there and play well I won't have a chance anyway. I got still a lot of work to do. I don't know what the wind is going to be like tomorrow but if it's anything like today, it's going to be a tough tournament to close out.

SHARON SHIN: Thank you for your time and good luck tomorrow.

AARON WISE: Thanks guys.

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