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June 1, 2018

Joaquin Niemann

Dublin, Ohio

Q. 65 yesterday, 68 today. Getting done just before 8 o'clock. How do you feel about going into tomorrow playing in the final group of a PGA TOUR event?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: It's been a really long day, but, yeah it feels really nice to be on the top of the leaderboard. It does feel really nice for tomorrow and try to keep the same strategy and same game.

Q. What did you do today to parlay off what you were able to do yesterday and still stay atop the leaderboard?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I started, I missed the fairway on the first hole and just hit a good shot there. And then made good putts in the first, in my first holes. But after that I make a good birdie on the par-5, on both par-5s, so it gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of hope for what's going to come for the rest of the round.

Q. You were nine years old when Tiger won his last major. Do you remember when you first became aware of this golfer named Tiger?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I started watching him when I was like six, seven years old. But, yeah, it's really nice to be playing with him now and it feels really nice to go back 10 years and watch him on the TV and now playing with him.

Q. What was it like? Were you aware that he, did you see his name at all on any of the leaderboards? Could you see it when you were going around the course today? I know they only do the first page.
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I mean it's real easy to see where is Tiger because he was like two or three groups ahead of me and there was so many people, so it was easy to see where he was.

Q. Did you do a lot of leaderboard watching?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I watch leaderboards, leaderboards everywhere and I just wanted to make birdie on the last hole to be in the top.

Q. Did you have a lot of people watching you?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, a couple of them, but after the delay, a lot of them went off.

Q. How do you feel about being at the top with two to go?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, it feels really nice. After all I have been practicing, all the sacrifice and being at the top right now it feels really nice and just try to make the same thing I did the last two days for the weekend.

Q. Were there any nerves out there or anything like that when you're playing?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Maybe at the beginning of the round I was a little nervous, but after that I just feel really well. I was playing with two really nice guys, really fun guys.

Q. What do you like about this course?

Q. What are you liking about this course. How does it set up to your eye?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I mean I like to hit a lot of like low fade drives, and, yeah, this course has got a good setup for my game. I like to hit that shot almost on every hole, so I like to be in the fairway with that driver farther down.

Q. What kind of course did you grow up on? What was it like?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, back in Chile it's more like more tree-lined courses and really short courses, you could always have driver and wedges. Here you're always hitting 7-irons and 6-irons.

Q. What was the name of it?

Q. How many courses in Chile, do you know, roughly?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: In the whole country there are like 70 something. I don't know. And in Santiago there are like 15, maybe.

Q. Have you played them all?

Q. Is golf a popular sport in Chile?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: No, it's not so big like it is here, but I think it's growing up a little bit.

Q. What got you interested in the sport to begin with then?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: I start playing because of my dad, but he played, but just for fun, so that was away for us to start playing together.

Q. Have you seen rough like this lately? That they have here. When was the last time you saw rough like this?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I think that this is the first time, maybe, I mean the U.S. Open was, I think it was way bigger, but, yeah, this is obviously really tough to get it to the green from the rough, but, yeah, it's really tough rough.

Q. When is the first time that you can remember that you really got nervous on the golf course? What moment?

Q. No, no, no. Ever. In competition.
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: I think the worst was when I was like 12 years old and I went to the Junior Worlds by myself. I went by myself with some friends and I think starting the round that was the worst feeling of my life.

Q. Was that your first time?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, that was my first time playing here in the U.S.

Q. And you flew by yourself.
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, with some friends.

Q. When you said you saw Tiger when you were six or seven, you were already playing with your dad then? You had already taken up the game?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: Yeah, I started when I was like four years old.

Q. How did you do at the Junior Worlds when were you 12?
JOAQUIN NIEMANN: I missed the cut.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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