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June 14, 2018

Charles Howell

Southampton, New York

Q. I have no brilliant questions.
CHARLES HOWELL III: I have no brilliant answers. So we're dead even.

Q. You look at the leaderboard up there, you've got two guys, Scott and Ian, 1 under. That's the only red number you see from anybody's finish. You're obviously right there. How do you feel about what you were able to do today?
CHARLES HOWELL III: I was most impressed with how the golf course was set up, to be honest. I thought this morning, with as hard as the wind was blowing, the balls would start kind of oscillating and moving by the middle of our round, and they didn't. I think a lot of credit goes to the USGA and Mike Davis for what they've done today. I was here in '04, my last competitive round here. I've still got some scar tissue from that. But they did a heck of a job today.

Q. It's a different course, though, the way it's set up, than it was in '04. Also, they didn't get the wind in '04, which I think they actually wanted.
CHARLES HOWELL III: It obviously is quite a bit longer now than in '04. But just the setup was fantastic. Today with this type of wind, this is the day they could have exposed it in this golf course, and it's a wonderful setup.

Q. How do you feel about what you did today?
CHARLES HOWELL III: I was extremely happy with today. If you miss these fairways with this crosswind, it can get awful penalizing really fast. And the people talk about the fairways are, quote, more generous for an Open. When the wind starts blowing this way, they're not generous.

A lot of the difficult driving holes are crosswinds today. That's the key. If you don't drive the ball in play, it really doesn't matter what else you do from there.

Q. How come the players, they practice all the time in the windy conditions, crosswinds, how come they get to high scores like that?
CHARLES HOWELL III: Well, it takes every mistake you make, and it just makes it all worse. And with these corner hole locations, just off of crowns, et cetera, it's really difficult to get the ball close. So you find yourself playing defensive golf quite a lot.

And then out here too, you've got certain doglegs and crosswinds going against that, it's really difficult to keep the ball actually in the fairway. With these U.S. Open setups, it's hard to recover. I mean, you're never really playing aggressively out here. It's all about saving yourself.

Q. How many drivers did you hit today?
CHARLES HOWELL III: I hit ten drivers today, and I fully expected that. I mean, compared to '04, what's it, 500 yards longer? I mean, this is definitely set up to hit driver on.

I don't think many guys will be hitting driver off 10, for example, or 13. Other than that, even the first hole today into that heavy wind was a driver. And even 15 into that heavy wind was a driver as well.

So today was quite a lot of them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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