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June 15, 2018

Mickey DeMorat

Southampton, New York

Q. Welcome to the weekend at the U.S. Open. How does that feel?
MICKEY DeMORAT: It hasn't really sunken in yet, honestly. Starting the day, I was just trying to stay around even par because I knew, if I could make a lot of pars out here, I'm just going to stay where I'm at. I'm not going to go backwards. It's a tough golf course, even though today it wasn't as windy today and was a little more gettable.

Honestly, coming down the last nine, I was trying to make sure I kept the ball in the fairway because with the long rough out here, I mean, it's not hazard. You have to play it out of there. You can be in there for quite a few shots if you do find it.

So I didn't really relax until I hit my last tee shot in the fairway on 9. It's just a great feeling. It's cool to be able to compete with the best players in the world out here. I didn't really think my game would be able to stack up. Through two rounds, I've felt surprisingly comfortable out there.

I was nervous before I teed off for the day, just with everybody by the tee. But once I got out there, I just played golf, and it felt like another round to me, and I enjoyed myself today. It was really a lot of fun out there. Our whole group played well. So that was awesome.

Q. That was my next question, fighting nerves, when you know you've got a chance to make the cut. You still have to grind it out to make sure you get there. How did you approach it?
MICKEY DeMORAT: You know, it's just -- I tried to just pick small targets off the tee and just -- I felt like I was swinging the club well, and out here, there's just such an importance on getting the ball off the tee in the fairway. And so if I could start the par 4s and par 5s by getting the ball in play -- the ball sits so nice in this grass out here. The iron game has been good for me.

And just trying to play the middle of the greens, not get too aggressive on a lot of these pins that are cut close to the edges, and, you know, even if I have a wedge in my hand, honestly, just aiming away to the hole to the middle of the greens and taking my pars when I can.

Honestly, I wasn't too nervous out there, just we had a fun group. We all, you know, talked to each other and everything. It was kind of -- it was all of our first U.S. Open experience. So it was kind of new to all of us. But we kind of just talked and fed off each other and we were all making putts coming down the stretch. It was a really fun afternoon.

Q. With a threesome of first-timers in the U.S. Open, did that take the tension down for all of you? Did you feel more relaxed than you would have been?
MICKEY DeMORAT: Yeah, definitely. When I first got here, it's kind of crazy seeing all the big names walking around, like McIlroy and Spieth, and all the people and everything.

But I've known Tyler Strafaci. He's from Florida as well and plays at Georgia Tech as well. So I've played college tournaments against him. Calum is a great guy, his first Major as well. After we all hit our first tee shots on Thursday in the fairway, we were kind of just enjoying the moment, looking around, seeing all the people. No matter what happened, this is going to be a great experience.

It's just kind of a bonus to be able to be here for the weekend. It's cool knowing that, you know, my game and all of our games that were in the group is good enough to compete with some of the best.

Q. Now with the weekend approaching, so-called moving day, what do you look at as a potential strategy for your round on Saturday?
MICKEY DeMORAT: I'm sure the course is only going to get tougher as far as the greens have gotten faster and firmer, even since I first got here and played it last week on Saturday. But the golf course is still the same as far as just trying to keep the ball in the fairway.

I've been hitting the ball well off the tee. I've been hitting a lot of drivers. I haven't really, you know, tried to play conservative, really. On the hole that I can hit driver, I'm hitting driver, which is almost every hole out here except for one or two.

Still, just trying to get myself -- make sure I give myself birdie -- it's hard to scramble out here if you miss it in the wrong spot, so still try to make sure I'm hitting in my spots and landing it in the the correct areas on the green. A lot of times, there's slopes that will kick the ball in weird directions. So just try to make sure that I'm playing to good targets and going from there.

Q. When did you officially turn professional? Is this your first professional event?
MICKEY DeMORAT: Yeah, this is my first professional tournament. I qualified through local and sectional as an amateur, and then I believe I talked to Michael Cumberpatch -- he's like the head guy that set up the Maryland sectional qualifier after I qualified -- he said that any time before I teed off Thursday, I could turn pro. I think the exact day was, like, last -- the Tuesday after I qualified, after the sectional.

Q. A couple days ago?
MICKEY DeMORAT: Yeah. First pro event. Pretty cool being out here.

Q. Are you going to sleep well tonight, or are you antsy to tee it up tomorrow?
MICKEY DeMORAT: I've been antsy the last couple nights, but, I mean, any time, you know, you're playing a huge tournament like this against the best players, you're going to feel nervous, as I always do. I kind of have learned to enjoy that feeling of being nervous and a little bit uncomfortable, because this is where I want to be and that's what I want to do, and you never know if you're meant to do something until you can get out here and see what you're made of under the pressure.

It's just really cool to be able to stand up there and hit shots with the crowds and everything, and, you know, the college tournaments I play, there's barely anybody watching. It's cool when I make a putt, everyone goes crazy and stuff. I'm really enjoying it. I'm nervous, but I love it at the same time.

Q. Thank you. Appreciate it.
MICKEY DeMORAT: Thank you.

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