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July 6, 2018

Kelly Kraft

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

THE MODERATOR: Okay, we'd like to welcome Kelly Kraft into the interview room here at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, following a 7-under par 63, and he currently has a 1-shot lead. Kelly, great day out there. If we could get some comments on your round?

KELLY KRAFT: Yeah, it was a good day. Obviously, anytime you shoot 63, it's a solid day. I hit a lot of good shots, and I played well here last year, so I have a lot of good memories. Last year I didn't putt so well, and everything today seemed like it was going in. Yesterday too. But it seemed like I had a makeable look almost every hole, and you're bound to make a few of them.

THE MODERATOR: Thoughts on carrying a 1-shot lead into the weekend, it's still early.

KELLY KRAFT: Yeah, yeah, it's still early. I think this is my probably my first 36 hole lead in a TOUR event in however many tries, 80 or so that I've had, it's a good feeling. I've got a lot of confidence going into the weekend. I've just got to keep the pedal down out here. The greens are soft, and the course is gettable, so...

Q. Talk about your season up to this point.
KELLY KRAFT: Yeah, my season has been a little disappointing this year. I had a pretty good season last year, and I've just been kind of -- I kind of had a decent start to the year, and then I slowed down mid year, and I've been kind of slipping on the FedEx list. But I've been working on some things that I knew were if you finally going to click. It's just taken a little while longer than anticipated. So I'm glad I find myself up here this week, and see if I can continue the good play.

Q. Beginning of the day there was a lot of worry about whether or not there would be a delay because of the incoming forecast, but as it turned out there were no delays whatsoever. How comfortable was it for you that you were able to play 18 holes without any interruptions?
KELLY KRAFT: Yeah, that was nice, especially because I had it rolling. I actually thought about that a little bit out there. Because we saw some clouds roll in, maybe heard a couple rumblings of thunder and everything, and I didn't want to come off the golf course. I was hitting everything pretty close, and to go in and sit and get cold, it's happened to me before, it just seems like most of the time you don't come out as hot as you were.

So, fortunately, today we got a little lucky with the weather and I was able to kind of continue my good play.

Q. It's kind of hard to nitpick a 63 as great a round as that is. But I know it had to be a smidge frustrating to play the par-5s in plus one. What happened there on 12?
KELLY KRAFT: I pushed it off the tee. I tried to hit a cut off that tee. So I hit a cut, but unfortunately I pushed it just a little bit. But when it took off, honestly, my caddie and I thought it was fine. That bunker's not in play me, and it was kind of over the right side of the bunker. It clipped the very left side of that tree. It was inside the OB line, and it ended up rattling around in there and kicking and going out of bounds. So it's an unfortunate break, but I made a good six. So it was not too much harm done.

Q. Not only did the weather hold off, but I think you got some pretty soft greens, temperature was nice. There was little wind. Could you have imagined any better scoring conditions than you had today?
KELLY KRAFT: No, it was great. It was a little tricky with the wind at times. It was pretty calm, but it seemed like when the sun came out, the wind would pick up just a hair, and also it got hotter, and we're at a little bit of elevation here. So you have to play that whenever -- when it gets hot like that, the ball goes a little further.

When the clouds come, you can kind of going back to playing your normal distances. So there was a little back and forth with that. But for most part, I think we did a pretty good job with it.

Q. Generally, with the lower scoring rounds, we're seeing guys have a nine in which they're one or two under, and really exploding through a nine, but both your rounds you stayed really consistent. What is it that really fits about this course and that confidence level on both nines?
KELLY KRAFT: I think I'm just giving myself a lot of looks on both nines. You know, I'm getting 2-under pretty quickly in each nine, and then, you know, I get a couple more looks coming down the last few holes of the nine, and I ended up making them both days. So it was just kind of a consistent, solid 18 holes both rounds.

Q. With the numbers that we've seen so far, what is your aggressiveness meter tomorrow and Sunday, thinking that you have to do to fend off everybody?
KELLY KRAFT: You know, it's kind of -- you've got to keep the pedal down if you're in good positions. I've been hitting quite a few fairways and I've had a lot of wedges. So when you're sitting in the fairway with anything under an 8-iron out here, the greens aren't that firm. You know, there have been some good flags for me the last couple days, so I've been able to be really aggressive.

But saying that, when I did hit it in the rough, I backed off and hit it to the middle of the greens and ended up making a couple of those too from 30 feet. So if I keep putting myself in the right spot on the golf course, I'm going to keep the pedal down, for sure.

Q. Was there any point today where you're like, you know, this could be a special 36 holes for me?
KELLY KRAFT: No, not at all. I just tried to stay in the round. It's fun when you get it to 5- or 6-under with several holes to play, and you want to keep making birdies. Because shooting low rounds is fun, right, and that's what we're out here to play for. But I never thought that it could be a special day or anything like that. I've shot plenty of low scores, and there are still 36 holes left to go, so hopefully I can shoot a couple more.

Q. Can you talk about the patience required or maybe what your thought process is when you have guys in your group that are struggling to play well? Also, I saw you waiting a lot on tee boxes. Just what is your thought process in those moments?
KELLY KRAFT: Yeah, it's not playing with the guys -- the guys in your group, you can only go so fast because you're just going to run into the group in front of you. But I mean, I think with that little bit of rain we had this morning, tee times were kind of jammed up, so I knew it was going to be a little bit slower today, being that the afternoon wave, we ran up on that morning wave pretty quick, and it just seemed like all the par-3s, you know, there was a group on.

We got to 15, and there were two groups on the tee. So you just kind of have to sit down, relax, and take it easy for a little while, and when it's your turn to get up and get loose again. It's just one of those things. There's nothing you can do about it, but just stay patient and try to make the most of it.

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