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July 19, 2018

Russell Knox

Angus, Scotland, United Kingdom

Q. Russell, your reaction to your score there?
RUSSELL KNOX: I was reasonably happy with my score. I played dreadful, to be honest. I just -- I don't know. I putted well. My short game hung me in there. I just didn't feel normal, understandably there, I guess. But I battled away. So I was kind of proud of the way I hung in there. I mean, disappointing to finish with a three putt. Threw one away there. But 2-over the way I kind of played and the conditions, I mean, it was a fairly decent effort.

Q. When you say you didn't feel normal, what do you mean by that?
RUSSELL KNOX: Just I felt good out there, but obviously my swing, it was just like I had too much tension. I just wasn't letting it go as normal. But I mean, first round with Tiger, obviously, I expected to feel a little bit different. The way I felt was better than the way I swung, if that makes sense.

Q. How is it different?
RUSSELL KNOX: I mean -- I don't know really. I mean, it's Tiger Woods. How would you feel playing with him?

Q. But I mean have you seen that many photographers before around?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, obviously, I've won three times. I've played in front of loads of people for the last eight years. But, I mean, I think it's a little different knowing who you're playing with. I think he's the best golfer of all time. He's definitely the person I looked up to. So getting to play with him is pretty unique.

Q. Were you in awe a little bit?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah. I mean, I'm not going to lie. He's a person which I've seen on the range in the past, and I mean, he's almost like a mythical figure.

Q. How did you get that out of your system?
RUSSELL KNOX: You don't. I mean, I don't want to get it out of my system.

Q. You need to go against him, obviously.
RUSSELL KNOX: Of course I settled into it and enjoyed being out there and enjoyed playing with him. That's just a part of golf. Some days your swing feels awful, and some days it feels great. I battled through it, and tomorrow there's a huge chance that I'm going to feel much better than I did today.

Q. You had a few chats with Tiger during some downtime, though. Anything fun to take a small break there?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I just -- I wanted to chat with him a little bit. Obviously, Hideki is not the easiest person to talk to with the language barrier. So I was like, yeah, I'm out here with Tiger for five hours, might as well talk to him.

Q. Were you surprised that it ended the way it did?
RUSSELL KNOX: To be honest, I thought it would be worse. You kind of expect the worse and hope for the best. If I had shot 80, I would have thought it should be more. I feel like I should know what I'm doing. It's cool playing with Tiger, but I've got to get over that. I'm here to win, not just enjoy my walk around the course.

Q. Are you surprised that affected you?
RUSSELL KNOX: No, I think I was pretty close to -- I mean, I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable round, I guess, for me. Like I was never going to feel like I was out playing with my buddies, just freewheeling it, and that's understandable. Major championship, Open in Scotland, playing with your hero, you're never going to feel like you're just winging it.

But, no, I was overall fairly satisfied with how I did.

Q. But you didn't ask for a selfie?
RUSSELL KNOX: No, I passed on that.

Q. Over the course of the round, did he say anything to try to relax you, make you more comfortable?
RUSSELL KNOX: No. He wants to beat me. I'm a threat to him. I could make him not win this tournament. So I mean, he's not -- I didn't expect him to help me through or whatever. He's trying to bury me by 20 shots, as I'm doing with him.

Q. What was your impression of the way he hit it?
RUSSELL KNOX: He hit it good. He plowed his way around, which I expected him to, and he was very conservative off the tee. It's kind of fun to watch him do that, to be honest.

Q. (Inaudible).
RUSSELL KNOX: It's kind of a blur, to be honest. It's like, oh, I'm chatting away with Tiger here like normal. I don't even remember what I was saying.

Q. When you marked on 18, is that an etiquette thing? How does that play out?
RUSSELL KNOX: He had the right to finish. Obviously, he just didn't feel like he wanted to. It had nothing to do with my putt.

Q. Despite the whole Tiger experience, what does it mean, I know you did this, obviously, at Troon, but for a Scot to play in front of the whole crowd and the energy and a lot of applause?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I had a lot of support out there. I felt it on every hole. So that was really cool. No, it's an honour to play The Open Championship, let alone in your own country at one of the most iconic courses in the world with your hero. I mean, it's kind of a dream come true.

Q. (Inaudible).
RUSSELL KNOX: Never. No, the first time I played with Phil at Quail Hollow years ago, I wasn't as prepared for it as I am now, and it was a disaster that day because other -- of course, all the big names carry massive crowds, but Phil and Tiger, I just feel like it's a little different in a strange way. I don't know. So it was fun, though. I mean, that's -- you want to play with those guys.

Q. Any of your Scottish fans holler anything?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, they were trying to pull me on, pull me through, root me on. You hear a lot of weird things out there, to be honest.

Q. Like what?

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