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September 14, 2018

Austin Ernst

Evian-les-Bains, France

Q. I suppose you were in in the mood to sign all those after that save.
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, it was nice to make that one. Yeah, you know, just hit it in the rough on 17 and 18, and you got to work a little too hard when you hit it in the rough out here.

It was nice to get that one up and down on 18 and kind of keep the momentum. It was kind of an up and down day, so...

Q. No one is hitting birdies, made any birdies; you've got 11.
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah. It was a little up and down. There were a few where I kind of got out of position that, you know, you're going to make bogeys. Then the only one that kind of made me mad was 12, making a double there. I should have been bogey easily there. I had a pretty decent look at par actually. Just kind of a silly mistake there.

Other than that, I mean, right after that bounced back with three birdies in a row. So, you know, just keep kind of doing the same things the next two days.

I think I'm only two back right now, so kind of just see where it is at the end of the day.

Q. Do you feel like there is a really low score to be had?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yes and no. If you're hitting the ball well, absolutely. But you can kind of put yourself in some bad spots. But if you're hitting it well, I think with it soft today, with the greens soft, you could really attack a few of them.

Obviously you still got to hit really quality shots because they do have them tucked and they're on hills. If you're out of position it's not easy to make par sometimes. You can absolutely make a ton of birdies. I mean, I've kind of shown that the first two days.

Q. Do you expect it to dry out a bit faster?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, I hope so. It was nice how it played yesterday. Got a lot of roll-out in the fair ways, and still around the greens they were somewhat firm, but the course was very gettable with how far the ball would kind of run on the fairways and kind of the irons you would have coming in.

And then, you know, you got a couple difficult holes out here, but overall played way shorter yesterday.

Q. In the six years since there has been five majors, there's had not a year when there has been an American winner, at least one of the majors. Are you aware of that? Has it seemed like a year where the U.S. women just...
AUSTIN ERNST: No, I mean, I couldn't tell you who has won every tournament this year. I mean, I'm kind of paying attention to what I'm doing. Yeah, I couldn't have told you that stat at all. I probably couldn't tell you who won the first four majors.

Q. What's your play been like in majors thus far in your career?
AUSTIN ERNST: Not good. It's been very inconsistent I would say. Ball striking has always been inconsistent and putting hasn't been quite as good.

Now I feel like, even this year, even though I didn't play well in basically three of them, my game is so much better. It's so much more equipped for majors, kind of more equipped for every course.

For me, if I drive the ball well, that's been the biggest difference. In majors typically we have a little bit higher rough and you're more penalized if you miss fairways; whereas regular events I might be able to get away with it.

My game feels really good this week, and I like this course a lot more this year than I have in the past. But yeah, overall I haven't played well in majors. I wouldn't have played well no matter where we were playing some of those weeks.

I'm much better now than I was at the beginning of my career.

Q. Does that give you a lot of confidence going into the weekend just knowing that?
AUSTIN ERNST: Absolutely. Like I said yesterday, I've got Portland to draw back on, I've got Solheim Cup to draw back on. I've been in high-pressure situations even this year, so I kind of know what I do and what my tendencies are and what I need to do.

Just going to keep doing what I'm doing and see how it all shakes out.

Q. It's kind of a hurricane theme this week. Are you on weather watch?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yes, I've checked the weather app every day and then talked to my family back home. Luckily we've not on the coast, but I think it made landfall today.

Q. Just got a message while you were signing just made landfall.
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, so we'll kind of see what it comes out to. It's more flooding where I am. Obviously everybody on the coast, I hope a lot people got out of there. It's not going to be good.

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