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March 10, 2019

Keith Mitchell

Orlando, Florida

Q. If I have to have somebody play a final round on a Sunday for me in Florida, I think it's you. Another great round for you today. What was the difference for you today?
KEITH MITCHELL: I played great the first two days and great today. The putter went cold yesterday on Saturday. But, I mean, for going cold one out of eight days the last two weeks, I'm fine. But unfortunately it did. And I don't know if it's going to be enough, but I played awesome today.

Q. It looks like you're battling some allergies out there a little bit too.
KEITH MITCHELL: It's terrible, I've always had bad allergies and I guess this is the first time this year I've had it and I took two Zyrtec and I needed to take three.

Q. 8-under par, you wait around, like what will you do this afternoon? Anything can happen on this golf course.
KEITH MITCHELL: You know, I played in the afternoon yesterday and it was tough, so I don't know what the wind's going to do this afternoon, if the greens are going to get firm, but we'll see. So I'm going to go in have some lunch, hang out with Pete and tell some stories.

Q. There's one other thing I want to ask and before I ask it I want you to know I have no control over this, so there's no jinx. But it's looking pretty good that you will be playing for that jug that's over there, qualifying for the Open Championship. If that indeed does, because you look good right now for it, what does that mean to you?
KEITH MITCHELL: A lot. I didn't really know about it going into today, I'm glad I didn't, because that putt might have been a little scarier on 18. But I love that, watching that tournament on TV, I love the conditions, I love the different style golf courses, it's, you got to be a lot more creative over there and I think that's fun. I've never really competed in an event like that, so if the chance happens, I'm excited.

Q. How close were you to withdrawing after the first round with your back hurting?
KEITH MITCHELL: No, it's fine. Zero percent.

Q. How have these last two weeks, this run you've been on kind of changed your life and how would you describe it?
KEITH MITCHELL: It's awesome to have that last week. Every fairway, every green, somebody said, hey, good job last week at the Honda. That was really cool, I never had that. But kind of today when I was still getting it I was like, well what about today? I feel like I got a chance today. So it kind of, it was fun, but at the same time I hope it's not the last.

Q. How aware were you of the spots in the Open Championship and how aware were you of that coming down the last?
KEITH MITCHELL: I wasn't. I was just trying to play the best I could. It definitely is a, would be a huge honor to be able to play The Open Championship, it's, I love the way the course is set up over there, the different styles, it's so different than what we play over here on the PGA TOUR most of the time. So it's really, I hope it's going to be good enough, but we'll see.

Q. After winning Sunday did you feel more relaxed this week or did you feel more pressure to show that I can consolidate that win with another high performance?
KEITH MITCHELL: When you're putting as well as I'm putting right now, I definitely am relaxed. Just because if I didn't hit a good shot I was okay with it, because I figured I had a good chance to make it. And putting has been my weak link for awhile now and knowing that I had the confidence to make those putts inside 10 feet was huge, because it just kind of frees the rest of your game up.

Q. A lot has been made of the no-name champion headline, I'm sure you've been asked about it a lot. But after the last two weeks and how you performed today do you feel like you've made a name yourself?
KEITH MITCHELL: I don't know, that's a good question. Golf's got a huge fan base and a lot of loyal fans and the ones that have known me, great and if I made some new fans this week I'm even more excited.

Q. How much of a challenge was it to be here this week, just having the extra media stuff and then kind of coming down a little bit? Did you talk to anyone for advice or how did you go about handling that?
KEITH MITCHELL: It was funny some guys in the locker room came up to me and simply just went straight to the questions like, have you slept at all. And I was like, no. They're like, it happens every time. So it's good to know that a lot of people have been in my shoes before after their first win. And being tired was kind of a good thing. I never got anxious, my adrenaline never got too high because it was a little, just exhausted. But it ended up being okay.

Q. Who were some of those guys that talked to you?
KEITH MITCHELL: Zach said something and Bubba said something to me yesterday morning which was pretty funny and just a lot, everybody's said congrats and it's just, we have such a cool group of guys out here I'm very thankful for it.

Q. What is making the back nine so tough today?
KEITH MITCHELL: I think the wind picks up a little bit and the greens are, I wouldn't say firmer, but they're just so fast and where the pin placements are, you have to be very careful on what side of the hole you're going to hit the ball.

Q. At what point this week did you shift your focus from reflecting on the win to focusing on the tournament this week?
KEITH MITCHELL: The first tee shot. Once I hit that first tee shot the blood just started rushing again like it would any other tournament. So it was -- once I got on the first tee it was easy, but off the course stuff was definitely different.

Q. What do you think the winning score is going to be?
KEITH MITCHELL: I think it will be 10 or 11. I think Rory McIlroy's obviously proven himself time in and time out and I think he won here last year, I think shooting a really low round too, if he gets past that I wouldn't even be surprised. I hope 8's good enough, but I don't wish ill play on anyone.

Q. What will you do for the next four hours then?
KEITH MITCHELL: Shut down, hang out with my caddie. And my dad's here, he drove up today. So probably just hang out in the dining, having a quick bite to eat and see where it goes.

Q. Were you thinking, I have to try to get to a certain number?
KEITH MITCHELL: 11. I thought I had to get to 11. I knew if I got to 11 I would have a really good chance because that was going to pass those guys and they were going to have to catch me and that, I thought that was going to be a good place to be. I felt like Ryan Palmer last week kind of did that at the Honda. And so I just kind of did what he did and unfortunately with the bogey on 14 it kind of brought me back and I knew I had to do something crazy and thankful I made two pars on 17 and 18 though.

Q. Are you trying to protect your neck, is that a look you're trying to bring back?
KEITH MITCHELL: Yeah, I mean, I know I'm from Tennessee so I have a red neck already, but I mean it's been, we haven't had this much sun in a while, so it's definitely just trying to keep it from burning.

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