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March 17, 2019

Eddie Pepperell

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. How much fun was that?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: It was obviously fun. Playing with Justin was good. I mean, for the front nine, I just thought there's no way I'm beating Justin today. He was pretty flawless and then it looked like he was going to kind of cruise around, and I kind of managed to make a couple of good birdies at the end of the front nine to give me something to go off. But it was a lot of fun. Obviously coming in on the 17th was special.

Q. Can you explain that cross-handed drill you're doing?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: It's just one of the 74 drills I've done this year and seems to have worked for a few hours. It's really a backswing drill. It's to try and get my left arm to climb on top of my right earlier. I have a tendency to, at the moment, to be a bit in and a bit up, so I'm trying to get the left arm to climb on top of the right earlier in the backswing which kind of sends the plane of the shaft a bit flatter on the backswing as well.

Q. You took several steps to the ball before it even landed in the cup on 17, did you figure it was going to go in?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: No, I just figured it was going to be a tap-in. I was kind of relieved I didn't have to face a three-footer in front of all those people, and then obviously when it went in, yeah, what can I say, it was pretty awesome, to be fair.

Q. Was there any part of you on 18 thinking getting that up-and-down was potentially going to win the tournament? Right now Rory just went back to 14 so you're right now square.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I did, and I knew that Jhonattan had hit the fairway, so I thought, he's unlikely going to make a 5 from there. So yeah, I need to get this up-and-down.

And actually the chip was tougher than I thought it was going to be, so when I decided to hit the 3-iron second shot to get up close to the green, I didn't think it was going to be quite as fast, and then I saw it and obviously it was. I had to play it slightly different than how I had imagined it, but yeah, it was a nice putt to hole for sure.

Q. Where does that up-and-down rank at the moment for you in terms of moments of importance?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: To be honest I just had a few ups out there, I didn't even have the downs to deal with because I holed a couple. The pitch, the bunker shot I hit on 14 and the pitch I holed on 15 were -- no matter who hits them at any stage of a golf tournament, they're great short game shots. They just gave me kind of a sense of huge confidence, actually. I kind of felt invincible, really, that last bit. Only around the greens, obviously.

Q. I imagine your travel plans have changed. When was original flight out of here?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Originally it was 8:00 tonight from Orlando, so we changed that last night to connect through New York. I mean, if I miss that, I'd almost stay in America.

Q. Does this make the delayed reunion with your dog a little more tolerable?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: No, it's crippling.

Q. Was there like a spark that got you going? Was there one thing in particular?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: I think -- probably, I mean, I made two good birdies on the front side to turn in 1-under, which was great the way I'd played. But the up-and-down on 11, I hit a really nice pitch on 11 to just all of a sudden get to 10-under for the tournament, and I was more at that point going off Justin because I thought if I can stay somewhat near where he is, because I'm imagining that he's not going to be worried about shooting 67 and being in a great spot, so if I can at that point in my round just stay next to Justin in there, obviously beyond that -- yeah, I mean, whatever, I overtook him thankfully. But yeah, I would say the birdie on 11 was nice.

Q. When you went back home on Tuesday frustrated with your game, how ridiculous was the notion at that moment to think that you're sitting here now tied for the lead on Sunday?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Well, in many ways, it's ridiculous. Having said that, it's eerily similar to what happened last year on a number of occasions. It's unfortunate that I feel -- well, I say it's unfortunate. It feels unfortunate that I've got to go through those moments of frustration, but out the other side does come, you know, seemingly good stuff. So sometimes you've just got to -- I mean, clearly all I did there was a mature thing to do. I maybe wouldn't have done that in the past. I wouldn't have even bothered. I went home, went to sleep, come back, restarted and had a really productive Tuesday evening. Maybe that was the difference. But it's not like I flushed the golf ball this week. If I hit it like that for the rest of the year, then you'll see me with plenty of snapped clubs.

Q. Now that you know you're finishing second, just wrap up the week.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: I hope so. Probably finish sixth. I'll be sixth and everyone will forget about me and I'll be the forgotten man again.

Q. Still a good week, right?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, of course, of course. It's a great way for me to leave this little trip because there was a lot of -- I could have shot 73, 74 quite easily today and left with not a very nice taste in my mouth, but whatever I finish it's going to be -- well, frankly all I'm here to do is pick up money because I'm not a member. Money and World Ranking points, but I don't care about World Ranking points. I like to win money so I can pay for some wine. That's probably the biggest positive, in a crude way. But yeah, it is what it is, and great first experience at this place because I obviously hope I'll be back here, and to have some really nice memories of what's happened today, obviously coming back will be nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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