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March 21, 2019

Russell Knox

Palm Harbor, Florida

Q. That's a pretty strong back nine of 29 but it includes the albatross at 11. Just two shots and you're in the hole at 11. Tell us about that hole.
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, it's a good way to go from plus 2 to minus one very quickly. Didn't even have to putt, which was great. No, I hit a beautiful drive and I knew that if I just hit a nice 3-wood down there I would be somewhere near the green and that's really all I was looking for. I smoked it right on line and it was right down the flag the whole way and it just carried the bunker and it kicked on, rolled, rolled, rolled, rolled, and in she went. So always a -- I mean a massive bonus, obviously. I would have been delighted with a birdie, let alone a albatross, so pretty cool. Really got me kick started into a really nice back nine.

Q. You said you made one as a youngster in a small tournament. I'm guessing this was a little bit better field.
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, back in my home course at Nairn Dunbar back in Scotland I made one on the last hole there, I holed a 6-iron, it was a shortish par-5. I didn't see it go in. And I witnessed a couple other ones too in my life, so it was cool to get one today.

Q. I just wrote a double eagle story on Harris English last week. This is like turning into a virus. What's going on?
RUSSELL KNOX: I don't know. I'm delighted. It's a very quick way to go from 2-over to 1-under, I promise you that. I enjoyed -- I mean obviously it's a massive bonus for it to go in. I was very happy with the beautiful shot and for it to go in the hole, huge bonus. I would have been delighted with a birdie, let alone an albatross. So huge bonus and it really kick started a really good back nine.

Q. You didn't have that much going on on the front nine. You made the turn at 2-over.
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I made a terrible double bogey on No. 9, I drove it in the lip of the bunker, hacked out and wedged it over the green from 60 yards and chunked it on and missed a 7-footer. So it was a really bad way to end -- I didn't play horrible the front nine, I missed a few putts maybe I could have made, but this was a huge kick start and all of a sudden the smile on my face got a little bigger and I was able to hit some good shots the last nine holes.

Q. How many people around the green to see this momentous occasion?
RUSSELL KNOX: There was probably, had to be 15, 20, 25 people there. So everyone, everyone cheered, but I mean from 270 yards you're like, did it really go in? Maybe it's just a foot away or something. But, no, it went in and I was, we were joking the whole way up.

Q. When did you realize, at what point did you realize it had gone in and it wasn't just like real close?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, probably, we kept asking people, did it go in? Did it go in? And we probably knew after five or ten seconds after it finished. I mean obviously from 270 you can't really see it, so just the way the sun was, but the people's reactions were definitely like it went in, so huge bonus.

Q. You said you guys were joking, what were you joking about immediately afterward?
RUSSELL KNOX: Just the fact it went in. I mean how lucky is that? So I mean I was delighted with just the strike I made and for it to go in, obviously pretty cool.

Q. You mentioned that you had one when you were a junior player.

Q. Do you remember the course?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, it was at my home course growing up Nairn Dunbar Golf Club. It was on the last hole. I hit driver, 6-iron, it was a shortish par-5, just under 500 yards. But you couldn't see, you kind of hit up over a hill and there's a huge gully in the green and it went in. I actually looked out of bounds over the green before I even looked into the hole then, so that was nice to go in. I think I actually won the little tiny tournament by one shot, too. It's a one day little like club event, a little junior medal.

Q. You would have been 16, 17?
RUSSELL KNOX: Oh, even, I bet I was 13 to 15, somewhere in there.

Q. Were you one of the later groups?
RUSSELL KNOX: There was only like eight people playing.

Q. So nobody was watching that one?

Q. That was the shot to win, it was like a buzzer beater double eagle.
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I got like a little tiny medal for it.

Q. Where's that medal now?

Q. You lost it?
RUSSELL KNOX: Fortunately I got a few other trophies that are slightly more important to me.

Q. You mentioned it helped to get because the back nine and what does the 4-under help you going into tomorrow after finishing with a decent day now?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I mean 4-under around this course is very strong. Especially I mean in the afternoon it will, it should play a little trickier. Anything under par on this course is really good. So I mean 4-under, I mean, if you shoot 4-under every day, you know what place you're going to finish at the end of the week. So I'm off to a great start and very happy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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