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May 10, 2019

Matt Wallace

Hillside, Southport, England

Q. Assess your play for us today?
MATT WALLACE: Steady, yeah, very nice. Before the hooter went off it was pretty tough. It was cold. It was windy and gloomy and luckily before I hit the shot, the hooter went off and it turned out to be a lovely day. So kind of like two different halves and when I went back out there it was nice to make that putt early doors and get a couple birdies.

Q. No bogeys in either round, how satisfying is that and has there been any particular key?
MATT WALLACE: I think that's the first time I've ever done 36 holes, especially to start a tournament with no bogeys, which is nice. Key, a little bit better ball-striking now.

I'm actually just at the moment not worrying about the pin, doing front edge, which kind of works in links golf sometimes, I do front edge and try to work on my landing zone where the pin is rather than go and try to land it next to the pin sort of thing. That's nice. I carried on hitting more greens for sure.

Q. When we chatted yesterday, you talked about looking at the bigger picture rather than the particular week. Can you talk about that and tell us how that pans out?
MATT WALLACE: I think before I got to where I was, which obviously worked for a period of time, I used to think every tournament was my last week out on Tour, so I was so intense and so fiery. I think that's what people could see is that if I messed up, I was kind of blowing my lid off, so whereas now, I've come into this week and the process has started with MacGregor and my trainer, Harry, and everyone on my team we are actually thinking of the next three years rather than the next week, sort of thing.

I know what it's going to take to try to win majors and it's actually not trying to win it like straightaway. So we have to learn our trade, learn the way, and this week is a start where I'm just going to try and play and start fresh.

Q. Second round 67, still so solid and still not a bogey on the card?
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, that's nice. I think that's the first time I've done it to open up a tournament and maybe the first time I've ever done it in two rounds straight, so that's nice. Feel like the game is in good shape and the hard work has paid off so far.

Q. At times, even at this early stage, we might see a bit of passion, a bit of fire, a fist pump, but you still seem very calm and relaxed. Is this part of the bigger picture?
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, this is the bigger picture part. It's not about this week. It's about -- because I want to take that next step. I want to win the big tournaments and I haven't performed in the big tournaments really at all. 19th place in a major is my best so far and I want to compete in those ones.

To do that, we have started this new process of it will come at some point rather than come straightaway. So this week, we've got no expectations. We're going out there to play and I'm showing some good stuff.

Q. I think arguably, one of your best traits is how much of a good finisher you are. The commentators say that's something you can't teach players, but we see that from you on spades.
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, that will come out. I've felt myself not as intense over some putts this week, mainly because I've had more, which is nice, and makeable chances. But that will come with the more intensity, the back nine or so, where you really pick your line and try and hit it over your spot and that's where the focus comes in, and I probably haven't had that so much the first couple days but I also know that it's a long way to go. So if I'm that intense all the time it will be difficult to keep up. So we're in good shape right now.

Q. We got treated to some British summer weather, cold and rainy and now we have sun?
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, I don't think I'm going to be leading at the end of the day because it is so nice now. The last few holes there, it was just a birdie-fest, really, to get after the pins. But we're in great shape. I'm feeling comfortable. I'm feeling happy, and I'm going to go back now and have some lunch and chill.

Q. Opening couple of days, has it been sort of relatively stress-free golf?
MATT WALLACE: Bar a couple holes. I think the first hole yesterday to hole a 20-footer to start the day off, and then when I went back out there, I had to hole an 8-footer for par, and I think that was my only fist pump of the last two days was a par putt to start after the hooter.

But very comfortable, very happy, very chilled. Kind of surprising myself a little bit.

Q. No dropped shots so far. That's remarkable, isn't it?
MATT WALLACE: Yeah, it's nice. I haven't done that, I don't think ever, especially not to start off a tournament. But it's nice to do that. It's nice to hit greens, fairways and greens, and save yourself when need be. My chipping's been really good. My putting, my distance control and my putting has been exceptional. I'm rolling the ball end over end which is really nice and I'm giving myself a lot of chances.

Hopefully a couple of them will drop but on these greens, there are subtle breaks and they are quite bumpy and might bounce off but I've been rolling it pretty good but who knows. Might make a couple big ones come the weekend.

Q. Is there a new mental approach, as well?
MATT WALLACE: Massively. It comes with what we're talking about, the bigger picture, and a lot of people are asking me, what does this bigger picture mean. It's mainly to try and help me achieve the goals that I want to do, and that's try and compete in majors and I haven't done that yet, and a lot of -- well, you guys know that, where you haven't done that where you may have expected it, and I expect it of myself. But there's a way of doing it and I've probably got at it the wrong way where I want to win and it probably doesn't work like that. For me, definitely, I think if I look at the bigger picture and I go the next three or four years, I want to be competing. It's very similar to kind of if you think about Francesco. Three years ago, he wasn't where he was now, and he's taken that different approach, his own approach, and I'll have mine. I want to be doing what he's doing, Ryder Cups and majors and competing at every single event pretty much.

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