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June 2, 2019

Keith Mitchell

Dublin, Ohio

Q. What was it like, first-time experience and with those crowds?
KEITH MITCHELL: It was -- it felt like I was in the last group, and I was not even close to that, just because of the energy and everything. It was awesome. Unfortunately I didn't play my best, but I had so much fun doing it. It is what it is. There's plenty more, and one of those things you have to check off your list and get out of the way and feel comfortable again. There's nothing like those crowds and energy in front of him. I feel like next time I'll definitely do better.

Q. That's one of the things everybody talks about, the first time you play with him you think you might be prepared for that energy and that kind of crowd, and then you get into it, you're like, whoa, especially with the movement when he finishes first?
KEITH MITCHELL: Right. And it's funny, I think it's just baby steps. And my caddie said, look, let's look at this as preparation for the U.S. Open because that's what it's going to be like. It's going to be loud and it's going to be fun.

Q. What was the most fun part of the day?
KEITH MITCHELL: When I birdied 18 (laughter).

Q. It's always good to birdie 18.
KEITH MITCHELL: I don't know, I mean, I felt like my attitude was incredible for shooting 4-over. Normally I would have been screaming and hollering and slamming my clubs. You don't do that in front of these crowds and you don't do that in front of Tiger.

Q. Was it distracting?
KEITH MITCHELL: It wasn't distracting. I was more distracted by myself because I wanted to play so good and I felt like my game was so good that I actually went the other direction. And it's just really hard on this golf course. It's hard to get anything going when you don't have it going because your margin of error is so small. Saw Tiger coming down the stretch, and he hits -- or two shots ten feet off line, and you make bogey. And that's where I was.

Q. What's the hardest thing playing in a group like that when you're not in the final group, what's the hardest thing about playing with Tiger?
KEITH MITCHELL: I think it's all personal. I don't think it has anything to do with crowds or the energy or anything. I think us young players that grew up watching Tiger, you want to play as well as you can. Not to prove yourself, just to kind of know that you're in the big leagues now and you want to play with the best. And you want to play so well so bad in front of all those people with all that energy that I think that's the hardest part.

I don't think there's any negatives playing with him. We were on the first tee, it was the quietest I've ever heard it in my life. I could hear him grab a tee out of his back pocket.

Q. Is it similar to playing in that final group the first time you're in the final group because you want to play so good so bad that it's almost the term I can't get out of my own way?
KEITH MITCHELL: Yeah, for sure. And it's almost more than the last group because it didn't really matter for the outcome of the tournament how I played, so that's even more so on yourself, I want to play good so bad because if you're in the last group and you're not playing good, you're still fighting for second or third or fourth. And out there you're just kind of on your own. It's tough.

Q. What was it like when he starts going on that run and is 5-under making the turn with birdie chances. Do you feel the energy from the crowd, too?
KEITH MITCHELL: I felt like I got in the way after 12, when he made that par on 11 and I hit it in the water, I thought I hit it in the bunker. I just had a bunch of in-between clubs. I felt like on No. -- I think it was No. 12 or 13, I was like I'll chip this on the green and make a putt and just go to the next hole. You never want to feel that way, but he didn't miss a shot. I mean, it was -- I felt like I hit it good the first three days and wasn't even close to that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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