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June 13, 2019

Scott Piercy

Pebble Beach, California

Q. Overall thoughts on your round. Great start to the tournament.
SCOTT PIERCY: Yeah, and anytime you can be under par at the U.S. Open is a good thing. I got off to kind of a fiery start, which is great, and then tried to hold on there in the middle and tried to make a couple coming in.

Overall the putter was there, it felt good. The ball-striking needs to be cleaned up a little bit, so I'll be on the range for a little while. But 4-under par the first round of the U.S. Open is -- I'll take that every time.

Q. You got the best and worst of Pebble early with that eagle then double bogey. What happened there?
SCOTT PIERCY: You know, like I said, the full swing is just a little bit off, and I drove it in the rough. And then you're kind of scrambling from there. And I was trying to make 5 and kind of flubbed one out of the bunker. That's a hard shot anyway, 40 yards out of the bunker off an upslope. A little unfortunate. And obviously 18 was kind of a kick in the stomach to finish after you've made some good par saves and kind of held it together.

Q. What was the discussion with the caddie on 18 here on the second shot?
SCOTT PIERCY: You know, I wanted to hit a 5-iron, and he thought hybrid would come out of it a little better, we could scoot it up a little bit closer. A 5-iron -- if it comes out soft and a little bit right, you're hitting it from 160 out of the rough again.

So I was actually in the footprint in a bunker, so I hit a great shot out of there. But overall I think it was right there. I think I've made 6 the last few times I've made it. Maybe I need to learn how to play it better.

Q. The eagle, incredible shot there. Yardage and club?
SCOTT PIERCY: I think I had 217 to the front and 225 or something to the hole. And just hit a flat cut with a hybrid, just let it do what it did, just roll up. You don't want to hit it past that flag. If you miss it pin-high and off the green, it's a hard chip. Worst case I was trying to land it short and be short, and it just came off perfect.

Q. How are the conditions for scoring?
SCOTT PIERCY: I felt the conditions were really fair. The greens obviously in the morning are going to be a little bit softer than in the afternoon, so that's good. Last year I was first group off in the morning on Thursday. So maybe there's something to that.

But if you drive it in the fairway, it's fair. You can hit it on the greens. It's receptive. One thing I did really good today is leave it on the correct side of the hole. So I didn't really have a lot of downhill sliders, had a couple for par coming down the last stretch. Some of the birdie putts were more up the hill, like right edge putts, something like that. So when I had birdie putts early on I was -- I probably had the easier of the birdie putts on the hard ones.

Q. How do you approach the first round of the U.S. Open? Do you try to get yourself to ease into it?
SCOTT PIERCY: You know, I started off by snap hooking one off line, and then plugged in the bunker on 2, and then I hit a great shot out of the bunker on 2 to about nine feet. And kind of just gives you a little bump of good thoughts and hey let's get this going. 1-under, we kind of stole one, maybe.

If you ball strike it around here, you're going to be close because the fairways are rolling enough to where you can get short enough irons in your hand besides maybe 8, 9 and 10. Obviously 2 is going to be playing pretty tough. But if you can get the ball in the fairway, you're going to have probably 7-iron to a wedge in your hand.

And that's one thing I didn't do very good today. I didn't drive it in the fairway very well. I happened to manage it, scramble it pretty good when I got it out of position. And when I had it in position, I hit some pretty good wedge shots.

Q. What's your relationship been like with Pebble through the years? When did you start playing it? Did you play it before being a pro, and what's your feeling been?
SCOTT PIERCY: I played it the first couple of years I was on Tour. Maybe two or three years. I Monday qualified the last year they had it, maybe 2005. And never made the cut. I made my first cut like three years ago. And the golf course has fit me better now. I've gotten to be a lot better wedge player, there's a lot of wedges around here. I finished 10th this year, 3-putting the last hole in the dark. Hopefully there's a run of fours in there somewhere.

But there's a lot of -- there's a few holes I don't feel comfortable, like the eyesight lines, just because I haven't played it a ton. But I feel like I can get my way around it pretty well.

Q. Did you have say choice to play out on 18th year? I can't remember the circumstance of 3-putting there?
SCOTT PIERCY: So I was the second to the last group in front of Phil and Casey. And the only reason I could putt out was bought of the lights from the scoreboard. So I actually had a plane on the runway getting ready to leave, to take me home. If I make the putt, I finish maybe 4th. And if I two-putt, then I place 10th.

Q. Last week you were on the cusp of qualifying here. What was that like?
SCOTT PIERCY: Last week was kind of a funny week because I knew I was 60th going into the week. I've been a little bit tired. This is my 7th out of nine weeks playing. Didn't really want to play the qualifier. And you've got Canada, where I've won, that's the first time I've been back to a golf course where I won in 2012.

So you're kind of amped to play Canada, but then you're kind of tired because you did 36. I end up missing by one, losing in the playoff and played terrible in Canada, kind of tired and all that. So then you've got to sit at home and not root against guys, but hope that they don't kick you out. I was happy to get in and I was happy with the start.

Q. What would you be doing otherwise if you didn't make it in here? What would this week be like for you?
SCOTT PIERCY: There would be an indentation in the couch (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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