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June 20, 2019

Viktor Hovland

Cromwell, Connecticut

Q. First round as a pro in the books for you today, Viktor. I know you've played on the PGA Tour before. How have things shifted for you internally knowing there is prize money dangling at the end of the week potentially?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Not too much. Obviously I know that the last few times I was playing I did it more for the experience. Now I want to do as well as I can to be able to play out here next year.

So it's a little different. Wearing different clothes and kind of getting used to having a different caddie and all that stuff. But still the same game and I just try to play golf.

Q. Last couple starts you were lo Am at the Masters U.S. Open. How have you been able to carry that momentum over?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I think those two weeks gave me a lot of confidence that I could play out here. Looking at myself and saying, Okay, playing on the PGA Tour, that looked so farfetched, but after those two weeks it gave me a lot of confidence that it could be a reality if I just play well.

Q. We talked yesterday and you were going to stay living in Stillwater for the time being. Why is that beneficial for you as you start your pro journey?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I just notice that you're going to be traveling a whole lot by yourself. It's a little different. You don't have your college teammates around you and you can talk smack back and forth. I really miss that, and I want to stay kind of with the guys and just have a place where I feel comfortable.

So I'm doing that until, yeah, get life figured out.

Q. 3-under par. Great start. Just get some comments on your day.
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah. I got off to a nice start. Birdied the first par-5 on the back nine and I just kind of kept plugging along.

Had a bad stretch there after I made a really poor bogey on -- is it the 14th? Yeah. Made a good bogey there.

Then I hit the worst shot I think all year on the next one, on the par-4. Scrambled a great par, and from there on in I played pretty solid. I'm happy to finish 3-under par for today. Yeah, trying to look forward to keep going.

Q. How is it different from your experience -- I mean, obviously you're playing for money now.

Q. What's it like going out there now knowing that putts are worth money?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Well, I try not to think too much about it. Obviously it is the difference, but I'm just trying to make birdies and avoid bogeys. I think instead of thinking about money I'm thinking more about, Okay, I want to have some sort of status for next year. That's kind of the goal. Obviously this means I'm going to be making more money if I'm playing good, but it is a little different because I feel like I have to capitalize more on these starts.

Q. Are you already comfortable out here considering you've made some starts, low amateur in two majors?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I would say I feel comfortable when I'm on the course. I don't feel as comfortable off the course.

Q. Doing this?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, kind of doing this stuff, talking to you guys all the time. But it's just like a little different getting used to. In amateur golf you're used to seeing the same faces all the time, competing against the same guys.

I'm not used to competing against some of these guys that are out here. Just kind of figuring out, Okay, where is the driving range, where is the food? All just kind of simple things that goes around it. Yeah, I got a little bit to go on.

Q. What's the most interesting or funny, most interesting moment you've had so far this week in general?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Interesting? Most interesting thing.

Q. Weird interactions. Get lost at all?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: One of the things like I was putting on a gel sweater yesterday. That was Tuesday. Was going to play nine holes and I was kind of rushing in the morning and just ripped off kind of the thing -- I don't know what it's called, paper thing or whatever, and I just made two big holes in the bag. I realized that later in the day.

I was like, Yep, here we go. We're off to a great start.

Q. How much confidence can you take from the success you had at the U.S. Open?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I mean, obviously it's not too long ago and I played good last week. That's always nice, to have a feeling like that going into another tournament.

I hit a lot of fairways last week. I did today as well. Hitting the fairways is not as important here as it was last week, so I have to kind of gain shots in other areas that I gained at, like last week.

So I think my approach shots have to be a little better. I putted better today, which was nice. Yeah, it's a little different. Each course is different.

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