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June 28, 2019

Steve Stricker

Notre Dame, Indiana

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to welcome Steve Stricker into the media center. Steve, a bogey-free 6-under par 64 in today's round, a 36-hole total of 14-under, 126. That sets the record for both lowest score -- sets the record for lowest score over the first 36 holes in both total score and relation to par, breaking both records by three strokes.

It's the U.S. Senior Open and it's supposed to be hard, but you're making it look easy out there. What's been working for you?

STEVE STRICKER: A little bit of everything. I've been driving the ball well, getting it in the fairways. My iron play has been pretty strong this week, and I'm holing a few putts. I've hit a lot of greens in regulation. I think somebody told me I've hit 31 greens, so I've only missed five. To go bogey-free around here is a good day. Just been doing a little bit of everything well and holing some nice putts.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go through the scorecard a little bit. Today you started on the 10th hole, got a birdie pretty much right off the bat at No. 11.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, a driver and an 8-iron from 154 to about 12 feet, made that.

THE MODERATOR: Then the short par-4, the 13th.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, hit a 3-wood and had 106, kind of in between yardages for me, so I tried to chip a little wedge, kind of hung it out a little bit to maybe 20 feet and made that.

On 14, drove it way to the right, in the long heather stuff and was able to kind of -- I knew the club was going to turn over out of that stuff, and I hacked it out, went across the fairway into the other rough, and at that point I'm thinking, let's just get 5 and get out of here. But I had a decent lie in the rough, had 102, 103, I think, hit a real good solid sand wedge in there to about four feet and made that.

THE MODERATOR: And you make the turn in 33 and get a birdie on 2, the par-5.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I hit a real good drive and a 3-wood into the center of the green, had about a 30-footer for eagle and two-putted.

No. 3, good drive, just right of the bunker, had to chip an 8-iron underneath the overhanging tree. I was in the fairway but the tree overhangs the fairway there at 3, and I had 149 to the hole, hit that in there to about 15 feet.

THE MODERATOR: String of pars, and for the second day in a row birdie at No. 8.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, 6-iron to the center of the green. The pin is back left. We had 206 to the hole, helping off the left, just hit a good solid hard 6-iron, hit it in there probably 20, 24 feet, something like that, and made that.

THE MODERATOR: Finished strong with a birdie on 9.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, a driver off the tee and a wedge from 127 behind the hole, about a 15-footer.

Q. Yesterday the greens and everything was kind of soft. With the increased temperature, what were the conditions like today?
STEVE STRICKER: Pretty much identical to yesterday. The greens were still very receptive. Fairways were a little bit drier, but still very soft in the fairways, as well. Pretty much a carbon copy from when we left here last night.

Humidity is up, so there's still a lot of moisture in the ground. Yeah, it was pretty much the same.

Q. As I joked with you when you came in, what's in the water in Madison with you and Kelly, and how long have you known Jerry and played with him?
STEVE STRICKER: We grew up playing junior golf together in Wisconsin, so I knew Jerry from a young age, teenager years, when we were playing amateur events and junior events across the state of Wisconsin. I've known Jerry a long time, been a friend of his and family friends for a long time. He's got a boy the same age as our daughter. So we've known each other quite a while.

It's good to see him playing well, too. I mean, I knew this course would set up well for him. It's a course where if you drive it well -- and the fairways are pretty generous here, so getting it in the fairway is not extremely difficult, but if you do get it in the fairway, it sets up a lot of good second shots, and he's a good iron player, and he's playing well. He's putting well and he's doing everything well, as it shows from winning last week.

Q. You'll likely have more than 24 hours before your next starting time. What will you do this afternoon and tomorrow morning?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, probably practice for just a little bit after eating something and then rest up, make sure I get plenty of rest, and tee times I'm sure will be late tomorrow. But look forward to it. Yeah, look forward to the challenge.

Q. Forecast coming out this weekend looks fairly good. Can you see this course getting a little bit tougher each day as we go along?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I'm sure it'll get tougher. They can set some tougher pins. Once they make the cut they'll have fewer players, and they may get a little tougher with the pin locations. You know, I don't know if it's going to dry out much, just because there's so much humidity, it's not that dry air. You know, the ground is holding a lot of moisture. I'm no weatherman or anything like that, but usually when it's this humid, things usually stay wet. It'll probably dry up a little bit but still probably be pretty receptive.

Q. I know you set a record and you're 14-under, but are you in total control of yourself right now, like a good shooter would be in basketball or a baseball player that's on a hitting streak?
STEVE STRICKER: You know, I feel good. It was a good two days. I take each day as it comes. Every day you feel a little bit different when you come to the golf course. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll feel a little bit different. But I like what I did again today. I've got some good feelings going on with just about every club in my bag, and hopefully those continue and I keep playing smart and being aggressive at times when I feel like I can be and holing a few putts.

You know, everything is better when you hole some putts, and I did that the first two days.

Q. How did it feel today to come out and set the tempo versus having to follow up yesterday with David Toms shooting a 62, then you having a chance at a 61 but shooting a 62? Did it feel good to set the tempo?
STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, very much so. You know, yesterday was good, though, because I saw that the score was out there and I had something to shoot for, and that's a good feeling sometimes when you know that he's in there at 8-under already, I've got work to do, and you put your head down, and sometimes you can do that. I did that same thing when Paul Goydos shot 59 down at the John Deere one year.

So yeah, that's a good feeling, but it's also good to come out here, be aggressive and play smart at the same time and try to set the tone, and knowing that I'm the guy that they're going to have to try to chase down this afternoon, and that's a good feeling, too.

You can kind of take it either way, and I enjoyed both positions. I enjoyed it yesterday, especially when I was able to tie him, and today it was good to kind of go out there and be the guy to set the mark like David did yesterday.

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