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June 28, 2019

Bob Estes

Notre Dame, Indiana

Q. Two good rounds at the Senior Open.
BOB ESTES: Pretty good, yep. Especially under the circumstances, just my second tournament back, and like we talked about yesterday, limited practice to save my elbow.

So I played pretty good again today. I made some good saves. I probably missed a few more greens today but made a few good up-and-downs, just like on the last hole to save par. Had to make some up-and-downs to kind of keep that round together, or it would have been 67, 68.

Q. You came firing right out of the gate today, though.
BOB ESTES: Yeah, I got off to a good start. I got off to a real good start. Hit it pretty close on 1, and yep, sand wedge close on 2 and then -- that seems like a long time ago, so I'm trying to remember that.

No, we played pretty quick. Once we made the turn, we had two groups on the tee on 10, so we had a nice break there at the turn. So I think a lot of guys had trouble off the tee on 10. You could definitely get in some trouble off the tee and your second shot if you go left, long and left. So I think that's what backed it up on 10 ahead of us. So we had to take a little break and get momentum going again.

Q. Did you get a hot dog and a beer?
BOB ESTES: No, we just tried to find a little bit of shade and stay cool because it was pretty hot and humid out there. It was no big deal. We played the front nine in two hours, so it wasn't like it was a long round, it just took a little longer because of the wait at 10 and a little bit more waiting on the last nine.

Q. When you see 14-under up there, do you shake your head a little bit even though you know you can shoot pretty well yourself?
BOB ESTES: Not with Steve Stricker, knowing how well he putts, and the way this golf course is. Yeah, if you're hitting off fairways and greens, you're going to have a lot of good opportunities. The green speeds are real comfortable. They're not slow, not fast, so they're a good speed where you can make putts and be a little bit aggressive.

Q. Do you try and be aggressive and have a mindset of I've got to keep making birdies? Because that's what it looks like it's going to take.
BOB ESTES: Well, yeah, yeah. I'm sure the course is going to play fairly similar, at least tomorrow. Maybe in two days, if there's no rain, it might play quite a bit firmer. But yeah, it's a course where if you're -- like Tommy said, if you drive it in the fairway and hitting lots of greens, you're going to have a lot of good looks at it because the greens aren't that big. So you're going to have a lot of putts, and they're not that hard to read. You can see the slopes.

At times you might get fooled because it's a new golf course for us, but usually you can tell what the putt is going to do.

Q. When you say aggressive, aggressive is mostly second shots, right, approach shots?
BOB ESTES: For the most part, yeah. You can obviously get a little more aggressive off the tee, but it's not that long of a course to begin with. So it's more about second shots and maybe taking a few more chances if you feel like you have to. As you get closer to the end of the tournament, then you might shoot at a few more pins.

I guess a good situation was No. 10 with the pin kind of in the back left and a little bit of a right-to-left wind. A good, safe play is right down the middle of the green. I was trying to turn it over just a little bit, maybe get it over there by the hole, but the ball just flew straight, held its line. So I had about a 20, 22-footer from pin high. So that's one of those where if you feel like you can get a little more aggressive, you do it and maybe hit it in there six or eight feet and give yourself a shorter putt.

But we're not to that point yet. Maybe late round tomorrow or Sunday. So right now you just keep playing golf and see what happens. But you'll have -- let's see what Steve does, what David does. And who else is up there? Well, Jerry is at 12, right? Yeah, so it just depends on where we all stand after tomorrow.

Q. And then because this is only your second event back, do you have another gear that if you had to do that, you could?
BOB ESTES: Well, yeah. I mean, it's not so much about another gear on this golf course. It's just about, like we just talked about, just maybe aiming a little closer at the flag as opposed to more down the center of the green a lot, because on this golf course, if you are in the center of the green, as long as you're not way long or way short, you're going to have a probably 15-, 20- footer, so you've got a pretty good look at it.

But for some guys it could be putting more aggressively. The greens, like I said, are not real fast, so I came up short a few times on putts that I maybe could have made or looked like they were maybe going to go in but came up just short.

It could just be, yeah, a little more aggressive with the approach shots and a little more aggressive with the putts because the tee shots for the most part we kind of play to where you're supposed to play to, and not many guys -- you're probably going to get burned by trying to go beyond what you know you should off the tee on a lot of these holes.

It's more -- yeah, more about the approach shots and the putts.

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