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July 4, 2019

Lee Slattery

County Clare, Republic of Ireland

Q. Perfect conditions, golf course there for the taking, but you've also got to go out there and produce the goods. How pleased are with you that start?
LEE SLATTERY: Really pleased. Teeing off early this morning, there was no real wind to speak of early on. You could see all the scores were coming from them early groups and then just started to pick up a little towards the end but managed to get a few holes downwind. So it was certainly a good draw.

Q. What do you have to do particularly well around this golf course?
LEE SLATTERY: Drive it pretty straight. Play it off the fairway if you can. I hit a lot of good drives out there today that still missed the fairway, so you've got to accept that you're not going to hit every fairway out there and make the most of it. But I think growing up, playing links golf, being able to land it 20 yards short of the green and run it, it's definitely an advantage. So you know, I felt like I made the most of everything out there today. Putted well. You know, made the most of my round.

Q. How important with the run of tournaments coming up; the challenges and creativity playing links golf, something you're well used to?
LEE SLATTERY: It's important, and this time of year, having Rolex Series Events on courses that I'm used to, it should be an advantage. I've not made the most of these events in the past, but you know, hopefully this year is my year and I can do something.

We're all going for those Open spots. We all want to play The Open in Ireland, so that's in the back of our mind, too. I'm just going to push as hard as I can these next two weeks.

Q. With that goal in mind, it's playing well and letting that take care of itself, not letting that push towards the front of your mind?
LEE SLATTERY: I think it is. I'm in a good position in the sense that I've not played particularly great so far this year and I've also not played as many tournaments as what I would usually.

So I feel fairly fresh. I've not played much golf because I've not played the weekend that much. But I've just been very unfortunate, missing a lot of cuts by a shot. There has to be a time in the season where you turn it around, especially as hard as I work.

So you know, I'm just hoping that I can keep playing well this week, and let's just see what happens and then get on a good run.

Q. Great 65 today. Southport, Birkdale; how comfortable are you on these golf courses?
LEE SLATTERY: I think more comfortable than most. You have to control your ball flight these few weeks, hit low shots, fades, draws. It's a different type of golf. It's something I'm used to. You play out of the rough a little bit out here, and you've got to know how far the ball is going to fly and how far the ball is going to bounce. A lot of guys haven't played that sort of golf, but I've played many a round on courses like this. It's an advantage.

Q. You had great conditions this morning, which you took advantage of. Did you just do what you said; you hit the fairways and just put it in the right spot? What was the strength of your 65?
LEE SLATTERY: No question it was the putting. Holed out really well today. I was very patient early on. I managed to two-putt a lot of the sort of early greens from 40, 50, 60 feet just to keep me in it, and then I had my chances, birdied 6, 7, 8, 9. Hit it close on every single hole.

And 30 going out here is a great nine holes of golf, and you think, the back nine may be a bit tougher but there are chance I knew that in the back of my head and carried on putting well. I didn't play as well on the back nine but kept the putter hot and kept it going.

Q. Like everyone else, for the most part, besides a few Irish guys, no one has played here. How difficult is it to learn a golf course like this? It's a little bit quirky, a lot of blind shots.
LEE SLATTERY: I think you're right. I think guys haven't had that much preparation coming into this week because it's been quite a busy schedule, as well. Yeah, I think coming here and knowing links golf the way I sort of know it, I think like I say, it's a huge advantage playing a blind course because it's still links golf and it's still a different type of golf. I just thoroughly enjoy it. I saw the course this week when I arrived here, absolutely loved it. You've got the two quirky 4 and 5 holes, very old school holes. Some guys are like, what are they? And I just said, these are great little golf holes. So I just took a liking to it straightaway, and I think because of that, probably played well today.

Q. Great round. Solid start. You must be happy with that performance?
LEE SLATTERY: Yeah, very, very happy. 65 on any course is good but in a Rolex event, it's extra special. Very, very happy.

Q. Four birdies in a row on the front nine, tell us about that.
LEE SLATTERY: Yeah, very, very patient. Didn't hit it close at all the first five holes. Didn't really have a chance but managed to walk off those holes with pars. Then holed a 10-footer on the six and a 5-footer on the next, 5-footer on the next and kept hitting it close. Had a nice little run there. Unfortunately bogeyed 10 and that was the only blemish. It was a poor drive, nothing else, but the rest of the round was pretty solid.

Q. Obviously yourself, you're quite used to links golf, but Lahinch is still quite a unique course. How is it playing out there and how have you enjoyed it?
LEE SLATTERY: Yeah, I think there's a couple of quirky holes on it that are a little bit indifferent but I enjoy it. It makes it more fun because it's not something that's normal for us. But the rest of the course is very, very fair. It's in front of you. If you drive the ball well and hit fairways, you will have good chances. I think it's a fabulous golf course, I really enjoyed it.

Q. Finally, you seem to have a lot of crowd support out there. It's quite good atmosphere. Describe that?
LEE SLATTERY: I think it was more because Slattery is such a big name here. There's a Slattery Pub down the road. I think the president of the club is called Blood Slattery. There's a lot of Slatterys around here, I think that's how they say it, Slattery. I think because of that I get a bit of support.

Maybe they think I'm Irish. But I played with two Spaniards today and it did look like three Spaniards. They are probably a little confused out there, I'm sure, but a lot of support probably because of the name.

Q. You are wearing the colours.
LEE SLATTERY: I brought a lot of green with me this week, as well. So I wore some on Tuesday. The crowds loved it, and I've still got one outfit left with a little bit of green in, so I'll try and save that till Sunday and get more support hopefully.

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