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July 5, 2019

Eddie Pepperell

County Clare, Republic of Ireland

Q. How pleased are you getting in, posting that number and the position you're in on that board?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Good. As soon as spoke to Tim, I made bogey, I think, soon after. So I look forward to that this weekend. But I'm very happy with that. It's a good score, I would say, in the conditions I think we've played in.

You know, so yeah, today I've moved forward, which is always nice.

Q. How tough was it with that weather, typical links conditions but it was pretty brutal, wasn't it?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: It was horrible. Surprised me. I think it surprised all of us. I looked out the window when I woke up and it looked okay, and then the first probably six, seven holes were really quite tough and drizzly and it was hard to get a flight on the ball, and it was tough. But it's cleared up now. It's lovely now.

We saw Lahinch probably a bit more the way we should see it today. It would be -- I say nice, it would be kind of nice to have one day here at 20-mile-an-hour winds just to see the score, and it would be entertaining.

Q. How much do you want to keep that short game as sharp as it was over the weekend today?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Well, I think I probably need to. It's not necessarily a case of -- I'm not hitting the ball perfectly, but my short game has been feeling good, and yeah, you know, I guess -- we'll just see how the weekend goes. Have to concentrate.

Q. Obviously we know that you've had the injury, you haven't been playing a lot of late. What's to be said for coming back and feeling fresh physically and more importantly mentally?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Physically I'd say I'm fresh. I'm not sure how fresh I've been mentally. I've had -- as we were just saying, a new puppy arrived and other things going on, so I've had more stress in the last six weeks, believe it or not, than I've ever had. Maybe that's kept me somewhat, I don't know, focused in a way. But no, my body certainly feels a lot better, which is nice. It's nice not to be out there worrying about my back, I guess. So touch wood, it's okay.

Q. And your dog Pip, Pip is the name, like having a second child, is it?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Probably better.

Q. Well played today, 8-under and the solo lead. How would you reflect on your round?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Decent, I suppose. I think I made two bogeys, which wasn't a disaster out there because it was quite tough. So we had the first six, seven holes in pretty horrible conditions actually. It was drizzly and windy and cold, so it was quite a change from yesterday.

I took a little bit of adapting, too, I suppose, but I feel like I did a fairly good job of that, and I'll take 3-under. It's in a good spot.

Q. Would you say you saw the course at its toughest today, or do you anticipate it could be a little worse?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: I don't think I could ever say I've seen this course at its toughest because I'm not a local. But I think it could get extremely tough out there if you had some 20 mile-an-hour winds going on in a similar direction. I kind of would like to see it play that way. Doesn't look like we're going to get it, but it's a pleasure to play. It's a lot of fun.

Q. Do you find yourself comfortable playing links golf?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I do, for whatever reason. I do, as I said on the course, it's a good -- I think it's just good for me actually to be out there hitting as many drivers as this course I would say forces you to hit. It's not something -- even when I think back to Hillside, I might have hit two drivers a round at Hillside, maybe three. I didn't hit many. It's nice to play a links course where you have to hit so many drivers, yeah.

Q. What would you say the game plan is for the weekend, just more of the game?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I feel pretty calm and comfortable, and I hope that my ball striking improves just a little bit. I think I'll focus on that a bit this afternoon and tomorrow morning. But yeah, you know, I'm comfortable in this position, so I'm expecting myself just to keep pushing forward and see where I am come Sunday evening.

Q. Two excellent rounds here so far. Just tell us about today.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Today was pretty good. It was tougher today with the conditions we had early on. To be 4-under through 12 the way I was, it was quite a good round, obviously. A had a slip a little bit at the end, but 3-under is good. I think anything -- well, anything in the 60s at Lahinch is never a bad thing I can't imagine. But yeah, I'm in a good position.

Q. And in the lead-up to the tournament we heard a lot good the quirky nature of the course and a lot about the blind shots. How did you find that?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Well, I think the good thing about playing blind is you're less disappointed. But I don't mind the 5th. I think the 4th has the potential just to be a spectacular hole with the hill in the middle that stops it. But it doesn't affect the feeling of the course for me. I think those two holes there are definitely quirky to say the least, but the rest makes up for it. Actually I think 6 through to 12 are spectacular, and then the beginning and the end plays pretty well. It's a proper course. It's good to play.

Q. No matter what happens, nice to look forward to a late tee-off time tomorrow, which means you're very much in contention?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I've actually been woken up the last couple nights at 3:00 a.m. by the locals, so I'm going to go buy myself some earplugs and try and get some more sleep. Noisy, they're noisy around here. I get the feeling they like to drink a lot.

Q. A bunch of time off due to an injury you've been dealing with from last year. Didn't get to practise much while you had all that time off. How surprised are you the way you've come out the first two rounds with the lead?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Yeah, I am pretty surprised. I guess what's more surprising is I don't feel like I've played great, but I've been kind of steady. And my short game and putting has been very good, I suppose, which I wasn't expecting. Yeah, you know, I really had no idea where I was standing at, so to have this performance through two rounds is certainly a nice surprise.

Q. Do you have time to practise with the injury you have right now? Do you kind of take it easy this afternoon? How do you prepare for the weekend?
EDDIE PEPPERELL: Well, fortunately I'm not a big practiser anyway. I can't remember the last time I hit balls after a round, so today won't be any different. I'm managing -- I still see the physio today and exercises, but it's a lot better, and I could do more, I think, for sure. But I'm not one to -- the more balls I hit, the worse I get. I the opposite of Ben Hogan, I think, unfortunately.

Q. Short game has been very sharp. With your time off, you could obviously hit some practice balls and that played a little bit leading up. Being sharp with the short game after a long break is a bit of a surprise.
EDDIE PEPPERELL: It is, considering I haven't practised it once. I never practise my short game. But I'm a big believer that short game is a lot about technique, and when the technique is good, the feel can just come in. So I always focus on technique. And I think -- while I don't want to say -- I've always found it correlates quite nicely with my iron play, as well. If your iron play tends to be good, your short game tends to be good. I'm not sure my iron play is quite where I want it, but my short game obviously is pretty good, and my feel feels -- I've got some good touch clearly around the greens, whether it's long putting or a couple little chips up and over the hills, and I've hit nice shots around the greens. Actually I've done that for a while, to be honest. My short game has been pretty good this year, thankfully. But it's a nice way to carry on.

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