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July 11, 2019

Adam Long

Silvis, Illinois

Q. An excellent start. Talking to some of the folks yesterday about this golf course, we know there's always birdies out here, but how the golf course was going to play, it seemed like the greens had a little bounce in them yesterday. How did you find this golf course early this morning to squeeze the birdies out of it?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, no doubt. I've heard that it's typically soft here. This is my first year here, obviously. I was expecting it to be soft, but each day it just keeps getting firmer and firmer, and we haven't seen that yet. Yesterday in the pro-am it got pretty firm, and I was hitting putts four, five feet by pretty easily, and today was about the same. It's place nicely right now.

Q. With the exception of probably one or two holes, every hole out here is a birdie opportunity. What was the early strategy for you as you get to a golf course that you haven't played competitively before?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, I rely a lot on my coach, Josh Gregory, and my caddie, Julian Trudeau. They've both been out here a bunch and on TOUR in general. I rely on them early in the week to kind of set up a good game plan, and I do a good job, too, kind of figuring out what fits my eye. But it's nice to have some experienced eyes helping me out.

Q. I'm curious, when you're six months removed from that breakthrough and now the mindset at this point of the year, you don't want to say you put it into cruise control, but life certainly changes for you. Getting back into the really competitive juices and trying to win again, what's it like to try to get that mindset back to where it was six months ago?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, it's been a learning curve for me for sure all year. It's been one thing after another. Each week is new to me. Trying to find where the locker room is is new to me. Kind of taking it all in stride, and obviously with the wind it's put it a lot at ease, a lot less stress, but it's still golf, it still drives you crazy, and I still have a bit of a perfectionist in me that I don't like to settle for mediocre. But it's been a tough grind, but it's fun now, I'm trying to get on my flight to Ireland here, so I haven't qualified yet, so I'd love to be on there.

Q. Good job establishing a lead.
ADAM LONG: Thanks. It was nice to see some putts falling early and make some birdies and get off to a good start.

Q. What did you take away?
ADAM LONG: Honestly, I've missed the last couple cuts and just been playing okay, and one thing or another hasn't been working for me there, either ball-striking or putting, and today finally everything was starting to trend in the right direction.

Q. When you know how high people are going to be -- or low scoring here, you know you've got to get off to a good start like that, don't you?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, you know you've got to keep the pedal down, as well. Being 2- or 3-under after a few holes is great, but you've got to keep searching for those birdies and keep grinding it out.

Q. What worked?
ADAM LONG: A little bit of everything. Ball-striking wasn't perfect but it was certainly good enough, and honestly my putting, I made a lot of putts today, which has been kind of my down fall the last week or two.

Q. Did you make a special change or anything, or did they just fall in today?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, a little bit. I worked with my coach Josh Gregory the last couple days, and more of the same stuff I always kind of battle with. But just keeping the putter face from turning over too much or having too much face rotation, keeping it a little more steady.

Q. What does this do for you confidence-wise, or has it been there?
ADAM LONG: It's been there for the most part. I haven't gotten too down in the dumps, but it's nice to shoot a low one like that, and hopefully that propels you going forward.

Q. Mindset going forward, because as you mentioned you have to stack good score after good score here.
ADAM LONG: Yeah, 7-under on Sunday won't be in a very good position, so I'm going to have to keep grinding and keep making birdies.

Q. Does this feel like it could be a good tournament for you?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, certainly. It seems like when I get past Friday I can turn it loose a little bit on Saturday and Sunday, and having a little bit of that mentality earlier in the week is probably something I need to have more often, and playing like it's a Saturday and not a Thursday.

Q. Why is confidence so fleeting for golfers?
ADAM LONG: It's the most humbling game in the world. As soon as you hit the best shot you've ever hit, you hit the worst shot you've ever hit. As soon as you make an eagle, you make a double. We've all done it. It keeps you honest. It's just how hard the game is that you can't keep it for that long. You wish you could, but it's just the toughest game.

Q. What will you do between today and when you play tomorrow? You have a lot of time.
ADAM LONG: Yeah, when it's hot like this, a lot of rest. I'm going to go get some food, do a quick little cool-down on the range and some chipping and some putting and keep all those fundamentals in check and then just sit in the AC for a little bit. It'll be afternoon tomorrow before you know it.

Q. You've got a lot of time to think about it, though. Are you sitting around thinking about what happens tomorrow?
ADAM LONG: Yeah, a little bit. I prefer the late-early wave for sure, but it is what it is, and I'll just get some extra sleep tonight, and I'll be fine.

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