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July 14, 2019

Russell Henley

Silvis, Illinois

Q. A career-low day for you. That was a lot of fun out there. I imagine it was more fun to play it?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, it was fun. Just been practicing hard and just to see some results is pretty fun.

Q. The putter has been a big problem this year, and today 140 feet worth of putts and a birdie bonus at 15 and nearly struck gold at 16. What did you find with the flat stick this week?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I've always had a belief that I can putt. I just think I've been a little bit lost with my process this year, knowing what I'm supposed to be doing or thinking about. I've just been putting in a lot of work with drills and stuff, and the more I practice, the less I think about it for some reason. So maybe I'll keep that up.

Q. The mind-set on the back nine, when you roll in the long one at 15, understanding where you were in this golf tournament, the birdie at 18, huge. But how did it impact your decision to lay up at 17?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I mean, that hole, 16, back left pin with the wind off the left, I was in-between clubs. So I didn't want to take a chance, really with, hitting something soft like that on that particular pin. Didn't really give myself the best look from long range. But you know, I didn't have a great lie on 17. I've been hitting my wedges well this week. I gave myself a great look and pushed it a little bit, but you know, the main thing is I'm just happy about my first two shots on 18. That was great.

Q. And how many FedExCup points this comes with?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, hopefully stay on top.

Q. Round of the tournament and looked like the birdie at 9 jump started you coming home?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, just hitting that green in two. Again, 9 and 18, two really tough par 4s. I hit that putt right in the middle of the hole and just kept giving myself decent opportunities. The greens were so great and I was seeing the lines well today. Rolled a few extra in.

Q. After yesterday, how did you approach today? Any differently? More aggressive than normal?
RUSSELL HENLEY: No, I wasn't. Same plan as the rest of the week. But just went and practiced like I've done every round, after every round, last night, and just kept fighting. Yesterday was not fun, at all. It was a struggle. I think I made two doubles. So just kind of all over the place mentally and physically, is what it felt like. Went and put some work in last night, and came out today feeling a little bit sharper and kind of kept the round going.

Q. On Friday you talked about keeping your head down this weekend and grinding and grinding forward. Did you stay with that plan all week?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I did. Every time I was over it, just tried to tell myself to fight. I think everybody's so good out here, and they are just to hard to compete, you have to keep making birdies and keep making birdies. When you make bogeys or doubles like I have this week, you just have to keep fighting. If you get down on yourself like I've done a lot in my career, it never ends in a good result. I think that's a big key out here is just to persevere.

Q. What's your big takeaway from this week?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Just to know that I wasn't as far off as I felt this year, and hard work will pay off eventually. I wasn't expecting to finish with a 61 today, but I've been working hard on my game, and the harder I work at it, the better I feel.

Q. You said you felt pretty lost out there. Is this more what you were looking for?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, just a little more clarity with my game. Not questioning what I'm doing with my ball-striking or my putting. I feel a little more comfortable this week than I have the past couple weeks.

Q. You've always been a good putter. What's been the difference this year?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I just haven't felt comfortable. Maybe I haven't worked at it as hard. Maybe I just was stuck with a little bit of fear on the greens and missing. Probably a lot of things. Just not really confident and believing in what I was doing. Just a weird game. You see a lot of guys go through ups and downs, and it will beat you up. Just try to keep working at it and keep believing.

Q. What felt different today?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I've been practicing a lot and I just felt like my mind was a little bit quieter.

Q. How rewarding was it to get to where you are now after you've been talking all week about the struggles you've gone through and the lack of confidence?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I've never finished with a 10-under 61, so that was awesome for me. You know, if you would have told me at the start of the day, we'll give you 66, I'd have said, that's pretty good. So to get five better than that is really awesome. It feels great to just keep working hard and keep fighting and not get down on myself.

Q. Is this a special place for you, a week like this?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I haven't played here a lot, but it's a cool course. It's fun. There's a lot of cool shots you hit. It's beautiful, and it's run really well. I enjoy being here. It's a nice place and you get rewarded for hitting good shots.

Q. With where you are at right now, how tough was it not to be able to convert that birdie on 17?
RUSSELL HENLEY: Yeah, I pushed that putt a little bit. It's hard to make every one. I made a lot today and that was a pretty basic putt, but sometimes those are the hardest in golf. I thought I made a good decision laying up. I thought I gave myself a pretty good putt at it. But you know, can't, make them all.

Q. Were you trying for the 59?
RUSSELL HENLEY: I really wasn't, because if I finished birdie, birdie, that would have been 60. I knew I had to make a three, and I thought that if I went for the green on 17, the ball might go over, and I just didn't want to have to stress about that. I just wanted to put a club in my hand that I could attack the whole way.

Q. Did the British Open play in your head at all?
RUSSELL HENLEY: A little bit, but I keep thinking that I'm pretty far off, just because I know the guys who are playing well will probably make a few more birdies coming in. 17 is reachable and downwind. It will be cool to come close or get in a playoff or something, but I don't know, my hopes aren't really up too much about that.

Q. You originally started with a fairway metal on 17. What went into that decision?
RUSSELL HENLEY: The ball was sitting down. I didn't know how it would come out with a hybrid. There's some grass in front of the ball, so if it came out -- I might dive in one of those bunkers that are not good to be in, about 80 and 40 out. I've been hitting my wedges well and I just wanted to give myself a look at birdie. I figured if I made one more, that would at least put a little pressure on somebody, but if I hit some dumb shot and make a six, you know, that takes away one shot that's important.

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