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August 15, 2019

Joel Dahmen

Carmel, Indiana

Q. Joel, big-boy golf course, that's a big-boy round to start things off. 66, nicely played.
JOEL DAHMEN: Thank you. It played a little bit shorter today. They firmed it up since the Tuesday practice round, and they put some of the tees up for us. I didn't have -- I haven't played well for a couple months, but trending the last couple weeks, and man, I hit it so good today. I hope I can keep this up for a couple more days. It was fun out there.

Q. 12 of 14 fairways, 17 of 18 greens. Take a picture of that.
JOEL DAHMEN: Yeah, it was really good. I was actually laughing because I really struggled on the range because I was trying to swing how I was swinging when I'm playing well, and I actually did it really well yesterday practicing, and then this morning on the range was ugly, and I got up there on the first hole and I striped it, and the only one that really bothered me was the reachable par-5, I hit it in the rough, and the green I missed was with a 6-iron and it was only by a couple feet. It's one of those things, you're hitting it so well, everything is at the pin, too, and you're trying not to think about it. It's like you're throwing yourself a no-hitter and you don't think about what you're doing right now because it is so good. I was just happy to make that putt at the last because I feel like I deserve better than I actually scored today, which every golfer can say that every day, but yeah, just really happy how I hit it.

Q. Excellent start, if we can get some comments on your day.
JOEL DAHMEN: I hit it really good today, and it was really fun out there, and I wish I could have got a couple putts to go early. But I played great, hit it really well, and hopefully I can keep doing that.

Q. Are you thinking about East Lake, or do you feel like at this point you're playing with house money?
JOEL DAHMEN: I am so far out of East Lake. Actually my wife asked me that earlier this week. I said, I think it would be way harder if you're in a spot where you have to finish like 30th to get into East Lake. That's really hard because you're not playing great and you still have to grind it out every day to sneak into that number, and then you're kind of looking at the number, where for me to get in position to be at East Lake, I basically try to win the golf tournament, and I'm playing for way more than -- East Lake is obviously a goal, but I'm going to be so into the golf tournament and trying to win a golf tournament that East Lake would be a product of that for me. If I'm trying to finish 30th, yeah, it would be a lot tougher.

Q. If you were 5th you'd be sweating it right now.
JOEL DAHMEN: Absolutely. I wouldn't sleep well, it would be a tougher week, and this week is just try to play well and they give you consolation prizes out here if you don't win, so it's pretty good.

Q. How did you sleep last night?
JOEL DAHMEN: Like a baby. It was great.

Q. Did you do anything fun in Chicago like going downtown or anything?
JOEL DAHMEN: Yeah, so Tuesday was my wife's birthday and she turned 31, and we went to Alinea. It's a super cool dining experience. They do different things with foods and chemistry and they change your sensory, they have smelly things all over the place and the lighting is weird. We got to go down to the kitchen. Just a super cool experience. And I've spent some time in Chicago through the years, been to Wrigley Field and been down Michigan Avenue and all that stuff. We're a little far away from here, so probably will stay away from it until Sunday evening. Sunday evening we're either done with our year and we're going to have a great time or we're going to East Lake and we're going to have a great time.

Q. So you're in a pretty good spot right now?
JOEL DAHMEN: Yeah, I finally want to play golf again. There was a couple of months where I was tired, I wasn't playing well, didn't always want to be at the golf course. I wasn't willing to put in the time, I wasn't willing to -- I was hoping to show up and just play well, and you can't do that. That's really hard to do. So I wasn't willing to go through the process, and I wasn't willing to put in the time pre-tournament to have a good tournament week and get off to a slow start, and then the tournament was kind of over.

Wyndham was the first week I showed up in a long time that I really wanted to be there and I was willing to put in the work to --

Q. What flipped the switch for you?
JOEL DAHMEN: Time off. After the Open Championship, it was such a great experience. My wife and I, we actually cruised around, we went to Dublin, went to Galway on the West Coast, the Cliffs of Moher. Just kind of reset the battery. I had a couple weeks off mid-summer, I took off Detroit and Minneapolis, but I was just at home doing nothing, and then you're like watching your friends on TV and you should probably be practicing, so you're never really truly away from the game until you're away from it, so that was a good reset for me, and geez, I haven't really played well since Wells Fargo, and it was probably time I started playing better golf again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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