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November 7, 2019

Thomas Pieters

Antalya, Turkey

Q. 66. Four birdies, an eagle and no bogeys. How pleased with your day's work?
THOMAS PIETERS: Very pleased. After two weeks off, you kind of, not a bit of rust, but you need to get back into competitive stuff and I started out well and holed a bunker shot on the first for eagle and that kind of got me going.

Q. What about this golf course for your game? Do you feel it suits your style of play?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yes and no. I mean, some of the par 4s are really tight, but then the par 5s, I can really take advantage of them. I guess I did today, but I was hitting some shorter irons into the par 5s, where my playing partners -- Eddie was hitting 3-wood. That's his problem.

Q. The 10th hole, you drove it on the par 4 there and obviously 2-putted for your birdie. Is that the way you see that hole or were you feeling good at the time?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yeah, for a back flag, I think I would go for it. I think it bounced in the sand and it went up, I'm not sure. I think I just kind of got lucky there and in the end, a good two-putt. But that hole, like 15 sometimes, depending on the pin position, you take on.

Q. You made nine cuts in a row. How are you feeling about your game coming in?
THOMAS PIETERS: Pretty decent. Driving hasn't been as good as it could be. Same today. I missed a lot of fairways, but my putting really bailed me out and changed putter and it's worked out well on the mid-range, ten-, 15-footers. I feel like I can, you know, hit the edges and roll a few in, where I wasn't feeling that way before.

Q. Opening 66 and very fast start. How was that?
THOMAS PIETERS: Felt lovely. After two weeks off, it's nice to start like that, holing the bunker shot on the first. I was really striking it well with the irons, maybe not as good after the tee, but kind of my putter bailed me out a couple times for par, as well.

All in all, very pleased.

Q. How hard is it to come back from two weeks off to come into a massive competition like this?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yeah, not -- I'm not going to say it's nerves on the first tee but you're feeling very excited and always a little bit of doubt or rust in the game, but I felt like I practiced really well the last few weeks, so I guess it showed today.

Q. How are you playing the course? What's your strategy? Using your length to your advantage out here?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yeah, on the par 5s, I hit some good drives today and was hitting shorter irons than my playing partners, but on some other holes, I was missing fairways with irons in hand, so that's not good. But you know, all in all very happy like I said.

Q. Bogey-free, as well, to start the week, obviously three days running, but you must be happy where you are?
THOMAS PIETERS: Yeah, game is in good shape. Putting well. Hitting my irons very well. So maybe some work on the driving and we'll be good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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