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January 10, 2020

Brendan Steele

Honolulu, Hawaii

Q. Brendan, I know you were probably a little bit frustrated at the finish on Thursday when you played the last two holes and 1-over par; certainly made sure of a good finish today. Birdies on five of the last six holes.
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, it was a wild finish. I made one bad swing and made a double in between there. I was really happy with how I bounced back to make those good swings and good putts on the last few holes.

Q. Double at 6, the only blemish on your inward nine; the eagle at 18 really helped kickoff that inward nine, didn't it?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, definitely. I was hitting some good shots and it was playing pretty tough on that side. The pins are kind of against the wind if you will. Like the pins that are on the right the wind is coming from the right, so their tough to get them close on that nine. The eagle on 18 got me going for the other side.

Q. This changes throughout the course of the day, but right now you lead the tournament in strokes gained putting. You had 125 feet of putts in the second round.
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I've been working really hard on it for a number of months and I haven't seen the results that I would've liked, but I putted pretty well in the fall and worked hard in the short break that we had, and I've been really happy with the results so far this week.

Q. So are you saying like it's still windy but maybe not as gusty as yesterday?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, there were definitely times when it laid down a little bit today. The gusts yesterday I think got up to around 40. We haven't quite seen that today, maybe only a couple times. Then it would lay down to like 20, 18, 20, which sounds like a lot. Normally that would be about as much as we see, but out here this week that makes it a little more playable.

Q. Is it typical for you to do well in the winds?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, I think so. I won at Valero; it was very windy, 2011; the final round of Safeway in 2017 it was blowing probably 30 to 40. Had big fire start up there that day. I mean, like crazy.

So I would say yes. But if you're not striking it solid, it doesn't matter how good a wind player you are. So certain weeks, no.

Q. But that success obviously gives you the confidence playing here and next week, too.
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, definitely. I feel more comfortable I would say in the wind than most. In general I strike it pretty solid and I'm feeling pretty good with my swing this week.

So then the ball, you have a little more sense of what you can do and where the ball should kind of move.

Q. Five of his last six holes, all birdies. Another birdie and eagle on the scorecard. What was the difference today compared to yesterday?
BRENDAN STEELE: Probably playing just a little bit easier today. Wind not blowing quite as hard. Still blowing pretty hard, but just a little bit down on some of the gusts, and then I was able to hole a lot of putts. I hit a couple more fairways today, too, which always helps.

Q. How much did you work on your game prior to the Sony Open, and did you see these nice numbers from your work?
BRENDAN STEELE: Yeah, you know, I worked pretty hard the last couple weeks of December and was feeling pretty good after the fall even though the results weren't fantastic.

I was very happy with my game and was hoping it would translate this week, but obviously you never know.

Q. You're at least going to be on the first page of that leaderboard heading into the weekend. Does anything shift for you mentally now as you've out yourself into contention?
BRENDAN STEELE: The main thing for me is just to know that what I'm doing is working, and I can be very confident in that. Just go out and keep doing what I'm doing and see what happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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