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January 16, 2020

Mark Mulder

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Q. Here with Mark Mulder after round one. Take us through your round, birdies, bogeys.
MARK MULDER: I got off to a good start. I birdied 1. Then I bogeyed 4. I bogeyed 8, 9. There I am through nine holes -- I birdied 7 as well. There I am 1 over after nine holes. I thought I'm feeling great. My swing feels good. I just hit two really bad tee shots that did me in on my two bogeys. Then you get to the back nine, and I get to 10 and hit that green in two and make birdie. Hit the next two. There's two more par 5s on that side. I hit all those in two and make birdie. I birdied 7 of the last 9. Got on a heater and ended up shooting 30 on the back nine. That's what propelled me.

But I really didn't hit it any different on the front than I did on the back. I just hit it closer, and I made a few putts. I felt really good over the golf ball today. Hopefully that carries on for the next few days.

Q. Seven birdies on nine holes on the back nine. Is that a career best?
MARK MULDER: I shot a 7 under on the back nine actually one time before in my life, which was for a 29. But that was 2009. That was ten years ago. 65 is my second -- I shot 65. That's my second best. I've shot 64 a few times. Dude, I'm thrilled with today because in past years, numerous times I've gotten off to slow starts, and I have this -- I had it in my head I was not going to let myself get off to a slow start again. There I was through nine holes off to a slow start again. Then I got things rolling. So it was nice to do what I know I'm capable of doing.

Q. You're right up there again with Gagne, with Mardy Fish, Chad Pfeifer is in the hunt, Deron Williams is in the hunt too. You've got a lot of guys at the top of the board. What are you thinking going into tomorrow? Are you looking at, hey, they'd better keep up with me?
MARK MULDER: Sure. I mean, that's the mindset, but I just want to keep putting pressure on them. I want to continue to make them make birdies. With this format where there's no minus points, it kind of turns into a stroke play event to where -- but you can't make an 8. So you're only going to lose at worst two, maybe three points off somebody. Eagles are big. But if you're making pars and birdies, that guy's got to make a whole lot of birdies to catch you, or to catch the person who's ahead.

So it feels really good to get off to a nice start, but the reality is we have three more days, and somebody who maybe had 33 points today might put up 40 tomorrow. So I had 42 today. I don't want to be complacent and let myself fall back into a 33 tomorrow. I need to keep that same mindset that I had today.

Q. With the difference between par and birdie only being one point, that's going to keep a lot of guys in it. The grinders are going to still be at the end. Are you thinking, hey, you've got the better chance of making more birdies than anybody, you and Mardy?
MARK MULDER: Well, sure, that's how I'd like to look at it. It doesn't always work out that way, but being a four-round tournament, I'd like to sit there and go, okay, over four rounds, the majority of these guys, I'm going to make a lot more birdies than them. That's not always how it works out. You've got to hit it close. You've got to make some putts.

I hit a few balls really tight for tap-ins, but I also made a couple eight, ten footers that weren't very easy putts. I had one on 15 that, if it would have missed the hole, I would have had five feet coming back to the hole, but it happened to go in. So it's those types of things that you want going your way, but you just don't want to make any big mistakes to where you start throwing in a couple doubles for zero points, and all of a sudden you start allowing those people to catch you.

Q. How were the crowds out there today? Was it a pretty good audience?
MARK MULDER: For a Thursday, yeah, it was incredible. This tournament every single year gets better and better. The LPGA, these girls have a lot of fans, and it's nice to see. I've said this before, this tournament every single year, there are more and more fans out there every year, and I'm anxious for the weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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