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June 18, 2020

Matthew NeSmith

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Q. Matt, how would you assess your first round today, nice 5-under 66?
MATTHEW NeSMITH: Yeah, it was good. Got off to a little bit of a slow start. Missed a probably four or five footer on 13, and that kind of got my round kickstarted. Birdied the next three in a row and played solid golf all day.

Just did everything you need to do around here -- greens, fairways, give yourself some looks, and putted pretty well.

Q. In that stretch where you made all those birdies, did something kind of click? As you said, kind of slow start.
MATTHEW NeSMITH: No, actually, I was hitting it really good. I hadn't got the distance right yet. I was a little long, little short. Couldn't quite figure out where everything was. It was a little early in the morning, and stuff changes throughout the week. So kind of just started to figure out the distances and started to get a feel for the round a little bit and where everything was and just made a few putts and kind of started getting on a hot streak.

Q. I read over the break that you spent a lot of time with Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner over in Aiken, South Carolina, where you guys live. How much from playing with them and working out with them and kind of seeing how they do things has maybe helped you kind of during that break to keep those competitive juices going?
MATTHEW NeSMITH: Yeah, it just kept everyone accountable. I've known them for a really long time, but none of us have ever had that long of a stretch at home all at the same time. So just being able to kind of push each other, play a lot together, keep everybody accountable, and kind of learn from two guys who have done it for a really long time and extremely successful.

So it's been nice to learn from them, and then having the pairing today with Brownie has been really nice to be just kind of real comfortable. I played a lot of golf with him almost every day for the last three months. So it's been pretty good.

Q. Is there one thing you maybe took from them over that period of time that you kind of said, well, that's something I need to start doing a little bit more?
MATTHEW NeSMITH: It's more so seeing guys that have been out here ten-plus years and multiple time winners and being able to see where their games are compared to mine and what I need to get better at, and then kind of helping me get better.

I've been struggling with my chipping for a little while. I know Kis has gone through that and so has Brownie. Both of them have been nice enough to help me out and trying to figure out exactly how to get around playing, especially with all this rain out here and especially last week.

It's been more so guys have been able to help me out, and I've been able to kind of measure my game up against them.

Q. So you've won Junior Heritage, won the Players Am. Would you think winning this would be a pretty good little trifecta here? Have you thought about doing that?
MATTHEW NeSMITH: Yeah, it would be great. It's later on in the week, and there's a lot of golf to be played. This course fits my game nicely, especially if I play well. I've been around here a couple of times. So I'm pretty excited about it.

Q. How did the course play differently today in June than in April? What's the biggest difference?
MATTHEW NeSMITH: This is actually the first time I ever played in it. I didn't take the exemption for the Players Am. I actually played that CC Championship. This is all I know. I played it late in November, so it was cold and windy. It's just warm. It's a little bit soft. It's playing a little bit long. It's in great shape, and the golf course is perfect.

Q. If you could just recount your marriage proposal story here, if you could quickly recap how that went.
MATTHEW NeSMITH: Yeah, my wife and I -- girlfriend at the time, we came down. I stayed with family in Bluffton. We used to come down maybe two or three times a year and stay with them for a couple days and decided that this kind of was going to be the right time. Just me and her played golf. She doesn't play. She just rode in the cart and watched me play. I started to have a little bit of a panic attack around 14 because I didn't think we were going to finish in time because there was tons of people on the golf course.

I didn't know if we were going to finish. It actually ended up working out perfectly. It was a little bit cloudy. Once I got on the green, I kind of don't remember a whole lot until we were eating dinner. It was a little nerve-racking, to say the least.

Q. And as far as the postponement, you're here now. Just comment on your routine, how you just kind of -- with the delay, how you kind of managed to keep yourself focused.
MATTHEW NeSMITH: Yeah, that's where Scott and Kevin have really come in handy keeping me accountable and playing a lot and being able to be competitive with guys who know a lot of the golf courses and who have been out here for a long time and who are really good and play a lot of golf. I mean, it was just really nice to have two other guys that you were just kind of all chasing the same goal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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