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June 20, 2020

Joel Dahmen

Hilton Head, South Carolina

THE MODERATOR: With Joel Dahmen. Congratulations, 8-under 63 round 3 of the RBC Heritage. Outside you commented on today arguably being your best day with your irons. If you could just take us a little bit through your round and how your irons played into that.

JOEL DAHMEN: Yeah, I've been hitting them ready good for a couple of weeks. Just had a quick tune-up the day before with my Coach Robert Rashell. Hadn't actually worked with him at all through quarantine. It was just kind of I wasn't willing to practice. I got a quick tune-up, and he was like, man, you look really good, go play. Hit them great last week and just kind of carried over into this week.

It started on -- I didn't hit a good shot on 1, but 2, 4 iron at 12 feet from 210, or 218 I think is what it was, and I was like, okay, I have it today. Hit a lot of good shots from there on in. Hit one close on 6, and 8 stuffed one in there. 11 was another kick in. 12 was tap in. 14 is a really tough par 3. To get it hole high there was really good. Then really close 16, 17, 18. I made the putt on 16 and missed the two on 17, 18, but those were inside of ten feet. So just really all the numbers were perfect today, and it just worked out.

Q. Why did you go see Rob again? You're playing a fair amount of golf at home. I think you shot a 59, if I'm not mistaken.
JOEL DAHMEN: 58. Don't get it wrong. It was 58. 59s are easy. Those are for everybody.

Q. I'll check with Furyk next time. If you were playing reasonably well, what possessed you to go see him?
JOEL DAHMEN: Well, A, I work with him closely, not so much like always hitting balls, but he's been a mentor to me. He's played out here on TOUR in early 2000. He's played in U.S. Opens. He's like, yeah, all right, set up correctly and swing a little this way and do that, but I hadn't seen him in three months.

So most of the time, I play with my buddies, we probably had a couple beers. So who knows what my swing is actually like? We're just hitting it around the golf course. So to actually like come out and play on a TOUR golf course and have to hit TOUR golf shots, it's different than being out with your buddies. I just wanted to make sure my alignment was good, setup was good, and that I understood that my swing is okay.

A lot of times, he goes, Joel, you're playing great. Get out of here. Go play. So his reassurance that I'm hitting it well, I'm doing fine, go play was all I needed.

Q. Secondly, this is the second week in a row -- and I realize the scoring conditions have been good, but it's just beyond packed at the top of the leaderboard. Is there any explanation for that, do you think?
JOEL DAHMEN: If you're going to give TOUR pros soft greens on not super long golf courses and pretty good greens, you have the best players in the world. I mean, these fields are unbelievable. These fairways are even soft, so the balls aren't bouncing into the rough. And there's no rough out there. So even if you are there, you can still curve it around the trees. You have soft fairways, soft greens, short golf course, it doesn't matter what's going to happen. The best players are going to shoot a lot under par.

Q. I'm sure you knew of what happened with Nick Watney and the fact that Vaughn was paired with him yesterday. What was your comfort level, not just playing with Vaughn, but overall what the TOUR is planning right now?
JOEL DAHMEN: I believe what the TOUR is doing, they've done a great job. They didn't do this overnight. This wasn't on a whim. This was well thought out. We're tested multiple times a week. I think we've done a good job for the most part of trying to social distance. I mean, it's hard at times.

I think I was almost more secure playing with Vaughn because he was tested after playing yesterday. So he had a test more recent than I have. He should be the most comfortable guy out here compared to me, where I haven't been tested since Monday. Now, I'm going to get a test here in a couple minutes. But I felt very secure.

I don't think you'll see fist bumps on 18 anymore. And a couple things you'll probably -- you'll see a little more spacing, but I think because everybody -- it sounds like everybody in that circle, they traced it back as well as they could. Everyone was tested, and they all came back negative. Vaughn has got to be one of the safest guys out here. So I felt very comfortable out there today. No qualms about it.

Q. Since you were part of the experiment yesterday, what are your thoughts on being miked during a round?
JOEL DAHMEN: Pulled the plug on that actually. We ended up not being miked up. After chatting with the guys in my group, we all had Thursday to talk about it, and just totally didn't feel comfortable. I mean, some of the things they said post-shot that came out naturally would not come across very well on air. You've got Brooks last week gets picked up right away. You've got Harold on 18, Rory on 9 yesterday. There's plenty of mikes out there.

I do think it would be a great experience for the fans, but Brooks said there are -- I think there's a mike on every green and every tee box. Like if you really want to listen in, you could probably have those things, and there's boom mikes on the fairway, especially with a lot of featured groups. So it would add to it.

But I think what they need to do is there needs to be a little delay, a 30-second delay, a one minute delay, where they could make sure that, if we say something that is not camera appropriate, which happens, that it is not on there, that it is -- there's plenty of conversations that are great out there between player-caddie that are phenomenal, that the viewers would enjoy, but there's other things we prefer it stayed amongst our buddies or amongst our group.

So if they could figure out a 30 second delay or a minute delay and you were promised they would -- not make you look good, because you are who you are, but if they could delay it a hair to make sure the little things didn't come out, I think a lot more guys would be interested in doing it.

Q. As far as the whole protocols are concerned, would it be better, or is it even feasible to think that everybody could be put in the same place? Would that help? And also, how much are they sort of stressing to you guys to take the personal responsibility out here?
JOEL DAHMEN: Well, we're independent contractors. It's all on us to take care of ourselves. Part of the deal is, if we're going to come out here, we're doing it as a group. There's 300, 400 people getting tested a week. If we want to play golf, that means we've got to take care of ourselves. That means not going to restaurants, not going to beaches, whatever it is. We have to follow this, and I think it's understood amongst all of us. I think that's just kind of -- it's a calculated risk out here.

Everyone, if you're going to get on a plane, we're all tested, but to get to Colonial, most of us flew commercial. So it's a calculated risk that I think most of us are willing to take. Once you get on site, you get tested, we're going to get tested again here Saturday.

So I feel comfortable with everything. I think most people do. Otherwise, they wouldn't be out here. I know Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, some of those guys aren't playing, and that's totally up to them, and that's fine. It's a calculated risk. I think for most young healthy people, it's been proven that you probably won't die from it, but that's a risk that we're all willing to take.

I think the TOUR's done a great job. Otherwise, I don't think we'd be out here, and I think you'd probably see multiple cases, and hopefully Nick's doing well and his family's okay and he recovers quickly. But I think he'll be -- hopefully, he's the only one.

Q. Can you give us an idea of what you've done for dinner this week and last?
JOEL DAHMEN: So we got here Monday. My wife cooked -- my wife came in for four days. She cooked us. We rented a house with my caddie and my PT. So we cooked on Monday. We had takeout the other three or four nights we've had. We had pizza last night at a place called Truffles is popular. We've had there.

When my wife is here, I had her go get it, didn't even leave the house. Would have her -- and then the pizza was just dropped off at the front door. So we've been trying to be very careful here. Especially Hilton Head Island, it is packed here.

Q. That's what I was going to ask you. Have you been out and gotten a glimpse -- even if you were driving to pick something up? Have you gotten a glimpse?
JOEL DAHMEN: It is packed out here. We normally play in April when the weather is a little cooler and it isn't as busy. We were all a little surprised. Even if you wanted to go somewhere, there's no place to go. There's a place outside where we pick up seafood on the beach, so we grabbed that. But it was just the amount of bikes -- like we tried to rent bikes this week, and they were sold out. That shows how busy it is running around here.

We've walked around our neighborhood a couple times in the evening, but nothing -- like last week, I'd go out and do more pickup there last week because it just wasn't as busy, but this week is wild out there.

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