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June 20, 2020

Joel Dahmen

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Q. Joel, just assess your round out there real quick for us.
JOEL DAHMEN: I hit it unbelievable today. It might have been my best iron play, arguably, ever. I haven't drove it great the first couple days, for me anyways -- I drove it a little bit better today, but the iron play was off the charts.

I was talking to my caddie, I don't know if I made a putt over 12 feet today. I made a 12-footer for eagle on 2 and 12-ish footer on 16. I missed -- I mean, golfers always talk about what we missed. I three-putted 5 for par, didn't get up and down on 9 for birdie, and I missed two coming in. But you can't complain about 8-under 63.

Q. Did you see this kind of ball striking day with your irons coming?
JOEL DAHMEN: Yeah, I hit it great last week as well. I didn't get it in play enough for the irons to shine, but I've been hitting it pretty good these last couple weeks. Just kind of needed to give myself chances, and today -- like even yesterday I striped it, but I didn't have the proper yardages. I was just a hair off, so it was 15, 20 feet. Today I hit it a ton inside of six feet, it felt like.

So, yeah, I've been hitting it really good. It was just putting it all together. I made a couple bad bogeys -- I made a double on the first round early. So it was just kind of getting out of my own way and not making too many mistakes.

Q. I know you played a good amount of golf over the break and a little bit competitively. Do you think that's helped guide you into these first two weeks, where you've been playing well?
JOEL DAHMEN: I have so much fun at home when I play golf with my buddies, that it is not comparable to the TOUR. It is one thing to keep swinging and being around, but it's a lot different out here when it's not -- we play for $20, $50 at home, not much money.

Putting out here is a lot different, not as free for sure. I'm trying to get in the mindset of kind of back home with the boys putting and just kind of free wheeling. For me, it's a whole different world out here being in a competitive mindset.

Getting ready for a round is completely -- at home, I show up and hit three balls with a 6 iron and go to the tee. Here, the full process of warming up and kind of going through the whole thing, it's kind of been a big adjustment for me.

Q. Obviously, you had a great chance last year at Quail Hollow at the Wells Fargo. Do you take anything from that week maybe being one of your best chances of winning? You've had a few other really good chances as well. Is there something you take from past experiences to help you tomorrow?
JOEL DAHMEN: Absolutely. I felt really comfortable on the back nine today. I started sniffing at the lead a little bit. I know they're going to go low. It's playing as easy as it can out there if the wind stays down. I wouldn't be shocked if the lead got to 20 for sure.

If I'm within four going into tomorrow, I'll be happy. If you can get on this golf course early on the par 5s, if you can get in the hunt, I'm comfortable being there. I finally feel like I belong there. I believe I'm starting to crack that top 50 in the world spot, and that's kind of where I feel like I'll be for a long time. I feel like I'm on my way there.

Q. Is there a moment where you feel like you knew you belonged? That kind of just clicked?
JOEL DAHMEN: Wells was a good spot for me. It was kind of the first time I had been around the lead for all four days. I had kind of been spotty, but to hang around there for all four days and stick it out. And just being more and more comfortable. The more chances I've had, you just kind of feel it.

Then I've gotten better every year I played, all the metrics, everything you look at, I've gotten better at. It's starting to show that I'm capable of competing at a high level with some of the best. I think this kind of where I belong, and hopefully I can prove that.

Q. Last question. With Nick Watney testing positive yesterday, has the mindset of the players kind of changed after that, or is it still knowing the protocols are there and just to be safe?
JOEL DAHMEN: The protocols are there. I think we all feel safe, or else we wouldn't be out here. The TOUR has done a great job. This wasn't an overnight process to get back out here. They thought about it. They have everything in place.

With that said, a couple of us were probably fist bumping on the end of the round. That's not going to happen anymore, I'll assure you that. I think it's probably going to hit us in the face a little harder, but I think most of us have done a great job following everything we're supposed to follow. Hopefully, Nick's the only one. I hope he's healthy, and I hope his family's okay. I hope he's the only one, and we can continue on following what we need to follow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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