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November 12, 2020

Xander Schauffele

Augusta, Georgia

Q. Xander, can you describe you day. Up and down?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, up and down. I got off to a nice start. It seems like a lot of people are getting off to a nice start with the greens being a little softer. Then kind of dealt with what everyone else dealt with, had a mud ball there, and once again, I three‑putted from a spot that I don't think I've ever practiced from because the ball will never stay where it did.
So I kind of fought the same battle everyone else did. Fortunately, I was able to adjust kind of quickly.

Q. With the conditions, what were they like? Did it play as long as you thought it would after all the rain?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, it's kind of give and go, honestly. Fair amount of mud balls, which everyone's dealing with. Fairways are easier to hit, obviously, because they are soft. And then greens are kind of tricky. A good number are going right at the pin. It's pretty hard to short side yourself, even out here at Augusta, which is kind of strange to say.
So a lot of it felt wrong, in all honesty, but happy to shoot 5 under.

Q. Xander, the birdie at 11 kind of reignited your round there. What did you face? What was your yardage there?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: It's one of those things. The greens are really soft, so there isn't a whole lot to be scared of. I had a really good drive, about 185 to 184, pretty good stock 7 iron for me. I tried to aim out just a little bit to the right and hit a little draw. So I was able to sort of capitalize on a good number and a good shot and kind of got the round back on track.

Q. Is that dramatically different? I mean, are you hitting different shots now than maybe you ever hit here?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, you're kind of going at pins that you wouldn't really feel that comfortable with. There's so many spots where your ball will stay. It was just really strange. That's what I meant by it felt wrong in terms of kind of like the ball plugging or a putt being really slow or something not being very fast.
So it was really strange in terms of ‑‑ I was talking to Henrik just now. I was saying‑‑ I mean, I'm sure it was harder for him to deal with. He's been out here more than I have. I'm not scarred by what Augusta is normally like. This is only my third appearance, so fortunately, I was able to kind of use that to my advantage.

Q. Did you feel like the greens sped up as you went around, or did you just adjust to the speed as you went along?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: No, not really. The whole challenge was just get the ball to the hole. On the last hole was one of the first downhill putts I had, and I got to the hole, and it went in. Struggled kind of through the mid range of putts, wanting to play less break and hit it harder, which is something you never do here.

Q. Do you play the par 5s here like long par 4s or par 4‑1/2s? I don't know if this makes sense, but they're kind of half?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: Yeah, mentally you kind of have to. Normally the way this course is you position yourself on the par 5s and give yourself the best chance of making a 4, hopefully a 3 if you do something miraculous at certain pins. But on a day like today, if you do put it in the fairway, you kind of can position yourself and short side yourself almost and leave balls where you couldn't before.
Like on 2, for example, I saw on the board that a bunch of guys were eagling the hole. If you're in the fairway, just hit it long, and that's super easy coming up. 13 as well. 13 for me is kind of‑‑ I'm not really in the upper echelon in terms of carry distance. I can't cover those trees. For most guys it is‑‑ for the longest guys, it is kind of a par 4 these days. For me, it's kind of shaping it, play the way the hole is designed.

Q. Steep long, not pure long?
XANDER SCHAUFFELE: We'll work on that next season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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