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July 2, 2021

Dale Whitnell

Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Mount Juliet Estate

Quick Quotes

Q. Lots of reasons to smile, a second round of 67 at the moment sees you atop that leaderboard. What's pleased you most about your performance?

DALE WHITNELL: To be honest at the start of the week on Sunday I was third reserve, so I didn't know if I was even going to be here. So I went to Open Qualifying and then flew out Wednesday morning. Didn't have a practise round and here we are. So I'm just really pleased to be here.

Q. I'm guessing Mount Juliet is quite new for you, as well, and we haven't seen you on a big stage for a while. How does the course suit your eye?

DALE WHITNELL: It has that sort of feel where you don't need to bomb IT. You need to plot your way around. It's a bit like Close House where I finished fourth, and it's a little bit like that, not as hilly. If your approach play is good and hole a few putts, you're going to be up there.

Q. You talk about Open Qualifying, this tournament will provide the top three who are not already exempt with a spot at The Open. How much does that play into your mind?

DALE WHITNELL: Well, unfortunately, because I played final qualifying, I'm not eligible for that. But that's okay. I took the risk of playing Open Qualifying because otherwise I could have not played both, so I took the chance at Open Qualifying but didn't make the playoff. But managed to get in here and pleased to be here.

Q. Fans are gradually incrementally returning to European Tour, how pleasing to see this back on The European Tour?

DALE WHITNELL: It's great. I've not played in front of a huge amount of fans before. Played one Open Championship but it's great to see everybody out here, all the kids and families and hopefully bringing back to some sort of normality.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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