July 3, 2021
Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Mount Juliet Estate
Q. Out in 32, back in 35 for a 67. Sum that 1-up from your point of view?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I got off to a really good start, quick start. I did hit in the water on 3 but it was a good strike so I wasn't too fussed about that. Got off to a good start.
And then the back nine the wind started blowing so when the wind starts to blow and gust like that, you're more or less trying it avoid the bad spots because you're relying on your short game to get up and I did on the back side. To come in at 1-under was good.
Q. No sign of this in recent results for you, coming in here quite well down The Race to Dubai. Whenever I see you play, you just look like you're in control. What's the difference this week and why doesn't it happen more often?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I've got a whole team trying to figure that out. Maybe they can crunch the numbers and tell us what's up.
Q. I want you to tell the story that I read about recently about when you were younger, a fire work accident, the ambition to become a doctor and you end up as a golfer. How does that work?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: Growing up, the dream was always to play go of and when I got into an accident with the fireworks, I blew my thumb off. When they stitched it back together. That was a very life-changing moment and kind of puts things into a new perspective. I thought, hey, if I became a doctor I could be really impactful to people.
So I started studying medicine. All the doctors who I was hanging out with, said, "Everybody here wants to be on the golf course, what are you doing?" I thought would I give professional golf a go, and here I am, still giving it a go.
Q. How will you approach tomorrow from this position?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I know Lucas and his caddie, I think it will be a pretty relaxed group. We are all friends but obviously we're all trying to win the golf tournament. I'm playing with a lot of confidence. It should be fun.
Q. What pleased you most about your round today?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I thought I hit the ball really well today, off the tee especially. It can get it up playing from the rough out here. The greens are pretty firm, and the pin locations are very difficult to assess if you are in the rough. But I felt like for the most part I was in control even though it was really windy.
Q. Talk about the day and the week; the fact that you are in contention in a 3 million Euro European Tour event, one of the biggest things you've done as a pro. How are you feeling after today?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I feel good. Like I was telling everybody else, I feel like I'm playing well and it's under control. Sometimes you can get into contention but your game feels kind of shaky but that's not the case right now. Everything feels like it's kind of where it should be. I'm putting well. So yeah, I mean, the purse size is kind of regardless, you go out and play tomorrow and see what happens.
Q. You have a very interesting backstory. You could be in the er right now working as a doctor?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: I'm glad I'm not. I'm glad I'm here.
Q. Having studied or being a medical student, your fellow doctors told you to go out and play golf because you're good at that?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: They are all like, "Why are you trying to become a doctor? Everybody wishes they were on the golf course. What are you doing?"
I thought, "Yeah, fine. Fair enough."
But it's also one of those things where you practise your whole life and if you don't give it a go, kind of fall short, you never want to live with the what if; what if I tried and I actually could have become a professional golfer. Like that wasn't good enough for me. So I had to go and give it a try and now, here I am.
Q. Here you are on the cusp of something that would be massive for you if you were to win tomorrow.
JOHANNES VEERMAN: Yeah, I mean, I don't know, I'm trying to be a lot more process-oriented so I'm trying not to think too much. Obviously it's hard not to think about winning or any of those things. For the most part I'm thinking more about my preparation, what I'm going to do, what I'm going to eat for dinner tonight, kind of distract me with all of those things before I stare tomorrow in my face.
Q. When you have a background like you have and you've been in international schools and medical school and taken your chance to become a professional golfer, and obviously you're good at it, how do you go about sort of rubbing shoulders with players who have got massive experience even though Lucas Herbert is a young man, you might be playing alongside him tomorrow, he's a fantastic talent. How do you go about reaching up to be at that level?
JOHANNES VEERMAN: Yeah, just having more belief in what it is that you're doing. I am one shot off the lead last time I saw, so what I'm doing is good enough. Just having the belief that, hey, if you keep doing what it is that you're doing, you're eventually going to get there, not go back and try to change things and try to get better and work in circles that way. Just come out tomorrow and say, hey, I'm good enough, I'm here, so that's something.
Q. Finally, Rory McIlroy said the key this week is the par 5s. Were 5-under for them today.
JOHANNES VEERMAN: It is tricky, you hit a lot of 2-irons and 3-woods off the tee, but they are pretty narrow and the greens have a lot of slope to them so you're going to have to take advantage on the par 5s and today I did.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports