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February 22, 2024

Altin van der Merwe

Malelane, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Quick Quotes

Q. Altin, 7-under par 65 today. How happy are you with that performance?

ALTIN VAN DER MERWE: Very. Very happy. I played the same golf I would say as yesterday, just a couple of putts fell. I had basically one or two mistakes. I told myself if I can just minimise the mistakes better, then I'll play two or three shots better, and that's what happened.

Q. Talk us through some of the highlights of the round from your perspective.

ALTIN VAN DER MERWE: I started off pretty well. I just tried to hit the middle of the green on 1, and it ended up being all right. Just had to putt up that big slope, and I was thinking, just two-putt and get the round started, and I ended up making it.

On 2, I almost holed out for 3, which is pretty cool, so nice little birdie-birdie start is always nice.

Another highlight -- actually my drive on 13 was the highlight of my day. I never draw my driver ever, so I just try and bend it away from that fairway on to the right side, and actually a draw came in, so I had gap wedge in on 13, which is ridiculous. But took the birdie and ran with it.

The finish was also nice. I would say another highlight is just hitting the 18th green in two. That's always an accomplishment.

Q. You won last week, playing well now. Must give you a lot of confidence going into the weekend.

ALTIN VAN DER MERWE: Yeah, look, I had two bad weeks or one bad week before last week. Went to the range and grinded it out for a couple hours a day and just couldn't continue playing like that. Worked on my game a little bit more and had a good finishing round at Houghton last week. Just trying to build on that, same swing thoughts, same drills and same mindset.

Q. How much are you enjoying this championship, the staging, television, a bit of a crowd here, Mr. Rupert congratulating you at the end?

ALTIN VAN DER MERWE: Look, Johann has been here since the practice round, driving with us and giving us some tips around the course. That's helped a little bit I would say. For him seeing us as players means a lot. This tournament feels I would say a lot like the Rhodesia Am we had or like the Amateur that we had at Hillside. Very professional. You guys have everything we need. Big thanks to the R&A. It's really very professional here.

Q. Rest up, rehydrate and look forward to the weekend then?

ALTIN VAN DER MERWE: Yeah, just going to throw it in the bottle, down and rehydrate because I'm not a fan, but you have to have it. Maybe hit some balls if I want to, but I'm going to go sit in the air con for a couple hours now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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