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April 7, 2011

Jason Day


JASON DAY: I played really, really well. I hit a couple of good -- I had a few good holes, which was really on the back nine, and I'm very happy to shoot even par, I'll tell you that much.

Q. Did you feel all right?
JASON DAY: I felt good. Obviously I'm nervous for the first round ever at the Masters, but it was fun. It's fun playing with Rickie and Rory, and it's good to watch how Rory played. He played fantastic. It was actually very fun for me to watch him play, which was good.

Q. Talk about the course.
JASON DAY: The course is good. Apart from Rory, there's not too many low scores, but I think it was very playable. Obviously everyone gets kind of nervous, I think, for the first round, but I'm looking forward to the next three days.

Q. What were some of the keys today?
JASON DAY: I had to stay patient. I didn't want to try and get too far ahead of myself. Obviously on 11 I made a mistake, hit it in the water there and actually came back pretty strong 13 through 16. I had four birdies in a row. And then just had a loose one on 17. But overall very happy.
It felt good. I'm just glad to get out of there with even par.

Q. With regard to the roars, did the crowd follow you along?
JASON DAY: No, not at all, either Rory or Rickie. Look, I don't mind that. Obviously I need to earn those stripes.

Q. Did you feel like the old man in the group?
JASON DAY: I am the old man in the group. The thing is, it took me forever -- like those two guys are walking as quick as possible and I can't keep up with them, so I was just walking alone.

Q. What's it like walking up there during that --
JASON DAY: Special. Yeah, special. One day I want to hopefully have everyone stand up for me. It's obviously a really good feeling for Rory to have that. One day hopefully I can walk up 18 and get that feeling.

Q. People talk about the next generation of players, and for you to be out there and Rory to do what he did, how close do you think this group is to breaking through in a major?
JASON DAY: Rory is certainly very close. Obviously he's there right now. He's very consistent player. You can just see how confident he is out on the course. You know, Rickie is right behind him. I think I've got a little bit to go. You know, I don't have as much major experience as some of those guys, but I'm 23, I'm the oldest of the group, but I'm just trying to take it as slow as possible.

Q. Can you learn from watching a round like that today?
JASON DAY: He hit it better. (Laughter.)
Yeah, well, the thing is that he put himself in the right spots, and obviously having a good caddie on the bag and knowing where to go, it helps. Obviously this is his third time around the Masters and Augusta National, and he knows where to go. Those few shots out there where I just left myself -- you just can't leave yourself there. I'm going to take that as a little bit of experience. But I learned a lot from him today.

Q. Will you and Col go and assess --
JASON DAY: We will, yeah, we will. There's a few things that we need to do, but there's not too much. I just need to tighten up the swing a little bit. There's a few more grains out there, and hopefully I can --

Q. You mentioned some of the strategy and where he left the ball. Is there anything about his game, his swing, his putting --
JASON DAY: Everything is good. Like drives are unbelievable, hits his irons great, chips and putts good, and that's why he shot 7-under today. But yeah, no, he's in a good spot right now. I think mentally he's very happy where he is.

Q. Did he leave any out there?
JASON DAY: Yeah, he left a lot out there. I'm going to say at least -- it's got to be two to four shots out there. That's the thing is when you shoot 7-under you're going to leave shots out there, but it's all good.

Q. Your birdie stretch there, can you talk about that?
JASON DAY: 13, 4-wood, 4-iron to like front left of the green, two-putt over that slope.
14, hit driver, pitching wedge, had 145 yards, holed that from about ten feet.
15, hit driver down the middle, 5-iron, hooked it around the trees. Obviously I blocked it a little bit I think from those trees, get it around to the bunker, got up-and-down. Hit a good chip there and got up-and-down.
Then 16, hit it long, about 25 -- probably 35 feet and holed the putt from back there.

Q. After the 12th hole were you starting to get a bit frustrated?
JASON DAY: You know, like I'm just trying to -- I'm trying to take it like an easy route with my mental game. I get too hard on myself and I expect too much of myself sometimes, and when I don't achieve I get very disappointed. I'm just having fun. This is my first Masters, so whatever happens, I'm just having fun out here.

Q. You must have been thrilled to get four in a row out there.
JASON DAY: Yeah, it was good. It was good. And obviously doing it in front of the crowd, especially down 15 and 16, was pretty special.

Q. (Inaudible.)
JASON DAY: Well, the thing is if I hit forward, it leaves me around 200 front. Some guys hit driver there, but most of the time -- for me if the wind is right, you just hit 4-wood and then 4-iron to the middle of the green and then two-putt to wherever the hole is.

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