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April 27, 2012

Russell Knox


MARK STEVENS:  We'd like to welcome Russell Knox.   Russell, got to within one of the lead, and if you want to just start off, kind of take us through your round and the high points and then we'll take a few questions.
RUSSELL KNOX:  Starting on No. 10, I was a loyal anxious starting off after playing good yesterday.  You always want to make sure you don't mess up.  And I hit a nice sand wedge to three feet on the first hole.  Like the best way to start when you have a short birdie putt.
Then the next hole, I made a great putt for birdie on No. 11.  So from 15, 18 feet.  So it was nice to make a mid-range putt early and then just kept it going after that.
MARK STEVENS:  Okay.  Questions?

Q.  Last year you came into the Nationwide Tour, kind of gained the special membership and made your way all the way to here.  What does a round like this, make you feel like you belong here and can succeed here?
RUSSELL KNOX:  It's nice to have your kind of statement round of the year to say, "Okay, I'm here, I'm playing good, let's see if I can keep some momentum going."  No, this is -- this was a big day for me.  Hopefully I can keep it going on the weekend.

Q.  Did you feel like a 64 was coming soon or I mean did you know it tied the course record?
RUSSELL KNOX:  I had no idea it was the course record until after we played.  That's always a bonus but, no, I knew -- one of my goals this year was to shoot 65 or better and two holes to go, I was 7-under so I kind felt oh, this might be a nice chance to do it.
So I birdied No. 8 there so it was -- yeah, I mean you never plan on shooting a 64, it kind of happens and I'm happy it did.

Q.  Do you think the conditions could have been much better for you guys today?  It seemed like the wind was a lot down through the whole round?
RUSSELL KNOX:  It wasn't nearly as difficult as yesterday, though.  Yesterday it was pretty windy.  No, it was there for the taking.  I saw a bunch of good scores on the board so I thought well, I might as well be one of them.

Q.  Talk about your learning curve this year, I guess the 8th event.  Talk about the learning curve and what you learned so far.
RUSSELL KNOX:  Yeah.  I mean this is it, my rookie year.  It's different.  I mean there's a lot going on.  I've never had to sit and do this before so that's nice and it's being -- I haven't played well this year so far but it's been the best year of my life.
I've played some decent rounds and then some bad rounds and I just really haven't consistently putted well and so it's nice this week to see the ball go in the hole.
But no, I've got to play a few practice rounds with Jim Furyk, I live fairly close to him in Jacksonville.  It's nice to always play with a guy that good to kind of pick his brain, and then we hit the ball similar distances.  So it's nice to see someone who has done so well that maybe doesn't hit it 330.

Q.  Do you think the nerves will be there tomorrow?
RUSSELL KNOX:  Absolutely.  I love being nervous.  I mean one of my good friends, Mike Dunphy, always says to me, "You have to feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable."  That's just the way it's going to.
Q.  Kind of going into the day felt a little nervous that maybe you would mess up, maybe.  Is that something that you battle through this year, you think your fellow rookies deal with a lot?
RUSSELL KNOX:  You never know if you're going to play good.  That's always that little bit of doubt.  It's nice to get off to a good start, hit some good shots the first few holes.  Kind of get into the round.
I always find when I get 1, 2-under I just completely relax and it's when I maybe bogey the first hole I get a little nervous.  So it's nice to get into the round and feel okay, I've got a couple shots to play with.

Q.  Last week your caddy mentioned that your putter was hot, really impressed.  Two weeks ago on the Nationwide Tour did something just click or do you feel like that finish -- tied for 7th -- do you feel that really gave you a big boost going into the last week?
RUSSELL KNOX:  I went to get my second putting lesson every in Palm Springs, Dr. Craig Farnsworth.  We worked on my stroke a little bit.  We worked a lot with the Aim Point, how to read the greens.
Ever since -- that has helped me realize what is a really good putt compared to -- I think I was hitting the ball too hard and it was just missing my lines a little bit.
So, I've worked hard at that and the Nationwide event, that was the best I putted all year.  That really helped me.  Last week that course was very difficult, last week in San Antonio.
So, I made some, missed some and then this week the hole looks like a bucket.  I need to keep doing what I'm doing.

Q.  Were there any putts today that could have been better?
RUSSELL KNOX:  No.  I made some good ones.  Yesterday I made a 60-foot putt on No. 4 that hit the back of the hole, jumped up, came down, sat on the edge and then went in.  So it was going like ten feet by.
After that putt went in, I thought, "Okay.  All the putts this year that lipped by, this one makes up for the for them."
Q.Maybe it was a good omen for today.
RUSSELL KNOX:  Absolutely.  Golf is an easy game when you're making putts.  It just takes all the pressure off your long game.
MARK STEVENS:  Everybody good?  All right.  Thank you.  Good luck Tom.

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