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July 20, 2012

Branden Grace


Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  Where to start?  On the first hole I got it going.  I actually, I was so unlucky I horseshoed from about 25 feet out, 30 feet.  I thought, geez, it's going to be another one of those days the same as yesterday with the putter.
The second hole got a little bit unlucky.  Didn't hit the best of drives, got away with it, got a good lie, hit it just short of the green, and then managed to up‑and‑down.
And the third was really where trouble on the first three holes started.  I hit it just down the left and really didn't have a bad lie but there's a big mound in front of me, and the direction the wind was in was probably one of the toughest among those holes on the par‑4s.  Didn't manage to get it up quick enough.  It clipped the long grass and just stayed in.  And then it was tough from there and made a double bogey, and then things just turned around.
I kept hitting ‑‑ from there kept hitting good shot after good shot.  I hit a lot of good putts.  The putter was a little bit cold, the same as yesterday.  I went through a stretch where I made three birdies in a row.  And I think that really kick‑started the day.
I was unlucky on the 12th‑‑ the 11th, sorry, the par‑5.  I smashed a drive down there, I had 279 to the pin.  I told Zach if I can really smash a little bit one down, I can get it there, and it just had a little bit of a bounce left and ran into the pot bunker front left, and I had a terrible lie against the side and managed to get it out somehow and went to about 25 feet and rolled that in.  And I think that was just‑‑ after I made that putt, the motivation was there to just keep going.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  It did.  It did.  You know, actually for us it turned, you know, with four holes to go.  That's what I was a little bit frustrated about.  The front nine was really tough.  All these‑‑ the first nine holes were tough today.  There was not one easy and one short hole out there, and the game plan from the tees had to change dramatically.  With going from irons with the tees you were now hitting drivers from the tees.  You weren't hitting the same clubs in as you were yesterday.
Then I thought as soon as you get to the back nine then you can relax a bit and try and force the birdies, because then it's going to be the holes where the wind is down and you can force things.  And when I got to four holes left where the tough stretch comes, then the wind switched again and it was drama from the get‑go again.  And it's one of those.  And I scrambled my way in the last three holes, which was nice.  I made some good pars.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  Definitely.  A lot of bunkers out there I think is pretty much out of play.  A lot of bunkers the waters lie in them.  So I think that was the main goal for myself for today was to stay out of them.  I know if you got in there, you go in the water, you get a drop, you drop it in the bunker, it's going to plug and there's no way out or no way forward.  So that's good.
But otherwise I thought the course was looking fine.  Fairways are kept up.  There is the odd patches but you're going to get that on any course after this amount of rain.  But the greens are kept up magnificently.  They greens have been rolling true.  They've been rolling great.  They've done a good job.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  On the 11th hole, the par‑5, smashed drive down there, had 279 to the pin.  Hit driver in the front left bunker, got an unlucky lie in the bunker, managed to get out to about 25 feet and made the putt, and that kick‑started.  And then on 12, the par‑3, I hit a good 7‑iron, it was a perfect 7‑iron distance and I hit it to about two inches, which was the highlight of my day.  I would have enjoyed if that one went in, to get my first.  Having a hole‑in‑one on a course like this in this event would have been awesome.
And then the next hole the same, I hit 3‑wood down there justoff the fairway on the left and hit a lob wedge to about 10 feet and managed to roll that in and then the putter just didn't want to go in after that.  I still kept hitting good shot after good shot, but the putts just kept going on the lips.  It's one of those.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  I am.  You know, you never know.  Hopefully the weather gets a little bit tough out there, for my sake.  We had it tough this morning.  It would be nice if it can get quite fair out there.  So one of those.
But I'm glad that I played better today.  I'm glad I put myself in there in a spot that I can make the cut.  If it is, then I'm looking forward to sticking around for the weekend and maybe moving up there.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  I think it's awesome.  Chubby and all the ISM team, they do a lot for us players.  I think it's great that they ‑‑ for an event like this they put up a house like that where you can really just go and chill.  There's always food.  There's always people helping.  And just really relax and enjoy the time.  I think a lot of players, they try to get away from the course and do it differently throughout the weeks, and I think that's wrong.  It is just another golf week.  I know it's bigger and it's better, and there's a lot more at stake, but you need to treat it as the same week, as any other week.  And I think that's what that helps for.  It's nice to sit there for myself with Charl and Louis, and have a laugh over dinner and just enjoy the time and enjoy the week.  And then you get Clarkie, which is always a laugh to be around and things like that.  So I think it's really nice and it really helps to settle the nerves.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  A lot.  I think I've learned so much this year.  I think after my three wins they've definitely been seeing me as one of them, as a winner.  They've been treating me different.  Not that Charl and Louis have really been treating me different, they've honestly treated me the same, but a lot of the other guys they see at the same point of eye and things like that, and that always helps.
And it's now not getting nervous when you play with them and things like that.  Now I think I belong there and I think that's where I need to be.  And like Zach always tells me, Branden, you're 51st in the world, if you can play these events without having to qualify, you know you're heading in the right direction.  And it's a good way of seeing it.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BRANDEN GRACE:  I actually wasn't there last night.  We finished late.  I worked on the putting until 8:00 last night.  So that was a little bit of a long day yesterday, but we'll definitely be back early tonight, have a laugh.

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