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May 13, 2017

Kyle Stanley

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Kyle Stanley to the interview room, 54-hole co-leader here at THE PLAYERS. Run us through your round today and thoughts on the round.

KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, off to a bit of a slow start, but after 4, the birdie on 8 kind of settled me down. Very happy with even par. I thought it played quite difficult out there, especially the first nine. Yeah, no complaints.

Q. Obviously you said you had the slow start, but you were able to level yourself out. How tough was it given, A, the conditions, and B, this golf course?
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, it was difficult. You just kind of have to remind yourself that even though you're a little bit over par, on the leaderboard I was still in a pretty good spot. I just tried to focus on giving myself chances. That's kind of been my mindset all week. That's a little easier said than done, but a shot at a time. I feel like we have a fairly good game plan for this golf course, so just stick to that and be really patient.

Q. I was quickly looking through your track record here the last couple years, and you didn't have any top 10s the last two seasons. I think you'd be gunning for your third of this year already. What do you attribute that to, if anything? What's perked up your results here of late?
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, you know, when I went through that period and just struggled for a little bit -- when the confidence goes, it just takes a little bit of -- just takes a while to get it back. I've been working really hard. I've been practicing maybe a little bit differently. Things off the golf course are really good for me. I got married about a year and a half ago, and we're settled in Gig Harbor where my wife and I both grew up. Things off the course are really good, so I think from a mental standpoint, that's helped quite a bit, as well.

But yeah, just been working hard, happy with how things are trending. I think I've had a pretty consistent year all around, and that's something that I've been searching for for sure. Happy with where things are at the moment.

Q. Not very many guys out here right the ship on No. 8, kind of get it back, and then the shot on 17, give us your thought process on the club selection and what you were facing on those two par-3s.
KYLE STANLEY: It's a really difficult par-3 just because it's so long. It was playing downwind quite a bit today. Number-wise it was just a pretty solid 4. But yeah, there I just wasn't really thinking 2. I would have been happy with a par. I got a little bit of a read from Louis's putt. His ball tracked right by my mark, so it was nice to see that and for the most part I was pretty much looking center of the green on that hole. If you make a 2, it's definitely a bonus.

Q. And then 17, feel good about your number?
KYLE STANLEY: Yeah, 17 was a perfect -- we've had good numbers on 17 all week. Brian has done a nice job of judging the wind. I think we had 128 pin today, but just before the top of the ridge, it was maybe 134, a little downwind. My gap wedge is a 130 club, so with a little bit of help, it just fit really well, so I was able to take a little bit more of an aggressive line.

Q. Have you played with J.B. in a final round before, and tomorrow it's a big tournament, so what is your approach going to be to close this out?
KYLE STANLEY: I haven't played with him in a final round, but I've played with him quite a few times. Not this year, last year, my first few years out here. Yeah, as far as my approach tomorrow, you know, just more of the same thing. My game is in pretty good shape, so stay patient, stick to our game plan. You know, and just enjoy the moment, the opportunity. Mother's Day, final group of THE PLAYERS, it doesn't get much better than that. Just be grateful for the opportunity I have ahead of us and enjoy it.

Q. Because of how quickly things can change around here, does that final round feel any different, or do you do anything different on a course that maybe isn't as volatile, maybe look at more leaderboards or something down the stretch, or is there any difference here than any other place holding the 54-hole lead?
KYLE STANLEY: Well, it's pretty tight. I mean, there are a lot of guys kind of stacked up together. I think that's just because it's been playing so difficult this week. So I don't know what the conditions will be like tomorrow. I'd assume they'd be some of the same.

Yeah, I mean, pay attention to it a little bit, but at the same time, you know, just be pretty process-oriented, stick to my game, and there will be times when you'll want to look for sure, but as far as the scores have been this week, I don't really expect things -- I expect things to probably stay pretty tight.

Q. Is this a situation that you can envision yourself being in last year before the Wyndham, where you were then versus where you sit right now?
KYLE STANLEY: Oh, I don't know. I mean, golf is kind of interesting to where sports just in general, things can -- one week can change a lot. I don't think I was necessarily thinking that far in advance back then, but that was a little bit of a confidence builder for me to play well at the Wyndham. I had to, just to keep my status. So to have a good event there, I was really happy with that.

And then going into this year, I've just tried to do everything that I can control, preparation-wise, off the golf course, and stuff like that. I've been doing that all, and it's nice to come to the course and stand on the first tee feeling like you deserve to play good golf.

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