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July 15, 2021

Daniel Hillier

Sandwich, Kent, England, UK

Mixed Zone

Q. Daniel, thanks for joining us. Can you reflect on your opening round here to the 149th Open?

DANIEL HILLIER: Yeah, obviously pretty special being my first Open Championship. Yeah, to play with Matt Jones and Marcel Siem who have been on the block for a long time. It was pretty cool to see how think went about their business today.

Yeah, I didn't feel too scared by the task of starting out this week. Yeah, felt like I fought pretty hard throughout the round. Yeah, obviously would've liked to have been a couple better. Happy with today's work.

Q. Yeah, there were certainly some highlights out there and a few birdies for you. Talk us through those birdies and how you went about them.

DANIEL HILLIER: Yeah, so couple birdies on the back nine there. Yeah, started off pretty slow but managed to roll a nice putt in on 12, a hole you want to take advantage of being one of the shorter ones.

Nice shot on 16 in front of the whole amphitheater there, so nice clap from that. Yeah, great atmosphere and obviously managed to sink the putt there as well. Yeah, nice to have these two birdies and hopefully can get rid of the bogeys.

Q. Being from New Zealand I'm sure you grew up watching The Open and it's been a dream to come play here. Talk to us a little bit about how the experiences lived up to what you expected and what was it was like to walk the fairways of Royal St Georges with the crowds out there?

DANIEL HILLIER: Yeah, it's obviously very different to what I'm used to back home. We don't get crowds like this. Don't have the big grandstands and obviously TV cameras everywhere you look. So, yeah, obviously a lot different.

Yeah, I really loved it. That walk down the last three holes there, you got the whole amphitheater on 16, and the walk down 18 is always pretty special. Yeah, just trying to enjoy the week, and, yeah, hopefully I can come away with a pretty good result, yeah, so put things together tomorrow.

Q. We spoke to Ryan Fox yesterday and mentioned he was playing a practice round with you. Was it nice to catch up with the fellow Kiwi ahead of the championship?

DANIEL HILLIER: Yeah, absolutely. Foxy's been around for a while now and he's obviously a pretty big guy to be rubbing shoulders with. Yeah, I think being so far away from home it's always nice to have a fellow Kiwi there to make you feel a little bit more at ease. He's such a relaxed character as well, so it was cool to spend a day with him on Tuesday, yeah.

Q. What's the plan for this evening and the hope for tomorrow's round?

DANIEL HILLIER: So basically probably just do a little bit of short game to tighten that up, and, yeah, obviously not much after that. Pretty late finish and early start tomorrow, so chilling at home, watch a bit of Netflix with my girlfriend, and probably head to bed and get ready for the next day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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