MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Canadian Open transcript archive
Q. Tied for third at John Deere must have given you confidence coming here. It's got to be exciting shooting 68 in the first round, tough golf course. Give me your thoughts.
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, I'm very pleased with the whole day. I executed my game plan well with fairways and greens and made the odd putt.
Q. I've got to ask you. You went through a long stretch. That's tough. Playing on TOUR myself, missing a bunch of cuts is tough. Then coming out there and playing a great round of golf on Sunday, had to be huge for your confidence at the right time of the year if you want to play well in your national championship??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, that seems to be the case right now. But I'm playing well, things are going well, so I'm just going to try to roll with it and hopefully the good play will continue.
Q. Got to ask you: Is this the longest 7,000-yard golf course you've ever played??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Pretty long, especially if you don't keep it in the short grass. It's pretty much a (indiscernible) if you miss the fairways. But, yeah, I hit it good today, kept it in play. Yeah, got off s 68.
Q. Matt, just talk about what coming here as a Canadian and being one off the lead??
MATT MCQUILLAN: I'm thrilled with today. It's a real privilege to play in our National Championship. Just really excited to get off to a good start.
Q. What's changed in the last couple of rounds that turned it around a little bit??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Well, I kind of made the fatal flaw earlier in the year. I started to change my swing, but I've been sticking with it, and I knew I was working on the right things and it's finally clicked at the John Deere, and it still feels good right now.
Q. What's changed? What did you change?
MATT MCQUILLAN: I hit a low draw all the time, and it's very tough to compete out here with that shot. And having to straighten up the ball flight. It's actually falling a little right, a little higher. So starting to feel good.
Q. How did the course play today??
MATT MCQUILLAN: It's very difficult. We got lucky with the weather today. There wasn't much wind, and the greens are soft after the rain last night. But, yeah, if you're not hitting it good, it can be a long day.
Q. Is this a course you have to be cautious on? Like you can't unleash the big drives.
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, definitely. You've got some long par-4s out here, but sometimes 3-wood off the tee is the play. As long as you get it in the fairway, you get a chance to get it up near the green, then you have a chance. But if you miss fairways off the tee, you have no chance. You're just chipping out.
So, yeah, just fairways and greens most of the day. Hopefully I can do that and continue to do that.
Q. Were you nervous coming into the round? This is your first Canadian Open?
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, it is.
Q. It's a ways from home, but still, were you nervous??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, I was very nervous. I got a lot of family and friends out here supporting me which helps out a lot. But, yeah, first time in my national championship. I feel honored to be here and play well.
Q. What was it like to walk on the first tee given??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, it was definitely nerve-racking. But made a good swing right off the bat. Yeah, just go on from there.
Q. Take us through your round a little. What were some of the key shots and putts you made today that got you to 68??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Right out of the gate, I hit 3-wood off the tee and 5-wood to 10 feet on that first hole and made the putt. Got off rolling correct, but bogies on 2 and 3 kind of stopped the momentum.
But, yeah, I think a birdie on 6 or 7 to finish the nine at even, yeah, I made a great par on 11. I hit it in the right rough and had to lay it up. Then hit an 8-iron to about 10 feet and rolled that putt in which really kept the momentum going for me. I just continued to hit good shots all the way in.
Q. You mentioned 11, that's one of the par-5s. That's a tough hole, isn't it??
MATT MCQUILLAN: Yeah, it's very tough. You have to be on the fairway there. Anything you can do to get it on the fairway. Number one, it's one of the most difficult holes I've ever played, and 18 is no walk in the park either. But every hole is difficult if you're not in the right position.
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