Kingsmill Championship Presented by GEICO

Friday May 18, 2018

Austin Ernst

Quick Quotes

Q. 6-under par today.
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah.

Q. Take us through your round.
AUSTIN ERNST: Whole thing?

Q. Yeah.
AUSTIN ERNST: Let's see, birdied 1. Hit it about five feet. Hit the ball really well today. I think every birdie I made was inside six or seven feet.

3 I hit it up right next to the green and chipped it up to about four feet and made it.

I don't know what else I birdied honestly.

4 hit it up there about three feet; made it.

7 hit it up basically front of the green; putted up to about five or six feet; made that one.

Made a nice up and down -- made a nice par putt on 8 from about six feet.

Almost chipped in on 9.

Tapped in -- (indiscernible) on 11.

Made it on 12 from about -- it was probably about eight feet.

Then made a nice one on 17 from about two or three feet.

So just really solid. Hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and then my speed was really good so I never really had to work too hard all day.

Q. How much fun is it when it's just coming?
AUSTIN ERNST: It's a lot of fun. I should do this more often.

But, yeah, I mean, my game has felt really good all year. It's really just been a matter of kind of cleaning a few things up.

I felt like the last two weeks being at home, got a lot of good work in with my dad last week. Had Gareth out. Started working putting with him this year. Everything just felt really good.

It's just kind of sticking to those keys.

Q. You said you were trying to clean a couple things up. Do you feel like this is a course that can help you do that?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah. I mean, it can bite you if you don't hit it well.

Because if you start missing fairways, the rough is pretty thick. Obviously it's soft, so you might get a mud ball in the rough or you have a hard time kind of getting up there.

With it being soft, I feel like I can kind of just go at pins. I've always been a really good iron player, so I feel like it kind of plays into me a little bit with it being this soft just because I can take more aggressive lines.

Where when it was firm at the beginning of the week, you can't do that.

Q. Obviously pretty happy with your position heading into the weekend.
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, I mean, we'll see. You still got Jess and a few other people at 6-under still playing this afternoon. Just kind of see what it's going to be at the end of the day.

Either way, I don't think I'll be too far back. If I have I am or if I'm at the top, that's even better.

Q. What kind of stuff are you dealing with in uncertain weather? I know you go through it a lot. Was it difficult coming out this morning not actually knowing what to expect?
AUSTIN ERNST: Not really. I mean, we had an hour delay, so I get here for breakfast, and basically midway through breakfast we knew we were going to have the hour delay.

You kind of just deal with it. I've normally got a pretty good attitude, so as many holes as we could get in. I was shocked we never got called off the course yesterday.

Q. Uh-huh.
AUSTIN ERNST: I think we were all pleasantly surprised that played in the afternoon yesterday.

Today I looked at the forecast. Looked terrible today again. We have gotten lucky so far. Hopefully they get it in today. The weekend is kind of the same way.

Q. Probably very pleasantly surprised to have two rounds in.
AUSTIN ERNST: Absolutely. Yeah, I was thinking yesterday I might have to play like 30 holes today.

Q. Yeah.
AUSTIN ERNST: So it turned out to be really nice. We had a little bit of wind this morning -- and still right now -- but it never rained. I think it drizzled walking off 18 tee, and that's about it.

Q. U.S. Open is closer to this tournament than it has been in the past. With a major coming up, does it change the approach you guys have?
AUSTIN ERNST: Not really. I feel like this is good prep for it though because this golf course is one of the best ones we play. I feel like if we wouldn't have seen it so soft it would've been really good prep for it. I think it's still really good.

I'm taking next week off just so I can have that extra week to kind of fix whatever I feel like I need to fix. And playing into it, you can see, Okay, these are the shots I'm not hitting as well as I want to. Whatever you need to work on.

Q. So you're free to hang around Williamsburg on Monday?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah. I can hang out as long as I need to.

Q. I've seen you in contention here before, right?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yep.

Q. What is it about this place?
AUSTIN ERNST: Just fits my eye. It's a Dye course. I grew up on a PB Dye course, his son's course, so you see a lot of the same things.

You need to be a good ball-striker; you need to drive the ball well. Really iron shots are a premium out here.

Whatever it is about the place, I really like it.

Q. Having said all those things, were all those things what you were doing today?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah. I mean, I hit the ball really with the; made a few putts. All my birdies putts were inside ten feet. Made it pretty easy on myself today.

Q. The feeling about being in this position?
AUSTIN ERNST: Oh, yeah, you always want to be in contention. We don't play not to be in contention. I want to have a chances. It's nice after 36 holes. We'll see by the end of the day what it's at, but it should be close to the lead if it's not at the top.

Yeah, game feels good going into the weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2018-05-18 18:20:00 GMT

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