Q. Harry, congrats. First time around Colonial and a competitive round anyway, and you go 8-under, 62. This has to be maybe your favorite course, right?
HARRY HALL: Hopefully it will be by the end of the week.
Q. What was the key today? I mean, scrambling, 7 for 7 in scrambling, great chip-in for birdie at 12, the 30-footer at 15 was a nice par save. What was the key to that scrambling today?
HARRY HALL: Just a bit more focus probably than the few rounds I've had this season. I was really in the moment out there and determined to play some good golf.
The 7 out of 7 scrambles doesn't really surprise me because that's the best part of my game, but the way I hit the ball the first two-thirds of that round was pretty special. So that was nice.
Q. Putting, right now No. 1 in strokes gained this week. You gained almost five shots on the field. Overall on the season you're 9th in strokes gained putting. So obviously that's the best part of your game.
HARRY HALL: I'm a bit disappointed being 9th, especially I think I'd like to be No. 1 on that stat at the end of the year. This will help. I haven't putted great in the last two months. I think I've lost strokes. I was 1.2 a round for a long time. Hopefully I can get back there.
Q. You're wearing the Ben Hogan hat. Obviously Mr. Hogan made that famous back in the day, won here five times. Is there any karma between the hat and Mr. Hogan, or is that just one of those things?
HARRY HALL: Maybe another player will wear it tomorrow, and we'll find out.
Q. Harry, eight birdies, bogey-free 62. Excellent day. Could we get some comments on your round.
HARRY HALL: I'm hitting it really nice. I've gone back to hitting a draw off the tee with my driver and my woods and hitting little fades of mine. I struck it really well on the first 13, 14 holes, and kind of gone back to my old ways on the last few there, maybe poor tempo or something. I'll go and figure that out in a minute.
Yeah, my putting was great. Been waiting for a round like that with the putter because I know I can get hot, and consistently I'm really good. Yeah, that was nice to hole some putts out there today.
Q. First time playing this event. What's the key when you're playing an event for the first time and playing that golf course?
HARRY HALL: I think getting some work done Monday to Wednesday. I think this week I played 36 holes around here before I teed off, which is probably the most I've done all year. Played in the Pro-Am on Monday and then nine Tuesday and Wednesday.
Maybe that's the key just to see a bit more of the course than I have done in the past. I didn't do too much different. I kind of just made things a little bit more simple.
Q. How was your game trending coming into the week, and did you see this round coming?
HARRY HALL: No, I don't tend to see anything coming. But I played some good golf this season, and I've had a couple of top tens. Yeah, this feels nice to be on the leaderboard. Hopefully I can keep the gap there between the rest of the field this afternoon.
Q. I know it's just the first day, but how excited are you now for these last three rounds?
HARRY HALL: I think I'll be more excited as the day goes on, but yeah, I've just finished. Nice birdie on the last. I think that was nice. I kind of went birdie-less there for a little while. To get a birdie on the last hole, that was really nice.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about your short game, chip-in at 12 and then both up-and-downs on 15 and 16. Just take me through each one and what you saw on each one and how encouraging it was to get through that stretch.
HARRY HALL: That chip-in was the back of the 64, caught it a little thin. Yeah, I had a nice bit of spin on it and went in perfect. Landed exactly where I was trying to land it.
15, I was just trying to not hit it in the bunker short, to be honest. That's why it went to 30 feet. When you're having a good day, if you start it online, you've got a good chance of it going in. I made that big putt.
16, I landed it exactly where I wanted to and hit it to five feet. I grew up at West Cornwall Golf Club in England, and we didn't have a driving range, and all we could do was chip and putt as juniors. So that was -- I kind of had to learn the game, how to hit the ball better coming over to college in America at UNLV.
So the short game doesn't really surprise me. It's pretty good.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
133003-1-1182 2023-05-25 19:10:00 GMT