What they're saying: U.S. Open, Third Round

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will play their second dual match together at Mission Hills.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will play their second dual match together at Mission Hills.

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RBC Heritage

Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

9:25:01 AM ET. 04/20/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Luke DonaldE -8
2John HuhE -6
T3Charl SchwartzelE -5
T3Nicholas ThompsonE -5
T3Jim FurykE -5
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Tiger Woods, on chances to be aggressive:

There's some difficult pins out there. A couple of them are on ridges or are very close, you got to really position your shots well. If you leave yourself in the correct spots, you can be pretty aggressive with some putts and they're not that fast uphill into the grain. So if you put yourself in a correct spot, you can really take a pretty good run at it and be aggressive. But if you put the ball in the wrong spots, yeah, it's tough to make putts.

• • •

Woods, on whether this Open setup is the most penal he's played:

Most definitely. Because of the pins, I think. The long holes are playing really long and short holes obviously are short, but the thing is that the pins out there, what they're giving us out there are really tough.

Look at what they did at 7 and 8 today. Couple short holes, but 7's one step and a half over the top of the ridge. And 8's on the down slope a little bit. And it's a pretty steep slope. So they got some really tough ones out there.

17's right in the middle of the green, but it's on a swale or right between two knobs and it's 253. They got some really good pins out there. But as I said, if you put the ball in the right spots you got uphill putts and you can be really aggressive.

• • •

Phil Mickelson, on how his round felt:

It was a day that I thought you could get you could get under. And the fact that I was 2 over early, I had to be really patient not to force the issue and fight for a lot of pars out there. And take advantage of a few birdie opportunities.

I thought that I played better again than the score dictated, but this is a really fun challenge. It is a hard challenge, but it is a lot of fun. Every shot requires such great focus because the penalty can come up and bite you so quickly here. It's just a very penalizing golf course. But there are birdie holes out here.

• • •

Mickelson, on Sunday play:

A lot of fun. Let's go. I can't wait to get back out playing. I feel really good ball striking, I feel good on the greens, and I think that it's going take an under par round tomorrow.

• • •

Justin Rose, on his last two holes Saturday:

I felt a little bit hard done by on 17 for sure. I hit a great 3 iron that pitched in the middle of the green and just trickled off a swale into that really terrible lie where you kind of you're really hoping you can make contact. You sort of I tried to hold down a sand wedge just to try and get as much of the ball as I could with the toe of the club and didn't get any ball. So that's tough to take.

Obviously, 18, tougher hole, but I hit a good tee shot there, could have, should have made par. Poor swing with a 4 iron. But that is Merion for you.

I'll be in a situation tomorrow where I can play a clean few holes to finish and post a number and you never know.

• • •

Rose, on the value he places on winning a major:

Yeah, Majors are a step up for me now. I've been lucky enough to win quality PGA TOUR events and lucky enough to win a WGC event. So the trend for me is into the Majors now.

I would like to become one of the prolific winners before I solely focus on the Majors. I feel I can do a better job of that. But absolutely, the next, the thing missing from the resume is a Major now, if you look at it. But I think that winning more is a big goal.

But, no, I feel like this week's been a good learning curve for me. I've not stumbled, but I've worked.

Like Adam Scott, for example, he knows exactly what's worked for him in terms of preparation for Majors and I feel like this week's been a big learning curve for me for what I can take forward as well.

• • •

Billy Horschel, asked what it's like to be in contention Sunday:

You know what, I didn't have my best stuff today. Obviously I'm not going to hit 18 greens in a row like I did yesterday. That's a feat in itself. But I hit the ball good enough to play well. Unfortunately, I putted very bad. My speed was bad.

My perfection side kind of came out in me to kind of have the perfect speed and hit the perfect line, and I haven't done that all this year. I've been pretty good at just sort of getting up there, just hit the putt, trust what I want to do. And if it goes in, it goes in.

But my speed was bad, I just putted bad. And I didn't have my good stuff, but I'm right still in it and I'm happy about it. I can go out tomorrow and hopefully play a good round and maybe post a number and get off early and see what happens.

• • •

Ian Poulter, on how intimidating the tee shots are at Merion:

We play a lot tougher tee shots than that around the world. It's tricky because you want to put it in position, but anything left is short, short goes out of bounds. So anything turning over is turning to that marker. There's three bunkers down the side which aren't fun either. I hit 5 wood, a lot of guys hit irons. It shouldn't have gone out of bounds but it turned over. The second one was fine.

• • •

Henrik Stenson, on the difficulty of the weather delays:

I have to recharge a little bit. I'm completely exhausted. I've been up four and a half hours between the rounds, I played six holes back, fell asleep for a little bit and didn't manage to do that, and came back out and six hours in the heat and in the rough constantly trying to focus. So it's very mentally draining, and physically, as well, I guess, on this course.

• • •

Stenson, on his back-and-forth day:

Yeah, it's a tough day overall for most players out there. It's as tricky as it gets. We can talk about all the pin positions and slopes and ending up slightly in the wrong place, but it's tough.

For myself, I still take some positives, even though I was disappointing with back to back doubles on 14 and 15.

I started off poorly and came off with three straight bogeys, and from there it can go south very quickly, I think, in this type of tournament.

I'm happy that I came back with a nice birdie on 4.

• • •

Webb Simpson, on trying to defend his title:

It's been tough. It's been exactly what I figured it would be, very challenging, very penal. Pins are maybe a little harder than I thought they would be. But I think score wise, they're dialing it in perfectly.

• • •

Simpson, on whether the third-round pins seemed the most accessible so far:

No, it did not. I think yesterday's pins were the hardest. Today's were the next. I think the easiest round was the first round.

I don't know what the scores are doing, but I don't think you'll have anymore under par rounds than you had.

• • •

Rory McIlroy, on whether his problems are about confidence or about a key change being needed:

I think it's confidence and fluidity. I don't have any other way to explain it. I've been working on the swing quite hard over the last few months, and it looks really good on camera. I just get on the course and I hit a couple of bad shots and it sort of I guess that it sort of makes you lose confidence a little bit during the round.

But I don't know, it's just, yeah, it's just a bit of a struggle and it seems like if I've had a few too many tournaments this year where I've struggled in one round or a couple of rounds and not been able to put it all together.

• • •

McIlroy, on costly misses:

If you're not on your game a hundred percent, you get on the wrong side of the greens and it's just freighting because I didn't feel like I played too badly. I missed a few shots here and there, and I was trying on every shot out there and I was trying to get myself back into it, but it's tough. If you're just not a hundred percent on top of your game, it's going to expose some of your flaws or weaknesses.

• • •

Sergio Garcia, on hecklers:

Yeah, I think that it was a possibility. Like I said on the first day, for the most part they've been very good. Obviously there's a little group that are trying to be funny and stand out. And they shout a little bit louder than the rest.

But the only thing I have to say is they're not very, how you say it, like the things they yell, they're very common. They're not very creative, how may I say?

• • •

Garcia, on the toughness of the Merion East Course:

Well, it's not really a short course. I mean it has it obviously has four or five holes that are short, but par 3s are very long. And you have the par 5 was shorter. You have a lot of you have a very long par 5 there and probably at least I would say five long par 4s it's not like straight forward, doglegs, and they're hard to play well and to score on them.

• • •

Paul Lawrie, on his round:

It was a nice way to finish. I hit a 3 wood, 250 to the front, and just tried to hit a nice draw with the 3 wood and it pitched up on the back and was 40 feet in for two. Easy!

I played lovely, Quite nicely. I had it 1 under most of the day then bogeyed 5 and 6, which are tough holes, and I had chances at 7 and 8 and a 12 footer at 9, so it was nice to finish like that.

It’s tough again. Much more wind and softish greens, so it isn’t easy out there. But I’m pleased with how it is going. For me at the US Open, this is pretty good.

• • •

Rickie Fowler, on what worked for him today:

Finally just kind of pieced everything together. I played well the first day scoring. I had a few holes get away from me. Yesterday I just had a bad stretch and today I just made a few putts to keep the round going.

I swung it well, drove it a little better, and stayed out of the rough as much as possible. So definitely feels good to be done with the round and sitting here and getting ready for tomorrow's round.

• • • 

Fowler, on the pace of play:

A lot of guys made the cut, threesomes, split tees. We had two groups on the first tee when we made the turn, and the course isn't playing easy. So all that together it's going to take awhile to get around. But I have no complaints right now.

• • •

Jason Day, on whether this week is a continuation of his success at the Masters:

I think I've come off some pretty average golf lately and I needed to pump myself up for this week and get in as early as I could to prepare for this week because I knew that it was going to be tough.

Really, the Majors are kind of where it's at. I think that it really defines a career and if you can win as many as you can. It just goes to show, I mean, you're playing against the best players in the world at the highest level on the toughest golf course, courses, and I think that I just really enjoy playing in front of a lot of people and playing against the best.

• • • 

Day, on Saturday's course setup:

There were a lot of I'm going to say there was a lot of pins that were accessible. And how they set the course up was like I said before, I think it was fair and I think it was very fun to play.

Saying that, I actually hit the ball pretty good and gave myself a lot of opportunities, unlike some other players that have probably struggled today.

But I think that the way they set the course up was, it was fun. Even though there were accessible pins, I think that it was still playing tough and you just have to keep your respect out there and just keep plugging away and that's pretty much all I did.

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