Patrick Cantlay Interview August 26, 2011 By USGA

THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  We'd like to welcome Patrick Cantlay from Los Alamitos, California, our third semifinalist in a 19‑hole win over Max Buckley.  Another dramatic comeback.  You're making birdies at the end when you need to make them.  Tell us about those last few holes and talk a little bit about the playoff, Patrick.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  I was ‑‑ let's see.  I was ‑‑ I think I was even par ‑‑ even par going into 15, and he hit it close to like four feet.  I missed like a 15‑footer.  He went 1‑up, made birdie on 15.  We went to 16.  He hit it close, maybe 12 feet.  I hit it to 20 feet.  Mine burned the edge.  He made it.  

            I was two down, two to go.  I hit two shots pin high left in the fairway.  He hit two shots just short, left his a little short.  And then I chipped it, almost went in, but it just slid by the hole.  Gave it to me.  

            And then he missed his 10‑footer for par.  Then we went to 18.  I smashed a drive and hit a hybrid up on the green to, I don't know, 20 feet left.  He clipped it up just past the hole maybe 15 feet.  Mine slid by the edge.  He missed, so we went to first playoff hole.  We both drove it down the middle.  I laid it up to maybe 130.  He hit it left in the hazard.  I knocked it just short to the front fringe.  He chipped it up ‑‑ he chipped his fourth shot past the hole to maybe 15 feet.  I putted mine two feet past the hole.  He missed, I made it.  So that was the playoff.  

            THE MODERATOR:  Is the extra hole experience helping you, and if it is, in what ways is it helping you?  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I don't know if it's helping me, but I've had to do it, so it's nice to know that I can hit good shots coming down to the wire.  But I'd like to obviously hit those shots earlier on in the match and have a lead.  

            THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please?  


            Q.  When you got to 17 two down, did you kind of tell yourself, I was in this position yesterday and I pulled it off, I can do it again? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  I knew when I was on the tee box that it wasn't over, for sure.  And I just tried to hit the best shots I could.  Really that's all you can do when you're down, or even when you're up.  


            Q.  Have you been a late starter in these matches or has it just been a case where your opponent's played really well early? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  This afternoon we both made birdie on the first two holes, so I don't know if it was really a late start.  My opponents have played really well and I've played well, too, so it's just been a grind out there.  


            Q.  You had a two‑up lead, Patrick, through 6.  What happened on 7 and 8? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  7, he made a nice birdie.  You know, what are you going to do?  He rolled in like a 12‑footer.  And then 8, 8 I think we tied, right?  8 we tied.  9 I made bogey.  I hate that little devil hole.  (Laughs).  It should be an easy hole, but it's not.  You know, I hit a bad tee shot and missed a 10‑footer or so.  


            Q.  Did you miss on your approach at 17?  You say you chipped on, chipped on at 17? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah. 


            Q.  Was it a similar chip to what you had yesterday? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  No.  The pin was back left, and I was pin high left.  I ‑‑ actually I kind of snap hooked my tee shot in the left rough and pulled my 6‑iron approach from like 200 yards a little left, and that's just where it was.  


            Q.  Was there ‑‑ you know, you said on 17 tee that you were there yesterday and you had the confidence.  Same thing with the chip again? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  I was trying to make it.  I actually hit a really, really good chip and it just slid by the edge, you know, maybe a ball outside the edge and it went three inches by the hole.  So I hit a really good chip.  I tried to make it, but ‑‑ 


            Q.  How mentally taxing have these matches been so far for you? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  So far very mentally taxing, especially the last three.  But I'm sure it's taxing on everyone unless you're, you know, Kelly Kraft and you win 7‑up or whatever he won.  But it's taxing on everyone.  Match Play is tough and no matter how many you're up, you're still focusing as hard as you can.  So I think everyone's, you know, drained to some degree after 36 today and the rain delays and everything. 


            Q.  Patrick, two years in a row in the semifinals.  Congratulations on that.  What happened in the match with Peter last year that you can maybe use in your semifinal match this year? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I can forget about it and, you know, draw on experiences from this week and the past year and just try and do the process really well and do my own thing, and you know, play the best shots I can.  


            Q.  The position of being in a semifinal again, does that help your ‑‑ 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  It's nice to know that I was there before, and I definitely know what it's like to play in that situation, you know, on that Saturday, and it's going to be a lot of fun.  


            Q.  What do you know about your semifinal opponent, Jordan Russell? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  He's a really good guy and a good player.  I played him earlier this year in the Callaway Match Play.  He plays for A & M.  I think he just graduated or going to be a senior.  Okay.  He's a very nice guy.  We're friends.  


            Q.  First, what year are you going to be this year? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I'm going to be a sophomore. 


            Q.  And did you beat him in the Callaway Match Play? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I did.  Yeah. 


            Q.  Can you talk about it at all? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I really don't remember.  The match was a while ago.  

            THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Patrick?  Okay.  Patrick, congratulations.  Thanks for joining us.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Thank you very much.