Semifinal Interview With Cantlay August 26, 2011 By USGA


            THE MODERATOR:  All right.  And now we have Patrick Cantlay, who is our first finalist for tomorrow's U.S. Amateur Championship defeating Jordan Russell 4 & 3.  As Jordan just said, Patrick, it was pretty tight there at the beginning, but you certainly built up a roll there at the end.  What can you tell us about this morning?  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah, it was very back and forth at the beginning.  I think we traded holes the first seven holes, and then, you know, I made bogey on 8, but it was enough to win, and that kind of got me started.  You know, I just tried to play solid golf from there on out and hit smart shots, you know, and really try and put the pressure on him to ‑‑ you know, I wasn't going to try and ‑‑ I wasn't going to give any holes away.  At least that was my plan. 

            THE MODERATOR:  You were clearly exhausted after your two rounds yesterday.  How did you feel coming into today?  And clearly you got through a lot faster than you did yesterday.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  I felt really exhausted yesterday.  I was very tired, especially mentally.  But this morning I was ready to go.  You know, I got up and went through my normal routine, and I felt great.  So I think it's just ‑‑ you know, you're going to get up for the semifinal match, no matter what. 

            THE MODERATOR:  Great.  We'll open the floor up for some questions.  


            Q.  Can you just talk about the state of your game right now?  You were down late against Max yesterday, and today wasn't obviously your best stuff, I don't think, but how do you feel you're playing going into tomorrow? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I feel like I'm playing well.  Really, so far I haven't got many putts to drop overall.  I feel like I've hit some good ‑‑ made some good strokes.  I'm either not reading it right or not stroking it right because the greens are perfect.  So you know, looking to make some more putts tomorrow, but other than that, feels really good. 


            Q.  Patrick, obviously a lot of golf, a lot of tournaments this summer, but you know, a lot of guys say this is the big one.  Just your overall feeling of making it into the championship match.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah.  It's a great feeling.  I'm really excited to go out tomorrow and do my best.  You know, so far this week I've come and done what I wanted to do.  So it's really exciting. 


            Q.  Talk about the condition of the golf course today.  It seemed like by far the firmest today, especially on the greens.  Any comparisons to Chambers last year where you played well? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  It was definitely the firmest day.  Not quite as firm as Chambers, I don't think, especially in the fairway.  The greens were close, but not the same.  But it's still very firm, and the wind was blowing early this morning, made some holes play much different.  I chipped 3‑wood into 8, and yesterday I hit 9‑iron or pitching wedge into 8.  So that's just how much the golf course can change.  


            Q.  (Indiscernible)? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I like when it's firm and fast.  I just think you have to have much more feel, and you have to leave yourself in the right spot so it rewards knowing where you want to hit it and controlling your golf ball. 


            Q.  You had a lot of success playing in pro tournaments, especially the U.S. Open.  How has that affected your confidence, and does it give you much more confidence now going against amateurs, seeing as you can handle dealing with pros? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  A little bit.  You know, I think any time you get to play with the best fields possible, it just helps your game and your state of mind for whatever tournament coming up.  So definitely this summer has, I guess, prepared me better than I was prepared last summer for this tournament.  Most definitely.  I didn't feel nearly as nervous as I did in the semifinal this year as I did last year, so I think that has something to do with all the tournaments I've played.  


            Q.  You clearly have a lot of family support here.  Is that helping you out this week? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah, it's been great.  They've been here all week.  My mom and my coach, Jamie flew in last night.  My grandpa's here, my grandma's here.  My high school coach is on the bag.  My little brother, Jack, it's his birthday today, he's out here.  My little sister Caroline, my uncle Jimmy is out here.  I think that's everyone. 


            Q.  (Indiscernible).  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  That's right.  So I think my dad and one of my good family friends is coming out tonight, so they'll be here tonight for that, and yeah, it's really nice having them around. 


            Q.  Patrick, obviously yesterday with the two matches, pretty exhausting.  Can you talk about the toll it takes on you physically as I player if you have to play 36 holes out here on this golf course, which you might have to do tomorrow? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  Yeah, it's ‑‑ you know, 36 is always tough.  I think more than physically, mentally you need to make sure you're in it for every single hole.  36 holes is a long time.  Eight, nine hours out there.  So as long as you drink enough water and snack all day, I think I'll be good.  


            Q.  Can you just go through the birdies on 14 and 15, the yardage, the club and then the length of putt? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  14, par 5, I got up there.  It was downwind, and I killed a drive, carried the bunker.  I had 202 yards in.  I hit a really hard 6‑iron up the hill.  And then I ‑‑ you know, I kind of fell asleep at the wheel and hit my 10‑footer four feet by and made the four‑footer coming back.  

            Then 15 I was thinking about hybrid or 3‑wood.  I ended up going to 3‑wood.  Hit 3‑wood in the middle of the fairway, wedge shot from 79 yards, hit the wedge to, I guess, inside a foot.  


            Q.  Patrick, what have you learned so far about handling success?  I mean when you come to these events now you're kind of among the favorites and expected to be where you are right now, and I imagine that's probably a challenge in some respects.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  A little bit.  I don't really worry about what other people think.  I have high expectations for myself, so it's important for me to play well in every tournament I tee it up in, and I'm just doing the best I can.  


            Q.  Patrick, what would you say is the toughest part right now?  Would it be the mental or the physical grind? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  I'd say it's definitely the mental side of things, but I think that's how it is every tournament you play in golf.  I think if you think you're going to play well and you feel confident about yourself, then you know, you're going to have a good week.  


            Q.  Not just looking ahead to tomorrow but just taking the sum account your summer up to now and how much fun it's been to do the things you've done, just even forgetting what you've got tomorrow ahead of you yet? 

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  It's been very special, probably the most fun I've ever had in my life this past, you know, how long it's been, like two and a half months or so, starting at Regionals, so it's just been a whirlwind, but it's been a lot of fun.  

            THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions?  Well, congratulations, Patrick.  Get a good night's sleep, and we'll see you tomorrow for the final.  

            PATRICK CANTLAY:  All right.  Thank you.  


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