U.S. Junior Amateur Round of 32: Quotable July 19, 2018 | Springfield, N.J.

Joe Highsmith was victorious in his Round-of-32 match on Thursday morning over Garrett Barber. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

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Thursday began with 32 players teeing it up on Baltusrol Golf Club’s Upper Course, and now we’re down to 16. The competitors who won this morning have quick turnarounds, as the Round of 16 begins at 1:15 p.m. EDT. Here is what some of them had to say after their victories in the Round of 32.

Michael Thorbjornsen, Wellesley, Mass. (won, 7 and 5, over Nate Stember)

“Slowly but surely I just kept knocking wedges closer and closer. It might have been hard for my opponent to keep up with that. I definitely still try and play aggressive. If I do play aggressive and things don't go too well, it's just one hole lost.”

Shuai Ming (Ben) Wong, Hong Kong, China (won in 19 holes over Jolo Timothy Magcalayo)

“Tim is a grinder and he's younger, so I think I had a little bit of a distance advantage. He hung in there really, really well. Even when he hit some errant shots he would always make the putt coming back to tie me. Made it really, really tough for me. So I was just staying patient the whole time. I knew he was a good putter so I was just staying aggressive.”

Jacob Bridgeman, Inman, S.C. (won in 20 holes over medalist Kelly Chinn)

“Tons of respect for [Chinn’s] game. I hit it way by him, but he is dialed in with his long irons; really good putter. I made seven birdies today, and obviously won 1 up in extra holes. He's a really good player.”

Trent Phillips, Inman, S.C. (won, 5 and 3, over William Mouw)

“I wouldn't say I have my best game at all right now. I'm really just finding a way to get it in the hole. Although it maybe a little stressful, I'm getting it in the hole. That's what you’ve got to do. I'm just going to stick with what has been working so far and just keep on plugging.”

Cole Hammer, Houston, Texas (won, 4 and 3, over Kaiwen Liu)

“The course definitely fits my eye. The greens aren't too firm right now, so you have to really know how to control your spin and hit shots into these greens where they're not going to rip off the low side of the green. I did a great job of that these last few days. I feel like I'm reading the greens well.”

Joe Highsmith, Lakewood, Wash. (won, 3 and 2, over Garrett Barber)

“I played Garrett and then [2017 U.S. Junior Amateur champion] Noah Goodwin last year. I played fine, but it was still one of those things where day-to-day it was a lot different, where this week I feel like I've swung well pretty much the whole week.”

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