U.S. Amateur Championship

Friday, August 14, 2020

Bandon, Oregon, USA

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Tyler Strafaci

Quick Quotes

TYLER STRAFACI: It would have been nice to lag it up close, but I think making that three-and-a-half-, four-footer really gives me confidence because if I have that putt tomorrow to win the match, I know I can do it.

Q. Just the way that it ended, to walk off making a putt instead of yesterday was a more satisfying feeling?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, a hundred percent. Yesterday I had a really weird feeling just kind of leaving the golf course. Again, you just don't -- it's never happened to me before, for something to end that quick.

Today I told myself I had to play one of the best rounds of golf I've ever played, and I thought I did. I executed a lot of the shots I did. I held a really good composure. I gave up a 2-up lead and really had a good mindset and didn't bother me at all. My dad kept me calm.

Yesterday I was just leaking down the stretch. I just felt tired. My back was a little tired. I honestly -- it was just a weird feeling.

But today I felt really solid coming down the stretch, even though I made a couple bogeys here or there on 14 and 15. I didn't really hit a bad shot.

14 I hit a great drive and it somehow ended up in a bad lie by the bunker, and if it just goes two feet I'm going to make par on that with my eyes closed. But I thought I played fantastic, made some really good putts early on. That was the key. I made like -- I had three up-and-downs out of the bunker in a row that were unbelievable.

Q. Which holes?

TYLER STRAFACI: 3, 4, 5. And then I hit it on 6 to like that for birdie.

That really gave me some confidence moving forward. I rolled a lot of good putts today except for the last first putt, but yeah, I putted really good today.

Q. Was that shot on 6 the best shot you hit today, tee shot, like five feet or whatever?

TYLER STRAFACI: I would say that one or the 5-iron I hit on 9 because I had 250 on 9, I just obliterated a 5-iron, just hit a high cut, and I'm usually not a cut player, and I trusted it. I would say 6, though, just because there's so much trouble and you just have to hit a really good shot.

Q. The legacy of the family that's being talked about a lot now, more than ever probably, what has it actually meant to you kind of in your golfing life as far as how much you think back on it or just feel like it's part of your DNA?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, I mean, ever since I was a kid and playing golf, from what I remember, my dad has been telling me stories about my grandfather. So just having that and all my dad's friends who are a little older are talking how great of a guy he was and how great of a golfer, you just kind of live with that. Every time I went to Pinehurst since I was a kid, everyone always came up to my father and said, your grandfather is awesome, he has such big history here. So I always knew that.

I'm just happy to be a part of it.

Q. Did you ever feel like you were trying to live up to --

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, a hundred percent. I remember freshman year of college -- or sophomore year I played in a major, the U.S. Open, I played in a TOUR event, semifinalist at the Western and a lot of questions came up and I don't think I was ready for it. I was good but I wasn't ready to be the best amateur in the world because I took a step back after that, and then after that I really hit the ground running. Last year was a struggle, but I found out some stuff about myself that I needed to.

Q. Do you look at this summer as kind of bonus golf because you would have been pro right now?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah. I mean, so my initial thought going to last year was that I was going to play out the school year, play summer golf and then try to make the Walker Cup at Seminole. But in the beginning of -- like let's say this January, I hadn't had a great -- no, actually it was more February. I hadn't had a great first couple tournaments of the winter. I looked like I was kind of out of it, and I told my dad, I said, I think I might turn pro. The Walker Cup has been a little too much pressure on me and I kind of just want to get going with my life, and that was just an excuse because I wasn't playing good golf.

But all this stuff makes you stay in because there's nothing for us to do pro-wise, so you kind of go play professional golf, you're not going to do anything. So I played amateur golf and just kind of -- I'm freed up because of just having fun and just thankful to be playing because for three, four months you couldn't do anything.

Q. Did Ogletree share the trophy with you guys during the year, and did you have a chance to look at it? Did you think about, hey, is this something I want to have someday, too?

TYLER STRAFACI: A part of it, I glimpsed at it when he brought it in, but I tried to -- I've always had this dream of kind of the first time I hold that trophy, it's kind of mine. I thought after, again, I was done. So I kind of spent a little more time with it with him kind of later on in our golf season. But it was cool to see him have it kind of around his apartment and hang out and watch TV with that being the centerpiece.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
100678-1-1002 2020-08-15 01:03:00 GMT

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