U.S. Amateur Championship

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Bandon, Oregon, USA

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Tyler Strafaci

Quick Quotes

Q. Can you talk about the day?

TYLER STRAFACI: That was an insane finish. It was tough but Aman made some great shots down the stretch. But at the same time, you're still thinking "why did I just give up a 4-up lead," when you're in complete control. It's tough.

It's still a very weird feeling. I would say it's almost weirder than Segundo (Oliva Pinto) match, because the whole time in the Segundo match, I was positive and ready to go and played 18 really good. And this time, I was playing great and then had six holes where I played 2- or 3- -- 5-over.

And just the way I snapped out of it on 18, I think that's why I'm pretty tired right now because it took everything I had to just snap out of it and flip my mind-set, because I was going south, quick.

I am proud of myself for hanging in there, so it was good.

Q. I don't know how you describe the emotional roller coaster a day like this presents you with?

TYLER STRAFACI: I'm sorry, you said what kind of emotions?

Q. The emotional ups and downs. How did you process all that at the end?

TYLER STRAFACI: Yeah, so I mean, I actually talked to Andy Ogletree this morning, and I said, "Bro, I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty nervous. I've never been in this spot before."

He was very good. He told me, he said, "You just have to understand, the other guy is as nervous if not more nervous than you are." And that kind of got me in a better mind-set.

He said, "Just make sure you do something to kind of take the pressure away." He said, "Just stare at your yardage book for a while or just get zoned in."

I felt like I handled the pressure great. I got over those nerves really quick on the front and played a really good, solid 12, 13 holes.

And just again, I just wasn't -- the only thing nervy about my game was my lag putting. It's not that I was nervous; just too conservative. I'm a great lag putter in stroke play because I'm not thinking about two-putting; I'm trying to make it, and I get around the hole.

But when I'm trying to two-putt it, my speed gets bad, and then you'll occasionally miss a 6-footer or a 5-footer, but yeah, it's just -- Aman put me in my place on the back side today.

From a golf fan, I would imagine that was pretty fun to watch him. I mean, I didn't enjoy it at the time to what he was doing to me, but it was great. I mean, his shot on 13, no one realizes how good of a golf shot that was. To keep that short of the hole.

And then his shot on 16, that was a 45-yard bunker shot over another bunker with ocean in the background. He hit it to six feet. On that hole, I thought I was in control. I hit a really good pitch to about 12-, 15-foot feet and I was like, okay, I've got the control back. And then he just does that and makes the putt. And then you are walking down 17, and you're like, okay, here you go. You hit a good shot, goes in the bunker and you're like, uh-oh. I'm happy how I remembered. My dad was good. And the emotions were all over the place today.

Q. Have you had any time to process the whole going to the Masters thing?

TYLER STRAFACI: It's weird, that's all I was thinking about during the round today and now I haven't thought about it because I think that might have been it. I've just wanted it so bad, for so long, and I knew that -- I've been talking to my dad ever since I started golf. I was like -- tomorrow will be very nerve-wracking. I'm going to have to play the best round of my life to win tomorrow, and I know that.

But I've always thought that for some reason, this semifinal match in the US Am has always had a little more -- kind of more on the line, just because as a kid, I've always wanted to play in the Masters, and so that's all I've ever thought about as an amateur and I've always wanted to do what my grandfather did.

Today I was thinking about that and I was 4-up and I got -- of course, stupid Italian me got ahead of myself. And after that on 18, I didn't think about it at all. I got put in my place and I got brought back down to earth, and maybe that's the thing I needed.

Q. Your grandfather played there twice?

TYLER STRAFACI: He played three times in three different decades.

Q. And how did he do?

TYLER STRAFACI: So it's funny, I think he had a couple -- maybe like a 40th, 40th, and he actually withdrew from the Masters one year after the third round to go defend his title at North & South, which he won that year, which was kind of -- you never think of someone withdrawing from the Masters to go play in the North & South Am, but he did it.

Q. What do you have left for tomorrow after going through this ringer today?

TYLER STRAFACI: I've got a lot left in my tank. I feel like I'm freed up a little bit. I'm ready to go. I've been dreaming of this moment since I was a kid, and I'm ready. I've put in the work and I'm more than anything just excited to go be a part of a match that's part of golf history, and it will be cool to just have fun, compete.

I've never met Oli, and it will be good to meet him. I'm sure he's a great kid and we'll have a great time and talk about some fun stuff.

Q. Are you going to do anymore chat or have you heard from Kuchar?

TYLER STRAFACI: Andy and the guys just FaceTimed me maybe just 30 minutes ago. They were pumped. They were giving me some stick and whatnot, but I love them. I've got the most supportive team in the country. They are some of my best friends, and Andy is a great guy. He wanted me to know that he was there for me if I needed to talk to him before today, and I'm sure I'll call him tonight and kind of -- kind of know what I need to expect for tomorrow during the round.

Q. How much do you think about carrying the Georgia Tech tradition here?

TYLER STRAFACI: It's obviously in the back of my mind, but I'm just -- it's more about just, for me, it's more taking it day-by-day and kind of -- you kind of hear occasionally about how you're compared to some people throughout Georgia Tech golf history. And like the way I act and the way I conduct myself, that's more how I try to represent Georgia Tech.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
100702-1-1003 2020-08-16 03:26:00 GMT

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