U.S. Amateur Championship

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Paramus, New Jersey, USA

The Ridgewood Country Club

Brian Kortan

Caddie to Sam Bennett

Quick Quotes

Q. That was quite a match. It was a little more tense maybe than you thought?

BRIAN KORTAN: Yeah, match play, we've been talking about it all week, just the ebbs and flows of it. Obviously when Ben made those two in a row on the front there -- it's never easy. Sam knows going in that -- we talk about it all the time, anything worth doing is never easy.

Hung in there, never hung his head. U.S. Am champ. What more can you say?

Q. What makes this kid so tough? The gauntlet he went through this week to beat five top-27 players --

BRIAN KORTAN: He just really likes doing what he does. He's homemade in every aspect. I mean, other than the fact that he's just a damn great competitor, and he enjoys playing under that kind of -- in those circumstances. He's learned to really embrace that.

You talk about -- pressure is earned. The guys in a tournament when you're in the middle of the pack, there's no pressure. The pressure is earned when you're near the top, and he respects that and he wants that. The self-awareness is something that he knows. He just appreciates chances to do it.

Q. He calls you his "best friend." What's going through your head right now seeing him --

BRIAN KORTAN: You know, I know the road he's been down, and I know some of the things he's gone through. I mean, it's been -- everybody has written about it. But to see the kid mature and battle through those things and kind of come out the other end and still be this kid that enjoys doing this and enjoys being in college -- he came back for another year because he actually enjoys it.

It's pretty cool to see.

Yeah, we're great friends. Doesn't stop me from -- if he misses a workout he's going to run a stadium. We've got a great relationship, and I'm very fortunate for that. Yeah, it was just a pleasure to watch.

Q. This day and age you don't see kids coming back. When you're at his level you don't see kids coming back for another year. What was it about his makeup that made him decide to come back for another year?

BRIAN KORTAN: He wanted to graduate, wanted to be more mature so that he could handle the stage that he was going to move on to, and genuinely he wanted to play as a Texas Aggie for another year because he knows when he leaves it's all about him. He doesn't have a buddy to pick him up. He'll be in the world where -- everybody is going to kind of -- your buddies are going to wish you played better but everybody else is going to wish you played worse so they can beat you. He likes playing on the team. He's been a team guy. Yeah, he wants to be part of that.

Q. There was a time last summer when he said he didn't really enjoy being on the golf course. How did he get that back?

BRIAN KORTAN: I think getting over the hump, seeing and believing that he was really good. I think there's been -- even this week and even in some of the articles and stuff, they talked about a lot of the other guys. He's not physically imposing, he doesn't have the prettiest golf swing. He didn't grind all summer playing all those amateur events. But it's okay. He knows who he is and what he likes, and he got through that by kind of getting over that hump and understanding that with some maturity he really could do this.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
123983-1-1002 2022-08-21 22:14:00 GMT

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