U.S. Amateur Championship

Press Conference

Sunday August 21, 2016

Brad Dalke

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we're here with our U.S. Amateur runner-up Brad Dalke. I imagine it's not the way you expected or hoped things would turn out today, but you've still got to be pretty proud of the way you comported yourself this week.

BRAD DALKE: Yeah, it's been an awesome week. If you had told me at the beginning of the week I'd be runner-up I'd probably take it, but now that I was there, it kind of stings. Yeah, great week, and hats off to Curtis. He played really well all week.

THE MODERATOR: You were all square going to 18 and were able to quickly grab a lead, but then things went a little off track for you. Take us through what happened there early in the second round.

BRAD DALKE: Yeah, I never really felt comfortable that second round. I don't know if it was the break or what. I just didn't feel comfortable for some reason until finally on about 11 or 12, and finally I kind of got it going a little bit, but I think it was just because I was trying to make a comeback and the crowd was kind of getting motivated. Yeah, just didn't feel comfortable. Wasn't hitting it great, wasn't putting it well. Curtis, I think, went 2- or 3-under on that stretch, so that didn't help. But yeah, and now it seems like it was a blur. It went by pretty quick.

Can't do anything about it now. He played well, and I didn't play as well as I can. But he deserved it, though.

THE MODERATOR: You've had, again, a lot of family support this week. It's got to help to have them here with you at this time.

BRAD DALKE: Yeah, it's been fun. It's nice to see a lot of family. I appreciate them so much for coming out this week and flying up here and driving up here. I love them.

Q. Curtis talked a lot about winning that 18th hole before the break. Your thoughts on that, and do you agree with him that that was a pretty big point to get?
BRAD DALKE: I really didn't think so. I mean, honestly it's just a 36-hole match, and that's just one hole. I mean, obviously if I had lost 1-down or something, it might have been big. But just basically what I thought is we were just playing an 18-hole match that second 18. Sure, he might have grabbed a little momentum, but with a two-hour break, I don't think that really matters much.

But no, I think we had a great match that first 18. We both played pretty well, and he blew me out that second 18, but you know, I really didn't think No. 18 that first round was huge for momentum just because we had that long break in between.

You know, I think if I had won that hole, same thing might have happened. I might have lost 4 & 2 or whatever it would have been. I don't think it really mattered.

Q. 18 aside, how about No. 7 on the second 18? You're coming out of the rough, you hit a great shot there to four, five feet, whatever it was. He comes on top of you with a birdie. Did you consider that a big point in the match?
BRAD DALKE: I think that was the turning point, because I guess I was, what, 4-down, I think, at the time. I just hit a couple bad shots at that point, and that kind of cost me. I was just kind of waiting for that one spark to happen, because 4-down is attainable. You can come back from 4-down. But I was just waiting for that spark, and I thought that might be it. Then he made a great putt, and I misread the putt, and all of a sudden I lose the hole and I'm 5-down. I think that was a turning point in the match for sure.

Q. I talked to grant right after the match, and he said he was proud of the way that you didn't lay down after losing eight straight. To be able to get it to 14, what does that say about your fight and your character, and I guess what has this week taught you about yourself as a golfer?
BRAD DALKE: I mean, yeah, I was going to fight regardless. I didn't care if I was winning by seven or losing by seven. You know, God has a plan for me. I told him I would just play my hardest, and whatever happens happens. I played my hardest out there.

Q. Let's go back to yesterday; last night I saw on Twitter you got to meet Justin Verlander. Can you tell us what happened and what that experience was like?
BRAD DALKE: Yeah, it was cool. Yeah, Glenn Murray was nice enough to let us go to the Detroit Tigers game, and it was fun. We got to meet a lot of players. It was really cool. It was a fun experience. I wish it wouldn't have been rained out. It was awesome. I'm a big baseball fan, so it was a really cool night.

Q. I know you've known Curtis a while; what's the toughest part of going up against him as a competitor?
BRAD DALKE: He's just solid. He makes a lot of good swings at it, doesn't get really wayward with the driver, great short game. He's never out of a hole. He could be in a trash can 20 yards from the green and still get up-and-down. Yeah, he has great hands around the green, really soft hands. Yeah, he's just a solid player. Doesn't get off line very much, and if he misses a green, he can probably get up-and-down. It's definitely good for match play when you just don't make bogeys, you can make pars and some birdies here and there. But yeah, he's a great player. He's tough to beat, that's for sure.

Q. Could you comment, please, on the courses itself here at Oakland Hills, particularly the South Course? I don't know how many other major championship courses you've had a chance to play, but if you have, how would you compare it in terms of difficulty to others?
BRAD DALKE: Yeah, Oakland Hills is awesome. It's been a great venue for the whole week. Probably one of my favorite clubs I've been to just course-wise and hospitality-wise, and the people here were really awesome, really nice. You know, I've been lucky enough to play a lot of cool courses, and this is definitely ranked up there with them. This is a championship course that is a tough test for any pro golfer, amateur golfer or anybody. I think the people here, though, is the big thing about this club. The people here are awesome. They were always so kind all week to all 312 of us, and it really made the week great for us.

Q. Obviously I know you're disappointed now, but in a few days you'll realize what you've done this week. What will this do for your confidence moving forward?
BRAD DALKE: I think it'll do a lot. Yeah, I mean, I'm disappointed, but I'm not -- I'm proud of myself. I fought hard all week. I really gave myself opportunities this next year. I'm going to the Masters, U.S. Open. I mean, you can't ask for much more than that. I'm excited. It gave me a lot of confidence. I believe in my game. Obviously today didn't work, but I'm really excited for the next year.

Q. I think it's six days or seven days until you play your first college event of next season. Talk about you guys' team and how excited you are to get back out there with the boys and play for Coach Hybl.
BRAD DALKE: Yeah, it'll be awesome. Not a bad start to the season to play at Pebble Beach. But I'm so excited. We'll have a good team this year, I think. Coach Hybl was able to come out today and root me on. Yeah, we'll have a great team. I love our coaches there. I'm excited to be going to tournaments again, traveling, rooming with my teammate/caddie grant. Yeah, it'll be so much fun. I'm ready, and I think we can do big things this year.

THE MODERATOR: We've really enjoyed getting to know you this week. Congratulations, and we'll see you next year at Erin Hills.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2016-08-21 21:50:00 GMT

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