U.S. Senior Amateur Championship

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Marion, Massachusetts, USA

The Kittansett Club

Rusty Strawn

Quick Quotes

Q. Let's just start, just talk about the round, going in -- what did you think when you found out you were going to play against Bob and heading into the semifinals?

RUSTY STRAWN: Well, I know Bob is a very good player, obviously. He's won this tournament before and he's a good match play player. I knew he was going to be -- I was going to have to have my best game to play. But you know, I've had some success against him in the past, and he's beat me, as well.

I felt like if I could keep the ball in play and I could putt well, I'd have a good chance, and that's what I did.

Q. How many times do you think you've played him in competitive matches?

RUSTY STRAWN: Oh, I have no idea. A lot. A lot. We're both in the Georgia State Golf Association and we're invited to a lot of the same invitationals, senior amateur events, so I couldn't even begin to count that many. But a lot.

Q. I was out there watching a bit; you got off, you got one on 1, then had a nice birdie on 3, about 12, 15 feet was the putt?

RUSTY STRAWN: That's right, yes.

Q. After you get up two after 3, what was working?

RUSTY STRAWN: I really don't look at that. I'm not really concerned about am I up or am I down, I just look at every shot and every hole and just take everything -- try to compartmentalize everything. That's the way I play. I just don't try to get wrapped up in the moment or how I'm doing. That's not my demeanor I guess you'd say.

Q. What was working well out there this afternoon?

RUSTY STRAWN: I did make some good putts. I made a good putt on 3 for birdie. I made a good putt on 8 -- excuse me, 6, for birdie, right off the green. Then of course I made the putt on 13 for birdie to close the match out.

Q. How far was that?

RUSTY STRAWN: Probably about 18, 20 feet, so that was good. That felt real good.

Q. You reached the quarterfinals last year. How good does it feel to get over the hump and you're a finalist now?

RUSTY STRAWN: Well, I've always said that match play, you can play good and get beat or you can play bad and win. But in this particular -- every match I've played so far, I've played real well and won, but I've played some really good players so far, too, so I can't take anything away from any of them.

You've just got to stay focused each and every shot throughout the whole tournament.

Q. What was the goal coming into the week?

RUSTY STRAWN: Make match play. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to sit here and say that I wanted to try to win this tournament. I just wanted to make match play and that would give me a chance to get where I am right now. That's it.

Q. You exceeded that. What are your thoughts on this place, on Kittansett Club?

RUSTY STRAWN: It's beautiful. It's a gorgeous golf course. You hit almost every club in the bag. The wind is the factor. You're looking at the wind every single shot, including your putts. I mean, you cannot not look at the wind because it's such a big factor.

Q. How was it out there this afternoon? Was it a little calmer than yesterday?

RUSTY STRAWN: A little calmer than yesterday. The wind keeps switching. It goes from south southwest which I think is their traditional wind. It started out from the north, and then it changed from morning to afternoon, and that's something that you have to be aware of, and of course the USGA does a great job at just keeping you on your toes because you expect to go out there and hit from one tee, the next thing you know they've got it 30 yards back or 40 yards forward. It just keeps you thinking all the time. They do a great job with the setup.

Q. I was reading on your bio that you recently got a hole in 1 on a par-4.

RUSTY STRAWN: I did. That was a couple years ago.

Q. How far was it?

RUSTY STRAWN: Well, it was downhill. It was about 305 yards, but it was downhill, because I don't hit the ball that far.

I was playing with a buddy, a couple of buddies of mine and they were a lot younger than me and had better eyesight. They said, that ball just went in the hole, and I was like, no, I don't think so, and it did. That was really exciting.

Q. Was that the most recent one you've had or had you had any since?

RUSTY STRAWN: I've had one more since then, but it wasn't near as exciting.

Q. Now that you're a finalist, you're into the Senior Open next year, you're into the U.S. Amateur next year. How do you feel about that?

RUSTY STRAWN: Well, that's just been a life dream of mine. Unfortunately I have not qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in the past. I've tried. I've come up a shot or two short a lot of times I've played, but that's a dream. I mean, it's a real dream. I just played in the Senior British Open this year, and I was like, these guys get treated really good. So I'll enjoy that.

Also, too, if you want to add, I went to Georgia Southern, so Ben Carr --

Q. Right, back-to-back finalists.

RUSTY STRAWN: Right, so I was pulling really hard for Ben.

Q. Did you reach out at all?

RUSTY STRAWN: Not yet. You know, I know what it's like to get deep in a tournament, and you're overwhelmed with a lot of people. I said, you know, I told Coach Carter, Carter Collins, I'm no proud of him and the wonderful job he's doing at Georgia Southern, and I wanted to reach out to Ben when all the dust settles and just say, hey, he should be very proud of himself. Even though he didn't come out the victor, he was just a gentleman about it. Had some great comments, and I was pulling for him the whole way. It's good to have two Georgia Southern guys in the finals at back-to-back events.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
124252-1-1002 2022-08-31 20:43:00 GMT

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