Interview With Brandon Hagy (Semis)

August 18, 2012

PETE KOWALSKI:  We'd like to welcome Brandon Hagy, lost in his semi final match to Steven Fox, but still advanced to the semifinals of a U.S. Amateur.  Hard to ask you this question because you're coming off a defeat where you were obviously hoping for a different result, but give us an assessment of your play during the match and what you thought was the difference that Steven was able to win.

BRANDON HAGY:  I thought I was pretty steady in the beginning, made some good putts, bad holes.  And I would just say today I just hit a few more loose shots out there.  Overall it was pretty good.  I just hit a few drivers off line that took a little bit of my advantage away, particularly No. 11, par‑5.

And I mean I think I shot like even par or something like that.  Steven made a lot of good putts out there, and he made the putts he needed to make to keep it going, keep some momentum on his part.  So job well done.

Q.  How about his approach shot on 18?  You saw how close it was and you probably had to ‑‑ what were you thinking when that happened?

BRANDON HAGY:  That was a spectacular shot.  Very clutch.  And my shot I hit it right at the flag.  It looked really good and just went a little too far.  But that was a very good shot in the moment, for sure.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Questions for Brandon.

Q.  Brandon, obviously you know Michael's game very well.  Now that you've played against Fox, could you analyze their two games heading into tomorrow where they'll face each other?

BRANDON HAGY:  Michael is a high‑ball hitter, and he's obviously been putting very well, really good iron player.

And Steven, great putter.  And he's just really doing the right things off the tee.  And nothing spectacular, but really keeping the ball in front of him and managing his game well.

But I think you guys know who I'll be pulling for tomorrow.

Q.  Brandon, did you have any experience playing at altitude, because I know you're from sea level, coming into the event?

BRANDON HAGY:  Yeah.  I played in the Trans‑Miss Amateur at Denver Country Club two years ago, and I'm actually staying with the same host family as two years ago, so they've been awesome this whole week and it's really been a joy staying with them again.  They've been a big help this week.

Q.  With the possibility of two Cal players being in the final, did you notice a bunch of Cal people out there?  Did you see some people arrive to come and support you?

BRANDON HAGY:  Yeah, the one thing that you notice when you go to Berkeley is you get a lot of "Go Bears" everywhere you go, and that was definitely the case out there today.  And it was good to see.  I wasn't surprised.  I knew there would be some "Go Bears" fans out there.

Q.  Can you talk about the driver, so much is made of your length.  You struggled, especially with the hook.  Can you just talk about that part of your game today?

BRANDON HAGY:  Yeah, the one that hooked I actually hit pretty well.  It was just the type of thing where I was a little bit off.  Especially for me I have a really fast club head speed, so the whole week I really had that nailed down and really was driving the ball the best I ever have.

And I hit a lot of good drives early actually, and I was pretty confident with it; and I just kept hitting it, and there was no reason to back down from it.

You know, on 11, you know, I just hooked it a little bit; and then on 14, I think it was, I killed that one, and it was just a little left.  But you know, what can you do?  I mean you're going to hit some bad shots and hit some shots off line, and overall I was very happy with how I hit the ball this week.  It was pretty fun out there.

Q.  Brandon, was it a case of you felt like he was able to beat you, you didn't lose it?

BRANDON HAGY:  You know, I'll be honest, I felt like I could have played a little better.  You know, I felt like I let it slip there on, what was it, 14 or 15 there.  I mean I just missed those putts.

But you know, I definitely gave away a little bit there.  And you know, I was still confident going into 17.  I really felt like I could carry those bunkers and put myself in a good position.  And I hit a good drive and the wind kicked up right when my ball was in the air and it missed carrying the bunker by maybe a couple of paces, so that was tough.

But Steven's a really good player, but overall I felt like I played a pretty good round, I could have definitely had a few strokes lower.

Q.  Did you know who Steven Fox was before this week?

BRANDON HAGY:  Actually, my teammate played him in a college Match Play tournament in Florida earlier this year.  We played Chattanooga.  So that's basically all I knew about him.

I didn't ask.  Michael came, he also made Match Play.  I didn't ask him anything particular.  But I mean I had heard his name before just because we played Chattanooga.

Q.  With the noise that the Cal Bears made at the U.S. Amateur, what does that say for the fall season for you guys?

BRANDON HAGY:  You know, onwards and upwards.  Last year I think we flew a little bit under the radar.  And you know, we definitely made a statement last year, won six times, won PAC‑12 conference championship for the first time, won regionals, finished third at nationals.

We all knew how good each one of us was, and one of the toughest competitors I've ever seen in Michael, his performance this week speaks for itself.  And he's coming out of a red‑shirt year and he didn't play last year.  So I think there's definitely one goal we have next year and there's no reason why we can't get to that goal.

Q.  Brandon, I'd like to know about the course difficulty.  Compare it to the ones at Cherry Hills to the ones you play in collegiate level.

BRANDON HAGY:  It's tough.  It's tough.  They set it up like a national championship.  The rough was high.  The greens were getting brown out there and really firm.  It was in really good shape.  The greens were rolling well the whole week.

The Cherry Hill staff, all the volunteers, everyone did such a great job, and it was really a joy to be out there.  And you know, the greens committee, and everyone working on the course really did an unbelievable job.  It was a lot of fun to play out there.  It's firm and fast, and that's how a championship should play.

The U. S. Open usually you see the same thing where the greens are burning out a little bit, fairways are firm, rough is high, and that's exactly how they set it up and that's how it should be.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Any other questions for Brandon?  Brandon, congratulations.

BRANDON HAGY:  I'd just like to say thank you to the VCJGA back in Ventura County, the junior golf program that I came out of.  It's really awesome, and I couldn't thank them enough.  That's where I got started with competitive golf.  Everyone back there has shown so much support.  So I just want to say thank you for that.

PETE KOWALSKI:  They should be proud of you.  You played very.  Congratulations.

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