Oliver Goss (Amateur Runner-Up)

August 18, 2013

PETE KOWALSKI:  We'd like to welcome runner‑up at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship, Oliver Goss from Australia.  Oliver, a long day I'm sure.  Not the result you wanted, but tell us about how you played today, and maybe if you could put the week in perspective a little bit for us.

OLIVER GOSS:  Okay.  Today I was trying my hardest, had a game plan.  Didn't quite go to plan, but Matt played really well.  He holed a lot of putts this morning, and I was doing my best just to stay in front of him or just keep up with him because the putts he was holing were just unbelievable.  It's probably the best display of putting I've ever seen in terms of difficulty of putt and meaning of putt, as in like pressure.  He definitely did his job this morning.

To finish 1‑down after 18 wasn't too bad.  I knew I still had a good chance of getting up in the afternoon, but in the afternoon it just didn't quite work out.  I couldn't get any momentum going.  It seemed like every time I got a hole back, he would just get one right back the next hole.  So I didn't really get any momentum or anything like that, and I just didn't play solid enough for him.  He was always just one in front of me.  I seemed to be close but just not close enough it seemed like every single shot.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Lunch must have tasted pretty good after the chip‑in on 18 for par to halve the hole, right?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, that was huge.  That was really big for me.  I was really happy to hole that chip.  I was definitely trying to hole it, took the flag out and I knew I needed to hole it, and to do it was just incredible in front of all the people, and just the pressure of the moment was great.

Q.  Could you sense a change in the golf course, especially the greens in the afternoon?  Were they kind of getting a little harder and a little harder to hold?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, well, all week the greens have changed every single day.  During the practice round and the first round the greens were quite soft.  You were scared of hitting a wedge into a green with the spin.  Today you were scared to hit a wedge into the green to not hit it over the back.  The greens were really firm and quick, and it was really ‑‑ you really had to adapt today.  Yeah, so the greens were changing quite a lot.

Q.  After you squared it right off the bat in the afternoon, how difficult was it to go 2‑down very quickly and having him pressure you on every hole on a course where it's hard to take chances and not get punished?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, exactly right.  To win the first hole in the afternoon and be square, you're right back where you started; it's a level playing field.  To give up two holes straightaway was crushing.  It was quite big in the match.

Exactly right, you can't take too many risks on this golf course.  You have to play for the fat part of the fairways and the wide parts of the greens, and if you take any chances, even if you do pull off the shot, you may not even get close to the hole.  It could take an unlucky bounce and go over the green, and you're in the rough and you're looking at a bogey if you don't hit a great chip or a good putt.

Q.  Some of those chips you had, how bad were the lies?  I think even on 2, just that one there, I think you flubbed that one and I think you needed two to get on the green, but there were a couple times where you didn't get up‑and‑down.

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, some of the lies I had today were just so brutal.  People probably can't see from where they're standing, but the lies are just absolutely horrendous.  It's absolutely impossible to tell how the ball is going to react when it hits the club face and even again when it gets the green.  You almost have to be really lucky with your judgment.

Yeah, that one on 2 was just in the long grass, and it was just straight into the grain.  I just didn't hit it hard enough and it came up real short.

Q.  When you found yourself in trouble, was it because you were just off a little bit, or probably just because of the demanding nature of the golf course?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, I mean, you can hit a great shot out there and finish just in the rough and have a really horrendous lie.  It happened on 14.  I hit it in the left rough off the tee, and then I thought I hit an amazing shot into the green, and it just bounded through the back of the green and was tucked against the collar of the long grass.  I really had a really bad lie, and there really wasn't much I could do.  It was hard to tell how the ball was going to come out, and it just squirted out low and fast and went about 15 feet past the pin.

Q.  You said you were surprised how proficient he was on the greens.  Matt talked about the fact that he really doesn't have much of a short game, not necessarily putting but around the greens.  Would you talk a little bit about what you thought of his game, and can you say in your amateur career if you've seen anybody that's been that good around the greens?

OLIVER GOSS:  Well, after yesterday, I watched the highlights yesterday, and it seemed like his short game was just ‑‑ he was making everything, up‑and‑down, chipping in.  His short game today was really good.  When he missed the greens, he definitely made a good effort and got up‑and‑down most of the time, which is incredible, because I had a really hard time judging the way the balls were going to react.  Yeah, he almost made up‑and‑down every time.  He did a really great job today with the short stuff.

Q.  What would you say is normally the strength of your game?

OLIVER GOSS:  The strength of my game, this year I've improved my ball‑striking a lot, so I'd say my ball‑striking and my length.  My putting hasn't been really great this year.  I'm trying to work on it.  So I need to work on that, but I'd say my ball‑striking is probably my biggest strength.

Q.  You made the step from last year's quarterfinals to this year's finals, and you said that you learned a lot playing in the quarterfinals last year.  What have you learned about yourself and your game making it to the final of the U.S. Amateur this year?

OLIVER GOSS:  I've learned that I do have the ability to reach the finals and have the opportunity to win, which is great.  I'm looking forward to next year's championship and the next 12 months with the opportunities I've been given to play in a couple of majors.  I used a lot of experience from last year with the shots I had.  I knew what I had to do with the feelings I had.  Yeah, last year helped a lot.

Q.  How about the difference in the emotional energy you've got to expend, just thinking and going through everything that you've got to do to get to the final?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, today I tried to remain calm and collected as possible, and I was actually really surprised I was nervous hardly at all all day, which is really surprising for me because I have been nervous in the past over way less significant tournaments.  I really surprised myself today about how calm I was.  I got nervous only a couple times out there, and it's really important to do so.

Q.  Did Brady help in those moments?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, Brady helped me a lot, especially when I was kind of down about losing a couple holes or hitting a bad shot.  He kept me positive and focused on what I needed to do.

Q.  How about the thing you have hanging around your neck now?  That's got you some dates you've got circled for next year.  How does that feel?

OLIVER GOSS:  Yeah, I've definitely got a couple weeks that I'll keep open in my schedule.  If someone told me at the start of the week I was going to have the opportunity to play the Masters and the U.S. Open next year, I'd be speechless.  I wouldn't be able to believe it.  I was there this year after a college tournament.  We got Monday tickets to the practice round, and it was golf heaven.  It's the greatest thing I've ever seen.

I stood there, and I was like, how do they play under this kind of pressure and with the difficulty of the golf course.  But I'm really excited to be able to play there next year.

PETE KOWALSKI:  Congratulations on a great week, and we appreciate your cooperation.

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