Semifinals: Denny McCarthy Transcript

August 16, 2014

DENNY McCARTHY: I have no regrets. It's been an awesome week. I've had my whole family is here, a bunch of friends drove down, family, friends, so it's been a great week overall. I'm a little deflated right now. I'm pretty tired, too. Like I said, I have no complaints. When I won the last four matches, I really thought, this could be the year. This was going to be the year. It didn't turn out that way. Didn't quite execute my shots coming down the back nine, and it was kind of hard to play catch-up when Corey is such a solid player. The last four or five holes I had a chance, and I played them really well, just couldn't quite get the job done.

Q. Why did you think this would be the year, first of all?
DENNY McCARTHY: When I start winning matches and play the way I'm capable of playing, I just carry so much momentum with me into my next round of play, and I just feel really comfortable with myself. I still felt comfortable today. I just felt like if I could have made a few more putts early or anywhere, really, I didn't really make anything, so I thought if I could have -- usually my game feeds off my putter, and I just couldn't make anything to get me going.
Q. You hadn't gotten past 64 previously, and you got very deep this year. Was there another factor involved, be it something technical or something in your game?
DENNY McCARTHY: I don't think so. I've had experience playing the Maryland Amateurs the last two years. I've been pretty successful in that. So I think that's helped me match play wise playing. I don't think anything changed. Like I said, once I get on a roll, I feel like I can get pretty hot. Today I still felt really good, I just couldn't make one or two putts to get me over the hump and get me going. It just never happened.
Q. I just asked Fred the same thing, but there's more at stake than just getting into the U.S. Amateur final with the U.S. Open and the Masters on the line. Did that ever pop into your head at some point last night or today, and does it add a little more pressure to this match?
DENNY McCARTHY: Of course it crossed my mind. It probably crossed everyone's minds, everyone in this room's minds. Yeah, I was definitely thinking about it at some point, but I wasn't thinking about it during the match today. When you're playing your match, you're not thinking about, oh, if I win this hole I can probably get one step closer to staying at Augusta. I was never really thinking about that during the round. I mean, obviously it's crossed my mind at some point previously to the round, but no, not during the round today.
Q. You were down two early, got it back by the ninth hole. (Indiscernible.)
DENNY McCARTHY: I thought No. 10 was a pretty big hole. He had the advantage off the tee, I hit it in the fairway bunker for like the 10th time in 10 holes, and I knew when he hit it long that I would still have a chance to maybe halve the hole, and then I ended up having a four- or five-footer to win the hole, and not making that, that was an opportunity that I think I really needed to capitalize on, and I hit a good putt and just didn't go. 10 and 12, early in the back nine, I made some bad bogeys on 12 and 13. Made a bad swing on 12 and then two misreads in a row on 13 on the green, and that usually never happens to me. I'm usually a pretty good green reader, and for me to miss two putts inside 10 feet like that was pretty poor on my part. 12 and 13 was huge in the match to go 2-down through 13 when I should have ended up -- should have won 10, probably could have halved or won 12, and then just a stupid bogey on 13. I mean, that was a three- or four-hole swing right there.
Q. You had a chance to square up the match on 17. Did you think you made that putt up the hill when you first hit it?
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I did. Halfway there, it was rolling right where I wanted it to roll. I mean, it was dead in the jaws the whole way. In fact, put a little more pace on it, it was right in the center. I don't know how you leave that putt short when it's kind of like a must-make situation with him being eight to ten feet. But like I said, I have no regrets. I played the closing holes well in every match. 13 through 18 I gave myself a really good look on 15, I thought, to close the gap, and hit a really good putt that didn't go in, and 16 has been my hole. I made another birdie there, played a good hole to put some pressure back on him. And then my shot on 17, I'm surprised it only cleared the water barely. I thought when I hit it, it was going to be perfect. I thought it was going to chase back there, kind of like his did. Just didn't end up working out.
Q. When he hit it into the water off the tee on 18, were you thinking about what he just did, or were you just concentrating on what you were doing?
DENNY McCARTHY: I mean, obviously I knew his ball went in the water. With the tees moved up the way they did, I mean, it's an absolute disadvantage going first in my opinion, because to me I hit a good tee shot right where I was looking, it just rolled into the bunker. I mean, there's so many different options. If he goes first, I knew he was going to hit driver because he's a good driver of the golf ball. If he goes first, if he puts it in the water, I'd probably lay back a little shorter probably with like a 3-iron where I could still get it on in two, probably leave myself 220, 230 and still give myself a chance to hit it on in two. So with me going first, I kind of felt -- I knew he was going to hit driver. Me going first, I felt like I needed to get it up there closer to give myself realistically a good eagle chance and maybe a definite birdie chance. I was not expecting him to drive it in the water. He had been driving it pretty straight all day. I thought it was a disadvantage going first, but I can't control that.
Q. The first putt off the green on 18, I know you were looking at a point where the fringe ended and the green started. Is that why maybe you hit it so hard?
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I mean, it's tough to read it from behind the ball. Obviously I would have been in the water. Usually I get a better read from behind the ball, and it was kind of tough to read from behind the hole. But yeah, usually I -- on most putts I like to pick a spot somewhere between halfway between me and the hole, and just from where I was and not being able to read it behind the ball, a closer spot seemed easier to me than something farther along on the green. I mean, I just crushed it through the break. It just came off that fringe like a ramp. It was like putting on ice. The greens were fast all day. Yeah, it wasn't my putts falling. The wedge shot I hit from the fairway was awful. It was a perfect number for me. I just fanned it, whiffed it. It wasn't anything in the putt. I mean, from 100 yards you should be leaving yourself a lot closer than 30 feet.
Q. Could you just talk briefly about the quality of the shots that Corey hit at 17 and then his third shot at 18 after hitting it in the water? That was a pretty good comeback shot.
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, he hit a great shot on 17. I think -- I had 6, and I think he had 6, as well, and I think when he saw my ball get hit by the wind a little bit, I think he changed to a 5 and hit a knock-down cut in there. He flights the ball really low, so I think it was a pretty comfortable shot for him knocking it down and kind of chasing it back there. He's a good player. He hits his long irons and his mid irons, he flights them really low. There's not much curve on his ball, so it's usually going to go pretty straight.
Q. Talk a little bit about what your plans are now following this championship, besides rest.
DENNY McCARTHY: Yeah, I'm just going to go enjoy my last year of school. Probably going to head down there in the next couple days, yeah, and just see what this college season brings me. I've obviously got some good momentum coming off the U.S. Am, and I look forward to a great college season, and I'm looking forward to having fun my last year in school.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports  

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