KOWALSKI: Frederick, tell us about your experience this week and let's talk a
little bit about the match first.
FREDERICK WEDEL: I mean, it's just been the most
special week of my life for me. I mean, there's been so much support, family
and friends, and the cast has just been amazing. But today's match, it was
tough. He drove it really well, he put a lot of pressure on me. I answered
quite a few times on the front nine, and I had the lead. Once I got the lead, I
was confident that I wasn't going to give it up. I mean, I've been in that
position every time this week. I've been leading, and I haven't given it up,
and I actually shut the door on him pretty quick, but I gave it back on 12 and
13, and those are just bogeys I couldn't make. And then 14, 15, 16, I made some
big putts there, and then all square going into 17, hit that chip and just
pushed the putt. 18, really my goal was set up for me, and then on the 19th
hole he made birdie. Good for him.
Q. Can you
describe the fairway bunker shots on 12 and then on 18, just each one, how they
FREDERICK WEDEL: 12, I think I was 248 to the
hole, Gunn was up there at 220, 215, so I figured he was hitting 5-iron. He's
going to get there no problem. I felt like I had a good enough lie, and it was
a good number for my hybrid, especially back into the breeze a little bit. So I
guess I didn't think it through completely, but I felt like I could put it up
there and put a little pressure on him, and unfortunately it didn't work out.
18, when he hit it in the water, I felt -- I was 210, and I think I was 195 to
cover, so I mean, at that point I told myself, hey, even if -- I mean, I've got
to hit it on the green. So I pulled enough club to what I think was going to be
plenty to carry the water, which wasn't the case, but I mean, I hit a great
shot there and pulled it off. But on 18 I knew I had to go.
Q. On the extra
hole you laid back a little bit more than you did when you went through the
first time. What was the decision making there, and were you trying to do
something different, or do you regret laying back farther?
FREDERICK WEDEL: No, I don't. I don't regret it. I
put it in the fairway. I mean, I thought him going with driver was extremely
aggressive. If I put it in a bunker, I'm screwed, especially hitting first. But
yeah, I mean, I put it down there in the fairway. I figured I'd have 9-iron or
8-iron in, and I did, I had 8-iron, and I think I had 167 hole. I've been
hitting it and putting well enough to give myself a look at birdie, but he
stuffed it in there on me and made a putt, so good for him.
semifinals in this thing have a lot more at stake than just getting to the
finals, as you know, getting to Chambers Bay like you wanted to and getting
into Augusta. Did that enter your mind today and does it add a little more
pressure to the semifinals than just trying to get to the final?
FREDERICK WEDEL: Yeah, it adds a lot more
pressure. Definitely I think that while you're out there, it's in the back of
your mind, but it's not something that I was thinking about. Once you're out
there you're in the zone and you're just playing golf. Yeah, I was aware of
what was going on, but at the end of the day, I mean, it's golf, and if I'm not
going to be able to live up to that pressure, then I don't belong.
Q. Was the chip
shot on 17 as hard as it looked?
FREDERICK WEDEL: Yeah. I didn't know if I was
going to be able to get the ball over the collar where the fringe turns into
the rock, and then it was going to hit and go back in the water, but I had to
go for it. And then I had to shut my club face a little, too, because I had no
stance. Half my feet were over the water. I was scared that I was going to
embarrass myself and fall in, but yeah, I shut the face down a little bit and
nipped it perfectly. Yeah, I mean, I pulled it off perfectly.
Q. What was the
club on that one?
FREDERICK WEDEL: 58.
Q. And then on
18, how surprised were you when he's hitting first to dump that in the water
and did any part of you say should I hit a sand wedge out there?
FREDERICK WEDEL: No, my lie was pretty good in the
bunker, and especially on an upslope, so I figured I wouldn't have any problem
getting it up and getting it to fly. When I saw him go for it, it was actually
kind of relief because it looked like his ball was sitting down a little bit,
and I was thinking if I was in his shoes I'd lay up and then force me to go for
it. But fortunately he gave me another chance, and then unfortunately he shot
me out on the next.
Q. I just
wonder if you could talk about the unique challenge of the U.S. Amateur. It's a
long week, and how do you keep fresh physically? How do you stay with it
mentally? It can be very grinding.
FREDERICK WEDEL: Yeah, it is a grind, and it's a
long week. I kept telling myself that it's not physical at this point, it's
mental. It's a lot of golf, a lot of walking. I could feel myself getting a
little worn down yesterday, and then today I was actually pretty tired because
I have been keeping ahead of my opponent all week. I've been walking really
quick, trying to control the pace of the match and get that mental edge, and
today I found myself out there today a few times behind Yang. It was hard to
keep up. I was worn out a few times. It's a long week, and it's a tough test of
Q. The bunker
shot on 18, what club did you hit, and in your mind, is it as good a shot as we
thought when we saw it?
FREDERICK WEDEL: I hit 5-iron, and I hit it
Q. After six
days what do you think it says about the level of amateur competition that No.
619 in the world was going up against No. 776 with a chance to win a national
FREDERICK WEDEL: Well, I think match play factors
into that a little bit. It's completely different. Maybe in some ways guys are
still going out there and trying to score instead of playing each other, and
that's the most important thing I tried to focus on was trying to beat my guy.
But also I think rankings are just a number. I mean, it really doesn't matter
that much because those rankings roll for the whole year, and a lot can change
in a year. It really doesn't take long, maybe you just start putting a little
better or hit it a little better and it gives you confidence in the rest of
your game. Things can go well for you quickly if you're working on the right
Q. You said
earlier that week that regardless of what happens, you feel like you're a
better player than you were at the beginning of the week. Tell us a little bit
more about that.
FREDERICK WEDEL: Well, I've been under the gun.
I've had to hit a lot of big shots this week, make a lot of clutch putts.
That's definitely experience that you can't get anywhere else. I mean, you're
put under the heat and pressure of a U.S. Amateur trying to close a guy out, I
mean, there's water on half the holes on the back nine, and you've just got to
clutch up. It will give me a lot to feed off of in the future. Maybe I can draw
from the U.S. Amateur in future tournaments and events and just think to myself
that, hey, I've been here before, and each time you are under the pressure of
that, you're more likely to pull it off next time.
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