BYRON METH: Incredibly special and such an
honor. My dad and I were joking about being the perpetual champion at the
beginning coming into this week on the flight over, but really didn’t put much
thought into it until right after the last putt was conceded. It’s just
an absolute honor, and it was just an unbelievable week and a week I’ll never
You didn’t trail in a match until today, but then you re-took the lead before
Doug made a run on you in the last eight or nine holes. Talk a little bit
about when the momentum started to swing back the other way. How did you
steady your game?
BYRON METH: Well, Doug is a tremendous player, and he
took a few big risks and they paid off. He hit a lot of quality shots,
and that’s when the momentum shifted, and I knew if I just stuck to my game
plan and kept executing the smart, aggressive ‑‑hitting the smart target, and
my putter ‑‑ I’ve relied on my putter a lot in my life, and it definitely
did not let me down today.
And the momentum, it was big, but I think the most important
part is I just stuck to my game plan, adjusted when I needed, but for the most
part just kind of played my game and kept swinging away.
Seems like you made a lot of those putts in the six‑, eight‑, ten‑, 15‑foot
range today that didn’t just keep you in the match but kept you ahead for most
of the match. What were the crucial putts out there that you remember
being a key in the match?
BYRON METH: Definitely the par putt in the afternoon
on 7. I ran my first putt by about six feet or so, one of those downhill
sliders. But the good thing is the downhill is out here, the grain goes
downhill, the wind was going straight down, so it really didn’t move too much,
just had to get it going on line and the putt dropped, so that was a big one.
And then right after that on 8, pulled my approach shot a
little bit and got a funny lie and wasn’t quite sure how to play it, but I’ve
had enough of those lies where I’ve kind of experimented a little bit, and I
tried something and pounded it out to 10, 12 feet or something like that, and
another one of those downgrain, downhill, downwind, started it on the line, and
that was a big one.
And then obviously 16, making that left‑to‑righter from 12
or 13 feet, that was huge. If I got 2‑down at that point, it would be
tough to win both 17 and 18, but making that so I was 1‑down with two to play
was important. I was fortunate enough to have a chance in extra holes.
Then you go to extra holes and you go back to the 10th hole. It gave you
a little bit of an issue today the first two times through. What were
your thoughts when you heard the playoff was on the 10th hole?
BYRON METH: I wasn’t happy, that’s for sure. I
made a mess of it today, but I knew that I had played it well all week. I
haven’t made a bogey on that hole until today, three birdies and the rest pars,
so I’ve played it well to this point and I knew if I just hit quality shots I
could play it well again.
I hit a very solid 3‑wood off the tee, took an incredibly
safe line for my second shot this morning after he hit it in the hazard. I was
right in the same spot where I made a mess of it in the afternoon.
Just completely different shots. The one in the
morning rolled, but this time I had a 9‑iron from 126 out of a dodgy lie in the
rough, and just hit a quality shot.
I’ve put in a lot of hard work. Everyone has, but I
guess to this point in my career, I’ve just relied on the foundation, and it’s
Can you talk about the bunker shot at 14. You sort of stepped back from
it a couple times and sort of seemed to gather yourself. That was a
critical point in the match. Was there some thought in your mind that you
stepped away from?
BYRON METH: I just heard a couple of cell
phones. I decided to back off. It wasn’t anything in particular
with my game, I just wanted to have everything quiet and ready to go.
How hard was it, you missed a short one on 13. What were your thoughts at
BYRON METH: Again, I wasn’t very happy, but I knew
that I still had enough holes to try and get it back to ‑‑ just didn’t let
it bother me and kept going.
I was a bit amped up after that, obviously, and hit that
drive on the next hole 330 or whatever it was, and I had 176 out of the
fairway, and that’s usually a good 7 for me. I tried hitting 9 because I
knew I was really amped up and I knew long and fast, and then I just completely
came out of it, my worst swing with an iron this week by far, into the bunker,
and I’ve only had one other bunker shot all week, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure
on how the sand would react, but I ended up getting down there and I had a very
good lie. The bunker was raked perfectly because no one had been in it
all day. Had a very good lie, stuck with the foundation I’ve build, and
Were you surprised he conceded that putt?
BYRON METH: No. It was a foot and a half,
Talk about having your dad with you all week. He said he walked every
hole except for nine each practice round; he was with you every step.
BYRON METH: Yeah, it was very special. I’ve had
three victories, one at Aaron Baddeley international in China as a junior, the
West Coast Conference was last April I believe it was, and now this one, and he’s
missed both of the previous two. It was too expensive for him to fly to
China with me. A couple of the other ones I had to work. It’s great
for him to be here this week, and to be able to pull it out in the end it was
incredibly special and something the two of us will never forget.
You mentioned the support and yet not being pushed. Can you talk a little
bit about your relationship together when you were a younger golfer?
BYRON METH: Yeah, so growing up, I started playing
golf when I was three, and took lessons at golf clubs when I was five and a
half and six. So the first two years, it was, ‘Hey, do you wanna go to
the range?’ ‘Yeah, sure.’ It was never, ‘We’re going to the range.’
It was just all about having fun. Even when I started playing
competitively from six to 13, it was never ‘We’re going to this tournament, we’re
going to go do this, we’re going to go practice.’ It was ‘What do you
want to do today?’
They’ve supported that mindset ever since I was a kid and
that is probably why I fell in love with the game and enjoy it so much. I
couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day. It was just an absolute
blast and one of the best weeks on the golf course I’ve ever had regardless of
the actual scores and the results. It was just so much fun.
Walk me through the range of emotions on the 36th hole.
BYRON METH: Yeah, so after Doug fanned his shot, which
I thought went OB but wasn’t sure, I knew my line was going to be the left edge
of the fairway. I’d been hitting my driver pretty well all week, and I
knew if I made an aggressive swing at that line there was nothing that could go
wrong, that I could carry that bunker. It ended up in the rough, which
was ok because I knew I actually just needed to make par. And then the
second shot I had 127, same yardage I had in the playoff, the extra hole, and I
hit a wedge ‑‑ it was into the wind, and it was kind of a weird lie but
almost too good. It was sitting way up in six‑inch rough, so I had to
adjust for that, and I knew it wasn’t going to spin as much so it might knuckle
and kind of get through the wind. So I took a lesser club and I knew an
uphill putt would be fine. I had that putt earlier today.
So I hit that shot, and it came down in a pretty similar
spot, a little further left so it had more of a left‑to‑right bend in it, and I
saw him miss his bogey putt and had a four‑footer for double or whatever it
was, and I got up there and just didn’t read enough break and didn’t hit it
hard enough, and it came back to my feet and had to do it again.
The second time I made sure I got it there, and turned out
to be enough to win that hole and move on. But actually if it was stroke
play, I wouldn’t have even been in it after the 10th hole in the first round.
Coming up next you were saying that you’re traveling to Arizona, playing an
event there, then you’ve got U.S. Amateur coming up now, you’ve got a busy
schedule and jury duty somewhere in the middle of that. Talk about your
schedule coming up over the next month or two.
BYRON METH: Yeah, so I fly home tomorrow, which is
Sunday, and we land and get home in the evening sometime. Laundry, packing, get
everything ready to go, hop in my car, drive eight hours by myself to
Flagstaff, Arizona, from where we live in Southern California. I might be
able to walk the course in the afternoon when I get there; we’ll see.
Probably going to be pretty tired. Hopefully I draw an afternoon tee time
on Tuesday because if not, I’ll just try to make a bunch of pars.
But I’ll go out there and play the Pacific Coast Am this week,
drive back next Saturday, and then I have jury duty that week.
Hopefully I don’t get on a jury so I can actually practice
and prepare for the Am, and then straight off to the Am. I think my new
coach, Coach Chris Hill, is coming with me to that, so that will be a fun week
for the two of us to get to know each other a little bit better.
Is he going to caddie for you?
BYRON METH: Yeah, he is, so I’ll have a lot of fun
down there, and then that ends on I believe it’s the 18th, so then I’ll fly
home after that, on the 19th, I guess, load in my car and drive 500 miles to
school and move in on the 20th.
You said before that Sahalee was a big tournament for you – building
confidence. Can you talk a little bit about that, the way you played coming in
BYRON METH: Yeah, so the entire 2014 season I’ve been
playing pretty well. I’ve had a lot of good finishes in college, this
semester especially, capped it off with a win at conference and then fifth
place finish at regionals, missed nationals by a shot, second year running
actually, so that stung a bit.
But I knew I was playing well. I knew if I kept to it,
it would pay off in the end. Then down to Sahalee, played excellent the
first ‑‑ it was actually 36, 18/18, so I played pretty good. I’ve
never seen the golf course before, had one practice round with my host, and
that was a good practice round. It was an interesting format because it
was a team event, so kind of played a little more aggressive than I would have
normally in practice rounds. Didn’t quite see enough of the golf course,
but played fairly conservative in the first 36 holes, actually got myself tied
for the lead at the halfway point. Third round went all right, shot 74,
which really isn’t that bad out there, and played in the penultimate group the
final round, and I’m still getting used to galleries and cell phones, people
walking and waiting and regrouping, it’s all part of it. I have no
problem with people taking pictures or walking. They’re trying to have
fun and watch good golf, or hopefully good golf.
It was a good learning experience.
How do you plan to celebrate?
BYRON METH: I’ll probably have a beer with my
dad. I turned 21 earlier this year, and we haven’t had a drink together
yet. I’ve been at school and traveling all summer, by myself most of the
summer, so it’s nice to have him here, and we’ll probably have a drink