U.S. AMATEUR
An Interview With Byeong-Hun An August 26, 2010 By USGA

THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome the first of our semifinalists in this 2010 U.S. Amateur, and in not an unfamiliar place because he was the winner last year, Ben An.  On the way in we talked a little bit about how tired you felt just at the end of the day here.  Talk about why you feel so tired?  It's a great spot to be, but tell us why you're tired?

            BEN AN:  Yeah, yesterday when I played 36 holes, I felt more tired I think because I have a tough opponent, definitely, and he's my good friend, and he played well too.  We played great golf today.  That's why I was very tired.  We didn't make that many mistakes.

            Then I made a big mistake on 17 and the 18 tee shot too, so I felt like I was very frustrated by that.  So I think that's why I felt more tired today at the end.

            THE MODERATOR:  You've probably had some really good things in your mind about where you were going to be in this year's U.S. Amateur deciding to come back.  Now you're in the semifinals.  How does that make you feel?  Is it at your expectations or is it past it?

            BEN AN:  It's definitely past it already.  Again, like all of this year, the Match Play first, and then trying to win each game, so I definitely passed my goal.  I'm really happy I'm here right now, but I guess I'll be more happy if I get to the finals and win.

 

            Q.  (Indiscernible)  we talked a little bit in the vehicle coming up about the 18th hole.  He came upon the green to survey your third shot and it hit the slope and came back.  And he went down and played a similar shot and had a similar result.  What were your thoughts about that?  Because I think a lot of people thought maybe this was going to go extra holes if he could get it close.

            BEN AN:  Yeah, but what I thought was after his tee shot went in the bunker and after that my shot went to the right, we both laid up in kind of similar spots.  And I knew the green was playing very tough.  But he was about ‑‑ I don't know ‑‑ he could have played a lot better with that shot, but it was really tough.

            I think I had the best shot I could have hit from there but it still rolled down about 60 feet down.  But you know, when people get nervous they can't play that shot that well unless you have a really strong heart or unless you're really brave.

            I think that's where the practice comes up, you know.  If you're practicing a lot from this distance and if it's in your body already, I think you play that shot like practice.  But when people get nervous, that shot is really hard, especially with a win like that, yeah.

 

            Q.  All last year and even through yesterday you kept on saying how par, you know, you just like looking at pars.  But on the back nine it took two birdies to win two of the holes to kind of get you to spark.  Was your mindset like ‑‑ you were up by two at the turn with eight pars on the front side.  But did you think you had to start making some birdies?

            BEN AN:  No, not really.  I made a par.  I was 2 up.  I made eight pars on the front nine, and I was 2 up.  And I said if I can get a par, just get a par or bogey, not doubles, you know.  Because bogies you can at least tie some holes.

            Number 10, I think that was really big when I hit it to like a foot and then I had the next shot.  I knew it was really close because the crowds were clapping.  Not yelling, but whistling.  So I knew the shot was really close, and I tried to hit my best shot from there.

            I left it about nine feet and downhill.  I knew he was going to make that putt because it was like tap‑in length.  So I think that was a pretty good break on the number 10 birdie there.

            And number 12 birdie ‑‑ yeah, number 12 because that hole's playing different than other holes.  Compared to other holes that hole's playing a little easier.  So,12 I really needed a birdie there.

 

            Q.  You'll be playing David Chung in your next match, Cal against Stanford?

            BEN AN:  Again like last year, yeah.  I had that in the quarterfinals.  Well, it's my luck, I guess, playing a Stanford guy.  We were playing each other a lot of times this year in college, too.  I have my coach here too this week.  He flew in here this morning.  And if I play well, I'll beat Stanford again.

 

            Q.  It's not just Cal‑Stanford ‑‑ it's Ben An against David Chung, And that is the next part of the question.  David Chung arguably having one of the better summers of any player in the United States as an Amateur.  He's your next opponent.  That's going to be a tough task.

            BEN AN:  Oh, he's going to be very tough.  It's not going to be an easy match for me.  I know he won in the western two in a row, and he's going for the third one now.

            It's going to be really tough tomorrow.  Like today, you can't make a lot of mistakes.  I think that's how you lose on this course.  So I think we're just going to play great golf today.

 

            Q.  You found the key last year to win matches at the U.S. Amateur.  Have you found it again this year?  Have you gotten yourself to that point again?

            BEN AN:  I have my own like, not secret, but I have my own way to win the Match Play.  I don't know what other people think, but I think that you never know.  Because even one down like you said or three down, you never know what's going to win afterwards, after 18 holes.

            I mean, I try to get more focused when I'm winning.  And when I'm losing I'm trying to get rid of it and play the next hole.  That's what I'm trying to do when I'm losing a hole.  So I think that's really important.  Even when you're winning like two up or one up, I think you have to get more focused and just finish it out as soon as possible.

            Like today, Max made a great comeback on 13 and 14 made a birdie, birdie.  So, yeah, like that.  It can happen that quickly in a few minutes.  So I think you have to get more focused when you're winning.  That is my own way to do it, yeah.

 

            Q.  We were just wondering; now that you've had a chance to play the course a number of times, what are your general impressions of Chambers Bay to play?

            BEN AN:  Well, first of all, the greens are very tough, I think.  Those are the firmest greens I've ever seen in my life.  More firm than Pebble Beach and other courses.  There are a lot of hills like three feet left of the hole it's going to go all the way down.

            I think it's a really fun course.  It's more fun than hard, I think.  So you can put the breaks everywhere.  I think it's more a fun course than a hard, because it's better than Match Play because there's only two of us playing.  But stroke play would be very hard, I think.

 

            Q.  I'm sure now that it's sunk in, tonight you'll probably think about it.  I'm sure you probably haven't before.  But now you played in the Masters last year.  You're one match away from getting back.  How much will you think about that tonight?

            BEN AN:  Hopefully not.  I mean, I just want to forget about that.  Tomorrow's another match.  I have two more matches to go.  But if I win tomorrow, I go back to Masters.

            But this is a tough match tomorrow.  I'm trying not to think about anything today, you know.  Maybe tomorrow when I wake up with the range and round one, I might think about that.  But I'm trying not to think about going back to the Masters.  I have to win first.

 

            Q.  What will you do for the rest of the day today?

            BEN AN:  Go eat and rest for a few hours.  I'm not going to do anything.  I don't feel like practicing.

                       

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