Notable Quotes From U.S. Senior Amateur Semifinalists

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CHIP LUTZ, on winning a semifinal match in the Senior Amateur, after three previous tries: “I knew what I had to do to try to get over those three semifinal losses, and that was significant trying to get by that. Fortunately, I was able to do so. Not without a significant degree of difficulty, but I managed to hang on, so I'm thrilled.”

On saving par on the par-5 17th: “I almost boned [my 80-yard approach shot]. It was really thin. I was happy it got on the green. It was a clutch two-putt for me [from 70 feet]. I had to make about a 2½-foot comeback putt and managed to get that in.”

On the grueling week: “It’s hard to play perfect golf at this level after so many days and so many rounds. It takes a toll, no question. You have to expect some errors and some challenges, but it’s trying to fight your way through that and get to the other side is what counts.”

On the strength of the Senior Amateur field: “Every time I look at those brackets I try not to focus too much, because some guys don't make it through that you think should have. Anything can happen in match play, and I've seen that happen to me in these semifinal losses. I've played extremely well and lost. I've played OK and lost. I've lost a lot of different ways already. It would mean an awful lot to me [to win]. I've been at this a long time.”

TIM JACKSON, on his spotty play early in the semifinal: “I played so sloppy on the front, and I just told myself, I've just got to go hit some good golf shots on the back side. I think I hit most of the fairways and most of the greens and hit some good putts, they just didn't go in. What can I say? It's just very disappointing.”

On playing against Chip Lutz: “He plays a lot like I do. You know, we’re solid. We make a lot of pars and we make the opponent beat themselves, and that’s basically what I did. I gave him two holes right out of the gate, and he gave me one back at 16.”

On his semifinal performance: I was playing good coming in here. I feel like that if I play up to my capability, I’m a handful at this level. As good as I played in my first four matches, I just didn’t have it this afternoon. You're in there and the juices are flowing, but you just really hate this feeling of coming up short.”

On his renewed focus for 2016: “My plan is to really commit in the off-season, just do a lot of work and try to get in a little better shape, put a schedule together and stay with it. This year I just let so many things go. I’d set a schedule and something would come up. I bet I withdrew from five or six golf tournaments this year.”

TOM BRANDES, on keeping the pressure at bay in extra holes: “You don't think about it. The way I thought about it is, hey, I’m getting to play more holes at a great golf course. You kind of detach yourself from the moment. That's how I tried to remain calm.”

On his longest extra-hole match: “You're going to make me think, aren't you? (Pause) I did go five holes in my first Washington State Amateur, and it was getting dark. I ended up winning – I made a putt. I really honestly thought we were going to go forever [in this match].”

On Thursday’s championship match: “I am just going to try to keep hitting fairways and hitting greens and try to make some putts. Through the tournament circuit I've crossed paths with [Chip], but never been paired with him. I'm looking forward to it. He's a great guy.”

On what winning the championship would mean to him:  “You know, as an amateur, it's really not going to change my life. All it's going to do is I'm going to get invited to a whole bunch of tournaments that I won't be able to play in anyway.” [Laughs]

STEVEN LIEBLER, on losing in 21 holes: “Obviously, I'm a little disappointed. I played very solid. I had a chance, I thought, to really kind of take advantage of the match on the eighth hole with a 3-foot putt after he'd already made par, and I didn't make it, and I think that was the turning point in the match.”

On taking advantage of a two-year exemption for the Senior Amateur: “I hope to be able to. Obviously that depends on my work schedule, but I'm looking forward to that opportunity.”

Compiled by Ron Driscoll, manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org

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