Interview With 2017 Runners-Up Kyle Hudelson, Clark Collier

Q. That was an incredible run. Think about it. A weak ago at this time you were getting a phone call and here you are in the championship match. I know you guys kept saying all week it's improbable. We're just excited to be here?

CLARK COLLIER: It was. It was improbable.

KYLE HUDELSON: Just fun. Just fun to play in the finals. I was joking with Clark a couple weeks ago that we've got a year's worth of pressure golf packed into one week, pressure golf shots for a solid week. So, you know, we're exempt for the next two years.

Q. Three.
KYLE HUDELSON: Three years?

CLARK COLLIER: Yeah, you know, we can book it.

Q. Yes, three. No more alternates, no more qualifiers, no more last-minute phone calls. You can book Jupiter Hills, Champion's Bay and Cricket Club?
KYLE HUDELSON: That's awesome.

CLARK COLLIER: That's really cool. It's so cool. We've been trying our whole lives to be part of a USGA event. The I guess you could have written it up just a little bit better, but not much. That was so cool. And those kids, oh, my goodness.

Q. They're two of the top juniors in the country.
CLARK COLLIER: Those guys are going to be pros. Those guys are really, really good.

KYLE HUDELSON: Yeah, I mean, they made like five or six birdies on the back.

CLARK COLLIER: I think they did five in a row, if you give them the one that we bogeyed. That's five.

Q. That's one they missed on.
KYLE HUDELSON: 11. They missed it on 11. So they birdied 10, 12, 13, 14 conceded, and 17.

CLARK COLLIER: I mean, I think we played pretty darn good even though we lost.

Q. You guys got up early. I mean, a couple birdies right out of the gate.
KYLE HUDELSON: We had nothing to lose. We came out and just free swinging, and it's exhausting down the end. It's just grueling. You think about all the golf we played Thursday, Friday practice rounds, Saturday, Sunday stroke, Monday 18, Tuesday, 36, Wednesday, 36.

Q. And you guys had two extra-hole matches?
CLARK COLLIER: This might be more rounds of golf than I've put on the books this year.

KYLE HUDELSON: He's not in insurance.

CLARK COLLIER: I'm not a salesman.

Q. What did you guys find out about yourselves going forward in the future maybe playing in Mid Ams or Amateurs or something else?
KYLE HUDELSON: It's nice to come out and know that we're actually good enough to compete. But we've never gotten really the chance. Never qualifying, you don't really know where you stand, you know. Also learning that being an alternate sometimes isn't so bad. You sometimes get in (laughing).

Q. You've have alternates go on to win championships. It can happen. If your number is called, you answer the bell, right?
KYLE HUDELSON: That's what we said, like J.D., John Daly won.

Q. The PGA?
KYLE HUDELSON: Yeah, on a last-minute call. So, yeah, it can happen. We came close. We can't be upset, man. If you would have told me last week that we would have gotten second.

CLARK COLLIER: Yeah, you never know how you're going to react until you put yourself in those situations, and very rarely do you find yourself in that. This is the biggest stage I've ever played on. It was humbling. It's great to get to feel that kind of pressure and hit the shots under it. I think we learned that we can do it. It was really fun to do that.

KYLE HUDELSON: Pinehurst No. 2 is not a bad place.


More from the USGA