Quotable: Round-of-32 Winners
October 11, 2017 | Atlanta, Ga.
Competitors in the 37th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship who prevailed in their Round-of-32 matches on Wednesday morning at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course had little time to bask in the glory of their triumphs. The players had time to grab lunch and hit a few practice putts or shots before refocusing for their afternoon Round-of-16 matches. But before they teed off, the USGA got a few comments from some of the winners:
Bradford Tilley def. Jason Anthony, 3 and 2
On his health after going to the hospital with flu-like symptons on Tuesday and getting 2 liters of fluid via an IV: "Yeah, I was definitely worried. I felt a lot better when I woke up than when I went to bed. I had some pretty good hope, good sleep and lots of fluid. The trip to the ER (Emergency Room) last night for the IV was necessary and I think it put me in the right place to be able to come out and feel somewhat normal today."
On the advice he received from the medical personnel: "Actually not to drink too much water, which I was doing. I guess I was flushing everything out, including the good stuff. [They told me] to drink as much Powerade as possible. Any sports drink. Get electrolytes in. Supplement with a little bit of water, crackers, chicken soup. Pretty standard stuff."
On trying to forget about his health once the match began: "My stomack is still upset, but feeling better ... than I felt all week probably. I kind of stayed steady throughout the day."
On his overall performance: "Unfortunately, I lipped out a couple of putts, but really played solid coming in. I really didn't make too many mistakes. We both three-putted 13. That was unfortunate for both of us. After that, I just played solid and hit greens."
Dan Sullivan def. Dusty Drenth, 1 up
On rallying from a 2-down deficit with six to play: "Putting. I was hitting the ball terrible. I was hitting it left and missing greens and missing putts, and just getting frustrated. Finally, I was like, if I am going down, I am going down swinging. I started to be very firm with my putts and banged in the last four on 15, 16, 17 and 18. It really started on the par-3 13th [hole] for birdie. It was probably 12 to 13 feet. It was on the top level [of the green] and it was pretty straight. I knew if I got it started on line and gave it a good, firm pace, it was going to go in."
On reaching the Round of 16 just a few months after turning 50: "Just happy to be here. Having a good time. It's a lot of fun playing in this tournament (he was a semifinalist in 2016). It's nice to see what you are made of and finishing up the match the way I did, really makes me happy. To dig myself out of [that deficit] really is cool."
Tyler Crawford def. Thomas Todd III, 7 and 6
On winning six consecutive holes, four with birdie: "I guess you can say I was due after having five three-putts in the second round of stroke play there. I didn't play all that well on the front nine yesterday [in my 1-up win over Matthew Broome]. I was just kind of waiting for my turn to come. Thankfully it came starting on the second hole today. And it just kept coming."
On carrying that momentum over to his Round-of-16 match on Wednesday afternoon: "You never know how long there going to last. My driver was my best thing today. I was hitting it really well. I was always in play, always putting pressure on [my opponent]. Hopefully that's what I can keep going because the most important thing: the start of every hole. Especially in match play, if you can keep that driver going then you'll keep him thinking."
On reaching the Round of 16 for the first time in a USGA championship: "Nothing really too much different. My first match was typical. I run into somebody who is a good player and is playing well and putting pressure on me. I got lucky. I Houdinied out of that first match. I guess in past [USGA championships] I have not done that."
On returning to the Southeast after graduating from Mississippi State and living in Texas and New Orleans: "It's good to be back in the South. I miss the people. I miss the food. It's a great venue. I've been in California for 16 years. Hopefully my accent, I get to learn a little bit of it back. Some people have told me I've lost a little bit. I think that might be the worst news I've heard yet."
Michael Muehr def. Gene Elliott, 3 and 2
On his overall performance: "I played OK. It's always a competitive match with Mr. Elliott. We've played a lot over the years at the Crump [Cup at Pine Valley] and various spots. Neither of us played great. But that's the deal with match play. You just have to play a little bit better than the other guy.
On the turning point of the match: "He actually missed a short putt on 10 [for par]. I had just three-putted nine, so that [win] put me 2 up. I think he missed like a 4-footer. I just felt like that was a tough spot for him to be -- 2 down with a lot of longer par-4s coming up on the back nine. So that's where I felt I had to put a little bit more pressure on him and just hang in."
On the state of his game going into the Round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon: "I do. I am very under control off the tee. My irons are really solid and I'm putting my longer lag putts really close. So if I can make a few of my shorter ones, I like my chances.
Mark Harrell def. Chad Wilfong, 1 up
On winning the 16th hole with a par to regain the lead in what was a tight match: "I hit a 5-iron in there about 10 feet for birdie and he missed the green right and made bogey. So I just had to lag it down there to make a par and win the hole. So it was a big hole."
On getting up and down for par from behind the green on 18 to secure the victory: "I hit too much much club from the fairway, so I knew over the green wasn't bad. The worst thing I wanted was a 70-foot putt here and leaving [my birdie] putt short. I think that would have been tougher than the up and down. It was in a good spot back there and all I had to do was hit a little bump and run. I hit it up there to about 2.5 feet."
On being the only player from Georgia left in the field: "I didn't know that. It isn't my home course, but I feel like I'm close to home. It would be fun to win [in my home state] and that's what I am here to do. Hopefully keep the good golf going."
On reaching the Round of 16 for the first time in any of his seven USGA amateur championship appearances: "I've played in three U.S. Ams, two [U.S. Amateur] Public Links and one [previous] U.S. Mid-Amateur. I got beat in the second round two years ago at John's Island. I played the [U.S.] Open in 2007 and missed the cut by a stroke at Oakmont. I was low amateur, but I didn't get low-amateur [honors] because I didn't make the cut. I've gotten to the second round of the U.S. Am a couple of times. I've just been relaxed [this week]. I've just been patient out there and felt in control."
Scott Anderson def. Brenton Flynn, 1 up
On having a much tighter match in the Round of 32: "He hit the ball absolutely fantastic. He strikes it as good as anybody out here. I knew he wasn't going to beat himself. He made a lot more birdies than I did (5 to 1), but I just tried to stay steady and focused, and play my game."
On winning holes 16 and 18 with pars to pull out the match: "Those last three holes are absolutely brutal. You get it to those last three at even up, you've got to feel like if you put the ball in play off the tee, [hit a] smart second shot, you know you're going to end up on the right end if you make three pars."
Brad Nurski def. Bill Williamson, 4 and 3
On beating a fellow Mid-Amateur runner-up: "Billy obviously is a great guy and good golfer, and his record speaks for itself. You can't take anything lightly, especially when you get to this point of the tournament. I just kind of stayed in my routine and tried to make a bunch of pars. It's a difficult golf course, so try to aim to the fat part of the green, and if you got to ... you go at some flags."
On using his experience as he moves forward in the competition: "It especially helped yesterday afternoon; it was a tough [21-hole] match [against Sam Wempe]. He was making everything he looked at and I wasn't. My caddie told me to keep my head up and we're going to get this thing. My putter came alive the last six holes, which [included] the last three in the extra session."
On his current confidence level through two matches: "I'm excited to be here. It's always fun just to get here, but you win a couple of matches and the confidence gets a little higher. We'll see what happens this afternoon."