U.S. SENIOR AMATEUR
Quotable: The Semifinalists Sound Off August 30, 2017 | MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.

Sean Knapp got off to a fast start en route to a 3-and-1 victory over David Nocar in the quarterfinals on Wednesday morning. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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Selected quotes from the winners of the quarterfinal matches in the 63rd U.S. Senior Amateur at The Minikahda Club:

Sean Knapp, who defeated David Nocar, 2 and 1:

“I was 3 up after three. Dave really played well up until No. 13. I felt like I was hitting a lot good putts. Just couldn’t get any to go in. With the lead, you’re playing a little more defensive, and that turned into couple of bad holes at 15 and 16. At the end of the day, I got lucky.”

“I wanted to be aggressive. I’ve been in this situation before a number of times in the Mid-Amateur – the final eight, I am referring to. I've looked back at the times I haven’t had success in the Round of 8 and I’ve said, you know, you get passive. You say, I’m playing well, and you fail to realize or recognize the opportunity that is afforded you. The last few times that I got to the final four in the Mid-Am, I said, I want to take advantage of this opportunity and get to the final four. And, you know, I've never gone further in a USGA event than the final four.”

“All week I've tried to not get ahead of myself. I know that's a cliche, but it's true. I'm not going to allow it now. I'm certainly gratified that I won that match. I recognize the opportunity ahead of me in the semifinals. I'm going to try to seize it. No hard feelings if I don't. But going to try my darnedest.”

“I do a lot of walking and carrying at home. So I don't want to say I train for it, but I do play a lot of the 36 holes; carry my own bag. It's nothing unique. I enjoy the pace of what's going on when I'm walking. It allows me to think better.”

 

Dave Ryan, who defeated Ken Lee, 2 and 1:

“I was leaking oil on 16 and 17. Fortunately, I pulled it out. But he made a good birdie on 15. I mean, that kind of changed the momentum of the match a little bit. I was fortunate to win. I've had all four matches like that.”

“I went down to the range this morning and worked on my swing, and then I just hit some more balls, and I think it feels better. Just worked on a little rhythm, tempo and timing.”

“It's a hard golf course. Like any USGA course, you've got to drive it in the fairway and you've got to hit greens. They identify the best ball-striker this week. I’ll just go out and do the best I can, and whatever happens happens.”

Paul Simson, who defeated Matt Sughrue, 5 and 4:

“Matt didn't have his best game today. He made a few mistakes and I didn't make too many. That was the difference. I only had one bogey. So you get one bogey and make a few birdies, it makes it tough on a guy.”

“The greens are speeding up and getting firm. If you got on the wrong side of the hole and short-side yourself, you have to hit almost a perfect shot to recover. That was the difference in the match. He had a few shots that were a little bit wayward and I was able to capitalize on it.”

Frank Vana, who defeated John Pierce in 21 holes

“When I needed to hit good shots down the stretch, I hit some pretty lousy ones. Hopefully I got those out of my system. I was a little scratchy and not really putting the pressure on, and he took advantage. That's what you need to do.”

“We're both pretty easy-going guys. It was a good match. We just went and played good golf. We hit some lousy shots and had fun and had some laughs. It's all good. One of us was going to lose and that's going to stink, but either way we would be smiling, as he is. That's what it's about at this point, right?”

“When you come to a USGA championship, you want to perform. Honestly, I've not performed quite the way I would've liked to in the past, but I've been there and been competing. There’s a camaraderie among this group of guys who have been pretty successful at this level, and all you can do is just watch them and smile. You just have to think to yourself, Hey, do the right stuff, be patient, and you'll get some shots at it hopefully. Doesn't always pan out that way, but if you stay positive, hopefully it will. I tend to stay on the positive side. At the moment, it's working out nicely. See how it shakes out.”

 

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