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August 11, 2014

Cheng-Tsung Pan


Minus-3 today. Where did the birdies come?
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: I made birdie on my opening hole, first hole and made another birdie on I think 5, the par-5. On the back nine I made three birdies. I made birdies on 12, 13, and 17.

Q. Did you hit it close, did you make bombs and putts, what was it?
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: I hit it pretty close, maybe eight feet, ten feet, but I missed some good putts, so putting was up.

Q. Given all the experience you have, do you circle the U.S. Amateur on your calendar and say this is something I want to focus in on and I want to play well at?
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: Yeah, definitely, it's one of the biggest amateur events in the world. I really want to play really well here, but every year match play is hard. It's different. It's totally different to me, so I've just got to do my best and make sure I show my best performance on every hole, every round.

Q. Playing at the British Open this year had to be a boost to your confidence as well. What has your mindset been after that? Have you been feeling maybe things are going really well for me?
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: Yeah, I played pretty decent at the British Open and was still a couple shots away, but I stayed within a couple of shots to the cut line, and it just told me I can do this. I can compete with these guys. I've just got to trust myself. I've got to be aggressive. I've got to hit the shots and don't make any mistakes and my scores will be in rhythm and it will be pretty good.

Q. How about the fact that you played on that big a stage? How does that help you when you get to U.S. Amateur? That's still a part of the big stage too, but it's not the same deal.
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: Yeah, like you said, it's not the same deal. I mean in a major it's overwhelming the feeling, the atmosphere, everything. The intensity is just overwhelming. This is the same thing. I mean, you've just got to play well. You've got to play two good rounds to make sure you have a good spot. One shot can make the whole difference, and that is something to all the majors, and that's why I feel like every shot makes a difference.

Q. A 68 the first day has got to be a big sigh of relief because not that you can give anything away, but you still have a good score in the bank and you're ready for the next day and then match play hopefully.
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: Yeah, more importantly, I feel my game is really good and my short irons are good, so once on Riverside I'll have a lot of opportunities to hit my irons and hit it close, so I feel good about my game. My putting is good, so everything's good. Just want to make sure myself I have a good mindset.

Q. You're a young college player, so you're aggressive and everything. How do you throttle back when you know I don't want to mess with the cut line here? I want to make sure I make it.
CHENG-TSUNG PAN: You know, last couple years I wasn't being aggressive at all. I have played these event many years and I know what the cut line would probably be, so this is something I need to learn. In a major you need to be aggressive, because there are not too many easy holes out there waiting for you. There are only a few, and you want to make sure you make birdie there and make sure you put some money in your bank account so you can afford some bogies on tough holes. And here I want to make sure my mindset is good, my mindset is in the right place, and I want to be aggressive when I have a chance.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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