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August 15, 2014

Corey Conners


PETE KOWALSKI: We welcome U.S. Amateur semifinalist, Corey Connor, from Canada, a 2 & 1 winner over Zach Olsen from Cordova, Tennessee. Corey is into the semifinals for the second year, and the last time that happened was Patrick Cantlay who advanced to the semifinals in 2010 and made finalist in 2011. Pretty heady stuff. The smile on your face says a lot. Tell us about that feeling.

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, obviously feels great to be back in the same position as last years. Really excited and happy with my play and pumped up for the next couple days.

PETE KOWALSKI: Are you feeling like your game is ramping up and you're ready to take the next step this year?

COREY CONNERS: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like everything is clicking nicely, so yeah, why stop here. Just keep going.

Q. What was your experience last year in the semis?
COREY CONNERS: It was awesome. I felt quite comfortable out there. There was a lot of people. Was pretty happy with the way I played. I ran into a tough opponent, the eventual champion, but it was a great experience, and definitely learned a lot and that's helped me throughout the match play this year.

Q. And what is it about this event that you seem so comfortable with?
COREY CONNERS: I don't know, I guess just my game has been clicking at the right time. All summer you kind of have this on the calendar and looking forward to it and trying to get your game in top shape, biggest amateur event in the world. Yeah, just I felt great about my game coming in the last few years, and yeah.

Q. Are you much of an historian? Has there been a Canadian winner?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, Gary Cowan has won once.

PETE KOWALSKI: I think he won twice.

Q. Speaking of Canadians, you guys stick together and you have a pretty tight group. How much does having those guys around you on days like this help?
COREY CONNERS: Oh, it's awesome. Spent a lot of time together. We are all great friends, all really comfortable in each other's company. So having them around helps me to relax, and off the course, we have fun together and hang out and it's been really good, really helpful. It was the same thing last year, as well. Coach Derek Ingram was there, and last year I had Garrett Rank caddying for me. We just had such a fun time in Boston. That really helped keep me relax and ultimately led to some good golf. And same thing this year, Derek Ingram is here and caddied this year, Taylor Pendrith and Garrett Rank, Adam Svensson, we all get along really well. So we have should good fun together.

Q. Does that help you stay loose on a night like tonight where you're obviously going to be thinking about the semis tomorrow?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, definitely. Last night we went out for dinner and just some good conversation, and I wasn't too worried about the match today or didn't think about it too much. So I'll probably do the same tomorrow. Just try and have fun with the guys and start tomorrow fresh in the morning.

Q. (Inaudible).
COREY CONNERS: Throughout the summer, the national program in Canada, they offer a lot of support to the Canadian players, so some sponsors of our team on the shirt and hat. They help pay for travel and stuff and the coaching and resources that are available to us.

Q. The match --
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, it was a really good match. We both have very similar games I thought and both hit the ball very straight, nicely off the tee, and hit good iron shots. He was rolling the ball really well with his putter, as well. Pretty tight through the front nine. And I guess on 11, I made a really nice putt from left of the pin downhill, big breaking putt, and knocked that in for birdie, and that was a big putt for me. Gave me some momentum going into the next hole, and also 12 was a turning point that kept my momentum going. I had to lay up going to the par 5, and he hit the green in two. He hit a really nice shot within probably 20 feet of the hole. I hit a really nice wedge shot to about four feet. So kind of put the pressure back on him. It was more of a must-make situation for him to win the hole. He 2-putted. I rolled mine in and we halved that hole. So that was good at keeping the momentum going and keeping my lead.

Q. How far was the putt?
COREY CONNERS: Four feet downhill -- or on 11, no. That was 12. 35, 40 feet. It probably had six or seven, maybe eight feet of break -- four slope on the AimPoint (chuckles).

PETE KOWALSKI: What happened on the 16th? He made a 6.

COREY CONNERS: We both hit drives right beside each other which we had done many times throughout the day. I hit first into the green, hit a really nice 6-iron, had 206 and it rolled up pretty close to the hole. He hit his approach just long, and it's pretty tough, he had a big slope and he left his first chip short. Rolled his next putt by. He was obviously trying to make it. I was within eight or nine feet for birdie so he was trying to make his fourth shot and just missed, rolled well by. He missed the next one, as well.

Q. Looks like Denny McCarthy just advanced; do you know about him and does it matter going into tomorrow?
COREY CONNERS: Yeah, I've played with him in a couple college events and know him a little bit. Obviously he's playing great and it will be a fun match. Looking forward to it.

Q. You've played -- is that an advantage --
COREY CONNERS: I wouldn't say that I have an advantage over him or he has an advantage over me. Yeah, pretty equal. Just got to go play golf and hopefully play well.

PETE KOWALSKI: How are you feeling physically at this point.

COREY CONNERS: Great. A lot of energy. Fortunate to have a caddie the last couple days. It was pretty warm today but feel really good. Probably a little bit of adrenaline pumping me along. Yeah, feel great and looking forward to tomorrow.

PETE KOWALSKI: With your experience from last year and learning from it, what is probably the most important thing that you'll apply in the match tomorrow, or is there not just one thing?

COREY CONNERS: Stay patient will be really important. Just keep fighting. Just try and stick to my game plan and do the same thing as I did in the last four matches.

PETE KOWALSKI: Congratulations, well done. Thank you.
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