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August 22, 2004

Luke List


PETE KOWALSKI: Luke, thank you for joining us and congratulations on a great run through the championship. Obviously we know you're disappointed, but you played hard and unfortunately let a lead slip away. If you could just give us your recap of what happened in the holes where you had the lead and then Ryan took it from you.

LUKE LIST: Right. I guess it started on, was it 15, I hit a good shot, I was pretty calm out there. I think I was a little more nervous around the turn, and I really had to settle down. On 15, he made a great putt. I misread mine, and he made it.

So we going into 16, I was still confident. Made a good swing with a 3-wood and a great 5-iron. Just came up a little short. And the putt was a little slower than I thought over that original and misread the 6-footer. I guess we were all-square going into 17, and he just hit two good shots. I hit a poor drive and a pretty good recovery shot to just get it up near the green. I thought I hit a better chip than that. There was a ridge there and I missed it on the wrong side of the ridge when you can't do that and I misread the putt again.

I was hitting the putts actually where I wanted, which I had been doing all week, but I misread, I guess three in a row that really cost me the tournament. You know, Ryan played great. He just stuck the pressure on me. He really hit some great shots, clutch shots coming down the stretch to do it.

PETE KOWALSKI: You hung tough with your wedge game.

LUKE LIST: Yeah, it did all week. My short game kept me in it. I was never really down in my matches. I was fortunate to get off to a good, solid start every match. My short game saved me. I was really confident in my putting and chipping out there. I just, my ball-striking was a little off all week. I've got a little work to do on that but overall, I'm happy with it. I learned a lot.

It was a great experience. It's nice to play for a championship and be in that last pairing that. Means a lot to me and it was a great learning experience. I've really got something to dwell on now and look back on and feed on that when I'm in the situation again.

Q. By any chance, did you happen to hear a cell phone on the 16th?

LUKE LIST: 15th?

Q. 16, when you had the par putt, you were in the first cut on 16 and that cell phone went off?

LUKE LIST: Oh, was there another cell phone?

Q. On your putt.

LUKE LIST: I didn't hear that one -- when I backed off that? That didn't affect me. I backed off. The par putt, I didn't hear a cell phone. I just misread that putt.

Q. Overall, him being who he is, is it at all unnerving to have a lead against him just because he has this reputation?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, I knew I had to hit the shots and I knew he's a great player. That's his game at the end the way he played. I knew that was in him. I just didn't come off my own -- I didn't execute my own shots to fend him off.

Q. At 12, you made the sand save to keep it at 1-up, did you feel at that point you had weathered his charge when he goes back to 1, you're able to stay in the lead?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, that was really big. It was kind of slipping away a little bit. I made a horrible swing on 11, just a great bunker shot on 12 up-and-down and then 13, birdieing that hole. Any time you're hitting a 3-iron on a par 3, that was pretty special.

You know, he was tough. He made the putts he needed to to win, and I didn't hit the shots. So there's nothing else you can say. I learned a lot and I know what to do next time.

Q. Were you out there early in the week at all with another caddie or anything or were you just reading your own putts all week?

LUKE LIST: Never talked to anybody.

Q. No local knowledge?

LUKE LIST: Just fresh eyes on the greens. Usually my putting has been great lately. This summer, it's been streaky up until the Public Links and after that it's been great. It's basically just been me letting go and just trying to clear my head and just put.

I figure, you know, if I get a caddie and analyze too much, that's when it hurts me. So I try to go off natural ability a lot and just first instinct and that usually tends to help.

So, no, I didn't talk to anybody about the greens and just kind of read them on my own.

Q. What did you do during the break?

LUKE LIST: There's the up stairs to the locker room, I went up there, changed socks, kind of took off my shoes, just walked down to the buffet line, got some food. I went back up there and watched some of the Olympics and came back out and warmed up and teed off.

Q. Was your mind racing at that point? Yesterday you said you took a nap.

LUKE LIST: No, no, that's why I kept occupied. I ate. I really wasn't thinking that much about it. Fortunately I was just relaxed and watching TV.

Q. Were you trying to hit a cut into 18?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, you know, the last, 17 and 18, if you hit a cut, it can feed down like Ryan's did on 17, so you don't have to hit it right at it. I knew I needed to hit a good shot. I knew he was going to hit a good one. I just started too far right of where I was aiming. That was a problem all week. I usually can work it both ways, but this week, I didn't really trust my swing as much as I needed to down the stretch to be able to pull off all of the shots.

Q. Wondering about your short game, today you got up-and-down a lot, can you talk about what kind of role it played today and how much confidence you got off of that?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, it's not like I striped it in the morning and was up that way. I think I hit some good shots in the morning and my short game was great in the morning. It saved me again and again.

I had confidence and I knew that I wasn't hitting great coming in. Just, you know, if you miss the green, just go ahead and get it up-and-down. Par is a great score out here. So, it saved me a lot.

Q. Can you just give another player's perspective on the summer that Ryan has had this year, winning his last five events?

LUKE LIST: It's unbelievable. I'd say one of the most amazing amateur feats in golf is Tiger's 3-Pete, but this is up there. This is probably in the Top 3 Amateur feats ever. To win one tournament, one amateur tournament is one thing, and to win this tournament is one thing, but to win all those tournaments against the guys that are out there, it's amazing.

There's so much competition now in the college game and the amateur game with the Mid Ams and the young guys. It's unbelievable. So to do what he did my hat is off to him. He's a great player and his confidence is high. His strongest asset is his ability to stay relax and just trust every part of his game no matter what.

Q. Did you see that, was that pretty prevalent down the stretch where he was 3-down and didn't seem --

LUKE LIST: Yeah, I try to have the same attitude. I'd say we both have similar attitudes where we both don't get too high or too low, just kind of even keel. That serves well for most golfers, it really is a strong asset for him. [] He's able to bear down when he needs to and just when you're playing match-play, you look over and if he's 3-down and no reaction; it's obviously stronger than if he's throwing his clubs or something like that. He's a great player and he deserves every bit of it. .

Q. People up here have called you a giant killer all week, did you feel you had nothing to lose today at all?

LUKE LIST: No, I came in confident. I really thought I could win. I didn't really dwell on the last couple of matches to consider myself a giant killer.

I knew I was the underdog again today. But I thought I could pull it out. You know, it just didn't happen.

Q. When were you aware of the Baylor contingent here?

LUKE LIST: What hole was that, oh, man, it was a long time ago.

PETE KOWALSKI: They were out there early.

LUKE LIST: Yeah, I saw the sea of red.

It's great. I love that color and I love all of those guys and girls. My coach, King Emmitt (ph), is a great guy. [] To get the team up and travel up here is just something special. I had a lot of the fans out there. It means a lot. I appreciate everybody who came to watch. I've got a lot of great friends and family support. I can't thank everybody enough for it.

Q. Did you know they were coming up? And can you talk about your time there?

LUKE LIST: I knew king was coming up and I wasn't sure who was -- my sister goes to Baylor and they start school tomorrow. So they just hopped in some Lear jets and took some limos over here from Westchester airport. Not too bad. I'm sure they all had a great time. I'm sure they wanted to see me win. I really appreciate them coming up. It was neat to see that I had some more fans out there making some noise.

Q. You've now played in a U.S. Open and played in the U.S. Amateur and made it to the finals, can you rate this as far as in your golf career so far?

LUKE LIST: This is definitely the highlight so far of my career. Coming from here, I get the opportunity to play in the Masters and again in the U.S. Open. I'm just excited that I've got three more years, I've got a lot to work on in my opinion, but this definitely helps confidence-wise. I know that I can compete at this level and beyond and I'm just really excited to have three more solid years to work everything out and hopefully improve. And now this just sets me up for all of the stuff I want to play in in the next couple of years. I'll be able to play in the Masters and that's great. They treat Amateurs so well and the Open is just unbelievable; it's at Pinehurst next year, one of my favorite courses. One of my goals is to play Walker Cup and I have some tournaments next summer, hopefully can get on that team. I have some other goals that I want to finish before I'm done with school.

Q. Any advantage him growing up near Pinehurst?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, his folks have a house there. My Vanderbilt coach, they grew up near Pinehurst. So his parents have a place there so maybe we can stay with them or at least have some fans out there when I get there.

Q. I don't know of any right way to ask this, but I'll just ask it anyway. At what point do you think it's going to sink in that you had Ryan against the ropes for 35 holes and then lost?

LUKE LIST: Yeah, this is not the way you want to lose. I can't say you want to get smoked like some of his other final -- I know he won 10 & 8 or like 8 & 6, he won in the Public Links or some of them pretty big. You know, you'd like to say, oh, I hung in there but I was up the whole time and I didn't give it to him completely; he earned it in my opinion.

But definitely, it hurts to know that I was up, and I think when I was down on 17, that was the first time I had been down since my first round match. So that's a long time without being down and that just kind of hurts to know that that's the last hole of the tournament. But it was a great week, I can't say enough about Ryan. I just had a blast and I'll remember this tournament forever. []

PETE KOWALSKI: Luke, thanks, congratulations. See you at Pinehurst next year.

End of FastScripts.

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