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August 21, 2015

Bryson DeChambeau

Olympia Fields, Illinois

PETE KOWALSKI: We'd like to welcome Bryson DeChambeau, a 3 & 2 winner over Paul Dunne, which advances him to the semifinals of the 2015 U.S. Amateur.

Bryson, just a quick comment from you, if you don't mind, about having to play a player of Paul's stature at such a big part of the stage of the U.S. Amateur.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, well, today was incredible. Starting off with his putt that he made on 3, and going forward and making -- well, I made the putt on 6. On 10 he made a 30-footer. So he's an incredible player. Didn't have his A Game. But luckily enough, I was able to capitalize on a couple of putts.

One key putt that I thought was immense was on 15, where I made that little 6-footer after he drained that 30-footer again. That was big, a big confidence booster for me going into the next hole knowing that I can get the job done on the next hole.

Q. You mentioned the putt on 15 as being key. Did you have a full shot that perhaps you seemed to sense that the momentum was swinging in your favor?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, when he hit that tee shot on 13, I think it was -- yeah, 13, where he hit it into the trees left, that switched the momentum pretty heavily. He had to pitch it out and obviously didn't make par and I capitalized and made birdie. So that was a big momentum change there -- for his swing.

I didn't make very many mistakes out there today. I played very well, and the only mistake I had -- and it was because we were on the clock and I was rushing myself a little bit was on 18 where I made bogey.

But other than that, I think fortunately for me, it was his mistake. We are both great players. He's a class act, great guy and I was fortunate enough to play a little bit better today than him.

Q. You don't have much time to recover until tomorrow morning at 8:00. What do you expect tomorrow morning, and your match-play mentality, I guess, is what I'm looking for. Is it different than how you played stroke play this week?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I'm trying to keep the pedal to the metal and not letting my opponent have any opportunity to win a hole, and that's been my whole game plan this whole week going into match play. And I hope I can do that tomorrow. I know that's a quick turnaround and just trying to eat right, keep doing my isometrics to keep my body healthy, and that's about it, be ready for tomorrow to play.

Q. How would you describe your style of play?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: That's a tough one I guess, isn't it. I would say that I am a feel player but I'm also an extremely technical player and I try and balance both of them. If I'm able to do that, my game performs at its maximum potential, like it has been this past week or this whole week.

Q. You talked yesterday about kind of matching the artist with kind of the mathematician or the scientist, if you will. What shots do you feel like you hit today that kind of touched on your artistic side?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Oh, well, definitely No. 6 where I had to hit it out of the hazard, and I got lucky to get that thing out and into the left hand rough. I was actually fortunate to hit it in the rough because it was 225 I think to the pin into the wind, and normally if I was in the fairway, I wouldn't have been able to get my 20-degree there. So I would have had to hit hybrid and would have gone higher and I wouldn't have been able to control the ball as much.

Hitting it out of there was artistic and I was able to punch it out and I also caught a flyer coming out of that rough and I came way back in my stance and tried to put a bullet up there. And then, honestly I had a certain line on my putt, but for some reason, I felt intrinsically internally that I was supposed to aim a little bit more and I did it and it went in the hole.

Q. What club did you actually hit?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I hit my 20-degree, which is a 3-iron or 2-iron almost for me.

Q. Paul obviously didn't drive it his best today. Did that maybe take a little bit of pressure off you that you were not feeling as pressurized to hit great shots all the time; you were a little bit more at ease?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yes, and no, because he was putting incredible. So I had that aspect to deal with, and he made a lot of putts today. But again, coming from the tee shots, he wasn't hitting his best and that did relax me a little bit knowing that I could keep hitting fairways and greens and wear him out that way. And that's ultimately what I did. And it came down to him hitting it into a couple bad places and him making -- missing a couple putts.

Q. I realize it may be difficult to talk about yourself this way, but in what ways do you think that you're a good match-play player?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I was a horrid match-play player the first time I played in an Am. But these past five U.S. Amateur experiences combined with the Pub Links, one U.S. junior and also the four-ball that I played with Austin Smotherman has helped me understand the dynamics of match play and when to go for it and when not to go for it; and to keep the pedal to the metal and pushing hard and trying to beat him on every single hole, every single shot.

Q. Just regarding the Walker Cup coming up, do you feel that today's victory will give you some sort of an advantage if you come across Paul again?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, he's going to be looking for some revenge back there, if we do get paired up. But no, again, he's a great player and whatever happens there is going to happen there. What happened today is what happened today, and I can't worry about what's going to happen over there.

It's going to be a fun battle if I do get paired up with him again because he's a great player, great putter and a class act. So I would be excited to play him again.

PETE KOWALSKI: As a golfer, has your confidence level ever been this high?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Honestly, no. It's never been this high.

I could say the nationals, it was pretty good, but being combined, I think, what is it, 12- or 13-under in the match-play aspect is pretty incredible. I never thought I would have done that, given that I shot 70-70 in the first two rounds.

PETE KOWALSKI: And how do you then take advantage of not getting over-excited, getting ahead of yourself with the prizes in view; how do you steady yourself.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Like everybody says, you have to stay in the moment and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm not playing for anybody else but for an audience of one. Doing my best for Him and that's all that matters in the end. And if I can do my best for Him, I'm not worried about anything else than trying to do my best.

Q. You beat Maverick yesterday, the NCAA Player of the Year. You beat Paul Dunne today, arguably one of the best Walker Cuppers on the GB&I side. What are you learning about yourself as a competitor over these past three days?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I can get it done. I know I can play with the best out there. And seeing that Paul was able to be in the lead going into the final round at the British was pretty incredible, and beating him today only gives me more belief that I can play with the best out there.

Q. Could you just talk a little about Olympia Fields, and do you feel like you're really comfortable on these golf courses and it suits your eye and sets up for your game here?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Yeah, absolutely. Olympia Fields is incredible. I played my freshman year and my sophomore year here for the L&I event (ph) and we played the South Course my freshman year and the North Course my sophomore year. That actually helped me quite a bit in regards to this U.S. Amateur, because I was familiar with the shapes of the holes and the green contours and everything like that.

But it's a U.S. Open-style golf course, and that's what I love about it. I'm a U.S. Open player. Unfortunately it was a little different dynamics this year at Chambers Bay so I wasn't able to maximize my potential of hitting every single fairway and every single green for the most part. But out here you need to hit fairways and greens and that's what I've always liked best; I thought I would be a good U.S. Open player, when it's tight fairways and fast greens and long rough.

Q. What was your mind-set coming into this event, the Western am, looked like you were going to make it through and had that late triple-bogey. Was there any extra incentive after that?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: What was interesting, and I told my coach this, I said: I now know the difference between performing and not performing and what it feels like not to perform and what it feels like to perform. So that actually helped me, that triple-bogey, and then par on the last hole, 3-putt, helped me understand what the difference between those two were.

Succeeding at nationals and then not succeeding at the Western, again, helped me understand the difference, and I believe that it's helped me this week in the sense where I'm getting things done. I'm staying in the moment. I'm just hitting the shot and that's all I'm worried about is the next shot.

Q. What is the difference between the two?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: A little bit of rhythm and it comes through belief in what you're doing. On the 17th hole, I wasn't completely committed to my shot and I flared it out there to the right. Missed it into the gunch and made triple. But nationals, I never forget, No. 8, or my 17th hole, I striped 3-wood. So there was a difference there and I kept thinking to myself, well, what is that difference.

And I figured out that it was a confidence factor and also staying in the moment and being in rhythm. That was the difference. So it's helped me turn it over to this week to where I'm able to stay in rhythm, stay patient and just hit a shot. That's all it is.

Again, today, I missed a couple shots out there and that's because I was out of rhythm and I recognized that. So it's a good thing for me to see out of myself, being able to recognize something where I switched off in my rhythm.

Q. How would you assess your game? How do you describe it, the strengths of it?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Well, I'm accurate when I need to be but also I can be long when I need to be, as well. So there are a few holes out here where I'm able to take advantage of the long ball and hit it over some bunkers and get it up there to have a short wedge in. I birdied 11 every single match-play day, and the reason is, because I'm able to take it over the trees and not worry about those bunkers. It completely takes that aspect out of the hole. So I'm not worried about that.

I don't know, I guess that's -- what was the rest of your question? I'm sorry.

Q. What would you describe as your strengths?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Okay. So my strengths are definitely my driving, hitting it in the fairway, for the most part. And this week, I've been incredible with my putting. It's the best I've ever putted in my life, and I'm excited to see what's tomorrow and see what tomorrow holds.

PETE KOWALSKI: I don't know if the match is over, but you play the winner of Austin James and Sean Crocker. Do you know either of those guys at all or anything about their games?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I know Sean Crocker a little bit. We talked a little bit on the range, and he's an interesting character. But nice guy and if it's him, I'd love to play against him. It would be great. And I don't know very much about Austin James at all. I met him yesterday and we said hi, congratulations, great playing this week.

It will be fun whoever it is. Again, I'm going to worry about myself and push the pedal to the metal and try to make birdie on every single hole and do my job.

Q. What's your preparation been like this week? Has it changed from previous weeks or has it been exactly the same?
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: It's been exactly the same. This week, again, I had a little bit more belief after the first two rounds and getting through with a little two-stroke penalty debacle thingy. I was able to pursue through that. For some reason, that propelled me to not worry about anything else on the golf course except my game. I can't worry about these factors that I have no control over. I did my best. I missed my tee time, but I did my best at getting there. So that helped me relax in a sense to where I'm just out here doing my best every single time and not worrying about what it happen. Because there are many things that can happen, like Paul Dunne making a combined 123 feet of putts or whatever it was today -- I don't know, it was a lot. You can't worry about that. And so coming into this week, I have the same preparation and I'm looking forward to tomorrow again. I'm going to do the same exact thing and play my best.

Q. When you say like not worry about those outside factors, goes back to the Western Am, too --
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Absolutely. Exactly.

PETE KOWALSKI: With all the things that are coming to you as a result of your great play, Walker Cup, keeping advancing in the US amateur, does it make you think about, boy, this is really so much fun, do I want to go to the next level and be a professional?

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Absolutely. My game is the best it's ever been right now. And having those two experiences at FedEx St. Jude Classic, as well as the John Deere, and seeing those games out there and how they perform and how they play, has only prepared me more to believe that I can be out there and do it. And now getting to the seem I finals at the am this year, and also winning nationals, it's just increasing my confidence tenfold. I'm ready to be out there.

But lo and behold, if I do well this week, I'm going to have to stay amateur another year.

PETE KOWALSKI: Well played, sir. Thank you.

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