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August 28, 2000

Jeff Quinney


USGA: Let's start with, probably took you more than 24 hours to think about this but took you only ten minutes to get from being frustrated to being Amateur Champ. How about going through last night and then the ten minutes.

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, what a long night it was. I was really tired and fatigued, but I was sitting in bed and just couldn't fall asleep. I was so frustrated on the mistakes I made yesterday, thinking this thing should have been over already. But I kept on talking to my family and Coach and just trying to remain positive and come out tomorrow, make a birdie or -- that was kind of the mindset we had. We need to make a birdie to win this, we're not going to sit back and wait for him to make a bogey; we need to earn it.

Q. What club did you hit?

JEFF QUINNEY: I hit a 4-iron. It was 204 yards to the hole. James hit 5. He's about a half a club ahead of me usually. And he blocked it right, up on the hill, and I knew if I just put it in the middle of the green that that chip that he had was going to be extra fast. He especially had -- the back hill was in his lie, too. He couldn't really -- he'd almost have to fly it half there almost to stop it. If he landed it short, he was gonna kick that first slope and there's no way you can stop it.

Q. Looked like you were going back and forth between a couple of different clubs?

JEFF QUINNEY: My caddie thought he was maybe short, but I swear I thought the ball went long with 5. I maybe took out -- I was thinking of maybe 5, I didn't want to go long. I was going to play the middle of the green. The whole game plan I had was hit four all day. It was muggy out, the ball wasn't flying that far. Usually I like to hit the smoother club. I usually like to hit the smooth 4 instead of the hard 5. Sometimes when I hit the hard 5, I'll pull it. So I decided to hit the smooth 4 right in the middle of the green.

Q. How much did the putt break and when did you have a good idea it was going in?

JEFF QUINNEY: Probably played 15 inches out the left. Left-to-right, break down the hill, 25-, 30-foot putt, I'm not sure what it was. 5 or 6 feet, I knew it was in. It was like the putt I had on 7 against David Eger, I felt great off the face and you just knew it was going in. Had great speed on it, too.

Q. How do you judge the speed on that, coming out in the morning, the green was slow. Did you learn from his chip?

JEFF QUINNEY: I learned from his chip and our putts in the previous rounds. The last two days the pin was there, I was above the hole every time. I practiced some downhill putts on the putting green. I knew ideally I'd probably be riding the flag, I didn't want to be left of the flag even though it's uphill, I didn't want to bring those bunkers into play. My left putting is probably one of my strengths. I was pretty confident I was going to cozy it up there, force him to make the par. But fortunately it dropped for me.

Q. How badly did you beat yourself up last night?

JEFF QUINNEY: I did. I mean it was -- I wanted to kill every pillow that was on my bed. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you --

JEFF QUINNEY: I was just saying, it took me about an hour just rolling around in bed, then I finally got some good rest, woke up and was -- still had those mind -- those thoughts going through my mind. I think I had a dream -- probably three or four dreams of three different competitions we had. I mean there was one where I lost, one where I won. It was -- it was a tough night. For sure.

Q. Did you make any 30-footers to win?

JEFF QUINNEY: No. I remember going 3 or 4 holes pretty much in the dream. You know, ending on like 5 or 6.

Q. On the other hand, he had such momentum last night, it may be a good thing for you that it got called.

JEFF QUINNEY: It probably was. He had all the fans out there supporting him and they were all revved up and behind him and having to break maybe just getting a fresh start, getting some range balls underneath my belt, better swing thoughts and just more confidence definitely helped.

Q. In what ways did this morning just feel different to you?

JEFF QUINNEY: I was pretty relaxed -- once I got to the course, I felt great. I did the same routine that I've done all week, I didn't change anything. At home, at the hotels where I was -- is where I was all mixed up. When I got here, I felt more comfortable though. I got out to the course and I just said, "Hey, I had a great week, whatever happens happens." Just try to remain positive and just make a confident swing that I wasn't making yesterday afternoon.

Q. Did you play any holes this morning?

JEFF QUINNEY: No. I just -- same routine that I did all week: Putt before and then go hit balls and come back and hit a couple putts and chips and go on.

Q. Looking back on this week, how remarkable was it? In the first round didn't you struggle?

JEFF QUINNEY: I was 6-over after 7 holes on the lower course starting off with hole No. 10. I played 1-under on the front side, which was my back nine. Then pretty much played great the rest of the week.

Q. But I mean still you were down to I guess Curtis by four, you were down to Mahan by three with six to go.

JEFF QUINNEY: I mean James was kind of in the same situation I was. He had nothing to lose. That's the situation I was, Ben Curtis is probably kicking himself, too. He didn't make par on 18, hit the tree, did the exact same thing I did. It's tough to put something away. You're thinking of all the things that are going to happen after you win and you're trying to block that out at the same time. It's a real experience. It's gonna be something I'll remember and it's gonna help me in the rest of my career.

Q. Speaking of all the things you get to do when you win, playing Mr. Woods, your thoughts about that.

JEFF QUINNEY: It would be great. Well, I mean, hopefully I can hit the ball. (Laughter.) There's gonna be so many people watching. I met him before, through Casey Martin kind of, when he was playing at Stanford I watched him play a lot. I watched him play at Pumpkin Ridge a couple years ago. From watching him play, to me up here, it's pretty amazing. That I have improved my game that much.

Q. How much has your game improved over the years? Talk about the strides you've made.

JEFF QUINNEY: When I was in high school, I didn't take golf that seriously. I was kind of -- I played basketball and golf six months out of the year, then chose to go to Arizona State where I could play twelve months out of the year in the best facilities, the best program probably in the nation. And it's improved every year. Just slowly. It's kind of gradually rose. I think it's going at a steady pace that I like.

Q. Could you have played basketball on a scholarship at Division I?

JEFF QUINNEY: Probably not. I didn't really -- I didn't really take the training part. I was kind of just the shooting guard and just if I would have maybe -- I devoted myself probably to playing college golf sophomore year in high school and put basketball on the back burner. I really wasn't as good, but I think I kind of had a raw talent. Just hadn't played 12 months a year and didn't maximize all the potential I had yet.

Q. When do you go to Germany?

JEFF QUINNEY: I haven't found out yet. I'm still waiting for the flight, but I guess it's later in the day. I have -- Paul Casey's on my team, he's playing for England, Kurt Mayr, he's playing for Austria. So we have three U.S. guys playing in this event, it's gonna be a great time.

Q. Speaking of Paul, one of the guys who was expected to be here was Paul, he didn't come. It's sort of ironic that you picked up the pace for a teammate.

JEFF QUINNEY: I'm gonna be in the same situation he was. He didn't want to miss the first two weeks of school and that was mainly his reason. But I'll go over there, I'm sure -- we're competitive, and he drives both of us. I think it makes us both better players. We both, my sophomore year, two years ago, I won a tournament, he'd win a tournament. We'd push each other. He's gonna want to get me back. That's great. It's great competition.

Q. The other thing I'm thinking about is that par 3, I think you played it eight times. Do you know what you -- was the hole good to you?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I think I parred it, I can't remember if I ever bogeyed it. Actually, I did. Against Eger we both bogeyed there. Then I had one birdie and the rest pars. So par 3s are usually one of my strengths, and just like my teammate called me last night, they're all trying to support me saying, "You're the best par-3 player out there, you're the best long-iron game around," so they were all trying to keep my head up high. I appreciate all the support they gave me.

Q. What classes are you missing right now?

JEFF QUINNEY: As of now, I'm a finance major, so I'm missing all the upper division finance of my senior year. So it's not --

Q. Have you actually signed up for courses?

JEFF QUINNEY: I have all my courses but I haven't been to class yet. So hopefully teachers will cooperate. And I got my books, my coach brought my books back. I can get the syllabus maybe and do some reading over there, but I doubt that will happen. (Laughter.)

Q. What are the names of some of the classes?

JEFF QUINNEY: I don't -- I know the numbers, I don't know the actual name. I got Accounting 216, Finance 331, Finance 361, Music. (Laughing.)

Q. When did school start, last Monday?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah. Started on the 21st. I don't know. Last Monday, yeah.

Q. When did you get your passport here?

JEFF QUINNEY: My coach brought it out. He -- my roommate, I had it in my room back in Phoenix over the summer, he gave it to my coach, coach flew over for the Finals on the red-eye flight, so did my brother and his wife, so luckily he brought it out.

Q. Have you given any thought to what you're gonna do after next year? Are you going to remain an amateur, turn pro at a certain time?

JEFF QUINNEY: I'll probably imagine playing the three Majors, probably defend this event as long as I'm amateur, then hopefully play at Walker Cup next September and then probably Q-School. And next fall.

Q. Any thoughts about your first major, the Masters?

JEFF QUINNEY: Any thoughts?

Q. Yeah.

JEFF QUINNEY: It's just gonna be a great experience. I mean people are already fighting over tickets. Got calls, I want tickets, I want tickets. So... We get to stay in a cabin upstairs I think. To play with the past champion and -- I don't know, it will be an unbelievable week. Hopefully I can play well, so...

Q. Jeff, do you have any sense of what this one hole could mean? I mean there's a lot of champions, going on to Majors, you just play Majors, your career kind of keeps going up. If you lose, maybe you kind of fade into obscurity. Do you have any thoughts on that, what that one hole could mean?

JEFF QUINNEY: It was a 50-50 chance. Either one of us -- I think we're both gonna have great careers. I think James has got the talent to go on to the next level. But it certainly -- I'm just, to make that putt and to win the match was so much -- I don't know -- it was a -- I would have been real disappointed if I would have lost. I don't know what I would have done. Gone back to school, a 3:30 flight to Phoenix, I wouldn't have wanted to show my face. The way yesterday afternoon went, when I gave it back him, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself, I'd remember it for the rest of my life. To come back and make a birdie, it erases all that. It's behind us now. Hopefully everything will work out.

Q. You and James didn't say much to each other but I'm sure you said enough that each of you wanted to win with a birdie rather than somebody making a mistake?

JEFF QUINNEY: We didn't say much but I think we had great respect for each other. It wasn't the type of thing where I was rooting against him. We were trying to play great golf and let the best guy win. I think both of us would rather have one of us win with a birdie and not give it away with a bogey or a missed putt where some guy would regret that.

Q. Did you have a feeling all night that it was gonna be one hole?

JEFF QUINNEY: It seemed like it was. I didn't think it was gonna be won with a birdie though, I thought it would be won with a par. Either one of us. I figured he was going to put it in the middle of the green. That was my thought, that's what he's gonna do, he ended up hitting it right a little bit. I can't believe he hit that 5-iron so far, he hit it right and it still flew so far. It was pretty long. He must have been pretty pumped up. I wish we could have gone more than one hole in a way, to start off the day, because it's just so much pressure on one hole. And I heard James say to someone else, "Wish we could have a 9-hole tournament or something like that," where you would have a span where you can, you know, make a mistake or something and just have -- choose the winner that way.

Q. Were you essentially trying to lag that putt in?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah. I mean it was the type of putt where you're not thinking you'll make it at all. Left-to-right, down the hill, it was extra fast, you're just trying to cozy it up there, put the pressure on him. A lot of times that's what happens, and it just falls. It happened a couple times earlier in the week. Most of the putts out here you're not even trying to make, you're trying to hit 3, 4 feet a break out there, just trying to die it next to the hole. That's the toughest ones to hit, ones where you're trying to get close. Sometimes those are the ones that get away from you.

Q. Pumpkin Ridge, did you follow Tiger in that final?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I was there on Sunday, the final 12 holes or something. Right there on 17 when he made that putt.

Q. Congratulations. Thank you very much.

JEFF QUINNEY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts….

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