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August 25, 2000

Jeff Quinney


USGA: Well, let's hear about the comeback, how you performed the way you did at the end stretch there.

JEFF QUINNEY: Well, first of all, just the first nine holes, he was playing great. I think somebody told me he shot 32 on the front nine. Got down early again. You know, first six holes, you think you play even par, you're gonna be either even, you know, maybe ahead in the match, but he came out and made two birdies, above the hole with putts that didn't go in the hole, they were probably going by 15 feet. I could see it rolling. I was going, "If that doesn't go in, he's almost gonna putt first before I even have to putt my birdie." I missed my putt, so it was kind of a 2-shot swing on No. 5 -- no, No. 4 and 7 he did that. But then on the back nine, I just had to regroup and just kind of same situation as yesterday, I knew he had to maybe give it a couple bogeys to give me a chance, I had to make birdies. So... Ended up, you know, getting a lucky break on 17, type of putt where you're just trying to lag it up there, just happens to find the hole.

Q. How much of a break would you say that took?

JEFF QUINNEY: I saw this kid with a red shirt in the background, that was kind of our target, he was probably eight to ten feet out there. And it was a putt I knew could get away from me if I wasn't careful with it. It was mainly uphill, it could run away towards the hole. He had a tough putt, too, because he was 20 feet above it, and I knew if I made 5 and took my chances and go into the 18th that I'd be happy with that.

Q. Yesterday's comeback fuel your confidence to come back again today?

JEFF QUINNEY: I think so. I think, you know, him and Ben both started off strong. I just knew if I made some more birdies, may be the only chance I had, I had to cool down, which I did.

Q. So what exactly does it take to kill you anyway?

JEFF QUINNEY: I don't know. I mean hopefully we won't find out. (Laughter.) But I don't know, I just -- I'm just -- I just don't like to lose. I mean I'm just a great competitor, I think, and, you know, I never lost my cool or never got too down on myself.

Q. Have you ever been involved in a turnaround like that before in a match? Five in a row?

JEFF QUINNEY: Probably not. I think yesterday was my biggest comeback I've ever had. Most of the time if I'm -- if I get down, I lose or I'm running away with things. That's the way it's been in the last summer. So, you know, it was a big surprise.

Q. At what point did you think that putt at 17 had a chance?

JEFF QUINNEY: Not till the very last. It was just trying to get the speed right and the line right, there was too many factors to even think about making the thing and, you know, five, six feet, it was just kind of tracking. Ended up hitting the pin. I think it was going in at a good speed. If it didn't go in, it was going to be right there.

Q. How long did you think it was?

JEFF QUINNEY: It was from the front fringe, so I'm guessing 25, 30 feet at least.

Q. Took 25 or 30 seconds?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, for it to land. Yeah, it was a tough putt. It was just a -- one of those things that you just don't expect to happen.

Q. Do you ever recall having made a similar putt? Not just in a practice round, but in a serious competition.

JEFF QUINNEY: Well, the only thing I could think about was the state high school championship, I made a long and kind of up-the-hill to birdie to tie. That was about the closest thing, the closest feeling that I had rush through my body, like adrenaline and, you know, the emotion. It was, you know, sitting there over the side of the green, he still had a birdie putt. I was telling my caddie, we need to cool down and regroup because we could have another hole to play.

Q. David Eger is obviously a very steady, mature player. What are your thoughts about playing him?

JEFF QUINNEY: I don't know much about his game, but, you know, anyone who has made it this far is obviously very talented and I know I have to come out tomorrow with my best game. You know, I'm not gonna hopefully give it to him too easy and I don't think he's planning on doing that either. Just hopefully make some more birdies.

Q. Have you ever played somebody who's about twice your age before?

JEFF QUINNEY: Sure. This summer I played some very experienced players. They're tough. They've been there, in that situation many times, and they're so steady. They don't make mistakes. They're tough to beat.

Q. Last time he was in the semis he lost to Phil Mickelson.

JEFF QUINNEY: Well, hopefully some Sun Devil pride will carry over. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you consider yourself a surprise, being here? This far?

JEFF QUINNEY: Somewhat. But I knew I could play with any of these guys. I've played plenty of competition with Bryce and Luke, all those guys. And I knew I have the game, I just wasn't in this situation. If I -- given the situation, hopefully I can just prove myself and prove to everyone that I belong. I don't think it's a fluke or anything. I think I've been working hard on my game and I've improved every year. My game feels -- it's probably not 100 percent right now, but it feels pretty solid.

Q. I heard you say on TV you're a friend of Casey Martin's?

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, he's a family friend. We grew up -- my brother was friends with him, my dad plays golf with his dad pretty much every weekend. Whenever he comes back into town, we'll try to go out and play. You know, he's a good role model. Just kind of compare myself to him all the time. He'll go out there and kick my butt and just make me work harder, you know. I see what I need to do to get to that level.

Q. Do you let him ride?

JEFF QUINNEY: Do I let him ride? Yeah, usually he'll have birdies ride. He'll take his own cart, have a group of us, and birdies ride.

Q. You gonna spot David any amount of holes tomorrow?

JEFF QUINNEY: Hopefully not. Hopefully get off to a better start. I don't want to be in that situation again. You know, you can't do that every time, and hopefully I'll get off to a better start and make birdies early on, and hopefully he doesn't get too hot. I mean I was afraid Hunter was going to get hot. I think he did the same thing against Ricky Barnes, I was talking to Ricky Barnes, he was like 7-under or something like that. I knew he could do that. Hopefully he'd slow down, just let up a little bit, just let me in the door. And he made a couple bogeys, I made a couple birdies, and just -- it was a big surprise winning five holes in a row. I would have never thought about it.

Q. What impressed you about his game today?

JEFF QUINNEY: He was just down the middle of the fairway every time, his putting, I mean Ricky also told me that he made everything. He was making the putts you don't even expect to two-putt and he was making them. You're just like, "Wow!" Trying to make my putt, you're seeing him make a 35-footer downhill, it's going 100 miles per hour, you're trying to make your 10-footer just to tie him. He's a good player. Obviously he's won the U.S. Junior, he'll be a freshman at USC. Hopefully I'll compete against him next year.

Q. How much does finishing that strong boost your confidence for tomorrow's round?

JEFF QUINNEY: It certainly does. Being in that situation, that much pressure, I felt pretty comfortable. You know, with all the people watching. I just think it's more fun than it is pressure. This is what you play the game for, to be out here and to be on TV. I just hopefully play well tomorrow.

Q. Do you think you feel different now than you would have if you would have beaten the other guys in a regular old match instead of having two really --

JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I think this only helps me. I think Luke said earlier he's glad he went to the 18th today. I was listening on the interview. If you win 3 and 2 every time you come down, you got a match on the 18th, you haven't been there yet, it certainly doesn't help. But I think having just close matches and having to make pressure putts and make pressure shots only helps for tomorrow.

End of FastScripts….

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