August 25, 1996
Q. If somebody had told you when you were 5 up after 18 you were going to shoot 70, would you have thought that would have been good enough?
STEVE SCOTT: Well, yeah, I guess. You figure it would be good enough, but against Tiger Woods, no lead is secure, at all.
BRETT AVERY: Steve, just some general comments, some thoughts about today.
STEVE SCOTT: Well, it was just an unbelievable experience. This is probably the best Amateur match ever, final match ever. And just to be a part of it. There was no losers today. I feel completely a winner. After shooting 79 the first round there's no way I thought I would make it this far, especially against Tiger. And I got my shot at him and came up a lip short.
BRETT AVERY: Go through some holes quickly. The third?
STEVE SCOTT: The third in the morning?
BRETT AVERY: Yes.
STEVE SCOTT: I hit first and blocked my shot to the right of the green, and I guess the rough turned his club over and put him in the hazard. I had a decent putt there.
Q. Fourth hole, you made birdie.
STEVE SCOTT: I hit a bad drive in the right bunker. Hit kind of a bad layup shot. My third shot was good, behind the hole about 13 feet, and I made the putt and he missed. He went just over the green, actually. And so I won there.
BRETT AVERY: 5th hole.
STEVE SCOTT: 5, I put the pressure on him, made a good shot. And I didn't see his shot. I guess he came out of it or something in the water, and so three up. But being three up is like being even with him. It's so amazing. Like I said no lead is secure.
BRETT AVERY: Did you go 4 up at the 7th on his bogey?
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah, I played smart there. I had a downhill lie on the third shot in the rough. I played smart out to the right and I had an easy chip up and had a gimme. And he didn't get it up-and-down. And I thought, this is going good.
BRETT AVERY: 10th hole you make birdie.
STEVE SCOTT: 10th hole. Yeah, I had a real good 5-iron in there. What did we play the hole, three times today? I hit a good 5-iron there. I had to come close to making a one. And hit a good putt and it went in. He had a long putt.
Q. How long was he?
STEVE SCOTT: About four or five feet behind the hole, though it was really fast.
BRETT AVERY: Won 11 with a birdie.
STEVE SCOTT: 11, yes. I laid up short. He was in the trees. He hit a great third shot on the green, and I pitched up there, maybe five feet or something, and he missed.
BRETT AVERY: 5 up and thinking?
STEVE SCOTT: No, just keep playing, because there's so many holes. I've seen what he's done in the past. And he's tough.
BRETT AVERY: Missed the green on 12, made bogey.
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah, it wasn't very hard, really. I had a putt on the fringe and just hit it too hard and hit a bad second putt. I heard some cameras clicking in the back. And I didn't focus really good on that one.
BRETT AVERY: Sand save on the 16th?
STEVE SCOTT: That was one of my better shots of the day, there. I lipped it out and he 3-putted. I was thinking I was going to probably lose the hole, and winning the hole, that was key.
BRETT AVERY: Birdie 18.
STEVE SCOTT: And then 18 I hit a good pitch in there, about four feet. He had a tough putt. Similar to the one he had on the 36, this hole to win, and he missed. And I made about a four-footer. So I'm 5 up going into the afternoon.
BRETT AVERY: Thinking?
STEVE SCOTT: Same stuff, just that's not good enough. I wouldn't have been happy until I had him ten up or something. You can't get that. He's that tough.
BRETT AVERY: You missed some greens starting in the afternoon.
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah, the second green I hit by hitting a good chip. My second shot was short. Had a good chip up there and a gimme. And then the third hole is when he started coming around. I pulled my left, but he stuck his, and basically I had no chance to hole it. And same with the next hole, he stuck it again. And I had a tough sand shot. I hit a little thin on the green. And then 5, I didn't focus on that putt either. And I just I missed it there, pulled a little left. And then after that I started playing pretty well. I said, forget this. I'm just going to go play.
BRETT AVERY: On the 26th hole, the 8th.
STEVE SCOTT: That was a stroke like 5, I decelerated, and it just fell left of the hole left. It broke a lot more than I thought.
BRETT AVERY: You won the 10th.
STEVE SCOTT: Well, he has a really distinctive edge on that 9th hole. He flies it forever. And I can't carry it that far. It's a tough driving hole. I hit an iron to keep it short of the bunkers and play smart. I won the hole three or four times that way during the week. And he had a good shot in there and I hit a good pitch shot after my crummy second.
BRETT AVERY: What did you hit for that crummy second?
STEVE SCOTT: I hit a 2-iron in the rough. And I hit a good chip up there close, and he made it. And then the 10th hole, that was pretty exciting there. I didn't think there was any way I could get that close. And I just tried to hit a flop shot just like I did, and it came off and hit the hole.
Q. 60 degree wedge?
STEVE SCOTT: Yes. He made eagle on 11, I couldn't believe that. That was some putt he made there. Because I was up close for a birdie.
Q. How long was that, do you think?
STEVE SCOTT: That he had?
STEVE SCOTT: At least 30 feet. And it broke probably three feet, four feet right. It was an amazing putt.
BRETT AVERY: 34. You won 14 with a birdie.
STEVE SCOTT: I won 14. I hit a real good 6-iron in. It was going right at the pin and it checked up a little short. I thought it was going to slow more, and he missed about a 6 or 7-footer.
BRETT AVERY: What did you hit in there?
STEVE SCOTT: I hit a 6-iron. And then the next hole I hit a good putt, just short and he missed his. So I'm two up with three to play. And then he got on fire. He did his famous comebacks. He hit a good wedge in there on 16, and I hit a good bunker shot. I made a good putt and put the pressure on him to make it, and he made a good putt. And 17 was unexpected. That was unbelievable. It just rolled in. You can't say anything more about that.
Q. How long was that? Did you figure that one?
BRETT AVERY: 30 feet.
STEVE SCOTT: It was pretty far. It was across the green.
BRETT AVERY: 18 you halved.
STEVE SCOTT: That second shot on 18 I was a little nervous. The ball was a little bit by my feet and I swung at it too hard. I hit it pretty flat. I was lucky to go over the hazard. And hit a decent third. I knew he was going to have a tough time getting up-and-down from where he was. I hit a good putt and it was just so fast from downhill, and that four-footer coming back was all I could handle right there. I was pretty nervous on that one.
BRETT AVERY: The 9th hole third time around.
STEVE SCOTT: His first, ripped a drive over the bunkers. I hit a good 2-iron off the tee. I had a 5-iron to the green and hit a good 5-iron in there about 18 feet or so. And he hit just outside of me, rolled his over the edge, and I put a bad stroke on mine and just pushed it off. It was real close, but didn't have a chance. And then the last hole I hit really where you can't hit it, and I end up hitting a good chip shot. And after he missed his putt I thought, because my putt wasn't all that hard, it just trailed off at the end and lipped out. I just didn't give it enough speed. And that's the story.
Q. How close were you? They measured to see who was away on that.
STEVE SCOTT: He was probably three inches outside of me.
Q. He was, what, 7 feet and you were 6 and a half?
STEVE SCOTT: Something like that.
Q. Steve, obviously so many of us hear about the quest for the third championship. You took a huge part in that. Can you sort of put in perspective the whole thing? Your day? Did you feel like you were getting in the way of history? Did you think you ever had the match?
STEVE SCOTT: Well, I never felt I had the match. Coming down I was 2 up, 3 to go, I thought I had a good chance, but you know Tiger. He does his thing. And I didn't give him the holes, he earned them. And for the fact of getting in the way of history, I was attempting to stop the history. (Laughter.) But I was unsuccessful. He's just so difficult to beat. He's going to give those pros all they can handle there, too, when he goes out there. I don't know how much more he has to prove around here, though.
Q. Well, all day long on the 36 holes you're out-driven by quite a distance. For example I was looking at the playoffs, how far did you have on the 9th hole on the first putt?
STEVE SCOTT: On the first putt I had about 207, maybe.
Q. Then coming in on the 18th, what did you have? Second on 18.
STEVE SCOTT: I didn't really measure, probably 275 or something.
STEVE SCOTT: Probably 275. Obviously I'm expecting him to out-drive me every hole, because he hits it so long.
Q. What did you hit off the tee in the 9th on the playoff?
STEVE SCOTT: I hit a low 2-iron and let it run up there. It keeps it short of the bunkers. I played it that way all week except for the 27th hole today. I took a 3-wood, because the wind was a little into us and I pushed it in the rough.
Q. Steve, what does this do for your career, the recognition factor. And the follow-up question, do you have any thoughts about turning pro?
STEVE SCOTT: Come on.
Q. You're one of the best players in the country.
STEVE SCOTT: I've got a lot more years ahead of me. I've got a lot more to learn, a ton more to learn. I went to school today basically. Tiger taught me a heck of a lot this afternoon and he's -- he's ready. And I'm getting there. I'm probably where he was when he was just winning his last Junior Amateur, maybe. And he's matured faster than I have. And there's really no thoughts of me turning pro. I'm going to stick it out all four years, that's a definite.
Q. Steve, was there any point in the match where you felt you had to reach back and pull out a longer stick off the tee than you normally would have played under normal conditions?
STEVE SCOTT: Like I said, the 27th hole I took a 3-wood maybe and I shouldn't have because the wind was a little into me. That hole sets up kind of weird. You have to hit it so perfect. Tiger has a distinct advantage, he can fly it over bunkers, and I can't do that. So I have to play smart. I played my own game. I didn't look in his bag, because his clubs, they go a lot longer than mine. (Laughter.)
Q. They go a lot longer than everybody's.
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah.
Q. Steve, is he different than other players that you play, amateur players, in his ability to focus and stay on track?
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah, he knows how to focus and just put in the death blow. He knows just how to go and attack. And he's not afraid to do it, either. It's easier for him hitting a wedge in the green, whereas somebody else is hitting a 5 or 6-iron. You have more confidence with a wedge, a short iron. He's unbelievable.
Q. Did you ever feel you had him rattled at all?
STEVE SCOTT: Maybe after I holed out on the 28th hole, I guess it was, after I holed out there. And I thought I could build a little momentum and he just killed it with that eagle. He just killed it. I thought I was going to keep going, and he killed the momentum.
BRETT AVERY: If someone comes up to you in a couple of days and says you can have one shot back, either one of yours or one of his, and make him hit it again, because there would be a one hole difference, would you rather have back one of your putts or make him putt one of his again?
STEVE SCOTT: His on 17, for sure. That was unexpected to make. And maybe my tee shot on the last. I thought I hit it good. I thought it would just turn over and kick left like it did in the beginning, and it just stayed out right and I had a tough shot.
Q. Was that a 5-iron?
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah. I hit a 5-iron every time on that hole.
Q. What are your thoughts now about playing the World Amateur with him?
STEVE SCOTT: That's going to be pretty neat. I don't know much about it, but it's just a pretty prestigious honor.
Q. What do you do now, Steve? When does school start?
STEVE SCOTT: I'm missing tomorrow, my first day, actually. It's a long trip back to Florida. I don't get in until about 4:30 in the afternoon with all the time changes. And I'll just start from there. I'm all moved into my house, and it's all set up. I'll just start up school. Start more tournaments.
Q. Steve, do you feel like playing in the U.S. Open helped you today?
STEVE SCOTT: Yeah, seeing how the pros play, similar to how Tiger plays. I tried to learn as much as I can there. And to try to pattern my game a little around -- nobody in particular, but just their style of play. The way they think around golf courses. I told myself this week I didn't want to beat myself, and I didn't really maybe up until the last hole. I hit it right and that was about it.
Q. Did you talk to Buddy at all?
STEVE SCOTT: I talked to him last night. I guess he called me and I just asked him what his thoughts were when he won the Amateur and what he was thinking. And he gave me a little better idea, because he had a semifinal match that was similar to my match today, that he was kind of the underdog and he went out and won 2 and 1. Back then he was in The Masters, if you're in the semifinals. So he said just go out and there's really no pressure on you. You have nothing to lose. Just go out and play your hardest.
Q. Did you have a specific approach going into the second 18 off the first hole, you're up 5?
STEVE SCOTT: Off the first?
Q. After the 19th hole at that point? You're up 5 going into the afternoon round?
STEVE SCOTT: Just try and hit the fairway. You don't change anything, really.
Q. You're not trying to just par the holes and force him to birdie?
STEVE SCOTT: I'm trying to make birdies, myself. I hit a good shot in there. I missed the putt. I was trying to make as many birdies as I can, that's the name of the game.
Q. Steve, what about his up-and-down on 1, the second time around?
STEVE SCOTT: That was pretty awesome. He made a good putt. He hit a real good pitch down the hill and holed the putt. There's no way he could stop that close to the hole at all. I expected him to make more putts than he did at the beginning, but he just turns on the afterburners and leaves you in the dust.
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