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August 18, 2017

Theo Humphrey

Pacific Palisades, California

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Theo Humphrey, semifinalist No. 3, 1-up winner Chun An Yu from Chinese Taipei here at Riviera.



THE MODERATOR: Quick assessment of the match maybe including where you thought things were the most critical for you.

THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I mean, it was a great match. It was kind of back and forth the whole time. I was a couple down going into 9 and that's where the momentum shifted. I started making some birdies and got myself back in it.

Was never more than 1-up at any point, so there was never any time where I was really comfortable out there. It was a tough match. Kevin made everything from ten feet when he need to do make it and he kept himself in it the whole time.

Probably the critical moment for me was birdieing 12. It's probably the hardest hole on the golf course. Hit a great drive and only hit pitching wedge in and rolled in about a 25-footer.

To make birdie there and birdie again on 13, those are two holes you're happy to walk off with par. To birdie and win both of those holes was really big for me, and that shifted everything in the match.


Q. The exchange on the last hole, punch/counterpunch; did you think he was going to make that putt?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I really did. He rolled the ball beautifully today. You're supposed to expect your competitor to make -- you don't always, but you're supposed to. In that scenario I was prepared to have to make my putt.

Q. What was going through your mind as you were setting up over yours?
THEO HUMPHREY: Well, I mean, obviously I was super nervous, but I just got over and it I'm like, This is the moment you live for, the moment that you think about all the time. You got to embrace it and enjoy it. That's what I did.

Hit a good putt, and thankfully I read it right and it went in.

Q. Driver off 18?
THEO HUMPHREY: I did, yeah.

Q. Catch it flush?
THEO HUMPHREY: No. 18 was not the most solid of drives. I drove it pretty good today, but 18 I hit it pretty far off and ended up having a long ways in, which made it hard to stop the second shot.

Luckily I was able to get away with par.

Q. The out on the last hole the most nervous you've been on a golf course?
THEO HUMPHREY: No. I would say the most nervous I've ever been was in the first round of the match play in NCAAs this year. I had a four-footer to win my match, and I just lost 16 and 17. I got my teammates standing behind me just praying I don't miss this putt.

Thankfully I made the putt. I was kind of throwing the match away at the end and gathered myself and made that. That was probably the most nervous I've ever been. It wasn't just for me, it was for everybody else, too.

Q. What did you have into 17?
THEO HUMPHREY: It was 261 adjusted for the uphill. In hindsight I would go back and not hit what I did. I tried to hit like a soft 2-iron and kind of cut it in there. I was just kind of worried about hitting it way too far.

If I could go back, I would just hit a good 3-iron. If it's right in front, that's fine. Luckily I was able to get up and down from that bunker. That was a poor decision.

Q. Have you ever had a coin toss situation like that before?
THEO HUMPHREY: No. That was so weird. Yeah, when we got up there our balls were pretty much equidistant into the green. The official is like, All right, Theo, you're ahead. Well, okay. It was kind of weird that I ended up going first, which I was kind of happy about with the opportunity to put pressure on him.

I didn't with the shot I hit, but I was glad I was able to go first.

Q. Do you remember the first U.S. Amateur you ever paid attention to or watched or followed?
THEO HUMPHREY: That's a good question. Not really. I don't know. I guess I never really watched it that much. I don't know. That's a tough question.

Q. With that said, you're into the semifinals now. A lot on the line even for winning tomorrow.

Q. A lot of playing opportunities. Would you say that tomorrow's almost a little bit more nerve wracking than the final just because there is a lot on the line?
THEO HUMPHREY: I don't know. I mean, obviously I know what's at stake with tomorrow's match and then my finals match. No, I don't think I'm going to view tomorrow as more pressure. Every match to me is the same.

Obviously the magnitude of the win is more important than today's, but I'm going to try to approach it the same way. Yes, there is plenty of added pressure.

Q. How hard do you think it's going to be to keep that out of your mind tomorrow?
THEO HUMPHREY: I think it'll be hard to keep it out of my mind like tonight and maybe tomorrow morning before the round. I've always had trouble with that.

But when I'm out on the golf course I feel like I don't really let those thought creep in. I'm just so focused on my round and what I'm doing out there that those thoughts about like the accolades and stuff like that, that doesn't really affect me.

Q. Your strategy on 10, is that dependant on hole location, position in the match, or just an automatic lay up?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I mean, it's an automatic lay up. I think there is almost nowhere around that green -- I mean, you're not going to hit that green. I haven't seen anybody do it. There is nowhere around that green that's really any good. I've laid up every day just try to hit it as far left as I can close to that bunker and have between 60 and 80 yards depending on the pin.

He feel like it's hard to mess up the hole from there. I feel like my wedges are good enough to where that's not going to be an issue. People I have played against have all gone for that green. Kevin today made par, but, I mean, everybody else, like I've seen perfect tee shots and guys are struggling to make bogey. I just don't think it's a very intelligent shot.

Q. (No microphone.)
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, was probably about 15 yards right of where I was trying to hit it, which made the wedge shot really hard. But luckily was able to hit a good shot and roll it in.

Q. What is your favorite hole on the course and the most challenging hole on the course for you?
THEO HUMPHREY: I think my favorite hole is probably 16. I think it's a really cool little par-3. I really like short par-3s that are interesting like that.

For me the most challenging hole is probably 6. It just doesn't fit my eye for some reason. I know it's a really cool hole, and an iconic hole with the bunker in the middle of the green, but I've had a really hard time hitting good shots on this hole.

Q. If you don't mind, walk me through some of your match play experience, East Lake Cup, NCAAs? Typically win them? Split?
THEO HUMPHREY: So my freshman and sophomore year I lost both my matches in NCAAs and lost both -- I think I lost both -- yeah, I lost both my matches in East Lake Cup.

So up to that point it was pretty bad. But in the SECs I won two of my three matches and then won both my matches this year in NCAAs and then have won four here.

I feel like recently I've played great in match play. Definitely something I take as a positive.

Q. You had a really tight match today. Nobody could every really create any distance. Is there one word that comes to your mind to describe your feelings on today's match?
THEO HUMPHREY: Stressful. It was very stressful out there, even though I felt like I was in control of my game, just because like we didn't give each other any holes.

Maybe a couple in the beginning, but towards the end of the match it was harder. I mean, I really enjoyed the challenge. It was a great match and a great time out there.

Q. How do you rate this stretch of golf you're going through right now?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, obviously this is the most -- some of the best golf I've ever played. I mean, finishing third in NCAAs this year was a big step this year. I think that's given me a lot of confidence.

And, yeah, I mean, this is up there with that. Hopefully be even better.

THE MODERATOR: Well done; congratulations.


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