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August 19, 2017
Pacific Palisades, California
THE MODERATOR: We've got Theo Humphrey here, advanced to the U.S. Amateur semifinals; defeated by Doug Ghim 2 and 1.
Theo, you started out with the match play winning the second hole, and then things started going a little bit hard on you. Tell us a little bit about how you reacted to Doug taking a lead and what was he doing and what you were doing? Was it all him playing well or was it you not playing up to your standard?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, well, after the third hole which Doug won with birdie, I never lead in the match, or that was the last time it was all square. I was kind of behind the eight ball for the entire time.
I really struggled out there today. I played a lot of great golf this week, hit a lot of really good shots, clutch shots, and felt really good with my game all week.
Unfortunately today it just wasn't there obviously. Yeah, it's an important event and high magnitude, but I don't think that's why I played poorly. I just hit a lot of below-average golf shots.
Made a lot of good pars, but I just wasn't in position to attack. I was fighting to stay with Doug the whole day. I mean, he did a lot of good things today. He made every putt from ten feet for par and a couple for birdie that he needed to do make. He just never let me in.
That's why he was successful today while I wasn't.
Q. Put today's match aside. How was your overall experience at the U.S. Amateur. Making it to the semifinals obviously a pretty impressive accomplishment.
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I mean, it's been a really special week. It's been a lot of fun. Having my dad on the bag has been awesome. It's an experience we'll certainly never forget. I mean, he's been looking forward to this week for a while. He loves this course. I was just so happy he got to be out here with me for it.
Yeah, this was definitely a big step for me, another good tournament. Gave myself a chance. Didn't get it done again unfortunately, but I just feel like I've played a lot of really good, consistent golf, and eventually things are going to go my way and at the end and I'll play a little better when I need to.
Q. Doug got it to 4-up, and then you win the two par-3s and reduce the deficit to 2-down. What were you thinking at that point?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, well, when I missed my putt on 12 from about eight feet for par to go 4-down, I knew something really special was going to have to happen. I was going to have to do some great things and Doug was going to have to do some bad things.
I knew my chances were slim, but I felt like if I could just take it one hole at a time and things went my way it could happen. You never know.
Doug luckily kind of hit a couple poor shots on the par-3s and didn't end up in very good spots. I made a couple of good pars there and was able to get back in the match.
Honestly, when I stepped on 17 tee I felt like with my distance that that was a hole I could really get after if I hit a good drive, especially with Doug playing it as a 3-shot hole. Like I felt like I could definitely win that hole, and then you go to 18 and the momentum is right in my hand even though I'm 1-down.
Just hit a terrible tee shot on 17, probably one of the worst swings I made all week. I felt okay over it. I just kind of was fighting things all day today. Still, I ended up kind of scrapping it around the hole and giving myself a chance two about 20 feet. Just didn't hilt a very good putt.
Obviously got to expect Doug to make that six-footer, and sure enough he did and that was it.
Q. When it got to be 4-down did you dad play part dad and part caddie to try to get you back? What were your conversations like?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I mean, obviously I was a little bit frustrated when I was 4-down walking to 13 tee. Thankfully it was a short walk. I had about five seconds to be upset about what happened and then I was right there to hit my tee shot thankfully.
Yeah, he said like, Yeah, 4, it's a lot, but it's just one at a time. You can only win one hole at a time, and your focus needs to be to beat Doug on this hole. He said the same thing when we got up on 14 and same thing on 15.
He's right. You can only win them one at a time. It's hard to win that many holes, but it's certainly possible when you look at it that way.
Q. How do you take this really positive experience this week and turn it into some momentum going forward for the fall when you're playing at school?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, for sure. I had a good spring this year. I played great this summer. My game I feel like is in good form. I have had a lot of success in big events.
There is nothing I'm more excited about than getting out there and playing with my teammates. We have three new freshman this year. Be interesting to see who jumps in the mix with us.
Pretty excited about that and just to get back out there in about a week and a half at Pebble Beach with my teammates. Playing for them, not just myself, is something that's really exciting. Looking forward to the season a lot.
Q. Do you hear from Brandt Snedeker at all?
THEO HUMPHREY: I haven't, no.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, that was a great run for you.
THEO HUMPHREY: Appreciate it.
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We've got Doug gym with us, first finalist, two and one winner over Theo Humphrey.
/TKO*UG, he won second hole to take the lead, and then with some great play you got the lead up to 4. Give us a little assessment of where you thought things went your way. ^ CheckAudio.
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I had a big putt on one to halve the hole. That kind of set the tone I think for the rest of the match. It was I think about nine or ten feet for par. Very easily if I miss that kind of just hands him keys to the match pretty much forest of the day and let's him dictate it.
I made this putt. Although I lost the next hole I felt look I hit ever shot the way I wanted to. Second shot just /SKWEURTD right on me unexpectedly, and if I'm going to make a bogey it's /TKPWAE be with committed golf swings paragraph I wasn't so much did I pointed. Obviously you don't like losing holes but I was still pretty positive.
The putt on three was big it square the match of really good birdie there. I feel like /OPLTS I made that birdie on 3 and squared the match, I felt like I wasn't going to lose the match.
Q. (No microphone.)
THEO HUMPHREY: I would say it was close to 20 feet, maybe just short of 20 feet.
THE MODERATOR: If you have a question, let's use the microphone.
Q. You get to 4-up with five or six it lay was it?
THEO HUMPHREY: I get 4-up with six to play.
Q. And so when he got to down to two, what are you trying to do there? Just trying to play each? Just stay in the moment? What was your thinking?
THEO HUMPHREY: Well, it's match play, and it was actually a bit of an advantage to see him tee off. For some reason, it's really not that /TKEUFT a tee shot, 17.
On paper. For some reason I hit it off to the right in that bunker quite a bit. Once he went right I figured he probably wouldn't have a shot at the green. So I thought, I mean, I'm probably going to layup. I don't have the length to get it there. Even if I did it's an awkward shot because it's a back, right pin.
I just want to make sure that I had an opportunity for birdie and be able to put pressure on him. So I took a 3-wood instead to keep it short of that bunker. I feel like that would give me a chance it first hit and layup, and then basically send a message, like, You're going to need birdie to win this hole many I'm not going to give it to you and you're not in a great spot right now paragraph I think I it paid off because he had to hit a /HREUup to the left and he had to go first. Grant he hit a great shot but the pin is so difficult. Once was 2-up, I just basically played smart golf I guess and played my opponent and just everything was based off what he did off that tee. That drive right kind of dictated what I was going to do.
Q. Anyway it describe the feeling when the putt on 17 went?
THEO HUMPHREY: Man, he was just trying to feel my hands. I'm sure it was visible I was trying to calm myself down. So many thoughts your head are going at that point.
In any match to have that length of a putt to close it out is hard to do, but then you also got these other thoughts this your head like, you know, for me got a little bit of demons because the public links from three years ago.
Just trying to make sure I stay calm. The putt -- didn't make the putt more than what it was. It was an uphill 5 and a half-footer and it's right center.
I to do /PHAOEUFP right before I stood up, if you start it -- I'm a spot picker. If it starts on this line it will go in.
When I got over it like just start it over that thing.
Q. (No microphone.)
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, every time.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about when you were much younger getting going in the game and spent a lot more time practicing I think not hitting cage junior father had put up in the backyard. What it was like playing for you at that time. You practiced a lot more than you played then be didn't you believe yes, when I first started the game it was all about practicing. I think ^ CheckAudio financial stress. I think I more than anything he weren't me to make sure -- he wanted to see good I actually really loved the game.
Every day it was like an ice home game where you play flop /AE birdie or something and you get a score and try to beat your high score. Not worried about what anyone else is doing.
If I beat any score from before then I was happy from before. Regardless if I bogeyed the last hole or not. I think that made it fun. So by the time I started playing in tournaments, it was more of a standard that I kept to myself other than against other people.
But that time was a lot of fun. I don't think I had a full grasp of Washington golf was because I was practicing so much. I remember the first time I was on the golf course. I had no idea what the rules of golf was many I just knew how to hit the golf ball.
Shouldn't step in people's lines or rake the bunker. Wasn't allowed to base I was at driving range or in a cage all final.
But it was fun. It was fun to learn. It was cool playing with other kids just for fun and not have competition. You know, hearing that you're pretty good from budge of other kids and adults was a lot of fun.
I think when going gets tough at stage in the higher level of golf, I always look back at those days and be like, remember why you're doing that. It's not a job. It's a privilege and it's a lot of fun.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about how much your father has meant to you true your golfing career. He's been your only coach and obviously provided an enormous A guidance. Must have been very meaning full today to have him on your bag were I'm not really sure if I can /KWAPBLT Phi what it means to be to be /OEUBL there with him tomorrow.
We've shared so many good moments and so many really difficult ones to mention in 2014, that night after was -- I mean, I think I was okay, but I don't think the significance dawned on me, what I just did in blowing a one up lead on a 36 hole.
But, I mean sure the difficult part was knowing that I could have /WAUBed out on the fairway of Augusta with my father, and that was kind of basically taken away if me. That was difficult. Then when I that putt on 17 dropped it was the /TPEUFRS thing that popped in my head, we're going to the Masters -- likely -- but I hope I'm going to the Masters.
Q. Would you carry your bag in the Masters?
THEO HUMPHREY: Yes.
Q. You talked the other day about the 14 A P L and you've grown so much as a player the last three years and played a lot of the matches against really if players. Talk about how in that match play setting, the chip in you made on 8, important par save on the tenth, what do you draw on experience-wise and emotionally in a match?
THEO HUMPHREY: I mean, in match play, because I feel like in match play it's lost easier to look at shot for what it actually is.
When you have a putt to halve a hole, there is no uncertainty about it. It has to go in. The fact is, whatever it is, I think on ten it was leak six or seven foot putt. It's a 6 or /# foot putt that's /PWRAEURBGing slightly to the left.
Of course it's to /HA*L the hole but in stroke play you're thinking because in that -- that particular pin if you hit it form and lip it out could go off the green again.
In this situation, it has to go in. No doubt about it. So it freeze me up to go look at it and say, What do you have here, I have a 7' putt and it must go in. It's going to do just that. If if didn't, owe well. /WHAUD /WHAUD more I played matches the more I realized that and the more I can separate what it means, what it actually is.
I don't know if that makes any sense but trying to at intake any emotion until or circumstance shall pressure off put and just think about the putt itself. I think that's why I've gotten a lot better. In stroke play that's difficult to do, because you're in the only thinking about the shot now you're thinking about the one after. Yes, this maybe a must-make, but you also don't want to run this four feet by and have to put that stress on you again.
In match play there is none of that. I think it's easier to just walk up there and pull it off.
Q. Pitch in on 8 for eagle.
THEO HUMPHREY: Yeah, I mean, I was fortunate. I thought when I hit that 3-wood because of the slope and how low I hit it that it would be in the hazard. When I saw it, I also got a really good lie and I thought -- I mean, obviously developing on what Theo does, it's not very difficult because the up slope there was a couple paces of green that was part of up slope. In many cases out here, the kikuyu is the whole up slope.
When the downslope starts it's immediately green. So that's really difficult to judge. When there is an up slope that is part of the green you know it's going to kick forward and absorb /SOFPLGT heat on it. In kikuyu might just stick and come all the way back down.
A little bit easier because ^ CheckAudio ten feet for par, I thought, Just hit your spot. Make sure you hit it hard enough to get it there. Worst case scenario hit it 30 feet by. Hit it and hit just the spot I was looking at.
I knew it was going to of a good chance to be close. You is is a kick on a good lie and then my dad was at top the hill just yelling, yes, and a pretty load roar, it was pretty /STERB -- special.
Q. Wear the master as hat today? Was there a thought out process. Secondly, how many times have you attend the the Masters and US Open and he is what the biggest memory from one the those?
THEO HUMPHREY: Well, it was kind of -- I kind of organized it already to wear a Masters hat. Sure, you could say there was a little bit of thinking about it for tomorrow or like what it meant to win paragraph but just matches black payments. Best black halt I've got. It's a pretty cool hat. (Laughter.)
Yeah, I didn't /#W57B9 to wear the Cubs hat because I wanted to earn my right to wear it. Pretty excited to wear it tomorrow.
As for the Masters, I've attended twice now. Played the course three times with my school. That's pretty amazing. Thanks Coach Fields. I remember the first time playing it. It was both a little bit I and -- obviously mostly really cool.
To realize that you're getting to play a golf course that probably majority people will never play. That was really cool. Seeing the history and seeing clubhouse and everything.
But tour of the crow's nest. Okay, I don't really want to be in here, right? Yeah, I walked to the practice round when we played the tournament Augusta state. I thought that was pretty cool many I had to go later than the rest of my teammates that day because I had to take a government quiz online paragraph I remember heading out there where I my assistant coach J.P.. one the first group we so you of or row Spieth and Byron ^ CheckAudio. I remember stepping up there, eighth tee and I see Rory and I see Spieth and I walk up and J.P. goes, oh, know. I was and like, What? I just see two balls pretty far you you have up there and one ball kind of short and I'm like that's kind of strange and the like ever look and the ^ CheckAudio get to the raining to avoid all that mess and the first person I see walk on to the tee is Byron method and the rest of my teammates are like let's go have lunch.
I could tell the moment I walk on the premises the rest of my teammates were being really carefully and mindful about it T I appreciated that. Especially Gavin came after and said you're going to be back here one day. Don't you worry about it. I have a lot of good support back at school, but just I can't pick a memory that's meaningful to me because ever -- just being there just ambiguous soring the atmosphere out there is crazy.
Getting to watch the best players play /WOUPB of best golf courses out there, there is not one moment I can tell.
Q. You alloweded to it there but how long did it take to you get over that loss? When you left this tournament, how long did you think it would take to you get back to the Masters?
THEO HUMPHREY: I mean, I was over it pretty quickly. Especially because the public links was before a pretty busy schedule. I had the porter Cup right after and the western a.m. and the U.S. Am. I think when I say I didn't realize the significance of what I just difficult did, first of all I ^ CheckAudio get to the final because I knew that I wouldn't have to play a qualifier if I did so.
First goal was already accomplished. So I was really actually pretty happy with myself that identification in the U.S. Am. I would've had to play a qualifier I think two days after the last day of the U.S. Pub Links. I probably wouldn't have played very well.
So I didn't really think about it much. It really dawned on me when I went to that practice round. That's kind of where to hit me, where it was like, This is what I could have been doing and my teammates could be watching me right now. This sucks.
But, you know, golf, I could play golf for a really long time. As long as each focus every day is to get a little bit better and not to skip any steps, Coach Fields told me all-time you want to get a little bit better every day. Don't be complacent and don't be trying to skip steps and trying to get really good in one day.
Success isn't overnight. I kept every day. /KAUD ^ CheckAudio Beau has letter Social Security as high bar it set to myself. Every day just try to get a little bit better. It's pretty exciting to see some of the results show up.
Q. You have all afternoon. Allege time to recoup. Give us an idea of what you'll do to prepare for tomorrow in terms of reassessing how today's round went or just rest. I'm not going to be thinking much about golf. Just going to be chilling. I have a couple friends that are probably going timeout dinner tonight. Some of them couldn't make it out today but they were telling me they wouldn't miss the 36 hole day for the world.
So I have such a good group supporting me, Coach Fields, pearl, J.P. my parents, and my friends. I'm just excited to celebrate today as victory with them and ponder on it a little bit. It's just a 36-hole round tomorrow and nothing more that on that. Sure, there are a lot of the things tied to it, history and all that stuff.
I'm just going to go and /TPHOEUPBL it tomorrow. I know that if I play the golf that I can, then I'm going to have a chance to win the match. You know, I'm just focused on doing what I've did not doing. No reason to think any differently or change anything.
If I can do that, then that's great. Just looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. You get to the 1st hole, obviously a lot on the line today. US Open trophy is there. What did you think of that?
THEO HUMPHREY: I was wondering what that was doing there. I was like -- because I'm in the breakfast room and there before kind of the breakfast opens. I'm like the first competitor out there and I'm just eating, /PHAOEUFPBDing my own busy and the TV is in front of me and all of a sudden I hear a lot of footsteps and eating and I look up and they're bringing the /HA*EUF Meyer trophy to the middle of the room. I'm like, really? Okay. Let's not look that.
So kind of /SKAOFP my chair in the other direction not looking that at all. Good etiquette to the First Tee and minding my own business and then again two other people walking across the tee box and like the US Open trophy? What is that doing here and then they didn't tell us they're going to announce the stakes during the introduce shun. They just go the stakes of being in the finals tomorrow, is the chance to play in the US Open at ^ CheckAudio Hillsboro. I was like, no, we have to ignore that.
It was pretty surreal. It's really cool. It's really cool that they do it. I just when I talk about that. J E S T. The USGA, it's really cool that he do that. It's awesome. Just trying to keep my head down. Just another rounds golf. In that particular moment it was just a 3-wood off the tee. That's all it is. Just golf and having a lot of fun doing it.
Q. Do you feel like your game is getting sharper as the week progresses?
THEO HUMPHREY: I think yes and no. I mean, you wake of every morning and you hope you're in a good rhythm. I think I'm thinking sharper. I've gotten to know the golf course a little bit better and seen it in many different conditions now.
Today was in the morning; yesterday was in the wind in the afternoon. So I think I've seen it in many different ways so that gives me a good chance to be successful each time I advance, because there is less surprises.
I'm getting a little bit more used to kikuyu in the rough and being able to predict a little bit better each time I'm in it. I my mostly it's just being comfortable with the situation. Just dipping my feet a little bit further into the pool.
The temperature feels pretty good right now.
Q. You want to avoid what the stakes were before you played your match. Now they're with you, what does it mean to you to be in the finals of the Amateur?
THEO HUMPHREY: It's something you dream of. I mean, I think I'm I have I've awed load to do this before earlier in the week. This is /TKEFLT one tournament that everyone /SKEURD an their calendar and the whole year leads up to this. Similar to college.
Whole year comes down to the flash championship. You have a great season but if you don't close well at the national championships, I mean, at least at /AO*FRT text /T*EBGTS /TPHAS not acceptable. We play the whole season to be at Nationals and to be peaking at the right time.
It's the same at the U.S. Am. Whole summer schedule we picked out was so that I can be competitive, have enough rest, and be able to peak at the right time. To be here and to be playing well means a ton to me. A lot of fun obviously.
But I don't take lightly how significant it is to be playing out there tomorrow and having a chance at being in the history books, the great champions of this game all started here. ^ Check punctuation.
It's crazy to think about. I'll let myself ponder on it a little bit probably, but there is plenty of time to do it after tomorrow. Just going to try to stick to my game plan and focus on getting some rest and being in a good mental state for tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. Appreciate your time.
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