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August 13, 2019

Brandon Wu

Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina

Q. How would you describe the challenge No. 2 presents on the approach shots and around the greens?
BRANDON WU: I think you have to be -- on the approaches you have to be really precise on your numbers because a lot of the greens you're hitting a long iron in, and there's only a certain amount of green where you can land it and keep it on the green, and that may be 30, 40 feet from the pin. So it's like you've got to be really precise and devoted to your targets and pick your targets, as well.

Q. Do you find yourself playing more conservatively than is comfortable sometimes because you know that you have to?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, I guess a little bit. But I mean, it doesn't even feel conservative because going in you already know exactly where you need to hit it on each green, so it's like just try to figure out where that is and be aggressive towards that line.

Q. What's your fatigue level right now after the overnight flight from Peru and playing great yesterday but then now it's probably striking I would guess?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, towards the back nine today was definitely tough, just because No. 2 is such a mental grind, as well. You're trying to hit perfect shots on every hole just to maybe have a look at birdie, so that was kind of wearing down, and it was getting hot towards the end, too.

But yeah, luckily I was able to finish it off, but yeah, I was definitely pretty tired.

Q. What did you -- when you came here in July for the preview, what did you use to help you when you approached the stroke play rounds here?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, I felt like the most important thing for us today was just to see the course and kind of get a feel for the lines. It's playing a little bit different. It's a little bit firmer, a little bit faster than it was about four weeks ago, so I knew the conditions would be changing, but I just wanted to get a feel and get comfortable on the tee shots.

Q. The idea of seeing the course a few weeks back but then not having the practice rounds the last couple days, how difficult has it been to adjust to what it is right now as opposed to what you saw -- obviously the scores suggested it was difficult.
BRANDON WU: Yeah, I thought getting used to the speed and firmness of the greens was something I had to do quite quickly. The one thing I would say felt like I was missing just by not playing Saturday and Sunday was just kind of the shots around the greens, getting used to again, like putting up those big mounds or hitting bumps into there, but other than that I felt pretty comfortable out there.

Q. Can you describe how different this tournament feels compared to anything else you might play during the course of your season?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, I think obviously is the pinnacle of amateur golf, and the USGA does a fantastic job making it feel like the real deal. It's cool to be here. I've spent a long time trying to qualify for these and came up short a bunch of times. So super happy to be here and playing a great course down at Pinehurst.

Q. You played really tough courses this year, these two majors, Pebble Beach and Portrush to Blessings at the NCAA. Prior to this, in your point of view the toughest course you've ever played, and also how does that compare to Pinehurst No. 2?
BRANDON WU: This might just be the toughest course I've ever played in these conditions especially. I just think the combination of how the greens are shaped and how firm and fast it's playing, you really have to be like on top of your game and really be conscious of everything you do. Like I basically lagged every single putt outside of five feet today, just trying to get that speed down, and nothing was aggressive. It's tough.

Q. Some people say they don't really attack the hole locations unless you have a good number. How many holes did you actually go for attacking the pins?
BRANDON WU: I think honestly maybe only one or two today. I think I'm actually quite excited for match play because I think you can start to be a little bit more aggressive because I just think a lot of these pins where they're situated if you hit a bad one, you bring double into play really quickly. But if you're in match play and you need to make some birdies, then you can start firing at some of them.

Q. How close had you come before in the stroke play to getting into match play in the Amateur?
BRANDON WU: I think my first Am was at Riviera. I want to say I missed by three, and last year missed by one or two.

Q. Kind of a relief then today to --
BRANDON WU: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I feel like everyone's goal coming in is just to make it to match play. So yeah, after yesterday it definitely eased some pressure coming into today knowing that I had kind of a cushion I felt. But yeah, just tried to play the best I could today anyway.

Q. Did that change your approach at all the way you played today?
BRANDON WU: Not really. I thought the game plan would have been very similar regarding just middle of the green, try to hit some fairways.

Q. And if scores hold, you might end up with the medal anyway, which is a good thing.
BRANDON WU: Right, right.

Q. And speaking of medals, give us a little kind of quick synopsis of what it was like to play over in Lima at the Pan-Am Games for the U.S.?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, it was a really cool experience. Like there's not many chances you get to play for medals, I guess, in golf, and there's not many chances to play for Team USA.

Going down there, it was kind of interesting because I didn't really know many people in the field. I would say more than half the field was professionals, actually, on both the men's and women's side, so we didn't really know how strong it would be. Obviously the American team was only amateurs. But yeah, we just tried to go out and play well, and it was such a cool experience playing for Team USA, and ended up coming out on top.

Q. You were very successful in the NCAAs, going 3-0, obviously winning the national championship. Anything Coach Conrad Ray told you about the tactics of match play?
BRANDON WU: Yeah, I think one of the goals is to try and apply pressure. The best way for me to do that is just hit a lot of greens. I remember my championship match I hit every green through 16 holes, so I think it kind of wears your opponents down if you're always getting looks at birdie. You may make a few, which will help, but just, yeah, being on the green on every hole I think is a good thing.

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