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August 14, 2019

Cooper Dossey

Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Cooper Dossey from Austin, Texas, Baylor University, who was a 4 and 3 winner over Travis McInroe from McKinney, Texas. Pretty crazy to come across the country and play somebody from Texas.

COOPER DOSSEY: Teammate, too.

THE MODERATOR: Yeah, so that's got to be tough. You're trying to beat somebody on a national stage after you had success at Pinehurst at the North and South and you're playing your teammate. How do you stay focused?

COOPER DOSSEY: I live with him, too, so we're good buddies. I don't know, I feel comfortable here. I feel right at home. The course fits my eye. I've had good caddies. My little brothers have been on the bag and they have kept me calm, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: So you had a lead, pretty big lead early. How did you build that and what was the key to success out there?

COOPER DOSSEY: Just making pars. You don't have to go too low out here to win because the course is pretty tough. It's hard to attack out here.

So I just tried to hit greens and keep putting the pressure on him; I was able to do that.


Q. Before you played the North and South had you ever been here before?
COOPER DOSSEY: I played the U.S. Kids' a long time ago. I think I played course No. 8 though. I've never played these two courses.

Q. What is it you say fits your eye? What in particular?
COOPER DOSSEY: It's so demanding off the tee and you have to be really creative out here, I think. You can't really be like -- you just got to hit certain shots. It's a shot-making golf course, so I think being able to work the ball and be creative is why I think it fits my eye.

THE MODERATOR: Were you together with Travis when you guys found out you were playing first round?

COOPER DOSSEY: I was not, no. But I texted him and I said, Either way there is a Bear going into the round of 32. That's good for us, I guess.

Q. What was your initial reaction? Oh, no?
COOPER DOSSEY: Not really. Just kind of -- I was kind of shocked. There is a bunch of people in the field, and the fact that we got to play against each other was crazy.

I wasn't scared or anything. It was just kind of like a shocking moment, I guess.

Q. Was there a point at the North and South when you started playing No. 2 -- at what point did you really feel comfortable?
COOPER DOSSEY: I would say in my match against Ricky Castillo because he's a really good player. I struggle with confidence a lot, and I think when I beat him - I birdied 17 and 18 to win 1-up. After that I kind of realized for some reason this course has been good to me. I just beat a good player. So I think that was a big moment for me.

It's going to be a big one moving forward in my career, I think. That really helped me build confidence for the rest of the summer.

Q. What round was that?
COOPER DOSSEY: That was the quarterfinals.

Q. When you qualified for coming here, when you stepped on the grounds this week, how did it feel?
COOPER DOSSEY: Felt really good. I told my dad, I asked him if it was normal not to have nerves at a big tournament like this, because I haven't had any nerves all week really. Just mainly because I'm confident here.

I know I'm supposed to be here. I'm not scared to play anyone this week. Just really excited to be back here. Good things have happened to me here, so I am just really trying to believe in myself and not let in any self-doubt this week.

Q. Did you set your schedule up to come to the North and South in hopes that you would qualify for the Amateur?
COOPER DOSSEY: I think it played a little bit into it, yeah. I think everyone that came here had the idea of getting a couple practice rounds I guess you could say to get comfortable with the course. It's really hard. Probably the hardest course I've ever played. I know that's what Brandon Wu said the other day, and it's true.

I think I shot 2-over and won 4 and 3. You know, other match play courses you shoot that and you're probably losing 8 and 7. Probably I think playing the North South is going to be big this week for me just because I've seen a lot of shots out here.

So I think I signed up, yes, to make sure that I knew this before getting here. Also had to get here. I wasn't exempt. So, yes, sir.

THE MODERATOR: You said your brothers caddied for you and you feel at home. That probably increases your chances for success. You won here. You're successful again. Are you feeling more at home as we go along?

COOPER DOSSEY: I think so. Luke caddied for me in the North and South and he'll be a freshman at Baylor. He was supposed to caddie this week and got his appendix taken out Saturday. So if you see him in a scooter it's not just because just being stupid; it's because he's hurt.

But my dad caddied the last two days and then Luke and Sam and my mom came out last night. Now it's Sam on the bag. But they keep me calm. We don't talk about golf in between shots. They know my game; they know me. They keep me laughing, focused.

Really helps to have them on the bag.

Q. Is that the whole Dossey family?
COOPER DOSSEY: That's the whole Dossey family.

Q. Can you talk about your grandmother, your maternal grandmother, who were USGA rules officials. Are they still alive?
COOPER DOSSEY: Yes. My grandma, her name is Carolyn Donaldson, and then her husband, Nub, my grandpa, were USGA officials, and then they rated golf courses for Golf Digest. They're the sole reason I'm playing golf today.

They introduced me to the game when I was two years old. My grandpa was my instructor. But, yeah, they've been really instrumental. They have a lot of wisdom in the game of golf, and without them I wouldn't be where I am right now.

Q. Were they rules officials at the national level?
COOPER DOSSEY: Yeah. My grandpa -- do you remember when Ochoa hit that drive in the water on 18 in the Women's U.S. Open I think? I think he was there. So they've seen a lot of good golf over the years.

Q. And your grandmother learned the game from?
COOPER DOSSEY: Harvey Penick.

Q. Did they pass along those tidbits? Have a little book?
COOPER DOSSEY: She has all of his books, yes, sir.

Q. And now she asked you or made you keep your own journal; is that correct?
COOPER DOSSEY: Yeah, they've always told me to journal so I can see what I've done good in the past. I've been good about it sometimes and not great about it all the time. When I do it seems to help.

Yeah, they don't help me just on the golf course. They help me off the golf course, too.

Q. Have you referred to that journal this week from the North and South?
COOPER DOSSEY: A little bit. A lot of it is really just confidence in myself. That's something that I really struggle with, a big weakness of mine.

So just kind of regaining that confidence as this week goes on. Believing in myself that I'm supposed to be here, and not just be a part of the tournament but try and win.

THE MODERATOR: Then what Jay Bilas said at the players' dinner is probably something you're leaning on then, right?

COOPER DOSSEY: Yes, sir, yeah. The next play. That was a good -- I thought he did a great job. Yeah, next shot. Whatever just happened happened in the past; now just the next shot and hole one tomorrow morning.

Q. Your left wrist, talk about the injury.
COOPER DOSSEY: Yeah, so I'll be a senior, and in my freshman year Baylor I started having pain. When we got to post season, May of 2017, thought it was just tendonitis so got a cortisone shot. Didn't hurt for the whole summer, and then -- it didn't hurt actually until January of 2018, so almost a whole year.

Thought it was the same thing because the MRI didn't show anything. Got a cortisone shot, and I sat out from January to March of my sophomore year. Didn't hit a golf ball. Got back and had no pain up until about end of October last year. It was the most pain I've ever had.

Had an MRI after the last tournament when the off-season started, and my ECU tendon had come out of place and then I had TFCC cartilage tear.

So I had surgery November 8th of last year, and then I sat out until the end of January. Surprisingly I've had no pain since. Thank God for that.

But I don't know. If you would've told me in November when I was laying in bed every day that I would be here right now I would just laugh at you. It was a hard time for me.

I'm just really thankful to be healthy. It's been a long two years of being hurt and frustrating times. Just praying that it stays away.

Q. How has it affected your game or how have you had to change your game to accommodate that?
COOPER DOSSEY: In junior golf, freshman year, I was pretty steep, so I've tried to get less steep. I'm still a little steep. That's my weakness in my golf swing. Tried to flatten it out, make it shorter. When I got back from surgery it was hard to hit the ground. Not allowed to hit off mats anymore.

So I don't know. I think just mentally I'm over the hump of hitting wedges. That was the hardest part, just taking divots. Can't use it as an excuse anymore. I did for so long, so it's good to be 100% healthy.

Q. When did you start working with Chuck Cook?

Q. Of this year?
COOPER DOSSEY: So very soon, three months ago. Yes, sir.

THE MODERATOR: Anybody else? Congratulations on a great win.




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