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August 19, 2004

Andy Svoboda


PETE KOWALSKI: Andrew, thanks for joining us. I'm sure it's a great feeling for you to be a quarterfinalist at Winged Foot as a member here. Just give us a little reaction to that to start off.

ANDREW SVOBODA: Just an incredible feeling to have all of my fellow members and a lot of my friends and such a huge gallery here at Winged Foot. Never dreamed of anything like this. Really thrilled to make it on to the quarterfinals and looking forward to playing well tomorrow.

Q. 1-up at 12, what was the yardage in at 12; do you remember?

ANDREW SVOBODA: I had 172 to the hole and I was debating. Because the wind was like going left, the flag was going dead left-to-right and I was just debating whether to hit a nine or a wedge, and I went with a hard wedge and ended up hitting a gratuity shot there to a couple of inches.

Q. I don't know if you call this a disadvantage or not, but this is your third match and the first two matches were relatively easy. Is it at all weird to be kind of that tight of a match after not having been sort of tested?

ANDREW SVOBODA: Definitely. Because coming down the stretch, it's just a different mindset. I played so well this morning, but I didn't get to play the last five holes. So I didn't know exactly where the pins were and didn't have any experience putting to those hole locations. But I think it was nice to have the rest.

Q. On No. 8, it looked like you were surprised by your approach shot. Did it fly the green or did it bounce on the green?

ANDREW SVOBODA: I hit the same shot on that hole this morning and this afternoon. I had a 4-iron, I hit 213 to the hole in the wind and both times I thought I hit great shots. If it lands five feet shorter, it funnels right to the hole, and I was -- I couldn't believe that ball went over the trap. I really had no chance of getting it up-and-down.

But, both those shots I thought I hit great shots and they just didn't work out.

Q. Did you make bogey in the morning round, as well?


Q. Did you feel like at that point the momentum had swung in that match, you're 4-up and you lose that and then you go to three and it snowballs after that, do you feel like it had started at that point?

ANDREW SVOBODA: No, not at that point because I was still feeling strong. And I think 9 was big. Losing 9, and then actually got lucky to get away with a tie on 10 with a bogey. Actually, he made a good putt, but then I made like a 3-footer outside of the hole to halve so that was a tough putt.

11, he hit a great shot and made birdie.

12 and 13 were the key holes because I got it back. If I lose 12, the match is square going from 4-up to square is tough mentally.

Then winning 13 with a par was big, also.

14, I had such an easy putt. I had like a 5-footer dead straight. I just, you know, I just pushed it. That would have been big. I would have been dormie if I would have made that putt, so that would have been a nice feeling.

14, he makes a great up-and-down out of the right-hand trap and I hit a good iron shot in there out of the first cut and the thing spins back off the front of the green, left with like 55-, 60-foot putt. I putted past and I make about a 6-footer for a halve there, so that was huge to make that putt. It was big.

Then 16 was just incredible. That was just golf. I couldn't believe that he made that putt. I was like, all right, just lag it down there, he's not going to make it. He makes a 70- or 60-footer. I've never seen anybody make that putt under that kind of pressure. And then for me to knock it in on top of him was just incredible, an incredible putt to make.

Q. You're obviously grinding out there, but is this fun?

ANDREW SVOBODA: Yeah, it's fun, but it's like work out there for me. I tried to have, fun but I don't want to get too overly excited and lose focus. So just try to grind away.

Q. That seems to be -- someone had said watching you play, you had all of these people, all of these members, but that you didn't really see them. Are you pretty proud of the way that you were able to lock in?

ANDREW SVOBODA: Yeah, I'm trying to stay focused out there, and if I go up and talk to everybody, that's not the way I play golf. I try to stick to my game and pretty quiet and try to just stay calm and think about what I have to do.

Q. Were you surprised the way Tyler hung around in this match after he had a half hour to rest up and you had him 4-down early on, were you surprised the way he came back?

ANDREW SVOBODA: Yeah, he's a good player. He was outdriving me by 30 yards. He was driving the ball great. When you can do that out here, it's such a big advantage because you're hitting shorter irons into the green and just makes it a lot easier.

He's a good player, a good competitor. That was a great comeback he had. Glad I hung on. I didn't want to play the last two holes, that's for sure.

Q. If you have a home-course advantage on this course, where does it manifest itself?

ANDREW SVOBODA: I'd have to say -- this isn't a tricky course. I'd have to say the greens. I tell you, I haven't really been reading them too well myself. But, you know, just maybe certain shots under a lot of pressure, I've been there, I've had that shot, things like that. Just been on the course and had certain shots dealing with pressure. I think that's what helps.

Q. Do you feel like you've missed to the correct side, have you kind of tried to take away certain --

ANDREW SVOBODA: I try to but it's tough. Like obviously on 8, I missed it right both times. That's just a big, big, big mistake. You cannot miss it left on that hole.

On 10, I missed it left in the afternoon and that was a huge mistake. I was trying to miss it in the left-hand trap but I just pulled it. []

It's hard to play golf like that, also. Especially with the winds swirling, it's hard to think about where I want to miss. It's hard.

Q. Do you allow yourself to think down the road as far as you're in the quarterfinals now, winning this thing is not inconceivable at this point, do you allow yourself to think about that at all?

ANDREW SVOBODA: No, I'm not going to think about that until it happens. That would be unbelievable. That would be something else. I'd be just so thrilled, so excited and I think it would just be an amazing feeling around the club. I would be really proud to be the U.S. Amateur champ at Winged Foot. It would be quite a thrill and hope it happens.

PETE KOWALSKI: Congratulations, quarterfinalist.

End of FastScripts.

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