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April 6, 2024

Bailey Shoemaker

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. Talk about the round today. Did you feel differently this morning when you woke up? Take us through how you were able to turn in that performance.

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I just knew if I made the cut, I'd be in good position. It's the day at Augusta, you're playing the final round in a tournament. It's just an amazing opportunity. Just an awesome experience. I was excited to play today. I said that to everybody I talked to. I was just excited to get out and play. Not keeping too much in mind, just wanted to go out and have fun more than anything.

Q. At what point did you know that you had a shot to win?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: The first birdie on No. 2. I missed my putt super low on No. 1. A little frustrating, but to bounce back on that on No. 2, good speed, a heck of a lot of break. I knew if I could get it rolling really early that I would have a chance.

I talked to my dad about that last night. I just had to putt well today and get it started early. I knew if I could keep it going and give myself opportunities all day, I'd have a chance.

Q. How would you describe you and your dad's relationship? He's out there, looks pretty nervous.

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Tough love. Tough love. You need that, though, especially as an athlete or golfer. He's always on me making sure everything is perfect or as close to perfect as I can. You don't realize sometimes yourself what you might be slacking on, and he's always there, always letting me know what he thinks I should work on, and always there to help me.

Q. What are you going to do while you wait for the next hour, hour and a half?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Go sit on the range, talk to my coach, talk to my mom, go on TikTok. I don't know, honestly. No phones, but yeah.

Q. Looked like you were just in go mode out there, hit the shot, didn't take much time at all. Talk about your feelings and your approach.

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, we actually got behind pace and we were on the clock from the 5th hole. I honestly think that helped me. I love to play fast. All my teammates know that. I'm one of the fastest on the team. I think it helped me get the ball rolling. I said on 11, it's not a shot you want to stand over the ball for 10 minutes on. Just get up and hit it. Just good momentum all day today, just really helpful.

Q. That putt on 11, you walked it in?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I love walking in putts honestly. If you know it's going to go in, it's going to go in. It's on that line.

Just feeling it a little bit, just had a good day. Everybody has a good day every once in a while. Glad it was today.

Q. People are going to look at your birdies a lot today, but you made some nice pars just to keep the momentum all day.

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, exactly. We talk about that all the time, especially my dad growing up, damage control is huge. No. 8, hit it in the bunker, one place you can't hit it. But good par save and good speed all day. Super important on fast greens like this. Just having good speed, damage control, get some pars.

Q. Did you hit a wood out of the bunker?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: No, I just chipped out.

Q. Where were you trying to land it on 16?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: That's so funny, gosh, I was trying to go right, but on 10, I kind of blasted a 6-iron right, got lucky. I was a little shut face, just swing as hard as I can, it'll be fine. I did, and it landed on the fringe, but the fringe is flat, believe it or not. It's flat. But then an inch to the left there's a little slope down to the water. I was like a centimeter of room. But it's all right, we called it Irish luck since he's Rory McIlroy's caddie. He was with me on that one, but just a fortunate break. Just one of those things. Sometimes you've got to get a good kick every once in a while.

Q. How far did that end up?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: I think like five feet, four feet. It wasn't too far.

Q. You walked that one in, too?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Walked that one in, too. It's rolling in, why not. Get to the hole sooner.

Q. Is 18 an uncomfortable tee shot for you, and what did it feel like standing over that ball?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Super uncomfortable, honestly. I'm a big drawer, hook the ball usually, but I've actually been fighting a fade with driver, and I said that to Ben walking down the fairway. I was like, I've been fighting a fade all day. This is finally the opportunity. I just set up and swing as hard as I can. Did just that and it worked out, finally faded it when I wanted to.

Q. How were the nerves?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Nerves, I've never felt like absurd nerves really, but the past few months I kind of have, and Champions Retreat, it's the most nerves I think I've ever felt. It kind of bothered me a little bit, so the big thing today was just breathing. You hit a shot, let it go. It doesn't matter. I what wasn't trying to think about what was happening, where I was at. You are where your own feet are. All you can do is just focus on the next shot. Don't think about what if, think about what now.

Q. What were you thinking about the first few days? You probably battled more adversity than anyone in the field both days. Did you have anything today that --

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: I mean, I said to Eila, it was more stressful to make the cut at Champions Retreat. Everybody said it the second round. You didn't know if you were going to lead or if you were fighting to make the cut. I'd get a bogey and move up five spots. It was just a super hectic day, so it was nice to just go out and know you've made the cut, you're walking Augusta National in the final round. It's just perfect, just go out and have fun.

Q. What would it mean to win this as a freshman?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: As a freshman, it's my third year here, and frustrating to not make the cut at Champions Retreat prior, but it would just mean the world. I said a few days ago, the biggest stage in women's golf. It's one of the majors in women's golf, even though it's not a pro event. It's such an opportunity to inspire somebody and have people watch you and maybe make somebody play golf or make somebody just be like, heck, maybe I can do that.

Just really exciting overall.

Q. Are you here if you and your dad don't decide to play summer on the Epson Tour last year and play up and get that experience?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I said to my coach, honestly I went in thinking I was going to do one-and-done. I know I've talked to you before and I've said, I don't know if I'm going to go to college, I want to go pro, but I am staying all four years. I love college, love my coaches. I've learned an unbelievable amount in college so far, especially on speed. Today wouldn't even be possible if I wasn't in school, if it wasn't for my coach and my staff at USC honestly. I'm staying.

Q. Do you remember as a kid watching the first one here, the first ANWA?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: I do, yes. I was actually hoping someone would say that. My dad and I just watched Fassi and Kupcho, and that was amazing. It was so inspirational. I think I was 14, 15 at the time, and I played Drive, Chip & Putt when I was 11. I was like, all I want to do is get back to Augusta. Such an opportunity for women's golf, and they did such a good job putting on a show and just showing friendship and showing good competition, fairness and just -- it was so big for the women's game I feel like, just inspirational for everybody.

Q. Were you glued to it as a kid?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Absolutely glued to it. I wanted my own taste of it, though, so glad I'm back.

Q. Talk about 18; obviously that's a long lag putt from the back of the green and then for the putt to go in, that whole few minutes there?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I thought I had a perfect club in. First of all, I thought I hit it perfect. I was like, gosh, that's going to be good. Super long, but it's okay. Just a little amped up, I guess, and once again, good speed is what we work on. That three- or four-footer, however far it was, every single golfer always practices on the green and they're like, oh, this is to win the Masters, this is to win ANWA, this is to win anything. That's what I was thinking over that putt, and I was like, let's make it. It would just be awesome. Hopefully that's what it did. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Q. I think this is the best, considering the circumstances, the best round you've played? I know you've had some good ones in the past, that match against Amari at Chambers Bay was amazing, too. Where does this rank?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Certainly up there, and certainly if it pans out it would be a little bit better, too. But just -- it's at Augusta National. A bogey-free round, 6-under, is just a blast. No matter what it was for, just a practice round is just a blast. I loved every minute of it.

Q. Did that last shot you hit into 18 tell you something about where your adrenaline was?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yeah, I was in between a 7 and 8 but I went with a 7. There's a backstop. I hit it really good, hit it right where I wanted to, just a little long. But definitely a little amped up on that one. It went a little too far, but it's all right, I'll take a par.

Q. Has Ben caddied for you all three years?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: He has not, no. Just pot luck. I had a different caddie, Darren, at Champions Retreat. That was my biggest mistake the last few years is not taking a Champions Retreat caddie. They just know that course great.

Q. Did your dad caddie?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: No, Darren, this guy at Champions Retreat, just a regular guy on staff there. He helped me get through it, first of all. But I just had Ben in the practice round. You have to have an Augusta caddie, and he's like, I had Rory out here Monday and Tuesday, had him every year since 2007. I was like, no way, you're on the bag this week. He's got a good eye, so I was like, let's do something.

Q. Is Rory is your favorite male golfer?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: He's one of them. Everybody wants him to win the Masters every year. Hoping he does it this year. After today, after the last two days, he's definitely up there now for sure.

Q. Did today almost feel like free-wheeling because making the cut was such a hard deal to do?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Exactly, honestly. I think that's how a lot of people feel coming out here unless you're in the lead. It's the final round at Augusta. Super fun, just go out there -- nobody gets to play Augusta in competition. It's such an experience. Everybody just has a blast out here.

Q. Any significance to the teal or blue nail polish and not green?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: No. I was supposed to get my nails done a couple days ago. A few of them have fallen off, glued back on. It's okay, my dad always yelled at me, you can't have green nails at Augusta, you're going to jinx yourself. Whoops, it's just blue enough, I guess.

Q. Why did golf become your thing?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Dad stuck a club in my hand, a plastic Snoopy club when I was 18 months old, and just kind of went from there. I'm not athletic enough to play basketball or be a swimmer. I'm a little lanky. Kind of glad it worked out for me. I'd like to call myself the Tony Finau of women's golf with my long limbs. It's about all I've got going for me.

Q. Is Dottie a mentor?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Dottie Pepper is a huge mentor, yeah, from New York. I won and played in the New York State Girls Junior and she was always super inspirational. Just always a big supporter. It's nice when you have a legend like that just kind of reach out to you, go out of her way to support you and just wish you the best all the time. It lights a fire in you and kind of gets you going.

Q. Did you hear from her a fair amount?

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Every once in a while for sure, yeah. A little bit more when I was still in New York but moved to Florida unfortunately for the golf. But I still hear from her every once in a while, but true inspiration for sure.

Q. When did you move?


Q. You would have been in New York watching the first --

BAILEY SHOEMAKER: Yes, I was, yeah. I think so. Yes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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