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August 23, 2006

Bronson La'Cassie


PETE KOWALSKI: Bronson, thank you for joining us. Appreciate it. 3 & 2, and what most folks are looking like as a home game for you since you play your golf at the university. Tell us a little bit about the way the match went and where it might have turned in your favor.

BRONSON La'CASSIE: I lost the first hole, made a bogey. Got off to the usual bad start. I made a really good up and down on 3 to stay 1 down.

And then, yeah, I just won the fifth to get it back to square and then I hit a good shot into 6 and made birdie. Had momentum, two holes in the row, and then he hit a bad shot on 8 and I went 3 up. Just sort of all square after that rest of the day. Sort of traded blows there for a while.

PETE KOWALSKI: How much experience have you had playing Hazeltine?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: I've been at Minnesota three years now and we've probably played here five times since I've been here. That was probably my ninth or tenth round at Hazeltine. Out of everyone in the field, I probably know the course as well as anyone. I'm not quite sure anyone else would have played the course that much that's playing this week, or playing today.

Q. Do you feel any sort of home court advantage?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Oh, definitely. Looking in the crowd, there's a lot of people out there I know. Obviously I'll probably have a little more support than everyone else this week, so I definitely feel like it's a bit of a home crowd advantage, and having played the course a few more times than the other guys.

PETE KOWALSKI: Does your game suit a big, strong golf course like Hazeltine?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Definitely. My strength is normally my ball striking, and you've got to hit it well around here to play well. Although the last three days, I haven't hit it that great, but my short game has sort of been a little better. I feel like I've been getting better every day. Starting to hit it more like I used to.

So if I can keep improving every day, I should be fine.

PETE KOWALSKI: With your success this summer, did you have a mind set of maybe this is a place where you can keep your success going?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Definitely. I mean, I've been looking at this for more than just this summer. When I first came over here, I saw that the U.S. Amateur was going to be played in Minnesota in 2006, so I've had my eyes on this for a while.

Q. What explains or what's triggered such good play this summer, has there been something in particular in your game that's really stood out in your mind?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: I've always hit it pretty well and over the summer my short game has just improved a little bit. I'm probably hitting it a little better, and my short game is a little bit better and probably my mental game is a little better. Just everything has improved just a little bit.

So I think I've always been sort of knocking on the door of a little bit of success, and now it's finally happened.

Q. You mentioned the bogey on the first hole and you said "the usual bad start." Is that a tradition?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: These last three days, it has been. So, yeah, first round, I got off to a terrible start. I was 4 over through 11.

Then yesterday, I was hitting it bad, but I was sort of getting it around. I played well coming in to shoot 3 under.

Yeah, the last three days, I've been getting off to rough starts but sort of getting better down stretch.

Q. How much differently did the course play after the rain?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: A lot different. The greens were a lot softer. Definitely makes it easier out there. You can get careless sometimes and short side yourself and be able to get it up and down. You can stop it around the hole; whereas before, the 10th green, I remember in the first round, my sand wedge I had sand wedge in, didn't even stop on the green. Today you can land it right around the hole and it will stay there.

Q. What's been the biggest benefit for you coming to Minnesota, playing college golf here in the States?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: The competition, playing against players from all around the world, the best players week in, week out.

Where I come from, it's really warm. I never saw snow until I came here. I've learned to play in all conditions just about. We very rarely play in good weather in college. Our last six tournaments this year, we played in rain. Playing in the Midwest, it's always cold.

So before I couldn't play anything more than a tee shirt and now I'm quite happy to play with two or three layers on. Yeah, just experiencing everything, competition, elements.

Q. Are you staying at home this week or are you staying out here?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: No, I'm staying with a family. I don't have a car, so it was hard for me to get back and forth. And our coach isn't allowed to drive us anywhere in the summer, so I'm just staying with the Haeggmans just down the street with another player out there, Antti Ahokas, who has been living me for the last month. So we've been down there since Saturday.

Q. When does school start?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Two weeks from today, day after Labor Day.

Q. You did a little ball hunting on 16?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Yeah. Hit it a little right off the tee, a little right a little further right than I wanted to. But I knew you could hit it a ways right there and be fine if you had enough club. Turned out there's only a few yards from the fairway, so definitely speeds up the heart had it's in the air and you want it to come down, but I was fine.

Q. Did I hear something, I just was listening to the broadcast, did you find your opponent's ball?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: No, they couldn't find Andres's ball but I managed to find it for him.

Q. What hole was that?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: 16, my last hole.

Q. Do you feel like obviously after the win at Western that people have different mind set when they play you now or there's a different look when they see your name now?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Well, I don't even I mean, a lot of the guys I played might not even know if I'm sure the guys that know about it might have a different mind set. Hopefully I intimidate them a little bit. You know, get a few mistakes out of them.

Yeah, I mean, I guess I'm sure some of them probably look at me a little differently.

PETE KOWALSKI: Are you considering yourself more of a Minnesota resident this week or a resident of the home of Australia?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: Well, I've lived a lot more in Australia than I have at moment home. I only go home for a month. The last three years, I've only been home two months. So I definitely feel like I'm at home here. All my friends are here. So yeah, I definitely feel at home.

Q. Will you do anything differently today knowing that tomorrow is potentially such a long day?

BRONSON La'CASSIE: I'll just get rest. We're going to go hit some balls now and try to see if I can find some more of that form and go home and get a lot of rest.

End of FastScripts.

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