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August 25, 2006

Ryan Yip


PETE KOWALSKI: We have Ryan Yip with us. Ryan, congratulations, our first semifinalist. You've made your way, you said you wanted to keep going one more step, and you're a quarterfinalist for the second year in a row and now you've gone one further step. Tell us about that feeling, being in the U.S. Amateur semifinals.

RYAN YIP: It's a great feeling and it's my greatest accomplishment in golf so far. I played real solid today. I didn't make any mistakes except for maybe one hole, but it was fine, I made birdie anyway. Played real solid and only had the one bogey, and it was good.

PETE KOWALSKI: Solid to me, looks like it's 4 under. That's pretty solid.

RYAN YIP: Well, I wasn't looking too good on nine anyways, that was a gift of a par you guys gave me. I played real solid. I was happy to she that because this morning I didn't play well and luckily I chipped in twice this morning and my short game was real good this morning.

This afternoon it was good, too, I would have to say, but I hit the ball a lot more solid and gave myself a lot more birdie opportunities.

Q. On the final green there was a little discussion between you and Oliver. Can you describe that situation and what happened?

RYAN YIP: He conceded my putt, and he was thinking that he conceded me the match but really he just concede me the putt and he kind of last track of holes. He thought it was over no matter what would happen, but I reminded him he's still got a bunker shot for four. He went ahead and played that and once he missed, I won the match.

Q. How could you tell you thought he had conceded the match?

RYAN YIP: Well, he's English, so I didn't really understand what he was saying. (Laughter) All I know is he concede me my putt and I didn't really he probably thought it was over because he couldn't win the hole.

Q. Was he walking away from his shot?

RYAN YIP: Well, he just lost track of holes I think, is what happens and he didn't realize that we weren't dormie yet. That's the only thing that happened out there.

Q. What has been not only today, but throughout the whole week, what has been really going for you, what has really kind of clicked that has got you this far?

RYAN YIP: A little bit of everything to be honest of the. I've been driving it pretty decent, not getting in too much trouble other than this morning, and then I've been hitting good iron shots. And once I miss greens, I've been getting up and down pretty often. I've made a lot of good putts, too. So just my all around game is right there right now.

Q. Has your short game always been a strength, or is it a result of the work you've put into it lately?

RYAN YIP: I would have to say no. Just a lot of hard work I've put into the short game has got to the point to where it is now and I'm real happy with it.

Q. And how long of a project was that?

RYAN YIP: A lifetime.

Q. Between last year at the U.S. Amateur and this year at the U.S. Amateur, you hinted that your golf game sort of took a dip, and now it's coming back up.

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I mean, I didn't play very well this year in college at all. I worked really hard this summer and at the end of my college season to get my game back into shape. I mean, golf's a funny game and you can go into slumps whenever. I put a lot of time in and it's starting to pay off.

Q. How did it let get away from playing hockey, big, strong?

RYAN YIP: Hockey? (Laughing) I may be from Canada but I'm Asian, and obviously there aren't very many Asian hockey players.

Q. On your short game, have you been working with anybody in particular?

RYAN YIP: No, just a lot of time. Just working on shots here and there. I played the U.S. Open qualifier and I learned a little something when I played with Skip Kendall and Jeff Maggert. I was noticing how they hit their pitch shots and how had he hit out of the rough. I've just kind of been working on that a little bit and it seems to be helping.

Q. What did you borrow from them?

RYAN YIP: I just kind of noticed that they really have their hands back a little bit more out of the heavy rough. And I used to always forward press a little bit, and I just kind of moved my hands a little bit back. It's a lot easier to get the ball up out of the rough with that, with your hands back.

Q. Is there an advantage to playing that many matches in a row the last couple weeks?

RYAN YIP: I don't think so. I mean, it's been a long, long trip I think, played nine matches maybe.

Q. There's sort of a mental frame to get into?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I'd have to say. I mean, you're not playing against the golf course anymore. You're really kind of playing against the guy, too. I think if he hits it way left, I'm not going to be that aggressive. I'm going to try to lay up to the right or just give myself a better opportunity than he has to make pars or birdies.

You know, it's match play. That's my kind of thought process, anyway.

Q. Safe to say that last year was a bit of a surprise, and this year you have expectations to be sitting where you are now?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, like last year was probably surprise to most people, but I knew I was a world class player back then and this year just kind of proves what level my game is at.

Q. The Canadian Amateur ended with a day?

RYAN YIP: For me, last Thursday maybe I think.

Q. And then you came here?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I drove overnight, got in on Friday about like 1:00. Drove 4 ours from Mississaugua which is south of Toronto. Got here at 1:00 to check in and signed in for my practice rounds. I left at 9:00 p.m., it took 14 hours, something like that.

Q. The Canadian Amateur was in Mississaugua?

RYAN YIP: Mississaugua Country Club.

Q. And you were a semifinalist?

RYAN YIP: Yes, I lost to Richard Scott who won the tournament.

Q. How much have you heard in your life, a golfer with that last name?

RYAN YIP: Quite a bit. (Laughter) My dad, he didn't come last year, so he taped the Golf Channel last year, and it was funny to listen to the guys talk about it. It's like I've never heard it before, you know. (Laughter).

Q. That wasn't the first time?

RYAN YIP: No. I thought they would come up with something original.

Q. You never had that problem on the greens, have you?

RYAN YIP: Uh, yeah, once in a while. You never know.

Q. If you had to do it over again, would you do the same schedule, play the Canadian and come here?

RYAN YIP: Absolutely. I've played a lot of tournaments this summer. I've played every tournament possible, really.

Q. When was the last time you had a week off?

RYAN YIP: Three weeks ago maybe.

Q. How many weeks off have you had since college?

RYAN YIP: I had ten days off at one time this summer. And then probably have five, six days off. So I've had probably 15, 16 down days this summer, but I've still been working on my game. I don't think there's been a day I haven't worked on my game this summer.

Q. Where also have you played besides the Canadian and here this summer?

RYAN YIP: I played Sunny Hanna (ph), Monroe, Northeast, Players Am, then I went home for my provincial amateur, and then I had a little bit of time off and then I played the Canadian Amateur, played the U.S. Open qualifier early on, and then now here.

Q. What was your score last week at the Canadian Am when you lost in the semifinals?

RYAN YIP: I lost 1 down.

Q. When did you start playing and how did you get started?

RYAN YIP: I probably started playing when I was two or three. I just kind of picked it up myself. My parents never forced it on me.

The big story is I kind of learned the game, my dad taped a 1986 Masters when Jack won his last green jacket, and I kind of learned off that. You know, I just mimicked what Nicklaus was doing and I would watch that. I wore out the tape now. It doesn't really work that good anymore. But that's basically how I learned how to play, just kind of watching him, observing other people.

Q. So you still have the tape?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I've got it somewhere.

Q. Were you living in Alberta at the time?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I've been born and raised in Calgary.

Q. Is that golf season any longer than this one is?

RYAN YIP: No, it's a lot shorter.

PETE KOWALSKI: Yesterday you talked about carrying the Canadian flag. You've got another step further, has anybody said anything to you about Gary Cowan?

RYAN YIP: Me and my dad were talking about that the other night and we couldn't think. We thought he won, but we thought he was the only one, right, is that right? He's the only one to win it? And that was probably about, what, 50 years ago, 60 years ago?

Q. Wilmington Country Club.

RYAN YIP: Yeah, that was our conversation the other night. We were trying to figure out if there has ever been we've still got a long ways to go. I've still got 18 more holes of golf and then another 36 on top of it. So there's a long way to go. It's not a given.

Q. Any good phone messages or text messages that you've gotten from folks at home? I'm sure your college teammates, but any with the national flag or the national intentions included?

RYAN YIP: To be honest I haven't really checked my phone that much. I've just been kind of keeping it easy and not worrying about that. But from college, my teammates have called and wished me good luck, my coach has called every night and left me a message. Everyone's really supported me quite nicely. But to be honest, my phone plan ran out and I haven't got a new plan yet. (Laughter) It's been tough getting calls to be honest. That's what happened.

Q. Are you on the radar screen for the world am?

RYAN YIP: I have no idea. That's up to the RCGA. It's not up to me.

Q. Did you pack enough clothes for the entire week?

RYAN YIP: Yeah, I've been living out of my suitcase this summer. It's okay.

PETE KOWALSKI: Thanks, Ryan.

End of FastScripts.

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