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June 15, 2006

Tadd Fujikawa


THE MODERATOR: Tadd Fujikawa was at 11 over 81 today in his first U.S. Open appearance

Q. What did you think of the U.S. Open?

TADD FUJIKAWA: You know, it's one of the most prestigious golf tournaments. It was a lot of fun today, actually. The course is really tough out there. Greens are getting really hard, so it's just going to get harder throughout the rest of the day.

You know, today I played really well, and I hit a lot of great shots. I think I missed a couple of drives that cost me a couple double bogeys, and, you know, my score didn't really tell how my day went.

So you can hit a lot of good shots out there and you can end up in the rough. Like today on 18, I thought I hit a perfect drive and ended up in the bunker. It's just, you know, unbelievable how tough it is.

Q. Was it fun?

TADD FUJIKAWA: It was fun.

Q. (Inaudible)?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Just being here and having, I guess, the crowd behind you and supporting you, it's a really good feeling. It's the U.S. Open, so I better have fun. No matter what I shoot, I'll have fun.

Q. How much of a shock was what happened on the first green?

TADD FUJIKAWA: You know, actually, I knew that put was slow because I putted it in the practice round. I just couldn't get myself to hit it I guess.

Q. What did you hit?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I hit driver, 5-iron to the front of the green, and then had a putt, and I hit it up, came back down, and I hit it up, and it stayed, and I was, like, six feet, and I missed it.

Q. (Inaudible) flew out of the trap on that hole?

TADD FUJIKAWA: What hole was that?

Q. You made a double bogey?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Actually, what happened was I hit it a little thin, so...

That was kind of unfortunate, but it was a pretty long bunker shot, maybe 30 yards or so. It's not the easiest shot in golf, I guess.

Q. What was the club on the 7th hole, the next hole where you (inaudible)? What iron?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I hit a 9-iron. I hit a little chip 9-iron.

Q. Did you feel your nerves and did you feel like you thought you would feel today?

TADD FUJIKAWA: You know, actually, I honestly thought that I was going to be a little more nervous, but I think after the first shot, then I started getting a little calmer. Obviously, I didn't show it on the first green, but I mean it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

Q. Did you hear anything out there that reminded you you were in the New York City area?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Just the crowd, and not too much, I mean...

Q. Now officially the youngest player now?


Q. They found out the other kid was older than you are.

TADD FUJIKAWA: Oh, wow. That's pretty nice.

Q. Where did you go to high school?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Moanalua. I'll spell it for you M-o-a-n-a-l-u-a.

Q. What grade are you in?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I just finished my freshman year going into sophomore.

Q. Is school out? Is it done?


Q. Did the course feel and look differently as opposed to your practice round? Did it suddenly feel more formidable as compare to the practice round?

TADD FUJIKAWA: The course pretty much was set up, the same conditions. Got much harder because of winds really picked up towards the back nine, and I think that played a big difference in the score, so...

A lot of shots out there I hit it straight on the pin, lands on the green and goes over, into the rough, and then bogey. You hit a drive starting down the middle, the wind takes it all the way down the side.

Q. (Inaudible) did you attribute that to the wind more than anything else?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Yeah. Like a really good one was on Number 8, I was 184 and a little downwind -- well, yeah, it was kind of down-, cross-wind, and then I hit a smooth 7-iron, and I just like landed it on the back of the green. So that was really surprising.

And I think with the right club there would have been a 9-iron, hit a 9 from 184, kind of hard to trust. But the wind did play a big thing out there and made the course a lot harder.

Q. On Number 6, did you think you could reach the green on --

TADD FUJIKAWA: Actually, I did. My lie was pretty good, and I had a sand wedge in my hand. I figured it wouldn't be too bad. And I think my down-swing, like, the ball was here with a clump of grass behind it, and I probably hit the grass behind it and just shot off the face.

Q. (Inaudible) the real bad stuff?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Probably two times maybe three times.

Q. Was there a moment out there when you kind of looked around and said, "Wow, I can't believe I'm actually here right now"?

TADD FUJIKAWA: No. I -- actually, couple days ago that was happening, but I think today I was pretty comfortable. I was pretty confident on my game, and I was ready to play, and things just -- things just didn't go how I imagined it, especially on the shots where I would hit it straight at the pin and it would end up in the rough. That's the way things goes.

Q. (Inaudible) you had a lot of hybrid clubs?

TADD FUJIKAWA: The course is playing long today because of the wind, especially the first couple of holes. If it's long for me, it's long for everybody else.

Q. Is that about a hundred yard shot on 6?

TADD FUJIKAWA: About a 114, but I thought it was going to jump a little, so I hit a sand wedge, and I think I played about 105, and just didn't hit it -- I didn't get through it. I kind of just got stuck up in it.

Q. Best shot of the day was?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Best shot of the day, I think the last hole, second shot.

Q. What iron was that?

TADD FUJIKAWA: 9. I think I was one -- must have been like 173 to the pin, so...?

Q. Where did you put it from there?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Front right, maybe about 12 feet.

Q. How did you feel about your putting in general?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I hit a lot of good putts today. Just didn't read it correctly on some of them, and speed was off on some of the them when my line was correct. But, yeah, putting was another thing that the wind played a big part of. The ball, it's definitely not going to break as much. In the beginning it was hard to adjust. Towards the end, it was getting a little better, and I think I played a little better towards the end. I was hitting better putts towards the end, definitely. Just most of them weren't just dropping today.

Q. Of your partners, nobody was really having a good round today?

TADD FUJIKAWA: My playing partners played bad also. They hit a lot of good shots that just didn't work out, it's the U.S. Open, so I guess it should be like that. I respect that, so...

Q. Toughest course you've played?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Yeah, it is the toughest course I've ever played by far, I think.

Q. Did you tell yourself anything this morning before you went out?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I just kind of told myself, you know, stay patient out there, and I think I did that very well, and I also told myself to take it like any other tournament, don't think that because it's the U.S. Open, to do anything differently. I didn't feel different. I think I played about the same, just couldn't score out there. I didn't make any birdies today, so that definitely didn't help.

Q. (Inaudible) names that are also kind of a little above and below you, you're still keeping pretty good company?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I didn't really see all the scores yet, but I think that if it's tough for somebody, it's going to be tough for you. And if it's tough for you then it's going to be tough for everybody else.

So this -- maybe unless you teed off really early, no winds or greens are really soft, then it kind of gives them an advantage, but that's how golf is and you got to take it as it comes.

Q. What do you think you'll take out of this whole experience?

TADD FUJIKAWA: I think I've pretty much learned a lot from other tournaments already, and but I think definitely this tournament, it really shows how important driving is and also putting, and basically keeping out of the rough. It shows a big part of that, and I think it will definitely show me how much work I need to do to get to this level.

And I think now that I know how the courses play, especially at the U.S. Open, which is pretty much going to have the toughest conditions they can, I think it will really show me how much work I really need to put in my game and what I need to do to improve.

Q. Did you ever feel nervous today at all?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Honestly, even on the first tee I wasn't real nervous. I think just having -- knowing that all the people are behind you and supporting you, it makes you feel good inside. And maybe for some other people it might make them nervous because all of people are watching. For me, I take it a little different. I take it as support rather than peopling watching and looking at what you're doing.

So I mean, I wasn't real nervous today and I felt that I played well, but my score didn't show it.

Q. Golfing history where you (inaudible)?

TADD FUJIKAWA: Yeah, actually when I was younger, maybe 12, 13, especially off the first tee, I would be really nervous and I think I've kind of got over that, and -- I don't know. I mean, I honestly really didn't feel too nervous today.

End of FastScripts.

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