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August 20, 2004

Chris Nallen


CRAIG SMITH: When you get 5-up through the turn there, it looks like you've got a pretty easy deal, good job playing today.

CHRIS NALLEN: Yeah, it I was solid, going 4-up after 9. I was 5-up going into 9 and he won 9. I felt pretty comfortable out there today. I didn't make any really stupid mistakes and put the ball in the fairway most of the holes, which is what you've got to do out here. And I rolled it pretty good today. I got off to a pretty good start. I won the first two holes with par and made a good up-and-down on 2. Made like a 12-, 15-footer on the back of the green. He missed a short one on 4 for birdie and that kind gave me a little bit of a lift.

5 and 6, I played well all week. I was able to win 6 and then birdied 7.

I just felt pretty comfortable. I'm going in with the attitude this week, getting up as many as I can and really showing no mercy out there. That's really kind of the whole game plan and sticking to my guns. I felt like I've done that the last, six days is it now? So that's the same kind of attitude I'll go into tomorrow and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

CRAIG SMITH: Just kind of respond to this: You want this pretty bad.

CHRIS NALLEN: I do. I'm trying to, obviously it's in the back of my mind, but I'm trying to take it one match at a time, one shot at a time and try not to get ahead of myself. I think that's the biggest thing.

But I've worked, you know, this whole summer I've worked towards this tournament, and it's been three months of really dedication and all work. I've enjoyed the other tournaments I've played in, the other Amateur events, and this is my fourth Amateur. To get my name on that trophy would be just a dream come true. I'm just going to try and continue to do the things I'm doing.

Q. 4-up at the turn in three of your four matches this is week; part of it is your opponent making mistakes, but any reason?

CHRIS NALLEN: I don't know. I'm just not doing anything stupid. I think that's the biggest thing out here, don't try -- try and keep it in the fairway, I haven't had one good lie in the rough off of a tee shot, if I've hit it in the rough, not one. I think that's the biggest thing. Keep it below the hole, don't give yourself a crazy putt from behind the hole because the greens, today they were so much firmer.

You know, we kind of tried to hit a couple shots short and they were bouncing pretty hard. They weren't making any ballmarks today. I think that's how it's going to be tomorrow. I don't think we're going to get any rain, unless LaRose comes. [] I'm just sticking to the game plan and that's about it.

Q. Tell us about the New York Rangers deal here.

CHRIS NALLEN: They are just, you know, I care about them more than I do watching golf, I think. They are awesome. I've loved them since I can't even remember, and they haven't had a good last couple, seven years, they haven't made the playoffs. They are the only time I follow in professional sports and I love watching hockey, I love watching them play. I just like them and it's a great thing. I love them. I love watching them.

Q. Did you play growing up?

CHRIS NALLEN: I played a little bit of hockey in high school. I played for two years, and I love it. Obviously it's a dangerous sport and now I don't really play a whole lot, but I love it. I love watching it, I love playing it. A lot of hockey players are good golfers and vice versa.

Q. What position did you play?

CHRIS NALLEN: Right and left wing off and on.

Q. How would you describe yourself? You're kind of a quiet guy, not the guy who is always in the limelight or whatever, how would you describe yourself? Do you just go about your own business?

CHRIS NALLEN: Yeah, I try, and like you said, go about my own business. I work pretty hard. I hate losing, and I just try and build on the positives and try and improve on the negatives.

I think that's the biggest thing in golf is to try -- it's hard sometimes to take the negatives and turn them into positives. I think that's the biggest thing out here this week is to try and forget about certain shots, and move on to the next shot.

I've learned that in the last four years at college, especially with Coach, and he's had so many great players out on TOUR. I think that's the biggest thing is how to score and how not to worry about your previous shot, if it's a bad shot or a good shot, even if it's a good shot, try and not worry about it. You have a shot ahead of you, try and execute the best you can on that.

Everybody talked about Ricky and that whole scenario, and Ricky is a great guy and I've learned a lot from him. I just, I don't know if it's -- I'm a quiet guy. I don't really -- it's not that I'm not sociable or that kind of thing but I'm just, you know, not -- I don't know how to say it, but flamboyant maybe.

Q. Does it bother you sometimes when a Ricky will come in here, the guys where everyone is looking at Ryan and Spencer because of the summer that is they have had?

CHRIS NALLEN: Definitely not. I think it just gives me more of an incentive to work hard and prove myself more. I love doing that. Not that I have to prove myself, but, you know, I like challenges and I like trying to work hard and stay focused, and I think that's kind of what I'm trying to do this week.

But I don't really worry about all of the hype and the media stuff. Not like that, but, you know, because I saw the article in Golf Week about Ryan and Spencer.

You know, it's not, I just go about my own business like you said and not try and worry about anybody else but myself. That's it, out on the course. I care for others -- out on the course I just worry about myself and what I'm doing.

Q. What do you know about Luke List?

CHRIS NALLEN: He's a good player, that's for sure. He beat Danny Green and he goes to Vanderbilt, I think he's going to be a sophomore. What from I've heard, he's a good player, I never played with him, so to speak, but obviously, he wouldn't be here if he wasn't any good.

Q. To go back maybe three or four years when you were sort of trying to establish yourself and prove yourself, was it at all intimidating for you to play a Walker Cupper or someone who had won tournaments or had some trophies before?

CHRIS NALLEN: Are you talking about going to school?

Q. I'm talking about in school, in your first Amateurs, if you were to get matched up with someone.

CHRIS NALLEN: I think a little bit. You're trying to prove yourself out there, and sometimes you're trying a little too hard to make people notice you. But going to school my freshman year, I think my freshman year, the first fall semester I was -- I didn't play that great, and I was worrying about too much of what other people thought instead of my own thoughts and how I was going about stuff.

I talked to Coach going into spring semester and he gave me a bunch of good advice. He just kind of said, you know, you're one of the best guys out here, one of the best freshman coming in. [] Just go out and do what you've always done, and that's play good golf. That's kind of what I try and do every time I tee it up, I try and win. I'm not out there to finish second and third; I'm out there to win. And you're not going to win every time, but you can try to win every time.

Q. So do you feel like at all now that your resume gives you an edge on the course when someone else looks over at you and says, "You know, that guy has done things I haven't done?"

CHRIS NALLEN: I think a little bit. You know I'm sure it's going to push other guys to try and reach that level. You know, that's great, but like I said, I'm just kind of worrying about my own situation and how I go about things. Just continue to work hard.

CRAIG SMITH: Sunday is one thing, but tomorrow also changes your plans to some degree, doesn't it?

CHRIS NALLEN: Yeah, a little bit. I don't know. I really don't know right now. It's going to all -- because if you make the finals, obviously you get an exemption to the Masters and the Open.

I'm going to talk probably with a lot of people. Hopefully I cross that bridge, and I have a lot of great guys that are a good support group. I'll be able to talk to them and how they feel and what they think I should do. I'll talk to my dad, he's my biggest supporter and I kind of lean on him for all of my decisions. Hopefully I have to make that decision. But right now, I'm just looking ahead to tomorrow and playing the best golf I can play.

Q. Is tomorrow the biggest match of the week?

CHRIS NALLEN: No. I think they are all big matches. I don't think tomorrow is -- I mean, it's going to be different, you're in the semifinals, but it's not going to be different than any other match. I'm going to try to do the same things and hopefully try and get up early and show no mercy.

CRAIG SMITH: You haven't been behind very much.

CHRIS NALLEN: No. (Knocking on wood). And hopefully that will stay the way it has been.

CRAIG SMITH: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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