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June 22, 2009

Hunter Mahan


Q. Obviously an incredibly bad break at 16. Describe what it felt like to you and how it affected things?
HUNTER MAHAN: We had a good number. I think it was like 172. Had an 8-iron down wind and just flushed it. Felt as soon as I hit it felt awesome. And boy, I hit that thing pretty hard and it ricochetted off the green.
That happens. It's a U.S. Open. You're going to get stuff like that. That green is just fast. I thought I hit a pretty good 5-wood runner up there but the green was pretty fast.

Q. After the birdie at 11 did you feel like you were going along pretty good there, or did you feel like you let 1314 chances get away. I hit it so good, put the ball in and hit a lot of greens. I would have liked to have gotten 13 or 14. But can't be picky out here. Gotta keep plugging away and grinding away and proud of myself how I played?

Q. Putter on 18, when you finished up what were you clapping for?
HUNTER MAHAN: Clapping for Phil, man. Can't imagine what he's going through, what he's thinking right now. He played so hard. I don't think I have seen him that intense. He's usually kind of -- you could just see his demeanor. He's enjoying the crowd.
He was so focused today. And I was so proud of how he played. It was inspiring to see a guy work that hard and try that hard for a championship and everything else.

Q. What was it for you being in the mix your last day?
HUNTER MAHAN: It was great. I was hoping to play with Phil. I wanted to be in that atmosphere, be right in it. It was great. The fans are, especially here, are just awesome. They're so excited to see golf. So excited to see a great finish like we had and it was great. I couldn't ask for anything better.

Q. Is Lucas a guy that other players have said this guy can win a major some day?
HUNTER MAHAN: I don't know. I mean, super talented. He's super talented. Seemed like this week it was anyone's Open here with the conditions and all this stuff happening.
Anyone could win this week. And there's no reason -- he's going to win this because he played great and he's a great player.

Q. When you guys are out there, though, and the conditions are kind of rough with the wind and stuff and you feel like you have a chance and you see him backing up, what's the thought process out there? You did feel like it was pretty wide open?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, I think you're just thinking play your own game. Don't get ahead of yourself. Don't think about what they're doing. So much was going on. I mean, the leaderboard looks so crammed up. Just like a basketball game. The lead changes were going, seemed like every minute or so.
So unbelievable. Hopefully someone taped it I'd love to watch it because it looked like fun.

Q. Two years you've had strong finishes. Do you feel like this is the major that's right for your game?
HUNTER MAHAN: I feel I can win any major. I'm a good ball striker, good driver of the ball. When I get my putting up on those kind of standards I feel I can win any tournament.

Q. What about the putting?
HUNTER MAHAN: Yeah, it was just -- I didn't have a very good feel of the greens. I was hitting them by quite a bit. I mean nerves and everything trying to make putts that are kind of bouncing and breaking and everything else. Just didn't handle it as well as I had hoped. But pretty happy with the way I played.

Q. Were you that surprised as everyone else at David Duval, to hang in there, tripling on the front nine and found his way?
HUNTER MAHAN: I haven't seen his card. I didn't see how he played. But it's good to see David play well. He's a great player, great guy.
I don't know. Obviously tough to see his eyes but you can tell he seems pretty confident in his game right now. I saw he's made three birdies the last few holes. That's been a major championship on Sunday. He looks pretty inspired right now. He's a dangerous guy. I don't think he ever lost his putting. Putted with him a couple times and he can putt.

Q. What was it about the atmosphere around Phil you enjoyed so much? It's a distraction to some.
HUNTER MAHAN: You can look at it either way. I thought it was just fun. I mean, Sunday with Phil at the U.S. Open. Personally, I would love to do that every year.

End of FastScripts

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