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April 7, 2011

Nathan Smith


Q. Talk about that last shot the shot of the day.
NATHAN SMITH: That was crazy. That was crazy. I don't know what happened, but that was pretty wild.

Q. Can you explain what happened?
NATHAN SMITH: It flew the green. I thought I had a great yardage and somehow I saw everybody scatter up there and walking up you just saw one person sitting there and I knew something was wrong.
He couldn't move, so I kind of took the beer from him and kind of helped him out a little bit. And then I was lucky to get it up-and-down. It was great to get out of dodge there, getting that up-and-down.

Q. Where exactly was the ball?
NATHAN SMITH: The ball was in his lap. Right in his lap.

Q. In the cup?
NATHAN SMITH: Almost in -- no, no I think it was a sandwich or something.

Q. Have you ever done anything like that? Hit anything similar to that?
NATHAN SMITH: No, it was kind of like a Happy Gilmore situation. But no, usually I don't play a lot of golf with people all around the green.

Q. And how did you reciprocate? An autograph ball? Glove?
NATHAN SMITH: I gave him a ball, I think he gave me the beer. So that was good.

Q. Is that the first time you've had beer at a golf course?
NATHAN SMITH: No. No. I couldn't expect to have it today though, that's for sure.

Q. This is your third Masters. Can you compare the first and second time and then what you would like to accomplish here this week?
NATHAN SMITH: Yeah, the first time's a blur, you blink your eyes, the week goes by, your kind of in awe floating around.
The second time you're trying to get your feet on the ground, maybe you make some mistakes you shouldn't, you play maybe a little too aggressive.
This time at least I know what I'm supposed to be doing. And I had a 75 today, which was pretty solid, gives me somewhat of a chance tomorrow to make the cut. But it never gets old. It always feels like your first time.

Q. Is that the goal, to make the cut?
NATHAN SMITH: Yeah, that would be great. As of now that would be great. But we're trying.

Q. Are you still in Pittsburgh?

Q. And are you still an investment advisor?

Q. How's business?
NATHAN SMITH: Business is good. I mean, I'll tell my clients that they should see the up-and-down I made on 18. I don't know what the market did, but I got it up-and-down.

Q. Are you in the Crow's Nest or what this week?
NATHAN SMITH: I'm going to get up a couple nights, a couple nights. In the early part of the week I was with the family and I'll get up there through maybe during the Tournament a little bit.

Q. Do the other amateurs look to you, because I think they're all in their first time.
NATHAN SMITH: I look to them now. Maybe five years ago, but they're all so good anymore, they're good. I think there's a good -- I think one of the strongest amateur fields we have had in some time with Peter and David Chung. And I understand his score was good. It should be good.

Q. David was 2-under.
NATHAN SMITH: That's good. That's good playing.

Q. Do you want to make the cut and as a Mid-Amateur champion, I guess it doesn't get old, but that's your way to get in here, right?
NATHAN SMITH: That's it. That's it. I want to keep coming back. I don't want to turn pro, you know.

Q. Did the guy say anything to you when the ball was resting in his lap? Was there any interaction?
NATHAN SMITH: He looked very still, like it was -- he looked very still, like he was afraid to move and drop it. I was asking him why he didn't kick it back on the green or whatever, but he just goes, it was right there. And he wasn't moving, you know.

Q. Talk about the treatment that the amateurs, you guys are kind of a special lot at this event?
NATHAN SMITH: Well, it's great. It's a dream. They treat us, you know, first class. I mean in some ways it might be better than the pros. I mean the perks, the history and tradition of this tournament and I'm honored to be one of the amateurs playing.

Q. Tuesday night go to the amateur dinner?
NATHAN SMITH: Monday night was, yeah. I think Tuesday was the Champion's Dinner. We had a little cocktail thing last night with some players and members.

Q. What do you guys do up there in the Crow's Nest?
NATHAN SMITH: Can't tell you. That's classified.

Q. Is beer involved?
NATHAN SMITH: Beer is not involved. Well maybe. We'll see what happens.

Q. So tomorrow you have a score in mind?
NATHAN SMITH: Well, I have to look at the scores. They seem low from what I saw, so I mean I'll probably need something around par to make it. That's usually what it is. It's usually 47 or 48, so it's tough to do.
There's just a lot of little things out here that get you, a couple of them got me today, so you have to just play so good, because you know you're going to have a couple different weird things happen. It's a game of inches out here.

Q. Any birdies out there today for you?
NATHAN SMITH: Yeah, I birdied 2 and 15 and 16.

Q. What was the state of your game coming in?
NATHAN SMITH: It was good. For me it was good. Pretty good. I mean it's always tricky. I mean, being from Pennsylvania you're never really peaking first or second week of April. Usually it's always peaking in August or September. It's probably why I've had a lot of success in Mid-Ams because that's kind of where I live. But I'm playing as good as I ever have. I don't know what that means in this, but for me I'm playing pretty good.

Q. Do you still come down like the week before or do you just come down Monday now?
NATHAN SMITH: I came down, played in the Azalea, and I stayed down the week in between.

Q. Talk about Peter's game, just what he does well. He's handling it pretty well today.
NATHAN SMITH: Well, he's far and away, in my opinion, and I think I'm right, but he's the best amateur by far right now. He's kind of distinguished himself. He's got the whole package.
I haven't looked at the scoreboard if he's playing well, I mean if he's playing well with Mickelson to step right into that at such a young age with all the drama coming in with Phil, he's like a road show, everybody follows him around and everything, so I mean, the fact he's handling it is great. I mean he's got a great future.

Q. Do you guys have a pretty good friendship?
NATHAN SMITH: Yeah, we're really tight. I don't know. I mean, it's been fun for me to watch his game mature and you could kind of see it. I'm older, so I can see it coming along from freshman to senior year. And I knew him real close and we obviously really bonded during the Walker Cup. And we really got close there.
And then we are here together again this week. And we text, we call a lot, and we played our practice rounds, we played every day together, actually, the Par-3 Tournament and everything. So you know, and we talked a little last night and he was ready to go.

Q. In Walker Cup he was one of the last guys picked and now, like you said, he's the top guy out here. What is different about his game in that year and a half?
NATHAN SMITH: I don't know how much, I just think that with somebody like Peter, he always has the intangibles, the talent and everything.
I think that the Walker Cup was good for him. But to step into that and as a captain's pick and then you go out and prove yourself, you go 4-0, I mean basically we rode him and Rickie and I think that took his game to another level and then he just kind of kept getting better from there.

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