home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 20, 2004

Jeff Overton


CRAIG SMITH: Jeff, you had a bit of a seesaw deal, you're up, you're down, you're up, you're down, but you managed to get it done with two pars at the end.

JEFF OVERTON: I tell you what, when you play a USGA golf course, pars are good. Especially coming down the stretch, I'd take 18 pars tomorrow and the next day. But especially the golf course is playing a lot harder, and like what Andrew was saying, it's hard to adjust because you're so used to seeing the ball spin back ten or 15 feet. It's just playing a lot tougher out there now.

Q. Obviously a lot of people here rooting for Andrew, what was that like for you, was it difficult?

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, I mean, it was a little nerve-wracking. Just one of those things you have to turn out, especially whenever he makes a putt and then you hit a shot and you hear people like, "Yes, yes, yes." It's like, come on, I don't need to hear that. (Laughing).

You just have to tune it out. I kind of knew it was going to happen a little bit before the round, just had to mentally prepare for it before.

Q. How do you mentally prepare for that? How do you get yourself ready to confront that?

JEFF OVERTON: You just have to be really tough. You've just got to be tough and tell yourself, you know, he's going to make every putt. Doesn't matter, inside ten feet, he is going to make it. You've got to count on it. As soon as the crowd erupts, you've got to feed off of it. You've got to force yourself to think that they are actually rooting for you. It's hard. But if you can do that, you can succeed.

Q. Have you ever been in that situation where the crowd was rooting for you in a big event like this?

JEFF OVERTON: In our city tournament, actually two years ago -- I didn't get to play it this year because of this. But last year guys had won eight times, I shoot 15-under and he beats me. There's a few more people out there than there was today, but never have I seen people just like, root against you. Here I was, hitting like 15 feet and I'd hear like two claps and then I'd see him hit it like 15 feet and it would just erupt. (Laughter.) It was definitely different and it was definitely a learning experience.

Q. When he squared the match at 16, hung back, the crowd was going crazy; what do you do to settle yourself down?

JEFF OVERTON: I didn't know if I should hurry up and get to the next tee, because I knew he was going to make it. I didn't know if I needed to hurry up and get to the next tee or if I needed to slow him down. So I just said, well, I'll slow him down and the crowd down and take my time. Fortunately, it worked out and he wound up hitting the ball in the rough.

Q. Can you just tell us, obviously Andy's story is familiar to everybody, just tell us a little bit about you, like how you got started in golf.

JEFF OVERTON: Basically whenever I was like all up through my 8th grade year, I played baseball, basketball and select soccer. I was a real big competitor in those events. On my All-Star baseball team my eighth grade, I had the highest batting average on the team, played third base and had one error and I batted eighth in the lineup. I just couldn't stand it because here some kid came in and took my spot at shortstop and he didn't have a very good year. All of the politics and stuff, I couldn't stand it.

Next thing I knew I went out and played golf three times on the par 3 course, and shot 40 like one of the first times I ever played. I was like, I'm playing the wrong game.

So I just worked my butt off starting my freshman year in high school, right before my freshman year in high school. I really just said, I want to play golf and dedicated all of my time and energy to that ask school.

CRAIG SMITH: Indiana, how did they let you get away from playing basketball?

JEFF OVERTON: That was my dream. I met Bobby Knight when I was about five. All I wanted to do was go to IU and play basketball, but instead I got to go to IU and play golf.

Q. You had a pretty decent summer, you've been knocking on the door a lot in some of the bigger tournaments. What's been happening with your game this year? Is there anything in particular that you've raised up a notch?

JEFF OVERTON: Well, it's kind of weird. Last summer I had a little wrist injury and I came out and I was just so mentally fresh and I won, I think everything that I played. I didn't play a lot of big events, so you might not have really heard of me, but I won all four college tournaments in the fall, right after I set a USGA record on the Public Links and the Medal Play. Then I came in second in the North South; won by 12.

Then this year as soon as the winter hit I came out and I really had too big of a head, I think. I was actually -- I needed to come back down to earth I think, just because of the way I was playing. It's been hard just kind of fighting that little hump and trying to find the game again.

Actually my pro came with me on this tournament, his name is Bob Walther, and he worked with me a little bit on my putting. I haven't been able to find my putting stroke for quite some time. And the amount of putts that I made yesterday and the day before, I don't know how many putts, I don't think I can count that high, I just made so many.

Q. What's his last name?


Q. Obviously you played a guy today who had a lot of momentum, a hometown crowd; tomorrow you're going up against a guy who is obviously playing great this summer and has kind of a reputation for being a great player, how does today prepare are you for tomorrow?

JEFF OVERTON: You've just got to look at it like, you know, at least I finally got to play the 18th hole. At least I've seen the 18th hole in competitive play, because you know it's going to be a dogfight out there tomorrow.

Ryan Moore, he's a great player and he has the credentials to show it. I've got to look at him like any other person and just go out and play my game. If I can establish my game and not let him bother me, because that's all match-play is, I should be all right. But if I can't, then I'll probably lose. But I've just got to go out there and thing positive and not think about him and think about myself.

Q. Do you think you have an added level of confidence, given the fact that you handled the big crowd out there, you handled pressure pretty well today, maybe it will help you again tomorrow?

JEFF OVERTON: Yeah, as you keep winning matches, you get a ton of -- you just get all sorts of momentum, especially after beating a great player like Andrew.

I mean, I don't know, I can't really answer that question yes or no either way.

Q. What did you hit into the 18th green, and when you saw it kick left, did you see it stay up or did you think --

JEFF OVERTON: I hit a 6-iron in there, just tried to hit something on the back of the green, and I couldn't see if it stayed up or not. I was just really shocked because I thought I landed in a pretty good spot but I guess I didn't and luckily, Andrew hit a bad shot in there and I was able to walk away with a victory.

Q. Back to Ryan Moore, is there a sense of you having something to prove, you were the medalist --

JEFF OVERTON: Say that again.

Q. Do you feel you have something to prove against him, he won the Amateur Public Links but you were the Medalist there.

JEFF OVERTON: No. If anything, it was the little wax job that he gave me and Bill Haas at Nationals this year in the final group.

I mean, he's been playing great. You can't take anything away from the guy. The only thing you can do is go out and try to beat him.

Q. Have you played with him besides the NCAAs?


CRAIG SMITH: Tell me about this little bucket hat, this little signature thing you've got going.

JEFF OVERTON: I don't know, just one of those things I started last summer and it's just carried over.

CRAIG SMITH: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297