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May 28, 2014

Tom Lovelady

Trey Mullinax

Jay Seawell

Robby Shelton

Cory Whitsett

Bobby Wyatt


THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll get started with Alabama.テつ Congratulations to the Crimson Tide, second straight national championship, second all‑time national championship.テつ We are joined by head coach Jay Seawell, and the student athletes with us today are Bobby Wyatt, Robby Shelton, Tom Lovelady, Trey Mullinax and Cory Whitsett.テつ We'll open with a statement from Coach Seawell.
JAY SEAWELL:テつ Don't know where to begin.テつ I'm really proud of these guys.テつ I knew it would hit me in a minute.テつ I'm really proud of them.テつ We had a moment, we made kind of an impromptu get‑together this morning at 11:45 that wasn't planned.テつ I don't know why we wanted to do it or why we did it.テつ We brought our team chaplain in.テつ We heard the buses from Oklahoma State were coming, and we thought we might better have one more quick meeting and one more time together as a team.テつ I think it was just me not wanting them to say goodbye one more time.
Wow, that 15 minutes was about as special as it gets.テつ We talked about what could happen today.テつ We knew winning and losing could happen and that we would accept either, but we were going to play to win and that we wanted to play‑‑ they wanted to play for their legacy to be known as one of the great teams in all of golf history.テつ That 10 minutes were some of the best 10 minutes of my life.テつ I think it set the tone.テつ I think it got us energized and focused where we needed to be, and those guys right there weren't going to be beat.
Oklahoma State is a great team.テつ They played really, really great.テつ But these guys did what they needed to, and I'm very proud of that, and I am proud of the legacy they will have at the university and also in college golf.

Q.テつ Bobby and Cory, just reflect a little bit about your second straight national championship.テつ Bobby, we'll start with you.
BOBBY WYATT:テつ It's amazing.テつ It's something that I wasn't sure if we would win back‑to‑back.テつ I definitely believed that we would win one.テつ It's why Coach Seawell recruited us.テつ I really believe in him and what he had to say and how he leads us.テつ I can honestly say he's been my father for four years away from home.テつ He's turned all of us from boys into men, even Robby, 18 years old.テつ Obviously birdieing six of the last seven is pretty manly.
He's done that for me, and I can never thank him enough.テつ It's been an unbelievable ride, and to go out on top like this, back‑to‑back, that's just the cherry on top.テつ It's been unbelievable and just been the best experience of my life.

Q.テつ Cory, your thoughts?
CORY WHITSETT:テつ Yeah, along similar lines, after what happened at Riviera you're not sure if you're going to get an opportunity like that again.テつ A lot of things have to go right to win a National Championship.テつ I feel like I can say that now that we've won two.テつ Like Bobby said, we come here to win.テつ That's why I came here, that's why Bobby came here, Trey, Tom, Shelton came here, and we spend every day with that in our minds.テつ We worked toward that.テつ And this is just a byproduct of what we do throughout the year.テつ I mean, the work we put in, the time we put in, I would match it against anybody else in the country.テつ I think we do it the right way.
Coach Seawell has been a coach 22 years now, something like that.テつ He knows what's going on, and he knows how to get the best out of his players.テつ I think that's why the team has had so much success the past few years and why his teams have had success.
Today it was just great to see Bobby leading out, me finishing, Trey, the seniors played like seniors, Shelton finished just‑‑ wow.テつ I mean, what do you say?テつ That's unbelievable.テつ Nine of the last 13?テつ Freshman, not bad.テつ And then Tom, that was awesome.テつ 5 down through 10 and getting it all the way to 17.テつ You have no idea how much that helped everyone.テつ That helped me so much seeing that.テつ I really appreciate that effort.
Just glad to be here again.

Q.テつ Robby, your first National Championship experience.テつ Just explain what that meant to you.
ROBBY SHELTON:テつ It just means a lot to me.テつ It means the world to me.テつ I spent most of my life on golf, not all of it but most of it, and to be able to do it at this high level means a whole lot to me.

Q.テつ Trey, talk a little bit about the deciding shot there and what that meant for you to win a National Championship.
TREY MULLINAX:テつ Well, I don't know if it was the deciding shot.テつ Cory had his guy dormie and that gave me a lot of confidence knowing that Cory was already 2‑up going into his last two holes.テつ It took a lot of pressure off me, a lot of pressure off that putt.テつ But hitting that putt on 17 is something that I think, like I said before, you always dream about.テつ You've got that winning putt to make the national championship to win, and to have that go in and to share that with Coach Seawell, who's mentored me for four years now and has done so much for me in my golf career that I can't tell him thank you enough.テつ He means the world to me, and to have him by my side and my teammates today was just really special.

Q.テつ Tom, your thoughts, as well?テつ Obviously your teammates have talked about your round and your grinding back.テつ A little bit about that and your thoughts winning a National Championship.
TOM LOVELADY:テつ It was kind of a struggle for the first 10 holes.テつ It was kind of a combination of me making mistakes and Wyndham doing what he should have been doing.テつ He did great.テつ I kind of thought back to like Coach said, we had a team meeting that wasn't really planned until this morning at 11:45.テつ Walking down the 11th fairway I kind of thought about that and everything that was said, and I kind of‑‑ I just kept playing that over and over in my mind, and that helped me more than anything.テつ I think that's what really helped me extend the match to 17.
I know I lost, but honestly it almost felt like a win.テつ That was the coolest thing that I've ever seen, and I remember just thinking to myself that I wanted to be there so bad, and I worked really hard this year, probably the hardest I've ever worked, and I got here, and there's no better feeling than being here right now, especially with these four guys and Coach McGraw and Coach Seawell.テつ I can't think of anybody I'd rather spend it with.

Q.テつ Bobby, I was on hole No.2 and I've never been more confused in my life.テつ I was behind you hitting the shot.テつ When did you know that it went in the hole?
BOBBY WYATT:テつ Well, that's a crazy green, it really is, and I knew it was going to be a good shot.テつ When it landed I thought it was going to be on the top shelf which is really the worst place you can imagine being, and it started coming back down and I knew it was going to be a good shot, but I think it probably took five, six whole seconds, so I picked up the bag and started walking, and of course we were well outnumbered in fans and there was not many people up there.テつ I think I heard one go "whoo," but I didn't really know it went in until I kind of looked at the camera guy and asked.テつ I'm like, did that go in?テつ He's like, I think so.テつ It wasn't very climactic.

Q.テつ You didn't take your bag off.
BOBBY WYATT:テつ Yeah, honestly it really was in that situation‑‑ a hole‑in‑one, that can be pretty exciting.テつ I wasn't going to let that distract me.テつ It was really one hole.テつ I just got the match back to even.テつ That's what I told myself, that's all that matters, and I just went to the next tee.

Q.テつ For Cory and then also maybe Coach, you guys spent all year with a target on your back and now you can finally take off that target at least for now.テつ Talk about the year and what it means to finally just be here.
CORY WHITSETT:テつ Well, it's been an incredible year.テつ It's been amazing to see the way the team has changed.テつ Bobby and I were at Walker Cup the beginning of the year, and we didn't spend any time with the team for two weeks and we were going to Chicago for our first tournament and I probably never had a conversation with Robby Shelton, just getting thrown into it.テつ Man, the way we played in the fall, especially the team, I struggled individually, but the team was amazing the way it played, the way Trey played, Shelton, Bobby, Tom, and we had a little adversity there when our streak ended in Cabo and we didn't play our best in Vegas, and then we obviously turned it around, and the person that turned it around was Tom the second day at Nashville.テつ He made a hole‑in‑one on 11‑‑ what did you shoot that day, 1‑ or 2‑under?テつ Yeah, 1‑under, and we got off to a slow start the last day, and then what did we have, 19 birdies as a team on the back nine?テつ And we won, and after that we were just off.
You could just kind of see things change.テつ Everything changed in the van, and we played great at SECs, regionals and now here.テつ It's pretty cool.テつ Every year I've been able to see really the turning point that we've had, and that was ours this year.

Q.テつ The target?
JAY SEAWELL:テつ Yeah, it's there, and you feel it.テつ You can talk about not feeling it all you want to, but you feel it.テつ And you have to learn to deal with it.テつ I think during that time, it eventually wore on us, and I think our play even hurt it a little bit.テつ It created a bigger target, which is good.テつ And so we just had to learn from it.
I think Cory alluded to it, Nashville was a big turning point because we learned how to handle it.テつ I think that was the time we learned to handle it.テつ We were starting to feel that target and the weight of it, and so it's there, and then we embraced it, and I think the guys said it best, we learned to embrace it and run with that as our motto a little bit.テつ It was there for sure.

Q.テつ Question for everybody but Robby.テつ How do you guys explain how a nice, quiet kid can be so cold‑blooded and methodical on the course?
BOBBY WYATT:テつ It's pretty incredible, it honestly is.テつ I think we're all a little shocked.テつ I've grown up 20 minutes from Robby my whole life, would see him at the golf course in town.テつ Not sure we had ever had more than 10 conversations he was so quiet, but he was always a great player, always has been a finisher his whole life, always been a winner.テつ No.1 in the country in junior golf and now.テつ I don't think anybody is surprised by his play.テつ I think everyone is more surprised by the amount of personality shown and what an awesome, awesome guy and outgoing and how fun he's been this year.テつ He's really a huge part of this team's success.
But yeah, what he did this week with a couple chip‑ins in the first two matches, he really is our hero this week.テつ That first match, the second match today, that was a huge match.テつ I know the scoreboard will say 4‑1, but it was really close.テつ And then Zach played awesome.テつ I think Robby shot 7‑under to win 1‑up.テつ To them have one of their guys play that well and for him to come out with a victory was just huge, and I think it probably was the main turning point in the day.
CORY WHITSETT:テつ I never thought I could have as much faith in a freshman as I had in Robby Shelton this week.テつ He got off to adverse starts for him every match, and not once did I look at it and panic.テつ It was like, well, we're going to win that one.テつ Didn't matter how many he was down.テつ It's amazing.テつ I guess I've watched him practice and play enough and seen his results.テつ But yeah, the amount of faith I have in a freshman, I would have never thought it possible.テつ But he's something else.テつ You know, didn't really know what to expect, I just heard he was really quiet coming in, and man, he's just been so much different than I ever could have imagined.テつ He's been awesome.テつ He's so funny, and he's outgoing when he gets in the right place.テつ You'll find that side of him eventually.テつ It's got to come out.テつ But man, just so much respect for him and what he did this week for us.
TREY MULLINAX:テつ I'd say he's a pretty good player.テつ He's done well.テつ But I've played golf with Robby, played with him in junior golf, and I remember when he used to wear a gold hat everywhere and all that.テつ He dominated then, and he's been a great part of this team.テつ If you've ever watched him on the driving range hitting golf balls, you're just like, wow, it never moved.テつ It just stays there.テつ He dropped so much for this team.テつ You look at the scoreboard and you see him down one, down two, you're like, okay, he'll get it back, he'll get it all square.テつ You look up there, he's 1‑up.テつ Okay.テつ So he gave us a lot of faith because he just‑‑ it was almost like a weight kind of lifted off you when he's out there playing because you know that he's going to do everything he can to win that match and that he will not quit until he wins that match.テつ He's a fighter, he's a competitor, and I'm glad that he's on our team.
TOM LOVELADY:テつ Who would have thought that he had a personality?テつ I love the kid to death.テつ I had probably said 10 words to him before.テつ He's awesome.テつ I mean, he's a stud, obviously.テつ I mean, watching him hit balls on the range, I literally sit there and my jaw just drops, just like Trey said, straight up and straight down, doesn't move.テつ He's so much fun to be around, getting him in the right spot.テつ I can't wait until that comes out.

Q.テつ Bobby, can you comment on being back‑to‑back Nicklaus Championship winner and what that means to you, and also give us a little more perspective on that meeting you had this morning before you guys left.
BOBBY WYATT:テつ Yeah, being back‑to‑back, it's an amazing feeling.テつ I'm not sure why I wanted this one so much more.テつ I would have thought that the pressure would have been off having one, but it wasn't.テつ I was way more nervous the whole back nine than I've ever been.テつ I just wanted it so much more, and to have it just back‑to‑back, I know‑‑ I think there's been one other team since the '80s to do it, and I think it really makes it special being in this format.テつ This isn't stroke play where you have the team most likely to win.テつ You've really got to grit it out, and like Cory said, a lot of good things have to happen.テつ We were fortunate at times, we had a great leaders in Coach Seawell and Coach McGraw that really kept us in the present moment and just played next shot, next hole, play good golf and good things will happen.テつ I'm so glad things ended up working out for us.
The meeting was very special.テつ Set the tone for us, got us in the right mood.テつ We spoke a little bit about the crowds.テつ We had had that issue out at Riviera.テつ It's really difficult when the other team has the big crowd because they hit some pretty marginal shoots on the green and the crowd erupts and all of a sudden the pressure is on you, and it really doesn't change.テつ You kind of just play your game.テつ We talked a little bit about that.テつ We just talked about what an experience it's been, and how win or lose, we've done great things.テつ But we pretty much understood it was win or nothing for us.

Q.テつ Coach, all this talk about dynasty and whether you think it is or think it isn't, it's got to start somewhere.テつ Just talk about these three seniors and the mark they've left on this program.
JAY SEAWELL:テつ Well, they're back‑to‑back national champions.テつ They played three times in this National Championship.テつ Could taste it, this close to three in a row.テつ I've watched Bobby Wyatt play since he was 11 years old, I've watched Cory Whitsett play since he was 15 years old.テつ Trey Mullinax came to camp.テつ My dad called me, and I'm on the fifth hole.テつ My dad was a counselor, he said you'd better get out here quick, this guy can play.テつ This is a 15‑year‑old kid in our camp.
So I've had a long run.テつ This goes a lot further than just practice.テつ This is a long journey.テつ I'm kind of sad to see it go.テつ You can call it a dynasty or their legacy.テつ I've always tried to point it to them.テつ My day‑to‑day with them will end tonight, which kind of hurts me.テつ They have the brightest future starting tomorrow, which makes them want to run, and I'm like a proud father.テつ I'm not their dad, I'm just their coach, but I cannot wait to watch them fly.
I know they're not going to miss workouts and they're not going to miss my "Seawellisms" anymore, but I love them and you can call it what you want, but they're winners and they're champions and they're men to me, and that's all I care about.テつ They've graduated 4.0, 4.0 and over a 3.5 on time, and what we've had to do and with the target and everything they do, I love them.テつ And I'll leave it at that.

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