This last weekend, serious golf was displayed in Scotland (Dundonald Golf Club, Ayrshire), in the USA (Bedminster, New Jersey) for the US Women’s Open, 2017 3rd Major, and traditional John Deere Classic in Illinois where three last spots were available for next week’s Open Championship (Royal Birkdale, Southport). Here some winners’ quotes for you.
RAFA CABRERA BELLO, Scottish Open, -13 (p.o.)
Rafa, you weren’t meant to win this tournament, Callum Shinkwin being ahead of you by one point and a short putt to go on his 72nd hole. But anything can happen on a golf course. He missed the putt and there was your first title since five years.
Yes, but I have been working really hard to try to get my third win. Sometimes I felt that I have made mistakes, ending up not winning. Other times, I felt I’ve given a good charge, but other people deserved the win, perhaps like Sinkwin this time. But on this 4th round, I think I’ve played some of the best golf of my life. That 64 to put me on top of the leaderboard ins the translation of an unbelievable Sunday. I’m pleased that everything worked out my way today.
Were you watching the TV when Callum was going through his issues on the last hole?
YesI I was. Obviously it was all in his hands. It must have been frustrating for him. I felt he got unlucky with his shot to the green ending in a deep rough and a severe slope over the bunker guarding, instead of rolling back to the bunker. Otherwise it would have been him talking to you now.
I know by experience how difficult it is to close an event. He hasn’t been up there that many times so far. Sometimes things, don’t ask me why, things do go wrong. I’ve been in that frame more than once, unfortunately. So indeed I feel some compassion for him. How do you feel when you have a tournament under control and a minute later it has slipped away without heating bad shots I mean, it was under his control and it doesn’t turn out the way he wanted without him hitting bad shots. His two shots to the green on the playoff hole were just great, but unlucky. But he’s young and will learn not to lose next time around.
BRYSON DeCHAMBEAU, John Deere Classic, -18
Finally you’ve got hat first win. How does it feel?
Forty tries or so. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, even though I’m 23. It’s pretty special to win here. Didn’t know Payne Stewart’s first win was here, and that broke me. God bless him. He’s done some amazing things for the game of golf, and I hope I can do something similar down the road. But it’s pretty special to win here. I’ve always loved the golf course first time I saw it, and then coming this year I was really excited because I was hitting the ball really well. Just needed a couple putts to fall.
Given all the young guns winning and not you, how were your thoughts?
I think that Jordan Spieth set tone quite a bit for us, and I expected to — especially after winning the 2015 NCAAs and U.S. Amateur in the same year — I was kind of on a high from that and was playing incredible golf. Then went into a bit of a low – a lull as well – trying to understand my golf swing a little bit more and was messing around with some things.
Unfortunately that took me off track, but I realized quickly what I needed to do to get back on track. I was able to right the ship about three, four weeks ago. It’s been Steady Eddie ever since.
Are you packed for the British?
My agent is helping me out with that. I don’t know. I hope so. That’s pretty special. I’ve been wanting to go for a long time. When I won the U.S. Amateur I thought I was going, until I turned professional, and that kind of thwarted it a little bit. I knew I would be back. I knew I would definitely be back. It’s pretty special to play in an Open Championship, the home of golf pretty much, where golf started in that area. It’s pretty special to have that first time.
SUNG-HYUN PARK, U.S. Open, -11
What were you feeling behind the 18th green having to chip and knowing the championship might be on the line?
When I was approaching to play that fourth shot, my mind went completely blank. I just remember to grab the club I usually play in a similar position and it worked well and I’m here. Now, I still cannot believe that it is actually happening. It’s almost feel like I’m floating on a cloud in the sky. Of course, I did have many winnings in other tournaments, but winning here at the U.S. Open means so much more and for that I am grateful and extremely happy.
You’re so focused and concentrated on the golf course. That’s very difficult but you do an excellent job at it.
I agree. I think one of the most difficult things is to stay focused and keep that concentration level up because I know firsthand that once you lose it, your play is going to just go sideways. So I always try to stay focused myself. But particularly today, I think my caddie had a great role of helping me stay focused. Because whenever I was slightly shaken a little bit, he would put me back by saying, you know, small jokes or assuring me or pep talk. That definitely helped me on the course. ETC/PPH