Ben Martin - Aug. 30, 2009
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Ben Martin, the runner‑up in the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship. Ben, tell us what the difference was today for you.
BEN MARTIN: I just didn't have anything out there today. It was just a struggle. The other Ben played as good as he‑‑ he did what he needed to do, and I didn't give him a great match, but it was a good run, and I had a lot of fun.
THE MODERATOR: Talk us through what it's like being out there when you don't have the game that you want to bring on a day that it matters so much to you.
BEN MARTIN: As tough as this golf course is, you've got to be hitting quality shots. I was just kind of out there searching for something and never found it, especially in that second 18. I left a few shots out there the first 18, but the second 18 I didn't have a whole lot.
Q. There was never a one‑shot difference until, I think, 15, and the other Ben won three in a row. I think it all started when you had a downhill putt that you might have made, but it turned into a three‑putt. Do you think if you would have maybe made that putt it changes momentum?
BEN MARTIN: Possibly. I mean, there's no way you can tell. But that would have been‑‑ we were kind of back and forth all day in the first 18. That would have been a two‑shot swing, so I would have been I guess 1‑down going into the second 18, so you never know. But there were shots like that all day. I just never made a lot of putts.
Q. I watched you pretty much all week, and you seem to be an even‑keeled person. Can you assess the disappointment right now that you're feeling?
BEN MARTIN: I'm really not that disappointed yet. I'm sure looking back at the opportunity I had to win, that's what I wanted to do coming in, and I didn't get it done. It's hard to be too disappointed with the perks you get being in the finals. I just kind of take positives out of the week and go back to school and work on some things and just try to get better.
Q. I saw you on the range when I was leaving the club here yesterday at about 5:00 or whatever, and I was wondering what were you looking for? What part of your swing just weren't you comfortable with?
BEN MARTIN: I have a tendency to get steep, and I think whenever I get under pressure, a little nervous, it gets a little worse. So that was something I was kind of fighting all day. But whenever I'm playing good, it's something I don't even think about, I'm just out there swinging. And when that kind of creeps into my head, it's usually not a good day, and that's kind of what was happening out there today.
Q. Did you go to the range between the two 18s?
BEN MARTIN: I hit probably 10 or 15 balls to probably loosen back up.
Q. But you weren't really at that point trying to work on it?
BEN MARTIN: No.
Q. At times around the greens it looked like you were just a little uncomfortable chipping up out of the rough and from the fringe. Is that something you felt like you just couldn't figure out today?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, I just never had the touch. I think I was a little scared out there. The greens have been firming up all week and getting a little faster, and I was just real tentative over my shots and scared to mess up, so trying to hit a good shot, I think.
Q. You hit an incredible shot at 14 in the first round and hit the flagstick and didn't get a whole lot out of it. Can you talk about what you were thinking after that happened? You still did win the hole at least.
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, I won it with a bogey, which I guess a little bit of bad luck there, to hit a shot like that and it goes in the bunker. But it was a good shot. I couldn't be too upset about it. It was just a bad break. But you know, like you said, I still won the hole, so it ended up being all right.
Q. As kind of sloppy maybe as the first 18 was, you were still only 3‑down. Did you still have a sense that, ‘You know what, maybe I can find something out there and get a kind of comeback going?’
BEN MARTIN: Oh, yeah. I never gave up. I was grinding all day long. But I couldn't find a whole lot out there. I don't think I hit a green until No.9 in the second 18, so it was going to be hard to make a comeback when you're putting for pars all day.
Q. I thought there were two kind of critical junctures in the afternoon; one was the second hole when you had just won the first, and the ball just didn't hold up and ended up in the water. What did you hit there?
BEN MARTIN: I had 205 to the front out of the first cut. I was just trying to hit a 5‑iron, land it about 200 yards and let it chase up. I pulled it a little left and it came out hot. I think it caught the downslope of the bunker and just took off.
I knew it was over the green, and then I saw the rules guys back there and figured it was in the water.
Q. Was it firm out there?
BEN MARTIN: Not really, not as firm as it's been. I didn't even have that thought in my mind that the water was back there. I was trying to land it short of the green. But that's what happened.
Q. The other one was maybe the 11th hole. You hit a really good shot in there and he stepped up and hit a good shot and made a putt.
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, it just swung the last two holes. He made bogeys, and I hit one in there probably 12 feet, and he hit it in there 14, 15 feet and made his putt and I didn't convert. I was looking to get another one back there and ended up losing the hole. That was probably the key hole the second 18, yeah.
Q. Was there something about his game at all today that impressed you?
BEN MARTIN: He was just solid all around, I think. Nothing stood out to me. He hit the ball good, made a lot of putts from ten‑foot range that he needed to make was probably the most impressive thing. That's what you've got to do if you want to win matches.
Q. Regarding your opponent, did you think if you could put some pressure on him he would play like a 17‑year‑old instead of playing like a champion?
BEN MARTIN: Um, he's a good player no matter how old he is. I was just out there trying to play my game and do what I needed to do, but I just didn't have it going, and I wasn't playing well enough to apply any pressure.
Q. What was great to you the rest of the days this week that just was not great to you today?
BEN MARTIN: I've been making a lot of putts this week and couldn't seem to get many to fall. I made a few the first couple holes in the morning, but other than that, I can't think of a putt I made all day.
THE MODERATOR: Ben, thank you very much. Congratulations on an outstanding week, and we look forward to seeing you at the U.S. Open next year.