Ben Martin - Aug. 28, 2009
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our second semifinalist to the 2009 US Amateur, Ben Martin of Greenwood, South Carolina, the 2 and 1 winner over David Lingmerth.
I guess we could probably say that your match was eventful. So I'll leave it at that, and then you pick it up.
BEN MARTIN: I guess I know where you're going with that. I was in the bunker in 2, and my dad-- I turned around and my dad is raking the trap where he had walked in there. I just happened to turn around right when he was doing it and said, No. But I couldn't catch him.
I knew I had a lost the hole. I started off kind of shaky, so that kind of got me refocused. It turned out being a good thing. I know he felt terrible about it. I just told him, Forget about it and let's keep going.
THE MODERATOR: Harder that it was your dad probably, right?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, definitely. Harder for him, but easier for me.
Q. (No microphone.)
BEN MARTIN: I was already at the bunker. I was just kind of checking out the shot. Had walked up to the hole just to check out the green.
Q. You followed up your loss of hole with winning the next hole, so you refocused immediately, I guess.
BEN MARTIN: I did. I kind of walked back in the back of the tee and said, All right. Let's forget about that and hit a good shot here.
Hit one right in the middle of the green and 2‑putted. Par ended up being good enough to win the hole.
So I had 13 holes to go after that happened. I'm sure my dad would have felt bad if I ended up losing, but it ended up being all right.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ben?
Q. Didn't see the match, but it looked like a lot of bogeys earlier. A little slow starting out today?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, I struggled. I guess I bogeyed the first three holes and pars were winning just about every hole on the front nine. I guess maybe it happened to both of us. Just nerves before we got settled in. Played a little better on the back nine, but, yeah, it was definitely a shaky start. Hopefully I can get that taken care of tomorrow.
Q. Just your feelings right now: You're into the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship. What's kind of going through your mind? What are you thinking about?
BEN MARTIN: Just trying to take it one at a time. My goal coming in was to win, you know, six matches. I got four down, two to go. So kind of just trying to focus one hole at a time, one shot at a time, and keep it going.
Q. So I guess seeing your name on the leaderboard when you were at U.S. Open was a pretty good springboard for you.
BEN MARTIN: Definitely it helps pressure situations like that. The more times you can be in them the easier it gets. The more pressure putts you make out there kind of builds your confidence.
Q. You also come from a program where there's a lot of competitiveness on the team. Every day at practice kind of gets you ready for this kind of thing; is that correct?
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, definitely. Kyle is out there and has done pretty well. Phil, I don't know how he's doing. He was one down with one to go. We've had a lot of great players in there. Just playing against those guys every single day can do nothing but make you better.
Q. 17 you had cemented it with a birdie there. How did you play the hole?
BEN MARTIN: Been laying up there all week. I think they moved the tee up one more today. Been hitting 5‑iron; hit 6‑iron today. Had like 88 yards, which is pretty good yardage for a knock‑down sand wedge. Hit it up there to four feet and rolled it in.
Q. Do you know anything about Charlie Holland?
BEN MARTIN: Um, I been good buddies just from seeing him in college golf and over the summer. I know he's a good player. He played good last year at the U.S. Am, so I'm sure he has some confidence from that week. Probably go out there tomorrow and have a good match.
Q. How have you done in match play before this? Have played very much match play?
BEN MARTIN: Not a lot, really. I think we played the college match play my freshman year. Haven't been back to that. Qualified for the junior twice but didn't make match play. I did make the finals in my state match play as a senior in high school. But that's about the only success I've had in match play with the little of it I've gotten play in it.
Q. Today wasn't the picture perfect round, but you got through. Is it the kind of thing where you just go, That's gonna happen out here and tomorrow is a new day? How do you come away from a day like today? Obviously you're excited about the win, but you think there's probably a little bit more out there for you.
BEN MARTIN: Yeah, definitely. I'm gonna go to the range this afternoon and try to figure a few things out. Neither one of us hit the ball great at all, to say the least. I guess just getting it done is what counts.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, Ben, a thanks so much. Congratulations. We'll see you tomorrow.
BEN MARTIN: Thank you.