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August 13, 2018

Michael Brennan

Pebble Beach, California

Q. Interesting experience for you today; kind of a crazy front side and then you kind of settled into it on the back side. How did it feel to you?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: I played solid. I know I started out a little slow, but then I had a couple good yardages on the front nine to close out the front and had a couple good reads. My caddie Gene, a local caddie here, was awesome, told me where to hit it on the green, and I just tried to do the best I could. I fortunately got a couple of fall and hit a couple really tight on the front nine, and on the back nine I hit a couple errant shots into the green, but I saved par a couple times. I hit a poor drive on 16 into the trees and hit a really good shot up onto the green, and I will say I had several putts today that -- a couple lip-outs and a couple that I thought were in the hole that just never fell, but the back nine was a little easier on my mind.

Q. Tell me about the birdies back-to-back on 4 and 5.
MICHAEL BRENNAN: 4, I had 152 to the hole, and the pin was back left, and the green slopes very hardly front to back, and Gene told me to hit it 140, and probably 12 feet right of the hole, and I hit a really good shot and had kind of a little choke 9-iron, and I guessed -- I couldn't see the hole, but it was really close to going in and stopped a couple inches past the hole. I mean, that was -- it could have gone in. It was very close.

Q. And then 5?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: 5 was a good birdie. That was 220 into the wind, and I hit a 4-iron, a solid 4-iron right at the hole. It landed a little short and kind of just hopped up past it, and I went through the fringe into the very first cut of rough, and I had a very quick putt, and I hit it with really good speed, and it just fell in the front of the hole.

Q. And then you went back-to-back again on 7 and 8.
MICHAEL BRENNAN: Yeah, that was nice to get those two back-to-back. Then I knew, all right, let's go. We never know what happens on this back nine. We could go shoot 32, just take it really deep. So that was really two confidence-building birdies heading into the back nine.

Q. Did you play the par-5 in three, or did you go for the green?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: On 7? I went for it. I hit an okay drive, but I was in the left center of the fairway, and I had a really good yardage, 220, into the hole, and that was a nice full 4-iron, the ball a little above my feet to a front left pin. I knew I could start it at the right side of the green and kind of just bring it back, and I did that pretty nicely. I had probably 25 feet pin high right, and that putt lipped out. I was walking it in. I thought I made it.

Q. First USGA championship, but you've been in U.S. Open sectional qualifying a couple times. Did that experience help you for this?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: Yeah, I think it does. You just have to learn to breathe and take your time and not try to rush it. A lot of people tend to get quick on the backswing and then hit some pull shots like I did on 1. I'm not perfect. I have a long way to go. But I think just knowing to breathe and try to relax yourself as best you can.

Q. Since it is your first USGA championship, what was your expectation coming in?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: I didn't have many expectations. I just tried to enjoy the experience playing Spyglass and Pebble Beach, two of the prettiest and coolest golf courses on this planet, two of my favorite that I've ever played, and try to smell the roses, as they say, and take in as much as I can and see what we can do. I really want to make match play, and today -- I'm not in match play. I still have to go out play a good round of golf tomorrow, but good start, and right where I wanted to be.

Q. I know you play another sport, high school basketball. How does that help your golf?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: I think it helps my golf, just gets you stronger and gets you in shape. It's been a while, a little out of basketball by now, but it does -- I definitely added a couple pounds in the winter, and I think that helps just kind of for a long summer. It's hot, and a lot of people tend to just kind of lose a couple, and it helps sustain you for the end of the year and tournaments like this.

Q. Does that help you mentally to be playing two sports so you're not always thinking about one?
MICHAEL BRENNAN: Yeah, it's nice to take a little break from golf. I don't get tired of it at the end of the year, but I always look forward to playing basketball. I love playing basketball. But then by the time January, February comes around, it's still pretty close to play golf, and I have basketball to play. But I'm really itching to get back out on the course in some nice weather.

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