Bart Bryant Interview - US Senior Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Champions Tour | 2007 US Senior Open | Round Four | 09 Jul 2007
Q: Has it sunk in yet, you’re the champion?
Brad Bryant: Not yet. We’re getting there. I think tomorrow when I get home and see my family—I have Sue and the boys here with me, and so it’s pretty special having them here. But I think it will sink in. My sister is at my mom and dad’s house, and we’ll all be together probably Wednesday morning, and that will be pretty good.
Q: When did you feel like it was turning your way and momentum was going—you were making a couple of birdies, 4-under was the best of the day, but when did you feel like, this is in reach?
Brad Bryant: It still doesn’t feel that way.
I don’t know. I know that when I made the birdie at 9 and got to 4-under, I felt like I had a chance to win, because my goal for the day was 66.
I felt like if I shot 66, I would be in a playoff. And then conditions just deteriorated on the back nine. It got really nasty out there.
The wind not only was blowing hard, but it was gusty. And that’s just treacherous. When you have hard gusts like that, you can hit some pretty good shots that can turn out real bad. And fortunately I hit some really good shots coming down the stretch. I hit it about six or eight feet at 15 and then hit the shot at 17. Even though I didn’t make birdies, pars were like gold on those holes.
Q: How were you able to hold it together when everyone else seemed to stumble coming in?
Brad Bryant: My ball striking today is what won the golf tournament. I putted well early, but I had at least three more birdie putts inside of eight feet that I missed, and maybe four, I can’t remember.
It was just really hard to be stable in the wind to hit those putts. And the greens are very difficult to read. The wind makes the ball move a little differently than normally it would.
Q: You said that at the end of the play yesterday that you might need the round of your life to win, tomorrow; you didn’t think it was possible. How did you do it?
Brad Bryant: Well, I had a lot of help. I mean, unfortunately, Tom and Loren, neither one of them played their best today. And I happened to play really well on a day where neither one of them played really well, and it just worked out that way.
Sometimes you get really good breaks, and I got the best break I had this week to win this golf tournament; that was having both of them play poorly on the same day. That’s very—doesn’t happen very often. They’re both such great players. And of course today was really scripted for Tom Watson, the wind, the heat, it was really his day going out. You would think.
It’s amazing, Tom and I play a lot alike. Today I happened to be the one that hit the ball the best, so that was just very fortunate.
Q: How much scoreboard watching did you do, and when did you figure out, hey, I’m actually going to win this?
Brad Bryant: I didn’t. Standing on the 18th fairway Tony asked me, he said, “Do you want to know how you stand?” And I looked at him and I said, “We’re 1-up.” And he said, “No,” and I said, “You mean we’re even?” And he said, “No, you’re 3-up.” And I went, “Let’s aim right.” (Laughter.)
So I did not know until that point that we were ahead, actually. I thought that we were—I knew that we were ahead because I made the birdie at 16. But I thought we were only one up instead of 3-up. And then I hit that 3-iron on 18 that was just dead level the best, that was the best single shot I’ve hit since the 3-iron I hit at Birmingham a year and a half ago to win that tournament, on the 17th hole.
So that was—I think that’s kind of what you have to do to win a U.S. Open, is you have to play some of the best golf you’ve ever played in your life. And that’s kind of what I did today.
Q: Was it special to have your wife and kids here? Is it perhaps more special for them? The boys are older, you’ve been grinding a long time. Do the kids maybe cherish your wins more at this stage?
Brad Bryant: Oh, yeah. Yeah, this is really special. The win I had at Birmingham this year where they were with me, that was the first time I won where my whole family where the boys were with me. And that was – I don’t know how to put that into words. It was more than special. This win, I don’t think – I think that as time goes by, it will be more special to my boys. I don’t think any of us really understand just how significant this is for a guy like me.
I’ve always been a journeyman, and to come out here and beat a couple of the best players in the world, on a day like today is near miraculous. Actually, it was pretty good.
Q: You’re the champion. Is this the toughest test of golf you’ve had in your career for four days?
Brad Bryant: Toughest test of golf for four days?
Q: In terms of the course, the set up?
Brad Bryant: I don’t think so. I think that I finished like 13th at Shinnecock one year, the year that Corey Pavin won, and I felt like that that golf course probably played a little bit tougher than this course.
This course could have been unbelievably hard. But fortunately for the players we got rain early in the week. That rain that we had, what was it, Wednesday? And Wednesday night there. That really kept the greens from getting as hard and as fast as a U.S. Open normally is.
So from the standpoint of being a player, I think that we were pretty fortunate. And I think that the guys with the USGA, they set the golf course pretty good. Especially today. I felt like for the last round of a U.S. Open they set the golf course fair, difficult, but not over the top for us old guys.
They can set them really hard for those young guys that play on that other TOUR, like my brother, but for us old guys, it’s kind of nice to be able to shoot at a flag every now and then.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the gallery, the people out here and the support you received from the community and just the whole environment here at Whistling Straits this week?
Brad Bryant: Oh, it was tremendous. Everything that we have experienced this week has been just really wonderful. All of the people here in Wisconsin have just been great to us. It’s really been special.
They have sort of rolled out the red carpet for all of us. We had, between the hotel and here, you had to drive past about, I don’t know, 35 patrolmen or something, and it was really neat to drive past them and wave and roll down the window and say thanks for what they do. Because, let’s face it, if it weren’t for our police and our firemen and the guys we have overseas, we wouldn’t be playing golf, we would be doing something different thank you very much and thank you for all your help this week.
Source – US Senior Open