Clemson’s Doc Redman won the final three holes with an eagle and two birdies, and defeated University of Texas senior Doug Ghim in 37 holes on Sunday to win the 117th United States Amateur Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Redman joins Chris Patton as the only Clemson golfers to win the United States Amateur. Patton won the title in 1989 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Patton’s son Colby will be one of Redman’s freshman teammates on the Clemson team this year.
Redman was two-down to Ghim with two holes to play. But on the 17th hole, the 35th hole of the match, Redman rolled in a 50-foot eagle putt to cut the margin to one-down. He then hit his second shot on the 18th hole to seven feet right of the cup and made that putt for birdie to square the match.
It was the third consecutive match that Redman won the 18th hole to either win the match or send it to extra holes.
Below is the transcript of Redman’s press conference after winning the United States Amateur Championship.
THE MODERATOR: Pleasure to welcome the champion of the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship, Doc Redman, a 37-hole winner over Doug Ghim. Give you the same option I gave Doug. Do you want to make a comment or go right to questions?
DOC REDMAN: I would just like to congratulate Doug as well. He played awesome. He’s such an awesome competitor and guy and deserves all the praise in the world as well.
Have you ever played a match as difficult as this one was to establish any distance between yourself and your opponent?
DOC REDMAN: I would so no, because especially in that first round we were both playing so well. I played really well on that back nine, and he stuck with me shot for shot; I stuck with him. Then the wind picked up on the second 18th and it was a totally different game really. We both just hung tough. I think we both played really well.
I would assume this is the best putting round or two rounds of your entire life. Can you just comment on that. Just feel like you just couldn’t miss?
DOC REDMAN: Yeah, I always have a lot of confidence from mid-range really. When I see one go in I definitely get big eyes and I know that I can make anything. That’s what happened today. It was a really special putting day obviously.
I understand you haven’t always been a good putter. Do you remember when you were 14 or 15, and can you just describe all that work and just hitting ball after ball?
DOC REDMAN: Yeah, I wasn’t a great putter. My stroke wasn’t very good. I made it a point to work on my stroke and make it better and really be able to hit the ball where I’m looking, where I want. And you know, just like anything. I just had to put in a ton of hours, and it’s paying off obviously.
On your putting, when you put your hand in your pocket, how did that come about?
DOC REDMAN: I think I just did it one day as part of a routine, something I do to get comfortable over the ball and it’s stuck with me. You know, it’s the routine. Try to stay consistent.
On the front nine, I think on 3, 7, 8, and 9, you had putts that were makeable for birdie, I thought. Looked like in your mind they were certainly makeable and didn’t go in. Did you hit them all fine? What was where you thinking there?
DOC REDMAN: Let’s see, on 7 I hit — I thought I hit a really good putt and it just turned a little more than I thought. Was this in the morning? Yeah, the morning, yes. I remember 3; 3 was an awful stroke. I just kind of didn’t trust it. Then 7, man, I can’t recall that. Eight I hit a great putt too. That hole was in a tough spot on a hill and just took a lot more break. I really learned from it in the afternoon round, which helped. Then 9 wasn’t the best stroke either. So it was frustrating, but I knew that I was hitting great shots and eventually they would drop.
What was going through your mind before the eagle putt on 17 knowing he might have a 6-footer to close you out?
DOC REDMAN: I didn’t even think about it really. All that was going through my head was about making the putt and putting a good stroke on it. Honestly, I was just going through, you know, You’re going make this, you’re going to make this, and it worked out well.
Very soon after you hit it looked look you started walking. Was that because you had hit it just the way you wanted to?
DOC REDMAN: Yeah, I hit it well. I did think I hit it a little firm. It was on a good line, so I wanted to get a better angle at it. That’s really why I kind of stepped over to the right.
I don’t know if this question has been asked and answered, but the guys in the Fox booth were asking me how you got the name Doc; they seemed to not know the reason why.
DOC REDMAN: I don’t know either. You would have to ask my dad.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions? You’re sitting next to the item that everybody wants to be associated with when they sign up for the U.S. Amateur. Now your name will be on it. Tell us with what that means to you.
DOC REDMAN: It’s incredible to add my name to the list of all the incredible champions already and to have conquered arguably the best field in amateur golf in a really difficult grind, too. I beat some of the best players in the world, and I hope that this can catapult me up into that conversation as well going forward.
How would Doc Redman from a year ago have handled being 2-down with two to play? Would he have pulled it out?
DOC REDMAN: Yeah, I don’t think he would’ve. I think, you know, I worked really hard with two guys in particular, Cory Schaffer and at Milt Louder (ph) at Clemson, and I’ve read a few book as well. I learned a lot about being positive and how you can mentally change the outcome of things and how it makes such a difference. That really led to me being very positive and reassuring of myself.
Who are the two people?
DOC REDMAN: Two of our mental coaches at Clemson.
What’s the one book that helped you?
DOC REDMAN: Man, none in particular really. Just I’ve read four or five. Honestly can’t remember the names right off the top of my head. I really enjoyed reading them and I think you can learn a lot from them not only in golf, but just in daily life.
On the 2-down putt, you missed your putt on 16, and then you stayed back and putted the first one out and then you practiced a little. Was that just a way to sort of regroup and kind of buy a little time and think a little bit about the next two holes?
DOC REDMAN: You know, no. I just wanted to kind of reassure myself on my stroke and make sure that I was stroking it well going forward, I guess. I hit a good putt on 16. I just hit it too hard. I had it read right. The line I picked really needed to be a soft pace, and I hit it firm.
Then the putt on 17, it looked like you started walking after looking like you knew you had the right line pretty early.
DOC REDMAN: Yeah, when I got up there, occasionally I look at a putt and I see a line right away and I like it. That kind of happened there. When I hit it I knew I put a good stroke on it. I was pretty confident it would have a chance. I wanted to get a more down-the-line look at it, so I just took another look.
Do you remember that? Did that have any impact?
DOC REDMAN: I do. We talked a lot about outlets of pressure, too, how to deal with that. I try and combat a lot with just my breathing and trying to stay calm that way, lower my heart rate. Also just trying not to make any putt or shot bigger than it really is. I’ve tried a lot to make all 10-footers equal no matter if they’re to win the match or to stay alive in the match, because I think that makes a huge difference as well.
I think one of the things he mentioned was a quote the coach gave. It’s a privilege to feel pressure because that means you’ve done something really good to put yourself there.
DOC REDMAN: I think that’s a great quote, yes. Yeah, if you get here, it is a privilege to feel that pressure coming down 18 with a chance to send it to extra holes. It was a privilege on 10 on the extra hole to have a chance to win. I was just very honored to have the chance and pressure. I enjoy it very much.
You were in a playoff just to get into match play. What were you thinking then and what was the approach going into that?
DOC REDMAN: I just wanted to get through because I knew if match play came that I could do it, you know, I could win some matches and advance. I was just trying to hang tough in the playoff; 10 is very difficult if you hit it in the wrong spot, and it’s pretty easy if you hit it in the right spot. I was really happy to advance through that. I saw myself as one of the favorites after I advanced through that.
For those of us who didn’t see it, did the ending to the Western Am bear any resemblance to this?
DOC REDMAN: Somewhat. I was 4-down through 9 at the Western Am. It was a lot less dramatic than this. I kind of just chipped away at Norman’s lead. Hit some really good shots down the stretch. They were tough holes as well. I lipped out on 18 to win. Norman and I played a great four playoff holes and he got me on the fourth one. It was really an honor to be able to come back from that and send it to extras like today.