Interview With Women's Amateur Runner-Up Amanda Blumenherst
RHONDA GLENN: Amanda, it was a close one. What a battle between the two of you all day. What happened on 17? What were you thinking? First of all, what did you hit to the green?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I hit a 5‑iron, and I hit it very well. I don't know, I definitely got out of my game. I thought she was going to make it. I thought I needed to.
And I wanted it. I had lipped so many putts today that I almost forced it. I said, all right, I'm going to make one putt. I just hit it way too hard. And then I just missed the putt coming back.
Q. How far was that putt coming back?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Probably like six feet.
Q. It just seemed that your putting wasn't as good this afternoon as it has been previously in the tournament. Did you lose your confidence in your stroke or your confidence in your reading of the putts?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Well, definitely the confidence in the reading the putts. Just because I felt like I was putting great strokes on them and they just weren't going in. I lipped just so many. So it was getting very frustrating.
And I mean, really, if those putts instead of lipping out had gone in, I putted just as well as the last few days. I mean, law of averages, I guess. I made so many birdies the last few days, and I made several birdies today.
Q. You have a great countenance for somebody that just lost the National Championship.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Thanks.
Q. How do you do that?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: It's only a golf tournament, I guess. I mean, it's a big one, but there will be plenty more in the future. I've had a successful career so far. I mean, runner-up, sure, I would have loved to have won. But it was a long week of golf, and I played well. So I can't be too upset with myself.
Q. Did you ever shed a tear after it was over?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: No, not at all.
Q. Even when your mother hugged you?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: No, I could have when my coach started talking to me because he can start crying and then I'd start crying.
Q. But you didn't?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: No.
Q. How do you handle adversity like this when you lose a 1-up match like this, you play college golf and you've gone through something maybe a high school kid hasn't gone through. How much does that help you?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: College golf is just a whole other year of preparation and tournaments, more practice. The more experience you have in a tournament situation the better you're going to become, handling the pressure and being able to play well. Especially national championships, hitting a drive, knowing that your team is counting on you, it definitely gives-- prepares you to have confidence and also know what's at stake.
Q. Just kind of your thoughts on Maria. I don't know how much you know about her, but you'll obviously be seeing her a lot this year.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I don't even know how old she is or if she's going to go to college or anything like that. She's a great player. She made some really nice putts today, and she hits the ball-- she kept it up with me all day. So that was actually kind of nice because sometimes it's hard to have to like walk off a yardage if they're 30 yards behind you. She's obviously a great player; she beat me.
Q. Playing with a player who shows so much emotion on the course, does that make any difference?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I actually-- someone told me, oh, yeah, she's very emotional. I didn't even notice. I was focused on how she was playing. I heard everybody in orange going crazy and my family going crazy, but I didn't really watch her at all.
Q. What did you hit to the green on 18?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: 8‑iron.
Q. I mean, that ball, that was a beautifully struck shot. That ball mark was right next to the hole, but the greens were so firm, a little downwind, crosswind?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I think I was 151 yards, and that was just too much-- I thought I was too long for a 9‑iron. I was going to have to kill it. I didn't want to have to rip something on the last hole.
Q. So you made a medium swing?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I made a medium swing and I hit it great. My pitch mark in the morning was actually three yards further than the one in the afternoon, but this one actually went off the back. It was just probably because of the wind. I mean, I'm glad I got it back there.
Q. Can you just assess the week? Obviously coming in there was ... to a certain extent you had had some struggles in match play. You played so terrifically all week. Assess the week in your mind and what you can take away from it.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I just played great, and also I'm just proud of myself for being able to kind of turn it around a bit on match play at the North and South, and then here, I felt like I've kind of gotten match play down a little bit better.
I've been hitting the ball great, and just when the putts fall, that's when I started making a whole bunch of birdies in a row. But I don't see anything I can really change swing-wise. I mean, I'm killing the ball and hitting it close. Just continue to work on short game, I guess.
Q. What else do you take away from this? You had the green shirts cheering and the orange shirts cheering, your family was here, you had people sleeping on the floor. What do you take away from this week?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: It was a good experience to have played here in Indiana and to have played well just because I have so many family members here supporting me, and also kind of like an Indiana girl to do well. It was just a great experience having family dinners, we thought, should we split up a table of eight and seven so we can get food faster, but we decided to all sit together. Little stuff like that makes it fun.
Q. Can you talk about playing in a match like this? Neither one of you had more than a 1-up lead all day, and I don't remember covering a 36-hole final where it was this tight. Sometimes it might get to 2‑ or 3‑up and somebody might make a comeback, but it was..
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Yeah, I don't think either of us really made that many mistakes. I mean, I hit a funny drive on 9 and then she hit one OB on 14. I'm trying to think, that was about it.
Q. No.2 this morning?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: And then 2 this morning, but that I actually hit okay, I just hit it right and then I didn't have a shot at it. We just didn't really make that many mistakes where you just concede a hole, like someone hits it in the water or something like that. I mean, it was definitely close.
Q. What's it like to play a match like that where every shot you've got to ... there's no room for error.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Every match I've played before this one went so fast, just because you're like, all right, that's good. We kept moving on, and you would read the putt kind of quickly, but I felt like this one we almost treated each hole like that was going to be the deciding hole because I knew it was going to be close.
Q. You had said you thought conquering this mental match play hurdle might make you a better stroke player. Do you see that?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I can see that. Definitely the last few days my putting has kind of come around, and that's always the thing I've struggled with a little. I'm not going to three‑putt a whole bunch, but just like the birdie putts I hadn't really conquered. I wasn't like getting a whole bunch in a row.
I think this just gives me more confidence in my game, saying, all right, a whole week of solid golf, one round after another. So yeah, I can see how it would help with stroke play, too.
Q. The fatigue must have crept in some, at least mentally?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I was never tired. My feet are killing me, though. Right when she made it, of course I would have liked to have gone extra holes, but those shoes were off. They're not new, but I don't know what happened. I can't feel my heels well, I can feel them, they're yelling at me. I wasn't really that tired. Like I could keep going if I didn't wear shoes.
Q. I've always thought this-- probably the Women's Am Public Links but more so this are maybe our best women's championships because Women's Open is only four rounds, and this is nine rounds of golf in six days.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: And you're having to grind. I mean, each match really is important. The first two days are important.
Gosh, I started off slow, and I ended up being in the final group. You really just need to focus an entire week. I think it's more mentally draining than it is physically draining because by the time you've played your ninth round, your focus is almost shot. You just want to go do something else.
But it is, it's a long week. But it's a fun week, too.
Q. You pick up some exemptions for having finished second, U.S. Open and the Amateur for the next three years. You're obviously in the Pub Links and I would think Curtis Cup is probably a lock.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I was really excited to hear about the Open. I thought you had to win it, but then I think it was yesterday-- it's nice to be able to skip the qualifying stages and do something else, like go to the beach or go to the lake.
Q. You haven't had to qualify last year, either.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I know. This has been wonderful.
RHONDA GLENN: You have been so nice to us, and we appreciate your generosity and just being so cooperative in coming in.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Not at all.
RHONDA GLENN: You certainly made a lot of friends this week, so this enhances your life, and you can take this a long way.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Thank you so much.
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