Fran Quinn: Round One Flash Interview

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Q. How are you feeling, first off?
FRAN QUINN: I feel great. It was a great day out there. I mean, I got off to a super start. I was a couple under early, and then -- I really had two great looks on 16 and 17, which were my 7th and 8th hole. I had a 15-footer for birdie, straight up, just didn't hit it on 16. I hit it close on 17, about six feet. And hit a really perfect putt and the ball didn't go in. I had some chances and I three-putted 18 from the fringe. But then I really kind of held myself together and I felt calm and I maintained my composure and I went out on the front nine and I played beautiful. And I did a lot of good things. I hit one bad tee ball on 4 and had a great up and down out of the fairway bunker. Came back and made a nice, super tee ball done 5, and hit the green to about 15 feet for eagle. Then I ran into kind of an unfortunate deal on 7. I hit a perfect 3-wood off the tee. It caught the back end of the hump, shot across the fairway just before the native grass. It was kind of a worn out area where there was a crack in the earth. And my ball kind of settled in it down, and it was soft, kind of a soft sand, but it was below the surface, and I couldn't get my club on it. Shot right, plugged it in the bunker and I was fortunate to make bogey. So that was -- again, I go back to -- it's composure. I was able -- knowing that par is a good score, you're going to make some bogeys, and hopefully you make some birdies to offset the bogeys. And I made a great birdie on 9. I hit it to about three feet. It was a great way to end the day.

Q. It is only one round, but what does it mean to be tied for second right now?
FRAN QUINN: It is only one round, but it's nice to put up the great score the first day. But you know you have to keep it going. But having said that, it was a dream start. It was everything that I could want and more.

Q. The 20th anniversary of your last U.S. Open experience. What's the story?
FRAN QUINN: Well, I mean, the last one I played was in '96. I had other opportunities to go to the qualifying, but unfortunately -- but I had been out on the Web.com Tour a lot and I was right on the cusp of getting my card out there. You couldn't really afford not to play. So unfortunately, you had to skip The Open at times. But a lot of those years I wasn't able to try due to other things. But to come back and play this year, I'm 49 years old, it's Father's Day weekend, I've got my boy on the bag. My dad passed away two years ago, and I know he's looking down today. And it's just a tremendous feeling.

Q. How good a job did Owen do, and what's that relationship like?
FRAN QUINN: He did a terrific job. He's got such a great disposition. He's positive and he understands the game of golf. And he's an athlete. He knows how to compete.

Q. You said earlier this week that you had been playing well. Are you surprised at the number you put up today?
FRAN QUINN: I mean, 68 is a heck of a score at the Open. Yeah, I mean, I'm not really that surprised, but I mean it's a great score. I mean, I have been playing some very good golf. I've been very confident with what I've been doing. I've done some great work with my teacher, Shawn Hester, and it's just -- I'm confident and comfortable in my own skin playing golf right now. So I guess that's a good way to put it.

Q. What do you remember from your playing days at Northwestern?
FRAN QUINN: That was a long time ago. It was just -- Northwestern was a great experience. I enjoyed all my time. We had a great coach in Wally Goodwin. He moved on to Stanford and coached Tiger and so forth. He was a terrific, terrific man.

Q. What have you been working on in your swing?
FRAN QUINN: It's basically progression over the last couple of years. But I'm basically able to stay center more, and by staying centered more I'm able to basically put the club on the ball a lot easier, if you want to keep it simple.

Q. After your long wait on No. 5 tee box --
FRAN QUINN: My trainer and I have worked on -- he gave me some things to do when we do have those situations. And I did them, and honestly my back felt great. So there was no issue whatsoever.

Q. You got up to the No. 6 tee box after the birdie on 5, and looked at the leaderboard, and you saw your name up there, what was going through your mind?
FRAN QUINN: Well, I saw it about four or five times out there during the course of the round. But like I said, I was very calm out there today. And I was comfortable with the way I was playing. And there was, you know, other than really one tee shot that I hit, which was a horrible tee shot on 4, you know, I played really solid. I hit a lot of good shots. I've played enough golf, obviously not on this big a stage in this event, but to where I know I can compete and hopefully I can maintain it the next three days.

Q. (Inaudible.)
FRAN QUINN: Yeah, well, I called him on Tuesday, Tuesday night. He got down here late last night. But I called him on Tuesday and I said I love this place, we're going to have a great week. And then here we are. So it's really -- it's a dream and I hope I don't wake up until Sunday.

Q. You've won four tournaments before. And obviously had a lot of great days on the golf course. Where does today rank?
FRAN QUINN: It's up there. But, I mean, I still -- it's like somebody had mentioned, it's still day one. And it was a great round of golf. I put myself in a nice position, but I have to go out and keep backing it up and maintaining it. And it's not going to get any easier. But it was overall a terrific day. I enjoyed it. It was awesome being out there with my son. And it was just a lot of fun.

Q. Was there a specific moment -- you said I need to pinch myself. Was there one specific moment where you looked at Owen and --
FRAN QUINN: I think the last green when I hit my shot in there about two and a half feet for birdie. And when I tapped that in, I looked at him and I said, "That's what we're talking about."

Q. You allude to the fact of being a father, it's Father's Day, you're aware of it. You lost your father two years ago.
FRAN QUINN: I did.

Q. Does this national Open because it ends on Father's Day have a special meaning to you?
FRAN QUINN: He's never missed one. And I don't think he missed this one today. So it was -- it's just -- it's our national Open. This is when I was 12 years old, when I was 15 years old, like he is, sitting on the green at Pleasant Valley Country Club, hitting putts with my buddies, saying this is for The Open. We all, as professional golfers, have dreamed about it. And to be able to sit here and have that opportunity is a dream.

Q. There's quotes saying that you've considered quitting the game of golf right around 2003, 2004?
FRAN QUINN: Yeah, I wouldn't say -- yeah, probably not. I mean, I would say more of thinking of moving in different directions, but also continue playing. I mean, it's not really a --

Q. Your dad's first name?
FRAN QUINN: Fran. I'm a junior.

Q. You mentioned your great start earlier, your par save off the green on 15, how did that help keep your momentum going?
FRAN QUINN: Yeah, that was. And I said to Owen when we walked off that green, I said, "That is a huge putt." And I hit -- again, that was a poor iron shot I hit in there, and it ended up where I had a very -- got a sprinkler in the way putting, so I had to skirt the sprinkler, and I mis-hit the putt and it got exacerbated, got pulled left and it was awful. There's too much green into me and I was afraid of stubbing it. So I hit a horrible first putt, but to make that second one was that momentum that kept the round going. And it was -- and I carried that through the rest of the day.

Q. Is it difficult to stay within yourself and play that game you were talking about?
FRAN QUINN: I think if you have the proper mindset that par is a great score. You're going to make some bogeys. But you are going to make some birdies, if you're hitting some good shots. They're out there. But you have to hit good shots. And if you keep that mindset and stay within yourself, you can play some good golf.

Q. How do you keep that mindset for tomorrow?
FRAN QUINN: I just draw off experiences from when I've had leads before and won golf tournaments. I was fortunate, I've won four times on the Web.com Tour and twice over in Asia. So there's different times and won different ways, leading all four days or coming from behind in the last round. But the one thing is is you have to stay patient. And we're not talking about winning a golf tournament right now. We're talking about getting yourself in position so that you have a great day tomorrow and that on Sunday, now we have a chance. But you want to keep working towards the back nine on Sunday.

Q. You're Mass through and through?
FRAN QUINN: I am.

Q. Lived there the whole time?
FRAN QUINN: I have.

Q. Do you ever think about moving south?
FRAN QUINN: I've tried. I've lost that battle a few times. No, I'm Massachusetts the whole way. I park my car and eat my lobstah.

Q. You don't let yourself get too sentimental. You're very focused?
FRAN QUINN: Yes, it's a great score, but it's the first day. So we need to keep going, and we'll have fun, talk about it for a half hour at dinner, and then go to bed and get involved tomorrow.

Q. How involved was Owen in the round? Did he give you any yardages --
FRAN QUINN: He does all the yardages and he -- we talk about the clubs going into the greens. And like I said, I mean, he never says too much, but he doesn't say too little. It's something -- kids who are athletes get it. And he gets it. So it's not -- you're not worried about him saying things out in the course of the round that are going to disrupt you or set you off or whatever. He just did a marvelous job.

Q. I saw him help you on 16.
FRAN QUINN: I couldn't find the line there. I lost it and that's my normal routine, anyways, is that I normally read 95 percent of the putts. But I will call in one or two putts throughout the course of a round when I'm thrown off and I'm not seeing the line.

Q. Was he right or were you right?
FRAN QUINN: We were both right and I just didn't hit it right.

Q. Your status?
FRAN QUINN: I'm out of the past champions category. It wasn't great because my back was out early in the year, and I wasn't able to compete early. So therefore, you get reshuffled down.

Q. Where have you played?
FRAN QUINN: I've gone to a few Monday qualifiers, and then just through the U.S. Open qualifying, and then the sectional I was fortunate enough to win down in Purchase. I played Panama, too, earlier in the year. That's it.

Q. Have you been itching to play?
FRAN QUINN: Yes and no. I mean, I know that -- yes, I've been itching to play, but I also think that normally leading, I've played 15, 16, 17 tournaments now. And I am honestly really fresh. If there is a good thing, I'm fresh. And I'm excited and I don't let little things bother me. When you get burned out after playing a lot of golf, there's something to be said for playing pressure.

Q. The Champions Tour, are you going to Q-School?
FRAN QUINN: Yeah, I plan on it.

Q. What was the day like?
OWEN QUINN: It was unbelievable. I'm at the U.S. Open and my dad played a great first round. It's awesome to see him out there. It's awesome to see him string together a good 18 holes.

Q. Is there one moment that stands out?
OWEN QUINN: When he hit that 7-iron in there to about two feet on the ninth hole, our last hole of the day, I was like, wow, this is really -- you shot 68. Reality set in.

Q. How often have you caddied for your father in the past?
OWEN QUINN: I've caddied for him starting two summers ago. I caddie for him about four times a year. This is probably about my tenth professional event. The rest have been on the Web.com Tour, but obviously this is the most important.

Q. What have you learned about your caddying skills and your dad as a golfer through those ten events?
OWEN QUINN: You get to see him compete with some of the best players in the world. You see what the difference is from playing every day at home and competing at a tournament level. And the decisions that he has to make, the behavior, the attitude. Like he showed me today that on the 7th hole, when he hit his approach shot into the greenside bunker, and the ball had egged so there was nothing he could do other than leave it in the bunker again. And he ended getting it up and down for a bogey. It just showed that if you have patience, anything can come. That was a great bogey and it kept us going.

Q. How do you think you can help your dad on the golf course?
OWEN QUINN: I just try to keep him in the right mental mind. I can help him with the yardages, but I know he can do that, as well. Talk when I need to talk, and don't talk when I don't need to talk and keep him plugging along.

Q. (Inaudible.)
OWEN QUINN: It's awesome. He's 49 years old. You don't know how many more chances you're going to have at it. It was an unbelievable experience for me and unbelievable experience for him.

Q. There's a lot of different ways growing up. Growing up in the northeast, you have a dad that's a professional golfer, whose status has gone back and forth. He doesn't have status right now. It's cold four months a year, he travels half the time. From your vantage point, what has it been like growing up with a professional golfer dad?
OWEN QUINN: It's awesome when people ask you what does your dad do it for a living, and I say my dad is a professional golfer. It's tough when you're 8 or 9 years old and your dad is gone for three straight months. You are just like I haven't seen my dad in forever. He helps me in my game. I try to help him as much as I can in him. And having him there for me whenever he can be is awesome.

Q. How is is your game? What's your handicap?
OWEN QUINN: My handicap is about 3 right now.

Q. Where do you go to high school?
OWEN QUINN: I'm a sophomore at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden.

Q. What did you think was possible today for him when you started on 10?
OWEN QUINN: I knew he could put anything together, string anything together. He's playing great golf right now. It was a matter of making the putts. He's a ball-striking machine. Whether he rolled them in or not was how it was going to go, and they all went our way today.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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