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Q&A with Richy Werenski

Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com    view all articles from this source
published 26 Jul 2012

see also: Richard Werenski's rankings profile


Richard Werenski

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (July 26, 2012) -- There may be no other player in the amateur game hotter than Richy Werenski.

The incoming junior at Georgia Tech is fresh off a win at the prestigious Porter Cup and on Tuesday, he qualified for his third U.S. Amateur Championship.

Before he leaves for next week's Western Amateur, amateurgolf.com caught up with Werenski following his rounds of 69-67 to take second medalist honors at The Orchards Golf Club where he learned the game as a child and junior golfer.

amateurgolf.com: It seems like youíre in a great place in your game right now.

Richy Werenski: Iím not thinking about much on the swing. Iím just thinking about tempo and keeping it light. That has helped me be able to score. Coming off of last week at the Porter Cup, I knew I was playing good. Some people could say Iím tired, but, I mean, youíre playing golf. It could be a lot worse. I couldnít wait to play today (Tuesday). Even on my days off, Iíll be up here at 7 or 8 in the morning to practice.

AGC: You shot 62 on Saturday at the Porter Cup. Have you ever been that hot?

RW: Iíd never gotten that hot in a tournament like that. I shot 62 in a match at school but it wasnít anything serious, so that was pretty hot at the Porter Cup. For a lot of guys, when they start getting out of their comfort zone they start thinking about it. But I was able to just look at everything and see that it had a chance to go in. I was feeling good and focused more on the process than the swing. If it went in, it went in and then I was on to the next hole.

AGC: Youíre name is now on the same trophy as a lot of great Porter Cup winners. How does that feel?

RW: Phil Mickelson, thatís kind of cool. Winning at the Porter Cup means a lot. I havenít won a whole lot so it was nice to win that. I just love the tournament, itís been going on for 50 years and it has great history. People who have won have pretty much gone on to do some great things. The win was also good for the Walker Cup next year. My name probably wasnít on the watch list. After a good Western and U.S. Amateur, it might be.

AGC: What are your thoughts heading into the U.S. Amateur?

RW: Iíve played two U.S. Amateurs. I qualified at Southern Hills in 2009 and at Chambers Bay in 2010. In 2009, I missed match play but in 2010, I made match play and lost to Morgan Hoffman in the second round. Iíd love to make match play, which would pretty much be good with me. Once you get to match play, anything can happen. Itís anyoneís game. A lot of things have to go your way. I like match play but itís tough when youíre focused on stroke play all summer. Thatís why Iím going to the Western. Of course I want to win. I know Iím good enough.

AGC: Last year, you had a handful of 2nd place finishes but no wins.

RW: This fall at school I really started getting frustrated knowing I could play so much better. How I was finishing, I started thinking man I havenít won in two years. But I said to myself, Ďthe more times you put yourself out there, the more chances you have.í I wasnít happy last year. Iím not even happy this summer. Iím feeling pretty good but Iím still hungry.

AGC: What are your goals in golf?

RW: My ultimate goal is to be on the PGA Tour and be the No. 1 player in the world. Short term, I want to finish out college and be a first team All-American. I think if I go out and play like I know I can play and not let head get in the way, I have it locked up. I have a lot of experience in college situations; it will be tough but I know if I play anywhere near my ability, I can do it.

AGC: What in your preparation has helped lead to your great success?

RW: Last year, Iíve worked more on swing things. Recently, Iíve just been trying to fix my tempo, keep things light and visualize. Trust my swing and wherever it goes, it goes. I know what I need to do subconsciously where I think about it and know what I have to do on the next swing.

AGC: You have a younger brother, Mickey, who is a great player, too.

RW: Iíve never met somebody who loves the game more than him. Heís not had the best year. He had a huge growth spurt and is 6-foot-3 now. He practices so much, itís only a matter of time for him. Heís a senior at Heritage Academy and will play the next year at Texas A&M.

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