If you watchted the final round of the FBR Open on Sunday, it was hard not to feel for Jeff Quinney, the former U.S. Amatuer champion and PGA Tour rookie, as he blew the tournament in the late holes.
After leading from late in the second round, the tournament was Quinney's to lose on Sunday, and that's exactly what he did. He went bogey-bogey at the 17th and 18th at TPC Scottsdale, just as Aaron Baddeley was birdieing four of the final six holes, giving him the win.
It's not the first time we've seen a rookie meltdown under the pressure and it won't be the last. It's all part of the process of learning how to win.
I am always fascinated by how players take the disappointment of such a loss. Does it crush their spirit or spur them on?
Here are a few snippets from Quinney's post-tourney press conference:
JEFF QUINNEY: Obviously it didn't end the way I wanted it to, but all in all I'm pretty happy with the performance. I was sleeping on the lead the last couple days and it was a lot of pressure and I'm happy how I handled the whole situation. I played pretty dang good golf today. I started off on the front nine, just felt in control of my game just like I have been all week. Baddeley played really good and put the pressure on me, and we had a lot of fun, though.
Q. On 17 you had a one-shot lead going in. Just the thought process taking driver there instead of 3-wood?
JEFF QUINNEY: I knew I needed to make birdie because I knew basically they were going to make birdie. Obviously it's a tough pin. He hits it longer than I do, and basically his 3-wood is like my driver, and I felt really great over that shot. I was shocked to see it go left. I was really confident I was just going to knock it on the middle of the green. One those things, you look up and it's going left. I hit a great recovery shot. A tough little slider, it was a tough pin back there, and I didn't execute, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
Q. The way you headed in, it kind of came down to a neighborhood bragging rights story?
JEFF QUINNEY: No, we had a good time talking all day about where we live. We live pretty close to each other in Grayhawk and have mutual friends and everything. If I didn't win, I guess I'm glad a local guy won. You know, I just hope to be back in the hunt quickly. I just want to get back there again, and I know my time will come soon.
Q. How are you looking at it from a season point of view? I mean, obviously you've had a positive start to the year. You must be looking at it positively with your start?
JEFF QUINNEY: Yeah, I basically locked up my Tour card for next year and it's barely even February. I've got a lot of golf left, a lot of tournaments. I'm just going to look back and learn a few things this week, but all in all, I'm pretty happy. I mean, if you would have told me this a couple weeks ago, that I made whatever amount of money I made, I'd take that in a second. You know, I'm still a very confident player. I'm not going to let this bring me down at all. I can learn from it and just get better next time.