Transcript of live chat with Augusta State University golfer Carter Newman on Friday, June 10, 2011.
9:59 Chris Gay: We are chatting today with Augusta State golfer Carter Newman, a local hero who went 5-1 in NCAA match play the past two years to help the Jaguars win back-to-back national titles. Newman made arguably the greatest putt in Augusta State history when he drained a 30-footer for par at No. 17 in the semifinals against Oklahoma State to extend his match and eventually win the clinching point on the 19th hole.
10:01 Chris Gay: I have a slew of comments and questions for Carter. But first, good morning. Are you still on Cloud 11?
10:02 Carter Newman: Thanks Chris, yes still on whatever cloud is the highest. Thanks for having me.
10:02 Chris Gay: Clear up two rumors. First, is it true you and your teammates sang "We Are the Champions" at Somewhere In Augusta on Monday night. If so, how could was that?
10:03 Carter Newman: Yes that is true. I wasn't aware that was going to take place, but how could I resist!
10:05 Carter Newman: HaHa. Riight. I'm 100% positive in order to get that honor, I will have to win the Masters, and rightfully so.
10:05 Chris Gay: From Rhett Baker: "What did Coach Gregory do and say to you and the whole team last week to keep you all focused and confident? What is the outlook now that he is moving on?"
10:07 Carter Newman: He just told us to enjoy our last college event. We always have fun traveling with the team and are all best friends, so that wasn't too difficult. Josh has always believed in having fun while traveling and playing, because if you're not having fun why are you playing? We wanted to go out with a bang, he didn't really need to get us focused. We knew what we were in for so we didn't need him to remind us.
10:09 Carter Newman: As far as the outlook moving forward, there is no doubt Josh will be successful at SMU, he is the best coach in the country. As far as ASU is concerned, it is impossible to replace him right away, or to even expect to in the next 4 or 5 years. Hopefully they will hire the right man who has the same passion for college golf and college golfers
10:10 Chris Gay: From "Obkad": "Great job Carter,,,Did having golf at Forest Hills Golf club help in anyway in winning? I know from golfing at Forest Hills that if you can master those greens you can master about anything. Forest Hills is a tough course and hopefully this facility helped you guys win the championship.."
10:11 Carter Newman: Yes of course, Forest Hills will always be our home and even though it isn't always in the greatest shape in comparison to many other courses we play, if you can make a 3 footer at forest hills, you can make anything on perfect greens.
10:11 Chris Gay: Brian Morris: No ?s.. just good job! Continue to represent Augusta!
10:12 Chris Gay: From John: "Carter, your putting down the stretch against Oklahoma State with everything on the line was the stuff of legends. How did you keep your nerves on 17 and 18 knowing a miss would likely spell defeat?"
10:12 Chris Gay: By the way, that putt on 17 may have been the greatest clutch putt I've ever seen in person.
10:13 Chris Gay: Got a lot of question here. So if you've submitted one, please be patient.
10:14 Carter Newman: Great question. Honestly John I'm not really sure how I did it. Lots of prayers from my parents sitting right next to the green and family back home. It was tough not to thing about the fact that a miss would mean the end of not only my college career, but my teammates as well. You just have to think about the task at hand, which is seeing the line you want your ball to take and thinking about nothing else except that.
10:14 Comment From Kim Gray: The video before your final match against Georgia showed Josh and the GA Coach in what seemed to be a "heated discussion." Do you know what they were "discussing"?
10:15 Comment From jagssid: Carter's putt on 17 vs. Oklahoma State will undoubtedly go down as the greatest part in the history of ASU Golf!
10:15 Comment From jagssid: PAR, not part!
10:15 Carter Newman: I really don't know what they were talking about. I know they both have a ton of respect for each other so I'm not really sure about that one.
10:16 Comment From Chris: Can you put into words exactly what Saturday was like from the atmosphere to the crowd to the matches?
10:18 Carter Newman: It's hard to put those crowds into words, after what happend to them last year losing to us in the finals, they wanted revenge. Not only did the players want revenge it seemed that the fans wanted revenge as well. When I was playing 17 and was struggling. I could hear people saying, "yeah keep hitting it in the rough" and one fan even called Josh something I don't want to repeat. I mean 5,000 people all cheering against you, it was crazy. But they got what they deserved.
10:18 Chris Gay: From "Kim Gray": "Hello Carter and Congratulations!! You guys have made us alumni extremely proud! Thank you!! Who or what to you attribute your nerves of steel to? What were some of the things OSU fans were saying to you guys out there?
10:22 Carter Newman: Thank you! I would have to say that the years of practice I have done is the main reason why I was able to perform the way I did. I can't tell you how many times I've stood on our practice putting green until dark thinking about making a putt to take my team to the title. It's a great feeling to know that hard work does pay off under the pump. The fans were very rude. Although I did have a few come up to me after the match and say congrats on a great match, but most of the fans were over the top.
10:22 Chris Gay: From "Coleman Tidwell" : "Carter, I remember the excitement of being part of the Augusta team that 1st made it to the NCAA Finals in 1993. It is hard to even imagine what it must feel like to be part of a team that wins two. Compare how you felt winning the 1st one v/s backing it up with another victory. I'm thinking you guys had to feel like you confirmed the first one was not just a fluke?
10:26 Carter Newman: Hey Coleman! Yes the first one will always be just as sweet, but the second really validated our hard work and proved we belong at the top. The first one was almost a shock when it happend. We knew we were a good team but almost felt like we were shocked when we actually pulled it off. This year we knew we could do it and were more confident in our own ability to compete. Both were sweet and I'm not sure which was better. They are the same in my book.
10:26 Chris Gay: How many people have called you "Capt. Clutch" over the past week, and what do you think of the nickname? Seems appropriate. All you need now is your own cereal.
10:27 Carter Newman: After Saturday's match against Ok St. one of the guys told me people were calling me captain clutch. I don't know about all that, sure I was able to come through in the clutch for my team, but we all did at different times.
10:27 Chris Gay: From "Asu golf watvheer" : "A) what made you guys so good at the match play format? Was it something that you practiced? ... B) do you think that it was the format that enabled you to win the past two years - or are the osu fans just a bunch of whiners about the non-stroke play finish?"
10:31 Carter Newman: I think Mitch said it the best, the team who plays the best under pressure will always win match play, because match play is under the pump every hole, every shot. I think Ok St. is bitter they couldn't get in done in match play after doing so well in stroke play. Bottom line is they couldn't get it done. If you're a great team there is no reason why you can't get it done in match play, it's still golf.
10:31 Chris Gay: From "anonymous": "Carter, What's your take on where the program goes from here and do you think Kevin McPherson is the right fit to lead the men's program?"10:31 Comment From rusty floyd: good morning guys--carter--again congrats --i think we will have a good team next year too--as you know we have a lot of good players the general public is not even aware of
10:34 Carter Newman: I think the future of the program is bright. Hopefully we have laid the groundwork for future players and even coaches so they will know that Augusta State can play against the best and can compete against the best. I think the next few years will be rebuilding years, losing 5 seniors and your coach is tough, but with all the great supporters we have, ASU golf will continue to impress.
10:36 Carter Newman: I think Kevin would be great for the job. He did an amazing job at nationals I mean he walked with Patrick every day, and he even came to me when I made that putt on 17. I was leaking gas and he calmed me down and allowed me to regroup under all that pressure. Pretty amazing for a guy who has never been in that situation before. He deserved a lot of credit.
10:36 Comment From Guest: After last year's NCAA, Peter Uihlein said the better team didn't win. Did you hear about that comment, and if so, did it come up at all as motivation before you guys beat Oklahoma State again?
10:38 Carter Newman: Yes I heard that comment. It's tough to be gracious in defeat and I'm sure that got the best of him last year. However, this year after I beat Sean in extra holes, he was one of the first to say congrats and shake my hand, hopefully he learned from his mistakes. Yes it was motivation. If anyone thinks we didn't want to see they again in match play they are crazy. We wanted that match badly.
10:38 Chris Gay: From "C.s. Sherman": If you could play a round of golf with any three players, who would you pick? (Your dream foursome)
10:39 Carter Newman: My Dad, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer
10:39 Chris Gay: Good answer.
10:39 Comment From G: What are your plans for golf going forward...
10:41 Carter Newman: Leaving on Monday to play on the Egolf tour. It's a mini tour in the carolina's. Going to play in 6-8 mini tour events until the end of the year and if I haven't run out of money, hopefully play a full year of mini tour events next year. It will be a learning process but I'm looking forward to it.
10:41 Chris Gay: After your performance the past two years, especially in the NCAA Championship and match play (where you went 5-1), how much of a factor will confidence be when you turn pro?
10:43 Carter Newman: It will be a huge factor for me. Last year coming off the NCAA win, I played the best golf of my life, winning the Rice Planters Am and making it to the US Amateur and making match play. Confidence is huge in golf and you have to take advantage of it while you have it, because somtimes you never know how long it will last.
10:43 Chris Gay: What's the current state of your game? What do you feel good about? What do you feel you need to work on?
10:45 Comment From jagssid: ASU Golf has some very nice pieces in place for next season, no matter who the coach is ... Everyone forgets Derek Chang sat out last season while transferring from Minnesota ... Alex Wennstam will be a much-improved sophomore after playing in the lineup four times as a freshman ... Taylor Floyd is showing the form again that he displayed as a freshman and sophomore ... Several talented recruits are coming in and Brendan Gillins (senior) and Shawn Yim (sophomore) return as well
10:46 Carter Newman: I feel like I'm really starting to hit the ball well. My driving was incredible at nationals, as a matter of fact I didn't lose a single golf ball over... well however many holes it was, a lot. I feel like I could hit my irons a touch better, I need to learn how to hit it closer to the hole, because my putting is really coming around and if I can hit it closer, I know I will start making more birdies. The mini tours are a birdie fest, pars just won't cut it.
10:46 Chris Gay: What are you thoughts about participating in another banquet at Christenberry Fieldhouse later this summer with more than 1,000 of your closest friends as well as another trip to the White House?
10:49 Carter Newman: I think the team will be a lot better that most people migh think. Derek is an incredible player and will without a doubt make an immediate impact. Taylor is obviously a great golfer, he just struggled at the wrong times this year. But with a little work he will be back on track and I trust he can help lead this team to great things as he already has. Alex is also a great player and we have a couple of strong players coming in, should be interesting to watch from the outside.
10:52 Carter Newman: We are really looking forward to having another banquet. Last years was unbelievable, having all those people show up to support us and see us get our rings. It was a moment my teammates and I will never forget and look forward to doing it again. With all of us kinda going seperate ways, it will be great to be able to see everyone again. The White House is the White House, can't complain about that.
10:52 Chris Gay: Every golfer dreams of playing on the PGA Tour and one day winning the Masters Tournament, but you've got to believe those are now possibilities. Because of what you and your team has done the past two years, how has your outlook on the future changed?
10:54 Carter Newman: I've always wanted to be on the PGA Tour and play in the Masters, but to be completlely honest, until last year I wasn't sure if I could do it or not. Playing for this team under Josh, and having the chance to watch guys like Henrik Patrick and Mitch play golf, it has really given me the opportunity to compete, and I know now with a lot of hard work, I can do it.
10:54 Chris Gay: Thanks to everyone for participating. And thanks to Carter Newman for taking time out to join us today. And a big congratulations to Carter and his Augusta State teammates, who have proven the past two years that dreams can come true.
10:54 Carter Newman: Thanks for having me!