Q&A: Duke alumnus Michael Schachner
Today on Wildman’s Corner I took a trip down memory lane and caught up with the Dukie that was almost known as Mr. 59 (he settled instead for Mr. 60). At the 2007 NCAA Championship at the Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va., Michael Schachner had a putt for 59 on the 18th green that was just a few inches long.
Can I just call you Mr. 60 for this interview? Is that something that people still come up to you to talk to you about.
Wildman, you can call me what you want. It’s something that people come up to me about for sure. I’ve noticed that it seems to always be a great conversation starter.
When you look back at that special round, what even amazes you about that day?
Just how easy it seemed. Every putt that day just looked to be right on line every time, and every time I made a birdie I kept wanting to make another one. The weird thing was that I never felt nervous or anything. It was a unique feeling when it was happening.
Have you ever had that feeling again since, or was it just one of those magical days that happens once in a lifetime?
I had one close, but it wasn’t nearly as great as that. I’ve had a couple of 64s and a 63 recently when I felt like that, but 11 under through 14, I’ve never had anything quite like that again.
You had the chance for 59, what happened on 18?
I just gave it a little too much speed. I had a 12 footer, but missed it on the high side. The one thing I knew I wasn’t going to do was leave it on the high side.
The next day you shot 74, what’s up with that? Were you just not that good?
Well the first two days I shot 79-69-60 so apparently I was all over the place that week. It’s hard to follow up a round like that, but hopefully I’m better at that now. I can say this though, it is never something easy to do!
Bobby Wyatt shot a 57 at a junior tournament, and you were so close to the 59 with your 60. What’s the one thing you try to block out or try to do when you are having a round like that?
I was always thinking man this is why you play the game. This is why you practice so hard and why you work so hard. This is the moment so this is what you want to do. Don’t act so surprised this is happening because this is why you worked so hard.
Let’s move on to something else. What was it like playing for Rod Myers?
He knew everyone and everyone liked him. He was a rules official for the USGA and had been a rules official at the Masters. He knew everyone and had been everywhere to see top players go through college to the next level. To say he experienced a lot in collegiate golf is an understatement. While I played for him he always had a lot of great advice, and great to play for.
This may be a silly question, but if you could go back and redo one shot at Duke, where would it be Mr. 59 – I mean Mr. 60.
It would be that one putt for 59 for sure. If I could do it again I would have hit the putt a little softer and made sure it went in. That was a great day, it was a special day and I’m glad I was able to experience something like that. It was absolutely amazing. A 60 sounds great, but a 59 just sounds so much better.