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July 22, 2016

Mark O'Meara

Carnoustie, Scotland

Q. If you had to pinpoint, what was working so well today?
MARK O'MEARA: I felt like I hit a lot of good shots out there. I didn't hit the best of shots on 16 and 17 but other than that, I played pretty controlled golf. I know the 3-putt on 15 really hurt, but I bounced back with two really good par saves on 16 and 17, which kind of started the round a little bit, and at least got me in a position if I play well over the weekend, I'll have a chance.

Q. We hear sometimes on all tours, feel like it could be drafting with another player, you and Jesper playing so well out there. Was that happening?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, Jesper hit some good shots. He had some really good saves, too, a good up-and-downs out of bunker, and made an eagle where he got a bounce on the hillside on the left. You know, this golf course, it's a very demanding golf course. There wasn't much wind today but it was tough.

Q. How did playing all four rounds at Troon prepare you for this week?
MARK O'MEARA: Everybody knows, I love links golf. Very fortunate to be Open Champion back in '98. I've played in 30 Open Championships and I love any difficult links golf course because it's so challenging and you have to be very creative out there. Today fortunately I made some key putts. But 5-under is not a bad score after two rounds around here.

Last week, obviously I would have liked to play a little bit better. I told my wife coming over, last week was my 30th Open Championship and I've only missed six cuts in The Open Championship in my 30 years of playing. So I take a lot of pride in that.

To me, this is what golf is all about. Links golf, although last week and this week, with the rain that you've all had, the golf courses are a little bit softer. A lot of these guys that haven't played much links don't know what it looks like when it's brown and cracked and fast and burned.

We have been fortunate with the wind, it really has not gotten up too bad the last two days. It's somewhat scorable and the par 5s are reachable. 17, 18, 16 are about as tough a stretch of finishing holes as you'll ever play.

Q. What would an Open double mean?
MARK O'MEARA: It wouldn't mean anything -- I mean, everything, really, to be honest with you. Any win is a good win. This one would be very special. Knowing that I won The Open Championship back in '98 at Birkdale, I came close here at Muirfield when Tom Watson won the Senior Open.

This week, I've got my work cut out for me on the weekend. There's a lot of good players on the leaderboard. Jesper played well. There are some other players playing well. A lot will depend on conditions and if the wind comes up. If it gets difficult, then an even par round score is a very good score around Carnoustie.

Q. With your track record in the Open, that must give you comfort?
MARK O'MEARA: I played here in '99 coming in as The Open Champion, and I think shot 84 the first round when the weather was brutal. This course can jump up and bite you. You have to be patient and you have to drive the ball well and luckily I've been doing it.

Q. How are you feeling physically?
MARK O'MEARA: Fine. 59 years old but I don't feel too bad. I paced myself this week. I played my only practice round Tucson the Pro-Am. I really didn't play Wednesday at all with the weather, didn't hit any balls and just kind of paced it. Hopefully I'll have some left in the tank for the weekend.

Q. Your swing is as good as ever.
MARK O'MEARA: It's not bad. Not bad for an old fart, you know.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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