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June 17, 2005

Peter Hedblom


PETER HEDBLOM: My game didn't feel good. I wasn't swinging how I wanted to swing, but at least I swung a little bit better today. I just caught the shots in there somehow. I just tried to hit an easy shot for me on the green. I was trying to hit middle of the green and then I'd pull it and hit it pretty close. I holed some good putts today, as well. 8 and 10, I holed some really long putts and then a good birdie on 17 and a good par on 18 and a good par on 15, as well. All around it was a good putting round

Q. How would you characterize the conditions?

PETER HEDBLOM: I thought it was playing not easy but a little bit easier this morning than yesterday afternoon. Yesterday afternoon I thought the greens were starting to get a little bit firmer and starting to get a little harder to get it close to the hole. Today you could actually play it all the way up to the flag and get some spin on it. We could attack even downhill putts, get a little more roll. It felt a little bit easier today.

Q. We were talking yesterday about patience on this golf course and yet yesterday you were 7 over par. Did you feel like you had to take some chances, be a little bit aggressive?

PETER HEDBLOM: I don't feel like this course you can take many chances. You just have to play the right distances. Even though you try to play right to the middle of the green, if you can get the right distance you're going to have some decent putts because if you hit the greens you're going to have a big breaker on the putt. If you hit the green not too far away from the hole, you can actually hole them like I did today.

I thought today I was just going to try to hit fairways because yesterday I hit six fairways, and I don't know how you can get out of those roughs. For me it's just a 9 iron and then for me it's hard to make birdies and pars. Today I started hitting 3 woods. The first day, I thought I need to get it as far up as possible to get it close to the green, but I naught the rough is so thick anyways, you just hit the fairways, and my 3 wood goes pretty long, so that was the thing today. I hit the fairways, and yeah, then you can score around here.

Q. Where does a day like today come from?

PETER HEDBLOM: That's golf. I mean, the golf is so strange, this game. You come up here some weeks and everything is perfect; you feel good and you shoot 75. And then today, I didn't feel that good, but I just just every shot trying to hit the simplest shot for me, the easiest shot for me to get it on the green, and that worked today. Obviously holing a lot of putts is going to help, especially because my putting hasn't been good this year, but today I started holing some longer putts. That's the key around here. This course you're never going to shoot it close every time you make four or five birdies.

Q. (Inaudible).

PETER HEDBLOM: Yeah, it's been a while actually. Normally this tournament is not like any other tournaments. Like if this would have been a normal European Tour event, 7 over, you're not feeling that good, but you go out in the morning, 7:00 o'clock, no one there, but today, U.S. Open, it's a great feeling. You're out there, a lot of people. I'm just happy to play U.S. Open. I'm never going to give in, I'm just going to try 'til the bitter end. Today was good and I can change things, go around and shoot a great score today.

Q. Your expectations for the weekend coming off a day like today?

PETER HEDBLOM: If I start to get a little more confidence for my swing, it could be a good week. Also, like I know this course feels like it's not U.S. Open but playing great golf, you need to get the ball in the middle of the greens and take the chances from there. I mean, sometimes you feel confident in your swing and you try to play a little more aggressive, you try to go for the flags and then you end up making bogeys or double bogeys.

Today because I didn't feel that great, I could play to the middle of the green and sometimes even be lucky, pull it or push it and it gets close and I'll hole a putt. For me it's just going to be fun to play the last 36 holes.

Q. This is your first U.S. Open. Just talk a little bit about what it's like to be out there and test yourself under probably the most difficult conditions that golf can throw out there. What does it mean for you to be here?

PETER HEDBLOM: For me it's great because, like I said, it's my first U.S. Open. I played five or six British Opens, so I've played around a lot of crowds in a great atmosphere, but for me, I mean, it's been my dream since I was a little kid to play the U.S. Open. It's a bigger deal for me than actually playing the British Open. Just to go out there and play around this great golf course and tough golf course, that's even should be better for me. Normally I'm better on tougher golf courses where you don't need to shoot 15 , 20 under par, so that actually felt good coming into this week. This is the type of golf course I can play pretty good on.

But the week didn't start very good because I got here Saturday night and I didn't get my golf clubs until Tuesday, so it wasn't the best preparation for your first U.S. Open when you're looking forward to playing and no golf clubs.

Q. Did the airlines lose them?

PETER HEDBLOM: Yeah, the airline lost them from Stockholm to Newark, so I didn't get them in Newark, and then they were in Newark for a couple of days and then they turned up.

Q. Did you play Monday with rental clubs?

PETER HEDBLOM: No, Sunday I walked around, which was maybe pretty good, just walked around with a sand wedge, got a sand wedge from Taylor Made and got a putter, so I just walked around and chipped and putted, which you need on this golf course, and then Monday I didn't do anything. I don't know what I did on Monday. I was just trying to run from the locker room to the range and then to the locker room. So it was a tough day, so it wasn't the best preparation. Finally I got them Tuesday.

Q. How did you find out that you had gotten them? Did you get a call on your cell phone?

PETER HEDBLOM: My coach, Gary Gilchrist, called them and said we need to put some pressure on these guys and told them we really need those clubs. Actually a nice guy at Continental helped me to find it.

Q. When did they get here?

PETER HEDBLOM: Tuesday at 11:20. I was teeing off at 12:00 for the practice round.

Q. Had you established a tee time?

PETER HEDBLOM: Yeah, because they said on Monday, yeah, you'll get them on Monday night no, I was going to get them Monday morning, so I put the tee time up. So that was a struggle, yeah.

Q. (Inaudible).

PETER HEDBLOM: I actually got a really good set from Taylor Made that I thought was even looking better than mine, but it wasn't the shaft that I was playing with, but I thought, if not, at least I can play the clubs. They can probably make up a set that's pretty close to mine, but still, you want your own blades, the right loft and lie so you get the right distances, and you want to get the right distances out there.

Q. What happened in your injury? What happened in the hockey game?

PETER HEDBLOM: I mean, I broke my leg in 2001 playing ice hockey. We have a game every winter, we play ice hockey, which is a big game in Sweden, and I've played it since I was six years old. We have a big game, golf players against golf players, and I got a big hit from the wrong guy, the biggest guy, and he hit me in the back and I just flew in the boards and I'm lucky I had my leg wrong and I broke my leg.

Q. Who are the players? Do we know them?

PETER HEDBLOM: There's actually some good ice hockey players that played over in the National Hockey League.

Q. Like who?

PETER HEDBLOM: Christian Ruuttu, who played for the Buffalo Sabres; Jorgen Pettersson, who played for the St. Louis Blues; and somebody, I can't remember all of them, but golf players, Joakim Haeggman, he normally plays that game, as well; Mats Lander (phon.) used to be a good Swedish player.

Q. Are you good enough to be playing in that game?

PETER HEDBLOM: Actually I should play in the National Hockey League. That's where I should be playing. I would love to play ice hockey. I stopped when I was 16 years old, but I always skate in the wintertime with my son and we skate and shoot the puck. I feel like I'm good enough to play ice hockey.

Q. Can you find a carryover between the mechanics of a golf shot and the mechanics of a slapshot?

PETER HEDBLOM: Not really, even though I hit right handed, even in ice hockey, so that's probably only the thing, but no, I don't think I have any of that.

Q. Could you go through your birdies and bogeys today?

PETER HEDBLOM: I birdied the 1st, hitting you want clubs and everything?

Q. Yes.

PETER HEDBLOM: On the 1st I hit driver, pitching wedge to about six feet, birdied that one.

4, driver, 3 wood right of the green, sand, chipped from the bunker to about six feet again for birdie.

8, hit 3 wood, 7 iron. That was a long way away. That must have been like 40, 45 feet, boom, birdie.

Then 10, hit driver in the rough, 8 iron, 7 iron to about 40 feet, birdie.

And then I bogeyed 14, driver, 3 wood, 8 iron just short of the green and putted past like three feet and missed that putt.

Then 17, a 7 iron to about 20 feet maybe, birdie.

Q. Can you think of a circumstance or an injury or anything where you might withdraw from this championship? I ask that because Paul Casey withdraw after shooting 85 yesterday.

PETER HEDBLOM: I don't know what his reason was, but I think I would play with a broken leg. No, I mean, for me it's just great to be here and playing.

Q. Do you feel like he should have given a reason considering it's the National Championship?

PETER HEDBLOM: I don't know what happened in Paul's case, so I don't have a comment about that. Thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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