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June 17, 2005

Mark Hensby


Q. Well played. What went particularly well today?

MARK HENSBY: I don't know. You know, I hit a lot of greens, I guess. Early in my round I think I didn't miss one green out of the first 14 holes. I hit a lot of greens even though I didn't drive it too straight. The first cuts in the rough, the first 14 holes, but that kind of got me started, then you're making a lot of two putts for pars and that'S probably obviously what happened today.

Q. How aggressive can you be, if at all, in spots on the course?

MARK HENSBY: You know, I think there's times you can be aggressive, but even then it's a chance, and the shorter par 4s you take driver out and try and get closer, depending where the pins are at, but you drive it through the rough, into the rough, then you've got a tough shot.

You know, you've got to take advantage hopefully of the par 5s and just hang on from there on in.

Q. You're chasing Retief again. Here's a guy that sort of remains a mystery to people over here that don't seem to know anything about him. Can you tell us something about him or does he like the fact that he's like that?

MARK HENSBY: I know nothing about him, either. I've only played with Retief once, and I really don't know anything about him. Obviously he's a great player. He's very quiet guy and that's about all I know. He's playing well again, and you can tell in his demeanor that he's very comfortable in the bigger tournaments and he's won twice, so he obviously knows what he's doing.

Q. You're playing in your first U.S. Open and you played so well at The Masters. What does that say about maybe your demeanor? We've had veteran players out here, the likes of Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods saying this is one of the toughest golf courses they've ever seen in their lives. What does that say about your demeanor. Are you cool under pressure?

MARK HENSBY: At times I am and at times I'm not. I kind of get a funny feeling sometimes, like at Augusta I felt good, and this week I've felt all right so far. A lot depends, I think at Augusta, you know, we all knew we were playing for 3rd and 4th pretty much because DiMarco and Tiger ran away with it, but obviously you don't find out what you've got until you really get a chance. Obviously I'll give myself a chance on Sunday but I've never been in position. I'll try and treat this tournament just like any other tournament. To me, the press, so to speak, makes such a big deal out of the majors, and really it's just another golf tournament. Obviously they make it a lot more difficult, and I think in the majors guys who have really good short games seem to come out on top, obviously they're really good players themselves.

Q. How would you assess the four closing holes, Mark? How tough are they?

MARK HENSBY: Well, 15 and 16 are very difficult 15 is very hard to hit the green. 17 is not too bad, and 18, well, if you miss the fairway it's very difficult. So it's a good finish. I mean, 15 and 16 very much so. If they were the last two holes, it would be all over, finished.

Q. Expectations considering your position for the weekend?

MARK HENSBY: I don't really have any. I'll just go out and keep trying to score well because I haven't played exceptionally well, I've just scored well. Hopefully I can start hitting it a little better.

Q. What does that mean?

MARK HENSBY: Well, I haven't hit a lot of fairways. I guess a lot of guys aren't. But I haven't hit the ball very well off the tee. I've scrambled my way around, hit beautiful shots, recovery shots and putted decent. I didn't putt great today, otherwise I would have shot a real low especially the first 14 holes.

But you know yourself how you're playing, and obviously when it comes to the extreme pressures that you face on the weekends, it comes out. So hopefully I can go and find something.

Q. You are one of very few players out there on the leaderboard in red numbers right now. I would think you'd have to feel well situated in that respect.

MARK HENSBY: Exactly. Any time that you're up there, it's great. You know, the good part about the U.S. Open is you know you don't have to go and shoot 8 under to win, on one given day or two. You know if you make a lot of pars and just the odd birdie and don't make too many mistakes you're going to have a chance. I like those sort of tournaments.

Q. This is a course that's going to bite you if somebody goes out there and really tries, steps up on the tee and feels the need to shoot for birdie as opposed to as Phil Mickelson said just shooting for par and getting a little lucky.

MARK HENSBY: Exactly. A lot of the holes out there par is a good score and if you make a putt or a chip or whatever, so be it. There's a couple holes out there where you feel like you can make birdies and then there's others where you feel like you're just trying to hang on.

Q. Will you take us through your birdies and bogeys today?

MARK HENSBY: I don't know. Where did I make them?

Q. If you could just also I mean, tomorrow, I know that maybe it's a way of keeping your cool, but you are going into a Saturday at the U.S. Open and it is your first time. Are you feeling a bit excited about it?

MARK HENSBY: Oh, no doubt, you know. I'm sure I'll be excited tomorrow.

Q. You don't seem that way right now, Mark. We don't see you excited.

MARK HENSBY: Well, I don't know. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I'm just playing golf, and you guys get excited more than we do, I guess. I don't know, I'm just going out to play. It's just another game and hopefully I'll play well.

Q. Do you think you'll sleep okay tonight?

MARK HENSBY: Oh, hell yeah. Ask me tomorrow night if I'm close.

Q. Thanks, Mark.


On the 4th hole it was a two putt birdie.

13, I hit it to three feet and made the putt, just down the hill.

Then 18 I holed about a ten footer.

I bogeyed No. 5. I hit it right and then I had to hit it back and then I didn't get it up and down.

End of FastScripts.

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