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June 28, 2001

Tom Watson


TOM WATSON: The greens were about as firm as they were yesterday when I played. And so it didn't change condition-wise except for the wind. The golf course is playing tougher because the pins aren't in the middle of the greens like they were in the practice rounds.

Q. The greens are about as firm as they were yesterday, which would be real firm, moderately firm?

TOM WATSON: They're the right firmness now. It will be interesting to see how much firmer they get in the afternoon with the wind drying it out. They will get firmer.

Q. The scores that are up there, does it surprise you at all?

TOM WATSON: It doesn't surprise me because of the pin positions. The pin positions are very very tough. Very difficult.

Q. How are you generally striking it?

TOM WATSON: If I can hit the green three times in a row with an 8-iron, I would have made three pars rather than three bogeys. I missed the last green with a wedge and made bogey there. So I'm disappointed with my mistakes with the 8-irons and the last hole. It's not a good feeling when you bogey the last hole with a wedge in your hand. I'm at 74. I'm not that far out of the tournament. But it could have been quite a bit better today, if my short iron game was just a little bit better.

Q. If it continues like this, what kind of score will it take to win the tournament?

TOM WATSON: It will probably be around par, I would think. It will be under par, but it's not going to be very much under par. No more than -- probably no more than 5- or 6-under par. It depends on the wind. It depends on the pin positions. The pin positions are -- these greens that Don Ross built, if you miss it on the wrong side, you're dead, like I was at number 14 today or 13 today. I just knocked it on the absolute wrong side of the hole, and I knew it in the air. You have that sinking feeling when that happens.

Q. Any pins exasperate you to the point where you thought it was unfair?

TOM WATSON: No. You could get to them.

Q. Okay.

TOM WATSON: You could get to them.

Q. What about the elbow?

TOM WATSON: The elbow is okay. It's okay. It's not too sore. It's better than it was two weeks ago. It's improving.

Q. It must have been causing you quite a bit of pain when you won at Ridgewood then?

TOM WATSON: It was some pain there, there was. It doesn't hurt too much when I swing. It hurts when you do other things besides swinging.

Q. How does this course compare to other U.S. Senior Open courses?

TOM WATSON: Well, I've only played one other. It plays more difficult than Saucon Valley did last year. Saucon Valley was very wet. We didn't have firm greens. We didn't have firm greens for the whole week. That makes a big difference when you can shoot -- you can go right at the pin and hit your ball in flat to the pin and not go too far by and you're going to shoot some good scores. On these greens you can't do that. You have to play short of the pin. When the pin is on the front of the green, you have to use some imagination on how to get to it, the way some of these greens are elevated and how do you get there. That's the big question.

Q. Are they more sloped than other greens that you've played?

TOM WATSON: I wouldn't think so. They're more sloped than Saucon Valley's. I'll put it that way. I like these greens. I think they're a wonderful set of greens. Very good.

Q. All in all not terribly disappointed?

TOM WATSON: Well, it's disappointing from the standpoint of when you miss three greens in a row with an 8-iron, that's disappointing. When you miss the last green with a wedge, that's disappointing. That's throwing away shots.

Q. What were the three in a row that you missed with the 8-iron?

TOM WATSON: 11, 12, and 13.

Q. That's right at the beginning of your round today?


Q. Would it stand up to any Open courses that you've played in your memory, or is it just maybe not long enough?

TOM WATSON: Well, the length of the golf course is short for the regular tour. For us it's very good. You've got some length out there for us. The second hole is all you want.

Q. Thank you.

TOM WATSON: Thanks a lot.

End of FastScripts...

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