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March 18, 2006

Greg Owen


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thanks, Greg, for joining us for a few minutes here at the media certainty at the Bay Hill Invitational. Kind of a bumpy start there with that bogey on the first hole, but it ended up to be a pretty good day.

GREG OWEN: I hit a decent drive and it just got in the rough. The rough is so severe out here, I didn't get on the green and hit a decent putt that I'm surprised didn't go in. But to make a birdie on 2 got me settled down.

Q. No one has ever basically gotten their first PGA TOUR win here at Bay Hill?

GREG OWEN: First time for everything.

Q. Do you have any particular reason why you think that is?

GREG OWEN: No. (Laughter).

Bay Hill is an invitational. Guys have to be on the Tour, is it Top 70 or 80 that qualify? A lot of experienced players are here, a lot of top quality players. We get looked after really well, the course is fantastic. So it's a tough event to win, yeah.

Q. Did you think the putt on 16 was going in?

GREG OWEN: I thought I got 16. I knew I had missed 18 but I thought I had 16.

Q. You've been ramping up to this the last few weeks; it's been ten spots every start. So this is no real surprise I suppose?

GREG OWEN: I had a few back issues at the start of the year, I was swinging it not how I like. When I get into a rhythm I can really just keep repeating it and I couldn't find the positions at the start of the year.

Just something clicked the week before Doral and I played nice and steady and confidence is getting up. I putted a lot better today than I did the first two rounds. Hopefully it will all come together tomorrow.

Q. Do you ever feel that you don't get the recognition you deserve?

GREG OWEN: I can't really comment on that. You know, it's not up to me who cheers for me or anything like that. Yeah, I do, so I don't know how I can do anything about it. I'm a nice, happy guy. I'm pretty happy on the golf course. And Lee, he's a Ryder Cup player and well deserves all the applause he gets. But it's like all of the English people are cheering for him and nobody recognizes anyone from England. So just keep playing and see what happens.

Q. It will change.

GREG OWEN: Hope so.

Q. Maybe they think you're from Orlando.

GREG OWEN: Well, that's funny, they have been announcing me from Windermere, Florida all year, and I come here and they announce me from Mansfield, England. (Laughter).

Q. No advantage anywhere.

GREG OWEN: They obviously don't like me anywhere. (Laughter).

Q. What development are you living in?

GREG OWEN: I'm just living the far side of Windermere in the Providence subdivision, very new. I got the house before it was even built. I bought that originally just as an investment and somewhere to practice during the winter before I got injured and never really thought about coming to play down here. But the way things have gone, it's turned out to be very good for me.

Q. Before you got your card, didn't you buy the house?

GREG OWEN: Yeah, I bought it before I had the card, before Q School. I haven't even thought about coming out here.

Q. Any regrets?

GREG OWEN: No. I love it out here. I work harder, I believe my game's improving all the time and when you get weather like this, you know, just everything's geared up for letting me play better and that's what I like. Disney my is just down the road for my family so there's plenty to do.

Q. What did you think making your way around and seeing Clarke and his numbers going up and up and?

GREG OWEN: Well, Darren has a few issues going on at home with his personal life and I think it's fantastic he can come away and play as well as he's done. Everybody's thinking about him and Heather and wishing them well. It's terrible for anybody with that kind of disease, but to come out and shoot that kind of score on this golf course, obviously, he's found something in his game, it's incredible for him to do that.

Q. The way you're hitting it, do you feel really good about tomorrow?

GREG OWEN: Yeah, why not, you know, I've got a very good attitude at the moment, I real really relaxed. I've got nothing to lose. You know, I'm playing well, and when I won the British Masters, just things happen. I just kept together exactly the same as I had done in years previous and things happen, a few good lies in the rough and a few good putts drop at the right time. The golfing gods will tell me if it's my time to win, so I'll try to go out there and play exactly the same.

Q. Last time you were in the final group, I think, on this tour, you almost didn't have much of a chance.

GREG OWEN: Houston.

Q. Was it Houston?

GREG OWEN: I believe so, yeah Pebble Beach. Pebble Beach I was seven behind and I wouldn't say I had no chance, but I was happy to finish where I finished. Mike Weir shot a great 67 or 68 which was just ridiculous. I played good there and Phil made it very easy for me, made it very relaxed. I think Houston I was second to last.

Q. You must have been closer in Houston?

GREG OWEN: I was leading after 11 holes I think and then we had a wait on 12 tee. Just things got in my head that shouldn't.

You know, I'm experienced. It's not like it's just my second year playing. I've been doing this for like nine years now. So I've got a few tricks up my sleeve and hopefully I can bring them out tomorrow.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: You had a bogey on that first hole?

GREG OWEN: I hit 3 iron to the back edge and holed a 30 footer straight down the hill.

4, I holed a 20 footer.

6 was a 2 putt from 30 feet.

8 was a 10 footer with a 6 iron in.

9, I hit 6 iron to about eight feet.

12, I hit a lob wedge to five feet.

13, bogey. I was middle of the fairway with a sand iron, just chipped it in the water, just terrible. But made a good save from there, really.

Then I hit 6 iron on to the 16th to about 30 feet and two putts.

Q. How long do you go that drive was on 15?

GREG OWEN: I have no idea.

Q. It was almost at the sand trap.


Q. A question for someone who started out on The European Tour and has now been here for the last couple of years, how do you think Europeans regard THE PLAYERS Championship? Not a loaded question.

GREG OWEN: It has probably the best field in the world playing in it. Everybody wants to play in it. It's a fantastic golf course from what I've heard. I've only played it on PlayStation, so I don't know. I'm going to find out next week. (Laughter).

But I hear it's fantastic. It's obviously got a lot of history, and 16, 17 and 18.

I was devastated I didn't play it last year. I was like third alternate or something last year. I think everyone sees it as the fifth major. That's what everybody said it is, and it's got the great finishes, great crowds, great course, and I just think all Europeans see it as the fifth major, as well.

Q. So how did you do on the PlayStation?

GREG OWEN: I've shot 60 around there. So I'm fine.

Q. How did you handle 17?

GREG OWEN: I just 17 is an easy hole. I'm not worried about it. (Laughing).

Q. You're in this year?


Q. Top 125 on the Money List?

GREG OWEN: I'm looking forward to it. I hear they are changing it, as well. So I'm glad I'm going to be able to play before that.

Q. I don't think they are going to change it, Augusta, but I think conditioning changing it.

GREG OWEN: Yeah, they are going to put more drainage in or something.

Q. It will look the same.

GREG OWEN: Okay. Well, I heard rumors they were making 17 into a 5 or 6 iron or something like that.

Q. You've got to walk to the green across the water.

GREG OWEN: I can do that.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Thank you, Greg.

End of FastScripts.

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