August 23, 1997
LEE PATTERSON: Couple thoughts about today and going into tomorrow.
GREG NORMAN: Bernie has got it all on tape over there. Listen to his tape.
LEE PATTERSON: He has never shared with us before. I don't think he is going to start now.
GREG NORMAN: Well, I guess I played very well for 13 holes, and I kind of like struggled a little bit on the last four, five holes. But, all in all, making the putt at 18, to me, it was a vital putt to make. I have always been a believer in "the shot you save today is the shot you don't have to make up tomorrow." And, making that putt at 18, you never know what will happen tomorrow now.
LEE PATTERSON: Questions.
Q. Both Phil and John have talked about being in the hunt and the adrenaline excitement of it, knowing what you have to do to get it done on Sunday. What is your approach when you are in this position, if there are similarities or commonalities from time to time; mentally what you do to make it happen on Sunday?
GREG NORMAN: Well, you go out there and just play, really. You try and keep pace on Sunday. Now you are in the position, whether you are leading the tournament or whether you are sitting 2 or 3 or 4 back, I think everybody within four shots of the lead has probably got a good chance of winning this golf tournament. You see that the scores, the really good shooting for the day is a 66. I think somebody shot 65 yesterday, right, but 66 seems like to be a very good score. You know, you go out there, if a leader shoots around 66, you have got to shoot -- keep up the pace with him as well. So, come tomorrow, that is what you try to do. You are trying to shoot low, yes, trying to make lots of birdies, but you also don't want anything to get away from you. But, I don't think that this is a golf course that is going to let this happen tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Dudley Hart's round, kind of what you saw went wrong for him.
GREG NORMAN: He took a triple bogey and, you know, he just got off to a very uneven start. Sometimes it is very difficult for a player to recover. I thought he recovered quite nicely. He chipped and putted well even on the back 9 to keep himself there. Could have easily just let it completely go. He kept his composure. Even par is not a bad score. I think he finished even par. That is not a bad score around here. He's just got to forget about the nine holes that he played for the first nine holes and put everything else in perspective and go out there tomorrow and say to himself, "Well, I shot that score on Friday; I can do it on a Sunday."
Q. The putt on 18 looked like it was side-ridge-type-of-twist --
GREG NORMAN: Little double-breaker, try to go a little left in the beginning and right at the end, so I aimed it dead straight. They are the hardest ones to make because you are really hoping that -- it depends on the speed. So, first part of the putt is the hardest putt to judge because of the speed coming off the hill. When it is dying, you know it is going to break with the slope.
Q. How many feet, Greg?
GREG NORMAN: Oh, twelve feet. Ten, twelve feet.
Q. You have had a quite a bit of success in this tournament here. Does that give you any anything special for tomorrow?
GREG NORMAN: Oh, I'd like to think it does. I enjoy playing here. I enjoy playing in the next to the last group, give yourself a chance to win. Knowing that you have won around here is a nice feeling too. I know Phil is defending champion, so he has got to be feeling good with his position right now. But, I am sure between Nicky Price and myself and who else? Anybody else 3-under?
LEE PATTERSON: That is it.
GREG NORMAN: A host of 2-unders, so I think you are going to find it a very interesting day's play tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will keep away for the whole day, too. I believe they have a bad weather forecast, which is good if we don't get that.
Q. Nick said this is a golf course where you can lose the event by making mistakes. Do you have to take a different mental attitude to the last round because of that?
GREG NORMAN: I think you just -- you are a bit more aware of the fact that it is very easy to make a bogey and then get onto the 13th or 14th hole and it is driver, 2-iron. And let another one slip. And, you know, it is very easy to let it slip away. But, tomorrow you just - same old adage, just hit it on the fairway. Once you are on the fairway, then you can make the decision on how aggressive you need to be or how conservative you want to be.
Q. How big a deal would this be for you to win it tomorrow?
GREG NORMAN: It would be great. Like I said to the guys out there, I think this golf course, you know, could hold any major championship. I think you have got a field here that obviously has played in every major championship. I know people like to categorize tournaments, which ones where, but I think because of the caliber of the golf course we play, you don't see -- it is not an 18-under par golf course. It is not a 20-under par golf course. It is a 6-under par golf course. And, I think that tells you that if you've won around here, you have got a chance to win around here, that you are playing one of the best golf courses where you have to manage your game, whether it is driver, 2-irons, 3-irons, all the way down to your short game. To win around here is a big plus.
Q. You said the other day that by your own account you have had a poor year. Winning here, would that change your opinion of it or not?
GREG NORMAN: It would a poor-plus (laughter).
Q. Greg, you said two days ago that this course is playing a lot different from when you won it. Does that change your game plan on Sunday.
GREG NORMAN: No, you don't change your game plan. You are playing the golf course the way it has been played the last three days and that is the way you go into it tomorrow.
Q. Any shorter at all today with the sun out?
GREG NORMAN: No, it is still damp. There is so much moisture under the ground, as soon as the sun comes out, it draws more of it up. I think the greens were softer today than what they were yesterday. I know we had a lot of problems out there today with heal prints. That is what happens when the heat just brings more moisture to the surface.
Q. Why you are playing better this week and --
GREG NORMAN: I think I am playing better in the last month and a half. Probably making a few extra putts, I feel more comfortable with my game, I feel more comfortable with my putting. And, I am enjoying myself out there, too. I know from about twelve months, 18 months, I didn't really enjoy playing golf. So, I enjoy being out there on the golf course now.
Q. Your card real quick.
GREG NORMAN: 3-wood 9-iron to about 18 feet. Driver, 3-wood to about 40 feet. Driver, 3-iron. 3-putted from about 40 feet, 45 feet. 10, driver, 9-iron to about five feet. 12th hole, 6-iron to the back edge and 3-putted. 17, driver, 9-iron -- excuse me, 3-wood, 9-iron front bunker, missed it from about five feet.
Q. Go over the 18th hole. Give me shot by shot at the 18th, please.
GREG NORMAN: 18, I pulled my driver to the left trees. It hit the trees, went further left. 6-iron out just short of the green. Pitched it to about ten, twelve feet past the hole. That is always a 4. Never a 4. Always going to be a 4, you know?
LEE PATTERSON: Always.
GREG NORMAN: Tee shot set it up, yeah. (LAUGHTER)
GREG NORMAN: Yeah.
LEE PATTERSON: 10 do 12 foot double-break after that on the putt.
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