March 6, 1997
LEE PATTERSON: Share a couple of thoughts about today.
GREG NORMAN: Well, today was a beautiful springtime in Florida, I guess, morning. The golf course was fairly soft. There was no breeze for us. If you were playing well you could take advantage of it. But you still have to play well to do that and shoot the good scores. This golf course wasn't playing, obviously with the lack of wind, it wasn't playing the way we would hope it would play. I hit a 9-iron into 18 today. So that tells you that the golf course played, with the way the conditions gave it.
LEE PATTERSON: Let's go over your round.
GREG NORMAN: You want me to go over it? Okay. I teed off the 10th hole. You want me to go 10 through 9?
LEE PATTERSON: Yes.
GREG NORMAN: 10th hole, 3-wood, 6-iron, 8-iron, about 20-footer for 4. 12 I hit the driver, 4-iron, 6-iron to 6 feet for a 4. 13 I hit a 4-iron to about 25 feet and one putted. 17 I hit a driver 9-iron to about 3 feet. And then I go parred all the way through to 8. On the 8th, driver 4-iron to about 12 feet and 2-putted. And 9 I hit a 7-iron in about 10 feet and 1-putted.
Q. What was the distance on that 4-iron at 8?
GREG NORMAN: 213.
Q. Did you have a birdie chance at 18?
GREG NORMAN: The 18 I played? Yeah, I drive a 9-iron.
Q. How far?
GREG NORMAN: 20 feet. Everybody thought I made double bogey there or something.
Q. They put it up on the board. Your score card had a 6 on the 9-hole card you turned in for some reason.
GREG NORMAN: Geez.
Q. You signed the right one.
GREG NORMAN: I signed the right one? Okay. I am 6-under.
Q. How long was the 9-iron?
GREG NORMAN: I had 136 yards.
Q. Where did you hit your driver?
GREG NORMAN: I drove it way down the middle, I just took it over the bunker, over everything. With the 9-iron at 18 I played away from the flag, because the greens were soft. I don't know if we got the flag, with the little downslope, it might spin off the green, so I had to land about 15 feet right of the hole, because not knowing the conditions, how the ball was going to react.
Q. How far did 13 play today?
GREG NORMAN: 13 played about, I think it was 203 to the front. I think the pin was 23 or 24, something like that.
Q. So what is it about you and this place? Every year you're right in it.
GREG NORMAN: I guess I like getting out of my own bed and coming down here, I suppose. As I said to you, one thing that with the renovations, Raymond never changed any of the lines off the tee. So when I go out there and play, even now, I just hit the ball where I'm supposed to hit the ball, which I've done for how many years I've been down here now. And there wasn't any situation out there today that I had to say, well, do I go here or go over here now because these bunkers are in a certain position. Not one time did I do that. I got up on each tee and just drove. I know on 18 when you're a little downwind you can take it over everything. So there wasn't one shot out there that I was apprehensive on, because I knew exactly where the lines were and where the ball would go.
Q. How about the greens, were they fairly easy for you to read?
GREG NORMAN: No, I had to struggle on a couple of them. I read a few of them by 9 inches. I played some grain that I knew was there last year, thinking it would still be there, but never affected the putt. So there was a couple of situations. And I asked Tony to read a putt for me probably the first time in many years around here on the 9th hole, my last hole, because it was -- I wasn't too familiar, didn't get a comfortable feel on what I was seeing. And he said exactly the same as I was seeing, anyway. There was a couple of putts, probably three or four that were a little question mark for me, because they are new greens.
Q. Greg, with these swing changes you've made, besides your ball flat and irons, are you longer or shorter, any change there at all?
GREG NORMAN: I think I'm longer now. I'm getting back to where I was in the mid '80s. I had lost my yardage over the last couple of years, drive like at 18. The drive I hit down the 8. I hit that well over 300 yards. So those type of things are making me feel good again that I'm getting the ball back to the flight and the distance I want to get it back at. And even Jackie noticed that today. So those type of things. We talked about it, he asked me how I was feeling with David. I said I think it's great. He said I think it's great, too, he said you're really starting to swing well. Those type of things when other players see it I'm doing the right things.
Q. You're in better position?
GREG NORMAN: I've got more freedom. I have a familiar swing again. My right elbow is not behind my torso, which you lose a lot of power. My right elbow is staying out in front of me, when it's out in front my club, is out in front you can generate more club head speed. I'm swinging more down the line, more control. So I've only been working on it a short period of time and the results are showing.
Q. How intensely do you work with him, how many sessions have you had?
GREG NORMAN: I've seen David probably four times. I'm not one who likes somebody around me all the time. I like to -- as I said to David, David just give me one thing to work on and let me get that done, then give me another thing, don't give me a bunch of things to work on. So it's been -- he's been great. He's got a fantastic eye, he's got a great feel for the game. For him to pick up my mistakes that quickly, he's got to be great.
Q. How long do these sessions last?
GREG NORMAN: If I go up to Orlando, it's an hour and a half, two hours. If he comes down to -- he came down on Monday, I didn't even go out and see him. I was too tired to go hit balls. He had Nicky out there, so I figured it was okay.
Q. I guess Faldo, he's saying he has no problem with it, but is it an odd situation having two top flight players working with the same instructor?
GREG NORMAN: No, I don't think so. I think a lot of the good instructors, like David, I mean David had Nick Price and Nick Faldo. Still has them and Ernie Els, those guys. So it's -- there should never be a problem with that. I don't have a problem with who he coaches. He can go coach anybody he wants, as long as he does the right thing by me.
Q. Greg, if you and Nick and Nick, the three of you were say tied for the 54 hole lead, how would David divvy up his time on Saturday night and Sunday morning?
GREG NORMAN: He's not here, he's going home, so he's lucky.
Q. If he were here, would there be time for everybody?
GREG NORMAN: Yes, I'm sure he would do. I wouldn't want somebody on a Sunday morning, anyway. If I've got that position where we're tied in the last group going in on Sunday, then I know my game is really solid. But knowing David he would divide it up equally. I don't think he would show any favoritism to any one player, he likes to see us all perform to the best of our ability that's where he gets the satisfaction and the reward of him, irrespective of who wins, me or Nick or Nick or Ernie, he gets the right reward because he got us in the right position to win.
Q. Did you go to him thinking he could make you longer off the tee again?
GREG NORMAN: No, I wasn't thinking length, I was thinking getting a familiar swing back again, that was all I was thinking.
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, appreciate your time.
End of FastScripts....