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June 17, 1994

Frank Nobilo


LES UNGER: Some have said that it is slightly easier out there. Would you agree?

FRANK NOBILO: Yeah, I think it is more forgiving, the course. The course today would bring a lot more players into it by virtue of the greens being more receptive, driving wasn't as important as what it was yesterday. I think the way the course was yesterday, you really had to drive the ball well. Today you could get away with a lot more. I don't think the course played that much easier. It is just that it presented you with far more options.

LES UNGER: Did you have a feeling before starting play you might be about where you are now or are you perhaps surprised, or disappointed or what?

FRANK NOBILO: No, I figured that I am good enough to whip it around in a half decent score. I mean, you start off and you make 7 and come back and you still get it under par, it means that your game is good enough. It is a tough course. It is a major championship, so I am still very delighted to be where I am. I can play better too.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. I guess yesterday the theme of the day was the experienced guys being able to play so well, but you are in your first Open, how do you account for being able to set up so well in a place where experience is supposed to count so much?

FRANK NOBILO: I don't know experience in U.S. Opens, but I have played a lot of golf tournaments and the U.S. Open course that I am playing this week is a blend of a lot of courses that I played. Looks very much like a Links course, tee to green, and the greens are very similar to greens in Melbourne, very dry and very firm, so I have played both styles of golf. And I think when you put them together, you have the requisites, or what is required to play the golf course and then it is just a case of trying to fit in with the atmosphere, But I played most of these guys all over the world, so the players themselves haven't changed.

Q. Is this about what you expected from the Open?

FRANK NOBILO: No. It is great. I think when I was-- I first started playing golf when I was 30. In those days in New Zealand they used to televise the three American majors. I used to get up in the morning, early hours of the morning because New Zealand is about eight, 10 hours ahead and watch the U.S. Open, the U.S. Masters and USPGA and always dream that one day I would be playing it. I didn't realize I would have to wait until I was 34, but yeah, it is everything I ever dreamed of. It is a great event. The atmosphere is tremendous; the golf course is one in which is every bit what I expected it to be. It is tough; very demanding, but encompasses what I consider a U.S. Open. It is a great major championship.

Q. What other majors have you played in the U.S. you have played in at least one PGA; correct?

FRANK NOBILO: Yeah, I played the last two USPGA's. I think by memory in 1992 I finished 20th or something like that. Last year I played with Paul Azinger in the third round. I think I was about two shoots off the lead after about fifteen holes of the third round. I finished up 18th or 20th. So, I have enjoyed the experience. I'd probably like to play a few more.

Q. Frank, what is the pace of play of playing the European tour, is it this slow?

FRANK NOBILO: Well, I think the British Open which is what we consider our major, it gets close. Pace of plays is very relative. When the greens get quick, it is very difficult because most regular tour events all over the world, we play on surfaces that are much slower, and therefore, the ball doesn't run 6 foot pars. You are not frightened of it running 6 foot pars. If you were to time, just simply the putting, I think the players themselves are taking a lot more time on the putting because that is really where it is very important. The actual hitting time, walking time, I don't think changed but we have the same problem in the British Open when the course gets very difficult, it is going to take more time. It is more important.

Q. I was reading the Tour Guide. What is this about your family background, Italian pirates or something, could go through that for us?

FRANK NOBILO: Originally on my father's side, decedent from a rather poor family in Italy. It is about the early 1800s, for one reason or another, they had to get out of Italy, and they went across the Adriatic to Yugoslavia and eventually they had to get out of there as well. They made their way to New Zealand in the early 1900's. Pretty tricky past. I try and forget about that.

Q. What are these reasons that they had to keep getting out of places?

FRANK NOBILO: I don't know. No one would tell me.

End of FastScripts....

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