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March 30, 2007

Mark O'Meara


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Mark O'Meara, you shot 69 with no birdies today! 69, two eagles, one bogey, 3 under. Good score in the wind, but there are good scores out there.
MARK O'MEARA: If you would have given me 3-under before I teed off, I would have stayed in the clubhouse. It was hard work out there today, and as we know, this golf course is one that's right here on the ocean, so you get the wind blowing, which I knew it could.
So everybody was saying, we were going to shoot low, but I was like, "Not if the conditions stay like this." Good scoring going on out there, pretty amazed. For me I made the eagle on No. 2, had a good drive, rescue club 18-degree loft to 14, 15 feet, made that down the hill for eagle. Parred around, made a couple of saves, up and in's out of bunkers, and No. 7 made a 14-footer, 12-footer for par.
I was up and in out of the bunker on 8, and 9 was playing -- the tee was up a little bit but it was maybe about 440, 430, but straight into the wind.
So I hit a good drive, and I think I had 210 or something to the hole, but I was scared to stand out there with a wood trying to hit it past the pin. Some of the greens you've got to keep yourself -- it's not so much about -- certainly you would like to be precise, but if you miss it you want to give yourself the best chance, and certainly short of the green on 9, because you would be chipping straight into the wind, even though it was elevated, if you hit it past the pin -- I hit a good putt, and it didn't go in.
10th I didn't get the greatest drive; I hit a 3-wood in the front bunker, and so J.C. was going -- his ball was in front of me, so instead of me going first and splashing the sand on his ball, he decided to go, and he had an eagle. And I was behind him thinking that was a heck of a shot, and I was just trying to make sure I gave myself a birdie putt, and I holed it on top of him, so two eagles there between the two of us. That was nice.
Another good save on the par 3, 12 hole; I blasted out 3 feet. Good up and in on No. 13, long par 4; that was a driver and a wood. Then I had some chances. I had a birdie putt on 16 from about 10 feet, missed it. I had a birdie putt -- I'm sorry, on 15, I had a birdie putt, 16 a birdie putt from 12 feet and missed it, and 17 I 2-putted, and 18 I pulled it and missed it. I had some better shots coming in, but it was -- yeah, it was all you want.
When you're 152 yards, 17th hole was playing, and we were hitting 5-irons, so it was like playing at Pebble Beach in the wind today.

Q. If we see the winds lay down, what kind of a shoot-off do you think we're capable of seeing over the weekend? It looks like the fans might be treated to a fireworks show if it does die down.
MARK O'MEARA: They could. I don't see them going super low this week. The pressure is more when the guys are leading; we saw that at Valencia. This course is as challenging as any of those. The par 5s, yeah, if the wind doesn't blow. But there is trouble there. It's not going to be a pushover, and the last four or five holes are demanding, and as good as you want to play.
That's what makes a golf course good. 16 doesn't measure that long on a scorecard, but you have to be so precise with your second shot, so, it makes you play. You're going to have to play some good golf, and we'll have to wait and see what the conditions do.

Q. Do you remember a time when you went 3-under without a birdie?
MARK O'MEARA: Never in my career, so that's a long time. I don't make that many eagles and to make two in run round is unique. I scrambled with the short game, and toward the end I hit some better shots, but I'm amazed seeing 6-under leading the tournament. I'm not sure if a regular TOUR event was being played here today it would be that much better.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Short and sweet. Thanks.

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