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May 22, 2008

Greg Norman


KELLY ELBIN: Greg Norman, ladies and gentlemen, in at 2-over par, 72, in the opening round of the 69th Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. Greg, if you would, talk a little bit about your round and obviously not the way you wanted to finish and also the conditions out there, please.
GREG NORMAN: Well, obviously we all know it was cold in the morning and it was tough to get the body going. I'm not used to swinging with four layers of clothes on. So it was a tough day. Just had to try to get the ball in play the best you can and stay focused and concentrate. And you knew that it was going to be tough for everybody else in the morning. The afternoon groups I think they probably got the best of the fortunate for them, the best of the draw.
KELLY ELBIN: Would you go through your four bogeys and two birdies, please.
GREG NORMAN: The third hole I hit a 3-iron just off the back edge of the green. Bladed, chipped it down to about five feet and 2-putted.
The 8th hole, I hit driver, 7-iron to about 15 feet.
The 13th hole, I hit a driver in the fairway, 3-iron short -- and laid up 3-iron, 8-iron to the front bunker and missed it from about three feet.
16, hit driver, pitching wedge, to about 10 feet.
17, 18, I drove it in the right rough and couldn't get it up-and-down.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. For somebody who is liking tennis you certainly looked good on the golf course today. For somebody who hasn't played all that much competitively. How do you feel and are you, you had few expectations, but a plus 2 isn't all that bad. Don't you think?
GREG NORMAN: No, even par would have been that much better, but I agree with you. I felt pretty good today. I felt pretty good coming here this week. It's a good golf course, I like the golf course, I drive the ball well, except for the last two holes, even the last hole I thought I hit a good drive and I thought I was out in the fairway, but unfortunately was not.
So around here it's just get the ball in play. So I kind of played a little bit aggressive on some tee shots today, which was nice. And tried to keep my rhythm going, I think you can get a little bit too conservative around here and get yourself behind the 8-ball and it's hard to get back out of it. But all in all I'm a little disappointed, but strongly encouraged.

Q. Obviously this was the most popular trio in the morning, the largest gallery , did you sense it was a very pro-Sluman crowd or were there Shark and Fuzzy supporters that were out there also?
GREG NORMAN: I think, you know, when you're playing with Sluey up here he's going to have a lot more support. I didn't hear too many Australians out there, I can tell you that.
But that's okay. They were a great supportive gallery. For the people to show up like they did today in the weather conditions, you got to applaud them. We had to be here, they didn't have to be here.
So I hope they saw enough good golf. Not spectacular, but under the circumstances it was pretty good golf, to tell you the truth.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit further about maybe your relationship with Jeff. I saw you guys talking as you were strolling up the fairways sharing some smiles and stuff. What was going on out there? Just talk a little bit about Jeff.
GREG NORMAN: Sluey and have I been really good friends on the golf course for a long, long time. Since we have both been out here, 30, 35 years. We never really were friends off the golf course, because our paths were different places. He lives in Chicago and I live in south Florida.
But every time I came to Chicago I always contacted Sluey, we always visited each other, he helped me find, rent a house for the Western Open. And I would say we have had a very, very good relationship a long time.
So he's a nice guy to be around, number one, and, you know, you're just talking about things in general. We haven't seen each other in a long period of time. And he wondered what I was doing with my spare time, I knew what he was doing, he was out here playing golf. And I asked him about some of the golf courses they played on the Champions Tour right now and he said there's some good ones and some bad ones. The ones he likes, those are shot makers golf courses, and that's kind of the way the conversation was.

Q. As you mentioned you haven't played a lot the last few years, when you were out there did you get the competitive feeling going right away, the Major feel right away?
GREG NORMAN: When you walk to the first tee and it's 41 degrees and the rain's coming down, you really have to dig deep and get your concentration going, because I don't care whether you've played a lot or haven't played at all, when you get to the first tee and if you don't concentrate and get off to a bad start, you're in for a long day.
I didn't want to do that. And I wanted to make sure that my first tee shot was a great drive. And it was solid right down the middle. And from there on in I just took a lot of good concentration out it.
Every day it will be a little bit better. I know that. And hopefully I'll be around for the weekend. So I'm just going to work on my game tomorrow and go back and putt a little bit. I think the only thing that really let me down today was making a good couple of four or five footers when I needed to make them.
KELLY ELBIN: The drives in the rough on 17 and 18, were they just a little bit late getting your hands through, what happened there? Any idea?
GREG NORMAN: My drives?
KELLY ELBIN: Yeah. On 17 and 18.
GREG NORMAN: Well, 17 was a bad drive. I just pushed it.
And 18 I hit a very good drive, I thought I could carry it over the corner of the bunker, and it was probably about a yard from being right. Because it was about a yard from being on the down slope and running out on the fairway.
But all in all 17 was the only bad tee shot. I went up behind the tree and had to chip it out sideways, so that was it.
KELLY ELBIN: GREG NORMAN, in with a 2-over par 72.
GREG NORMAN: Thanks very much, guys.

End of FastScripts

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