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July 17, 2009

Steve Marino


MALCOLM BOOTH: Quickly go through your score card.
STEVE MARINO: 2, hit it in the right rough. Hit it in the left rough, on the green, two-putt.
3, hit it in the right rough, chipped out, pulled a sand wedge from 116 yards.
On 4, hit the worst shot ever in the front right bunker. Hit it on the green 20 feet and two-putt.
5, driver, 4-iron, 30-footer, made it.
6, 5-wood, short, front right bunker, holed it.
7, missed the green from my third shot left, putted it to three feet, missed it. It was a wild front nine.
10, hit it in the right hay, hacked it out, two-putted from 50 feet for bogey.
And 14, finally hit a fairway and a green and made a 15-footer for birdie.
MALCOLM BOOTH: What did you hit in there?
17, driver, 5-iron, 20-footer for eagle.
Ladies and gentlemen, we're joined by Steve Marino. Finished 5-under par after two rounds with a 68 today. Steve, it's your first Open Championship, what did you make of the conditions out there first of all?
STEVE MARINO: Well, today was so much different than yesterday. It was like a totally different golf course. It played so difficult out there today, you know, with the wind early and the rain. It was kind of raining on and off early. It was one of the hardest courses I've ever played today.
MALCOLM BOOTH: With that in mind, there's a good chance that 5-under is going to be, if not in the lead, certainly around the lead going into tomorrow. What are your thoughts on that?
STEVE MARINO: I'm just really looking forward to playing golf here the next few days. I've really enjoyed myself here, I love the golf course. I love the challenge that it presents. You have to drive it straight, and most importantly, you have to stay patient and stay positive out there, because once you start getting down on yourself and thinking negatively, it will go bad real quick.

Q. We know it's your first at-bat over here, what's your -- the sum total of your links experience? Most guys don't see much of that on our side of the pond.
STEVE MARINO: Well, I've played four links rounds, two practise rounds and then the first two rounds ever, yeah, pretty much. I wouldn't really call -- they have links courses in the States, but I wouldn't really call that a links -- it's not like it is over here. But I'm really -- it's awesome, I'm really just enjoying it and having fun. I'm just having a blast.

Q. You say that it's one of the hardest courses you've ever played, so how does that round rank in great rounds you've played?
STEVE MARINO: In terms of scoring, it was probably one of the best scoring rounds I've ever had. I was really struggling off the tee. I hit it in the rough a bunch, missed a bunch of greens. I holed a shot from 116 yards for birdie, made a bunker shot for a birdie, and then there were points in the round where I felt like I was one-putting every hole.
I really don't think I could have shot one stroke less today, to be honest with you.

Q. You were an alternate. I'm trying to remember who you replaced, how you were notified. Was it last week or just at the last moment?
STEVE MARINO: Right. I replaced Shingo Katayama, and I found out Sunday morning. I was at the John Deere. I found out Wednesday that I was second alternate. And then I was planning on coming over here, especially when I think Phil withdrew on Thursday.
I didn't have any warm clothes. I didn't have a passport. I had to fly my dad to my house in Florida so he could get any passport and FedEx it to me at the John Deere. I wasn't even expecting to play in this tournament. I didn't think I was going to be an alternate, let alone be playing. So when I found out I got in, I was super excited.

Q. You got on the plane with the other guys that came to Prestwick; is that how you got here?
STEVE MARINO: Right, the charter from the John Deere.

Q. When you were playing the mini-tours in Florida, did that in any way, because of the wind down there, help you prepare for this?
STEVE MARINO: I think a little bit. Obviously it's way different there than it is here, but it does get real windy in Florida. It was very windy out there today. So I played down there for two, two and a half years, and I think it helped me a lot learn how to play in the wind.

Q. What were your expectations coming over here having never played this kind of golf before, and were you pleasantly surprised by what you saw, or did you think right away it was going to be difficult to learn this type of golf quickly?
STEVE MARINO: Right. I really didn't have any expectations. I've been playing well for a while so I had some confidence in my game. And, you know, it was a little bit different, but the practise rounds and yesterday was like playing over in the States with the perfect weather and no wind. But today it was quite a challenge and quite different.

Q. Yesterday you said you hadn't caught up on your sleep and you were still kind of messed up.

Q. How did you sleep last night?
STEVE MARINO: I slept great last night. I had to wake up at 4:00 for my 7:00 a.m. tee time. But I think I'm finally getting the hang of things over here. I'm sure I'll be messed up as soon as I go back to the States, though.

Q. You're such a creative feel kind of player. How does this type of golf, especially today, feed that? The second shot at 17, for example, do you kind of feed into that sort of vision, that sort of creativity?
STEVE MARINO: Yeah, I would consider myself a feel player. I kind of see shots before I hit them. I don't really hit the same shot every time. So I think over here you kind of have to be that way a little bit and hit some low shots and some high shots and bounce them in there and use the slopes. So I've really been enjoying the golf over here, for sure.

Q. Just to clarify, you said that you flew your dad to Florida?

Q. So where was he coming from?

Q. So you flew him from Virginia to Florida?

Q. To get your passport out of your house?
STEVE MARINO: Yeah, for one day. He left Friday morning and flew back Friday night. (Laughter.)
Q. To FedEx it to you at the John Deere?

Q. The 59 in the Gateway finals, which course was that? And also, the playoff loss to Steve Stricker, do you feel the first win is just around the corner?
STEVE MARINO: The 59 was -- I can't think of the name of it. Isn't that unbelievable I can't remember that? (Laughter.) I'd have to get back to that you on that. It was in Arizona, Gateway Tour Championship. I don't remember the name of the course. That's terrible. (Laughter.)

Q. What town was it?
STEVE MARINO: It was outside Scottsdale.
And the playoff loss to Stricker, I'd like to think that a win could be around the corner, but I'm not really thinking about that. I'm just trying to go out and just play golf every day and just try to get better.

Q. Is this your first visit to Britain of any kind?

Q. Do you have any -- what experience do you have in playing golf in other countries outside of America?
STEVE MARINO: I've played in Mexico and Canada and Japan once, so not really any experience.

Q. Could you think of some shots today and describe them that you visualised and hit that turned out like you wanted them to and maybe a couple that didn't or one or two that didn't?
STEVE MARINO: Well, one that definitely didn't was No. 3; is that the par-3? I tried to hit like a low, piercing 6-iron and I hit it terrible and it went way out to the right and rolled all the way down the hill in the bunker.
And another shot that I pulled off was a 5-iron on 17. The wind was blowing down, left-to-right, and I just -- I kind of had an upslope and I knew to get it there I had to get it up in the air and ride the wind. And I just started it kind of way left and rode the wind and it came back on the green.

Q. What was your yardage on that?
STEVE MARINO: It was 227 to the hole.

Q. You also mentioned not having warm clothes last week. What have you provided yourself with since?
STEVE MARINO: Well, my agent has been nice enough to get some clothes for me. I just got these pullovers yesterday. So it's a good thing we didn't have this day today yesterday, or I would have been in big trouble. (Laughter.)

Q. You'd have been in the pro shop?

Q. Yesterday obviously the big theme song with Watson was years of experience and how that helps him get around the golf course playing the younger guys. Is there any advantage at all to being new at this, maybe not having scar tissues or bad memories from crazy things? Ben Curtis won on his first time, and you're obviously trying to duplicate that feat.
STEVE MARINO: Yeah, I think so. Obviously it's an advantage to have experience. But it can also be an advantage to not have experience, like you said. I haven't really experienced any nightmares over here yet, knock on wood. But, you know, watching it on TV my whole life I've seen some crazy things go on. And I've got it in my head that some crazy things might happen to me, both good and bad.
Yesterday I hit it in one of those bunkers and was kind of up against the face of it and didn't get it out and left it in there and made a double. But I was able to bounce back from that, because I just kept telling myself, you know, these kind of things are going to happen over here. You know, I don't think anybody in the whole field is going to go four days without making a double bogey or worse.

Q. Have you experimented with driving on the other side of the road, taken any chances like that?
STEVE MARINO: No, I think that's a bad idea. I'm not going to try that.

Q. I was going to ask, how about the food?
STEVE MARINO: The food's okay. I haven't tried haggis, somebody just asked me that. I don't think I will. It doesn't look that great.
But the food's been good. A lot of guys come over here and say they don't like the food, but it's been okay.

Q. What have you had?
STEVE MARINO: Pasta, cheeseburger, steak. What is it, shepherd's pie, I had that, that was good. But I haven't tried anything crazy.

Q. Everybody made a big deal yesterday about how many drivers Tiger Woods did not hit. How many drivers did you hit today, just out of curiosity, with the wind?
STEVE MARINO: Six on the front -- 11, I think.

Q. A lot more than yesterday?
STEVE MARINO: Maybe. But I hit driver a lot yesterday, too.

Q. What sort of profile do you have in the sports community in the States? And what's your greatest achievement, your proudest achievement so far?
STEVE MARINO: Probably my proudest achievement and great achievement is shooting that 59 and also making it through the Q-school. I tried for so many years to make it through Q-school and I just kept coming up short and it was just so disappointing. But I just stuck to it and kept trying and trying and finally made it through.
I felt like I pretty much belonged out here from day one. But some guys are really good players and they just can't seem to get over that hump. So that was really important for me. I know guys down there playing the mini-tours in Florida who are really good golfers, and they just can't seem to get over that hump. I didn't want to be like that. I wanted to, you know, kind of fulfill my dreams and play on the PGA TOUR.

Q. We only know one Marino over here, one sportsman called Marino.
STEVE MARINO: You mean Dan? No, I'm not related to him, either.

Q. You're here for the first time. Could you compare the crowds here to that which you're used to in America? Is it a bit cathedral-like here?
STEVE MARINO: I think it is. I think they're a little bit more knowledgeable here. And there's definitely more people here. I know it's The Open Championship, but I don't think you'd see this many people out here if the weather was like this in America, that's for sure. (Laughter.)
MALCOLM BOOTH: Thanks very much for coming in, Steve.

End of FastScripts

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