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April 17, 2010

Mark O'Meara


DAVE SENKO: 2-under today, 69, 8-under going into tomorrow, maybe just a quick look back at your round.
MARK O'MEARA: You know, I played reasonably well. I really -- I actually hit it just as good if not better yesterday but just didn't get it quite as close to the hole. I made a couple of silly bogeys on 10 and 16 where I had wedges to the green from -- one was from 112 or 114 and the other was from about 125. So you really should not make a bogey when you have a wedge in your hand but that's the way it goes.
I made some nice birdies, first hole, good shot in there to about 12 feet and made that for birdie.
Then I hit a 6-iron on the next hole, the par 3 and I made a long putt, about 45 feet for birdie.
Then on 8, I hit a 7-iron out of the fairway to about maybe 15 feet and made that for birdie.
Then the bogey on 10, missed about a 3-footer, two-and-a-half-footer from behind the hole. I missed the green from short right and chipped it to about 2 1/2 feet and missed it.
Then I birdied 15. I hit a good tee shot and a 7-iron to below the hole from about maybe 20 feet. Made that for birdie.
Then the bogey on 16, I hit my drive just in the right rough and hit a wedge in the front right bunker and kind of fatted my bunker shot out not very good to about maybe ten feet, 12 feet and missed that.
Then parred the last two.

Q. What's it going to take to pick up your first Champions Tour win tomorrow?
MARK O'MEARA: It's hard to say. There's a lot of names on the leaderboard with experience that have won tournaments. Bernhard is out there playing well and he's always a force.
I think I've got to go out and play well tomorrow. I've probably got to shoot 4-under or better tomorrow to have a chance. A lot depends on the weather, the wind or the rain; we don't know about the weather. But hopefully I can shoot a good score in the red and at least give myself a chance, after two rounds, I'm right there so it would be nice to play well tomorrow and hopefully get over the hurdle.

Q. Has your play not been reflecting the score?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, I drove the ball a little bit better today. I just probably didn't get it quite close enough to the hole. Like I said, spun it off the green; wedges, could have been better. Could have been sharper with my wedge play, because some of the holes, I think if you're go with your wedge play on the par 5s, you know, you get up there where you had a birdie putt and that's what I kind of did yesterday. I got closer on a couple of the par 5s, and today my wedge game just wasn't quite as sharp.
Golf is a game of momentum, and I've got to get out there and believe that I can do it and try to get up there and trust myself and swing it.

Q. Is that the way it's been going for you lately?
MARK O'MEARA: A little bit. Last year I played with quite a bit of confidence and played better. I had four seconds; didn't win, had a lot of opportunities. Guys just played a lot better on Sunday than I did. It's not that I gave the tournament away, it's just that they played better.
Every time you keep putting yourself in position and you give yourself a chance, you know, I feel like if I can get out there believing and hitting the shots like I know I should be able to hit them, there's no reason why I can't get over that hurdle. You know, tomorrow is a big day to try to go out there and play well.

Q. In general, how do you assess the seconds that you've had on the Champions Tour; have you had bad luck or have others been better?
MARK O'MEARA: There's been a couple where I've shot some pretty low scores and didn't get in the playoff; 64 at Bowling last year or whatever that final round.
I wouldn't say I've really given a bunch of tournaments away. I would say more likely the guys have played better. I've lost in a couple of playoffs. The guys, Fergus holed a shot at Cap Cana last year on the 53rd hole. You know, it just has not been my time.
You know, it's a little frustrating, there's no question about it, but in saying that, you know, I need to play better. You know, personally, I need to get up there and hit the shots and believe I can hit them. There's a lot of trouble out there.
So you've got to hit the ball well off the tee and be accurate with your iron shots, because the greens are good, but they are firm, being new, and I've putted well this week. And I feel good on my putting, so I just need to put the ball in the fairway and hit some good iron shots and make some birdies and eliminate the mistakes.

Q. Do you feel like it's your time?
MARK O'MEARA: You know, I wouldn't say that I'm waving with confidence by any means. I'm a pretty honest guy, but I'm a pretty hard grader, too.
You know, golf is a fickle game. When I won the Masters in '98, I had no confidence and I was hitting it terrible going in there and I wasn't necessarily hitting it good early in the week, even the first one or two rounds. But yet, there I was.
All I can ask of myself is to go out there tomorrow and try to be a little more committed to my shots and trust that I can do it and get out there and hopefully I can get it done. I know that's kind of a shaky answer, but it's kind of the truth.

Q. After today and watching what you did on the back nine and the front nine, is the back nine just dogging you there?
MARK O'MEARA: Not really. I just -- you know, you can't make bogeys with wedges. You just can't do that. There's enough hard holes out there, and with the pin placements being a little tougher, it's a long day: Four of us playing, two amateurs, five hours plus, 5:15, 5:20 or whatever, sometimes it's a little harder to keep your concentration going.
But tomorrow, just like my caddie said, what do I got to lose? I've had a wonderful career and certainly it would be nice to break through and win on the Champions Tour. But I think a lot of people are going to remember what I did out there on the regular tour. Not to take anything away from these guys out here, because they are very good.
I want to win, there's no question about it. It's been a while, since '04. Second's nice, but I've had enough seconds. I don't want anymore seconds, thirds, fourth, fifth. No. 1, that's what I need. Hopefully, you know, post a good score and shoot a good score tomorrow.
You can't really control the what other guys are doing out there. You can really only kind of control yourself. I've got to bring it. I've got to play well. If I do, I should have a chance and if I don't, well, go on to next week.

Q. The humbling game that it is and with the experience that you've had, with those four seconds, at any point during those, did you stand there and say, gee, what do I have to do to get over this hump?
MARK O'MEARA: Well, yes, a couple of times I was coming from behind a little bit, like at Austin, but at Bowling, I believed I was going to win there. I just -- you know, I just sensed it. I felt it. I believed it, and I didn't. I think that's where I shot 64, right? I didn't even get in a playoff.
What I would say is like I told Roger Maltbie on air, I'm not going to totally beat myself up because I haven't won yet but on the other hand it is a little frustrating because I have put a lot of work and time and effort in, but that doesn't necessarily give you the right that you're going to win, No. 1.
And No. 2 the guys out here play extremely well, I mean, they really do. There's a lot of good players that are still playing and playing at a high level. I mean, Fred showed that at Augusta. He's showing it the way he's played this year. He's playing as well as he probably has at any other time in his career and he's 50.
You look at Tom Watson, that's pretty a amazing, he strikes it solidly, still putts it good, contending in major championships.
You know, I understand the golf ball doesn't know how old you are, but I would reckon that these guys out here on the Champions Tour play a lot better than people give them credit for. They are very good.
Thanks, appreciate it.

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