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July 28, 2011

Mark O'Meara


THE MODERATOR: We've got the co-leader for the championship at 5-under par for his day, Mark O'Meara.

Q. Well?
MARK O'MEARA: You know, I've been bouncing around a lot the last three weeks, you know, Pebble, Sandwich, Walton Heath. Home for a couple of days in Houston, then up here yesterday. I think it was important to go home for at least two days in Houston and kind of get unpacked, repacked.
I played late yesterday afternoon. I hit the ball well today. I didn't hit it that great in the last couple of holes, but up to that a hit the ball really well for me. I drove it good, hit a lot of good iron shots. I had some birdie putts that were makeable birdie putts and I made them. Any time you shoot 5-under on a major championship, especially around this golf course, you've got to be pleased, and I am.

Q. Wet conditions this morning, I know small greens, did that help as far as holding them and such?
MARK O'MEARA: There wasn't much wind, but it was warm and humid and the air was heavy. I think it was good for me as I got off to the quick start. I had 8 feet on the first hole and missed it. Then I hit it about 7-feet on 2, and hit it close on 3 to 8 feet, and then two-putted the par-5 from the front of the green so I was 3-under through four. So that got me off to a good boost.
Played fairly solid the rest of the way until I got to 16 and pulled it in the left rough off the tee and hit a bad second shot up there. Still had like a 75-yard pitch shot, and got that up-and-down, made a nice putt, made a big putt from 17 after missing the green with a wedge from the middle of the fairway.
I was running out of gas coming down the stretch because of the heat, humidity and all the traveling. But hopefully tomorrow we'll get out there and keep going.

Q. Is there a little different mindset when you go out and start out with that front nine with two par-5s to think you have to make a couple birdies because you know down the stretch it's a little --
MARK O'MEARA: I think the key here is really putting the ball on the fairway. Being solid off the tee, then it enables you, because the greens are small here at Inverness and they've got some undulation, so if you're in the fairway and you control your iron shot, it's so much easier to play this golf course. If you're driving it poorly, it's going to be more of a challenge, for sure. It's hard to get the ball up-and-down, especially with the rough the way it is.

Q. How much is it on your mind to be at the top of the leaderboard after day one?
MARK O'MEARA: I'd rather be at the top of the leaderboard than way back. There is still a lot of golf for me to play. I've just got to play like I was the first 15 holes and keep moving along.

Q. Tell me about that second shot on 16. I was watching that.
MARK O'MEARA: I had a fairly decent lie in the rough, but it wasn't the greatest. I was trying to hold the face open and it was a little on the upslope. I just dropped my head back and kind of hit behind it and face turned over on it. It wasn't very pretty, but that's golf, you know. I've just got to go up there and try to hit a good shot on the next one, which I fortunately did and made a good putt.

Q. How far was the putt on 16?
MARK O'MEARA: 16 I made probably about an 11- or 12-footer for par.

Q. And 17?
MARK O'MEARA: 17, was probably about 22 feet. 17 I was pretty disappointed. I mean, 126 yards to the hole from the middle of the fairway with a wedge and pulled it way left. So that was a pretty bad shot, and I chunked my bunker shot, so I wasn't doing very well.
But I hit a good putt. Sometimes you hit one good shot on that hole, and it's usually a putt, and you're going to fare okay.

Q. 14, you got caught inside. Tell me about that hook shot?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, 14, wasn't too bad because I was just off the edge of the fairway there on the left. I hit a 5-iron to keep it under the branches, and it chased to the back edge and it was under the sprinkler, so I got to drop it which is a little bit of a bonus, but that's what happens when you have things go your way. I two-putted there. I don't know, 5-under's, 5-under. I'm pleased with it.

Q. We talked about having to deal with the time change and going back and forth. Is there any advantage to going over there and playing two big tournaments or not so much?
MARK O'MEARA: I was just disappointed with my play over there. I've traveled a little bit different than most American players throughout my career. I've played a lot in Asia, played a lot in Japan. So I'd get on a plane and fly, land, tee it up, Pro-Am, play the next day.
So I can't use the jet lag as any excuse. I don't feel that bad, so to me, five or six-hour time zone change and playing golf is not that bad.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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