home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 28, 2011

Mark O'Meara


THE MODERATOR: We've got Mark O'Meara here. Only one practice round yesterday. A number of the other players came in on Monday or so. You're fresh in from overseas. None of that seemed to affect your play today.
MARK O'MEARA: Well, I wasn't happy with the way I played at the Senior British Open last week. I was over there for two weeks in Europe, in the UK anyway, and was in Pebble the week before. My wife and I wanted to go home and I was going to fly up Tuesday morning, and I was like, you know what, I'm not going to do that, I'm going to fly up Wednesday morning and play Wednesday afternoon.
It was good because I practiced hard on Tuesday with Bruce Davidson who's been helping me and I found some things I needed to work on, and it gelled and I hit the ball well in the practice round yesterday. I hit it pretty well today except for a couple errant shots coming home, but I got away with them, and overall I was pleased with the round obviously. 5-under is a good score today.
THE MODERATOR: So you got home Monday from Europe, Tuesday you actually practiced at home in Houston and then --
MARK O'MEARA: Five hours Tuesday morning, uh-huh, and then up here, 4:30 yesterday and got to my hotel about 7:15 last night.
THE MODERATOR: Walk us through the round. Seemed like both the front and the back you came right out of the gate on both nines very strong, birdied 2, 3 and 4. Talk us through those.
MARK O'MEARA: Actually I was fortunate. I hit a good shot up the first hole, had an eight-footer for birdie and missed it.
2, I hit a 3-wood and an 8-iron to about seven feet, made that for birdie.
3, I hit a 7-iron to about maybe nine, ten feet, made that for birdie.
4, I hit a good drive and a 3-wood right on the front edge, just off the front edge, and I putted it up there about three and a half feet and made that for birdie.
I hit good drives and kept the ball in play and was below the hole on my second shots.
10, I hit a good second shot with a 3-wood and hit a 9-iron to about eight feet, made that for birdie.
11 I hit 3-wood off the tee, another -- actually I hit 9-iron on 10 to about eight feet. I hit an 8-iron to 11 to probably 14 feet, 15 feet, made that for birdie.
And then a couple of good saves. 14, I drove it just in the left rough. Had to hit kind of a low, punchy hook, chased off the back edge, two-putted from the fringe.
16, I pulled my drive in the left rough, kind of fatted my 5-iron up on the hillside up there, had about a 70-yard wedge shot for my third, hit it to about maybe 12 feet, 11 feet, made that for par, which was a nice save.
And then 17 I hit a great drive and only had a wedge to the green from about 125 yards, and the wind was coming off the left and I hit a terrible shot, pull-hooked it to the left. It was in the bunker, fatted my bunker shot out and made it from 25 feet or 22 feet. You know, those kind of things that keep the round going, which was nice.
THE MODERATOR: The putter was working for you in a couple key instances today.
MARK O'MEARA: Exactly, and it was hot out there, I've got to tell you. When you're going from last week wearing a sweater to the heat and humidity like it was today, you could cut it with a knife out there. It was tough. I did a lot of sweating and wiped my face about four or five times a hole, and I'll be glad to get to my air-conditioned room.
THE MODERATOR: Meanwhile you're looking over at Bernhard and he's just not breaking a sweat for much of anything.
MARK O'MEARA: No, he's an athlete, though. I'm not in the shape that Bernhard Langer is in. I do okay, I just tend to sweat a lot in my face, so my eyes, I struggle with that a little bit. But it was a good day.
THE MODERATOR: When you think about the front nine, for example, 3 through 8 and then the back nine 12 through 17, those are the parts of the course it seems like you're just kind of hanging on.
THE MODERATOR: You got out there, you attacked early on both nines and scored and then kind of maintained through the rest. Is that a strategy you think you're going to try and stick with?
MARK O'MEARA: I think in any USGA event par is a good score. Today, not much wind, some of the shorter holes you've got to take advantage of, and then the longer holes if you drive the ball well, I think the longest iron like I said was probably a 5-iron I hit in, but that's only because I was driving the ball well. If you drive it well, you can still get it around. If you're driving it poorly, you're going to struggle because the greens are small here at Inverness and they've got undulations so it's important to put the ball in play off the tee.
THE MODERATOR: And then there was a break or two, you were in a sprinkler head on --
MARK O'MEARA: On 14, just off the back edge.
THE MODERATOR: And you got a drop there, so that must have helped a little bit.
MARK O'MEARA: Absolutely.

Q. Would you say that in your senior career, putting has been the real bogeyman?
MARK O'MEARA: No, I mean, if you look at my stats, I think I was third on the Tour this year in putting average. Do I think I putt as good now as when I was younger? No, but I still think I'm a pretty good putter, and the stats show that. So I can only go by that.
I think at times when I am swinging well now, I actually drive the ball better now than I did when I won my major championships.
Short game could be better, my wedge play could be a little bit better. Putting, yeah, I feel good about my putting, though, you know? I changed my grip in 2000 when I went away from my normal grip to kind of my saw grip, only because I had a little bit of hit in my stroke, a little bit of yip in my stroke in my right hand, so I put my right hand the way I have it now on my putter, and I really don't yip them. I may miss them, but I don't have any yip in my stroke.

Q. What putter is in your bag right now?
MARK O'MEARA: Well, I put a brand-new putter in my bag yesterday, Ping Anser 2, the brand-new one that Ping just came out with. I've always putted well with a Ping Anser 2. I won most of my tournaments with it, majors. They built me a putter last year and I put it in play at the Senior Players Championship. I won that week.
And then they came out with a brand new Ping Anser 2 putter in the last two and a half weeks, and they shipped me one -- it was in my locker when I got here yesterday, and I put it in play, and I putted with it today.
THE MODERATOR: So while we're on the subject of putting, can you talk about the condition of the greens and how you found them?
MARK O'MEARA: I thought the golf course, considering the summer that you all have had up here and the wet spring, I thought the golf course was in good shape. The greens are nice. You can't get them too fast here because there's a lot of pitch and a lot of undulation. But overall I think the golf course is set up nicely. If you play well you're going to be able to shoot a decent score.

Q. If you had been happy with the way you played overseas, would you have been more or less inclined to go home and work for five hours with your guy?
MARK O'MEARA: No, I would have still gone home. That's just me, you know, I like to practice. Like I said, I could have played better than what I played over there, and I tried a new set of irons over there for those two weeks, and they're similar to what I play with right now, AP2s, but they're a brand new set, and I didn't hit them very good. So I went home, got my old set, the ones I had been playing, put those back in the bag, and kind of went back with my old driver. I fiddle a little bit but not too much.
And so it was on familiar grounds, and all of a sudden, like yesterday in the practice round I hit the ball nicely. So I was like, okay, there's no reason why I can't continue on that path. And today was the same.

Q. Can practice rounds be overrated?
MARK O'MEARA: Well, I think, listen, at this stage of my life at 54 I'm not going to play two and a half, three practice rounds anymore. I've done that. I've played in a couple major championships here before, '86 and '93 or '92. You know, it's a very straightforward golf course.
I think the USGA, you know what you're going to have to do. You're going to have to drive it well and you're going to have to be accurate with your iron play and hopefully not miss many greens because it's going to be difficult to get the ball up-and-down. There's a lot of deep rough around these greens here, so hitting greens is going to be a premium. And then putt well, and when you don't make the best swing or you hit one a little off line, take your medicine and go on.

Q. Is your round going to be sort of typical of guys who really play well in that the first 12 holes are where you've got to make hay and then --
MARK O'MEARA: I think like we were pointing out, the first four or five on the front side, the first two or three on the back side, those are kind of the holes you hopefully can jump on and make a couple of birdies. And then the other long par-4s, if you make a birdie it's a bonus. But pars are going to be great scores on those holes coming home.

Q. Does it make any difference what stage of your career you're in? When it's a major it kind of gets your blood pumping a little bit faster?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, winning last year at the Senior Players Championship was big for me because I hadn't won out here yet individually, and the guys play extremely well out here. It's evident in the scoring average. Yeah, I think any major championship, especially a USGA event, being a former U.S. Amateur champ and never winning the U.S. Open but coming close like at Brookline in '89 when Fergus and Faldo played off, I had a chance there. You know, it's an important tournament this week. It's a major for us.

Q. I'm trying to understand what's in your bag. You said you went back to an old driver, as well?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, well, it's the same exact driver, but I was playing one that --

Q. You went back to Titleist 909?
MARK O'MEARA: Yeah, but everything was the same, but the one I played the last maybe three or four weeks was a half inch tipped less, so it was a little bit weaker. But then I went back to the stronger shaft this week, so I went back to the one I've been playing for the last year and a half.

Q. They were both 909s?
MARK O'MEARA: Uh-huh, just the only difference was the shaft was a little bit softer than the one I was playing.

Q. D2 or D3?
MARK O'MEARA: I don't know, D3, the smaller head. Titleist and all these companies have got all these numbers. I can't remember them all. They send me some stuff, they tell me this is what's good for me, I usually play it.

Q. Your bag now compared to over there, you've got different irons, different driver, different putter?

Q. Wedges the same?
MARK O'MEARA: Wedges the same, 3-wood is the same and the rescue is the same, but everything else is different. Well, it's not different, I've played with it. I don't mind -- it's not -- today the equipment they build is so good, that when I play good or I play bad, I usually don't blame my equipment, it's usually me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297