June 15, 1994
LES UNGER: Okay. We will get going here with Seve Ballesteros
who I just learned; I am sure others knew, finished here fourth
in 1983 and maybe you want to look back at that a little bit before
we get into how things are today.
SEVE BALLESTEROS: 1983, that was a long time ago. Yeah, I remember
when I was here. I remember I played well when I was Masters champion.
I was leading after three rounds and all I can remember was that
the fairways were really narrow, and I remember hitting a lot
of 1-irons from the tee. In fact, I recall hitting 42 times 1-iron
throughout the tournament. I also remember how fast and how hard
the greens were, so it is a pretty tough course.
LES UNGER: Has anything changed?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: The only thing I see is that some of the bunkers
-- the lips of the bunkers, they are raised a little bit more
high than they used to be. Everything else is very much set up
the same way.
LES UNGER: Questions.
Q. Seve, is the golf course harder this year than it was in
SEVE BALLESTEROS: It wasn't that difficult for the first three
rounds in 1983. I think I was one under par after three rounds,
but it is hard. The way the USGA sets up the golf course, it is
always tough and very difficult, so it is hard for everybody.
This golf course is playing really hard and the greens are going
to determine who is going to win the championship game because
they are really difficult greens.
Q. Seve, will you use your 1-iron as much or will you change
your plan and maybe use a driver or something else a little bit
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Pretty much the same like I did the last time,
yeah, trying to be in the short grass as much as I can.
Q. Seve, how is the rough compared from '83 and now?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Pretty much the same. Pretty much the same.
Q. How is it going with Mac O'Grady with your golf swing?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: It is getting better. I have been working with
Mac a month and a half right now and it is slowly, but the golf
game is going up, slowly, but it is going up, so it is getting
Q. Seve, how pleased were you to receive the special exemption
into the Open?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Well, for me, I have to say that it is really
a great honor to be here playing the U.S. Open because the U.S.
Open is a great championship and I am very grateful to receive
the invitation from the USGA and I am very happy to be here.
Q. The work that you do with the O'Grady, does that take you
back to the way you used to swing the club; are you trying to
create a new swing?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Well, what we are working on is a few different
things, but definitely we are not trying to change the swing.
We are trying to change some specific parts on the swing that
would allow me to be more consistent, so I am very happy with
that. He really knows the game very much, and the best thing,
as I said before, Mac is -- he is also a player, so he knows the
feeling. There are some other teachers out there that they are
telling you what to do, but they never played the game at the
top level like Mac has done in the past, so it is more credibility
there to Mac.
Q. Have you made any adjustments in your putting or have you
prepared your putting in any special way for this week?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: No. Just I am trying to just working on the
tempo and just trying to figure out the speed on the greens, that
Q. Jack and Arnold both said yesterday they were the fastest
greens in a major championship that they have ever seen; would
you agree to that?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Very much so, yeah. No question, because if
we go back to Augusta, Augusta greens, they -- the greens are
really fast, but mainly because of all the slopes. Over here,
the greens are a little bit more flat, but it is still -- the
speed is unbelievable.
LES UNGER: Any other questions?
Q. Will the tremendous success that Spain is having in the
international supporting world help your confidence in this tournament?
They won the French Open. They are in the finals of the World
Cup. Do you think that will help your game here and give you some
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Yeah, and also they won THE MASTERS too! Yeah,
that really gives everybody a hope and inspiration, so that is
something that is good for Spain. It is a lot of credibility there
to our country and a big publicity, so I am very pleased to see
LES UNGER: I think that was the most quotable quote of the
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Some people, they have a short memory, you know,
you have to refresh their own memory.
Q. Seve, could you kind of assess the state of your game and
your chances here?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: As I say before, my game is progressively going
up, slowly, but it is going up and it is a matter of confidence
and you know, and how I will play this week is a question because,
you know, playing at the U.S. Open courses has always been difficult
for me because of the narrow fairways and that really has been
hurting me over the years, but you never know if I can be able
to hit the fairways in a high percentage, I may manage to myself
to play good this way.
Q. Do you expect to see a lot of bump and run golf being played
this week because the greens will hold a lot of shots?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Here? How? How do you do that? How do you get
bump and run from the rough? Never seen that before in my life.
Q. Seve, you finished in the '87 Open at San Francisco, I think,
like fourth maybe?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Third.
Q. You have proven that you can play these U.S. Open courses;
isn't that correct? How does this compare to say, the Olympic
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Well, it is different golf courses. In one way
it is an old fashioned golf course too, but the Olympic, is much
more -- the length of the course was longer, I think, and different
type of greens, but I did play very well there and I did have
a good chance. I have two chances to win at the Olympic and here
in Oakmont. That is the only two chances that I have. You know,
hopefully I can put myself in the position one more, two times
more to win and maybe I get lucky, who knows?
Q. How big a factor is the heat going to be this week?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Yeah, it is tough to play in this heat. The
humidity is very high and it is really hard to concentrate. But
I guess it is the same for everybody, and I will-- all you have
to do is drink as much fluid as you can, and just try to keep
up the best we can.
Q. What is your feeling now on the exemptions that were given
to Nelson and Palmer and Miller?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: It is nice to have them over here playing. I
think it is good for the game and it is good. I feel good.
Q. Seve, is Oakmont the hardest golf course you have ever played?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Yeah, it is very hard golf course. It is hard
to tell if it is the hardest, but definitely it is one of the
most difficult courses, no question. Especially the greens, very
LES UNGER: We thank you for coming. We wish you a good luck.
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Thank you.
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