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June 18, 1995

Greg Norman


LES UNGER: We appreciate Greg coming down here. I am sure he feels some disappointment today. We would like to hear your feelings after a tough day out there.

GREG NORMAN: Well, yeah disappointment is the case, but I think it was a tough day. No question about it. I obviously did not get the job done making one birdie, 36 holes, but I think all in all, I had a good golf tournament. I didn't win the golf tournament obviously. Corey Pavin, to do what he did today under these conditions which were just difficult today as what it was yesterday, you know, he is a deserved champion.

LES UNGER: Questions for Greg.

Q. Greg, a lot of commentators coming into the tournament were saying that 18 was going to be the toughest hole to get up-and-down and that was going to be the real breaking hole, but it appears that it was 16. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think that was the turn around hole for you or for the players in general?

GREG NORMAN: Well, I don't know what the other players did on 16, so I can't comment on them. But there was -- in my situation, I think there was a few pivotal holes out there. I had hit a couple of good shots; never really capitalized on it with my putter. I played extremely good golf for the first 10 holes. I don't think I missed a fairway. I hit a lot of greens, but I just didn't get the ball in the hole. Then on, I think, 12 and 13, I hit a good drive down 12. Finished in the rough and 13 I just pulled it a little bit. And I felt like 2 good putts on those both those holes and both broke the edge of the hole; just didn't go in. That was really where the momentum for me changed a little bit. I know I hadn't made a birdie in those first 10 or 12 holes but I still felt that you know, I was right there - I was even par. When that putt on 13 and 12 didn't fall in, I thought now that is where it became a little bit more difficult.

Q. Along those same lines what about your putt on 8; you hit a wonderful approach shot there; it looked like a fairly, fairly easy putt. What was your feeling after that putt?

GREG NORMAN: I hit it where I thought to hit, off the left edge, I hit; the green was sloped from left to right as I putted it and the ball just didn't break. Whether the wind had any affect on it or not because the wind was kind of pushing a little bit from right to left against the break, so -- but I hit it exactly the way I thought I had to hit it. It just didn't take the break.

Q. In situations like this, you obviously seem so gracious. Is there a part of you that we don't hear and see that is just plain angry?

GREG NORMAN: No, I never cry over spilled milk. I gave it my best shot. I played pretty good. There is a lot of other players out there who didn't play as well. I obviously was in tie for the lead going in to today's round. There is no question about it. There is a lot of, you know, you are the times in the morning before you tee off that are pretty tough on you because you try to keep yourself relaxed; you try to just go through the motions. It is not like any other tournament. This is a major championship. It's a U.S. Open. I haven't won it and I had tie for the lead and I wanted to win it. So you really -- you go through a lot of, you know, fluctuations; your emotions in the morning. Once you get on the golf course, it is okay because now you are in your domain; you can control a little better but in the morning, and the evening is where it gets a little tough on you. And they are right, I mean, I have led major championships before and going into the final rounds and it is just the same. There is a lot of pressure on you to do it. But, you know, I don't -- I forget about it. That is one of the good strengths of me. I let things go. I don't harbor them. I just, you know, the day is over and gone with. I won't lose a night sleep at all. I will get up and do my work tomorrow and that is it.

Q. Approach shots on 5, 14 and 16, you couldn't believe where they finished. Did you get terrible bad breaks on those?

GREG NORMAN: 5th hole I hit a beautiful 7-iron. About 197 to the front and I figured if I had flew it about 197 with 200, I would be okay. I think 214 yards to the flag. I hit it exactly where I was looking. I didn't go at the flag. I was aiming just left of the flag and obviously the green was just firmer than what I thought and the ball released. Which are the other holes?

Q. 14 and 16.

GREG NORMAN: You mean driving through the fairway? The putt?

LES UNGER: Approach shot on 14.

GREG NORMAN: Approach shot on 14 I hit a pretty good one out of the bunker there. Got it to about 10, 12 feet of the hole, and again, just misread the putt there. The ball broke more than what I thought, and you know, walking off with a par. 15, different story. I hit good driver, good pitching wedge in there to about two feet, but you -- even the shot I hit on the 16th, my third shot I thought I had it at the flag. Obviously it stood up with the wind a little bit more than what I thought and it went back off the green.

Q. Explain the tee shot on 17. Distance?

GREG NORMAN: 88 yards, 87.

Q. That was sand wedge?

GREG NORMAN: Pitching wedge.

Q. Could you explain what happened on the tee shot at 17 and then the bunker shot as well there?

GREG NORMAN: My tee shot. I tried to hit a big hooking 6-iron. The only way I thought of trying to get it close was that shot and I just didn't get it hooking. And the wind took it off into the bunker. The bunker there had a lot more sand in it and it stuck in the ground. That is why it didn't release like I thought it would.

Q. Greg, St. Andrews couldn't come quickly enough for you. What are your thoughts on your game on the number one ranking?

GREG NORMAN: Well, 3, 2, 1 that will be pretty good way to go. You know, I have played exceptionally good golf this year. I have given myself a chance to win two major championships, which is more than a lot of other guys could say, which is -- but I haven't won them. So I am looking forward to St. Andrews. I like it. I feel comfortable around the golf course. I played a lot of Dunhill Cups there. I played the golf course good last time, the British Open was there, so, yeah, of course four weeks away, I think it is only four weeks or 5 weeks away, so I am looking forward to it. With regard to number one or whatever position in the board, I have never cared about it. I have never believed in the system. I have said that for many, many years, I think the system is not right the way it is structured, and I don't think we need it. I really don't. I think we know who the top five or six players are in the world. Corey obviously joined that group today. He has always been a great player. For him to get that -- everybody said he is the best player to never win a major; finally got that off his back now. He showed through. So with regard to the certainly the rankings, I don't pay any attention to them. It really doesn't bother me one bit. Won't affect my life at all.

Q. Greg, when Corey shot on the 18th green and you were on the 17th tee or walking to it, what were you thinking?

GREG NORMAN: I was on the 16th green. I had about a foot and a half putt to make for par.

Q. Did you realize that --

GREG NORMAN: I knew what it was for they started chanting "Corey, Corey," so -- I figured that was a pretty good give away.

Q. On 18, you knew you had obviously to hole out what would be an impossible shot. I understand Montgomery had done it earlier. What was your thought process, were you trying to make it or just get on the green or what?

GREG NORMAN: No, I had -- I think it was like -- God, I am trying to remember -- about 175 or 78 yards to the hole. And no, I was trying to make it. I was trying to hook a 7-iron in there in the wind to make sure I had enough distance once the ball -- in case it did hit it perfect; then I got pass the hole, but it hooked more than I wanted to but, yeah, I was trying to make two.

Q. You have touched briefly on Corey. Could you give us fellow professional's assessments of his game?

GREG NORMAN: Well, he is one of the great shot makers. You get players out there that are very one dimensional. That what I mean by that they play the game one way. Either a hook or a stay. Corey doesn't do that. He likes to fade the ball. I like to hook the ball. He hits it high, low, he definitely is a manipulator of the golf ball, and he is one of the few out there that actually does it to that degree. And that is what makes him a great player because he has the capability to do whatever is necessary to the golf ball to get it close to the flag. And all players I can speak for all of us also rated Corey very highly, always.

Q. Looking back on today was obviously a -- is there one shot that you would like to have over when you look back over the round?

GREG NORMAN: Probably my second shot on the 12th. I drove it in the left fringe and I had 175 yards to the green, to the flag. And I hit a 9-iron and it flew a little bit more than what I anticipated and it ran off the back edge of the green which left me no green to work with. So I was only about 25 feet from the flag, but I was long in the heavy rough with no green to work with. So if I had one shot over again, I'd probably pull that 9-iron out and hit a little bit lower so it doesn't soar with the wind.

Q. That was the toughest shot though?

GREG NORMAN: The second shot?

Q. Yeah.

GREG NORMAN: You mean the --

Q. The third -- (inaudible)?

GREG NORMAN: Well, the 11th hole, second chip, boy, yeah, that was probably the toughest chip I had all week.

Q. We could see you talking to Corey on television I guess -- what were you saying to him; what was that conversation about?

GREG NORMAN: I just said congratulations, welcome to the club. He deserves it, and --.

Q. Majors?

GREG NORMAN: Majors, yeah. And he does deserve it. He has played exceptionally good golf for a long, long period of time without winning one. Now he has won one. So you know, that is what I said welcome to the club.

Q. Over the last two rounds you gave back 7 shots to par. When you look back on it, do you think that you maybe gave the tournament away or --

GREG NORMAN: I don't think so. It's easy to sit here and say that now that we played the golf course that was very, very difficult. It wasn't a par 7 it was a par 2 or 3. We saw that brought forth by the other players in their scores. We have seen basically yesterday and today only one or two guys break par; one was the winner and the other one was Jeff Maggert. The rest of us, were having a tough time. So I think we can all say the golf course got the better of us, but you know, I don't say giving it back is the right way to put it. It is very tough to play golf.

Q. You just described your resilience to forget and move on. I am just curious, you didn't talk about the '86,'87 situation and you made mention of it afterwards. You said how it affected you came to terms with that. When does recline pass on and you have your private recollection of what happened in the last couple of years in some of these Majors?

GREG NORMAN: I don't understand your question.

Q. You described yourself as having resilience in terms of the championships. Do you ever in a private moment say "my God I look back at these things" and privately even to yourself and say "God all these opportunities that had simply been there and I hadn't taken advantage of them"; does that ever haunt you?

GREG NORMAN: No, it never haunts me. I can sit back and say I have done a lot -- a hell of a lot better than a lot of other players too. I don't sit back and feel sorry for myself. I sit back and say "boy I have done a good job". I put my self in there with a chance to win more times than anybody else. So obviously, you know, people are going to look at that and say well, you know, he is letting things slip away. That is not necessarily the case. It is just as hard to get in there with a chance to win as it is to win.

LES UNGER: Thanks.


End of FastScripts....

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