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June 15, 1995

Greg Norman


LES UNGER: Greg Norman, 68 today. Greg, give us the birdies please and any par saves. I believe this was a bogey free day, right?

GREG NORMAN: That's correct. 5th hole, par 5 hit driver, 3-wood to the front edge of the green; chipped it to about 2 feet, 1-putted. The 13th hole, I hit 3-wood, 9-iron to about 15 feet 1-putted. I saved par on the 11th hole; hit an 8-iron just short of the green. Chipped it up to about 6 feet and holed it. 12th hole, hit driver in the right rough. 5-iron right to the green. Chipped it down to about 5 feet. 1-putted that. And then 18, driver right fringe, 4-iron on the fringe short, chip it up to about 2 feet. That was basically it.

LES UNGER: Greg, if the records are correct, this is the best first round you have ever shot. 70 was the best previous round.

GREG NORMAN: That is good. I don't keep stats in my head. I am very happy with it. You know, you can go out there; you can play yourself out The Championship in the first round by shooting a high score, but you can't win the tournament in the first round. I went out there today with that philosophy and attitude, very patient, and very controlled and when I did hit a poor shot, I relied on my short game which you need to do. It's a U.S. Open. You are not going to hit every green and every fairway. I mean, you have just got to understand that you got to work on your short game. I did that. I did everything right that I needed to do right today. I am very happy.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. Greg, you didn't seem to get full value of good shot making in the front 9. You were pretty close to a lot of those birdie putts, but couldn't make one fall --

GREG NORMAN: Yeah, that was another save I made. I didn't go around kind of like rounded the day out. I did play some very good iron shots, very crisp ones. I hit the ball the right distance today which you need to do. But, you know, I would like to have made a couple of more, then again, I really -- I think the overall day was just a nice rounded out day. I saved a couple of good pars and I missed a couple of birdies - give and take.

Q. Greg, is this the kind of golf course that will try your patience a little bit?

GREG NORMAN: I think any U.S. Open golf course will try your patience. Shinnecock is no different. Shinnecock is a very difficult golf course to play off the tee because the fairways got so much movement in them. You can't really get a clear perception of depth where you want the ball to finish. That is a very difficult task and that is what makes it a great golf course. That is what Links golf courses are all about. That is when you go to St. Andrews and you get the same type of feeling off some of the tees. The more you play around here, I guess, the better the angles you get to know.

Q. Along the same lines, what do you look for this weekend assuming there is no more rain; the greens will get harder and tougher; what kind of scores?

GREG NORMAN: I think the scores will pretty much stay around what they are doing right now. You are going to get the guys who go out there and obviously I didn't see what Nick did today, but obviously he putted well which you need to. He probably made a couple of makeable ones, couple of 30, 40 footers. I think overall you got -- don't think the fairways will get any firmer. I think they will keep the moisture because there is a lot of grass on them. The greens will definitely get firmer. They will get definitely faster. This afternoon they weren't as quick as I thought they might be, but there was a lot of moisture still in the green spinning a few iron shots back. So, I think that is what is going to change the most over the next three days.

Q. Given the good conditions today, are you surprised there weren't more sub-par scores?

GREG NORMAN: No, because the golf course is so penalizing. I mean, the USGA did a great job giving us a lot of room to hit to. They have given us width in the fairways, but the fairways got a lot of carry, but then again, they haven't given us a lot of width when the fairways don't have a lot of carry, so you have to still drive the ball exceptionally straight. That is what is happening. Nobody is going to go out there and hit every tee shot perfect. You are going to mishit one every now and then. It just depends how you finish up. That is why I think you may find the scores pretty much what they are doing. If it rains, someone might do a 65 or 64, that low, but if it stays the way it is, 66 is a fine, fine score.

Q. Greg, when a player of Nick's stature puts up a 66 right away, does that put a different kind of pressure or is it because it is the first round it doesn't matter who it is; it is still a long way?

GREG NORMAN: Somebody is always going to shoot a 66 in the first round of any championship. And when somebody does do that, obviously a good player like Nick, you know, you have got to -- especially when he tees off early and you are teeing off 2 o'clock in the afternoon, you know you want to give yourself a chance of staying around there and it also gives you the opportunity of saying, well, obviously the golf course is there to be had if you play good because you see a score like that from a good player and obviously, Nick played good today, but so could other players play good and shoot 66 as well. So it gives you that little bit of confidence as well.

LES UNGER: Did you think you made your chip on 18? It looked like you expected it to continue rolling.

GREG NORMAN: I didn't expect it to finish two feet short. There is just so much pitch to that green that it is very slow and the grass has grown during the day.

Q. Did you do the workout this morning? Was this a workout day?

GREG NORMAN: Yeah, I did.

Q. About how many pins did you go at and how many pins did you stay away from?

GREG NORMAN: Probably 18. (laughter) I really don't remember -- probably 17 was the only one where I aimed 20 feet right at the hole and if I hooked it, I hooked it and it would have been fine if I hit it straight, that was fine. I didn't take dead aim at the flag if that is what you mean. The rest of them I didn't.

Q. Par fours, tees, or irons?

GREG NORMAN: I never hit an iron off the tee, but I hit probably 50/50 with iron and 3-woods.

Q. I think you said earlier in the week a perfect 10 for your game would be to play 72 holes without a bogey, you are quarter of the way there. Is it possible to play 72 holes out there without a bogey?

GREG NORMAN: I'd love to say that. Anything is possible. Anything is possible, you know, if you play good enough. TPC was a tough golf course and I just made one mistake there for one bogey. So, yeah, I would think anybody -- if you believe you can do it, you can do it. But it is a tough golf course. I am not going to be thinking about going out there and playing 72 holes without a bogey. That would be the last thing that I would have in my mind right now.

LES UNGER: Thank you.

GREG NORMAN: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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