June 15, 1994
LES UNGER: Greg Norman has just come off a practice round and
we would like to ask him to assess the course as he has been playing
it and then we will open it up for questions.
GREG NORMAN: Well, no question about it, the golf course is very
difficult. In great conditions. It is going to be played very
difficult this week, that is about as easy as I can put it I suppose.
Q. Greg, how was the preparation last weekend for -- first
time you played there for awhile. Do you feel it has improved
your chances from playing there or --
GREG NORMAN: Westchester?
GREG NORMAN: Westchester is a good golf course to lead up. The
greens were very quick last week, firm last week. Don't have anywhere
near the undulation or severity of what we are going to have here
at Oakmont. But all and all, it's a good preparation, good tournament
to lead into.
Q. Greg, the last three years haven't been that good, U.S.
Open at least. Have you done anything different this year?
GREG NORMAN: No, nothing at all. Just going in treating it like
I would any other golf tournament. No, I just haven't played well
in the U.S. Open last couple of years, that is all.
Q. Greg, did you have any birdies today?
GREG NORMAN: I had a couple of birdies, yeah. Got up to about
six inches, yeah, I had a couple of birdies, yeah.
Q. Greg, in '83 the rough was so severe, I think you bailed
out on the driver and hit a 1-iron, especially places like 12.
How about this time with the driver?
GREG NORMAN: I think we will end up hitting the driver about four
times, that is about it. Par 5 with a driver on fifth hole, is
it? Fifth hole, the par 5.
Q. Fourth hole.
GREG NORMAN: Fourth hole. Okay. Hit a driver at the fourth hole,
the 18th hole. I don't hit a driver on 12. I may hit a driver
on 9, depends. So right now, there is two certainties for the
driver and the rest -- 15th, I hit a driver. So three, possible
Q. Is the temperature to your liking or not?
GREG NORMAN: It is fine. Same for everybody. Reminds me of home.
Reminds me of Florida. So, we play in the hot weather back in
Australia, so it doesn't bother me.
Q. Greg, we heard a bit about your feeling a little tired.
I think you said last week it is not really the ideal time of
the year to be feeling that way. Can you comment about that and
if you feel, this week, a bit refreshed?
GREG NORMAN: I still feel the mid-year blues. I am not playing
very well. I can honestly admit that. On, a scale of 1 to 10,
I put my game at about 4 and a half. Why that is? I don't know.
It is just one of those years where you have a peak and trough
every now and then. My game is just falling off the edge a little
bit. I am not as sharp as I was a couple of weeks ago. Just got
to go back harder and see if I can get it back.
Q. Greg, Nick Faldo said the other day he thought the course
was the most difficult he had seen. Do you agree with that and
GREG NORMAN: Golf course is very difficult. First of all, the
greens, a lot of them slope away from you. The greens are very
firm. They are not taking a whole lot of spin. And they have got
a lot of undulations, the ball continues to roll. From that perspective,
it is very difficult to control the shots. It is very difficult
to chip to a green. If you miss these greens, it is pure luck
when you have a good chip shot or not. That is just because of
the severity of the speed of the greens and the undulation of
the greens. . I am sure when these greens were designed - I don't
know when - they were designed for greens probably rolling at
6 and a half or 7; not 11 half to 13 like they are rolling now.
So, that is the reason why it is extremely difficult. I remember
when we played here in '83, the conditions were wet too, so the
ball didn't get away from you. You can hold the greens fairly
successfully. So he is right, it is an extremely difficult golf
Q. Have you had experience in the Church Pew bunker?
GREG NORMAN: Not yet. I don't want to have any either. I will
keep away from those if I can. No, I have not hit them in there.
Q. Any particular parts of your game that have gone off and
have you been working with Butch to rectify the problem?
GREG NORMAN: Well, I have been-- just overall my timing is not
good, Andrew, my concentration is not good. I said that last week.
Just overall, it has just gone off a little bit.
Q. What about Butch?
GREG NORMAN: Butch is here. Yeah, we will work this afternoon.
Q. Has he just come in?
GREG NORMAN: Yeah. I just saw him late yesterday afternoon. I
got in late yesterday as well. We will do some work out there
Q. Greg, a major championship is supposed to be a test of how
you use all the clubs in your bag and the fact that the U.S. Open
really doesn't test the driver.
GREG NORMAN: I agree with you 100%. Of all our major championships
we play, this is the only one where you might as well not bring
a driver. And it seems like it is a redundant deal that that happens
that way. I honestly believe that the way the golf course is set
up that it takes six percent of your shot making ability away.
That just seems like they do it every year that way. We say something
and it gets worst next year.
Q. A lot of people call number one the toughest starting hole
in golf. Your thoughts about the first hole?
GREG NORMAN: Well, I wouldn't call it a tough -- it is only tough
because of the slope. I mean, other than that, it is a nothing
hole. Designwise it is a nothing hole. All it is just straight
down the hill; you got to land the ball about 20 yards short of
the green; just hope it stops on the green. You can design a tough
hole like that, too. There is not a lot of-- just cut the grass
down low and make it difficult. That is the reason why it is tough.
It is not a tough hole from pure shot making where you got to
hit a good drive and you got to hit a perfect second shot to put
the ball in the perfect position. You can hit a good shot there.
You can hit a perfect 3-wood there and perfect 8-iron and go over
the back edge of the green and stay there all day long trying
to chip back; roll to you; chip back; roll to you. That is just
the way it is.
Q. How did you play that hole today?
GREG NORMAN: Well, I hit a 3-wood in the left bunker, pitch and
wedged out, pitch and wedged on and walked off at 6. So, there
LES UNGER: Thank you. We appreciate you coming by.
GREG NORMAN: Thank you.
End of FastScripts....