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


August 19, 2004

Danny Green


KEN KLAVON: Danny Green, who just beat Spencer Levin 2-up. Your overall thoughts on the match today.

DANNY GREEN: Wonderful victory.

The golf course, you know, after all of the rain, was not suited to me when I got here. They were expecting rain this afternoon, which I was really not wanting it to rain, because I like to play the ball closer to the ground and run the ball up on a lot of shots.

The golf course is getting firmer and firmer and firmer, which, is to my liking. And once we got out there, got off to a decent start and stayed close, I figured all of the pressure was on Spencer. He thinks he's supposed to win. Everybody in the crowd thinks he's supposed to win. I know I've got a lot of game at times and sometimes I don't have a lot of game, it's just the way it is for me.

I play with a lot of guts and a lot of heart. Just glad to get 3-up and then I kind of relaxed a little, I guess but I was trying to make three pars on the last five holes, I thought would do it and ended up, but luckily he hit -- it turned I guess at 16. I was going to make bogey, at best, probably double, and he hit a bad shot from the fairway. Then when I made the putt for bogey off the front fringe; it probably shook him up a little bit.

I was really disappointed in me not closing him out at 17. I knew he had no way to make par, unless he made a long putt at 17. I just hit the wrong club. I probably should have been hitting 5-iron and I hit 4-iron and it went over the green.

It all worked out great, I guess.

Q. You're the old warrior in this thing. Do you still have enough in the tank to go a couple more days and hang with these kids?

DANNY GREEN: If you don't think I do, I do. (Laughter.)

Sure, I do. It's one match tomorrow. I'll feel fine. It's one match Saturday. By Sunday, if I were to make it to the finals, I'm sure it's going to be a struggle Sunday.

But I'll take one match at a time. If I get up and I get ahead and I'm playing good, I don't get tired. Might look like I'm getting tired, but I'm not tired.

Q. Is this, a victory like yours today, is that one of the things that make this is championship special? Someone such as yourself, taking on as you mentioned Spencer, who is expected to win one of the pre-tournament favorites, etc., etc., and you as a veteran --

DANNY GREEN: I wouldn't say it's what make this is championship special. I would say that's what makes golf special, amateur golf special.

You know, it doesn't matter if you're playing somebody like that at the Western Am or the U.S. Am. I play for the competition. I love to compete. I've always been a good athlete. 'I do it my way,' as Frank said, but I've learned on my own. I started golf late, I played tennis in college and All-American and picked up golf after that. I played golf for a long time and I thought I stood up to it and swung at it like everybody else. I won, I've probably won 50,60 tournaments in my life before I ever saw myself on TV one time. I looked and I said -- I was in a room with a buddy of mine in Paduck (ph), and they had the news on that night. I said, "That's what I had on today."

He said, "That was you."

I said, "No, that wasn't me."

He said, "That was you."

I said, "Good, God, I'm a disgrace to the game."

Q. How old were you when you saw that?

DANNY GREEN: I started, I won my first two golf tournaments I ever played in, '79, and this was probably five or six, seven years later, probably mid 80s.

Q. And then late 80s, you were in the finals against Chris[] --

DANNY GREEN: I played local golf just around west Tennessee from '79 through '85 and I had won like 27 tournaments in a row. So then I played in the state am, my first State Am in '86, finished in the Top 20 the first year.

The next year, I was last group of the day teeing off on Sunday. Didn't play well, shot 79, but tried to qualify for the Amateur that year, didn't make it. Tried in '88, didn't make it.

And then in '89, I made my first Amateur. And everybody knows what happened in Merion, just the golf course suited me, I got on a good roll and played good and then started getting invitations to all of the national tournaments and I've been playing pretty much a national schedule since '90, along with my few state event.

Q. Pretty special for a guy that's never taken a golf lesson to win his way to the Masters, not once, but a couple of times.

DANNY GREEN: Like I said, I play with heart and guts and eye and hand coordination, and nobody could do it my way but me. I know it looks ugly, but that's all I've got. That's what I compete with.

Q. How are you a different golfer now than when you first started playing these national events in '89?

DANNY GREEN: How am I a different golfer? Well, I've got a lot more game. I've got more shots. Back then could I only hook the ball. I couldn't hit a fade. If somebody told me I had to fade the ball or you lose your life, I'd lose my life because I couldn't do it.

You know, I've competed over the years and a lot of experience. I would give anything to be able to go back when I was young and be able to learn the game right, stand up to the ball and have more shots, because I think I've got what it takes inside to be a lot better player than I am. But I'm limited in my skills now because of the way I stands up to the ball and I don't have all of the shots that I need.

But I do pretty good with what I've got. That's all I've got, so I don't try to do too many things that I know I'm not capable of doing. I try shots occasionally more because I have got more shots than I used to have. I try to play smart golf and percentage golf, and I'm not a real aggressive player unless I have to be. I drive the ball good and I putt the ball pretty good and I've got a pretty decent short game. I guess my iron play is weak, I don't hit it as close to the hole as often as the other good players.

Q. Did you at any point marvel at the contrast in Spencer, he's on the fast track to maybe the pros, and you're a guy that had to battle your way to learn golf and fight; just the contrast, he's played golf probably since he was young?

DANNY GREEN: What's the question? I heard your comment.

Q. Did you ever notice that yourself when you were out there?

DANNY GREEN: Well, I notice it all the time. Everybody knows that I don't look like a golfer. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Everybody, all the kids look pretty much alike. Spencer has a little different move at it than most of the other kids.

But, you know, all of those guys pretty much all of them started playing golf when they were kids. I was playing baseball and basketball and football. You know, I was an All-American tennis player and I only played six years of my life. I played two years of high school, got a scholarship to college, went to college, was an All-American and got real good, real fast at tennis and then I quit it and started playing golf.

Q. From an experience standpoint, did you feel like you said all of the pressure was probably on him; did you feel like he you would eventually shake him?

DANNY GREEN: I knew I had to play good. You can have all of the experience and all the pressure you want, but if you go out and shoot -- you make seven, eight bogeys, which you can do out here, easily, I knew I had to play well today.

It had helped that I had played well this morning. I got a lot of confidence from my match this morning. I was under par this morning, which I didn't think in my wildest dreams I would ever in any match be under par on this golf course. I didn't think that was possible, because I didn't play but 15 holes this morning.

So by the time if I would have played 16 and I might not have been under par but through 15 holes, I was under par. Usually, golfers keep what they get going during the same day, most of the time. I talked myself into that. If you can hit the fairways, I know Spencer is going to hit it further than me; not as far as some of the other kids were hitting it; Spencer is not real long like some of the other kids.

I knew I had to keep the ball in the fairway and hit a lot of greens and keep the ball under the hole and just play smart. That's what I tried to do. If Spencer played his game, if he played as good as he could play, I probably wasn't going to win but that's why he's an amateur. Everybody don't go out and play good. Ask Tiger, they just don't play up to their potential every time. Golf is a funny game.

Q. How many times had you played Winged Foot prior to coming here?

DANNY GREEN: I came down for the first time when I played in the Northeast Amateur this year in June which is in Providence. My wife had always wanted to go to Faxon and Andrade's tournament always on Monday and Tuesday after we leave the Northeast. Jim Graham, who is a member here, I'm staying with, we had talked to him about it and he said, well, come on down.

So I drove down on Monday afternoon and I got 12 holes -- they had an outing out here, and I got 12 holes of the East Course in before dark, and then got up and had a game with a couple of members the next morning. I saw the West. It had rained all night, we played the up tees to where I could be hitting what I thought might be the shots into the greens from then. But it played a lot longer now even than it did that day when it was wet. But I did see the West Course one time.

Q. What are your thoughts on this course? You've obviously played extensively in a lot of events on a lot of different types of courses, what are your overall comments on this course?

DANNY GREEN: It's a lot of golf course for me. If it stays firm and fast, and I keep the ball in the fairway, I can compete.

If it rains, if there becomes a big thunderstorm again and it gets real sloppy out there, it's going to be very difficult on me because I'm not a ball-in-the-air type of player. I don't fly it in the air here and fly it in the air there. That's not the way I play golf. I hit 5-irons and 6-irons and 7-irons in the air, but you don't get any of those clubs out here much. It's all 4-irons 3-iron, 2-irons, 3-woods and I don't get those shots real high. I can pick my spots.

It seems like except for maybe 14, a lot of these long holes you can bounce the ball into the green out here and that's what it allows to you do. It's a Tillinghast design. That's what he allows you to do on most holes. Even though they are long, you have to be accurate. I don't have as much room for error, or as the kids do, because they are flying it over the front bunkers and I may be bouncing it between them. But it does give me opportunity as long as it stays firm.

Q. Does it bother you that people will see that result and think "upset"? You obviously have a great resume of doing very well in these events. When people see this, however, they are going to say, one of the pretournament favorites got knocked out. Does that offend that you people would consider it an upset?

DANNY GREEN: If you ask that crowd out there, they will say every match I win is an upset. I can't get into all that. Y'all can think what you want to think. All I'm doing is shaking a man's hand on the first tee and when the match is over with and I'm going to try to beat him and I'm sure he's going to try to beat me.

Q. Have you played against Luke before?

DANNY GREEN: I met Luke last year, we were paired together in the 36-hole medal play portion of the Public Links in Atlantic City last year. I had heard about Luke because I knew he was coming to Vanderbilt to school and he lives just south of Chattanooga in Ringo, Georgia, and I befriended Luke and his dad. Very good, I wouldn't say very good friends, but we talk a lot on the golf course. I know he beat a buddy of mine today, this morning. Luke is a great player. I'm sure his summer has not gone as well as he would like it. He hasn't played real well all summer up until this championship. [] Luke is one of those guys that's going to outdrive me 40 to 60 yards tomorrow, and if it rains tonight, it will be further than that.

If I can keep it in the fairway, hit a few greens, make a few putts and he doesn't play up to his potential, who knows.

End of FastScripts.

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