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THE SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY ROLEX


July 25, 2013


Gene Sauers


SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND

Q.テつ Very well made, conditions this afternoon tougher than the morning, and you come in with 67.テつ You must be very proud?
GENE SAUERS:テつ I'm very proud.テつ Like I said just had the interview right there, and just made sure I hit a lot of solid shots.テつ If you hit it really solid, wind won't really mess with it too much and pleased with the way I played.

Q.テつ How much golf have you made on links courses?
GENE SAUERS:テつ This is only my third British Open, so I haven't played too much on these golf course the.テつ I always watch a little bit on TV and maybe learn a little bit from that but it's a great place and a privilege and honor to be here.

Q.テつ Your story is a remarkable one because not so long ago, you were just lucky to be alive.
GENE SAUERS:テつ I had seven weeks in the hospital.テつ It's been a little over two years now, June 1, two years, and I was in the hospital for over seven weeks.テつ I told my wife after about a month, I don't know if I'm going be to be out here or not.テつ I'm just glad to be here and the Lord blessed me to come back‑‑ after the past couple years, not touching a golf ball and not seen a clubhouse.
They thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, like Phil Mickelson, couldn't pick up anything high off the shelf, can't get off the couch, kind of like that.テつ But after six or eight months, taking a whole bunch of medication, burned from the inside both my arms and both my legs so I have skin graphs in both my legs and my arm out here‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ my plastic surgeon, didn't know what it really was.

Q.テつ Was it at one stage your skin turned black?
GENE SAUERS:テつ That's when they had it to go in and had a debridement.テつ I just came back from Duke University and they told me after it stopped spreading, Duke did, they said you had to go home and see a wound specialist.
A couple days after that, I went to see a wound specialist and he said, what are you doing tomorrow, I said, I'm going fishing.テつ He said, I have to get you to the hospital and debride you.テつ Boy, I tell you what, that's more worse pain.テつ Of course they knocked me out, I was under seven times.テつ And it was so bad when they bandaged me up, bandaged me up kind of tight and when he tried to take my bandages off, no way, could not change my bandages, it was bad.

Q.テつ What would it mean to win a Senior Open title here?
GENE SAUERS:テつ Well, you know, like I say, it's been a long time, and coming over here and playing with all these good guys over here, it would be awesome.テつ Just got to keep hitting the ball solid and see what happens.

Q.テつ What's your thoughts on leading this championship and playing so well?
GENE SAUERS:テつ Like I say, I hit the ball really solid and didn't go after any pins, just played smart and made‑‑ when the birdies came and opportunities, thought maybe I'd get a little more aggressive.テつ Played really smart and hit the ball really solid.
There's still a lot of golf left.テつ But it picked up a lot on the back nine and I had a lot of 9‑irons into par 4s, almost holed one of them on 16, I think it hit the cup.テつ I'm just pleased where I'm at right now, and we have three more days.

Q.テつ Playing smart on a links course in these conditions is some going.
GENE SAUERS:テつ Yeah, it is.テつ You know, I wasn't hitting the ball that well yesterday.テつ I was on the range and hit a bunch of balls yesterday‑‑ nothing like Vijay Singh, he probably hit six or eight of them buckets, I just hit one or two.テつ I got over here late Tuesday morning and I think I was still a little jet‑lagged and my body was still kind of sore.テつ Got a workout in the fitness van but I'm looking forward to the rest of the week.

Q.テつ Are you looking forward to the challenge of link golf?
GENE SAUERS:テつ This is my third British Open, but I really am enjoying it.テつ I've been look forward to this for the last couple years now.テつ When I was getting ready to turn 50, I knew I was going to play here and watched a lot of them on TV and learned a lot from that, too.

Q.テつ It is a different kind of golf, isn't it?
GENE SAUERS:テつ Totally different.テつ Especially the run‑offs, you don't know which way the ball is going to bounce.テつ You're kind of hitting and hoping sometimes‑‑ as long as you can hit the ball solid here.

Q.テつ And it's a second chance.
GENE SAUERS:テつ It's a second chance‑‑ both arms, both legs were burned up and got skin graphs on all of them, spent seven weeks in the hospital and it was torture.テつ I tell you, I don't want anybody to go through that.テつ I'm blessed and I'm glad to be here.テつ I didn't touch a golf club for five years, had an arthritis going on, and like I said, I'm blessed that He's let me do this.

Q.テつ Sounds like it could have been worse.
GENE SAUERS:テつ If I got any infection, I could have been gone.テつ I'm just lucky to be here.

Q.テつ Every time you go out on the links, you get the normal frustrations we all get.
GENE SAUERS:テつ Yeah, just try to make the best of it.テつ It's awesome to be here, thankful to be here and the Lord blessed me with another chance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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