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July 26, 2013

Mark O'Meara


Q.  Out in 31, back in 37, a good day's work.
MARK O'MEARA:¬† Well, it's never fun to bogey the last hole.¬† I bogeyed it yesterday.¬† I thought I hit a good tee shot ended up in the bunker.¬† Today I had a good 3‑wood and 4‑iron and just pulled it left.
Overall I played a lot better to be honest.¬† I played really well on the front nine, solid 3‑under on the front and nice birdie at 11 to get to 4‑under.¬† When you bogey 12 which was not playing that difficult today, I kind of fatted a 7‑iron, was not a very good shot and didn't get it up‑and‑down and 3‑putted from the front edge on 13 so back‑to‑back bogeys.
I just kind of hung in there, hit some good shots and look forward to the weekend.  At least I put myself back in a position to where if I play well tomorrow, I'll have a chance on Sunday.

Q.  You played all four weeks at last week's Open; how does this challenge compare to that one?
MARK O'MEARA:¬† I think Royal Birkdale, it's always difficult to compare all links courses, but Royal Birkdale in my opinion is a much more difficult driving golf course than Muirfield and the greens are smaller, tighter areas coming into it.¬† Putting them heads‑up, I personally think this golf course is harder.

Q.  And you were awarded Honorary Membership for your great achievement here.
MARK O'MEARA:  That was quite an honour the other evening.  Jonathan Seal, the Club Captain, presented me with a tie and Honorary Membership here at Royal Birkdale.  To have the success that I've had here at this links course has just been tremendous.
I remember back in '87, and playing with Ian Baker‑Finch in'91 in the final group of The Open Championship, watched him play a superb round and hoist the Claret Jug, and seven years later there I was.¬† So to me, I feel like I'm a really blessed guy to have had all the great opportunities at Royal Birkdale.

Q.  I take it that was a pleasing round by and large?
MARK O'MEARA:  Yes, it is.  Yesterday's round, disappointing, I hit a lady on the second hole, and that's never fun when you hit a spectator out there.  I felt awful and bogeyed 2 and bogeyed 3 and bogeyed 4.  I wanted to be anywhere but on a golf course at that point.
I just tried to battle through yesterday's round.¬† I made some key par putts on the back side.¬† 4‑over was not a great score but relative to what the conditions were like yesterday, it was reasonable and the way I felt and the way I played, it was eastbound better.
I came out today and hit the ball a lot better, 3‑under on the front side.¬† The wind was not as severe today as it was yesterday.

Q.  Were you in touch with the lady afterwards, as well?
MARK O'MEARA:  Yeah, I found out that she's doing okay.  She had some stitches.  But I brought a Masters flag that I travel with, a couple different Masters flags and I'm going to sign it to her this afternoon and make sure I call her and get in touch with her and get her the flag.
Certainly, like I said, it's never fun to hit a spectator and to hurt someone else.¬† It's not any player's intention to do something like that but realising a little golf ball‑‑ and I've been hit myself several times and I've been wounded several times, about and it's part of the game, but I want to make sure she's okay.

Q.  You're back in the mix now.
MARK O'MEARA:¬† Well, at least I'm in touch.¬† I think if I come out tomorrow and I play a good solid round at least it will put me closer to the leaders, because you never know what's going to happen this afternoon.¬† The golf course is very tough, very demanding and it's an unbelievable driving course.¬† You've got to be very accurate with your iron play into the greens, because it's well bunkers and the greens are very small.¬† And then you've got to make the putts.¬† It's as simple as that.¬† And today I putted a little bit better and wished I could have finished a little bit better but I'm pleased with 2‑under and not a bad score for two days.
It's just an incredibly challenging golf course, and if the wind kicks up on the weekend, you'll see the scores go the other direction.¬† Right now, 3‑ , 4‑under might leading at the end of the day, but if I'm three or four back, that's okay; if I play well Saturday and Sunday, I'll have a chance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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