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April 10, 2014

Mark O'Meara

Q.テつ (No Microphone.)
MARK O'MEARA:テつ It's disappointing.テつ I didn't make any birdies.テつ I made a couple good par saving putts, but I didn't play very well.テつ I actually had about four or five good chances for birdies that I didn't make, which is disheartening.
The course is in super shape, playing good, there's not a lot of wind.テつ Scoring is not as good as I thought it would have been.テつ But the greens picked up in pace a little bit, but they are holding, so I won't be surprised to see somebody shoot 4‑ or 5‑under today at least.

Q.テつ Morning versus afternoon, how different is it, this golf course?
MARK O'MEARA:テつ Well, it's certainly going to firm up a little bit.テつ But to be fair, with the rain on Monday and I think ever since the course has been lengthened, the greens have never really got to where they're out of control.テつ In the past it could have been very, very difficult.
So the greens are receptive to good shots out there.テつ Like I hit 6‑iron to 16, the pin was in the top right, flew it basically a foot behind the pin, and I had four feet or a couple paces; where in the past you would have to be careful of doing that.
So I think that it will get faster as the week goes.テつ Sometimes it's a little tougher in the afternoon, but as long as the wind doesn't blow‑‑ the guys are good players, I think they should shoot some decent scores out there.

Q.テつ Does a 50‑year‑old really have a legitimate chance out here for four rounds?
MARK O'MEARA:テつ Well, that's a tough question.テつ Probably ‑‑ I don't think it's ever out of the question, because I don't think the golf ball, in fairness, knows how old you are.テつ At times I feel like I hit the ball, to be fair, as well at times now as I did when I won here in '98.
So it does come down to putting.テつ Stamina is a big thing.テつ As you get older, mentally you're not quite as precise for as long a period of time out there, which can be a little bit of an issue.
But we saw Watson, I play with him and, God, he hits the ball as good now as he did when he was in his prime almost.テつ Maybe a club shorter, but really hits the ball well.
I think that the difficulty is because the golf course is longer, it favors a little bit more of a powerful player.テつ You've got to putt well and sometimes when you get a little older you doesn't putt as well.

Q.テつ How is 17 playing without the tree and also have you noticed anything else about the hole?
MARK O'MEARA:テつ Better.テつ Not really.テつ I think that certainly from the ice storm, it's affected the whole southeast, the trees are thinned a little bit, but the golf course is still a great golf course and a great test.
17 certainly is quite a bit easier.テつ It's not an easy hole by any means, because it's still long, but I think today, like I hit a good drive and a 6‑iron.テつ So with the tree there, there's so many of these young players where the Eisenhower tree never really came into play.テつ But the other trees on the sides of the fairway still come into play.テつ It's really a golf course that's a second shot precise golf course.テつ Putting your ball in the right spot on greens is so key around here.

Q.テつ Is there any place outside of 17 where the ice damage was evident that made the hole play a little differently?
MARK O'MEARA:テつ I think 17 is really the only big difference.テつ It is a change.テつ It's going to give guys a free pretty much ride to stand up there and go ahead and hit it, where before I think you had to think a little bit.
It's not a bad thing, it still requires‑‑ where the pin is today, there was some really good pin placements out there that you had to keep on your toes.テつ There wasn't a lot of easy pins out there I wouldn't say for sure.

Q.テつ Matt Kuchar is coming in here off of a couple of chances to win and he didn't come through.テつ In your career when you had a chance to win and didn't, did that drive you the next week to play better?
MARK O'MEARA:テつ Well, he's playing well and he's played well around here.テつ He's got a lot of experience around here.テつ Certainly experience plays a key role at Augusta National.テつ Understanding the golf course.
Matt's been there a few times, sooner or later they're going to open the door.

Q.テつ You talked about playing well and ‑‑
MARK O'MEARA:テつ One way or the other, either you come in either playing well, like Matt has, where he's had some chances and he feels good about his game, even though he's not happy that he hasn't finished them off; or you come in here with lower expectations and you're not playing very well at all and then all of a sudden boom there you are.テつ So it's one way or the other.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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