What they said: Damon GreenJuly 28, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: U.S. Senior Open Championship transcript archive Q. Can you talk about No. 14??
DAMON GREEN: 14 on, I've got to remember them.
Q. You had eagle and two birdies, right??
DAMON GREEN: That's right. I had 197 to the front. I hit a really good drive, 211 to the hole. I hit a 4-iron and I pushed it just a smidge, and it caught up in the heavy rough, bounced up and rolled around to about a foot and a half.
I mean, it was a brilliant shot now that I'm looking back on it. I was trying to go more to the center of the green, got away with it, made eagle there.
I birdied -- I hit a driver, 2-iron on 8 to about 18 feet, and wallered [sic] that down there to about 6 inches and made it. And hit driver, 9-iron to five or six feet on 9 to shoot 4-under. It was a good round.
Q. You said you "wallered" it down there.
DAMON GREEN: I was on the fringe. I just putted from the fringe, and I was just trying to get it somewhere around the hole. I had kind of a difficult putt up against the heavy fringe. I just kind of tapped the putter and it rolled up there close.
Q. Did you feel this coming on at all? Were you playing well?
DAMON GREEN: I've been playing pretty well for a while. I won a couple of tournaments in the off-season, and played well at the Senior Finals. Finished like 16th there, won a couple of tournaments out in Orlando, the Isleworth Invitational, and Grapefruit Pro-Am and shot 66 to qualify for the British Open.
I played pretty well the first two days at the British Open, and I got a little sick on Friday night and had a rough two days. It's only my second major, So I guess I did pretty good for my second major.
Q. What were the conditions out there like this morning??
DAMON GREEN: It was hot, muggy, the greens were receptive, and they weren't as fast as a thought they would be. If you keep the ball on the fairway, it's like shooting darts on some of them. But I hit it kind of far, so it may not be the same for everybody else.
Q. How far did you hit that one??
DAMON GREEN: That was like 320, 330 or something like that. I've been playing that hole thinking it was 278 to this bunker, so I'm thinking that I can't hit it too hard, I'm going to knock it in the bunker. Then I look in my book, and it's 50 more yards to the back tee, so I finally figured that one out. The caddie in me skipped that one somehow. I don't know how I missed it. But, yeah, I rocked that one pretty good.
Q. That was your 18th hole??
DAMON GREEN: Yeah, No. 9.
Q. Lot of guys who do TV commentating, guys like Colbert years ago said he'd learned things up in the booth. Similarly, are you almost a better player having caddied so long for good players??
DAMON GREEN: I'm way better. I've won like 71 tournaments on the mini tours, but I really didn't know what I was doing till I started caddying for Scott Hoch, and he taught me a lot about course management and figured you don't have to shoot at every pin, and sometimes par's not bad.
So I started -- I was a better player after about two or three years caddying for Scott. I just got caught up in the caddying business and I made a pretty good living doing that.
Q. What do you take from caddying with Zach and good course management with Scott, but what about with Zach??
DAMON GREEN: I think with Zach it's more putting. He's a really good putter. We'll both read greens, and then ask me what I see and he'll say what he sees, and usually we go with his. Unless we're on Bermuda, I read the Bermuda a lot better since I grew up on it.
But the bent, playing a higher break and letting it die in, being from Florida we're more aggressive because the greens are slower. The last four or five years I've really learned a lot from Zach, especially at Augusta. Watching him putt there, you know, he's brilliant. I actually almost stopped him one time on number 7. He kind of had his back to the hole, and I thought he had lost sight of where the hole was, and I almost went up and said, Zach, hang on, the pin's over here.
But he hit this ball up on the fringe, had it come down like that and he almost made it. I said, dude, I almost stopped you there, I'm glad I didn't. I would have looked like an idiot (laughing).
Q. What years were you with Scott and when did you start with Zach??
DAMON GREEN: 2004 I started with Zach, and I was with Scott Hoch for four years and two weeks previous to that.
Q. 2000 to 2004??
DAMON GREEN: Yeah, I came up with a buddy of mine, I guess it would be '99, Jimmy Green. I had just quit playing and he needed to finish in the Top 5 to get his TOUR card at the Nike Tour Championship, and he called me up and said you want to come caddie this week because he and I used to travel a lot together. I said why not, I'm not really doing anything.
So he went out, finished third, and got his TOUR card. Asked me to come out for the following season and I caddied for him that year. He lost his card, so we were at the finals and Scott Hoch rang me up and said, I'm looking for a caddie, are you interested? Meanwhile inside I'm jumping up-and-down, and I said, nah, let me think about it, Scott, because if you jump on him too quick, he might change his mind. So I said let me think about it a couple days and I'll call you back.
So I talked it over with Jimmy and he said, man, you'd be crazy if you don't do that. So he gave me the pass to go on and start caddying for Scott, and it's been a good time.
Q. Was there a period after you came so close in '94 to getting your PGA TOUR card that you relived that last bogey??
DAMON GREEN: Every night, almost. You'll be laying in bed and if you think about that two and a half footer you missed and it could have changed your life. I wake up in a cold sweat sometimes.
Q. Even now??
DAMON GREEN: Oh, yeah.
Q. What course was that at??
DAMON GREEN: Greenleaf West.
Q. Greenleaf's not even there, anymore, is it??
DAMON GREEN: As a matter of fact, my caddie was with me, we played a course down there. And he said let me go see this Greenleaf West, and it was completely under the weeds. So I drove the course in my car. I said I think this was No. 1. So we drove all 18 holes and it was pretty cool just to see it.
Q. That's out of Orlando??
DAMON GREEN: Down in Haines City. Then the next year I got back to the final as and I was really in good shape for the first four rounds. I think I was seventh, and I shot a 73, 73, and I was right on the bubble again going into the last nine holes.
I said I'm either making it or I'm missing by a bunch. I'm not missing by one again because I don't think my body can take it. So I shot 40 on the last nine.
Q. Obviously winning this would change your life, right??
DAMON GREEN: Not necessarily. I had it in my mind even if I got my card in the finals I'd probably still do both because my wife's shaking her head, yes, I would have. No, you know, the way this schedule is, they don't have that many tournaments and I enjoy competing and I enjoy caddying.
Q. Did you ever caddie before you started caddying??
DAMON GREEN: Yeah, I used to caddie for Scott at like Disney and Bay Hill because we were both members at Bay Hill, and he knew I was a good Bermudagrass greens reader. So I probably caddied for him five or six times while I was still playing.
Q. Growing up did you also caddie too??
DAMON GREEN: No. I used to caddie a little bit on the Hooters Tour. We missed the cut and I'd go back out with like Jimmy or somebody and help them out on the weekend, but I never dreamed I'd be a caddie, no.
Q. So what makes you a good caddie? You obviously can still play, what makes you a good caddie?
DAMON GREEN: I think that's the biggest part. Being a good player helps. Knowing when to open your mouth, when not to. You know what a guy's feeling like coming down the stretch, under the heat.
DAMON GREEN: Right, that's the first thing.
Q. Are you the best caddie or the best player among any TOUR caddie??
DAMON GREEN: I think it's right up there. There's a few, Brett Waldman and Lance Ten Broeck and there's probably five or six of us that have got some Tour experience. I guess today I'm the best caddie player right now.
Q. When is the last time you did the chicken dance??
DAMON GREEN: I did it twice today.
Q. Did you??
DAMON GREEN: Yeah. I did it on the last hole and I did it on the eagle. I gave them a little bit of it. He wrote my first article on me, 1995, wasn't it? Did you miss by how many?
Q. Did you miss by how many shots getting your full exemption in senior Q-school??
DAMON GREEN: I don't know, maybe five. Two from being conditional, the top 12, I think it was. Actually we were coming down the stretch and Joy, she said, do you want to know how you stand. I said, sure I want to know. She said right now you're on the bubble of getting into the top 30, so I birdied four of the last five holes.
Q. Better than shooting 40 on the last one??
DAMON GREEN: That is, maybe things have changed, I don't know.
Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.