What they said: Mark O'Meara

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July 31, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: U.S. Senior Open Championship transcript archive

DAN HUBBARD: Congratulations, Mark. Thanks for coming by. Congratulations on your runner-up finish, 72 today, three birdies, four bogeys today. If you could run us through those, then we'll turn it over to media questions, please.

MARK O'MEARA: Sure, birdie on No. 1 I hit a 9-iron to about 12 feet, made that for birdie.

I had a couple of good chances on 2 and 3 that I didn't make.

And then on 4, the par-5, I hit a driver and a rescue club on the front fringe, putted up there to about three feet, made that for birdie.

The bogey on 5 was kind of a dumb bogey, middle of the fairway had an 8-iron, pull hooked it left to the flag just off the green, bad lie, chipped it by maybe eight feet, missed that for bogey.

Came back with a nice birdie on No. 6, hit a good drive and an 8-iron -- actually I'll take that back, excuse me, sorry. On 5, I hit a driver and a 3-iron on the green and three-putted for bogey.

The birdie on 6 was a drive and an 8-iron to about 14 feet behind the hole, 13 feet, made that for birdie.

The bogey on 7 was a drive in the fairway, pulled an 8-iron left of the green in the rough, pretty bad shot actually, chipped it by eight feet, nine feet, missed that.

And on the back side I had a couple chances on 10 and 11, didn't make them. And then the bogey on 13, poor drive to the left in the rough behind the tree, hooked a 6-iron up there right of the green, had a tough pitch shot, kind of bounced on me. Ran it by 45, 50 feet, two-putted for the bogey.

And then the bogey on 16, I hit a good drive in the right side of the fairway and kind of laid the sod over a 3-iron. It was a pretty poor shot to be honest with you. I had about 216 to the hole. And just a poor shot, a very poor shot at the wrong time, and that kind of cost me.

Q. For three days, Browne had made birdies and eagles and everything else. Today did it seem as if -- first of all, if the course would allow him to be as aggressive as he had been and that he was more or less content to play for par and allow people making to take a run at him??

MARK O'MEARA: It's always difficult to play with the lead. I wouldn't say that Olin, nor myself, necessarily. I would say the first 12 holes I hit the ball well, I had chances. And I made really the one mistake with the pulled 8-iron.

But Olin didn't get off to the quickest start but he hung in there, never gave up the ship. And on the back side he hit some quality shots when he needed to. The shot at 13 was a good shot. Obviously the shot at 16 was a very good shot. That kind of sealed the deal a little bit. And then he made a big two-putt on 17. It really wasn't over even though I had a par putt, if he misses and I make, now we're back to one shot playing the last hole.

My hat's off to him. He hung in there, had the two-shot lead, didn't get flustered. We were tied for the lead once or twice and then he pulled away at the end.

Q. After four rounds under reconfigured routing, what are your impressions now? Did it change the course or how you played it or anything of that nature?

MARK O'MEARA: No, today some of the par-3s played a lot longer. The tees were back on some of the par-3s. But the change in the routing I think is fine. I remember when we played in '86 and '93 because I remember going from basically 16 to -- well, it was 17, the par-5, now it's No. 8. It seemed like it had a nice flow that way, too.

You know, all I can say is it's a really good golf course. It's a good test. The scoring was good this week because there wasn't a lot of wind. The golf course was soft because of the rain and the heat and humidity and the ball was going pretty far.

But, you know, the guys play well. Today it's always a little bit more difficult. You didn't see quite as low a scoring today because it is Sunday. The pins are a little tougher, the nerves are a little bit more there, the pressure, even though there's pressure to me every day I play.

But I just felt like today I hit a couple of good -- I didn't really putt as well. I really needed to make the putts on 10 and 11, and I didn't make those.

I didn't really necessarily hit bad putts on 10 and 11. Some of the other holes I was kind of tentative and left them short, but I needed to put more pressure and get kind of over the hump, and I didn't do that.

Olin drove the ball good coming home. He put it in the fairway, he hit the greens. That's what you've got to do in a USGA event to win.

Q. You played so well and you mentioned the first 12 holes today and the three rounds before that. It seemed like the 13 tee on maybe you didn't hit the shot with the aggressiveness or authority you had. Did you sense that??

MARK O'MEARA: Oh, yeah. I mean, you've got to understand, I didn't really play that well the last couple of weeks when I was over in Europe, and so I wasn't over-confident by any means out there. I felt pretty good on the front side. I felt pretty composed. I wasn't -- I think it would really kind of hurt me, certainly not making the putts on 10 and 11 and then hitting a poor drive on 13. I needed to put the ball in the fairway on 13 and I pull hooked it. And then of course the next tee shot I kind of hung to the right, so it was kind of -- that's kind of my pattern.

It's something I've got to work on, and I'm disappointed. I certainly had a chance to win, and I didn't get it done. But I'm happy for Olin. He played well, and my hats off to him.

Q. How long were those birdie putts respectively on 10 and 11??

MARK O'MEARA: I'd say 10 was probably 12 feet behind the hole, and 11 was about the same, 12 to 13 feet. But they had a lot of break in them. Some of the pins were either on the front of the green or on the sides or slopes or on the back of the green. It wasn't like they were a left edge putts. They were kind of sweeping, one was kind of downhill, was kind of was uphill. My speed could have been better on the greens today, no question about it.

Q. You've won major championships, you've known Olin a long time. He's one of those guys that has played the game for years and years and years. How do you think he feels right now, and how do you feel for him??

MARK O'MEARA: I'm happy for him. Olin is a good guy. He conducts himself extremely well out there on the golf course. This is a huge victory for him. I know it's his first win out here on the Champions Tour, Senior Tour. It's a major championship. It's a USGA event.

I know the guys, you look at the leaderboard, there's a lot of quality players up there at the top of the leaderboard. I think Olin should be very proud of himself, and I know he and his family are going to enjoy this victory very much.

DAN HUBBARD: Mark, congratulations on a great week.

Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.

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