November 17 2011
MELBOURNE, Australia -- With a warm, blustery north wind buffeting Royal Melbourne, International Captain Greg Norman rated Friday's difficulty as an 11 on a scale of 1-10.
"It depends on where you put the ball on the green," Norman told NBC's Jimmy Roberts as the matches were getting under way. "There are going to be some putts you don't believe. You're going to see Royal Melbourne really expose itself today."
Norman said he felt Thursday was a "bit of an anomaly." As the Americans clawed back to halve the last two matches and take a 4-2 lead the Shark said he felt the "energy go flat" -- both with his team and the partisan Aussie crowd.
Norman said he told his players not to feel like they had to make up the deficit "all back at one time. There are four sessions left." Not to mention, Mother Nature and Royal Melbourne will surely impact the competition on Friday.
"When (my team) woke up and got on the bus and saw this wind, they felt pretty good about it," Norman said with a smile.
Like Norman, U.S. Captain Fred Couples knows his squad will be challenged on Friday. “Royal Melbourne is going to be very difficult in a 20 mile-an-hour wind," Couples told NBC's Dottie Pepper.
At the same time, he couldn't have been happier with Thursday's performance.
"That was a great finish for our side," Couples said. "We all know Aaron Baddeley is a quality player. He just hit a couple of bad shots at the wrong time. We feel like we got a little bit lucky. But I’ll take lots of luck in this game."