What they said: Olin Browne

July 30, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

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

DAN HUBBARD: Mr. Browne is with us, 65 today, Olin. Let's start if you don't mind with birdies and bogeys. You had two birdies and one bogey on the front. If you could walk us through those, please.

OLIN BROWNE: Thank you. Birdied No. 4, hit it just to the front of the green in two, chipped it up there about five feet just behind the hole. Mark hit a beautiful shot in there and just singed it for a three, so I made that.

Then I birdied No. 8, hit it in the middle front bunker in two and got it up-and-down.

Made a bogey on 9, hit really my only bad tee shot of the day, hung it into that bunker on the right and it got on the upslope, and I caught a little jumper and jerked it left. If the grandstands weren't there, I'd have been across the road on the putting green probably. But ended up with an impossible up-and-down so I made bogey there. But then I came right back and made birdie on 10, which was nice.

DAN HUBBARD: 5-under on the back might have been one of the lowest nine-hole totals for the back this week.

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, Mark and I really started hitting some good shots on the back nine, and I hit it really close on 10, hit it about 18 inches and made it.

Then I hit a really nice shot on 12, the par-3, to about 15 or so feet and got a good read from Mark because his ball was just outside of mine and I saw what it was doing going down the hill and it caught the top edge of the hole and dropped in.

13, I hit a good tee shot there and the pin was in the front left and there's really nowhere to hit it there, and I just started a little right of the pin and turned it and it stayed up on top and had really kind of a left center putt from 10 or 11 feet. Really felt like a bonus birdie.

And then Mark hit a couple beautiful shots on 17 and 18, and I did, as well, and we both birdied both of them, so it was a great way to finish, and it kind of really put a stamp on the end of the day.

Q. I know that you're not a guy that likes to get ahead of yourself and you've sort of approached this sort of stoically, but you shot a 64, a 65 and a 69 in the first three rounds of the national Open. Are you a little impressed at least by how you've played? You've been spectacular. How would you assess what you've done?

OLIN BROWNE: Well, the truth is I haven't been thinking about what I've been doing, I'm thinking about what I'm going to do, and that's the only thing that matters to me. I'm in a great position right now. I'm very pleased obviously with my overall performance this week, but there's work yet to be done, so I'm not too overwhelmed with what I've done; I'm more worried about what's happening in the future, which is tomorrow.

Q. I think three times, certainly in the last two holes, he hits a big birdie putt, draws it within a shot and you just drop one right in on top of him. I know a birdie is always good, but is it particularly good when you're parrying something that he's already done??

OLIN BROWNE: Well, I didn't look at it that way. You know, he was -- in fact, both times he was on the exact opposite side of the hole, so I got to watch his putt roll, so I got a good read, and all I was thinking about was hitting the best putt that I could. You get out here on some of these putts, like on 17, for example, and I had I think eight or ten feet maybe, I can't remember, and it's aim it somewhere out to the right and hope that you get the speed and the line correct, you know, and it went in.

So I'm just trying to hit a good putt. Does it feel good to answer his birdie? Yeah, of course it does, but I'm not looking at it that way. This isn't match play, and I'm just looking to hit as good a putt as I can hit so I can go to the next tee and hit as good as shot as I can hit then.

Q. Considering the course has been made a little vulnerable by the weather, would you be expecting a tougher course setup for the final round, maybe some of the back tees being used a little more??

OLIN BROWNE: Sure. But again, the flagsticks go where the flagsticks go, and really the deal is when the pins are accessible or the greens are receptive, then a quality shot is going to end up in a good place.

So I think that the USGA wants to set up the course fairly and as tough as they can, and they've done a great job thus far. And I just think this is the kind of golf course that lends itself -- if you hit a good shot, especially with the conditions today, if you play well, you'll shoot a good score. If you don't play well, you won't. There are plenty of guys who have struggled this week.

I think it's a terrific golf course, and I'm just glad to be playing on it.

Q. Other than what Mark is doing out there on the course today, do you concern yourself with the leaderboard, or do you look at them??

OLIN BROWNE: There are plenty of them out there. I saw plenty of them. It doesn't matter what's happening anywhere else. The only thing that I can do is set up to my shot and hit the very best shot I can. It's redundant and boring and repetitive and everything else I can throw at you, but that's the reality of it. And the more you can do that, the more success you're going to have in this type of situation. You get wandering around out there mentally, which is something that I'm pretty good at, you're going to get in trouble. So these kinds of championships have a way of narrowing your focus, and if you don't pay attention you're going to get burned.

Q. What's been your secret to reading the greens so well, because you're one of the top putters out here this week??

OLIN BROWNE: I just think that I've hit enough good shots where I've had some close putts. I don't think that you can be 30 feet here and be effective. I don't know what my longest birdie putt has been this week, but it hasn't been over 15 feet, has it? Probably not. So I mean, you've got to get it close, which means that you have to force the issue a little bit and be slightly aggressive with your second shot or third shot. That's the bottom line.

You're not going to hit it -- if the pin is on the right side of the green, you're not going to hit it 35 feet across the green and make a bunch of them. It's not going to happen.

Q. I know you don't want to get ahead of yourself, but in a 30-year professional career you've got as much idea as anybody of what it means to be a major champion. What would this do for you? You've chased major championships for most of your life.

OLIN BROWNE: Yeah, I really don't have any idea. It would be great, obviously. Any time you can put that kind of a championship in your resumé, it's a tremendous accomplishment. I haven't gotten one. I would love to have one. I've played well in them before, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow.

Q. And just as a follow-up, you won at Deutsche Bank, what, 2005. Have there been times since then where you thought that might have been my last one, maybe I won't get another chance??

OLIN BROWNE: No, I love playing golf, I love being part of the Tour, and I feel very fortunate to have this kind of a career. Whatever happens is okay with me. I've had a nice run. I've got no complaints.

Q. Only really a tiny minority of guys, Cal Peete and Larry Nelson come to mind, have taken up the game around as late as you did and had the kind of career that you've had. When you picked up golf in college, did you have any idea you'd be making a living at it for three decades plus??

OLIN BROWNE: Well, that was getting ahead of myself. I thought I could eke out a living on the golf course, and it's been really fun. You know, I gravitated towards it because I knew what I didn't want to do, and it was have a regular gig. I just didn't see myself in that role. I love the challenge of golf, I love how intimidating it is sometimes and how hard it is and how you just keep butting your head against the wall and there's no reward, and you look around for some sympathy from other people and you don't get any.

But I highly recommend it for anybody that wants to try it because for every failure that you get, and it's 10 to 1 or 50 to 1 or whatever, the successes way outweigh the failures, and so it takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude and resilience to play this game and keep coming back for the same abuse that you get every now and then, but on the other hand, the rewards are sensational. And I'm not talking about financially, you know.

Q. If you're not playing, Mark has got a four-shot lead right now, and if he's not playing, you've got a six-shot lead. Which one of those scenarios makes you feel worse??

OLIN BROWNE: Neither one makes me feel bad at all. Mark and I had a great time together today. I know he said a couple of nice things about me, but that's because I was sitting in the back of the room. He probably felt like he had to.

But we're compatible. We enjoy similar off-the-course stuff. We're both avid fishermen. He's a really high-quality fly fisherman, and we've talked about doing that some.

It's a very comfortable pairing. He plays great golf, he keeps it in play and he's a beautiful putter. He's got a great short game, and he manages his game, so it's similar styles of play, and I think that's what you're seeing on the leaderboard is guys who play that similar kind of a game, right, at a U.S. Open.

Q. You've separated yourselves from everybody else, too.

OLIN BROWNE: That doesn't bother me any.

Q. Knowing you're going to be paired with Mark again tomorrow, how much does that ease any possible nerves you might have going into the final round of a major??

OLIN BROWNE: Well, my nerves are going to be my nerves, Mark's nerves are going to be his nerves, and I just think that's the way it is. I don't know if anybody we could get paired with who would send either one of us over the edge. I suppose if Tom Brady or somebody were a golf -- you know, we've known each other for a long time, and this is the Tour, and this is part of the Tour, and we're all familiar with what we have to do.

I guarantee you Mark could care less who he's playing with tomorrow. He's going to go out and play the best he can and he knows I'm thinking the same thing. It just happens that we're paired together and we're compatible, and that's all good.

DAN HUBBARD: Thanks very much for coming by, and best of luck tomorrow.

Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.