Transcript of ESPN Open Championship Media Conference Call


ESPN golf analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger, host Mike Tirico and vice president, event production, Mike McQuade participated in a media conference call today to discuss next week’s Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland. ESPN’s multiplatform coverage begins with live SportsCenter reports from Muirfield on Monday, July 15, and will include live coverage of all four days of play in golf’s oldest major. Full coverage details HERE.

A transcript of the conference call follows:

MIKE McQUADE:  We’ve got 37‑plus hours of coverage ready to go beginning on Thursday, as you said, at 9:00 AM local time.

Our big challenge this year what we are trying to bring to the viewers is a golf course that is widely regarded as the best in the rotation for Open Championship, and has produced undoubtedly the best array of champions of any of the courses on the rotation.

So I think our great challenge right away will be setting the scene of why this is such a great golf course and why such great champions have won here, so we are looking forward to it and gets underway Thursday at 9:00 AM local time.

We will employ ‑‑ probably upwards of 90 percent of the cameras for our coverage now, are generated from our own crew.  We work hand‑in‑hand with the BBC on camera placements, and I would say it’s an equal share of our cameras with them and their cameras with us.

So it is indeed a partnership now.

MIKE TIRICO:  (on hosting Open Championship on TV for the 17th consecutive year) Well, I’m aging fast, so it’s hard to count the years anymore.  I think I’m looking forward to a little bit that there’s only a couple of weeks of links golf played around the best tours in the world.  The European Tour has really only one true links event.  So a lot of that advantage has changed, and we also see multiple winners the last couple of years, and maybe that plays into it a little bit.

I think this is more of a World Golf Championship than the other Majors simply because of the international qualifying and the numbers of players.  We have seen every year from 17 some really odd, bizarre turn from Van de Velde to when Ernie Els won the playoff here, Thomas Levet picked him up and carried him, which was one of the most bizarre scenes that we’ve seen.

So I look forward to what turns it’s going to take and more importantly coming back to the birthplace of golf.  We have been in Scotland in the last two opens and it’s great to be back here to the ‘oldest and greatest championship,’ as Jim McKay once called it, and we try to mention that every year in honor of the great Mr. McKay.

ANDY NORTH:  Well, Mike (McQuade) touched on the fact that I believe this is the best course in the rotation.  It may not be the most difficult; I think Carnoustie might be the most difficult and St. Andrews is maybe the most historic.

But this is a course that really tests the player, every aspect of his game.  You have to hit the ball both left and right.  You’ve got to play some shots on the ground and you have to play some shots up in the air, and the weather conditions there will be ever‑changing.

If you remember back to the last time that we were there, that we had the squall that came through on Saturday was maybe the worst weather I’ve never seen for maybe an hour, hour and a half at a Major Championship.  It will test the players completely and that’s the reason why when you look at the players who have won, they are the best in our game.  So I’m really looking forward to the week.

CURTIS STRANGE:  Andy hit it right on the head; it’s a wonderful course, you look at the past champions.  I think the one unknown is the weather and we’ve seen that in the past.

I just look forward to it.  For me, as an American trying to bring links golf and trying to explain the nuances of links golf back to our public, a lot of non‑golfers, as well, watching this, it’s exciting and interesting for me to try to put in perspective how different it really is; especially when you get into the different types of conditions on the golf course and the weather and the bunkering, all of the above.

I just love doing this event.  I didn’t love playing it originally but I think like a lot of Americans, you learn to enjoy it and you learn to appreciate it and you learn to really enjoy everything about it, and that was me.

And then moving on to TV, I think I’ve experienced just about every stage of that.  You know, I don’t care if it’s Muirfield or whatever, but Muirfield in particular is a wonderful golf course and to try to bring it back to the public is a privilege for us.

PAUL AZINGER:  Well, Muirfield is always going to be a bittersweet place for me to return to.  I had my chance in 1987 to win there and bogeyed the last few holes and let it get away, and it still hurts to this day.  It’s one of those memories you never forget.  I guess the line is, some learn from their experiences and others never recover from it, and I’m going to kind of stick to that if anyone asks me about it.  You’ve got to recover from heartache sometimes.

It is unbelievably great golf course.  It’s not nearly as quirky as some that we play over there, but it has a uniqueness to it, though, when you go out on the first nine, the whole golf course kind of loops around to the right.

When you go out on the second nine, the 10th hole loops inside kind of 9 and the outer perimeter of the front nine and loops around to the left.  What that ends up doing is it provides, like Andy said, all different kind of shots that you have to play because of the wind direction changes as it relates to the direction of the hole change.

It’s a very fair golf course.  It feels big and wide open and it should be a great championship, and I’m just really looking forward to getting over there and enjoying it.

Q.  I have a question I hope all of you will address:  Now that Augusta National has admitted women as members, what effect should that have an Muirfield moving forward?

PAUL AZINGER:  Well, it’s a unique situation in that being in Europe, I don’t know how they ‑‑ I don’t know what their stance is over there as far as the whole political correctness thing goes, their willingness or unwillingness to allow women in there that is going to be a private matter.  I don’t even know how to contribute.

That is one of the most exclusive places in the world to play golf.  It’s probably more difficult to get around the golf at Muirfield than any place in the world.  I don’t think I could play there unless a member invited me specifically if I called and said I’d love to play.

So it’s just very unique, very exclusive and whether or not they allow women to play there is just going to be one of those things that they are either going to feel the pressure to do or pretty much just laugh and say, we are going to do what we want.

ANDY NORTH:  As Paul was saying, they do things their way there.  If what they have done at Augusta has any effect on them, I would have to say it probably doesn’t.  I think they are going to do what they want to do.

An example of how exclusive and how difficult sometimes it is to get on the golf course:  The evening after Tom Watson won in 1980, a group of us went out on the golf course and Ben Crenshaw challenged Tom for the Cup.  He had come back from an auction with some gutta percha balls and some beautiful, old, wood‑shafted clubs.

And after two holes, basically, the secretary of the club found out that we were out there, came out and kicked us all off the golf course.  This is the day after Tom won the championship.  I think that in some way may answer your question.

Q.  My question is about Rory and what’s going on with him.  Is this the kind of thing we are going to be seeing from him, these spurts of brilliance among these lulls?  In other words, is he more Phil than Tiger?

CURTIS STRANGE:  You know, I think you’re going to see ‑‑ I think as Rory matures, learns more about his game, his swing, how to play the game, he will be a more consistent player.  He’s always going to be a brilliant player when he’s on.  We’ve already seen that.  You never lose that.  That’s an instinct that very few people have to do what he’s done a couple times already in his career.

But I think he’ll learn how to play the game a little more consistently.  Right now he’s going through a tough time, and when you go through a tough time, you also lose confidence.

So when he gets his swing back, you have to develop that confidence in your swing and the ability to hit shots, play the game.  It’s a vicious circle and we have all gone through it.  You go through it and it seems like, too often, but he’s going to be that type of player.

He will not be in my estimation a Tiger Woods, where he is a grinder to the end, where he is a very consistent player day‑in and day‑out.  He’s not going to be that kind of player.  He’s a swashbuckler, but I think he will become a much better player in the future, more consistent player.

ANDY NORTH:  I agree with Curtis.  You know, basically, a lot was talked about the equipment change.  Yes, that had some effect on it.  But he wasn’t swinging the club very well, either, at the same time, and he lost that confidence.

We’ve seen bits and pieces of the McIlroy we expect during this year, but it has not been as Curtis said, the consistency level that you need to win constantly out there.

I think we’ll see a much different player when he’s 28 or 29 years old, but he does have the ability, and he is one of those players that if he plays two or three good rounds in a row, he might win the next three tournaments, and there are not many players that are like that.

PAUL AZINGER:  You know, I have a little different take than these two guys.  Andy and Curtis, they are a little more old school, they are just a little older than I am and they are kind of like, you know what, doesn’t matter, here’s the club, take a few days, get used to it and go play golf.

I’ve changed clubs a lot, and it was always difficult for me.  I think he’s really struggling with this.  It’s almost like he’s had a divorce with 14 clubs.  He’s changed every club in his bag, and it is hard to do.  Instead of playing The Scottish Open, he’s hitting drivers ‑‑ or not the Scottish, but last week, he’s working on drivers with Nike trying to figure out which one he wants to use.  Now, that is a burden to a player.

Ben Wright had a great comment about Rory the other day.  He said, I guess we are going to have to let him be young.  I think that’s brilliant.  He is young.  But I think he just went through a major change when he changed all 14 clubs, and it’s affected him.

So a little hard work and the future is still bright, but who would ever have thought Rory McIlroy after he won the PGA would be an afterthought at the British Open.

Q. What do you guys think of Lee Westwood’s window in Majors, if it’s closing fast, and if Justin Rose winning can have any kind of spill‑over effect for Westwood and the other English players.

PAUL AZINGER:  Any time a guy you are hanging around with a lot wins a tournament; a guy that you play practice rounds with that you know you’re as good as wins a major like that, you know if he can do it, you can do it.  It does help to see your peers, guys that you’re familiar with, pull that off.  Lee Westwood can.

His short game seems to be sabotaging him year‑in and year‑out in these things, and just when you think he’s going to do it, something happens either on the green or around the green.  That’s just his Achilles’ heel and it will always be his Achilles’ heel.  He still has plenty of time in my opinion.

ANDY NORTH:  He’s in great physical condition, and if you’re looking at a golf course that you would think would be very good for him, it’s Muirfield.  It’s a golf course that you have to drive the ball well.  You have to flight tee shots.  You have to be able to really hit solid shots when the wind gets blowing.  So many of the holes that it blows across the fairways there, that you think, he’s a player that’s going to be in your group of players that has a chance to win there.

CURTIS STRANGE:  Yeah, we talk every year that of the four Majors, this is the best opportunity for Lee because he’s such a good ball‑striker and you have to strike the ball well, as Andy just said.

But I also think that if he has a special week on the green, making a few putts, and he’s ‑‑ I don’t know how familiar the European players are in this day and age with links golf.  I know that 25, 30 years ago, they were more familiar because they played more of it.  But I think Lee, whatever the case is, is more familiar with links golf than a lot of other players.

You know, if he has a good week on the greens, and he can bump and run more than the flop shot that the that you need so often in the United States, and I think that’s also a difference for his game and it can help his game.  He can keep it on the ground which takes, really, I guess, less skill almost; a lot of touch, but less skill, hitting the ball solid.  And if he has a good week, he can certainly do it.

I would never write this guy off as not being able to win this event this year.

Q.  It’s kind of an old story that only Muirfield has produced, you know, great winners.  I think everybody, I’m looking at the list here, is in the Hall of Fame, but can you get into more specifics of players in this case?  Do you have anymore specifics about what it is about the course specifically and maybe a few holes or maybe a particular ‑‑ what produces this kind of winner?

ANDY NORTH:  It’s a golf course that really requires the player to hit a lot of different types of shots.  If you’re a player that likes to work the ball back up into the wind, to hold it on greens, you have that opportunity to do that here.

If you like to put it on the ground and bounce it into holes, you have open fronts of greens and in many cases, you can do that.  If you want to launch it up in the air and challenge the wind, you also have that opportunity to do, like we used to see Nicklaus do over there.  And it’s a golf course that if you want to curve the ball off the tee back into the wind or set it out and let it ride the wind on other holes, you really have the opportunities to do that.

But it’s also a golf course that you have to be very careful with the bunkering and you have to put the ball in the proper place on the fairways to give yourself some opportunities on the greens.  They are not the most difficult set of greens you’ll ever play, but you’ve got to get there, and I think that’s the real key here is that the rough has always been very severe there, and if you do make some mistakes, it can penalize you dramatically.

PAUL AZINGER:  I think a lot of the luck factor is eliminated here, as well.  It’s not a quirky golf course.  It’s easy to learn.  It only takes a couple of good practice rounds to get to know the golf course.

And unlike some of the courses in the rotation where you’ll have a really awkward, quirky, unlucky bounces, you’re not going to get that or see that as much here.  It’s very fair.  It’s straightforward.  If you hit it in a bunker, you’re going to pay a price and you know it.  Some courses in the rota, you hit it in the bunker and you can’t get out.  That may be the case periodically here, but for the most part, it’s the most fair; and if you’re on, you will be in contention there if you’re that quality of a player.

I think it just really rewards a guy who is able to perform where some of these courses, you know, you might not get rewarded.  You miss by a foot or an inch or two and all of a sudden you’re in No Man’s Land and you can’t play.  That’s not the case at Muirfield.

CURTIS STRANGE:  The only thing I’ll add to that is not so much about the course, but that’s what I think is exciting about this Open is we have some young players who are really, really good ball‑strikers that maybe haven’t won a major yet.

We just saw Justin Rose win his first and he certainly can win here, and we saw how good of a ball‑striker he was a few weeks ago; the Snedekers, the Adam Scotts, the Oosthuizens, you can name them all, and Schwartzels.  I think it’s going to be any number of people could pop up there Sunday afternoon.

Q.  I have a question about the young Americans that have come on this year, like Peter Uihlein who is on The European Tour trying to raise his World Ranking so he can get more time on the PGA TOUR and Billy Horschel, Russell Henley; is it a resurgence ‑‑ the reliance of having Tiger and Phil out there, we have had some guys like Bradley and Simpson win Majors, but is it a good thing having these guys that can play on all different courses?  They have played in the Walker Cup recently, and bringing this new energy to American golf, and the thoughts on who could be a first time winner, if not one of those guys, a first‑time winner next week at Muirfield.

CURTIS STRANGE:  A guy like Peter Uihlein is doing his apprenticeship over on The European Tour and everywhere around the world, and that is so advantageous for a young player to play in all different situations, golf courses, environments around the world.

And so, he could; you never know.  He’s certainly had a great amateur record; the Amateur Champion, and he’s won a tournament or two over there now, so you never know.

But you named the other names that along with the other names I just mentioned of who could win this week:  Keegan Bradley, good ball‑striker; Horschel showed so well at Merion.

I just think it is somewhat of a resurgence of some young players, and not scrapers.  They all look like really quality players that hit the ball well, they putt the ball well, they fade the course well and just quality, quality players.

Now, when you get anywhere from a half‑dozen to a dozen players like this, what separates yourself?  That’s what I find fascinating, what separates one player from the rest; what separates Tiger Woods from the rest.  It could be any number of things.  But something will separate one of these guys in the future.

PAUL AZINGER:  Really there’s the intangible Curtis talks about because there’s so many players that seem to be on an even level.  I still think that when Tiger is on, the gap is still great.  I also find it interesting that we are this deep into a press conference and Tiger has not been mentioned really.

But I just feel like there’s the intangible that Curtis alludes to that is what we all try to figure out.  You know, the players are trying to figure out what makes one guy able to pull it off and another guy is not able to pull it off.  One guy can get on Tour and another guy can’t; one guy can win on Tour and another guy can’t; one guy can win a major and another guy can’t.

If you can identify the intangible, that’s when you can sell that; bottle it up and sell it.  But that’s why we watch sports.

CURTIS STRANGE:  I don’t think you can identify the intangible.  I think it’s an instinct that the great ones have.  They all look pretty doggone good on the practice tee and they all look pretty doggone good watching them play golf.  And then a Tom Watson will win 40 tournaments.  There was a knock that he couldn’t finish a tournament early in his career; there was a knock he couldn’t drive it up the fairway.  Well, guess what?  He won eight Majors.

You’ve got your Hubert Greens out there, you’ve got players ‑‑ Phil Mickelson.  He’s won 40 tournaments or so.  Why was he so much better than the next?  Well, he had ‑‑ whatever it is, he had it, and an incredible short game.  But the ability to just strive to be better than everybody else.

Q.  Mike alluded to this, but we are back to Scotland after a couple of English Opens.  I wonder from a player’s perspective, whether it’s the ambiance or the actual courses, does that make a difference?  Are the galleries different?  Any differences being back in Scotland?

ANDY NORTH:  I think any time you’re in Scotland, you know you have galleries that are probably the best anywhere we go.  It’s a situation where if you have a very, very difficult hole location up against an out‑of‑bounds or something, and a guy hits it stiff with a 5‑iron, there may not be a loud roar, because they know that wasn’t a good shot, because you must have pulled it or you’re too dumb to hit it there.  If you hit it 20 feet to the right, they will give you nice applause because you hit the proper shot.

That’s the one thing that’s fun to go to Scotland is that they appreciate quality shots.  They appreciate good golf, and it doesn’t ‑‑ they are as appreciative to the 150th‑ranked player in the world as they would be to the No. 1‑ranked player in the world, where that’s not the case a lot of times.

So it’s all about the quality of the golf shots you can hit, and if you can, they appreciate you, and I think that’s one of the neat things about Scotland.

PAUL AZINGER:  Another cool thing about the Open Championship in general, and especially in Scotland, is the weather can be just absolutely horrendous, sideways rain, freezing cold, and anybody who has a ticket is still there.

You just marvel that nobody heads for shelter at that tournament.  They stick around, they gut it out with the players and as long as they are playing, the people are in the bleachers and the grandstands and they are on foot watching.

Q.  Question about Adam Scott.  When he left Lytham last year, there were a lot wondering whether he would be scarred for life by that collapse and now he comes back as a Major Champion.  I wonder what you guys think, maybe the role of the finish at Lytham played in kind of getting him over the line eventually, and what do you think of his chances this week?

CURTIS STRANGE:  Incredible comeback.  Coming back from a disappointment that very few know what it feels like.

You know, Paul related earlier about he lost here at Muirfield years ago.  We have all had losses like that.  It shows a lot of somebody’s character, their get‑up‑and‑go.

I thought it was an incredibly popular win at Augusta because of that, and you know, I’m not so sure last year played a role ‑‑ obviously it played some kind of role, but I’m not so sure it played a role of helping him win at Augusta, other than making him probably a little bit more hungry.  But it’s hard to come back from something like that, and some do and some don’t.

PAUL AZINGER:  I think it made it more difficult for him to win at the Masters, Curtis.

CURTIS STRANGE:  Well, I think so ‑‑ I think so, too.  I agree there.  Knowing Adam Scott, I agree with you, yes.

PAUL AZINGER:  As I said earlier, you learn from your experience, or you never recover from it.

And the fact that he went into Augusta National, he made that bomb on 18, which looked like it was going to be to win.  And then Cabrera comes in there on top of him a hole later ‑‑ or, you know, a group later and stones it and makes birdie.

Now, all of a sudden, Adam has to regather himself and collect himself to play this playoff.  And then he makes that bomb to win it, and it was the most guttural of emotions that I’ve ever seen anybody in any sport ever exude.  It was so guttural that it was halfway between crying and laughing; and the joy that overcame him on the 10th green, how his body shook, it gives me chills just to talk about it.

But I believe ‑‑ it’s not always what you accomplish in life that matters; sometimes it’s what you overcome, and what he over became by losing the British and winning the Masters is just a terrific achievement.

ANDY NORTH:  And if you’re looking at a player that you sure would like to put a few pounds on this coming week, it may be him.  He drives the ball so beautifully and he’s such a good, solid ball‑striker and he’s got so much confidence in his putting from inside of ten feet right now, you have to believe that he’s going to have a great opportunity to win next week.

Q.  It’s been an ongoing story with Tiger, and Andy, you eloquently addressed it a little bit before the U.S. Open, but this whole major championship window and the fact that he continues to play such good golf but yet does not break through with that next major, I wonder if you guys can address that, how much of a psychological burden this could become as it continues.  We are down to two Majors left this year, and it could be another long quote, unquote, off‑season for him.

ANDY NORTH:  If I can start with that ‑‑ first of all, we don’t have any idea how healthy he is.  I suspect that he’s going to have some lingering effects of what’s going on and it may take one shot in the rough to basically have another major go by without having an opportunity to win.

I talked earlier as you mentioned, I think every major that goes by puts pressure on him.  He’s very much in the same situation as a guy who has never won a major right now in that the next one is so important to him.

Trust me, he’s putting pressure on himself.  He wants this major so badly, he can’t stand it.  I think the fact that if he’s coming in here at all injured, as he did at the U.S. Open, that’s going to be a huge factor.

PAUL AZINGER:  Here is something probably most of you don’t know:  Tiger Woods has not shot under par since 2007 on the weekend at The Open Championship.

Now, granted, he didn’t play in ’08 and he didn’t play in 2011 maybe, but that is a phenomenal stat that he has not had an under‑par round since ’07.  And like Andy said, if he’s hurt, stick a fork in him; it’s not going to happen this week.

CURTIS STRANGE:  You know, I don’t think he’s playing that well.  You made the comment ‑‑ he’s not playing well but he still hangs around.  He has that grind in him.  He has, you know, the fight in him.  But he’s really not playing that well.  Why did he hurt himself in The Open?  Because he drove it in the rough every hole.

So I just don’t think he’s playing all that well, and you know, it’s not to say he can’t come out and really play well this week ‑‑ he’s still heads and shoulders above better than the next guy. He’s just not the Tiger Woods that we know.

MIKE TIRICO:  The guy is 0‑for‑20 in the last 20 majors; four he didn’t play.  When has Tiger Woods in golf been 0‑for‑20 in anything?

So it’s got to be just tearing him up inside, and maybe that’s part of why he’s having trouble closing the deal after having good starts to these things, because he’s never in golf ‑‑ I shouldn’t say never; almost never done anything 20 times in golf and not won.  So it’s just got to be just so foreign to him.

Q.  You guys were talking about how difficult it is to come to deal with a loss in a major, a close call like Paul, you at Muirfield, and Adam last year at the British.  Is there almost a grieving process when you come close but don’t win a major that is different from any other loss?  And is it almost a series of steps that you have to get through before you can get through it.

PAUL AZINGER:  It was for me.  I think you do grieve a little bit.  It really doesn’t end until you win another tournament.  I lost the Bob Hope one year, I 3‑putted the last hole to get into a playoff and ended up losing the playoff, and you grieve over that.  That took a long time to overcome.

Just stuff happens to you.  You have the willingness to put yourself on a big stage knowing that you can fail.  And if you do happen to let something get away, you’ve got to kind of pull up your bootstraps and just get back on the saddle or whatever cliché you can think of to overcome some kind of a heartbreak or heartache.

I think Adam Scott’s accomplishment, his achievement winning the Masters, is one of the great achievements to do in sport; to do it so quickly after losing The Open Championship was just magnificent.  Yeah, there is some kind of a strange self‑centeredness in grieving, like you’re the only one that really, truly feels the pain of.

CURTIS STRANGE:  Can I just say this?  You know, I threw away a big one early on in my career, a real big one, and the next couple days, I saw Jack Nicklaus.  And he said:  You know, I think this can make you or break you, and I think it will make you.

And I think out of being so frightened that it was going to break me down, I think you get your butt up out of bed and go at it harder, because you can’t let that one tournament to break you after all those years of working it.  Fear might be a big motivation.  It was for me, at the time, anyway.

I’m not saying it was for Adam but there’s so many emotions going through your head when something like that happens to you, and you just have to realize ‑‑ you have to sit back and realize that, hey, I’m not the only one this has ever happened to, and this is what can happen when you put yourself on that stage.

You know, it’s happened to everybody and I’m going to get up and go do it again.  There’s no tricks to it.  There’s no coaches.  There’s no fathers.  Normally there’s nobody to kick you in the ass to go do it.  You’ve just got to go do it, and that’s why sometimes this game is so tough.

PAUL AZINGER:  Nicklaus finished second 19 times in his career.  You think he didn’t have some heartache?  He had some heartache.

Q.  I had a question about the course, and relative to the other courses in the rota, the green complexes and what the players have to face relative ‑‑ whether it’s dry versus if it’s blowing 50, especially on the greens, trying to land the ball and get a good read on the greens.

ANDY NORTH:  Well, if it’s raining and blowing 50, you’re trying to survive.  I mean, this is about survival.

It’s a golf course that you can play under some adverse conditions; not like the monsoon we saw the last time we were there when Ernie won.  There are opportunities to bounce the ball on the ground, which is very important.

But there are holes that there’s some cross‑bunkering here and there.  You just have to be in control of your golf ball that week.  It’s not a week that you can go out there and have your B or C Game and expect to compete.  You have to have your best if you expect to win, and that’s what makes it so interesting.

The greens, there are some of them that are exposed and then there are some of them that are down in some sand dune areas that the wind doesn’t affect you so much.

So if a storm comes in, sometimes it’s a matter of luck to what part of the golf course you’re on.  If you’re exposed on, let’s say, the fifth or sixth hole, you’re in trouble.  If you’re back in the lower part of the golf course, you probably can maybe survive it a little bit better.

So, it’s a challenge from so many different aspects.

CURTIS STRANGE:  It’s so frustrating, and I think that’s what we Americans have to learn, we have to learn to play and we have to learn to accept the nuances over there, and sometimes it takes some of us longer than others.  But it’s a maddening game over there.

Q.  Can I get your most prominent memory from that squall that blew through on Saturday in 2002?

PAUL AZINGER:  All the umbrellas turned inside out.

ANDY NORTH:  The fifth hole was the driving distance hole, and Tiger, if I remember correctly, just came off a double‑bogey at 4 and a bogey at maybe 1 or 3 or whatever, and he was not going very well and he was a little bit hot.  He absolutely killed it off of the 5th hole, and it was 205 yards.

MIKE TIRICO:  Shigeki Maruyama hiding behind the sign in the tee box and trying to figure out that the windchill at that point was 41 degrees in the middle of July. It was one of the two times in the 17 years or whatever it is, that I was actually concerned about the movement of the tower.  Plenty of things moved around, but that thing moved around pretty good.  ’98 and ’02 were the two worst weather stretches that I’ve been around for, and that was ‑‑ it was pretty bad.  You could not see ‑‑ guys hit tee shots with a chance to come out wide, and you had no idea where the ball ended up.


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