Masters Day 1 Media Room Tidbits

I can’t be at Augusta this week like too many people I know but I am getting lots of entertainment from the media room transcripts. Unlike many other tournaments it seems that the press center is grabbing every soundbite they can.

Take a look at these comments after a trying round one that saw the 4th highest average score in the last 40 years at 76.18…some are even about golf..

Fuzzy Zoeller…on the greens:
“Washington Road is softer than No. 1 green. That’s the hardest green I think I have ever seen.”

Dean Wilson was asked : “What was it like out there?”:
“Survivor. It’s really tough out there. Obviously greens are very hard, fast. With them mowing the fairways backwards, it’s long…. It’s a little nerve wracking watching the tournament your whole life and then playing in it. Would like to get a birdie.”

Brett Wetterich – 1st Round Co-Leader:
Q. Can you talk about on 18, your third shot, just kind of what you were trying to do there?
BRETT WETTERICH: “I was trying to get that ball onto the green. I had no chance to flop it. I guess maybe you could have threw it up off that hill and got it coming back. I just wanted to make sure that I hit it hard enough that it didn’t grab onto the grass and get into the grain and give myself 6 or 7 feet for par.”

Q. I was watching with your dad and he said that was stupid.
BRETT WETTERICH: “That’s why he’s there and I’m here.” (Laughter).

Q. Given the dry conditions and you’re such a powerful player, did you gear back on your tee shots or anything like that?
BRETT WETTERICH: “Did I do what?”

Scott Verplank – regarding the conditons:
“I’m very happy to be done… This is a long, hard golf course for me, but it’s a lot of work. Every shot is on the edge.”

David Toms:
Q. Can you talk about the mood of the day? A lot of us thought it was one of the quietest competitive rounds in the Masters.
DAVID TOMS: “It was for me. I was in the last group and I was the last player off. They were cleaning up trash and watering fairways and greens and mowing stuff.”

Vaughn Taylor – on being in the media room:
Q. Are you nervous being in here? Are you more nervous in here than you were out there on the course?
Vaughn Taylor: “Yeah, I think I’m about the same. (Laughter) A little nervous here, a little nervous out there.”

Craig Stadler, 1982 Champion:
Q. Regarding the game and his double on 16.
CRAIG STADLER: “I got tired of losing it to the right, so I made sure on 16 I didn’t and I hit it straight. I had two bad swings on 16 and 17, otherwise it was a pretty decent round.
The golf course gets harder and longer, but I don’t get any younger.”

Q. Does it seem like 25 years since you last won here?
CRAIG STADLER: “Yeah, it does. That was a long time ago.”

Jeev Milkha Singh – Son Of Olympic Track Legend Milkha Singh:
Q. Talking in reference to India
My dad played golf. My dad is still better known in India.
Don’t think anything compares to Augusta. This is something special here.
A lot of people mistake me for Vijay’s brother or Vijay’s son all the time.

Brett Quigley – on the birth of his daughter this week:
“You couldn’t have scripted it better. Calcavecchia already gave me a baby bib from Augusta. I have 150 cigars coming to hand out tomorrow.”

Arnold Palmer – 4-time Champion and new ceremonial starter:
Q. How does this differ from your ordinary day, say an ordinary weekday; up earlier?
ARNOLD PALMER: “Oh, no. I got up the same time this morning that I get up every morning. You want all the details?” (Laughter).

Q. All the details. (Laughter).
ARNOLD PALMER: “I don’t think you do, really. But I get up 5:30, 6:00 every morning and first thing I do is put the coffee on and take my dog for a nice walk. That’s usually my normal morning.
So this morning really wasn’t anything getting-up-wise any different from usual, except my dog isn’t here and I didn’t walk him.”

Q. For those of us who were stuck behind tall or younger media guys here, can you describe the first drive today?
ARNOLD PALMER: “Today?”

Q. Today. Shot by shot. (Laughter).
ARNOLD PALMER: “You weren’t here early?”

Q. No. I said I was behind too many tall guys.
ARNOLD PALMER: “I understand. On the practice tee this morning, I was hitting it over the fence out there. (Laughter).”

Troy Matteson on his 1st trip to Augusta National:
TROY MATTESON: “Terrible. Wasn’t nervous. Hit a lot of bad shots. You do this on this golf course. It’s pretty painful. I hit a lot of bad shots. It’s a bitter golf course. It’s going to make a tough week. When you miss a shot you get severely penalized. It does reward some good shots.
Have played the course before. It’s what is expected, maybe a little firmer. Sometimes a good shot is good and a bad shot’s bad. That’s Augusta.”

Amateur John Kelly:
Q. How was the course playing?
JOHN KELLY: “Had a good time. First two holes a little nervous. Didn’t say my prayers last night around Amen Corner.”

David Howell – a little off-topic with a U.K. Media member:
Q. Have you managed to furnish the house yet?
DAVID HOWELL: “I believe. Via text message, it’s being done as we speak.”

Q. Do you have a new house? For the Americans over here.
DAVID HOWELL: “Well, it’s not brand new, but I’ve been a little slow on furnishing it. It was a little bit sparse the last time he came around for a cup of tea.”

Q. What did he have in it?
DAVID HOWELL: (Laughing.)

Q. There were four bananas.
DAVID HOWELL: “There were only three after you left, but I won’t mention it.” (Laughter.)

Tim Herron – on the course:
Q. How do you think it will play on Sunday?
TIM HERRON: “It might not be playable.”

Chris DiMarco – on the recent Gator NCAA Championships:
Q. About the Gators.
CHRIS DIMARCO: “I can promise what the Gators have done the last year and a half has nothing to do with me.”

Bart Bryant – on the course:
“There are just no easy holes out there.”

Tim Clark – no question recorded and I don’t really want to know:
“I’m getting a lot of stiffness, but feel better.”

It is shaping up to be quite the week…

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