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?

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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