Martin Interview (Flash Area)
Q. That shot on 2 was a heart breaker. Almost had a great start there.
CASEY MARTIN: Yeah, I was really nervous. I tried not to be. I tried to realize that there's really not much pressure on me, but it didn't work. I was nervous and hit a poor drive on 1 and made a tough bogey. And then I hit a really really bad shot out of the fairway on No. 2 and was just like, what? This could be a long day. And hit a great chip and the chip, I was praying for that to go in, and then it lipped out and then I lipped out the next putt.
But the first five or six holes were a stress. Then obviously they were really hard, but I missed a couple putts and did some stuff that wasn't great. But fortunately the birdie on 7 settled me down and I was able to play nicely after that.
Q. How do you feel physically?
CASEY MARTIN: I'm okay. There's some definite walking up these hills I'm not totally used to but it feels good. Walking up hills has never really been the issue. But it is does get the heart pounding a little bit.
Q. Did you feel a different, did you have a different reaction or vibe from the gallery that you didn't in '98?
CASEY MARTIN: I thought the galleries were great in '98. I didn't have anything negative happen to me and they were wonderful today. Really really supportive. So it was a special day, really thankful that I played decently but, man, it's a stress out there.
Q. Did the nerves take over? You played here before, you played a lot of good golf, were you just ‑‑ were you unable to swing correctly?
CASEY MARTIN: Yeah, I was just nervous and just I was just popping out there. So a couple of swings I just didn't feel good, didn't make ‑‑ if you play golf you kind of know what your swing's like and then all of a sudden it gets under pressure and it feels like you never hit a ball before in your life before. It felt like that early on. I expected it, the problem is those holes are so hard you really can't afford to do that. But I didn't make any big numbers, just a lot of bogeys.
Q. Was there anything during the round then that kind of clicked that got you going again?
CASEY MARTIN: I would say the birdie, just finally getting a putt to drop on 7 finally settled me down and fortunately I drove it well, even though I was really the only bad drive was off the first tee.
Q. What did you feel those kind of nerves last?
CASEY MARTIN: It's been a long time. long time. Because I haven't competed in six years where you feel nerves for that. And the sectional qualifying, I got a little nervous, but not like this. I haven't felt like this in a long, long time. It's the U.S. Open, you don't, you can play in PGA TOUR events all day long it doesn't feel like this.
Q. What was it like being back out there in a competitive round?
CASEY MARTIN: It's great. I love to compete, I love the game. I wouldn't want to play this tournament every week. I just, it's such a stress. I don't know how to explain that. I'm trying not to be overly dramatically that way other than that's how I feel, it's just really really stressful. Especially when I'm not used to playing in front of people and there's people and then the fairways are really tight and the greens are so tough. It's just everything combined I just, it's overwhelming at times, but you just got to kind of take a deep breath and just try to did you mean it down, which I tried to do, but...
Q. The birdie on 17, where were you on the tee shot?
CASEY MARTIN: I hit a great drive, I drew it beautifully, hit it in the fairway and that was one of my better drives of the day and then I hit a very poor 3‑iron but I took enough club and it hit right on that down slope and kicked it back I didn't think I was going to be that close, it didn't, from my angle it looked like it would be middle of the green and it got up there and I was about an inch from disaster, so I was very fortunate there.
Q. On 7 did you go for the green?
CASEY MARTIN: I did. I didn't try to, I tried to hit a little cut to the right bunker is what I tried to do and came up a little bit short. I played it kind of like I wanted to and just had a really tough lie. Everything's tough. Every lie I got today, even on the first hole, I laid up into a divot and I'm just like, wow, this is going to be hard.
Q. Did you reach the bunker on 7? On your tee shot?
CASEY MARTIN: No, I was just short right of it.
Q. And how far, where did you chip up to?
CASEY MARTIN: I hit it up probably about 15 feet past and it rolled back to maybe 10 feet.
Q. And you made the putt and that sort of got you going?
CASEY MARTIN: I did, I made the putt. One of the few putts that went in. And it did settle me down. Birdies are huge out here in this tournament.
Q. Despite what happened on the first six holes you still ended up out scoring a lot of the world's best players. What do you think that says about your resolve and just your nerve and everything else?
CASEY MARTIN: I don't know, I haven't had time to really think about that. I'm very happy about that, obviously. But the tournament's not over and they're so good, they will come back. And my goal is just to relax somehow out there and be able to hit shots like I think I'm capable of and see what happens.
Q. Is that true about Chip Kelly picking the uniform?
CASEY MARTIN: Yeah, Chip's my fashion coordinator. How did we do today? Pretty loud, but, see, if you wear this you better play well. This is, I don't know what you call it. Off the road? It's green and yellow, electric green maybe, I don't know. It's lightning green. We'll take it.
Q. Obviously we know your relationship with Tiger, how you respect him. He shot 69 today. Is that, A, surprising to you and B, is that an impressive round out here?
CASEY MARTIN: You bet it is. And playing with Tiger the last two days ‑‑ there's been a lot of talk about him and his game and will he get it back or is he the same. Let me tell you, he's phenomenal. It was incredible the shots I saw the last two days from him. Effortless. I think he's going to be better than he was.
I know that his putting, he's had a lot of magic on the greens through the years, which is hard to keep going, but his golf swing and whatnot, it was incredible. If there's anybody better, I don't know of anybody. I can't imagine anyone being better than him. I know he's not ranked No. 1, but there's nobody better than Tiger.
Q. Now that you've had that stressful first day under your belt will you be a little better, calmer tomorrow?
CASEY MARTIN: I hope so. I want to enjoy it, it's hard to enjoy it when you're popping with your nerves and stuff. And I want to do well so bad that I don't want to get in my way. So tomorrow it will just be a real challenge to stay relaxed and try to enjoy it.
Q. What was like in your group, because it was a big day for all three of you?
CASEY MARTIN: We're all fish out of water I think as far as this level. Cameron's a great player, going to be a great player, but he probably hasn't played at this stage. And I know Dennis hasn't. And I have, but it's been a long time. So we're great, it was great being out there. Dennis is an awesome guy and real fun to play with. I was really pulling for him.
Q. Are you good with the late/early?
CASEY MARTIN: It's going to be tough to wake up early, but to play with Tiger you got to get up that early to do it so I figured that was my preparation, so hopefully I'll be ready for it.
Q. What do you want to tell the players back home that are watching you?
CASEY MARTIN: My players?
CASEY MARTIN: Get really good. If you want to play out here, to just get really good, because it's, it's hard. It's hard. So, yeah, this is an awesome stage, I love this tournament, I just am grateful it's once a year and maybe I get to play in it every 14 years or something.