Nick Watney Interview (Flash)
Score 144, 4‑over
Q. What was different about today compared to yesterday?
NICK WATNEY: I would have to ‑‑ I got off to a really rough start. I was 6 over through nine. Then I kind of steadied it out, but I guess that another difference would be I didn't make an albatross. (Laughter.)
Q. Did that give you momentum yesterday, do you think? You were 3‑over at that point in time before the shot?
NICK WATNEY: Definitely, it was a bit of 2 a shot in the arm. You kind of go to a short par‑5 like that hoping to make a birdie and if things go great, an eagle. But it was more than I could have hoped for. So, yeah, it was definitely kind of spurred me on.
Q. How is the course different today than it was yesterday and how would you expect it to play tomorrow for the weekend?
NICK WATNEY: Well, for us this morning it was much softer, I thought. If you got a good lie in the rough you could keep it on the green, whereas yesterday it was kind of like playing ping pong, it was very, very firm. I think ‑‑ I expect this weekend it just to get more and more firm and the precision is going to be a must.
Q. Did you propose any differently for this?
NICK WATNEY: Well it's kind of like a boxing match or something. The course, for me, at least, definitely won this round. So you just kind of got to, if you get in trouble, try to minimize the mistake and there's an few holes out there that you can get to, but it's very difficult, and I expect it to get more and more difficult as the tournament goes on.
Q. Can you talk about just your open stretch of holes and how they're playing up to what you expected?
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, we have heard a lot about them, and today I helped with the high stroke average for those holes.
It's just difficult. When it's cold like this, the ball goes about a club shorter. So the shots uphill, like No. 2 and No. 4 play very long. The third hole runs away. I mean it's just a really difficult stretch.
And if you're a little bit off it seems like at this tournament everything is magnified, mistakes are magnified. So those six holes definitely demand good golf and if you play them well you feel like you made up a couple shots, but it can also ruin your day.
Q. This is different from last year in terms of the scores. Does this feel like the U.S. Open is supposed to feel?
NICK WATNEY: Yeah, it definitely is more like we would expect, I think. I think Rory was, what was he 11‑under or something like that? After two days, yeah, which I think that's got to be a record, right? So I think this is definitely a little more what you expect coming to this tournament.
Q. Will you have some words for him for doing this to you?
NICK WATNEY: No, it's not his fault. He set all kind of records like we talked about, so I think we all kind of knew that the USGA was going to come out firing this year and they haven't disappointed.
Q. Do you think there's a certain type of U.S. Open player? When you look at the the board this morning? Furyk is up there, are there just some players that are suited for this kind of test?
NICK WATNEY: I think those guys are definitely tough and just kind of, they're able to grind when they need to. Graeme, Pebble Beach was brutally tough when he won. I didn't play when Jim Furyk won; but, yeah, I think that the same names keep popping up. I think that's for a reason.