Augusta: Quotes of the week

Round-up of the early talking points at the US Masters

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 11 Apr 2002

Everyone has a lot to say, come Masters week. Golfmagic has been rounding up the talking points so far.

"I’ve been in love with the place for so long, and it's a little bit different. You've got a new golf course; they've put a lot of teeth in it." Greg Norman, three times runner-up and a special invitee this week, having failed to qualify.

"It really isn't going to play that different for me because a lot of the holes that were lengthened were holes that were just as difficult to get to with an 8- or 9-iron as it will be with a 5- or 6-iron." Phil Mickelson, whom many regard as being responsible for the changes after hitting a sand-wedge into the 11th last year following a drive of 367 yards.

"You're putting the ball in the same spots off the tee that you were 10 years ago." Tom Lehman, referring to how new technology has put the clock back.

"It’s a major and it's good that it will bring the scores down again. It became a little bit too low for a major championship. Now, we're certainly back where it's going to be tougher." Dane Thomas Bjorn.

"I'm too aggressive for the always beats up on me. When you stand there in the middle of a fairway with a wedge or 9-iron in your hand, you know you cannot aim for the pin, but it's so hard to resist. Then you walk away with double bogey. Now, you'll be standing there with a 4- or 5-iron, maybe that will make me play smarter and shoot some better scores." Jesper Parnevik.

"You're going to have to hit it great and putt great. That's what you want for your Masters champion. You don't want somebody slinging it around here and winning the tournament because he had a good week putting. Now, whoever wins is going to have to have it all." Mark Calcavecchia

"These young people are just hitting the ball a really long way. I think the changes were appropriate. Arnold Palmer

"If I say what I think, it's against what they think, basically. So I prefer to keep it to myself. When you add yardage to a golf course like this, you play right into the long hitter's hands. Maybe that's what they want. To me, we've determined who hits it long. Let's determine who hits it straight." Hal Sutton

"I feel sorry they had to change the golf course. My time there is nearly done, so I'm not that worried." Nick Price

"I spoke to Hootie Johnson (Augusta National chairman) about the changes, and the changes are not for me, they're for the kids that are coming up in the future. I'm not that long anymore. I kind of dink it around. There are a lot of kids out there now in college and high school golf that hit the ball further than I do. They're getting bigger and stronger, and the new technology is helping out. So I guess they went ahead and took a step to prevent the players in the future." Tiger Woods

"Olly is the kind of guy who, if he was involved in a bar-room fight, you'd have to kill him to stop him. He has the heart of a lion and is every bit as fierce a competitor as Tiger. He doesn't quite possess Tiger's all-round talent. But he has the same heart and the same desire." Butch Harmon on his pupil Jose Maria Olazabal, whom he rates as one of Tiger’s fiercest challengers this week.

"It’s a fantastic compliment, as I think I have been a fighter all my life. I had to fight to reach the top in golf, then fight even harder to return after my long and painful illness." Jose Maria Olazabal

"I would think the difficulty has increased by probably three-quarters of a shot to a shot and a half, for sure." David Duval, runner-up last year.

"It depends on the wind and if we get some rain, If it rains, the players win. If it doesn't, the course wins." Fuzzy Zoeller

"The old course record is done. It's put in the filing cabinet somewhere and that's it. Whoever shoots the low score around here this week has a new tournament record and course record." Greg Norman, who shares the 18-hole record with Nick Price at 9-under-par 63.

"They won't be giving away as much crystal for eagles as they used to. And it's going to be quieter. There aren't going to be as many birdies but a lot of people putting for pars." Davis Love III

"It's a very difficult hole now. I'm hitting 3-wood, 6-iron instead of driver, L-wedge or sand wedge." John Daly on the 18th hole, lengthened by 60 yards to 465.



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