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The memories are flooding back as Mark O'Meara makes his way around the grounds at Royal Birkdale a decade after his victory here in 1998. (Franklin/Getty Images)

O'Meara blog: Settling in and getting comfortable

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In the second installment of his blog, Mark O'Meara discusses the condition of the course, his thoughts on rising star Anthony Kim, and the memories that are provoked by being back at the site of his 1998 victory.

Editor's note: Mark O'Meara, who capped a career year in 1998 at Royal Birkdale when he added the Open Championship to his Masters title, is doing a daily blog for PGATOUR.COM this week. This is his second installment.

It was a short night, to say the least. We went home Monday afternoon and had a nice home-cooked dinner. That's what I like to do at these events so I can relax. The guys I'm staying with cooked spaghetti with meatballs and made a salad -
it was perfect. Then I got about five or six hours sleep before I had to get up at 5 o'clock to make my 6:30 tee time. I've always liked to go out there early to see the course and get my work done. Then I can rest the rest of the day or do whatever I want.

I was going to play with Anthony Kim but he was late. We did play nine holes together on Monday. I'm so impressed with his ability. He plays a lot of golf shots out there. He controls his trajectory. His distance control is pretty good. He's got a good short game, too. And Anthony is off to a great start this year, winning the Wachovia Championship and certainly, the AT&T National, Tiger's event, at Congressional. He's got the tools to play well this week and I wouldn't be surprised to see his name up there on the leaderboard.

I've enjoyed getting to know him over the last year or so. We played together at the Merrill Lynch Shootout in December and had some good talks. I like helping the young players, especially a young player who's got the kind of talent and ability that he does. As an older player, I think it's the right thing to do and I enjoy it. His friendship has been great. When he's playing well, I'm happy for his success, just like I was with Tiger. He's got the ability to eventually challenge Tiger, in my opinion.

More Open Championship Content:
Spoor Blog Archive: Monday
Course: Tour Royal Birkdale
Open Championship News

It was fun playing today. There were a lot of good memories out there. It was nice to be back. I talked with a reporter after my round not 15 feet away from where I was sitting 10 years ago with my wife and my son and my daughter. We witnessed something special, certainly, with Brian Watts hitting that incredible bunker shot on the 72nd hole to get it up and in. Then we went into the playoff and they let my family walk inside the ropes. So to go on and win this championship in a playoff -
especially after having had a chance in 1991 and playing with Ian Baker-Finch in the final group -
was a dream come true.

This golf course is in really good condition. The rough is a little bit deeper because they've had so much rain this spring and early summer. So once again driving is going to be important. You're going to have to put the ball in the short grass. I played OK today on the front side but not as well as I'd like on the back side, to be honest with you.

But there's still another day to practice and get over the jet lag and hopefully play a little bit better. I've played poorly going into tournaments and then seemed to do well in the actual event, so you never know exactly what might happen. But I'll get a little nap this afternoon and some good food tonight and I'll be ready to go.

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