QUICK QUOTES FROM: MARK MIELKE and KIYOSHI MUROTA
Q. Tell us about this time of round. This is your debut.
MARK MIELKE: Yeah. Well, it's very similar to like the New York courses. The Met Section, it's like the golf course is setup almost exactly like what we play. There's like such real tough holes. I said going in, if I could just par those six holes and maybe make some birdies on some of the other ones, it might be all right.
I hit it good. Hit the driver good. I hit a lot of good putts. I didn't get in a lot of trouble.
The second hole I hit it up against a tree and had to take an unplayable. I made a good bogey there. But it was a good solid round besides that.
Q. The size of these greens, that doesn't affect you much.
MARK MIELKE: Not really. It's kind of similar, we have a lot of courses, that you get big greens like this. You know you're going to have a lot of long, undulated putts. We hit a lot in the practice rounds. So I'm kind of used to it. And the greens are about the same speed as what we're at usually, so it's same type of grass. It's kind of like playing at home.
Q. Did you score about as well as you could with six birdies?
MARK MIELKE: Yeah, I left one out there on 18. That's the only one. It could have been a lot worse, that's for sure. That one on 18 was very doable though. But I'm happy with the round.
Q. What was your best performance coming into this championship?
MARK MIELKE: I've been playing good all year. We had the Long Island PGA and I lost in the final for that in the young group. I lost in the finals there.
I had been playing okay coming into this and all my three practice rounds were pretty solid. The PGAs I played in before I never ever felt real comfortable, I never really hit it that well in the practice round, so I was kind of on edge coming into the tournament. So coming into this week I felt pretty good.
Q. You said it resembles some of the courses you've seen in the Met Section. What particular ones?
MARK MIELKE: Baltusrol. Winged Foot. All the ones that we played big Majors on. Even Meadowbrook has greens that are just as big as this. So it's very similar to the courses I play all the time.
Q. And that kind of competition, we always hear about how good it is, but last summer we talked with Matt Dobbins, he came out of nowhere, we know how good the competition is within the section.
MARK MIELKE: And that's why I was saying, if I could just stay competitive at 48, 49 in our area and then turn 50 and who knows what might happen. You might get to 50 and then you got Kessner and Hartmann you got to play against. But it's a very competitive section. I think that makes you kind of work harder to keep on your game.
Q. Did you have some good partners today with Mr. Thorpe and others?
MARK MIELKE: They were great to play with. Joe was great. Jim was great. We had good conversation out there. It was great guys to get that first round under your belt with.
Q. This is a Major, right?
MARK MIELKE: I'm trying not to think of it that way. I'm trying to think of it as just another round of golf.
Q. That's worked for you?
MARK MIELKE: Yeah, yeah, so far. I try not to look at any boards. I didn't want to see any boards, I didn't want to see anybody.
Q. Details on the birdies, please?
MARK MIELKE: I couldn't even tell you. I birdied 16 and
Q. From how far?
MARK MIELKE: I had a good 5 iron right into the wind, hit it about maybe 12 feet and made a good putt there.
That was like a blur though.
Then I made a bad second shot. Made bogey on 2. So I was right back where I started.
But I birdied the par 5 there. The first short one. I knocked it in the I knocked it right in the front bunker and got up and down there for birdie.
And then that little next hole, that par 3 is such a tough hole. I made bogey there. And gave it right back. So I was kind of bouncing back and forth there.
Then I birdied 8. I birdied 7 and 8. I knocked it to a tap in on 7. We thought it, from where we were standing we thought it might have actually gone in for a 2. We couldn't see the bottom of the flag there.
Q. What club?
MARK MIELKE: I hit a tiny little pitching wedge there.
8, I hit a good drive and I could reach. And I know I wanted to miss it right and I missed it right in the lip of the bunker, but I had a good chip straight up the hill and I knocked it to like maybe a 6 footer there for birdie.
9 is such a tough hole and I hit a good drive, I hit a real good second shot, but I was up on the tier and I couldn't stop it by the hole and it went like four or five feet past and so I made bogey there. Which was a little disappointing, because I know you got 9 and 10 coming up there and then you are trying to just hang on playing 15 and 16.
I hit a real good drive on the par 4 there and hit 7 iron in. In the practice round I hit a 3 wood one time. So that's tough.
16, I hit a real good hybrid pin high and I made a good birdie on 17.
17, I hit it in two and had a good 2 putt.
And then 18 I just missed a short one there.
Q. Tell me back on when at the time and in the course for the Long Island Open.
MARK MIELKE: That was at North Shore Country Club. They had just done a redesign there and so they were excited to see what Doak had done. It's a real tricky up and down, real undulated greens. They have some greens that make some of these look flat. So it was a tricky place. But it was a match play event. So I figured that it would be a great event.
Q. When was that?
MARK MIELKE: That was beginning of the season, so that was probably about a month ago.
Q. So that's your last competition?
MARK MIELKE: No, no. We had the Senior Match Play and then I was really going real confident into that and I got beat in the first round.
Then I was in a playoff for the first stage of the U.S. Open and I lost in a playoff there. So I had some competition right coming up into this, so it was nice. The playoff was nice in the Open, because I felt a little nervous on the first tee and I hit a real good tee shot. So I was hitting good shots so I felt pretty confident coming in here.
Q. Just like pacing yourself right and that's maybe accounted for the nice day four?
MARK MIELKE: Well, I'm driving it good. I'm not getting in a lot of trouble. Hitting a lot of fairways and hitting my irons pretty solid, so I'm hitting a lot of greens. I don't know how many it was, but I didn't miss many on this course.
Q. How many Majors have you played in at any time?
MARK MIELKE: I played in five PGAs and four Opens.
Q. In the last Open was?
MARK MIELKE: A long time ago.
Q. The last PGA?
MARK MIELKE: That was awhile ago too. I think that was maybe Atlanta.
Q. That was 2001.
MARK MIELKE: That might have been it. It's been awhile. I definitely felt it today. You get used to it the more you get in them, but now I haven't been in one for awhile and it was a little struggle early.
Q. Mr. Murota, just basically I'm asking you your feeling about a great round today and your feelings about this golf course, but let's talk about the round itself. General comments from the round.
KIYOSHI MUROTA: It was very good.
Q. Anything else about the golf course itself?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: It's a very good golf course.
Q. A couple years ago you were saying, if I can play Murota golf, I'll be fine. Is that true? Did you play Murota golf today?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Pretty much. It was I'm pretty happy.
Q. What were some of the important points of the round today?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Not good conditions. So each shot is very, you have to be careful, be careful. Take it easy. Make it easy.
Q. Birdies today? Where was your longest birdie putt today?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: No. 2.
Q. How far?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Five meters.
Q. Okay. 15 feet? Okay. Are you more at ease today on this golf course for any particular reason on this golf course?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: No, it was very difficult.
Q. In what way? What particular areas?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Everything.
Q. You finished 4 under par and you held your round together. What were the areas that you held it together the best? The back side? Or how would you say?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: The back nine.
Q. What was your strongest performance coming into this championship and when was it?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Nothing. The TOUR hasn't started yet in Japan.
Q. But prior to this where were you playing?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: It's different in Japan from the United States. But here it's more I'm playing the rounds.
Q. Where did you play though before you came here? Were there any competitions? Where was that? Recently. Recently.
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Tokyo.
Q. When was the championship that he last played in?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: April. San Francisco.
Q. I want to know when you last played before you arrived here.
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Oh, last week. Last week.
Q. Where was that?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Japan.
Q. He played in the last Japan PGA TOUR event?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Yeah.
Q. Was that a week ago?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Yeah.
Q. All right. Last question, have you learned anything about this championship and what you have to do to be successful here?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Everything. The grass is different. So.
Q. How about the competition? Do you feel comfortable with the competition?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: United States and Japan the competition in the same.
Q. Were you hitting the ball well today?
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Sometimes.
Q. So this is half Murota golf then.
KIYOSHI MUROTA: Yeah.
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