Quotable Quotes from Hazeltine


Chaska,Minn. -- After a glorious week at Hazeltine National, some quotable quotes, a day-by-day diary of notable notes from the interview room at the 84th PGA Championship.
Monday - A day of rain, yet still, 40,000 fans filled the course.
* Tom Lehman, Minnesota native - Question: 'Tom, for a Monday, are you surprised to see so many people here?' Answer: 'No, no.'
* Tiger Woods, winner of two of three major championships in 2002 - One of the many questionable questions the best player in the world often encounters: 'Tiger, now that you did not win the British Open, looking back, could you say it's good for golf maybe that you didn't win all four in one year this year; and that in the big picture, that's a good thing for golf?' Answer (after a look of disbelief and a shake of the head) 'You know what, dude? I can't give that to you.'
* Then another entertaining exchange with an erstwhile reporter: 'Tiger, for the local media, what do you think about Minnesota? Have you had time to take in any of the sites and have you been to the Mall of America?' Tiger: 'House, course. Course, house. House course, course house.'
* British Open Champion Ernie Els on his travels with the Claret Jug: 'I've taken it everywhere. I took it to Denver a couple of weeks ago. I was home in London, we took it around the area, shall I say, and had quite a few nice drinks out of it, just some really cool, cold drinks.'
* Phil Mickelson, 'The Best Player Never to Have Won a Major;' 'I think it would be wrong to put the whole outlook of a year based on four tournaments.'
* Defending PGA champion David Toms on playing the first two rounds with Tiger and Ernie: 'Well, just maybe give me a bigger set of blinders, because, you know, there's going to be a lot of things going on - a lot of people out there.'
* Fred Funk and Jim Furyk tie for the first-round lead with 68. Tiger shoots 71. An exchange with Mr. Furyk: 'What would be the most interesting description of your swing?' Jim: 'An octopus falling out of a tree or a man trying to kill a snake in a phone booth.'
* Mr. Funk, whose bio appears immediately before Furyk's in the PGA Tour media guide: 'The F-U's are on top.'
* A reporter asks Tiger, who missed five of seven fairways with his driver: 'You often use colorful language to describe your game. If you had to describe your driving in a colorful way today, how would you describe it?' Tiger: 'Blue.'
* Funk, Retief Goosen, Justin Leonard and Rich Beem are tied for the lead at 6-under par. Justin, who got married on 02/02/02: 'Getting married is probably the smartest thing I've done.'
* An exchange concerning Rich Beem's long-time reliance upon Pepto: Reporter: 'Before the round, you take a swig of Pepto Bismol?' Rich: 'Yes, sir. I do.' Reporter: 'What's that for?' Rich: 'So I don't go number-two on the golf course.'
Saturday, August 16
* Justin Leonard, At 9-under-par, leads Beem by three, Funk by four and Woods by four. Reporter to Justin: 'The Tiger question: Tiger has never come from behind to win a major. You have a five-shot lead heading into the final round over him. Is a five-shot lead safe?' Leonard: 'I'd like to say that, but, then again, I came back from five shots to win a major championship.'
* Question to Tiger: 'Is five shots too much to make up in these conditions?' A smiling Woods, using exaggerated, elongated words: 'Oh, five shots is waaaaayy too much.'
* Rich Beem on what he expects of his emotions Sunday, playing in the final pairing with Leonard: 'They are going to be running pretty fast and furious and I will be sucking oxygen.'
* Beem shoots 68 to win by one stroke over Woods, who shoots 67. Question to the champion: 'Yesterday, you were in here saying you didn't think you had what it took to win a major.' Rich: 'I didn't know if I had what it took to win it. Obviously, I found out today that I do, and I'm actually still surprised at myself.'
* Tiger is asked if the posting of Beem's eagle on No. 11 rattled him, causing his three-putt bogey on the 13th hole: 'No, it didn't have any affect on my putt. Sometimes - I heard the guys on TV said it affected me, but sometimes they have no idea what they are talking about.' (Smile)
And that dear readers, is where we end it. Sometimes those guys on TV have no idea what they are talking about.