GM: Tell me what you remember most about playing in Bethpage in 2002?
SG: I remember it being a very tough, but fun, week. I didn’t get the result I was hoping for in the end, but I was right there on Sunday and it will be something that definitely helps me prepare for this year’s U.S. Open. In many ways it felt like the British Open, both the course itself which can feel a lot like St. Andrews, and the weather conditions.
GM: What characteristics of the Bethpage Black course do you remember?
SG: Of course you remember how long it is. They said at the time that it was the longest course in U.S. Open history. I also remember it having tight fairways and very thick rough, which is pretty common to the U.S. Open. I said before that it reminds you of St. Andrews, especially when the weather conditions get tough, which I think helps me. And although it’s not part of the course itself, you remember the fans. They were very passionate, which I can appreciate. I think they made that week fun too.
GM: How do you prepare for playing – no less a U.S, Open – but a golf course you have only played a few times seven years ago?
SG: Well, the experience I gained there in 2002 will go a long way to helping me prepare for this year’s U.S. Open. I have fond memories of that week and was right in the hunt on the final day, so that gives you confidence heading into it. I’m sure there will be changes to the course after seven years, but you know how to prepare for U.S. Open golf regardless of the course. The conditions are always tough, so you prepare for that mentally, but I think I will draw on my experience from 2002 quite a bit. I’m looking forward to it.
GM: Will you come out to Bethpage to play a practice round before the U.S. Open?
SG: That would be ideal, but I don’t know that I’ll get the chance to. More than likely I will get there a little bit earlier than usual and get some practice in then.
GM: You are known for wearing sharp outfits on TOUR. What can we expect to see you wearing at this year’s U.S. Open including shoes and outerwear?
SG: I’ll be wearing adidas shoes and apparel.
It’s In His Bag!
Driver: TaylorMade R9 9.5°
Fairways: R9 3 - 15°, R9 5 - 19°
Irons: TaylorMade TP 4 – PW
Wedges: rac 54°, 58°, 60°
Putter: Rossa Monza Spider Long
Ball: TaylorMade TP Red LDP