George Coetzee Thursday Flash
GEORGE COETZEE: I never knew where the guys got those 62 numbers and all that stuff, because the rough is brutal, the fairways are hard. It actually plays very long with how wet it is. It's kind of what you want in a U.S. Open. It's tough. You've got to drive it well and hit it straight.
Q. Talking to your caddie since China. He said adjusting to the U.S. has been an adjustment. Do you feel like you're finally getting comfortable with it?
GEORGE COETZEE: I am actually comfortable. I feel like I'm kind of first year at the university or a freshman, or whatever. I feel like I've got to get used to it. It's the same in all levels of golf. When I got on amateur golf for the first time I remember I couldn't play to win, but I could play to make the cut and I could make the cuts. When I went on the Accenture Tour, it was the same story.
Q. Straight out of the blocks?
GEORGE COETZEE: Straight. I'm going to win everything I had to kind of ease my way into it. It was the same at the Open. It took me a year and a half to get used to it. But I'm getting enough game time in the States this year to feel like I can win it.
Q. Is it more comfortable that Brandon (Grace) plays more and Louis (Oosthuizen) plays more over here, is it comfortable for you?
GEORGE COETZEE: Yeah, we're all good friends and we spend most of our time together and we get along well.
Q. Who the guys that you used to butt heads with at the Callaway Junior Worlds?
GEORGE COETZEE: I remember. There were four of us were playing. But I actually went ‑‑ I was completely alone, I flew in from South Africa. It was brutal, I remember, but I enjoyed it a lot. And I was there for a week and I wasn't there to make friends, I was there to kind of see if I could play golf.
But, yeah, it was special to me to know that I finished top 10 with those guys.
Q. You talk about how you did golf because your family didn't want you to play tennis?
GEORGE COETZEE: Yeah.
Q. Did I get that right?
GEORGE COETZEE: They did somehow, but that came second. I enjoyed my tennis a lot more than my golf.
Q. Ernie (Els) did the same thing?
GEORGE COETZEE: Yeah. My dad wanted me to work hard on my tennis and I said no. I enjoyed kind of the friendship of golf. And that's what led me to play golf. And thank goodness I changed games. I don't think I would have been this good at tennis.
Q. Your countrymen always seem to rise up in a major championship. It seems like whenever we're at a PGA or Masters or Open we talk to you?
GEORGE COETZEE: I think it's the competitiveness. Nothing matters as much as a major. Everybody kind of ‑‑ I watched most of the last couple of years, I've been watching golf. I wish I was there, I wish I was playing. And I guess it's kind of just wanting it. But, I don't know, I think the other fact is that there are so many South Africans, and sooner or later it's this one or that one.
GEORGE COETZEE: I remember the first one, because that's the reason I wanted to play golf, actually. I thought tennis was the main sport and that's where all the money was. What did he just do? What's going on there? I want to be like that. And he ended up winning the U.S. Open. He's always been kind of a role model, so to speak.
Q. Can you talk about your round? You had a nice, steady round. Is that what it's going to take this weekend?
GEORGE COETZEE: I've just got to drive it well. Actually my irons weren't great today, but I was patient and got some opportunities. I left a couple of nice opportunities out there. I have to drive it well, I think that's kind of the key this week.
Q. How was the course?
GEORGE COETZEE: It's playing pretty long. It's playing pretty tough. You miss the fairways you better hope you miss it by a mile but it's ‑‑ I don't think they need to change anything. I don't think you have to worry about it, because if someone does it they'll be deserving it. I think it's playing pretty well.