Greg Chalmers interview, Tuesday 4 December 2012 This has been a happy hunting ground for you. There is not question that this was the start of some really great things for me this year. I did not win in America but I got a lot of great opportunities based on how I performed in Australia. I was really thankful that I got to play in the British Open, the US PGA and some World Golf Championships. I got some opportunities I would not have had in the past. They came from winning the Australian Open. So it had quite a career impact? No question. I&aposve only played nine majors. I had not played the British Open for 12 years. It was a great experience for me. I played a practice round with Tom Watson. I wrote him a letter. There were some things this year that, at the age of 39, I had not done or it was a while since I had done them. From that standpoint it was a really great year. Inaudible question. I have gone on a bit of quest in the last couple of years. I was shy when I was younger. I did not have the guts to ask people questions. I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Byron Nelson before he passed away a few years ago. That was when I clued in the idea that I needed to talk to people. I spoke to Tom, I spoke to Nick Price this year, Paul Azinger. I&aposd love to chat to Greg Norman. I hope I get the opportunity next week. It is tough. You want to ask the questions but you almost want to sit them on a couch. It is like a psychology thing sometimes. It can be uncomfortable if they don&apost want to answer the questions or you don;t want to ask them. I wanted to get into Tom&aposs head a bit and find out if I was on the right path. The game comes very easily to some people. I think he is one of them. What did he say? He&aposs very good. There have been three people Tom Watson, Peter Thomson and Bryon Nelson I have spoken to who think golf is a very simple game. I asked him what he things about when he plays. You can ask him when he comes in. He said he has had the same backswing thought for 18 years. The game is very simple for Tom. I had 10 thoughts getting out of my car this morning. Some people find it easier than others. What does winning the Australian Open mean to an Aussie? It is very personal. When you win an event like this, you have your own small piece of that history. Growing up in this country and watching it as a kid, you have it on a pedestal. There are the majors and then you want to win your nation&aposs Open. Given the history we&aposve had with so many great players coming from our country, you want you piece of that. I have two now. Last year was really special for me. I appreciated it more than the first time. Inaudible question. It is pretty good sitting here right now. What that means on Thursday, I&aposm not quite sure. I played nine holes this morning and I played 18 holes both days for the past two days. I had not done a lot before that. I had some time off with my family in Sydney. My game game felt pretty nice and I am looking forward to starting on Thursday. I have more obligations that week than I normally would have. That is something new to me. Tiger Woods and John Daly aren&apost here this week. Do you miss the fanfare? I play in America. I am used to fanfare. I did not notice it that much last year. With the players we have this year, I think we are going to have a great week. It is going to be the last opportunity to see Tom Watson play in Australia, I&aposd imagine. If you are golf fan, that is a great opportunity. Justin Rose has been playing fantastic all year. He is one of the game&aposs great players, combined with our guys, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and the likes. I did not notice much last year or this year. Can you talk about the impact of Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour. Wow, he&aposs good, isn&apost he? There are a couple of players who have an opportunity to really impact the game and change it. He is very powerful. They become larger than their results from the fans&apos standpoint. People latch onto them and worship them. That is something I can&apost relate to. I have not played with him yet. I&aposd love to see him play. The stuff I see on TV is just phenomenal. When I first started your would see some players and say, I just can&apost do that. There are only a few guys like that. Tiger is one. They compress the ball at a power that you can&apost recreate. He has a lot of great things in front of him. It is going to be great to watch. Question about simplicity after talk with Watson. It is a battle for me. If you can stand over the ball with one thought in your head, you are about 1000 steps in front of most guys. Sometimes I wish I was a lot better at it, other times I an thankful I can process a few things. It is a strength of his. That why he has won eight majors and all those tournaments. It is something to aim for. Justin Rose played in the first Australian Open you won. His career has come a long way since then. That was probably in the middle of missing 20-odd cuts in a row. If you could mention that when he comes in, I&aposd appreciate it. He is a lot better now. A career is a long time. It is 13 or 14 years later and he is still young. That is the great thing about golf. Within that time you can have a lot of ebbs and flows. The lows in golf are very low and the highs are very high. You have to ride the waves. He has done very well to hang in there. He could have stopped. I don&apost know if he thought about it. Ask him. Now he one of the top players in the world and he is looking to stay there. Is the course set up differently to last year? There is a patch in front of the third green that is GUR but apart from that, I have not seen anything. I know the weather has not been untoward. The fairways were a bit long on Sunday but they have been cut since then. The greens were a little firmer today. I was surprised how firm they were this morning and I was really pleased. I think they are the keys to slowing the scoring down. We can really tear this place up if the wind does not blow. The greens are in great shape and usually that is the key. Do you feel different as the defending champion? It is weird because you think you are the only guy who cares. I&aposve only won nine times and a couple of times I did not go back (to defend) because I was on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide Tour. I could tell you any given week who the (previous) winner was. As a player in the field, it does not bother you. You really don&apost think about it. But is is important to me on a personal level. I would like to have a good defence of my title. I am trying to prepare like that. You get to do a lot of cool things like that that I would not normally do. I told me wife this morning that I had my pressa . She said, &aposYou are an idiot&apos. Question about shyness. I was (shy) early in my career. It is not easy. I&aposm okay now. I am a big boy. Do you ask for any special consideration in the draw? No. I thought that the Australian Open champion played with the Australian Amateur champion. I know that when I won the Australian Amateur I played with Steve Elkington who won the Open and Brad Hughes who won the Masters. I have not requested anything. Can you talk about the rise of China in golf? I have heard a lot about the Asian Amateur. There are some great stories. About 12 members of Augusta National go down and it is the only time they are allowed to wear their jackets outside the clubhouse. That is how important it is to them. I watch the Q-school a bit. There have been some Korean kids doing well. There are a lot of Koreans on the PGA Tour this year. Do you seen the Koreans and Chinese taking of the game like the women have? At one point when I was on the PGA Tour we had 21 Australians. I could see that happening. You&aposll see the growth of the game and more guys coming across but there is a lot you have to adjust to living outside your own country. That can sometimes slow guys down.
Author: Golf Australia