U.S. OpenJune 17, 2015

The 10 best quotes from the Chambers Bay media blitz

On Monday and Tuesday, we saw Jordan Spieth admit that he wears his green jacket around the house, we listened to Martin Kaymer give a brilliant master class in competitive psychology, and we witnessed a course designer -- Robert Trent Jones Jr. -- confront Tiger Woods on remarks he made about the design. And those moments didn't even make our top 10!

Read on for the best quotes from the pre-tournament pressers at Chambers Bay:

10. Rickie Fowler wants another crack at Rory McIlroy.

He's the guy out front. There's a lot of times where you see him up on the board and in a way expect him to be there. But we're ready to go to battle and go toe-to-toe. And personally I want to see him play well and I want to go up against him when he is playing well to go have some fun and see who comes out on top.

9. Phil Mickelson on dealing with the ravages of time.

There's no reason why I couldn't play at a high level for a while. But saying that, the last two years, my technique and my form has not been what I expect it to be, what it's been throughout the course of my career. It's been very frustrating. Recently, though, I feel like I found the direction on getting that back, getting my swing plane back, making solid contact, hitting the shots that I expect to hit. But it's in its infancy. I don't know how far or how long it will take to get it really sharp. But I saw a really good glimpse last week. Maybe it's this week, maybe it isn't. Maybe it's later this year. But I feel like it's on the verge of coming around.

...and a bit of sarcasm, about the possibility of playing the senior tour in five years...

Yeah, that's really high on my list, so that's been great. Thanks

Related: 11 people with the most at stake at Chambers Bay

8. Tiger Woods gets a bit passive-aggressive on the USGA's Mike Davis.

We don't know, none of us, none of you guys in this room, none of the players, know what Mike is going to do on the setup. And so it's hard to predict that. Is he going to play -- for instance, Pete Dye always believed make the long holes long. If it's into the wind, put them all the way back. If it's downwind, put them all the way up. We don't know what Mike is going to do on the different winds and the different days. So, yeah, we could say that the long hitters have an advantage, but maybe not. Depends on what Mike does.

View image | gettyimages.com

7. Martin Kaymer, on the mistake he made preparing too much for Augusta.

This year there was so much focus on the Masters, now reflecting on it and thinking what happened in February, March and April, I was focusing too much on only one tournament, little bit forget about the others, the tournaments in between. And I practiced a lot and I did a lot of fitness. So that was the main issue when I got to Augusta that I was almost -- almost tired by entering the tournament, so it was a little bit mis-planning . . . when you focus on something for two or three months to perform well and then you don't, it's very disappointing, especially when you think you planned everything proper...and then you figure out going through the week how tired you are. So you would think after ten years you know what you're doing, but clearly I didn't.

6. Henrik Stenson on the frustrations of a difficult course like Chambers Bay.

So I think it's just that it can be a tiring week because you can hit some really nice golf shots and ends up far, far away from the hole due to the design of the green complexes. At least in my mind, it's a challenge. If you feel like you hit a good shot and you hit on a bit of a side slope and end up 50 feet away, and you feel like that should have been 15 feet away, then it's tiring and draining to just keep on fighting through that. And then you've got the next challenge to try to two-putt that and make a par, even though you thought you maybe should have had a birdie chance. It's a challenge, but it's -- major championships is all about testing your mental abilities as much as your technical and playing abilities.

5. Cole Hammer, all of 15 years old, showing his youth.

A lot of people on the golf course call me Hammer Time sometimes. I think they like to have a little fun with my last name. But I like it. It's kind of fun. Yeah, that's about it.

Q.> First, do you know who the original Hammer Time was? Were you born yet? COLE HAMMER: No, I was not.

Q.> How long have you been watching the U.S. Open on TV? COLE HAMMER: First memory I have of the U.S. Open is when Tiger won in 2008, when he did that fist pump on 18th green. That's -- I think I've been watching the U.S. Open since then. Probably before, but that's the first time I remember.

4. Rory McIlroy talks about the secret to longevity, and omits one notable name.

And then off the course, you have to be stable, be happy, keep it simple. I think that's the big thing. If you want your longevity in golf, you look at the likes of -- you're going back to the day of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, they all had very stable personal lives and kept life fairly simple. And I think that's a big key to having a long and successful career.

...and on being the top dog in the sport...

I mean, I think when LeBron talks about that, that's not confidence, that's a fact, I guess, when you look at how he's carried his team in these Finals. So if you look at the numbers, you can really see he is the best player in the world. And I guess for me I feel the same way, when I look at the World Rankings and I see my name up at the top. If you look back at the last four or five years, I guess I've won more majors than anyone else in that time period. So do I feel like the best player in the world? Yes.

Related: Why it's finally Phil's time and how Sergio could win me $1 Million

3. Jordan Spieth, on the negative reactions to Chambers Bay.

If you are going to talk negative about a place, you're almost throwing yourself out to begin with, because golf is a mental game.

2. Tiger Woods on the loneliness of golf.

The manager is not going to come out to the mound and bring in the righty or lefty. You've got to stick out there and go through all nine innings. And whether you get shelled or not, you've got to stay out there. And it's hard. But that's the nature of our support. There's nobody to pull you up. There's no way one to bail you out. Sometimes when you're running hot, there's no one to hold you back, either. That's the beauty of an individual sport and also sometimes the tough part of an individual sport.

1. Jason Day on walking the course with someone who is losing his mom to ALS.

We're very selfish in our time, but when we can give back and make someone's dream come true, maybe meeting their idol or being able to walk the course with Tiger or Dustin, to be able to do that is pretty cool. In a similar situation, I lost my dad when I was 11. For me, I lost him in a couple of months. It was quick. But for him it's been an ongoing thing. And watching his mom over the last few years, couple of years, really turn from what she was before and now where she is now, it's really heart breaking just to see that. And for him to be out here with me and to be able to walk the fairways was awesome. No matter what you have in your life, whether it's great or bad, we all take it for granted sometimes. And there's always someone worse off.

And we can't leave without a quote from Graeme McDowell, the funniest player in the game and one of the best interviews. Take it away, Graeme...

Q.> This is kind of a philosophical question. What's the tradeoff for being great at golf? As you've kind of figured out in your career where you want to be, what's the cost of what it does to your life? GRAEME McDOWELL: That's a very deep question for a Tuesday.

Follow @ShaneRyanHere


More from The Loop