Henrik Norlander: Round One Flash Interview
Q. (No Microphone.)
HENRIK NORLANDER: I was in between clubs coming in and didn't really commit to it. But made a good up-and-down on 9. I hit it over the green to make par, so I didn't finish with four bogeys. I'm really pleased with the round. I had a lot of fun. It probably helped teeing off first. It's tough to see, no lights on the range this morning, it felt pretty good to just drive out to the 10th hole and just got off to a decent start and just tried to have a lot of fun and I really did.
Q. How is the course playing?
HENRIK NORLANDER: I was prepared for the toughest I would ever see and because that's how it felt yesterday, it was so firm and I hit an 8-iron into 10 and it actually checked up a little bit on me. So I realized pretty quick they put some water on it and it played a little easier. But still you still got to hit -- I hit -- didn't really hit bad shots on 6, 7 and 8, but you can make bogeys pretty quick out here. You still got to play well, but it definitely played easier than it did yesterday.
Q. When you walked up to the sixth tee did you see your name on the scoreboard?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Not really. I hit a good shot. I hit the green on 6, just a tough putt. You hit it a little hard and I putted it into the bunker. So you got to be a little careful. I didn't really think too much about it. Obviously I could tell it was a little bit more people coming and I wasn't really comfortable, but it wasn't too bad.
Q. (No Microphone.)
HENRIK NORLANDER: Pretty good. He usually does.
Q. Do you know him at all?
HENRIK NORLANDER: No, I don't know him, but I sort of follow him. He plays for Sweden and the Olympics and he actually played for a team on the West Coast that I don't really like, so I'm from stoke home, so, but he's a great ambassador for Swedish athletes for sure.
Q. Did you have Josh on the bag today?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Yeah.
Q. How was that?
HENRIK NORLANDER: It was very good. He knows how to kind of keep me calm and say the right things and he knows when to be quiet. It's good. Very good.
Q. How did that come about?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Josh and I talk all the time, even though he's in Dallas and I'm in Augusta, he actually caddied for me in all four stages when I got my card in 2012. I got in and when I called him I said do you want to go to the U.S. Open and he said sure. I was a little bit worried that he wasn't going to be able to carry the bag, but he's done a good job.
Q. What is his full name?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Josh Gregory.
Q. Is he local?
HENRIK NORLANDER: No, he's head golf coach for SMU, he was my coach at Augusta State.
Q. Has he ever caddied before?
HENRIK NORLANDER: He caddied all four stages of Q-School in 2012. When I got through.
Q. The NCAA's too, right?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Yeah, he walked quite a bit with me in college for four years. He knows my game probably better than anyone.
Q. What does he offer you? Being on the bag, what does he bring to it?
HENRIK NORLANDER: He just keeps me calm, he knows what to say sort of and my problem always is when I play well or when I don't play well, I walk too fast and I do everything too fast. He just keeps telling me to slow down, slow down, and I actually have some issues with my toe, I can't really walk fast, so it helped me pretty good today. So I couldn't really walk fast. It doesn't bother me at all when I play, but, so that was a good thing. But he just keeps me calm and he says the right things.
Q. We just talked to Kisner, he was in the group behind you, this is his first U.S. Open. He said he thought it was a little easy getting the start on 10 with nobody out there at 6:45 in the morning for you. With as that any sort of advantage?
HENRIK NORLANDER: Yeah, I mean, I showed up here this morning and I was walking out to the range about 5:25 and it was dark. There was not a light. I didn't know what to do. I hit a few putts and a few dropped in, a few didn't, I didn't even know if they were going in. And then it got light and I came out and I guess my eyesight is not very good, I thought it was almost dark on the first tee. I just, I was way more comfortable than I thought I was going to be. I just had a lot of fun all day. Even though towards the end obviously I felt that I was doing well and obviously it's the first round, you don't win any tournaments today anyway, but it was a lot of fun. I felt really comfortable.
Q. Take us through those birdies.
HENRIK NORLANDER: The front nine birdies, I 1, I had a perfect number, nine, 12 feet below the hole. That's the good thing, if you get in the right spot on these greens, they're perfect and they're not that fast. If you have uphill putts you can be aggressive. And then on 4, they moved the tee up there, which I was very happy to see. I hit the best drive of the day there and I just had a little 8-iron in and hit it to about 12 feet above the hole and I thought I hit it halfway and it was happy it hit the hole, because it would have been five feet by. Then I hit driver, 4-iron on 5, they moved the tee up there, too, just short of the green. Really tough flag there. If you're a little too aggressive there, I think you can run it off on the right side, so I tried to chip it. I chipped it, I hit a good chip to about 8 feet and made it.
Q. Obviously, I mean you're even par, you're two shots off the lead, do you start thinking differently now going into tomorrow?
HENRIK NORLANDER: No, the course is too tough and this is probably as easy as it's going to play, I think. Afternoon tomorrow, I think it's probably going to be a little different and the afternoon today, it's going to be a touch firmer. You just got to be careful and you got to just pick your spots and hit away from flags and just, you got to be really patient and putt well.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports