Q. Apart from Tiger Woods, any of the Americans that impress you?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Not really, no. Good swings, good players, but I thinking in that really keeps myself watching TV for a long time. It's true. Good players, good players. It's not easy to impress me, something special.
Q. Can you break that down a little?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: It would take a little long to explain that, we don't have time. Haven't even had lunch yet.
Q. Do you think that part of the reason is the ball that they play with and the equipment
SEVE BALLESTEROS: Yeah, I think it's a good point. You know, it's very hard because the newer equipment, with the metal woods, it's very hard to shape the shots because there's no grooves and it's difficult. The ball has dimples, they are designed with a specific dimple and they have a kind of trajectory. When I play on the course, it seems like they are turning to the right and it looks like they have radar and they come back to the fairway. It's true, it's more difficult to shape the ball on the course and equalize everybody with all of these new clubs, the putter, the 65 degrees loft in the club for certain players; with the grooves, the ball spins as good as ever. I said that a long time ago, and I'm going to say that again, that something has to be done with the rules now, otherwise golf will become more power than anything else.
SEVE BALLESTEROS: That's one of the reasons, yes. They play shots around the greens that, because of the equipment. But I understand, if they have the equipment available, they use it.
Q. How does it affect your game, the new equipment?
SEVE BALLESTEROS: I'm happy with the Callaway equipment. I think they will do very good. Good ball. I have a new set of irons and I'm happy with the driver. Again, with the driver, it's difficult to shape. It seems to me no matter how you hit it, you have to hit it hard, and it goes or less straight. If you have a good tempo on the swing, as before it was much easier.
Q. A number of Europeans have gone to play in America
SEVE BALLESTEROS: I don't know. I don't know how many there are playing in America.
Q. More are playing
SEVE BALLESTEROS: I really haven't been keeping an eye very much on The European Tour for the last year and a half or so. If they go to America, there must be a reason.
I would make a guess that among knowledgeable golfers, St. Andrews' Road hole, the 17th, is the world's most famous and infamous hole. Considering what has occurred there over the past century, it is wonder the hole still stands in its original state. As a planner and builder of golf holes worldwide, I have no hesitation in allowing that if one built such a hole today you would be sued for incompetence and your effort would be destroyed. Yet to all those who have suffered at this demon, I offer a hand for friendship, for I have suffered, too, and to those who have passed its way without mauling, I can only say, golfingly speaking, you haven't lived. PETER THOMSON