Green feeling blue at St. George's

DAVE FULLER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

It’s not often that a defending champion comes across as a sympathetic figure.

But that’s 2009 Canadian Open winner Nathan Green, who already seems psyched out.

Or was Wednesday’s low-key media conference more about psyching himself back in?

Unfamiliar

Asked if he felt like a defending champion, the immensely likeable Australian responded: “Not really.”

“I’ve played some poor golf the last three or four months,” Green, 35, said. “I’ve sort of forgotten that feeling of what it was actually like to win.

“I know it happened. But it seems unfamiliar.”

Green shot rounds of 68, 65, 69 and 68 last July at Oakville’s Glen Abbey for his first and only PGA Tour victory.

Though he has made 12 of 19 cuts this year, Green has only one top 10 finish.

With most of the big boys playing in the British Open at St. Andrews, Green failed to advance past the second round of last week’s less competitive Reno-Tahoe Open.

Still, that’s no reason to count him out at St. George’s.

Traditional style courses, where shot-making is key and booming drives can easily land in impossible rough, appear more suited to Green’s game.

“I’ve always liked poa greens and I like the tree-lined look of the golf course,” he said. “It’s similar to the Hamilton (Golf and Country Club) where I’ve played some decent golf.”

“This course is a good test. You’ve got to drive it straight. Short hitters (like Green) have as much chance here as the bombers, so it’s a good level playing field.”

Most of the golfers interviewed Wednesday, including Mike Weir, figure the course is tough enough that an eight- or nine-under might be a good enough score to win.

Green was 18 under at Glen Abbey, tying him with Retief Goosen, who he then eliminated on the second playoff hole.

“I don’t know if it was a good thing or bad thing, having won,” Green says now. “Maybe I’d still be a bit hungry if I hadn’t.

“It’s great to have that first win behind you, though.”

Sometime around dinner time Thursday, he’ll know if he’s got a shot at Tour victory No. 2.

That would certainly cheer him up.

dave.fuller@sunmedia.ca


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