RAND JERRIS: It's a pleasure to welcome Angel Cabrera to the interview room this afternoon. Angel is playing in his 9th United States Open Championship at Torrey Pines and our defending champion, having won last year at Oakmont.
Start us off with some thoughts about what it's like to be the defending U.S. Open champion for the last year.
ANGEL CABRERA: It's a great honor to be here and I'll be defending this title. It's a great experience to be here as defending champion.
RAND JERRIS: Thinking back to last year at Oakmont, one of the real impressive things about your game was your length off the tee, 390 yard drive on the 12th hole. Can you talk about this golf course, there's been a lot of talk about the length of the golf course, do you think it favors a long hitter again.
ANGEL CABRERA: Yes, I think that it helps long hitters, it favors long hitters, but it's a U.S. Open golf course and you have to be straight off the tee.
Q. Can you talk about how you feel about your game coming into this week?
ANGEL CABRERA: My game is in very good shape, especially the long game. I'm working on my putting, trying to improve a little bit. Hopefully I have.
Q. It was a big deal when you quit smoking or part of this year? Have you quit smoking, do you feel better about that or what's going on with that?
ANGEL CABRERA: I'm feeling much better now that I don't smoke. But my life goes on whether I smoke or not, so I don't really care much about it.
Q. Along the same lines, have you compensated for not smoking in any other ways?
ANGEL CABRERA: No, not really. Everything is still the same, just without the smoking.
Q. What are your thoughts on the winning score? What would you predict after playing today out there?
ANGEL CABRERA: It is very difficult to predict a winning score right now. We have to see how the golf course plays and how the weather is going to be in the next few days and see ‑‑ on Saturday we'll probably know a little bit better what the score is going to be.
Q. Can you describe your relationship with Bill Picca?
ANGEL CABRERA: I know him from Argentina, so I know him for a very long time. He's a friend of mine.
Q. I understand that Ping sent the putter from Arizona for you last night to try out and practice with. Do you plan on using the old putter that they sent up or are you trying to improve on your putting, go with what you used last year at Oakmont, or something completely different?
ANGEL CABRERA: Yes, I'm having a rough time on my putting right now. So I'm trying different things, different putters. I have two putters, the one that I used last year at Oakmont and a new one. So I'll see. The one that feels best I'm going to play on Thursday.
Q. Can you describe in a little more detail the celebration when you went home last year? Was there a parade, was there a three‑day party, what went on?
ANGEL CABRERA: Yes, it was very big in Argentina when I came. There was a parade, and also the celebrations lasted for a couple of days. It was very big for Argentina, not only for Cabrera, but also for the country.
Q. How did Bill Picca help you with growing up with golf in Argentina or at all?
ANGEL CABRERA: He's been in the U.S. for already like 15 years or so. When he was in Argentina I remember him being an amateur and then turning pro and I don't recall very much about his activities when in Argentina.
Q. How did he help you?
ANGEL CABRERA: Not really, no, he didn't.
RAND JERRIS: Because of your victory last year, is there going to be a lot more attention in Argentina this year paid to the U.S. Open? Has it attracted a lot of new fans to the game.
ANGEL CABRERA: Yes, certainly people in Argentina has expectations about what's going to happen here this week in the U.S. Open, not only for Angel Cabrera, but also for Andres Romero, his game is pretty good right now.
Q. What was the best thing that you did in winning the tournament last year and can you duplicate it and do it again this year?
ANGEL CABRERA: I think that the most important thing that I did last year was having a lot of patience on the golf course, specifically on the third day. The third day things went rough for me and having patience and waiting, I think that was the key. So I hope to do the same thing this year.
Q. When you think back on last year on the tournament what's the one moment that jumps out, the one shot or the one time that you remember most about last year?
ANGEL CABRERA: I think that all the shots were very important, but probably the one that I remember the most was the driver on 18.
RAND JERRIS: Thank you very much for your time today. We wish you lots of luck this week.