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It wasn’t like that in 1994 when he won the U.S. Open at Oakmont.

“I think I did Matt Lauer and “Today” _ Katie Couric was there still back in the day _ did a little thing with them,” he said. “Went back to the 18th green at Oakmont, and that was the only thing. I didn’t even own a house in those days. I got back on my plane, myself and (wife) Leizl, and flew back to London. We rented a cottage from Renton Laidlaw, and we just hid from the world there.

“The whole thing has changed a lot, especially since `94,” he said. “There are so many story lines that people want. So it can get very, very busy.”

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HANSON’S BACK: Peter Hanson has been struggling with a sore back, and he’s still not sure if he’ll tee it up Thursday. The Swede said it was 50-50 he would play.

“I thought the disk problem in my back was getting better, but then it starts to feel worse,” Hanson said.

Hanson had planned to play The Greenbrier Classic and the following week, either in America or Scotland. But there was a rain delay at The Greenbrier, and he couldn’t move when play resumed so he had to withdraw. He came straight to Scotland to work with his physical therapist trying to get ready.

The key was going to be Tuesday.

“If I can play nine holes pain-free, then that will be the key to my playing or not,” he said.

The first alternate if he were to withdraw is Joost Luiten of The Netherlands.

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THE FRENCH CONNECTION: Thomas Levet was part of the four-man playoff at Muirfield in 2002, and he went one extra hole of sudden death before making bogey on the 18th hole and losing to Ernie Els. He didn’t qualify to play this year. Neither did the other two from that playoff, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington.

Levet is doing TV work, and he said it’s been tough.

“I am fine here in the practice range, but when I walk back among the crowd it is difficult because everyone keeps reminding me of what happened in 2002,” Levet said. “I think I’ve signed 20,000 autographs already this week, so it is very difficult.”

France at least is represented by Gregory Bourdy, so maybe he can get atonement from his country.

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