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July 21, 1994

Carol Semple Thompson


LES UNGER: Okay. We will hope that she can fill in the blanks here. 66, a fantastic round. And Carol, perhaps you would just review it for these people. I think what we are going to need you to do because we have no idea -- ask you to go over each shot if you can; club and distance of putts, etceteras. If you would start out.

CAROL THOMPSON: This is asking a lot because I don't remember things. But on the first hole I hit a good drive in the center. That is what you want; all the details?


CAROL THOMPSON: Drive center second shot down short of the green, had about 35 yards into the hole. Pitched up behind the hole about maybe 15 feet and 2-putted. Second hole I hit a good driver in the middle. I hit a 5-iron onto the green, I believe. Up about maybe ten or twelve feet short of the hole and 2-putted for my par. Third hole I hit a 7-iron, maybe ten feet short of the hole and made a putt for my first birdie. Fourth hole I hit a decent drive on the right side of the fairway, hit 7-iron on the green about four feet short of the hole and made the putt for my second birdie. Fifth hole is a par three, and I can't even think what the hole is. This is terrible. I hit a 4-iron on the front of the green and had to putt up over a ridge to the hole. Left it about -- was probably 20 feet. I left it about five feet short and made that putt for my par. 6th hole I hit a good drive in the middle of the fairway. I hit a 3-iron on the green and had about maybe a 15 foot putt which I left a couple of inches short, got my four. 7th hole I hit a good drive to the middle. I hit it on the green. I think I hit a 7-iron on the green about, maybe, 15 feet behind the hole, putted downhill and made the putt for birdie. The 8th I hit a good drive in the fairway, and a 4-iron on the green about 12 feet to the left of the pin. Knocked my first putt about four feet by and made it coming back for my par. 9th hole I hit a 5-wood off the tee in the middle of the fairway. I hit a 7-iron on the green about 15, 18 feet below the pin to the left and 2-putted for my par. 10th hole I hit my first bad drive of the day in a right-hand bunker pretty well right at the fairway but I had a good lie and I hit a 7-iron onto the green about pin high on the front ledge. Probably about 20 feet away and made the putt. The 11th I hit a drive in the right rough, hit an 8-iron to the back fringe, hit my first putt about -- my first putt was maybe 15 feet and I hit it at least 15 feet below the hole and made it coming back for my par. The 12th hole, par 5. I hit a 3-wood off the tee. I hit a 3-iron short of the bunker toward -- the green pitched up. I had about 40 yards to the hole, pitched up and I was maybe eight feet behind the hole, coming downhill and made the putt. The 13th hole I was -- I hit a 3-wood to the right of the green in some fairly thick rough; pitched well past the hole and missed my putt coming back. I was probably 15 feet past the hole. 14th hole I hit another drive to the right in the right rough and tried to get a 4-iron up on the green. I couldn't get it there through the rough. So I pitched up short of the green and missed about a 5 foot putt for bogey. 15th hole I hit a good drive, good 3-wood and a middle wedge on the green -- on the front of the green so I had about a 20 foot putt which I managed to 2-putt. 16th hole I hit a very good drive in the middle of the fairway. I had 172 yards to the hole and I sculled my 5-iron into the hole for 2. 17th hole I hit a terrible 3-iron.

Q. Are you serious? How did you hit the 5-iron?

CAROL THOMPSON: I am serious. Unfortunately, I sculled it. I landed it about 20 yards short of the green and it rolled up onto the hole.

Q. What were you attempting?

CAROL THOMPSON: I was attempting to carry it to the front of the green, yeah. That is what I was -- that is what I was attempting. 17th hole I hit a terrible 3-iron into the bunker, right, and came out about maybe 15 feet, had to come up over the ridge and made that putt for my par. 18th hole I hit a good drive in the fairway and 8-ironed it onto the green about three feet above the hole to my left and I did not make the putt, obviously. But I managed to 2-putt for 66.

LES UNGER: Can you compare this round to any other in any major event?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, the only other lower round that I have had in any major event was in the Women's Western Championship. I shot 65 in a qualifier, but this -- I don't think this compares with anything in any event that I have ever done. I mean, as far as one day, I just had never had a 66 in a Women's Open.

Q. Did you realize what was going on at the time?

CAROL THOMPSON: I sort of kept looking at the scoreboard, saw that not too many people were very far under par. I decided -- I promised myself this morning when I woke up that I was going to be patient no matter what happened today, and I also decided I was going to be forgiving. Those were my two buzz words for the day; "patience" and "forgiveness." I knew I wasn't going to hit every shot perfectly and I wasn't going to worry about the shots that I missed. I was just going to do my best; apparently, this was my best.

Q. Was there a point in the round when you just sort of said here what is going on, or something of that nature?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, I said that a few times. I said that most of the way around, actually, I said it after I had my second birdie on the fourth hole; I was wondering what was going on. But after 16, that was really ridiculous.

Q. Was that the worse shot you hit?

CAROL THOMPSON: Actually, it was the worst shot I hit (laughter)

Q. What did everyone else in your group say when that happened; can you give us a flavor of what it was like?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, unfortunately I was playing with a Japanese girl who doesn't speak much English, so she didn't have too much to say on the topic. And my other playing companion was in the process of taking an unplayable lie in the bunker on her drive, so she wasn't enjoying the hole very much either. But they were both very nice as we came off the green after they finished out the hole.

Q. Did they say "nice shot"?

CAROL THOMPSON: Yeah, basically, "nice shot." My Japanese playing partner did say "nice shot."

LES UNGER: What did you say to yourself?

CAROL THOMPSON: That is when I through my arms up and started wondering really what was going on. I just knew it was going to be a fun day or had been a fun day already and I was just enjoying every minute of it.

Q. Did you see it go in the hole?


Q. Now you know how Nick Price felt.

CAROL THOMPSON: Actually, I thought about Nick once out there when I was standing over a putt. I thought, you can make this putt, I mean things like that happen. Nick made that miraculous thing on the 17th hole, so I just believed it and tried to do it. That is what happened.

Q. Somebody told me earlier this morning that there is a story involved with where you grew up and where Mario Lemieux lives now in Pennsylvania?

CAROL THOMPSON: I grew up in the house -- in a lovely home. My parents sold it about 12 years ago and there have been two owners since. Mario Lemieux bought it two years ago and lives there now. There must be something about the house that contributes to sports.

Q. How much do you play? How often do you play during the week?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, during the spring and summer, I do something everyday, where I might not play, but I will practice. In the spring I am trying to get ready for the summer tournaments in the summer. I am playing most of the time.

Q. You play tournaments every week?

CAROL THOMPSON: Not every week. There aren't that many amateur tournaments, but I -- will probably three a month in June, July and August.

Q. With a round like this, how do you approach tomorrow?

CAROL THOMPSON: I am going to be patient and forgiving.

Q. What did you do during the right to play here this week?

CAROL THOMPSON: I had an exemption from being a member of the Curtis Cup Team for '94.

Q. The difference being a professional player and winning with the money and you just play for the love of the game; there is kind of a difference there. You are just out trying to have fun and you shoot 66. You are not going to take home a check on Sunday.

CAROL THOMPSON: That is fine with me. I am happy to just take home the honor of the glory. But I am having fun out here. That is the important thing. It would be -- I think it would be difficult for me to play for money.

Q. You think it is more pressure on them because they are playing for money than you just coming out to play for the love of the game and the honor?

CAROL THOMPSON: I do think that. I do think there is a lot more pressure when money is involved.

Q. Was there ever a time when you seriously considered playing professional?

CAROL THOMPSON: I can't say I really seriously considered it. But I thought about it when I first got out of college in 1970, and my parents didn't want me to turn -- my father said he'd support me for a year to work on my game and then make a decision a year later, so I went to Florida and practiced my golf really hard, all winter, and the next summer I played the worst golf of my life, so I decided that after working what I thought was hard on the game, and not making any progress, I wasn't ready to go out and try to make money doing it.

Q. What would you say is the best part of your game right now?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, today I would say my driving was very good. Well, no, and my putting obviously, I didn't have too many putts today, but I don't normally think of myself as being a spectacular putter. It just happened that I made a lot of putts today.

Q. Did you play here in 1989 and if so, how is the course, same, different or what, what did the wetness have to do with it?

CAROL THOMPSON: I did play in 1989, and my recollection of 1989 was that there was a lot more deep grass out on the course. I think the course is more forgiving now because a lot of the deep stuff has been cut back.

Q. What about speed of greens?

CAROL THOMPSON: Speed of greens, I really -- I don't recollect what it was like in 1989. I think today the greens were fairly soft this morning and the speed was very pleasant. I mean, I was only above a couple of holes, maybe I was just in the right spots on the greens today, but I thought that the speed was very conducive to a good round.

Q. Forgiving my lack of knowledge on Women's Amateur golf, but would it be fair to characterize you as the female version of Jay Sigel?

CAROL THOMPSON: That would be very flattering to me. But I think that would probably be fair too, because he had longevity going for him, a lot of Walker Cup, World Team, and I have done more or less the same thing. I haven't quite caught him in some areas, but actually, since we both came from Pennsylvania, I have read about him all my life. I have met him, but I have never played with him. But I was always trying to catch up to him in the state amateur. He had won 11 state amateurs and then I had won 10 and then I won 11. I think I have now passed him and I have won 13, so I guess I-- for many years have compared myself sort of to Jay and he has been something for me to strive toward.

Q. How many putts did you make today in the round?

CAROL THOMPSON: I can't answer that off the top of my head because I don't normally keep statistics.

LES UNGER: Did you 3-putt?

CAROL THOMPSON: I don't think I 3-putted at all. And I had five birdies and an eagle, so that is seven.


CAROL THOMPSON: Probably 29; probably somewhere around 29 putts.

Q. Were you afraid at all that it was kind of unraveling there after the two straight bogeys?

CAROL THOMPSON: Of course. I mean, -- not unraveling, I mean that would be a little bit of a strong expression, but I didn't want to fritter away anymore shots, so I was very pleased to par the 15th hole.

Q. Was there anything in your preparation this week that would give you an indication that you had a 66 in the bag?

CAROL THOMPSON: Absolutely nothing gave me any indication of a 66. I am totally in shock.

Q. It is fun, though?

CAROL THOMPSON: But I am having a great time.

Q. How much communication have you had with the other Curtis Cup members this week?

CAROL THOMPSON: I have seen a favor number of them. Ellen Port just won a tournament last week so she has been pretty excited we talked about that.

Q. Stephanie Sparks?

CAROL THOMPSON: Stephanie was just off ahead of me today, so I saw her this morning and have seen her the last couple of days.

Q. What are your duties with the executive committee?

CAROL THOMPSON: My duties with the executive committee at the moment include six subcommittees -- the executive committee meets three times a year; once in January and once at the Open, the Men's Open -- U.S. Open, I am sorry, in June. And then once in the fall, so those are the three basic times when I will be at meetings. And then I am on six subcommittees and some of those committees have meetings other times in the year. I think it is probably desirable for members of the executive committee to go to as many championships as they can. I consider this to be one of the championships that I am attending this year.

Q. You are not supposed to win though.

CAROL THOMPSON: It is not forbidden. So I guess reading a lot of mail is another duty that -- my desk seems to be piled up a little bit these days.

Q. Could you go over your father's -- what did he do with the USGA? Was he very much involved with it?

CAROL THOMPSON: My father was quite involved with the USGA as was my mother. My parents were co-chairman of the Women's Amateur held in my home club in 1954. Right after that my mother wasn't on the women's committee and stayed on for a number of years through the '60s. My father became legal counsel to the USGA in the mid '60s, and then went on the executive committee and worked his way up to be president in 1974 and 1975. So I considered myself to be a USGA brat.

Q. What are your parents' names?

CAROL THOMPSON: Harton, my father's name. He was known as Bud Semple and my mother's name is Phyllis.

Q. Would you address the issue of women on the executive committee. Were you actively lobbying for more woman; not necessarily yourself, or do you have strong feelings about that?

CAROL THOMPSON: I certainly did not lobby in any way, shape or form for women on the executive committee. I think it has been an excellent move on the part of the USGA. Judy Bell has been a tremendous edition to the executive committee. Actually my father was responsible for putting her on the executive committee. He was head of the nominating committee the year that she went on. And when I was asked last fall to go on the executive committee, Judy and I -- Judy commiserated with me. Actually her comment was "why Bud, why." So I don't know that it should be a really important issue that women are on the executive committee. I think women are a part of golf and the executive committee runs the USGA, basically, so I think it is important to have some sort of female input to golf issues.

LES UNGER: If those of you who may not know the lady that is being referred to is standing to your right, Judy Bell.

CAROL THOMPSON: I didn't say anything too bad about you yet.

LES UNGER: I think she is enjoying your situation up here as much as you are.

CAROL THOMPSON: She is probably enjoying it a lot more than I am at this point.

LES UNGER: When we asked Carol to come here or actually to meet the photographers she said, what is all this interest, what is this, I mean, like shooting 66 here is nothing we should pay attention to.

CAROL THOMPSON: I mean-- I think it is pretty neat, but I mean, I just can't imagine that I am in this situation.

Q. Do you have a philosophy that encompasses the belief that it was your day or meant to be when you are out on the course and these things are happening?

CAROL THOMPSON: I don't know that I would call it a real philosophy, but I have had things happen like this when I just couldn't do anything wrong on the golf course so there is something about a person getting into his own thing. It is a very nebulous thing. It is hard to find, so I think that sometimes it is someone's day.

Q. At the risk of spoiling your morning, may I ask your age?

CAROL THOMPSON: I am 45 and proud of it.

Q. Are Carol's titles list in the bio?

LES UNGER: Craig is putting a data sheet for Carol so you should have that at your positions.

Q. Would it be reasonable, Carol, to think about winning the championship; do you think?

CAROL THOMPSON: I think it is probably reasonable. I mean, I wouldn't have thought of it this morning, but I mean, how can I say it is unreasonable. I mean I could play-- if I can keep my swing under control, I could probably make a few more birdies out there.

Q. Have you spoken to anybody back home yet?


Q. So they have no idea at this point?

CAROL THOMPSON: I don't think they have any idea.

LES UNGER: We haven't given her a chance.

CAROL THOMPSON: I had to come through the secret passage way in coming here.

Q. If you can keep your swing, you said. How about your nerves?

CAROL THOMPSON: Well, I think really that is part and parcel of the same thing. I think my swing, if I can keep my nerves under control I can keep my swing under control.

Q. When you sculled the eagle, did you have a tough lie or anything or did you just get your hands ahead?

CAROL THOMPSON: I had a perfect lie right in the middle of the fairway. I probably just was a little nervous.

LES UNGER: Anyone else? Go USGA?

CAROL THOMPSON: Go USGA, absolutely. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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