June 2, 2001
SOUTHERN PINES, NORTH CAROLINA
RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Karrie Webb, five stroke lead in the Women's Open going into the final round. Karrie, just overall how much of an advantage was it for you to only have to play 18 holes today?
KARRIE WEBB: I think for the most part obviously quite a big advantage. I think it's probably one of the reasons why we didn't see as many under par scores this afternoon, was just a lot of those girls played 18 holes this morning. And it's just -- it's grueling enough. I'm tired, I'm drained now playing 18 holes, let alone having to play 36.
RHONDA GLENN: Was there ever a time out there when you could see the leaderboards and you looked at it and you knew you had a big lead, but was there ever a time when you thought, like when Juli Inkster made four birdies in a row, Se Ri made three in a row, that I'd better really hold on here, I'm going to have to be careful; did that ever come across your mind?
KARRIE WEBB: Every hole. You could never have too big a lead at the Open, I don't think. You just can't be too complacent, because there's just too many times where one shot could cost you a couple of shots and cost you the momentum and that sort of stuff. So it's the same for me tomorrow. There's a long way to go. 18 holes is a lot of golf, and there's a lot of good players out there that aren't going to let me walk away with it too easily. I'm going to have to play some good golf tomorrow to win.
RHONDA GLENN: Just as an informational point, five times players have come from five strokes back to win.
Q. A year ago you're up by four, I think, going into the final round and Meg catches you, you go onto win comfortably. How much do you think you can draw on that experience from last year of somewhat of the ebb and flow of a final round, not to either panic or get too comfortable?
KARRIE WEBB: I think a great deal, just because it was an experience that I learned from. But it didn't end up in a negative experience, so I can draw on it, because it was a definite positive experience. And like I said, there's a lot of golf left out there, and I know as much as anybody how quickly things can turn around. So the same thing happened to me last year. So I've just got to go out there and hit fairways and greens. And if I'm going to play like I have been the last three days, if I roll a couple of putts in, that would be great.
Q. Karrie, if I may, a two-part question. Through the years you great golfers have told me that it's really hard to follow up a super round like you had yesterday with another good round. So are you pleased with your round today? And secondly, you've also told me through the years that it's very difficult to play with a big lead. And I wondered whether your mode will be protecting or aggression or just take what the course gives, please.
KARRIE WEBB: What was the first question?
Q. If I may. The first question was after -- it's hard to follow up a super round --
KARRIE WEBB: Oh, okay. I think that just the way I've been playing, I'm very happy with 1-under today. Like I said, there wasn't a lot of red numbers up there, not a lot of red numbers shot today. I feel -- I didn't expect to go out there and shoot 5-under. If I did, that would have been a big, big bonus. But I played well and I let a couple go coming in. But I guess playing so well early probably helped still make the round positive at the end with 1-under. But as far as -- I've forgotten the last question.
Q. It's hard to play with a big lead in a major --
KARRIE WEBB: I think it's not hard to play with a big lead if you don't feel like -- you don't take for granted the lead that you have. And I've said a few times that five shots is not enough. And I have to play extremely good golf tomorrow to win. And to me it's five shots or one shot. I'm still going to play the same way and try to play my heart out tomorrow.
Q. Karrie, how did you fill your leisure hours while everyone else was out grinding yesterday and this morning?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, I was around here a little bit yesterday afternoon, trying to get a little bit of practice in. But that wasn't to be. And I had a quiet dinner with some friends and tried to sleep in a little bit this morning. But most of my household was up before 5 o'clock to finish off this morning. So -- but I just tried not to think too much about the round. And you're always -- I knew I was going to tee off late today and just try and keep my mind off it as much as I could. And as the hours went on, obviously start thinking about it a little bit more, but try not to think too much early on in the morning.
Q. What time did you manage to sleep until?
KARRIE WEBB: I slept to about 8:30 morning.
Q. Also, on the front 9 you hardly seemed to miss a shot. A couple of shots a little loose coming down the stretch, was that caused by mental fatigue or was that just the way golf goes?
KARRIE WEBB: A little bit of both, I think. I think it was just perhaps just a little bit of mental fatigue, because even though I only played 18 holes today, it's still 20 to 9:00 now, and it was still 7:00, 7:30 when we were playing. Your body is not used to having to perform at that time of day. But I feel like I got in without too much trouble. I can't really look at those two bogeys as a negative. Because 17, take a par there any day. And you can't be too disappointed with a bogey, because it's definitely a tough hole. 14, that was playing tough too today. If you're giving up just bogeys, on probably the two hardest holes on the golf course, you can't really complain about that.
Q. On your first birdie, I believe No. 4, how long was the putt? And it seemed at the time that had had almost a calming effect or settling effect. It seemed to get your round going. Can you talk about that?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, yeah, actually, it felt, after I got the first hole under way, I actually felt good about things. Because I really hit it close on 2, and pretty close on 3. And just overread those putts a little bit. And Mark, my caddy, said that's how funny golf is. Because I have about an 8, 9-footer on 2, and probably 12-footer on 3, and missed both of those, and holed about a 30-footer on the 4th hole. So it's just the way golf works out sometimes. But it did feel good to get one under my belt early on. And I really hit some good shots from there on in.
RHONDA GLENN: What club did you hit to the 4th green?
KARRIE WEBB: 4th green, I hit a wedge to the 4th green.
Q. Coming in some of those shots that you missed were the short fades. Wasn't that something you had been working on? Isn't that something you had been struggling with? You had been working on a swing change for that, right?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I don't really think it was that. I think my timing just got a little bit out and just tired swings, really; not aggressive through the ball.
Q. Karrie, early in the round tomorrow, what sort of shots tell you that you're on your game and what sort of shots tell you that maybe you're not on your game and this is going to be a lot of work?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, I think trying to get it in the fairway in the first couple and hitting iron shots where you want them to land, it's always a good sign. And today I played the first hole pretty well and hit a good drive off the second tee, and really my iron shot I hit a lot longer than I thought, because I was planning to land it just over the front and it carried a few yards further. And to me that was a really good sign, because I hit that really, really solid. And after that I felt like I swung it really well.
Q. Given the state of your game right now, where is your confidence compared to say this point last year or early last year?
KARRIE WEBB: This tournament last year? Probably -- I'd say it has to be the same. Because last year before this tournament I didn't feel I was swinging it very well. And this year I felt like coming in here I was swinging it pretty well. So all in all I think that my confidence is about the same.
Q. You said yesterday that the par saves could be as big as birdie putts in an open, and I wondered if there were some today, maybe specifically on No. 15, that you thought were really big as far as keeping your momentum going?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I think 9 was probably the biggest. I hit a really good drive off the tee and was in a sand-filled divot and didn't really hit a great shot out of that lie. But it was a bit of a lottery, anyway. And hit a pretty good shot out of the rough and hit a great putt. It was probably 15, 18-foot putt. So that really kept things going. And then 15, yeah, that was a good par save, too, because I bogeyed the hole before. And it would have been a bit of a kick in the guts, I guess, if I bogeyed two holes in a row.
Q. How did you save par on 15?
KARRIE WEBB: I came up short of the green and chipped it to about 8 feet, I guess, and made the putt.
Q. How difficult is it to try and force the pace in the last round of an Open?
KARRIE WEBB: Force the pace?
Q. If you're behind, say four or five, six shots behind, how dangerous is it at an Open to try and force the pace, which you might be able to do in a normal tournament, maybe a little bit with more confidence?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, I guess just really depends on the type of player you are and if you're a player that wants to win it at no matter what costs, then you can play aggressive. And if it comes off, it comes off. But there's just a lot of money up there for grabs, and if you shoot a big number, trying to shoot a low number, certain players would want to do that because they'd rather win than finish second. So it just depends on the type of player.
Q. So are you advocating caution for your pursuers?
KARRIE WEBB: Oh, yeah. They can have 18 pars if they want (laughter.)
RHONDA GLENN: I'd like to go over your birdies and bogeys. We discussed No. 4. No. 8, you birdied. What club did you hit?
KARRIE WEBB: I hit my 53 degree wedge there to about six or seven feet.
RHONDA GLENN: And 10?
KARRIE WEBB: 10 I hit a 5-wood on the green to about 20, 25 feet and 2-putted.
RHONDA GLENN: And 14?
KARRIE WEBB: That was a bogey. 14 I hit a 6-iron, cut it a little heavy. It was on the front edge of the green and 3-putted from there.
RHONDA GLENN: And 17, the bogey.
KARRIE WEBB: 17 I missed the -- I hit a 4-iron in there, and missed the green right and hit a bunker shot to about 12 feet and missed the putt.
Q. How far was the 4-iron?
KARRIE WEBB: About 193 to the pin.
RHONDA GLENN: Karrie, thank you so much. Congratulations.
End of FastScripts....