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June 1, 2001

Karrie Webb


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Karrie Webb, the defending champion, who began play on the back 9 today, fired a 5-under par round of 65. We are checking on that now with Kelly Miller to find out if that's the competitive course record. Karrie, you only had 26 putts today. Wonderful round. You birdied the second hole right out of the box. Tell us your general impressions of how you played.

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I really just took off -- took up where I left off yesterday, just really a lot of good, solid ball-striking again. And today I got a few more putts to go and felt probably a little more comfortable on the greens than I might have yesterday. So all in all just no bogeys, five birdies, a very solid round of golf. Never really put myself in a lot of trouble again. Do I have my stats there? I don't think I missed too many fairways. Maybe one fairway today that I remember. Two, two fairways. So all in all, like I said, really a solid round of golf.

Q. Karrie, great round of golf. Did you kind of feel this coming on, because you said you were right about where you wanted to be, or did something happen during the course of the round that just everything started going?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I think -- I've said many times this year, I've been working on a few things, and I felt the weeks leading up to this that every day it was coming around a bit more. And I put in a hard week's work last week and really felt good about where my game was, enough to think that I had a chance at the Open and at least put myself into contention for the weekend. And that was my main goal was to -- not put myself too far out of it Thursday and Friday, to give myself a shot on the weekend. I made a really good putt on the 11th hole, which was my second, and hadn't seen a putt that long go in this week. So it sort of made it look a little bigger, and I got more comfortable on the greens.

RHONDA GLENN: How long was that putt?

KARRIE WEBB: It was about 18 feet, I think.

Q. Between your group I think the three of you have something like 68 career victories. How much of an advantage is it for you to know when you go off your first two round playing you're playing with a couple of seasoned Veterans?

KARRIE WEBB: When I saw my pairing last week, I probably couldn't have asked for a much better pairing, I think. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Juli and Laura. You pretty much know that you're going to see some good shots and some good golf in that group. And I felt like -- I think we all -- especially yesterday, fed off each other. And I enjoy playing with those two, as well. We can chat down the fairways and joke and stuff like that. It's kind of a relaxing atmosphere out there when you get along really well with the two people you're playing with.

Q. Where were you when the rain delay hit as far as where your ball was and how did it effect you at all?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I had about a foot putt for birdie on the fourth hole, which I didn't get to tap in until after the rain delay. Fortunately I wasn't in a situation that I had to grind over a 5-footer for par or anything like that. We were out on the 4th hole. And when we resumed play I tapped that putt in and put a good swing on the next tee with a 6-iron in there. Once I saw the ball go straight and forward, I knew that I'd be able to get back into the swing of things.

RHONDA GLENN: Let's go to your card now, Karrie. Starting on the back 9, you've already explained the birdie on No. 11. The birdie on 18 was your next one.

KARRIE WEBB: Okay. 18 I hit an 8-iron to probably about ten feet. Then we went around to 2 and I hit a 6-iron short of the green and chipped in from probably -- probably about 60 feet, 70 feet.

RHONDA GLENN: What club did you use to chip with?

KARRIE WEBB: Sand wedge.

Q. What hole was that, please.

KARRIE WEBB: 2. 4 I hit my 53 degree wedge to a foot. 6 I hit a wedge to about 15 feet.

RHONDA GLENN: Was there any time you came close to a bogey that you got a little bit nervous.

KARRIE WEBB: I made a couple of good par saves, one on 15, it was about ten feet. Let's see, one I holed about a 6 or 7-footer for par. And 3 I missed the green and hit a bunker shot to about 8 to 10 feet there, too, and made that.

Q. Karrie, as well as you're playing are you at all surprised to shoot 65?

KARRIE WEBB: Not really surprised. I think just anything in the red numbers today I would have been happy with. And 5-under is definitely well into the red numbers, and it just really sets me up for the weekend. I don't really feel too surprised. I played really well and not a lot of mistakes out there. And I just felt really comfortable. I wouldn't say I was that surprised about it.

Q. So as tough as this course can play if you're not on your game, it can be had if you're hitting it well?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I could hit it just as well another day and not shoot 65. One thing that I've been lacking this year is that at certain moments to keep the roll going, I haven't done the right thing. On 15 I holed a 10-footer to stay 1-under for the tournament. That kept me -- kept the roll going. 1 and then 3, the par-putt I made on 3, that kept the roll going. So I did the right things at the right time today. And I think that's probably what I'm most happy about is that even if I had made a couple of bogeys and shot 67 I would have been really happy. But the fact that I made those par putts to keep everything -- to keep the momentum going in the right direction, that's what I feel really good about.

Q. Karrie, you've always had the ability to put birdies together in bunches. What is it about you as a player that you think makes that so much a part of your game? And when you're in one of those runs, do you have to consciously avoid the tendency to become too aggressive and ride the momentum too far?

KARRIE WEBB: I think you have to be really conscious about that at the U.S. Open. I felt like my caddy and I really have been really smart the last couple of days. If we don't have a good number to pitch it and then to get it back to the pin, if you've only got a few yards behind the pin, then we're hitting whatever we need to get it over the front and try and 2-putt from 30 feet. And there's a couple of times today even with a short iron in my hand that I was in between clubs, but I might only have four or five yards behind the pin. I'd rather hit the shorter club and have a 30-footer -- I might hit a great shot with the longer club, but I only have to be three or four feet off and I'm over the back of the green and struggling to get up-and-down. You have to really watch your aggression out here, especially if you do get on a roll, because you feel like you can just keep going and making more birdies. But you've got to realize you are at the U.S. Open and being greedy sometimes doesn't pay off.

Q. Karrie, having not won in the States yet this year, how satisfied is it to put up a round like this and take the lead of this wonderful championship?

KARRIE WEBB: I could have won ten times this year and it would still be really satisfying. Just the fact that I've got a shot this weekend is what I've worked for all year. So that's all I can do. I can only go out there the next two rounds and give it a hundred percent. And if I'm holding the trophy up again, that's my ultimate goal. But the fact that I've given myself a shot, I feel really good about that.

Q. Karrie, would you talk a little more about a 60-foot chip in, sort of describe it. Did it look makable to you? We couldn't see it here, of course. Did you have the pin out? Did you feel like you could make it?

KARRIE WEBB: No, it was just one of those shots that I had plenty of green to work with, but it was one of those chip shots that if you got it to within five feet and got it up-and-down you would be pretty happy. It was fortunate that I landed it exactly where I wanted it to and rolled out the way I planned. It's a bonus when you're playing well, some of those things happen.

Q. Karrie, you're in and dry, everyone else -- a lot of leaders are out there playing. How much of an advantage is it to you if they do have to wait and this thing keeps going and going and going into tomorrow, if they do finish the round?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I looked at the whether last night and this morning and thought no matter what I had from 8:00 o'clock this morning, I had 12 hours to finish my round. Even if we had storms this morning, I still had a pretty good shot at finishing my round today. And that's what I wanted to achieve, hopefully, if mother nature was going to let us. If we could get finished, possibly if the weather is as bad as they say it is, people are going to have to come back tomorrow to finish. And I've done that in Nashville this year, and it's just -- it's tiring. To play to dark and get up to finish the next morning, it takes a lot more out of you. I feel great. If I get a chance to this afternoon, I might do a bit of practice. But other than that I'll be able to get a good night's sleep and not have to really worry about what's happening this afternoon and tomorrow morning.

Q. Are you the type player who thinks about what would be a realistic score in a certain situation before you play or -- and also do you think it's realistic for someone to try to shoot a 54 in a round of golf?

KARRIE WEBB: Do you mean today as far as setting a score today or for the rest of the week?

Q. Just for today. Say you're 65 today, could you have started out this morning and said, well, under these conditions, I might be able to shoot 65 today or I might shoot 63 or something like that?

KARRIE WEBB: I don't ever really set a number. But I was hoping that I'd shoot even par at the worst hopefully a couple under and knew that even at even par I'd have a good shot come the weekend. I didn't really set a specific number. But I probably wouldn't have been happy with anything less than even par.

Q. Most of the Tour players seem to be really impressed with Morgan Pressel, the 13-year-old. I know you've already talked about her. If you could say one thing to her, a piece of advice, what would you say right now?

KARRIE WEBB: I'd tell her that 77 is an unbelievable score that she shot yesterday. And I think that what's happened to her in the last month is probably something she's not ever going to forget, just with the media attention and probably the amount of pressure that she's felt like she has had to perform here. I saw an interview of her last night and she was in tears after she shot 77. And I thought that -- I was surprised that she broke 80, as much attention as she'd had. And just how tire some that is on someone that's an adult, let alone a 13-year-old kid. I know she says that she's out there just to enjoy herself. And that's the main thing that she should do. She's already playing in a U.S. Open at 13. The talent that she has. I haven't obviously watched her play. She's got the talent to be here. She's going to be here for many, many more years to come. And I don't think by any means that she should be embarrassed at 77. Because I think that was a very -- it was an incredible score. I thought that was great to see that she broke 80.

Q. Did she meet you, Karrie? And did she ask you for your autograph or anything like that in the locker room?

KARRIE WEBB: She didn't ask me for my autograph. I met her on Monday. And we were just sitting in the locker room, it was raining, and I was sitting with Lorie Kane, and we just -- even then just gave her the advice to not try to let the media attention overwhelm her. No matter how much you say that, that's going to overwhelm a 13-year-old. But just to enjoy her week and anything she does this week is a bonus, because I can't imagine -- I don't know, I think about what I would feel at 12 when I'm qualifying for the U.S. Open. I don't think I'd have the expectations that I'd get into the U.S. Open. So if she had those expectations before she qualified, then she's already ahead of the game because she's here. I hope that she goes out there -- she's out there today already, just plays well. If she was to make the cut, that would be just the unbelievable thing. I don't think she should be disappointed if she doesn't make the cut, because she's already ahead of anyone under 18, the fact that she's playing a U.S. Open already and has gained all that experience just from this one week.

Q. Karrie, are you at the point in your career where you're playing all other tournaments in preparation for majors or do you put that much emphasis on majors?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I put a lot of emphasis on the Majors now. I always have. But a win is a win, no matter what tournament it is and where you win it. But to get your game to peak at the right time, and that's in the Majors, to me that's when I want to play my best golf throughout the year is maybe in the lead up to a major, but definitely the week of a major. You're not ever going to win every single time you put yourself in contention to win any tournament, but especially a Major. But the more times you put yourself in that position the more chances you have and maybe you get lucky a couple of times. But I definitely set my schedule up around the Majors.

Q. Would you mind commenting on the absence of Nancy Lopez and whether it's strange to be at a U.S. Open without her?

KARRIE WEBB: I haven't obviously played in as many U.S. Opens as some players. But I know it is sad to see the day that Nancy Lopez isn't playing a U.S. Open. But I just -- it's just a hard thing. It's good for the U.S. Open, because it's open for anyone to qualify. Unfortunately for Nancy, she had to go back to qualifying this year. And just the way it worked out just wasn't meant to be. I feel bad for her that she's not here. And I hope we do see her back here again. I'm sure that she's either going to qualify before she has to go to the prequalifying or she'll go back, I'm sure.

Q. This is the last Morgan Pressel question, I promise. Do you think you might call her up and play a round of golf with her at some time, being about ten minutes apart?

KARRIE WEBB: I might let her ask me. Because I don't know, I just think of how I was as a kid, and I would never put myself in that situation if you paid me. I guess I'm just a shy enough person that as much as I'd love to play with a great player, that I just would never put myself in that position. I'd love to go and watch them, but never put myself in a position to be that nervous over an 18-hole-round of golf, when it doesn't count for anything.

Q. Her father told me that she likes to fish, maybe you could call her up and say would you like to go fishing (laughter.)

KARRIE WEBB: I could do that. She could probably show me a thing or two.

RHONDA GLENN: Great round, Karrie. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments.

End of FastScripts....

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