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July 22, 2000

Karrie Webb


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Karrie Webb hit 16 greens today, that's the most she's hit all week. I heard you say that good iron play was really one of the things that made it happen four today?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I think that, and some good putts going in. But, I did have a lot of good yardages today that, you know, it was just one of those days that, you know, on most holes I got there and I had a good number, and I either was, you know -- it was either a good grip club or a full club. You know, I didn't have to fiddle around with too many shots. So, you know, it's kind of nice to have one of those days, because, you know, getting off to the start, made it a little easier and also having those yardages, you can just put confident swings on it, and I did that and hit it in some good spots to make some good putts. On the holes where I felt there were some softer pins, I played pretty much away from them and made some good 2-putts, as well. Overall, I think it was I solid round of golf. I missed I think four fairways. So, all in all, I played pretty solidly. You know, I'm obviously very happy with the position that I'm in.

Q. Yesterday you talked about how par is your friend out here, but you seemed to be firing right at a lot of the pins. Was there something different you saw today either in conditions or pin positions?

KARRIE WEBB: I think just like I said, I had some good yardages, and I think, you know, it's easier to fire at certain pins. If you've got a good club in your hand, you can feel confident with it. You know, I hit a lot of good iron shots early on. You know, when you're standing there with a good number and a pin that is accessible, you know, I was putting such good swings on it, I could fire away at the pins.

Q. Were you aware of what happened with Betsy early in the round?

KARRIE WEBB: No. Rhonda just told me. I was not aware of that.

Q. Did you pay much attention to the scoreboard?

KARRIE WEBB: I saw Betsy went off the leaderboard but obviously I had no idea why or how.

Q. When you get to 5-under like you did early in the rounds, does that change your strategy? Do you keep attacking or maybe back off a little bit when you've got the big lead?

KARRIE WEBB: No. You know, anything can happen in the U.S. Open. I just wanted to go as low as I could today, and not do anything silly, not get too far ahead of myself. You know, just hit fairways and greens, and if I make the putt, that's great. Just wanted to get in as low as I could and see where I stood at the end of the day.

Q. With so many similarities over the last 12 months with your career and Tiger's career, if you win tomorrow, that's three of the last four majors, and the same for him. I think even your birthdays are nine days apart. How much of the awareness of what's going on with him, the similarity with you, is there, and how much contact have you actually had with him?

KARRIE WEBB: As far as contact, I played in the same group as him in '96 in the JCPenney Classic, and apart from that, that's about all the contact I've had had with him. You know, it's pretty uncanny that it has been so similar. I think, like I said, it's just as far as it goes. He plays on the PGA TOUR. I play on the LPGA TOUR. It's's pretty hard to compare, just like comparing him to Jack Nicklaus, they never played in the same era, so it's really hard to compare him. Same goes for me; we don't play on the same tour. So it's hard to compare two players that don't play against one another.

Q. Are there days when you just wake up and feel like you're going to have a good round or does it just kind of happen for you out there?

KARRIE WEBB: I did feel pretty good about things today, even though I was pretty nervous. I just had a feeling, I just had a good feeling about today. You know, hitting the fairway on the 1st hole and hitting the green was definitely a good start. Then I birdied the 2nd and that really calmed me down a little bit.

Q. Another Tiger question. Golf World last week or the week before had a picture of you on the cover with his reflection and the sunglasses. I wonder if you had any thoughts about that when you saw him?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I was just shocked to be on the cover and not have won the tournament the week before. That's the first time that's ever happened. But, you know, I guess, you know, I just appreciate that Golf World is writing about, you know -- even though you have to play -- we're up against the Men's British Open. Golf World obviously saw that the two were equal, and putting both of us on the cover.

Q. You've got a remarkable final round record when you're leading. Can you tell us what your mindset is on a Sunday morning when you're leading and how you carry it through, and will it be different tomorrow because this is the Open?

KARRIE WEBB: I don't think it will be any different. I think, obviously, I will be very nervous. But, I've just got to keep to the same game plan that I've had all week, and, you know, fairways and greens, and try not to do anything silly. And, you know, just play steady and see what happens. I'm not going to set a score. I'm just going to play hole by hole. Hopefully, at the end of the day, I'll be holding a trophy up on the 18th green.

Q. While you can't compare how you play and how Tiger plays, the fact that you both have become such dominant players at the same time, have you ever thought about that aspect of it?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I guess. I think -- I don't know, I mean I have thought about it. Like I said, our careers have paralleled so uncannily that it had been talked about; I have talked about it; I have thought about it. I mean, what can I say? As far as saying I thought about it, it's just what's happened. I mean, you know, I'm out there trying to do my best. He's out there trying to do his best.

Q. Annika was playing so well coming into this tournament. Are you surprised that she is not playing better this week than she is?

KARRIE WEBB: I guess. I don't know how she played today. But, you know, that just happens. I mean, we're all human out here. You know, she was trying to get her game in peak condition to come into this week, just as much as I was. You know, things just happen. I mean, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. You know, she's trying just as hard out there to play well as I am, and, you know, things just work out differently.

Q. Karrie, the way you were throwing red numbers up there on the board today, does it surprise you that there are only one other player under par for the tournament at this point?

KARRIE WEBB: Not really. You know, I feel like I played pretty well today. And like I said, I had one of those days with good yardages, made some putts. It's so tough out there. If you're not hitting the fairways to start with, you're in trouble and you've got to hit the greens. And I was hitting the greens today, even in the right part of the green to have a decent putt at it. On days like that, you know, anyone that would have a day like that would be under par right now.

RHONDA GLENN: With you and Meg outdistancing the field, especially you of course, will it be sort of a match play situation tomorrow. Do you see that developing?

KARRIE WEBB: Probably in some ways. I think right to start with, you know -- depending on the conditions tomorrow, anyone could come out and shoot a few under or a lot under. You know, you can't -- there's still a lot of good players that are at even par. You know, it could tend to get into a match play situation by the end of the day. But, you know, I'm not going to really concern myself with that. I just need to stay one shot ahead by the end of the day.

Q. You've been in the -- you've had a final round lead quite often in your career, I wonder if you feel you are a better front-runner now than you were earlier in your career, and if so, why?

KARRIE WEBB: I think I've won from both ways. I've won from behind and I've won from being in front. So, you know, I'm comfortable with both situations. I think I'm probably more comfortable than I was at the beginning of my career being a front-runner. I think I was probably -- didn't handle it as well as I do now. But all in all, I think I handle both situations very well.

Q. I wonder if there's any comparison between the way you're playing this week and the way you played at the Nabisco? You seemed to be in a zone that week.

KARRIE WEBB: I think the only difference is that going into Nabisco, I was playing extremely well. I think, you know, I only -- I had won every tournament I played except the week before and I finished second. So, you know, I had, I'd say probably just a lot more momentum going into the Dinah Shore, the Nabisco Championship. This week, you know, I came into here probably not as prepared as I would like, but I've worked my way into it, and to the point where I hit, you know, felt like my swing was in great shape today. So, I think they are just two different lead-ups, I guess. I felt very comfortable going into Nabisco. And this week, I just wasn't too sure about myself. I made some good putts on Thursday, and really that got me into a good rhythm with the rest of my game.

Q. Yesterday you said that you didn't expect a birdie binge or anything, and you said you would be cautious about some of the pin placements. Early on, did your eyes light up based on the way the course was set up and did you change your mode of attack?

KARRIE WEBB: I didn't think the course was set up easy at all. I think the second -- the pin on the second was a tough pin position. And I just hit a great -- I landed an iron shot perfectly, where I needed to and it released to about 10, 12 feet past the hole that. Was a tough pin position there. You know, all of the pins were tucked in situations where if you were not on the right side of the hole you did not have a good putt at it, and I was just fortunate enough to hit them where I needed to and be able to make some aggressive putts, and actually I made some. So, you know, I think that the pins have been pretty much the same all week.

Q. I believe you said before that the Women's Open has not always been televised in Australia. I wonder if you know if it is televised this year and if you can give us an idea what your success means back in your homeland?

KARRIE WEBB: It is televised. This is the first year, actually it's been televised. I would not say ever, but since I've been watching golf, I think it's the first time it has ever been televised. And it's on live, so I think my mom and dad are getting up at about 4:00, 5:00 in the morning to watch it. And as far as my success, I think my success and the fact that a lot of the other Australian girls have played extremely well in the last few years, have really meant a lot in women's golf in Australia. And the fact that we have an LPGA event down there where some of the best players in the world go down there to play, I think it brings a lot of attention to women's golf, and definitely a lot more attention has been paid.

Q. You've already mentioned fairways and greens, and fairways and greens over and over, but is there something you've seen as the best way to play this golf course?

KARRIE WEBB: No, I don't think I have any secrets. I think, like I said, fairways and greens. You know, today, on the 9th hole -- the 9th hole today was the first day it blew straight into the wind and I hit a 3-wood off the tee to make sure, because a driver might have run out of the fairway there. So, I hit a 3-wood off the tee so make sure that I did not have any chance of running out of fairway but left me over 200 yards to the pin. But, to me -- and then I was hitting 5-wood into the green. But to me, it's better off to be on the fairway, than to risk getting just that little bit further, with a 4- or 5-iron. It's just fairways and greens. If you're on the fairway, you have a chance of -- you definitely have a great chance of making par, and you have a chance of making birdie from there.

RHONDA GLENN: Let's go over all of the birdies and bogeys. A lot of birdies on the front nine, four of the first seven holes, beginning with No. 2.

KARRIE WEBB: No. 2, I hit a 6-iron to about 12 feet and made that. No. 4, I hit a 7-iron to about 10 feet. 5, hit a wedge to about 15, 18 feet. Par 7, I hit a 7-iron to about 10 feet. 8, my lay up shot, I missed fairway right, into the right rough and hit it into the green-side bunker. Hit a good bunker shot to about five, six feet and missed the putt. 10, I hit a wedge to about 18 feet, 20 feet. 15, I hit an 8-iron to 20 feet, 25 feet, maybe. 17, I missed the fairway to the right, which was not a good place at all today. And I missed the green left with a 7-iron and chipped it to about 15 feet and 2-putted.

Q. Have you realistically thought about a Slam, completing it in one year, and can you talk about what kind of things it would take for you, or any player to pull it off?

KARRIE WEBB: I have not thought realistically about winning a Slam in one year. I think it takes a lot to win a Grand Slam in your whole career, but definitely not in one year. And I think that it would be -- I mean, an unbelievable feat to be able to do something like that, just because in one year, you have to -- well, first of all you have to like Mission Hills, which I do. But then you have to like the Open course, because it's different every year. So, that year that you're supposedly supposed to win the Slam, you've got to like that course. You've got to like the LPGA Championship, you've got to like Du Pont Country Club, and you've got to like the Du Maurier course. So, you know, you'd have to be very lucky to have -- and to peak during those four weeks, you'd are to be very lucky to like all four of those golf courses and be peaking and on your game at those times of the year. I wouldn't say never, but it's a long shot.

Q. Do you have any special mental tricks that you'll use tomorrow to not let yourself get too far ahead of yourself?

KARRIE WEBB: No. Just have to talk to myself every now and then, have to calm myself down and think about the shot at hand, and, you know, not the next hole or five holes time. You know, just think about the next shot and play that and then the next shot. You know, I mean, I do get ahead of myself, and I did today. But I just, you know, have to take stop and take account of myself and just think about the shot, and that's about all I did.

Q. When did that happen today?

KARRIE WEBB: Just a few times. Not necessarily any point that I can think of, but just, you know, just thinking about further down the track, thinking about tomorrow. You know, I just had to bring my mind back to where I was and what I was doing right now.

Q. You said that you were not comfortable with your game coming in. What was going on your game and what did you work on to bring it back this week?

KARRIE WEBB: Just the usual things with my swing. I just had -- I found I was struggling just with my rhythm and timing and just a few other little things with my swing and once you get into the U.S. Open, I just try to forget about all that and just play. And I think the fact that there was wind was a big factor for me, because I feel like I don't have to be hitting quite as good when there is a little bit of wind, because you can work out shots. I feel like I'm pretty creative, and I felt like I could work into my game because of the wind, and that's what's happened.

Q. You seem at times almost uncomfortable in comparison to Tiger and what he's accomplished. Are there not times when you lie in bed at night and look at the ceiling and look at how far you have come, figuratively and literally, in your career at age 24?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, thank you. I'm 25. (Laughter.) I'm actually a year older than Tiger. So, you know, I'm getting over the hill. I do that all the time. If I win tomorrow, you know, I have enough points to be in the LPGA Hall of Fame. And that is, you know, my ultimate career goal. You know, if I win tomorrow, I'll have achieved that already. You know, it's very overwhelming. You know, it's something that I don't take for granted. I just continue working very hard at it.

Q. Earlier in the year, you said that you were kind of glad they had the waiting period for the Hall of Fame. Do you feel you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

KARRIE WEBB: No, I'm glad there's a waiting period. There's far too many great players in there to put my name alongside them just yet.

End of FastScripts....

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