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July 25, 2003

Suzy Whaley


TODD BUDNICK: All right we with welcome Suzy Whaley, after an 8-over 78 today, finished the tournament at 13 over par, 153. Suzy, I think whether it was the 2-under or 13-over, you accomplished your mission in promoting golf out this there week.

SUZY WHALEY: Thanks and I appreciate it.

TODD BUDNICK: Tell us about your experience this week. It looked like you were having fun know out there.

SUZY WHALEY: I did, I had the best time. The first thing I have to do is thank everybody that brought me here: The PGA of America, affording me the opportunity to play; the PGA TOUR for allowing me to play; Beth Gast from Alday Communications, who helped me manage the rest of my life; Peter Jacobsen Productions; my husband and my family, without all of those people, and Dr. Coop, without those people I couldn't have done this. I didn't do it on my own. But I absolutely loved every minute of it. I enjoyed it. It was just a pleasure to be here and be a part of it.

TODD BUDNICK: Talk about your mindset going into today, obviously you were 5-over yesterday so are you thinking, I would like to do better than that today.


TODD BUDNICK: You struggled a little early on.

SUZY WHALEY: Actually it wasn't so early I was hanging in there. I hit a bad club on 15, just too much club, it was a terrible mental error because you just can't go over that green so that was just a flat mistake but I had a great sand wedge, just used the wrong club.

16 was little shaky after that. I made a great up-and-down.

17, I had another bad tee ball. I just don't like that tee box. I had a terrible lie, laid up with wedge, hit 9-iron but it spun off the green, right up against the collar of the rough and just had a rotten lie. Hit it too hard, made another double. So that wasn't any fun.

And then 4, which was my other double was just a lack of focus. You know, I think I got tired on that hole. I just wasn't paying a 10. It was a big mistake. Other than those three holes I played really solid golf. I'm proud of the way I played today. I'm proud of the way I hung in there. I did get a little tired toward the end of the round, got something to eat and drink. I knew it was my last shot at it and held my legs as hard as I could and I just kept going. I'm happy with the way I played.

TODD BUDNICK: You mentioned being tired. Was it more mental or physical or just from everything you are going through this week.

SUZY WHALEY: It was a little bit of both. I didn't see it show until I cut the ball on 5. Normally when I hit the shot I hit on five is when my legs are under me. It was good wake-up call, I realized it and could get it back together again and brought it in pretty strong.

TODD BUDNICK: We will take some questions.

Q. 6, 7 and 8 it looked like you had legitimate birdie putts or chances on all three holes.

SUZY WHALEY: I did and none of them went in. I did have legitimate birdie putts. Really close. None of them were outside of ten feet. I just misread one of them and the other two my speed was little off. They could have gone definitely either way, they just didn't fall my way. But I was happy at that point to make par on 6. Tried to get back together again. I had a really good chance on 7 and 8. It just didn't happen. But you know, that's okay.

Q. Did you get it back on 6? You talked about being tired, you looked like you played exactly the way you drew it up?

SUZY WHALEY: Yes, I knew I did. I knew after I hit the shot on 5 that I needed to get something to eat. My golf swing, when I hit a 3-wood right like that is because I lost my base underneath me. It's usually because I'm hungry or I'm tired. So we took care of that with a nice Power Bar. And my usual thought after I lose my legs under me is hold my legs at address, that's what I did and I got my base back.

Q. Everybody else in the group was messing around on that hole, they were in the woods.

SUZY WHALEY: Yes, it was nice. I wasn't. I think that was one of the hardest things to do here because I was always first. So you always had to be ready first. You had to literally get to your ball first. I found it hard to time myself, pace myself when I got to my ball toward the end of the round because you just need to get there and go. It was never a time where you could actually stop and think until after they've actually hit. That was one thing that was very different for me playing out here than when I play events on the LPGA Tour. I definitely was always first.

Q. Suzy in all of the months you were thinking about this these last two days, is it anything close to you imagined or so much more?

SUZY WHALEY: I find it hard to believe. I thought I thought of every second. I thought how it would be, but it was better than I could ever imagined.

Q. When you play in the Connecticut Section Championship in September are you going to play from the back tees?

SUZY WHALEY: No, I will play from the forward tees.

Q. Suzy, go back to the moment that you found out that you had qualified for the GHO and address, if you would, the terror I'm going to say --

SUZY WHALEY: I really believed honestly that when I won my section championship I did not think they would allow me to play. I knew there was an exemption attached to the win. But certainly I didn't think I would be eligible because I was female. Really it felt like about a minute and a half when I got a call from the PGA TOUR, from Bob Combs from the PGA TOUR asking me if I was going to play then I knew they would allow me to play. To be honest at that moment, "I have no idea. I got to think about it, can I call you back?" It wasn't terror, it wasn't something I had considered doing. I know the story has been told a million times. I went to my daughter's kindergarten orientation, my husband and I celebrated with a glass of wine. That was the end of that. We figured we had some time to think about it and decide and the next morning we realized we didn't have any time.

Q. Suzy, now that it's over are you more released that it's over or sorry?

SUZY WHALEY: I was little sorry to 9th hole. I wish I could explain to you how it feels to have that many people cheering for you all day long for 2 days straight, it's the most wonderful feeling in the world. I was a little sad on the last putt. It was a great, great week.

Q. If Dan Baker calls you and offers you an exemption will you consider that?

SUZY WHALEY: We will take that when it comes.

Q. Suzy, you played so much the last couple of months you worked so hard to get into shape, has that bug tried to hit you, maybe trying to play competitively again next year or is this it?

SUZY WHALEY: Every once in a while it hits me. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. They come first and I think it's very hard to try to play at a high level competitive golf when you have young children, and right now for me that's probably a decision that I won't do.

Q. Will you still play some LPGA tournaments this year?

SUZY WHALEY: I hope so. I'm hoping to get some sponsor exemptions toward the end of this year.

Q. Suzy, you talked about doing this, at least in some part because of what it would mean to your daughters and setting an example, who benefits most for your being here?

SUZY WHALEY: Well, you know, I think there are so many people that benefit. I really believe wholeheartedly that as a PGA of America member, and LPGA and T & CP member this week I have grown the game of golf this week, I set that goal I feel like I've done it. There were so many young people out there cheering to me. I would ask them, do you play golf? No, but I'm going to now. For me, I think the greatest benefit of the world is every single young girl that was here today, including my own daughters watched me tee off with two men like it was not anything different than it should be. And I feel like I showed people that you can achieve anything if you just work extremely hard and your dreams are possible. My girls know that now.

Q. Suzy, now that it's over, can you give us a number that you thought you would shoot?

SUZY WHALEY: So many people have asked me that. You guys think I was lying to you. I really didn't have a number in mind. I really didn't. Because whenever I set a number for myself I only go to that number. So if I had told you yesterday or two days ago 75, 75, I wouldn't have gone lower. And, you know, I wanted to go as low as I possibly could go. So all I could tell you I'm extremely happy with the way I played. I made some mistakes along the way, but I expected to make some mistakes along the way. But I made some great shots, too.

Q. Suzy, this whole experience obviously plucked you out of obscurity to a point, even though you will not play full-time with the TOUR again, do you think you will have a higher profile, TV commentary, do you think your life changes in those ways?

SUZY WHALEY: I would love to do TV commentary. I still love to teach golf as well. I'm extremely independent in doing instructional clinics obviously for corporations and things like that. I would like to get into TV golf commentary.

Q. Suzy, can you talk about the conditions of the course both days and how it affected each of your rounds?

SUZY WHALEY: Yes, yesterday, the conditions yesterday were brutal as far as I was concerned. The golf course played extremely long, it was windy, it was wet. That round that I played yesterday was one of the best rounds that I ever played.

Today the golf course was dryer but still wet, I wasn't getting a roll. But, you know, the wind wasn't a factor. I mean it was a little bit but it couldn't have been more than 10 miles an hour today. I thought the golf course played easier this morning, way easier than it did yesterday afternoon.

Q. Suzy, the 75 that you shot yesterday, I think most of us in here wrote she shot 75 and she beat 13 guys, are you okay with that?

SUZY WHALEY: Yes, I'm just a competitor in the field this week. I realized that I'm a little bit different than all of the others. That's what it comes right down to. This is a golf tournament. For me, the only thing I wondered yesterday is, did I beat one? If you want to put down 13, that's great. But I don't have a problem with that.

Q. Suzy, go back to follow up an earlier question about what you thought you were going to shoot, if someone had suggested to you before you went out you would break 80 both cases, what would your reaction to that have been?

SUZY WHALEY: I would have said good week.

Q. Not to harp on that too much, is there a number that would have been so high that would have spoiled this occasion?


Q. Suzy, do you see your life getting back to normal now, teaching, running the shop, being with your kids all the time?

SUZY WHALEY: I think any time you face a challenge like I faced this week, you can only grow from it. I don't see my life ever going back to the way it was. But I don't see my priorities changing.

Q. When are you going back to work, Suzy?

SUZY WHALEY: I'm teaching all women golf school August 14th, 15th and 16th and Blue Fox Run.

Q. Suzy, what are you going to do tomorrow?

SUZY WHALEY: I haven't decided yet. I'm definitely going to come out here and watch. I will be out here at some points.

Q. Suzy, going back to your comments about your daughters, can you tell is the story about the exchange you had with them either yesterday or today before you left for the round?

SUZY WHALEY: Well, actually I was on the phone. I called my older daughter and I said something to the effect, mom my played great. She said, that's super, but I was at the bowling alley and I got 2 strikes in the last frame and a spare. I said, well, that's terrific. Seriously that was a true story.

TODD BUDNICK: Any more questions? We will just go through the round real quick.

You had bogey on No. 12. If you could just tell us about that.

SUZY WHALEY: I have to get there, sorry. You guys always do this to me. Bogey on 12. I hit a bad 7-wood. I hit a pretty good chip shot up there and missed the putt.

15, back club selection, I hit a great sand wedge but the sand wedge wasn't the club. I went back over the green, tried to hit the perfect Phil Mickelson, shot which I don't own. It fell short of the green, it wasn't going to go by again, 40 feet, 2-putted for a lovely six.

17, I yanked it left off the tee into extremely heavy rough. Hit a pitching wedge out because that's all I could get on the ball.

I hit a 9-iron front off the green, which you can't do there because the ball comes back, so it came back right on the cut line, where the rough and the first cut is. Pretty much what I call a rotten chip and missed the putt, so that was 6.

TODD BUDNICK: 1, birdie.

SUZY WHALEY: 1, I hit driver, 3-wood to ten feet, made it.


SUZY WHALEY: 2 was awful. 2, I hit a really good drive. I hit a really good 8-iron but that hole -- I don't know, I left it a little right and I skulled it out of the bunker over the green, chipped up and made the putt, that was ugly.

4, I cut the driver which should have been my first signal of needing some food or hold the legs under me but I didn't see it then, and then just lack of focus, hit it badly up. We used way too much club and went into the rough left and then the ball was just completely buried. I had absolutely no shot at all. I had to chip it out to the fairway. Hit pitching wedge on the green, charged the putt, made a really good five-footer coming back for 6.

TODD BUDNICK: 3-wood right on the next hole.

SUZY WHALEY: 3-wood in the right bunker on the next hole. One of the hardest shots I think in golf is that 40-yard bunker shot, that's what I had. I didn't hit a bad shot, I didn't hit a great shot. I had a shot at making the putt but I just missed.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you.

Q. Suzy, do you think this week was as fun for your family members that came into town to watch you as it has been for you? I know your sister was thrilled, your father was stressed out at times.

SUZY WHALEY: That would be an understatement. My dad hasn't been able to watch me play golf since I was 9. For my dad to watch every shot this week tells you how much he knew it meant to me for him to do that. Having my family here meant everything in the world to me. I do think they had as much fun as I did.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much, Suzy.

End of FastScripts....

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