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July 5, 2003

B.J. Wie


Q. Clarify what happened.

B.J. WIE: Danielle brushed off so that Michelle would be out of her sight. But there's no really pushing or bumping hard. But Danielle was concerned that Michelle was on her sight. On the line of her putts. Another fact is that Michelle never stepped on her line, but Danielle was concerned about her ball to hole and beyond the hole. So that means that just straight line from her ball to hole. Michelle was crossing the above that line. But as an amateur we didn't know that professionals are so much concerned about the somebody stepping on the line beyond the hole. That's why the misunderstanding. And unfortunately the incident happened. Because we didn't know. I thought as long as you're not stepping on their line between the ball to hole, and surprised to learn that professionals are looking at beyond the hole. So there was a very great learning process. And other thing that the playing partners were not happy about that since Michelle hitting the ball farther than them, sometimes we are 50 or sometimes 80 yards ahead of them. But to speed up the playing process, we usually walk to the ball. But trying not to be on their target line. So we always stay on the rough or just get out of her sight. But sometimes they were not happy that our walking to the ball. But since Michelle was a two stroke penalty for slow play at the LPGA, we learn that we got to walk fast to the ball and get ready. That's why the two things that happened. But 8th hole, Michelle shot out of turn because her drive was so long in the rough on the right-hand side. Danielle was in the bunker rough, left-hand side. They are very apart. Maybe I would say about 80 yards apart. And Michelle saw something going above her, so she thought that Danielle already hit the ball. But unfortunately Danielle went into the bunker but she made a par. So she's okay. And actually Michelle approached Danielle and apologized that that was just a mistake. Pure mistake.

Q. Can I get a clarification. You said she didn't bump, she didn't push, but then you said she brushed?

B.J. WIE: I didn't see that exactly, but Michelle just described that Danielle just maybe using the body language, just, you know, stay out of her sight. But.

Q. So you incorrectly interpreted Michelle's body language when she was telling you?

B.J. WIE: Yeah, like that, pushing. I think it was incorrectly represented to reporters that like sounds like bumping like that. It's not like football bumping or tackling.

Q. So there was no contact at all? There was no physical contact at all?

B.J. WIE: There was no physical contact.

Q. At all?

B.J. WIE: At all.

Q. And Michelle walked between Danielle and the ball, but not between the ball and the hole?

B.J. WIE: No. Never. She never crossed that ball to whole line. We never stepped on it. But we were, she was walking like circle like this. But it happens to be I think they collided in some place, but not physically collided, but they were on the same path.

Q. When did you get corrected on the physical contact part? Is that something that you discussed last night or today?

B.J. WIE: Just at the trailer, Michelle was talking to USGA officials to clarify. I think that also maybe I misrepresented what happened, misdescribed what happened yesterday. But it happened so quickly maybe Michelle didn't know whether there was any physical contact or not.

Q. As tough a question is to ask, do you owe Danielle an apology at all yourself do you feel?

B.J. WIE: I think later on Danielle -- yesterday Danielle approached Michelle to talk about this matter. And I think she was very nice to Michelle. And so that this kind of thing will not happen. So I think she talked to Michelle very nicely.

Q. But do you owe her --

B.J. WIE: I never talked to Danielle yet.

Q. But are you going to apologize to her though, for the misinterpretation?

B.J. WIE: Yeah, probably I will. Sure, I will. But there's no real like football tackling like that. It's not a throwing Michelle out of the green like that. But the playing partners were not really happy with our movement on the green. So as I told you earlier, I thought that professionals are really concerned about putting the ball into the hole instead of looking at the spike marks on the 15 feet away from the hole. But that was a great learning process.

Q. Does Michelle and you still stand by the comment that you described as very, very nasty and unpleasant in the scoring tent after the 9th hole?

B.J. WIE: We decided that we not going to disclose anything that happened in the scoring tent. That would be kept between Michelle and Danielle.

Q. But you've already said that you have used some terms to describe it.

B.J. WIE: But I'm not going to say what exactly told to Michelle, but I think I'm not going to say beyond that.

Q. But you stand by what you said before about the --

B.J. WIE: Sure.

Q. -- the characterization of what took place in the scoring tent?

B.J. WIE: Yeah.

Q. Can you describe --

B.J. WIE: But you can confirm with USGA officials who were present. Because I was not there. I'm not going to describe it.

Q. How has all this affected Michelle last night, this morning, today?

B.J. WIE: Actually something happened this morning but I'm not going to tell. But since then my emotions have changed. So.

Q. Something happened between you and Michelle?

B.J. WIE: No, not -- I mean -- I'm not going to say beyond that. But something happened this morning, but that really stirred a lot of things internally and mentally.

Q. Both of you?

B.J. WIE: Yes. Michelle and myself.

Q. Are you going to give any consideration to maybe not caddieing for her in professional events or?

B.J. WIE: No, I have no choice. I have to pay -- if I hire professional caddy and I have to pay, I don't know, maybe a thousand dollars, and plus travel expenses, it's beyond my, my budget. So I will continue to caddy. But the incident that happened Thursday was very unfortunate. Michelle never had a problem with playing partners. When she played with Annika and Patricia we never had that problem. And if that happens I think Annika will say Michelle is, "We are doing different way. We are looking at the line beyond the hole too. So please don't walk that way". But actually, no, all the playing partners at LPGA tournaments like Michelle McGann, she made a really last nice comment last week, actually my daughter played with Michelle at Shop Rite and she told reporter that Michelle is very courteous and respectful to LPGA players. And she has a good record. She has been getting along very well. And never cause a problem.

Q. Did this affect her play today?

B.J. WIE: Actually I think her poor performance was her swing was off. Nothing to do with -- I mean main factor is her swing was very off. She wasn't swinging very well.

Q. You said something took place but you don't want to tell details about it and I understand that and respect it, but can I check and -- did this happen on the course? That's the only question I would like to know, this incident that you're talking about?

B.J. WIE: This morning?

Q. Yes.

B.J. WIE: This happened on this property.

Q. While she was playing? That's all I want to know.

B.J. WIE: Before when we arrived.

Q. Is there any part of you that wishes that you would never have brought any of this up to anyone yesterday when Michelle was signing autographs, telling people what had happened in your mind. Do you wish you wouldn't have said that or not?

B.J. WIE: I don't regret it. Because this is a U.S. Women's Open. Open means that USGA invites amateurs as well as professionals. Some of the amateurs will be playing with her parents or friends who do not have an extensive experience as a caddy. So probably will walk on the extended line. And probably will be dropping something while they're playing. By accident, not intentionally. If that happens, I think professional caddies or professional players can just gently say, this is wrong, you know, this is not -- I mean it's not, not in the rule books. You know, placing the golf bag on the right-hand side of tee box. I used to, sometimes I put it over on left-hand side, because it's too crowded. And one of the caddies told me that you, we usually do put on all the bags on the right-hand side. So if I was told that, I will do always like that. And if professional players don't like us to move around during their survey, we don't do it. So today we just stayed still. Because we are learning every day.

Q. Do you think the USGA should have like some sort of primer for caddies like yourself coming here like the Monday of an event?

B.J. WIE: Actually USGA has long guidelines but we are lazy to read all of them. But never mentioned those kind of things. Put that bag on the right-hand side. That's never mentioned in the caddy rules or etiquette rules.

Q. Is this possibly just a personality conflict. Some golfers are more uptight than other golfers?

B.J. WIE: My assessment is it's more related to personality. Because probably we would be violating a lot of etiquette on the greens, but so far all the players we play on the greens with, they were so nice, they never, you know, made a big deal out of this. But imagine a 13 year old girl, and I'm not a caddy, I'm a professor, and how do I know to put the bag on the right-hand side? And so those are learning process.

Q. Everything about Michelle's career so far has been so positive. This is your first real negative.

B.J. WIE: Yeah.

Q. Does it make you kind of, I don't know, make you realize what you're getting into now with Michelle and the attention?

B.J. WIE: I think this attention is related to her popularity. It happens to other person maybe just it doesn't matter get a lot of attention.

Q. Does that change your feeling about what your daughter is coming into then it's going to, in theory, increase.

B.J. WIE: My projection is that as she continues to be more famous some players may feel uncomfortable with her, I don't know. As a young child playing really good they may not accept Michelle as a playing partner in their Tour. It may happen. All depend on personality. I hope it doesn't happen, but I'm sure there are a small number of people that will be feeling very uncomfortable with Michelle.

Q. Do you think that may be what happened here?

B.J. WIE: I think so. Yes. Related to us. I think certainly this is completely related to personality difference.

Q. How are you and Michelle getting along now?

B.J. WIE: I mean we still arguing about club selections. But today's performance has nothing to do with this Thursday incident. It's just she didn't play very well. Our strategy was too aggressive today. Starting to use driver from the first hole. But today's rough was very long and sticky. And has a little to do with it, but.

Q. Was there a sense on the course at all from the galleries, was there any reaction? Did anybody make any mention of it at all?

B.J. WIE: No. No. She was escorted by security guards all day long.

Q. Was that only today?

B.J. WIE: Throughout the week she was.

Q. Did Kristi's caddy teach you anything today?

B.J. WIE: No. Actually we corrected two things. Don't move on the green. And then don't walk to the ball. Tracy's shots, Michelle on every tee shot she was shorter, so we just stayed on the same distance next to her. So that she finish and we walk to the ball. And so it worked out really quite well. So we learned two things. Just pace with the playing partners and then don't move on the green. I think that's simply that solved the problem in the future. That's all the professional players and caddies are concerned about. And they're really concerned about stepping on somebody stepping on the extended line. So we got to educate other parents who will be caddieing amateur players in the futures USGA Women's Open, the putting line includes the line beyond the hole outside the green. So a straight line as long as we not, stepping on their line, I think we'll be okay.

Q. Do you think some of the veteran players have a responsible to help folks like yourself out in these situations?

B.J. WIE: I mean if, if we're in the perfect world I think the professional players may say, okay, this is not the right way, you know, you do this. And I think all the players are very intelligent. Intelligent to understand, enough to understand what we need to do. So I think that same thing happened to Morgan Pressel maybe two years ago. Stepping on line, maybe she didn't know the extended line means beyond the hole. I think I heard that many routines on rookies on PGA Tour had the same problem. They thought putting line is to the hole, but it extend to out of the green.

Q. Whose responsibility is it to know something like that?

B.J. WIE: I think it's everyone's responsibility. Sometimes there's rule officials that are under a lot of pressure and just have to look have to look it up right. So I don't know, we're still learning.

Q. Did it affect your caddieing today, were you not doing as much?

B.J. WIE: Actually it affect my caddieing on Friday and Thursday because I wasn't feel comfortable. So I wasn't -- I wasn't comfortable at all. Thursday and Friday.

Q. So no one, there was no, this was reported a lot last night and this morning and it was a very big story, so you had no comments from anyone in the gallery, anyone even on the property that this incident that you talked about on the property had nothing to do with someone making reference directly or indirectly to this controversy?

B.J. WIE: I wouldn't comment on that.

Q. Did anyone say anything to you directly or indirectly about this controversy today on the property?

B.J. WIE: I wouldn't say anything about that.

Q. Obviously the last 24 hours have been kind of interesting for you, with your dual role as a father and a caddy, what's the process going to be like this afternoon and tonight to kind of get Michelle maybe refocused on back on what's going on or just to have fun again?

B.J. WIE: I think we're going to go to the range and practice her swing. That's all we need to do. It's a championship course. The course is a perfect condition course. And if you underestimate the strength of rough, you'll be in trouble. Michelle's mistake today was that she underestimated the strength of rough and very nasty lies and that's only difference.

End of FastScripts....

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