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July 19, 1994

Kimberly Williams


LES UNGER: I am just going to ask you to talk about the accident.

KIM WILLIAMS: I am sure everybody has heard it by now. You can tell it. You heard it enough.

Q. Do you get tired of telling it?

KIM WILLIAMS: At this point, yeah. I am tired of telling it. But that is okay. Played on Saturday. Was two shots off the lead. I was on the 11th hole. We had a rain delay, waited around. Went to dinner with two friends of mine on tour. Went to the mall. Then I was going over to a drug store to get some baby oil to put on my putter so it wouldn't rust. That was nine o'clock. Walking across the street, walking into the store and something hit me really hard, and felt like a split second. I thought it was a golf ball, just because you play golf, then I was -- you know, I knew it wasn't. I went "what was that?" And I was just looking around and I kind of realized that it was -- I thought for a minute like God, I am two shots off the lead, I am not going to get to play tomorrow. And then I kind of started to realize, I mean, this was all real quick, that maybe I had gotten shot because it was really hard. I put my hand up to my neck and it was just covered with blood. So then I realized that I had been shot. I walked probably about 20 feet, very quickly, into the store and asked them to call 911. They kind of looked at me and they are like "what happened?" Then it was really starting to bleed all over my shirt. They kind of like freaked out. I asked them again to call 911. I said I am going to sit down on the floor, and thank God there was a guy who was an EMT paramedic there, he walked up and just kind of took over. He was very confident; grabbed some paper towels, stopped the bleeding fairly quickly, I mean, probably took a couple of minutes, but he was like look, you are going -- I said oh, my God, I am going to bleed to death. That is when I really was frightened because I really thought I was going to bleed to death because it hit me in the side of the neck, and you know, you are carotid artery and jugular vein are right there. That was the most frightening thing. I remember thinking, God, I am going to bleed to death, sitting on the floor in some drug store. And anyway he got it stopped. And then seemed like it took a long time, but I am sure it didn't, an ambulance came, took me to the hospital and they didn't think I had been shot because it was like this little cut. I think they said it was a little cut; I said, no, I got shot; by then I could feel it. It is right here and I could-- like my chest was hurting; took me to the hospital; they X-rayed me real quick and they came back said, yes, you had been shot. It's a 9 millimeter; showed me where it was; told me they we are going to have to air lift me to Cleveland to a trauma center. They called one place. For some reason they were kind of barking or whatever, they didn't -- they didn't want me. So they sent me to another one in Cleveland and it took about an hour for the helicopter to come and get me. And they flew me to Cleveland; put me like in a big neck brace and everything. And kind of -- when I got to the hospital, I realized -- it kind of hit me because they kept going, can you move your hands, can you move your feet; could you feel any tingling. All of a sudden I realized I very easily could have been paralyzed. That was really frightening. And they kept testing the strength in my hands and my feet. They were like, oh, it is good. Do you feel any numbness, stuff like that, so then they flew me to -- they kept doing that like every 15 minutes. They'd come up and make me move my hands, my feet, and ask me all kinds of questions about how I felt as far as -- I think they were trying to see if I had any nerve damage, so then they flew me to Cleveland to Metro Health, you know wheeled me off the helicopter; took me in - just like on TV, all these surgeons. Then they told me they were going to have to do all these various tests on me; that it was very serious; that I could be bleeding internally. I had thought about that. And had to wait awhile for one of the doctors to come in. I forgot what the procedure is called, but they take a catheter; they run it up like through your-- like there is-- like I don't know what artery it is. It is like down in your groin; they run that up through you and then you are on this machine and they shoot dye through your arteries and take pictures of you. That was really frightening because that procedure is very dangerous. And you like feel a warm sensation go through your body. They do that like six different places on both sides of you. And that is really frightening because you don't know if you are bleeding internally. I figured I probably am. Everything came out fine and then I was very, obviously, relieved when that was over. And then they took me in to do another procedure. I am not sure what it is called, you drink all this barium. They take pictures. They were taking pictures of my esophagus and trachea. Those came out okay. And while they were doing those, I just really had a sensation that I was going to be okay. I just -- I knew that for some reason, the Lord had decided to spare me and that I was going to be all right and so then they finish that and then they had to put me under for the next procedure. They take -- it is called a bronchoscopy and something else. They take some kind of tube; put it down your throat; has a camera on. It was to see if it had hit anywhere. They put me under. I had to sign those releases. Surgeon came and said it hasn't hit anything else, very likely it did -- it hit something. They were like it had to have hit something so very likely it hit something in there and they explained the procedure; that they would have to cut me open; that it was very serious so -- but I mean, I was nervous, but I really felt like I was going to be all right. Anyway they put me under - I don't remember any of that, obviously; woke up a little while later and you know, if you have ever been put under, you kind of wake up; you don't open your eyes; you hear people kind of talking to you. I knew I was okay. I kind of went to sleep. I woke up again. I probably woke up for a few minutes and I knew I was all right because I didn't have any bandages on my neck; wasn't hurting real bad and I went back to sleep; probably woke up maybe one or two more times; then I woke up and I had been awake for awhile probably like 15, 20 minutes and I was very alert, and this is a really strange experience that happened. The nurse came in the room. Looked at my chart, and she said, boy, young lady, you had an angel on your shoulder, and with that - you probably all read about this - but it was like all the air went out of that room, and I felt the presence of Heather Farr so strongly in that room, it was amazing. I hadn't been thinking about her; hadn't been thinking about anything, really, just how graced I was to be alive and her presence was -- everything kind of stopped and it was just -- it is hard to describe because it was an unearthly experience, but the nurse wasn't saying anything and it was just -- I mean, I could hardly breath and her presence was so strong in that room, that I was like expecting to see her. I was like looking to see her and then it kind of --whoosh, she went away and I just -- I mean, I could barely talk. I said to the nurse, I said, wow, you know, because she had said you have an angel on your shoulder. I said, wow, I know who she is. That was really an incredible experience. That is pretty much it. I was in the hospital. That was Sunday. I was in the hospital that night. I got out on Monday, I don't know, maybe around 11:00 or something, my caddie came and got me; drove me to Toledo; hit a few balls on Tuesday; played nine holes Wednesday; came up here, played 18 holes Thursday; walked 9. We were over at Franklin Hills. That was my practice round for the qualifier; played in Toledo; drove up here Sunday night after I played in Toledo; played in the qualifier Monday morning, and then flew back home.

LES UNGER: You had one of your best tournaments.

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played well. I was tired but I played well. I came in 10th. But I was playing well in Youngstown. I was really confident and I had played well. I had just taken a week off. I had played -- I had made like, I think, 5 cuts in a row 5 weeks before that, but I was real tired. I was playing well, but I was tired. I played either 8 or 9 weeks in a row which is really unusual.

LES UNGER: Whatever you might have earned, you forfeited because you couldn't complete?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, couldn't play, and I had finished, I think 7th in Youngstown the year before and had been in contention - almost won.

Q. A lot has been written about you since this and the word that keeps popping up all the time is courageous; she raised courage to new heights?

KIM WILLIAMS: I don't think so.

Q. How do you look at yourself? You certainly must know you are different now.

KIM WILLIAMS: I don't feel any different. I weigh 6 ounces more, but I don't feel any different.

Q. But does this is an act of courage or something?

KIM WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't think so. I don't think it is courageousness at awful. I was talking to Michelle McGann. I talked to other people about this. Courageous, if you watched Heather Farr, you saw courageous, you know, if you know Susan Jackson, you know, you know what courageous is, and Shelly Hamlin and, you know, people that deal with, you know -- thank God-- I basically feel I am tired, but I -- I don't feel that much different physically than before it happened. I think courageous people are people who deal with handicaps on an everyday basis. People-- there are people who fight for their lives. I mean, that -- you know, courageous is like -- it is not even in the same ocean as Heather Farr. I mean, it is just, you know, it is not even close.

Q. Listening to you describe what you went through, how did you finish, I believe, 10th which was the highest finish of the season the next week. You had to be surprised with that?

KIM WILLIAMS: Not really. I mean, I wasn't surprised on a -- playingwise. I was surprised that I had the stamina to walk 18 holes everyday and had it been hot, I couldn't have finished.

Q. How do you think your conditioning will be playing a course this tough and especially it being the U.S. Open?

KIM WILLIAMS: I think it will be all right. I feel okay. I am tired today but. . .

LES UNGER: Are you under any medication or any counseling?

KIM WILLIAMS: No. No, I am not under any counseling. Do you think I should?


KIM WILLIAMS: Is that a hint?

LES UNGER: I think you are doing fine.

KIM WILLIAMS: I have known some of these USGA ladies a long time. They probably think I should be under counseling. I think pretty much any tour player could probably go under the category of needing counseling.

Q. Are you tired now more than you used to be tired?

KIM WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, yesterday I felt pretty good. Today I am tired.

Q. It is because of the incident?

KIM WILLIAMS: I guess so. Yeah, it must be. I didn't feel this tired before.

Q. Do you think that bullet is tiring you somewhat or recovering from the wound?

KIM WILLIAMS: I think it is just the whole-- your body, you know, has trauma to it and then, you know, there has been some demand -- more demands on my time, and you know, I think it takes a long time for your body to -- probably to get over a trauma and took me a long time to get that anesthesia out of my system. That was awful. That was the worst part of it.

Q. Made a decision about leaving it in or watching it to wait and see?

KIM WILLIAMS: They told me as long as it doesn't cause me any problems, that it is safer to leave it in than to go in and take it out. But I am supposed to go back over there and have them look at it. I was going to go this week, but I just I don't have time. I am going to have to go sometime.

Q. Looks like the swelling has gone down?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yes, really has gone down.

Q. Did the doctor say there is any other major physical concerns?

KIM WILLIAMS: You know -- not when I left. They just kind of showed me the door and gave me my bill.

Q. Do you look at golf differently; put it in a different perspective?

KIM WILLIAMS: Not really. No. Somebody asked me this question in Toledo do I look at things a little bit differently, but I kind of think I had a different perspective than a lot of people before it happened, so you know, I don't know. Not really.

Q. Are you a particularly religious person?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yes, I am a Christian and I was before it happened, so I think that, you know, it is probably why my perspective is not like vastly life challengingly different.

Q. By Christian-- most of us are probably Christian. Do you mean born again, that type of Christian?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess you can term it that way.

Q. That phrase gets used an awful lot today and it doesn't mean always what people think it means.

KIM WILLIAMS: I say I am a Christian. You know, yes, I am very religious. It is definitely the most important thing in my life, yes.

Q. Have you been surprised by the amount of reaction?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yes. Definitely. Yeah. You know, I just -- I just got out of the hospital and went back to work. I mean that is all I did. I guess it is pretty bizarre to get shot and it was a strange incident, that is for sure. You know, it is like I said to Brandie, you know, she hurts her rib; she doesn't even know how she did it and she couldn't even play in Toledo. I get shot in the neck and I can play. I mean, it is just -- it was really strange.

Q. Let us ask you a golf question. How does this course suit you and are you ready to do something other than what you have done in the past Women's Opens?

KIM WILLIAMS: Wasn't that nice? Yeah, you know, I just kind of go out and play. I don't really -- I mean, I don't really like, you know, do this super mapping strategy thing, you know. Yeah, I like the golf course. I like when we played here in '89. It is a tough golf course, these greens are really treacherous. They have a lot of undulations in them. Hopefully, you know, I go every week and hope I play well. I mean, I don't look at it all that much differently other than, obviously, it is the U.S. Open; you have to control your emotions; you have to concentrate. You know, there is not any holes where you can kind of go to put it on cruise control, you know, your concentration better be all day long, or you are going to be in trouble.

Q. Which one of all the people that have come to do a story on you was the most unexpected, like People Magazine?

KIM WILLIAMS: People Magazine, that, I thought, was bizarre, yeah.

Q. How did they approach it?

KIM WILLIAMS: I don't understand.

Q. Did they call you at home? Did they just come to Toledo?

KIM WILLIAMS: They went through the L.P.G.A. press, yeah, then they called me at home.

Q. They missed you in Toledo?

KIM WILLIAMS: They missed me in Toledo. They came out to Detroit at the qualifier when I was done.

LES UNGER: Kim, the person who fired the shot, did he turned himself in or do you know that end of the story?

KIM WILLIAMS: All I know is what I read in the paper. He turned himself in, I guess, like the next day. His friend had, like, seen it on TV and said, you know, this could be us. And then, from what I read in the paper, he was charged with negligent assault, I think, last Tuesday, and I think he pleaded innocent.

LES UNGER: He hasn't made any attempt to apologize or be in touch?

KIM WILLIAMS: None. No, none whatsoever. I haven't had any. But, you know, I don't hold anything against him.

LES UNGER: It wasn't deliberate, it was an accident?

KIM WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think --

LES UNGER: I mean, that is if --

KIM WILLIAMS: I don't hold anything against him. But if you are going to own a gun, you better be responsible. You can't just go out and be firing guns around, and I don't necessarily know that I would call it an accident, really. I probably can't really say anything. I think there is a word in dictionary that begins with "N" that I think is probably more applicable to the situation.

Q. Nuts?

KIM WILLIAMS: No. It is long. Negligent, maybe.

Q. Do you plan to file legal action against this guy?

KIM WILLIAMS: I don't really have any comment on that. They have already charged him with something.

Q. You didn't practice?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, I enjoyed the golf course. I have hit it pretty good. Didn't get much practice in last week, but hopefully I will play well. You never know. It is like throwing dice.

Q. You didn't play in New York?

KIM WILLIAMS: Did not play in New York. I was too tired.

Q. You seemed to be pretty laid back about all this. Does that tire you out? Even when you were shot you seemed you went in and could dial 911.

KIM WILLIAMS: Well, I wanted to live, and I knew that nobody else was doing a whole lot. I feel like I better. They were all kind of standing around. So, yeah, that is kind of how I John Stewart has known me since I was 15, or 16, I think, yeah, that is kind of hey, I mean, you know, you can't worry about the future, you have no control over it, and you can't worry about the past, you don't have any control over that. I mean, I kind of just take things as they come, you know. I think a lot of it is, you know, that I am very religious and God spared me for some reason, I don't know why, but he has got some kind of plan for my life. Didn't know it was going to be quite this strange, but...

Q. You are a bit of a walking miracle at the moment, aren't you?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, the doctors absolutely couldn't believe it. They all shook their heads. All the doctors I know when I was at home last week, you know, they all said the same thing; just no way that that bullet could go where it went and not hit anything. They just don't know how it happened. Couple of people were looking out for me, that is for sure.

Q. Have they given you a new nickname on the tour?

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have heard some people call me Bullet or Bullet Head. One or two people called me Target, stuff like that.

LES UNGER: I hope we can bring you back in here because of the score.

KIM WILLIAMS: Yeah, that would be nice.

LES UNGER: And not because of that. Thanks for taking your time, we won't ask you anymore questions about this.


End of FastScripts....

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