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July 12, 1995

Helen Alfredsson


LES UNGER: This is your first trip here?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: To Broadmoor? Yes, it is.

LES UNGER: You need all the help you can get.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I do? Don't get me started.

LES UNGER: I took lessons from Craig.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: So they put you over there now. (indicating Craig Smith). I am happy for that. From last year, thank you very much. I am just kidding.

LES UNGER: Your impressions. You played a couple of rounds.


LES UNGER: What do you think?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I think it's a great golf course. The greens are very tough. I mean, even from the very first day, they were very quick and obviously the pin, it is hard to judge from some pin positions. Obviously, they are going to use the worst ones from the practice rounds, but it is definitely a course of second shot. It is very similar to the Augusta, I think, when I got to play this year. It's where you place your shots; not to have those crazy putts, which you could actually have yourself here almost impossible to really stay close to the pin.

LES UNGER: Everybody has been talking about how much further they are hitting the ball. What about you?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Oh, I feel the same way. It is -- I mean 167, 170 yards, 8-irons, it is going to be hard to get back to reality next week in New York, well, 4, you know, you are back to -- it is hard because it is hard to trust it. You kind of -- you feel like you need to maybe just hit it a little bit because it is -- but I think -- these couple of practice rounds now have helped a little bit, but it obviously is a big change. It is good for the eagle, but get back to reality soon anyways.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. Did you say you played Augusta?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, I played it after -- Monday after the tournament.

Q. What did you score?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: 6 over, 8 over, something like that.

LES UNGER: From the --

HELEN ALFREDSSON: 20 yards up from the men's tees. But I parred 12 and I birdied 15, those were my goals.

Q. Wonderful.

LES UNGER: They are slow thinking of questions, so I am going to ask one more that I know you don't want to answer, but I am going to ask it anyway. You have expressions when you are upset about something and they are obviously in Swedish.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I am not going to tell you what I am saying because I don't swear. I don't use bad language.

Q. You are playing very well, aren't you?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I have been playing much better this year. I have been striking the ball a little bit more to my satisfaction than I did last year, so, but it is just -- it has been more -- it is more frustrating when you feel like you have been hitting the ball well and making good putts and you have nothing to show for it. Sometimes that is more frustrating when you are not playing so well but kind of scramble; you kind of are happy with what you got.

Q. A lot of Swedish gals really made an impact on the Tour now. Growing up as a young player back there, are you aware of what the U.S. Open means and what the, you know, the whole constructure of women's golf in America --

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think I learned when I first got here it -- for us, it was more the European Tour and the British Open that was the closest to us at that time, and I think when I first came over here to study and being around golf here with the college and all that, I sort of got a -- more of a feeling obviously being on Tour; my first was the Colonial which was a pretty interesting experience, but then you realize what a big and how important this tournament is for everybody.

Q. You have both good memories and disappointments when you think of Women's Opens. Which have stuck?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, it is hard because sometimes even if you don't want it to be that way, but the tough ones are usually the one that stay. It's obviously -- I didn't leave. I mean, I had good memories at The Open, but I didn't leave with good memories. So obviously, those are the ones that are closest to me. I don't know if I would -- I don't think I would like to trade them for anything because the ups-and-downs have been tremendous and just being a part of it so close, but yet so far away, it is better than not having been there at all - I have to say.

Q. You could remember that you shot 63 last year on Thursday?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I mean, yeah, that is one of the good memories, but that kind of faded away pretty quick when all the other shots kept coming.

Q. How do you deal with that coming into this week? Will you think back to the last two years or what do you think?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, it is one of those things where in '93 Crooked Stick, it is something that I took to myself you know, just being -- I know we talked about some the girls in the locker room, you have to believe in something and I believe very much in destiny and fate and particularly 1993 U.S. Open, I mean, obviously, it wasn't meant to be for me. Even last year, it was very hard and you are in the press room after you shoot 63, well, I didn't really hit the ball that well. But that is a part of golf sometimes. You can strike the ball as well as any time, and basically shoot even and I just basically got it up there and made putts, and I wasn't was never comfortable that whole week, you know, with striking the ball as good as that you need, basically. And obviously, it is something that, you know, it is there and if it is in my stars to win this tournament, it is. If it's not, obviously, I will be -- nobody will be happier than me, but I am not going to jump from the next bridge.

Q. Are you striking the ball measurably better now than you did over the past two years or is the difference not that great?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well last year - I don't want it to sound cockey when you shoot 63 and you don't say that you are striking the ball well, but I wasn't feeling -- I managed for some reason to get it up there and made putts. But all last year was basically a struggle. Everything I got on the golf course was just a fight. It wasn't like, you know, how when you play well, you just stand up; take the grip. I mean, I -- so many times I had to step off and try again because I was so uncomfortable. And this year, you know, I started fighting back to some sort of comfortable -- that having kind of idea where the ball is going to go; it is not always a guessing game every time you step to the ball. It gets to you after a while kind of wondering where it went.

Q. Do you take a sense of confidence knowing you did play well the last two Opens and also any kind of sense of, okay, let us get some revenge and make up for the last two years?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, obviously you always feel like taking revenge, but I just got to concentrate on my game. I can play the best I played at any Open here; you have somebody shooting much better than I do. I have to go in -- I can't keep bringing those things with me. We are in a new golf course; new year, the competition is stronger than ever on Tour, I mean, and you have five new winners this year on this Tour which you can see how big the competition is, and how low -- far down in the -- any person can win. Sometimes it is tough. You have been there and as much as everybody coming up this week and going "hang in there," you know, you are like, okay, how do I look like? I look like I am going to fall over? So it is -- you want to just pretend, well, it is one tournament and I am just going to take it and try to have fun but yet, this is the part of this tournament, you know, that it is a little bit different and you want it to be a little bit different, but yet, you would just try to be able to keep this as anything. I can't bring back '93 and '94. Those are totally separate events.

Q. Are people actually treating you like some of tragic figure when they say this?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Do I look like one? Well then, you see ... I don't know -- I guess I am not that tragic yet. We will see in a couple of years. No, I think -- they just -- I guess they felt for me in a way, you know of what happened and it's the same what happened to Patty Sheehan, she was so far ahead and anybody knowing how any amateur golfer that 5 under, they are handicap, on the front side and 15 over on the backside, I mean, in relation, it is basically the same thing, you just -- you could be so happy one second and absolutely devastated as Craig well knows that I was the most miserable bitch on the Friday afternoon -- I mean, on Sunday afternoon, and you are going in from being bouncy and jumpy and everything. I mean, it is tough even for yourself to deal with all the emotions and trying to stay on an even level.

Q. Two questions. Having played the course already twice, do you think -- I mean, now sort of going into the tournament, do you actually have scores in mind that you'd like to sort shoot, 63?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I think it is always hard with -- like with a course like this because obviously the pin positions -- I mean, I was trying to score today just to get a feel hitting shots in the right place but, you know, it is different now; started being windy. And the rough is growing everyday. It is not like they are going to cut it. They don't look very difficult, but the ball finds it's way down there, and all these little things that, you know, we were talking about it like five minutes ago on the putting green, you come into the course the first couple of days in practice round and you don't know how you can not hit it the fairway, it is like this wide (inicating very wide). Last couple of days, it is like this long (indicating very narrow). You don't know how you are going to be able to hit it... I think with this type of tournament and the nerves and --

Q. You looked exceedingly relaxed especially sort of driving the ball. Is this a course you feel comfortable on already?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, you know, it is -- I felt pretty good. I have been hitting -- striking the ball pretty well, but you know, sometimes it is hard. I mean, last year everyday was basically a struggle. You are trying to find easy fix basically to get. It is hard when you don't know if what you are doing right now, even though, I feel like what I have been doing right now sort of stays there. That is what I would like to feel just, you know, forget what happened and maybe you know, nothing can go worse than last two years, so basically can go up from there.

Q. The par fives seem reachable at this juncture, whatever kind of watering is going on, very reachable for --

HELEN ALFREDSSON: They are reachable, but they are pretty tough. You got to place your first -- your driver some of those -- 6 -- 17 is probably one that is easier of them, but like even -- what is it 9? That slopes away and you can get caught in the rough on the -- on the left side yet; if you are anywhere in the middle you can go -- it looks much easier than it is. You cannot underestimate this course and I don't think you can underestimate any U.S. Open course, period. Sometimes you come in the first few days, don't look that tough, but, you know, every year, you know, it seems --

Q. You talked about really fighting with your game last year. Is there a point either now or maybe in the future where having gone through that is really going to help you either mentally, you know, or with your game in general?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think so. I think every time you go through tough times, you learn a lot about yourself and how you are and you learn about your golf game and things -- I mean, and also I never sort of went -- every since I turned pro, it basically went up and you don't see it. I mean, in winning every year and the money or whatever, and then you coming to a point where you feel like you are not having the same pace, you know, improving and sometimes it is tough, you know, you don't exactly know how to handle it and you just get frustrated and maybe you are delaying getting better by just not knowing where to start because you don't know what really is wrong. That is funny with golf. Sometimes things just sneak up on you. It doesn't happen overnight, but then you try to get back to it; feels so awkward; you don't want to do something that feels awkward, so you stay -- you know, you are prolonging the healing.

LES UNGER: You sound like you are understanding this pretty well. Is somebody helping you with this or are you coming to these conclusions on your own.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: It is all by myself. But, you know, you read a little bit, but I think a lot of it is common sense. I am 30, "hello," hopefully, you learn something all these years.


HELEN ALFREDSSON: I know. Isn't that scary?


Q. Talk to Pierre about it at all?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: No. I don't really keeping that much in touch with the Swedish. I have lived over here for 11 years, so I kind have done my thing and I never sort of -- everybody says because I am pretty outgoing, maybe, or whatever, that I am not the typical Swede and I think that has maybe been tough for me, you know, to sort of get along with them. I feel like we are not -- a lot of the Swedes -- I am not -- I am sort of different, I think, in a lot of senses with the crazy things I have done in my life and all that; just always doesn't -- always you don't connect with everybody that you meet.

Q. You have also been playing in Europe over the last couple of weeks. How do you see Laura's game setting up on this course and who do you think other than yourself you know, people that are going to be there.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Laura is a person that she never -- right now she is in such -- she is just -- I am playing with her and you know, she is just not only just playing well, she is putting well, but things are going her way. She hits her shots. She doesn't get into trouble. She can get away with a bad shot. I think, for her, it is basically to just putt well. Obviously, the distance for her is never going to be a problem. If she is going to have shorter clubs than any of us which is going to be easier on these types of greens, a lot of places where you just have to place the ball to be in the right position. Also I think a person that can really -- that I think we are going to see a lot more again is Betsy. I think for her to get into the Hall of Fame has really sort of -- it is like she could take a deep breath and she is back in it. I think you have one left. This is it. Now she can just go out and enjoy reached her goal and this is it. So I think --. I mean, Patty is obviously a tremendous player. I think Beth is -- I think she really would like to get a Major under her belt and finish off the Hall of Fame kind of deal too.

Q. If you are in position going the last day with good opportunity to win, is your preparation going to be any different than it has been previously and if it is, what kind of changes have you made or can you share those with us?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I am going to turn off my phone, that is for sure. I am not going to get a wake up call quarter to 6 if I am teeing off at 1 which happened in Crooked Stick - I am sure you know that. I think sometimes the more you try to make things more and different, sometimes the more you sort of get all uptight. If you just -- if you have a routine that you normally do, I think you should stick with that. If there is something that you feel comfortable with, sometimes you come to this tournament you feel like you need to practice so much more; you need to do so much more, but why, you know, if you stick with your routine; if you have a game plan, stick with it. I think the more you try to make things different than you normally do, I mean, all of us have been on Tour for a while and, you know, you have a routine; why you should all of a sudden change that one week or two week a year when maybe you are doing well the other weeks.

LES UNGER: Come back and see us.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: It would be fun.

End of FastScripts....

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