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July 27, 2005

Dana Quigley


RAND JERRIS: It's our pleasure to welcome Dana Quigley to the interview room this afternoon. Dana is playing in his ninth United States Senior Open this week.

Dana, you recently concluded an eight year streak of 264 consecutive events on the Champions Tour dating back to August 1997, and perhaps more importantly for us this week, you're starting a new streak. Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about your decision to play this week and what this event in particular means to you.

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, No. 1, I don't think it was much a decision to come play here. You want to play the U.S. Open, you want to play well in the U.S. Open, so that wasn't even a concern. The travel was much more the reason I didn't play in Scotland than the golf. I can play golf, I can stand up, I don't have much pain in my hip, but when I sit down I get a lot of throbbing for more than 15 minutes. I waited for five hours at the Providence airport for my flight and it got canceled, and I didn't want to add another seven hours and a four hour drive after that. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to end the streak, but Bob Rotella told me it had to end at some point, and I was kind of happy it ended there.

I had made a decision for a future rather than the present. The first 50 years of my life I did everything for the present, never planned ahead. I'm in good shape for the Charles Schwab Cup and the money race that I really felt that flying over there and flying back, I definitely would not be prepared for this tournament. That was my main concern. I certainly didn't want to forsake a U.S. Open for a British Senior Open. As important as the British Senior Open was for our Tour, in my heart I just wanted to try to be prepared for this one and play well on it. It was not a real hard decision to come play here at all.

Q. You've played a lot of golf courses over eight years in those events. Talk about now that you've had a chance to see NCR and compare it with a golf course you might see in a usual week on the Champions Tour.

DANA QUIGLEY: Obviously it's not like the courses we see week to week. I think our courses certainly are not as demanding on the greens as this course is, as most Senior Opens are. USGA has a certain knack to be able to pick golf courses that test not only our golf games but our patience, and I think out here this week you're going to see a lot of people shaking their heads on the greens.

I think it's going to be really hard to make a bunch of putts. NCR is going to put us to the ultimate test. I mean, it's a great golf course. You've got tremendous rough out here. The driving areas are not huge, and the USGA, depending on where they set the pins on the golf course, is going to be an unbelievably demanding test, and I think that's "what they want and probably that's what we need on our Tour to make the top players stand out.

Q. How much effect is this rain going to have on the course, the greens, whatever? How much change can we expect tomorrow?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, obviously you know the USGA is not happy about the rain. I saw Dick Sikes, who's a guy, a friend of mine from New England in the lobby at the hotel this morning, and I said, "How mad are you guys that the forecast is rain today?" And he said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, you can't get that brown color going for the greens. They're going to be beautiful and green this week." I don't think that's particularly what they want.

It's going to make it a little bit fair, you're going to be able to fly shots in there. But depending on hole location, it's still very hard to make putts on these greens, I think. You get huge surfaces out there. Every one is between 40 and 50 deep, and I think it's going to be hard to pick hole locations. We played three days here and we looked around the greens trying to figure out where they might stick the pins, and a lot of the greens you've got to be really careful.

I don't think they normally the USGA goes from Monday to Sunday probably making them a little firmer, a little speedier as the week goes on, and I think they were slower today, not with the rain but I think because of their design they slowed it seems to us that they slowed down the greens a little bit from Monday, and I think they realized that with the cool weather that was supposed to be forecasted for today that maybe they'll firm up. Obviously we got a lot more rain than they ever predicted. They're going to have to change their strategy a little bit, too, but it's going to make the course play a little bit softer. You're going to probably hit more fairways because they're softer. They like a little bit of runoff on these fairways where you high hit a decent drive right center or left center and it might end up in the rough, but it may not happen this week because of the softness of the fairways. I'm sure they've got some tricks up their sleeve that we haven't anticipated yet.

When you play a course like this you can really see why Hale has won these events and the top players in the world, you can tell why they win these events, because it just requires a special kind of golfer to be able to get the ball into some of these locations, and you can't just get up and hit it and make a 20 footer. You need it closer than that to make the putts out here.

Q. With your week off, talk a little bit it had to feel a little strange. Did you get antsy? Go play golf?

DANA QUIGLEY: I'll tell you what was antsy, when I was watching the tournament. I played golf every day. I played Wednesday through Sunday at home at Bear Lakes. We taped the telecast so we could watch it at night, and sitting and watching telecast, which I haven't done in eight years, I've never watched a telecast that I wasn't in, so to watch the whole tournament go on without me playing in it was a really strange feeling, without a question.

I did not miss being there because of the weather. That helped cushion the blow of not being in an event when I saw the weather, and I said, man, if ever I made the right decision, this would be it.

It was a tough week, I played golf, I had acupuncture and shiatsu massage every day. I had probably three hours of therapy on the hip every day and played golf every day. It was really a nice week, not one that I'd like to do very often. I want to be back out. I want to catch that guy that's got the streak record. I want to go after his record now. This is No. 1.

Q. With the streak, I imagine the first couple of years it was all pretty easy. When did it get to be more than just, oh, yeah, I've played in a few tournaments?

DANA QUIGLEY: It was never hard, first of all. I never didn't want to play golf in a tournament. I never said, well, I've got to go play because of the streak. The streak was just kind of a product of what I do I play golf every day, I love playing golf, I still enjoy the I absolutely love the competition out here, and it never became a question of whether I wanted to play the streak or not.

I realize, I think when they made a little bit of a deal of it at the Ford Seniors last year when I hit No. 250 and then they started announcing it on the tees every week, which they never did before. I think that's when I became aware that this was getting bigger than just me enjoying playing golf. The spectators and fans and marshals all the time call me "Iron Man," and say keep it going and this and that, and that's when I think they became aware after the Ford Senior did that piece on it, and I think that's when it became a little bit bigger than I thought it was. I thought it was just me playing golf. My kids and family were very supportive of it. They loved it. My mother loves it. I had to call them all before I didn't go to Scotland and tell them I wasn't going to do it and kind of take them off take the edge off.

But I think the whole United States and probably the golf world that sees The Golf Channel probably got involved in it in probably the last year and a half or two, and that's when it really became, in my opinion, really something that I became proud of. I've always been proud of it, but I always knew I was going to play golf.

Q. With the very hot weather we've had over the past couple of days, you talked about how cool weather can play a role in getting loose on your back. What type of effects does really hot weather have on, say, decision making, fatigue? Does it affect you a lot on the course?

DANA QUIGLEY: Actually Monday, I don't think they could have finished a golf tournament here this tournament I don't think they could have finished Monday with all of us walking and the caddies walking. I think it was really too hot. It almost hit 100 and there was no air and I think you would have had a lot of guys go down or caddies go down for sure. That would have played a factor.

Fatigue wise, I love the heat. I thought West Palm Beach this last week was like 90 every day and just absolutely perfect. I love the heat. I'd much rather play I think most of us older guys would rather play in the heat than in the colder weather, for sure. I'm not sure 70 you'd call a cool wave, but it actually felt pretty nice out there today, other than the rain. But I think 80 would probably be a really good number for all of us to play in, not that we can pick it, and I think the forecast here is going to be really good weather wise for a heat index anyway.

Q. What about the future? As far as the streak is concerned, do you really want to do this all over again and try to go eight more years, or would you be more likely if you just didn't feel well one day to take a week off now?

DANA QUIGLEY: I would be more likely to take a week off if I were hurting, for sure.

Again, the travel is what hurts it the most, and I think within the United States I could probably start another streak. I don't know that I would want to. It broke my heart when this one was over, but I really, really do enjoy playing golf so much that I can't anticipate taking there's no weeks I would take off because I didn't want to play a particular golf course or a particular event. I can tell you that much.

I mean, I really look forward to each week. You know, I don't think there's a golf course that I can't learn how to play and play well on, so I would never take it off for that. Injury wise I might. I definitely would be more tempted to now that the streak is over. There's no question about that.

But to answer the question, I really don't know how I'll feel. Other than being hurt, I know I'll play.

RAND JERRIS: Dana has to do a national conference call right now, so we're going to cut off right here.

DANA QUIGLEY: There must be a lot of guys needing a story out there.

RAND JERRIS: He can handle some more questions after that if people have additional questions.

End of FastScripts.

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