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June 12, 2001

Johnny Harris

Bryce Molder

Jeff Quinney


RAND JERRIS: It's a pleasure to be joined in afternoon with Jeff Quinney, the 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion, Bryce Molder, he was the Medalist Junior Team Championship, and John Harris who is the 1993 United States Amateur Champion. These three represent the three amateurs who are in our field this week, the lowest number of amateurs we've had at the Open since 1995. What they represent is a tradition that goes back to 1895, the very first United States Open, when we had one amateur in the field, and we've had amateurs in the field making this a truly open event since then. I might throw out a question to the three of you about what it means to carry on that tradition of amateur golf at the Open.

JEFF QUINNEY: It's just been a great week. It's a dream come true to play in the Open and to have a chance to play as an amateur, and represent amateur players around the world is a true honor. I'm just going to have the most fun I can have this week, and enjoy every moment of it.

BRYCE MOLDER: It does mean a lot. Really, just from the standpoint I know that's my -- that's why college athletics is so exciting. They're not playing for money. They're playing because they love it. That's why we're here obviously. It's great to come out and have a great time today. I played with Phil Mickelson and had a lot of people watching, and that's just something we don't get very often at all. But it's fun. And just like these two guys here, looking forward to the week, and kind of looking forward to Thursday.

JOHN HARRIS: Well, for me it's a great honor to be here, and a pleasure to be here. I didn't really expect to be, but had a good day in the qualifying, and I think that's what gives hope to everybody; that anybody can get here if they just have one great day in the qualifying.

Q. John, I'd like to know, I think this is exciting. This is the first time a member of Augusta National has played in the event while being a member of the club; do you know that?

JOHN HARRIS: I didn't know that, but it is fun for me to be here.

Q. John, you competed in the Open in '77 here. Do you have any recollections or any reminiscences between the time you played there and now?

JOHN HARRIS: It was very hard for me now, and it's very hard now. I guess that's the similarity. I think the greens are absolutely fantastic. They're some of the best putting surfaces I've ever seen. And the emphasis is the same. It's -- even though it's a long golf course, there's a lot of finesse out here. The rough is thick, but fair, and I think you really have to be able to control the spin on your ball out here to do well.

Q. Have you seen any changes dramatically since '77?

JOHN HARRIS: No, not really a lot of changes. I think the golf course is -- with the temperature the way it is, and the firmness of the ground, it doesn't play as long as the yardage indicates. So I think, like at that time, it's going to be much more finesse than it is power.

Q. Jeff, Bryce mentioned the galleries, playing with Phil Mickelson. Have you thought about what that's going to be like?

JEFF QUINNEY: Sure. That was in my mind since I qualified for it. It's going to be a new experience for me. To play with the best player in the world and to watch what game he really has. I haven't had a chance to see -- shot-by-shot to see how good he is, and watch and learn, and maybe use that as inspiration to work that much harder on my game.

Q. Bryce, have you had any talks with David Duval or any other former Georgia Tech player since you've been here, any encouraging words for you?

BRYCE MOLDER: I have. I ran into David yesterday in the parking lot and he was really nice and congratulated me on some recent stuff and asked about the team and how everything was going. I actually got to play with Stewart Cink today. He graduated in '95. Very, very nice and I feel like our games are pretty similar. And he just kind of helped me out as far as just what to expect, and he kind of filled me in on his first couple of years when he got out of college and what he had in front of him. And any kind of advice like that is very useful.

Q. Bryce, two-part question. You played with Phil and Stewart today. Were you more concerned about the course, how it sets up for your game or were you studying them a little bit? And talk a little bit about playing in the Open, so close to home in Arkansas.

BRYCE MOLDER: More than anything, just figuring out the course for me. It was kind of funny, because I hit probably -- I hit 2-iron off the tee so many times. And I noticed, I made a remark on one of the holes. Phil was hitting driver when I hit 2-iron. And when I hit driver, he hit 2-iron. That may be the left-handed hitting a draw, and right-handed hitting a draw. Could be a little bit different out here. More than anything, just figuring out what you're comfortable with on the golf course, and how it sets up for you. And the second part of the question, it means a lot to be around here. I used to live here about -- I think seven or eight or nine years ago, we used to live here and played a lot of Junior golf here in Oklahoma. So this is kind of a home away from home, and I kind of feel that way. I've gotten a lot of very encouraging remarks from all kinds of people here.

Q. Jeff, sort of like the previous question. What do you expect the atmosphere to be like Thursday playing with Tiger, and also how do you feel about the tradition of the Open, the defending champion playing with the U.S. amateur champion?

JEFF QUINNEY: The atmosphere is going to be, I think, difficult. Obviously, players have talked about it and I've heard that once Tiger putts out, people are rushing to the next tee, and you're going to have to struggle with a little bit of noise and distractions and kind of block it out and focus on your game. But hopefully we'll just get settled down early and go play my game.

Q. To that end, Jeff, how do you avoid being in awe of Tiger Woods and staying in focus for yourself? I imagine that would be difficult, especially with his success and how golfers basically think he's the greatest.

JEFF QUINNEY: Definitely. I mean I have to kick myself to stop watching him and do what I'm doing. I want to learn as much as I can, but also just play my game and go out there, because I'm playing in the tournament, too. I want to be playing on the weekend and just playing my best.

Q. Question for Bryce and Jeff. Tiger was in here earlier talking about how guys that are coming up now are a lot more athletic. You're not where Tiger is golf achievement-wise, but do you feel like you're close to where he is athletically?

BRYCE MOLDER: It's a tough question to answer, because I haven't been around him much at all. But I do know that he and a lot of the guys coming up has really transformed the game into more of an athlete's game. What I mean by that is you see the younger guys more fit and maybe a little bit stronger than in the past, and you see some of the guys that have been around little bit trimming up a little bit. And I think a lot of that is just on a week like this, where it's so hot and it's a long week, emotionally you have to be in good shape and your body has to be in perfect shape for you emotionally later on in the week to be in good shape. But I'd like to think that I'm on my way to being as -- I guess getting my body in as good a shape as I can; you can always work on it a little bit harder. I know he works very, very hard. It's tough. I know one of the struggles coming out of college and starting to travel even more is trying to find time to somehow physically get fitter and workout here and there and run or whatever it is.

Q. Bryce, you mentioned you were from these parts. Where exactly did you live in Oklahoma, and in your junior golf where did you play around here?

BRYCE MOLDER: I actually lived here in Tulsa, south Tulsa. I'm planning on one of these days driving back where I used to live and look around. I played -- we were members at Meadowbrook, just maybe 15 minutes from here. Really, I think I've played in just about every city in Oklahoma sometime between the ages of 10 and 13. We traveled around, me and my mom, and we went to all kinds of places to play here. So that's really where I got a start on junior golf.

Q. I just wanted Jeff to answer that question, as well, if that's okay.

JEFF QUINNEY: I don't think I'm up to Tiger's standards yet. I think that's kind of the same as Bryce said. I think that's the direction I want to head towards, is to get that fit, but maintain flexibility. I think that's a huge thing that's on my goal list. I think there's not a college program out there that doesn't have a physical workout daily schedule, three times a week, and I think definitely that's where golf is heading in the future.

Q. John, even though you've played in the Open here before, when you played a practice round with Tom today, someone who's obviously been very successful here in the past, is there something you can learn from that and can you use that to your advantage in this tournament?

JOHN HARRIS: Well, it was sure fun to play with Tom. And you're right, he's got a lot of confidence and he plays very well here. I talked to him a little bit about where he chooses to be aggressive and where he chooses to be a little more conservative, and what the tendencies of the golf course are when it gets a little firmer than it is now and faster than it is. He was very courteous and gracious and helped me a bunch out there, and I'll try and put that to use. But you still have to play your own game out there.

Q. Could you guys talk about playing with Phil Mickelson, what it was like playing with him and what you learned from him, and maybe over the last year what he's gone through being so close, what you've gained from that by watching what he's tried to do by catching Tiger?

JEFF QUINNEY: This is probably my third or fourth time playing with him. He's probably played the best golf today that I've ever seen him play. He made tons of birdies out there and made it look so easy, and he's on the top of his game, it looks like now. He's a great guy. He's kind of been a mentor of mine. I've tried to pick his brain and tried to learn from him as much as I can. I like his chances this week. He's playing great.

BRYCE MOLDER: I was thinking the same thing. I didn't know there were that many birdies out there. But he played really well, and he was very, very nice. It was the first time I had met him was this morning in the locker room and we kind of set it up. So I look forward to playing with him. And he was really, like I said, very, very nice, and we joked around and had a good time. But I was very impressed to see him play and hit the ball. He just -- he drove it so well. And like you said, he's a good pick this week. He really is. If he drives it that well all week, there's no way he's going to be anywhere but near the top or at the top. We had a good, relaxing round, and had a Georgia Tech/ASU matchup. I hate to bring it up, because we got waxed pretty good, thanks to Phil, and Jeff threw in some more birdies on top of that.

RAND JERRIS: At this point, I'd like to ask Fred Ridley to join us on stage. Mr. Ridley is the vice president of the United States Golf Association. He's also the chairman of our Championship Committee and the chairman of the Walker Cup Selection Committee.

JEFF RIDLEY: Thank you, Rand. It's my pleasure to let everyone know that earlier this week, the USGA named seven of the ten members to the 2001 Walker Cup team, and you're looking at three of them here (applause.) We're real happy about that. One thing I would say about this team, based on these seven players, I think we had one of the strongest and deepest teams I've seen in a number of years. It's a great combination of youth and experience. The other thing I would say is it's a team that has a wonderful USGA record. Of course our defending U.S. Amateur champion, Jeff Quinney, Bryce Molder, who was the medalist at the amateur team in Germany, as well as a couple of quarterfinal finishes in the '98 and 2000 Amateur. John Harris, a past champion, and this will be your fourth Walker Cup, and undefeated in singles. In addition to these three gentlemen, we have selected James Driscoll, the runner-up in the Amateur last year, and a great match with Jeff. Jeff made about a 40-footer on the 39th hole to win. It was really one of the most exciting matches I've ever been a witness to. James also was a runner-up in a U.S. junior Championship in 1995, and was a quarterfinalist in the Amateur, I think at Pebble Beach. He's got a great record as well. David Eger, who is another one of the youthful elders on the team, along with John. He's a past Mid-Amateur Champion, and also a terrific record in the Amateur in recent years. Rounding out these seven players is Danny Green, who is the Mid-Amateur champion in 1999 from Memphis. Also D.J. Trahan, our current Public Links Champion. You can see there's a great mixture of youth and experience, and we're counting on these guys to bring that Walker Cup back on this side of the Pond when everyone meets in August at Ocean Forest. We're real proud of them. And I'd be happy for any questions you might have for any of these fellows with respect to the Walker Cup.

JEFF QUINNEY: I'd like to say it's a great honor to be selected for the team. And I've heard so many great things about this event and how special it is. And it's one of the most fun events that guys play throughout a lifetime, and to represent the country is a true honor. And last year we got to represent the U.S. in Germany, and that was an awesome experience for me. We won there last year, and I'd like to bring the Cup back our way this year. And I think we have a great team and I can't wait for it to happen.

BRYCE MOLDER: Same with me. It's such an honor. Any chance you have to represent the country, and it really -- I won't know how much it means to me, I won't remember until the flag goes up the day before the match. And I remember that feeling two years ago, and also just outside of Berlin last year, and it's such an unbelievable feeling. It's enough to where -- that's the reason why I am still an amateur today is because of the Walker Cup, and hopefully, the chance to play in it. And now that I've been selected, like I said, it's a great honor and something to look forward to the next couple of months.

JOHN HARRIS: Well, for me, it's really going to be fun. I enjoy the opportunity to spend a week with these young guys and get to know them a little bit and then be able to follow them as their careers progress. And it's going to be a great match and a lot of fun at Ocean Forest, and I'm looking forward to it.

Q. John, the Walker Cup used to be where the career amateur targeted in their lifetime, what they wanted to do, multiple positions on the Walker Cup team, a whole fraternity of Walker Cup players. Now a good portion of it is a weigh station on the way to the professional Tour. Can you make comparisons between the career amateurs and the collegians who are there just for the one shot and then on to professional golf?

JOHN HARRIS: Well, you know what, the Walker Cup has got a great tradition in history, and the professional game has become a great attraction for these young guys. There's so much money in the game today, they've got so much talent. But they've made a real commitment, as Bryce said, to stay amateur at this time, to wait for the Walker Cup and every year that the matches are played somebody waits. And it's a wonderful testimony to the matches that they wait over the course of the summer. For us, the summer seems like a pretty short time. For them, it's an eternity if they want to be a pro. And one of the big reasons that I play amateur golf and travel around and do this is for the camaraderie and the friendships of the people, not only here, but the fellows on the GB&I team -- I ran into Padraig Harrington today, and he and I played two matches in Wales back in 1995. I haven't seen him since then, but I follow him and watch him and it's enjoyable for me to renew old friendships and acquaintances, and that's really what the Walker Cup is about.

RAND JERRIS: Just like to thank Jeff and Bryce and John for joining us to this afternoon, and wish the three of you all the luck in the world this week.

End of FastScripts....

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