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July 6, 2003

Kelly Robbins


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Robbins finished over an hour ago. Kelly, when this day began did you think that you would be tied for the Women's Open and have a chance to win at the end of the day.

KELLY ROBBINS: I can't say I really thought about it, actually. I felt that if I could get around even par that would possibly be a very good showing. The course was just playing so difficult. Each day it's gotten a little firmer, both greens and fairways. So just kept guessing and hopefully guessing right and keep rolling it good. So, no, I can't say that I thought I would be playing tomorrow. It doesn't surprise me a lot, but I guess it surprised me that I may be one of them.

RHONDA GLENN: The last hole. You knew you had to birdie to probably at least get into a playoff. What were your thoughts as you played that hole?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, I hadn't been -- and I'm sure I'll do the same tomorrow -- I haven't been driving it all that well off that hole so I hit 3-wood and went ahead and hit 5-wood a little skinny, but that's great. And then I was fortunate that it released straight right onto the green. And I knew that if the putt went in it would be very, a very, very good thing. I don't know -- I didn't know that everyone was at 1-under already until I actually had the tap-in. I don't know if I looked or just didn't pay attention, I just assumed that every one was still at 2-under. But it was great to be in that position again, to have that putt. I was feeling every bit of it and it was a nice feeling. I also didn't want to leave myself a four or 5-footer for birdie coming back. So I kind of eked it up there and fortunately it didn't cause me a whole lot of trouble.

RHONDA GLENN: All right. Questions.

Q. When did you start looking at the score board? You knew you had to birdie on 18. But were you peeking on the holes before that?

KELLY ROBBINS: Yes, I do peek. Yeah. I did know that people were coming back and that there weren't many red numbers on the board. So again like I knew if I could get to even, 1-under was just going to be a bonus for me.

Q. What did you think about or try not to think about while you were in the scorer's tent waiting for things to shake out?

KELLY ROBBINS: After I was done? Well it was interesting because obviously there's no sudden death right after the play today. And I was done. I knew I was done no matter what. I was either going to win or have to do it again tomorrow. But it was interesting to feel certain emotions for that hour. Annika obviously had a bit of a miscue coming in on 18, which I know she was probably very disappointed in. And then Hilary evidently hit a great bunker shot for her third coming in there too. And once Annika made her play, you kind of think, okay, well now, well anything can happen. But I guess Hilary played a great shot and made hers. And then for Angela to make birdie, I don't know if anyone was probably thinking Angela was going to do that. So what a great putt she hit. And they're both obviously playing really good this week.

RHONDA GLENN: You said you've been through a lot of emotions while you waited. Go over those emotions for us briefly.

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, like anybody, you're anxious, you're nervous, you're thinking that I could win now or I might be able to win tomorrow or I might be second. So it was probably just more watching it. You have no control over what anyone could do. And you're just kind of watching and you're not hoping for bad things, but you would like to think that if something weird happens, you could just sit there for an hour and it panned out, it would pan out for me. But I'm very pleased to be involved in it tomorrow. Hopefully I can play some solid golf.

Q. It's been awhile since you contended at a Major. You waited a long time for this opportunity.

KELLY ROBBINS: Yes, I've been waiting a long time for any type of winning opportunity right now. It's been awhile. And if you had answers to fix all these problems, there wouldn't be any problems. And it feels good to be in this position again and definitely going to try to take advantage of it. Very pleased with how the week's turned out. But again, it's just good to be in a position again and hopefully I can handle it better than the other two.

Q. I think only Grace Park's 68 is better than your 69. Is there any way to describe this, how good that 69 was on a course that everybody said was just brutal today.

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, evidently it's pretty darn good. I kept the ball in play, hit a couple straight drives and took my medicine when I needed to. But also hit a couple short irons very close. I rolled in maybe one putt over 20 feet. That type of thing. But just as keeping myself in every hole, didn't make any big mistakes, just really solid tee to green and then just waited out to hopefully make a couple birdie.

Q. You were third in three of the Majors in '97. And including right here. I wonder, in the six years since what are you doing as well maybe as you did that year and what are the things that you look back on that?

KELLY ROBBINS: I can't look that far back.

Q. Things that you look back on from that year that you maybe can draw on?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, it's so hard to explain I think unless you actually play the game. To me I've been better the last two, three years as an overall player than I've ever been. But I obviously haven't won, I haven't performed as well as I did that year. And for whatever reason, things just don't go your way sometimes. And it's very hard to explain. When things are good, it's very easy to handle and anyone can handle things when they're good. And I think I learned more from that from the not so good, I don't want to say the failures, but the expectations had to change a little bit. I kind of had to regroup. And this has been a good week for me. I haven't been able to score very well the last couple years as well as I would like to. And I wish I could pinpoint one thing or another, I really do, believe me. I would like to fix it if I could. But you just keep practicing, there's no substitute for practicing. You know you can do it, you know you've been there, I've been very, very fortunate out here. It's been very, very good to me. And as long as my body holds up, I think I'll continue to be able to compete out here and that's definitely what I'm looking forward to and like I say maybe take advantage of tomorrow.

Q. An 18 hole play off with two players there's a tendency to kind of get caught up in what the other players are doing. Given a three way play off, is this more going to be like a final group pairing on Sunday at a Major?

KELLY ROBBINS: Good question. And I'll have to let you know tomorrow. I think what's, what is going to be good is you'll be able to see what's going on right in front of you. There's no room to hide anything. I've just never been involved with it. I don't know. So, yes, I guess it would be a final day. But no one else is around. No one else can see if your shooting good and that type of thing. So we'll see.

Q. I guess you said that you have had, not using the term failures, but situations where things haven't gone very well. You've been in situations like this type before. What did you learn from those situations that you'll apply tomorrow and how will you try and mentally approach tomorrow?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well I'm not going to try to do anything different than I've been doing the last few days. It's not going to be any magic. I'm going to just try to concentrate through those five hours that we're out there, and if anything drawing from any type of experience, when you're on a course such as this, because I think the USGA sets up a course that you never see, you have to be patient. Because you just never know what's going to happen. And whether good or bad. And we saw the pace of play the first two days were just so slow because you get going and then something happens. And then you get going again and something happens. And you just see it everywhere. And so tomorrow I'm just probably going to try to just stay patient and really try to enjoy myself.

Q. Is it unfair to evaluate the greatness of a golfer by success in Major championships?

KELLY ROBBINS: Yes, I think to an extent it possibly is. Just because -- well the Majors you have to be so on your game all the time. And one day can, unfortunately, take you out of it. But obviously the media, the public, the Majors are at an echelon up here up on a pedestal and to do well in those seem to be more important or seem to be dwelled upon more. So respect to other players, there's probably a lot good players both male and female that may not be able to perform in the Majors and get knocked down a little bit. And, but that's just human nature, I guess. That's just the way people look at things. Unfortunately. But to be able to perform in Majors is very critical, obviously. Did I get around that one good?

Q. You have a lot more experience both in terms of wins and just being there than the other two players. Will that be a big advantage for you tomorrow do you think?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well again, these two -- Angela is playing great, obviously. She won last week, and has had a very good week this week. I'm sure Hilary probably didn't want to play, shoot what she shot today, but still a very, very good showing. And with the 18 holes, you're going to find out who is doing the right things for those 18 holes is what you're going to find out. And as far as experience goes, sure, I would like to think that maybe there is a bit of an advantage, but again, you rely so much on bounces out here, on this course, and you hit certain parts of the green that you have to hit. And you just can't hit other parts. It might not be a poor shot, but you wind up in positions. So it's one of those courses that you got to be on, otherwise it's going to be interesting.

Q. I know there's at least been some discussion about whether the 18 hole play off is the right thing to do for a Major championship like this. And I know you don't have any decision about that, but what do you think, are you glad that for a championship like this that you go to 18 holes or would you rather have sudden death?

KELLY ROBBINS: Just to be honest, it doesn't matter what I think.

(Laughter.) Seriously, it just really doesn't matter. So I think that we just accept it. I didn't sit in there and go, "Geez, I wish I could be going out right now and getting this done." You just know that when you come to the Open, if you are fortunate enough to be in a play off, it's just the way it is. Just call it tradition.

RHONDA GLENN: Kelly, you were the only one of the three finishing players who actually got to see the end, almost the end of the championship on television. Was it -- even though you were involved, even though you are were going to be in a play off, was it as exciting to you as it appeared to a lot of other people?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, for me, because I was involved, it was. But I have to admit I'm not a true fan of the game. It's what I do. I love doing what I do. And it's been, like I said, just been so good to me and I've been able to take advantage of it. So but any time you get the people out there, like the numbers of people out there, to hear them cheer and hear them clap, it's why you play. It does give you goose bumps. So I guess I can imagine it was fairly exciting. I'm, again, I'm glad I was a part of it. If I wasn't a part of it, I would have gone, "Oh, okay, whatever". But if I wasn't involved, "No, no". You know. But it definitely, I tell you what, what a great ending for the play here today.

Q. How do you avoid not rooting for those golfers to fail in that situation?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well I think it has to do with respect. I think day in, day out, just playing with the professionals that you play with every day, you just come to realize that you can't, you cannot do anything about what people, what goes on out there. You can only control your own game, well, sometimes. And I think you just come down to respect. If the shots are hit, the putts made, if the pressure is handled better than everybody else, then it's their event. It's their turn.

Q. Annika would have been the fourth in this play off. Good or bad? What do you feel about that?

KELLY ROBBINS: It would have been fine. It would have been -- you know, again, I just think that if she deserves, you know, to be there, if she pulls it off or, I think everybody was thinking she was going to make 4 before she would make 6. That's just what Annika does. And again, out of due respect, if it was meant to be, then she would have been there. And the four of us, I don't know, if we play fours?

RHONDA GLENN: I don't know. I don't know if you play fours or twos.


Q. This is the third Major on a very international Tour, I guess one thing is for certain tomorrow an American will win this Major championship. Give me just your thoughts on that and particularly in light of the timing of it.

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, I guess it's fitting. Again, we on Tour don't think about that or at least most of us I don't think really ever go, "Oh, yeah, there's three Americans who are winning this week." Or a Swede or Se Ri is Korean or anything. I really don't think that most of us think about that until we're asked about it. And but we sure -- again, it's exciting to, obviously someone from the states is going to win The Open this year. And Jules did it last year and then you know from then on it was kind of foreign dominated for a little bit. So I guess it's a good thing.

Q. As a follow-up. This is a Solheim Cup year and I know you've been a part of that in the past, so this probably would help you in that endeavor.

KELLY ROBBINS: Yeah, I think that in that situation, whether I win or not, that's going to help that endeavor. That's always something in the back of my mind. The one year in between the two is tough. It's something that I love to do and to have the opportunity to do it, I would love to do it again. And I just have come to my senses that if I wasn't meant to be there, it probably wasn't going to be my last, I would probably be able to get to do it again. And so we'll see what pans out tomorrow and when the time comes, what Patty thinks.

Q. Considering how long the Annika ruling took on 18, were you surprised to see how well Angela and Hilary performed there on 18?

KELLY ROBBINS: Yes. Very, very surprised. Not real surprised, but I tell you what, for those two to be in that position for that long, probably had a few thoughts, you know, going through your mind and you just kind of sit back and try to relax a little bit and see what you can pull off. And again, Angela making the 4, what a great 4. And then Hilary with the bunker shot, I mean just two real gutsy performances coming up from girls that have not a lot of experience anyway, let alone being in this position. So my hat's off to them.

RHONDA GLENN: All right, Kelly, congratulations. Great finish. Good luck tomorrow.


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