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July 1, 1998

Kelly Robbins


RHONDA GLENN: Kelly, you told me you are tired this year. What happened to cause that?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, hopefully it was due to my fault last year, I had decided to go overseas and play more tournaments Japan, Korea, and then fly back for The Tour Championship in Vegas and then a week and a half later was playing the Diner's Club and I had about two-week break and started the year right up. Really didn't give myself much of a break. I didn't want to go to Japan and do that type of thing. However I probably knew I would pay for it eventually and I was very tired this spring. Tried to play through it and struggled through it more than anything. But had been resting a little bit more and hopefully can play well this week and the rest of the year.

RHONDA GLENN: Some men on the PGA TOUR who travel a great deal, Davis Love being a good example, have had back problems, Fred Couples also; some of which they attribute to those long-distance flights. Have you had any kind of physical ailments or is it something you are watching out for because of this travel?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, hopefully, I won't. As of yet, I am doing pretty well. Like I said, last fall was my first real travel season that I did do something like that and I probably won't do it again any time real soon. But I have been fortunate not to experience anything like that. Fortunately not quite old enough maybe to experience anything like that. But it is something, yes, that we do pay attention to. Spend a lot of practice hours on the golf course week in, week out. So I am finally starting, I think, to learn my body a little bit more and as I get older, I realize that I am not 22, 23 anymore. But still try to spend the time I need, but probably will look into not travelling as much if need be.

RHONDA GLENN: She is an ancient 28 - she is not 22 or 23 any more. You have played the golf course now. What do you think of it?

KELLY ROBBINS: I think it is a great golf course. I have heard a lot of interesting comments this week just as far as obviously the length and the wind and the conditions. And, obviously, I think the wind is going to play, or the weather, in general, a real key factor in scoring out there. It is a great track. It is playing long or yesterday it played long and then I heard the day prior it didn't play as long. So I guess that was due to the -- which direction the wind was blowing out there, especially on the front side. So if I am playing well and striking the ball good, rolling it, keeping it around the hole, hopefully I can in contention come this weekend.

RHONDA GLENN: Any questions?

Q. Kelly, what do you think of the greens here in terms of the undulation, the speed?

KELLY ROBBINS: I think -- I assume, due to the undulations, that the speed may be not as fast as years that we have seen in the past which I think is fine. We would try to adjust or adapt either way, however the conditions were going to be. But, obviously, it has been mentioned, the size of the greens, like you say, the undulations, the mounds, the rolls, and then due to the speed I think, you know, it is going to be kept as fair as possible due to the size, the speed will probably, I assume, not going to get much faster unless we get a lot of sun-type-baking-wind, that type of thing.

Q. What kind of player does this course favor?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, in my opinion, I would like to think that a good ball-striker and someone who does move the ball fairly well as far as distance goes. But, you know, it is so hard to say out here. It is amazing some of the short games that you see and a lot of the gals just know that they might not reach some of the par 4s so they are going to hit to the areas where they feel that they have the best chance of getting up-and-down and not make a big mistake or anything like that. But I think overall, after four days of play, they say you can only putt and chip so long, that you might see someone who is hitting the ball fairly well and who is a longer hitter play well this week.

Q. This is kind of a two-parter. I have been asking which holes are going to be the most difficult out there and can you kind of explain how you might play them? Second part is: Where do you see holes that you can make up strokes? Which are the birdie holes out there?

KELLY ROBBINS: You tell me. (laughs) The longer holes, yeah. The longer holes, obviously -- let me think, the front side is probably one of the best nine holes that I have ever played. All the par 5s are good. Let's see, what hole that -- 5 -- 7? 5, yeah, the water is on the right there, you kind of hit down to it. 5 was a real good hole yesterday. I hit driver, 5-iron just to the middle of the green which I will personally play for there. I am not going to even mess with that green probably a whole lot, trying to get cute with any type of back pin there. 7, I hit driver, 4-wood, you know, that -- compared to the week-in week-out play that we have on Tour, our Tour would probably take that and make it into a par 5 for all I know. The par 5s we played last week were shorter than the par 4s we are playing this week. That says a lot for the USGA game. I appreciate that.

RHONDA GLENN: You like that?

KELLY ROBBINS: I like that.


KELLY ROBBINS: I don't necessarily think that, you know, every par 4 we should play like that, but you see a lot of par 5s on Tour now, that I understand, you can't do much with the wind condition, that type of thing and we had a little bit of wind -- well, it was blowing okay last week, but we had some par 5s last week where I was hitting a lot of 4-irons to. One of them I hit 8-iron to and whether the wind is blowing or not, I personally don't feel that that should be able to happen. But, you know, we come here every year flowing that the USGA will set up a course, U.S. Open golf course, period. You just know that you are going to get some par 4s that are going to play like a hole like that and you understand that and you play your game to how you need to play that hole.

RHONDA GLENN: Good answer. He also asked you about are there any makeup holes.

KELLY ROBBINS: There is -- well -- just right off the bat, I wouldn't say too many on the front are -- even the shorter holes -- even you got 1 and 6 that, you know, you may be hitting a wedge up to, but the green is elevated so you can only see half the flag anyway. And, so you are kind of playing a guessing game there. On the back only ones that you can really see maybe 11 and probably 11, 12 and 14 are the holes that, you know, you can kind of at least see what is going on. You know where you need to drive the ball and get it in play. When we played -- let's see, 12 was maybe a little bit downwind. I still hit driver and still had, you know, an 8-iron in and that was playing a little downwind, which I think can be a really good hole. But after the one that comes back up, 14?


KELLY ROBBINS: After 14 - 15 is no bargain. You still got to -- you have to hit a good tee shot there and most of time you still can't see the whole green from there either. The par 3s are excellent. 18 is probably one of the best finishing holes that we have seen in a while.

Q. Following up, laying up, is it very unusual in the LPGA? How prevalent is that going to be on a par 4?

KELLY ROBBINS: I think it is going to depend on the weather. I think you will see a couple of times, as far as, again, just with the wind direction, 7 is a great hole. I am trying to think where else. Even 18, you know, I could see people just, you know, not really wanting to miss anything, and just trying to see where they want to hit from 20, 30 yards short maybe even.

Q. 7 and 18 would be the two lay-up holes?

KELLY ROBBINS: I would guess so, depending on the wind. Yesterday they played long, so I could see, you know, people just making sure that too many big mistakes aren't made on two holes like that.

RHONDA GLENN: You mentioned that 18 was one of the best finishing holes you have ever seen or maybe the best.

KELLY ROBBINS: Seemed to be yesterday. (laughs) the pin was in the front. I hit a pretty good drive and still had a 3-iron; maybe could have pushed a 4-iron, bumped-it-in-there-kind-of-thing and then that green is 40 yards deep, so, you know, with any type of wind in your face, you are going to see even some longer hitters hitting, maybe even a 5-wood, or a long iron and then -- but the day before I talked to Kristi Albers, she said she hit 3-wood, 7-iron there the day prior. So, again, I guess it just depends on what is going to happen. But it could be very interesting out there if the wind decides to blow.

RHONDA GLENN: On 18 again, is the water a factor in making that a great finishing hole?

KELLY ROBBINS: Yeah, I think so. Especially with -- if you have any type of pin in the back there, the back left, it is -- I think has just been a long time period where I have played a golf course and have had to hit a lot of long irons into par 4s and it is really fun. It was fun being out there yesterday and hitting some clubs that I haven't hit in a long time. But, personally, I think, overall, it is a really, really good golf course - very good test.

Q. Last year at the Open it was Saturday that kind of quelled you, took you out of contention. You came back with a really good round Sunday. Did you sort of go back and dissect what happened Saturday, what went wrong or do you just move on?

KELLY ROBBINS: No, not at all. You kind of know what happened and people remind you what happened, so, you don't need to -- you know, unfortunately that is just golf. That is what happens. And, you know, the people who win usually don't have something like that happen. Not to say I would have won or anybody else would have won, but unfortunately, on an Open course, it can just take a couple - even one bad shot or a couple of bad shots and you find yourself digging out of another hole. So I haven't really thought too much about last year in all honesty. I didn't even know I did that.

RHONDA GLENN: You finished with 74, 66, so... And finished third by the way. Kelly, what are your chances this week?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, it is so hard to say. I have been practicing really hard and just trying to get some kind of consistency back in my game. Has kind have been a long spring for me. I have learned a lot and I have also been very, very patient with myself and what is going on out there. I just feel that if I can stay patient again and put a lot of good swings on it that, if I am rolling the ball well, keeping the ball around the hole, that maybe I can have a pretty good chance.

RHONDA GLENN: You are pretty close to home, pretty close to Michigan. You have your family here this week?


RHONDA GLENN: Who is here?

KELLY ROBBINS: As far as I know, I got a couple of sets of aunts and uncles and grandparents, mom and dad, let's see. I think that is about it. I think I am going to have maybe 12, 14 family members.

RHONDA GLENN: Do you join them every night for dinner?

KELLY ROBBINS: Oh, no. No, we will get together and we will have a little family outing sometime this week, but it is -- I am probably going -- I probably spend almost as much energy with them as I do out on the golf course, so I need all I can get.

Q. Every time we come to a golf tournament of this proportion, major, naturally your name is mentioned as one of the favorites. I got here late, forgive me. Is this course suited to your game and does it bother you that you are considered as one of the favorites?

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, fortunately that, like you say, I really appreciate everyone recognizing that fact and I think that is great. Hopefully I can live up to it most of the time and so, no, it really doesn't bother me because I mean, playing at the level of golf that we do is, you know -- and after the year I had last year, that my expectations are as such that I would like to think that coming to a big tournament, you know, my name would possibly get mentioned. So I think that is really nice that people recognize it as that. If all goes well, yes, I do believe that this course is suited for someone who is an above-average hitter in length.

RHONDA GLENN: What is your own assessment of your career so far?

KELLY ROBBINS: It has been probably one of the greatest experiences I think that I have could have, especially being a woman and being able to make the monies that we do. Just seeing it just blossom year after year after year, just getting better and doing better things was great. To do that for six years was really amazing to see some progress like that. But at the time you don't really notice it until maybe you get to a little downfall like I had this spring; then you kind of look back and go: Well, things have been going okay, and it is going to get better, I am not going to struggle or ever. So, I have been very fortunate that way to watch myself progress and was kind of interested in waiting to see when it wouldn't boom as much as it has been and how I would react and what the game would -- if it would drive me crazy or not. So far, I haven't let it control me. So it has been okay. But I look forward to playing some good golf again in the future.

Q. I know you like fast greens and, although these greens can possibly get very fast and very tricky, they may not be quite as fast as maybe you'd like. But your assessment of the greens here and the factor putting will be this week, please.

KELLY ROBBINS: Well, being as large as they are and all the undulations that I have seen out there, I think it is fine that they aren't as fast as what they could be. I think either way we would go ahead and adjust to the conditions of what the course will be set up. It depends on they might dry out a little bit. They could become a little quicker. But I think for pace of play, too, it is probably best that they aren't as fast as what we would normally see due to the trickiness of the greens.

Q. You are going to be playing with Se Ri Pak tomorrow. I heard that in Rochester and other tournaments some players been complaining about Korean media, if they are going to bother you or anything at all?

KELLY ROBBINS: I haven't heard that. I have played with Se Ri before and things have been fine. I think that when we do play with her now just because -- you know, the Korean media are just so excited about her and what happened, I think they are becoming more aware, too, of their responsibility and the respect they need to show for the other players as well. I am sure if there is too much trouble that something will be done about it. But I am not concerned about it at all.

Q. You talked about the money. Sometimes I look at what you would have won if you were on the men's Tour --

KELLY ROBBINS: That is not a good thing to do.

Q. Does it ever get to you still? Do you not think about it?

KELLY ROBBINS: I think we all kind of look at it. But to think about it and really let it -- you just can't let it bother you. I mean, I will go out on a limb here and say I don't think we will ever make quite as much money as the men, but just since I have been on Tour, just seeing the growth of the Tour and the monies that have happened on the LPGA to the number of events and the talent that is out there nowadays, really says a lot for our Tour. To get all the International players to come over to America here to play just because they know that this is where the best talent is. As far as that financial part of it, it is not going to happen and it is -- obviously it is frustrating. I mean, can't even compare - it is absolutely ridiculous. But I just think we need to kind of take it one step at a time and hopefully keep our Tour moving in the right direction.

RHONDA GLENN: Isn't a factor in the money, though, the number of people that you draw and how much they are willing to pay to see LPGA players or women athletes?

KELLY ROBBINS: Yeah, there is a lot of factors involved. It goes right down to that. Again, the people that we see, the more and more people we see week-in and week-out, it is just tremendous in itself and we still have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do that way. But it is just something that, you know, once we get past having to pay, you know, networks to come in and televise us, we need to get them -- that is just one example of we want them to pay us to put us on TV kind-of-thing. There is just a lot of different things that don't happen on our Tour that happen for the men.

RHONDA GLENN: Happened pretty well last year for this Championship, though, you didn't have to pay the network to come in. They came in.

KELLY ROBBINS: The U.S. Open pretty much takes care of itself. I think once that word gets out and people understand that having an event in their area does provide quite a bit of -- economically does not hurt them at all.

RHONDA GLENN: Thanks so much for being with us. Have a great week. Good luck.

End of FastScripts....

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