August 18, 1999
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA
PAUL SIMSON: Well, I got off to a pretty good start by birdieing the first hole, and made a miraculous par from the fairway bunker on the 2nd hole to win the hole and go 2-up. And then Mitch gave me a hole on the 3rd hole by making birdie; so I went to 3-up at that point. And I gave him the 4th and 5th holes with double bogey and bogey. I won the 6th hole with birdie; 7th hole with par, to go back up 3-up. And he won 8 with a birdie and 9 with a bogey. I made double on 9 to go back to 1-up. Probably the key to the match was the 11th hole. I drove it into the right rough, had to wedge it out, and came up probably 30 feet short of my chip shot, and he had knocked it in for about 10 feet for birdie. My putt did a 360 and came back about 3 feet, and Mitch rolled his first putt six feet by, and missed it coming back, and I made mine for a half there to stay 1-up. 12, I won with a par, and 13 with a par, both where Mitch missed the fairway or missed the green, also. And we both made bogey 6 on 14, after driving into the rough, both of us. Once you drive into the rough, par is almost like making birdie. And we halved out the match with pars on 15 and 16.
Q. How was the match at the turn, after 9?
PAUL SIMSON: I was 1-up at the turn.
Q. At the 11th hole, again, you drove it in the right rough?
PAUL SIMSON: Drove it in the right rough; wedged it out about 75 yards from the flag. Mitch hit an a 9-iron about ten feet away. My sand wedge came up about 30 feet short. My first putt did a horseshoe and came back at me about 3 feet. Mitch had -- it's a real, real slick green on the back of that green, and Mitch had a severe right-to-left break, and he just touched it, but it still went six feet by, and he did not convert his par-putt. And I made the 3-footer for a birdie, so we halved there. He knocked it over the green on 12, up against the TV tower, and took a free drop from there, but was unable to make par. I managed to get up-and-down from the right rough, just short of the green and right of the flag for par there, to go 2-up. And then I won 13 with a par. And 16, I actually won with a par, it was conceded.
Q. I understand that you cut a foot and very nearly didn't play. Could you explain the circumstances?
PAUL SIMSON: Well, you have to be careful about wounded golfers. I flew out here Friday, and I had some stomach flu, and was not feeling well, and played the practice round Saturday. And when I got up Saturday morning, I was going in to take a shower, and clipped my foot on the edge of a chest. And didn't think much of it, and got in the shower, and I looked down and looked like we were slaughtering a pig. My mom put a Band-Aid on it, and managed to close it up enough so I could play. After the practice round Saturday I decided we ought to go to the doctor and see what we could do about the stomach flu, and he decided that needed five stitches. It's on the little toe of my left foot. But it's not painful.
Q. Which hospital? Local one here?
PAUL SIMSON: Let's see, Monterey Urgent Clinic.
Q. What's the thing with the straw hats, how long has that been going on?
PAUL SIMSON: I've worn straw hats for probably 15 years, mostly to keep the sun off my face and head. They're called "fedoras," and I particularly like this one.
Q. Did you pick that up locally?
PAUL SIMSON: Yes, it's available in the shop.
Q. The shop at Pebble Beach, here?
PAUL SIMSON: Yes.
Q. Who are you caddying for?
PAUL SIMSON: The lady in the pro shop asked me who I was caddying for after I bought it.
LES UNGER: Your U.S. Amateur record is now 16 and 11; what's the furthest you've advanced.
PAUL SIMSON: I've gotten to a round of 16 a few times. In '85 and 96.
Q. 16 times you played?
PAUL SIMSON: I think this is my 11th, isn't it?
LES UNGER: The record is 16 and 11.
PAUL SIMSON: We could count them up. I played '85, '87, '88, '89, '91, '92, '93, '95, '96, '98 and '99; is that 11?
LES UNGER: That's impressive that you remember.
Q. The qualifying scores seem awfully high here. Have you played the golf courses, Pebble Beach, in particular, before, and is it playing much tougher -- how much tougher is it playing?
PAUL SIMSON: I've never played here before. I've been out on the green with a drink, but I tell you, it's fantastic. I wouldn't have it any other way than the way it's playing. They've set it up similar to what the U.S. Open is going to be next year. I think the rough might be a little longer, and a couple of the fairways might be a little narrower, but they've set it up with a U.S. Open test in mind. The only other Tours that I can think of that I've played in the Amateur that could compare in difficulty was probably the Honors Course where Mitch won his U.S. Amateur. I thought in 1991 that was extremely difficult.
Q. Which holes out here in particular are U.S. Open?
PAUL SIMSON: The rough is -- it's just setup U.S. Open style. The greens are slick; they run 10 and a half or 11?
LES UNGER: Today they were 11.
PAUL SIMSON: Which is U.S. Open caliber. They have to be careful where they put the flags, because if you get it too much on a slope, it can get marginal.
Q. How long did you play pro?
PAUL SIMSON: I turned pro in the summer of '73, and played until about the fall of '74.
LES UNGER: Good luck, thank you.
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