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July 11, 2018

Hollis Stacy

Martha Leach

Chicago, Illinois

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by sisters and USGA champions, Hollis Stacy and Martha Leach. Martha has competed in 18 U.S. Amateurs and 29 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateurs, winning in 2009. Hollis is a three-time U.S. Girls' Junior champion and a three-time U.S. Women's Open champion. Hollis, start us off, what does it mean to be here this week?

HOLLIS STACY: Well, it means a lot because as I've said all along, the USGA have been the custodians of golf. They've done a great job. And they want to do what's right. Having a Senior Women's Open is the right thing to do, and they did it in such a first-class way, coming to Chicago Golf and making it just first-class.

And playing with my sister is very special to be here with Martha. I really wanted her to qualify, but I never called her to say, well, have you been practicing or -- because I really didn't want to make it a big deal. But she really wanted to qualify for this, and I'll let her talk about qualifying. She qualified on such an easy golf course, Scioto. (Laughter.) Probably one of the hardest golf courses in the United States. It's where Jack Nicklaus learned how to play golf, and he hit the ball left to right because those fairways you had to walk down sideways.

But it's an honor, one, to play in the tournament, and to be playing with my little sister.

THE MODERATOR: Martha, talk about the qualifying process and what it meant for you to make it into the field.

MARTHA LEACH: It was stressful to qualify. I know Hollis was never mentioning about the qualifying, but I know her well enough that she wanted me to qualify. She would say -- she would never -- we talk a lot. We probably talk two or three times a day. But it's really never about golf.

That week, I can remember the week before, she would say, well, what are you doing. Well, I'm working. And I know she wanted to play, are you playing golf. So when I qualified, I felt the stress because I really wanted to be here. I wanted to compete with her, play in the same tournament with her again, because these times are very limited on the golf course. We'll always have our sister time, but as competitors, we don't have many of those years left.

HOLLIS STACY: And Martha said she was nervous from the time she put the tee in the ground at Scioto on the first tee to the 18th, so she was -- it was funny because everybody was looking at the leaderboard, and they're going, Martha Leach, who is she, because there were pros there, and then as soon as she talked, they realized she was my sister.

MARTHA LEACH: And then another conversation Hollis and I had, it was kind of funny. She was like, Martha, when you're qualifying and you're in trouble, just go for bogey. Just go for bogey. I have probably tried to qualify for 90 USGA events, and I was thinking, I get that. How many have I tried to qualify for?

HOLLIS STACY: Several. Several.

MARTHA LEACH: Not as many. But I'm thinking, I've got it.

HOLLIS STACY: Well, I knew the scores were a little high, so they were not like qualifying for the U.S. Open.

MARTHA LEACH: I know, and I knew I needed to play well because I expected other players to play well, also. And then when I came in -- you don't know if you're leader or second, third in these qualifiers, so every hole is a grind. And I was lucky, I came out on top.

Q. When is the last time you two competed in the same field?
HOLLIS STACY: Martha would know because her memory is better.

MARTHA LEACH: It was the U.S. Open at Indianwood. So was that '90?

HOLLIS STACY: Something like that, yeah.

MARTHA LEACH: Something like 1990. It was '92?

HOLLIS STACY: It was Patty Sheehan's victory. In fact, I walked out on the golf course, I said, man, this reminds me of Indianwood. So yeah.

Q. Someone told me earlier that last night had the feel of a high school reunion, a lot of people seeing each other for the first time in a long time. Did it feel like that at the player party?
MARTHA LEACH: Oh, it did. For me, I hadn't seen these women in probably 30 years. Like I hadn't seen JoAnne Carner since you've competed. So just to see these people -- and I was a lot younger then --

HOLLIS STACY: Eight. Eight years younger.

MARTHA LEACH: She used to take me on the Tour. And I said, wow, because these are women that I idolized playing golf. Of course she was the No. 1 idol, my idol.

HOLLIS STACY: Correct. Merry Christmas, yeah.

MARTHA LEACH: It was fun.

HOLLIS STACY: And what's neat about this relationship is -- having the high school reunion is that my friends are her friends and her friends are my friends, the Ellen Ports, the Robin Donnellys, Laura Carson. Played golf every round this week with Laura Carson because we've been friends through Martha and John, so it's been nice.

Q. I know you guys don't talk about golf all that much now, but what is the most important thing that Hollis has taught you about competitive golf maybe that she told you many moons ago?
MARTHA LEACH: Hmm, let's see. Oh, it would have to be truly to be nicer to yourself and just hit the shot, go find it, hit it again. All you can do is your best, and that's all all of us ever try to do.

HOLLIS STACY: Sometimes we listen to that and sometimes we don't. We are not my score -- it was a funny thing, Dorothy and I have a golden retriever, and we were like, how can we get it from Florida to Denver, and we thought about, oh, maybe she'll be an emotional support dog, so I'm looking at the questions. When was the last time you felt like killing yourself? And I said, that would be the last time I played golf. So I said, well, we can't do that. We can't fly her as an emotional support because I feel too guilty. Anyway, you don't have to print that. Because we don't listen to ourselves a lot -- sometimes we listen to that some. Sometimes we do.

MARTHA LEACH: But the majority of times we don't.

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