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June 3, 1999

Nancy Lopez


RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, we have Nancy Lopez, and we have Torri with us, also, Nancy's daughter, who walked 9 holes with her today. Nancy, just tell us how you felt about your round and also how your knees are doing.

NANCY LOPEZ: Of course disappointed that I didn't play better today. I can't say that I didn't play well, because when I didn't hit the shot well, I still got up-and-down and made some good putts and made some good chips. Unfortunately, I had two holes two double-bogeys that just really kill you. Kind of dumb. 3-putted both of them. Disappointed that I'm hitting the ball so well and should not be shooting 4-over par. But I did feel good because I did birdie 18. That did make me feel like I was coming back. I'll have to take that attitude tomorrow and go out there and just keep swinging. My irons were a little lazy. My husband told me when I was finished that I didn't swing very hard at my irons. Need to practice that this afternoon. Driver was great. Hit it right down the middle.

RHONDA GLENN: How are your knees?

NANCY LOPEZ: Knees not bad at all. Only time they hurt was really going uphill or downhill. Walking, they really did not bother me, and swinging, they did not hurt at all. So, can't blame it on the knees.

Q. Nancy, going back to the fact that you left 18 with a birdie, that's a good sign, and it's got to give you a little momentum going into tomorrow.

NANCY LOPEZ: I hit a good 3-wood off the tee, and then I hit a good iron in there, and I finally made a good putt. Just tempo. I have to think tempo all the time. You know, I feel really confident with my putting now, because I have been putting well, and the left hand has really helped me to get a little more confident with my putting. But you just didn't want to put too much pressure on it, and you want to be on the greens in regulation. I wasn't on very much greens in regulation. I was right around the edge, chipping, hitting from the fringe a couple times. I just feel like things are going to happen, and I just need to keep playing one shot at a time. I told myself today I was not going to react or feel any kind of emotional feelings over any type shot that I hit. If I hit a poor shot, I was just going to go on and accept it and keep playing. That's what I feel like I did; but unfortunately, two double-bogeys hurts, because that gets you up on the leaderboard high there very quickly. Like I said, my evil twin played those two holes and the rest was myself.

Q. Jenny was so look forward to playing with you, and she started out like gang busters, and then that triple bogey at 10. Did you do anything to maybe settle her down, or did that break your concentration to try to help her, or did she put herself back together?

NANCY LOPEZ: I think after someone makes an 8, it's really hard to say anything to them. You just let them settle into their own. Jenny is a great little player. You know, I didn't see her emotions change very much from when she was playing very well to when she was struggling, and I respect her for that. You know, she's got the temperament that's going to help her win golf tournaments. But she kept on playing, and she went triple, double, bogey, and she just kept fighting; hope to go get some rhythm back, because she really lost it after her 8 on 10. And golf does that to you. For some reason, everything seems to change when you have one bad hole and you falter, and it's hard to pick yourself back up. But she just kept playing, and, you know, acknowledged a good shot when the crowd clapped for her. And that's the type of player I like to see play the game of golf, because she just kept trying and never gave up.

Q. Nancy, could you just tell us what happened on the two double-bogeys? What happened?

NANCY LOPEZ: My first one came on No. 4. I hit a good drive there, real good drive. I had a 6-iron in my hand and wanted to hit a little 6-iron, and I hit it left, and I was shocked. I kind of looked at my caddie and said: Where did that shot come from? I've not hit a shot like that in a while. The ground was above my feet, and I hit it heavy and ended up left. I was down underneath a tree, and I punched it over this mound to get on the green. And I'm saying: Okay, I might be able to make this putt. It was about a 20-footer for par. I said, you know: Just give it a good stroke. And didn't hit a bad putt. I left it below the hole about a foot and a half, the most. And I just decelerated impact and left the ball right and missed that a little bit. I short putt. And then I ended up bogey -- bogeying the next hole. I missed about a 6-footer on the next hole for par. It was just a dumb bogey, double-bogey. Walking away with bogey there would have been great, just go on. The other double came on No. 16. I only had a 9-iron in there to the green, and came off it a little bit and hit it just short of the green, and came back a little bit. And you don't want to be above that hole and the thing is, hit it above the hole, and you're dead, because you've got to get the ball to stop and hit it very easy. I knocked it by the hole about five feet and missed it coming back. And of course I was kicking myself a little bit. I said: Well, I have two more holes to go. Let's just go on and shake them off and go on. I would have liked to have screamed a profanity at that time, but I said I was not going to react to anything, and just went on and tried to play the last two holes the best I could.

Q. How far was the first putt?

NANCY LOPEZ: How far was the first putt? About a 10-footer. I really played the wrong shot there. I really should have punched a little 8-iron, just rolled it up there like a putt. Because I hit a pitching wedge, and I could not land it short of the green, because it checks up. And I probably just played the wrong shot there.

Q. Obviously, Nancy, you really thought that you had a chance that you could win this course. You said you were a little confused by your round outside. What did you mean by that?

NANCY LOPEZ: I was confused because, when you're hitting the ball well and you come to a tournament like this with a good golf game, I just did not feel like I was swinging any different. Like I said, Ray saw that I was swinging a little lazy through the ball with my irons. That bothers me because, you know, I didn't feel nervous. I felt confident. I felt good. I felt excited. And when you don't play the way you feel, that confuses you a little bit. Maybe I need to feel really bad tomorrow. (Laughs.) It's a little frustrating. I have to keep playing. The last few weeks I have been playing well and made a lot of birdies. And today I had the opportunity to make a lot of birdies because but I didn't have the irons in my hand.

Q. There are a lot of people on this course that want you to win. You hit a tee shot on a par 3 on a bunker; you were getting applauded. Talk about the reaction from people.

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, the crowds are great. And I know since we've been here Monday, they have been very excited about the whole U.S. Open being here and the USGA being here. It's fun when you come to an event like this and everybody is so up and excited, and it makes you up and excited. I'm grateful that everybody is rooting for me, and for all the other players. You know, there's a lot of great players here, and I think the fans are very fair, and I like that. I think that they should root for everybody. And, you know, if they have their favorites, that's great. And I appreciate their support very much.

RHONDA GLENN: Nancy, you played this morning, and now you don't have to play until tomorrow afternoon. Are you glad to have those extra hours of rest between the two rounds?

NANCY LOPEZ: Yeah, I think really late is really the best when the heat is like this, because I'll get to rest this evening. And then tomorrow, I don't have to set my alarm. I can just kind of wake up. Because when you're on TOUR, you have to have an alarm all the time. And if you can just kind of wake up without that, it's nice to get a little rest. It will be nice to get up and spend some time with Torri and my other daughters and just get up and enjoy the morning, and then really start concentrating on the golf later on. But you do, it's nice to have that rest time after playing in the morning and then going out in the afternoon.

Q. Nancy, not so much a ground question but a golf question. We were in here yesterday and they were talking about the inequities in the purses and everything between the men's and women's game. Could you just give maybe a little statement of the women's game from your perspective, not so much from the TOUR standpoint, but for women, girls, amateurs, where is the game going? And is there a future there for your girls?

NANCY LOPEZ: You know, someone had asked me that before, and I was a little disappointed that we don't have more American players. I think I even saw a special they did on collegiate golf, and how many American players have gotten scholarships and how many foreigners have gotten scholarships, because there's more -- I don't know what it is. More junior programs in other countries or the support of junior programs. I don't know. I feel like we're doing that here. But I don't see as many American players coming out on the TOUR or playing collegiate golf, and, you know, I don't know what it is. I might be completely wrong. I may just not be observant enough to see that. But you see a lot of foreigners coming out, and they are playing great golf. There's something there. There's a lot of support somewhere that's keeping these girls motivated to come out and play the LPGA, because we have gotten a lot of foreigners that are playing great golf. And you almost -- a lot of the foreigners are good friends of mine. But it's really hard for me to root for a foreigner when I'm trying to root for one of my fellow Americans. It's hard. That's just the way it is. But they are great players. They have added a lot to our TOUR. I appreciate them. You know, the Laura Davies, the Annika Sorrenstams, the Karrie Webbs, they are great players, and I respect them very much for the way they play the game. Their temperament, too, their sportsmanship; competitors; and that's the type of golf that I'm sitting there saying, you know, we need people to come out and watch them. It's great. It excites me to watch them play. And women's golf is -- it's slowed down a little bit, I feel like. Why? I guess I'd like to see the purses keep growing. And I'd like to see the interest in the crowds, because I feel excited it and I want to try and spread the word; get everybody else excited about women's golf, because it's a great game to watch. And the players that are playing, they are not just golfers; they are great golfers. But I'd like to see more junior golfers coming out. My daughters, Ashley and Erinn play softball. They love softball, and they play basketball a little bit. But Ray has got them throwing hard and I can't catch with them anymore. I can't. I think Torri would like to play golf. She keeps wanting to go out there with mom. She has got a set of Roswell LG series golf clubs, an LG line. She's taken lessons. I think it would be a lot of fun to watch her go out there and play. I might even caddie for her one day if she becomes a real junior player.

RHONDA GLENN: I might also mention Nancy is the spokesperson for the program that's funded by the USGA. It's called the LPGA Girls Junior Golf Club. Reaches thousands of girls in this country.

Q. Nancy, can you compare the two courses Blackwolf Run and Old Waverly? Is there anyway?

NANCY LOPEZ: How can I compare them. I know I'll be coming up 18 with a towel on the end of my club tomorrow. I don't believe that, though, will happen. Blackwolf Run was a very difficult golf course before the USGA got hold of it, and I went to play a couple practice rounds there with my husband. And I respect the USGA because they want to hold a standard for golf play when you're out there playing. But Blackwolf Run was tough before they even touched it. And I know when I played there, I guess it was about a month before we went to the Open, and I really didn't like it. It wasn't the type course I like for my golf game. I kept saying that I did like it, but I never let anybody know otherwise, and I didn't want to think negative. So I know when I left there, Ray was really excited about it, and I said, "Yeah, it's really a nice golf course, really tough." And whenever someone asked me about it, I just, you know, I didn't want to tell them I just hated it. It was like: Oh, I didn't like that golf course. So I went away with a bad taste in myself and went back with a decent golf game when I went there to the U.S. Open, but after that week, I didn't know where I was going to hit it. But it was just tough because if you got in trouble and you had to hit it a long way, and if you were off line at all and I got in trouble, it seemed like you were going back to the tee. I never could hit from up there and that was what was so tough, I think, about that golf course. But it was pretty treacherous. And now here at Old Waverly, it's beautiful golf course. It's a fair golf course. You have to hit good shots. I think the rain has slowed up the greens quite a bit compared to what I know they will be as the days go on. But it's the type of golf course you have to think every shot. You have to hit your drives well. It's a fair U.S. Open golf course, but it still calls for great shots and some really good putting because the greens are tricky. They don't always do what you think they are going to do, and I think they have done a great job this week.

RHONDA GLENN: Nancy, have some fun this afternoon. Thanks for joining us.

End of FastScripts….

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