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July 10, 1997

Nancy Lopez


RHONDA GLENN: Nancy Lopez had a wonderful back 9, finished strong, was 2-under par, 69 today. Nancy, please tell us, first of all, besides the fact that your allergies have been bothering you terribly all day, what else was happening out on the golf course, just your general impression of the course and how you played.

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, the golf course was a little wet. It played -- a few holes played a little longer because of that. The wind wasn't really blowing a whole bunch, but the sunshine came out a few times and it was really nice. But it was a good day. I played well, I made a few bogeys, but I made some good pars, too. And that really kind of is a confidence builder for you when you scramble a little bit and make those par putts. But I had a good time out there. And I had fun and I hit the ball well. And turned out to be a 69.

RHONDA GLENN: She's really struggling with the allergies, here.

Q. What is causing it, do you know, Nancy?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I'm allergic to ragweed, I'm sure there's a ton of it out there. And I'm sure I'm allergic to other things that I haven't been tested for a little while. But my mouth gets really dry on the inside and just completely always draining in the back of my throat. I'm just coughing and hacking all day long. And that kind of wears you out after a while. My poor partners had to listen to me all day long coughing. I tried not to cough on their back swings, so that was good.

RHONDA GLENN: Would you tell us about your birdies and bogeys briefly.

NANCY LOPEZ: On No. 1, I hit a 7-iron about two feet from the hole and I made that for birdie. 2 and 3, I 2-putted for pars. No. 4, I hit -- let me see -- it's a par-5 -- No. 4, the par-5, I was right in front of the green in 2 and hit a sand wedge thin, went past the pin, over the green into the fringe a little bit and I chipped out of the rough and I had about a ten-footer and I made that for par. Then on No. 5, I 2-putted for par. No. 6, I hit a 4-iron left of the green, chipped about four feet and made that for par. No. 7, I hit a wedge about five feet and I made that for birdie. No. 8, I 3-putted for a bogey. I was on that upper plateau, and really didn't have a chance, unless I could hit the hole and make it stop. I had about an 8-, 9-footer coming back and missed it. Then on No. 9, I 2-putted for par. 10, I hit a 3-iron in the bunker, blasted out to about five feet and made that for par. No. 11, I 2-putted for bogey. No. 12 and 13, I 2-putted for par. No. 14, I hit a half 7-iron to about five feet and made that for birdie. 15, I 2-putted for par. 16, I hit a -- I hit my shot into the -- 4-iron into the bunker right, blasted out to about 4 feet and I made that for par. 17, I hit a 6-iron about ten feet and I made that for a birdie. It stopped right on the lip and then it fell in, so it was kind of fun. Made that one. On 18, I 2-putted for par.

Q. How far was 17?

NANCY LOPEZ: It was about a 10-footer.

RHONDA GLENN: You hit every fairway off the tee except the 9th and you hit 13 greens today. Pretty good day ball-striking.

NANCY LOPEZ: Yeah, I really hit the ball solid. Like I hit the bunker on 16, and you have all that green left. I don't know why I was in the bunker on the right, but I was going for the flag. I felt good and confident and unfortunately I went in the bunker but still got my par. You hit a few shots like that once in a while. I felt like I was striking it well enough to go at the pin. I want to do that. I don't want to make too many mistakes like that, though. But it was a good day. I felt like I hit the ball solid. If I miss-hit it, it was only because I was aimed the wrong way. But I really felt real good out there.

Q. The Women's Open has been a tournament that I guess has so far eluded you. Is there something special? You're playing really well coming into this, Nancy. Do you have any good feelings about this particular week?

NANCY LOPEZ: I felt real good today. I know when I step on the first tee at the U.S. Open, I really feel a little nervous. And today I didn't feel as nervous. And I think that probably just comes from maybe feeling confident, feeling like I just have to go out and swing at the ball the way I need to and things will happen. And maybe other U.S. Opens, I didn't feel quite that confident. Maybe felt a little nervous because here was a golf course that was really tough and maybe my best job wasn't really there. I had a lot of peace when I walked on the first tee. I felt good. I didn't feel as nervous. I felt an excitement, and I hit a good drive off the first tee and then hit a shot in there, second shot. So I felt -- I played the way I was feeling. And I didn't feel nervous. I just felt real excited to be out there. And ready to play, ill felt like, when I teed off.

Q. Did you ever in your fondest dreams think you might be 8 shots ahead of Annika Sorenstam after the opening round?

NANCY LOPEZ: No. No, I didn't know what she shot today. I hadn't seen the scores. I knew now, because someone had said it. Annika is such a great little player. And I'm sure she'll come back tomorrow. She's going to erase this from her memory, I'm sure, and just come out and play her best golf she can. She's a great ball striker and great putter. She can still come back in there.

Q. Nancy, do you recall ever winning a tournament after shooting an opening round 77?

NANCY LOPEZ: I don't know if I shot that high, but I remember having some high scores and still being able to come back and win, but probably not on as difficult a golf course. That's the other thing.

Q. How is your putting? How would you rate your putting or measure your putting?

NANCY LOPEZ: My putting right now is better than it's been -- I mean, last week I putted well, and the week before I putted well. I didn't putt well in Rochester. Stroked it well, just didn't have much feel for speed. And I went home and I worked on my putting a few days and really didn't hit a lot of balls. I just putted a lot. And then played good last week. And I feel good over my putts. I feel confident in just stroking it and just lining it up, and just stroking it and not thinking of anything else. I moved my head on one putt today that I missed, but I'm really concentrating on keeping really steady. But it's becoming more natural because the more you practice it the easier it becomes. And I know when I had some putts today that I had to make, I felt like I was going to make them. So I just went ahead and stroked it and fortunately I did make them. I think that's it. You just have to have a positive thought when you get over the ball and stroke it, especially on greens that are a little faster. I felt good over the putts today. I'm going to practice a little bit more when I'm done. I think the more I practice, I get more confidence built up and you definitely immediate need that when you're stepping over some putts on this golf course.

Q. Ms. Neumann said she didn't feel that the pin placements were very difficult out there today, except for maybe on one or two. How did you feel about the pins?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I was on a few greens where I was on the wrong side of the green, and I thought they were really tough. (Laughter.) If you didn't hit it where you were supposed, they could be tough. But if you shot at the pin you probably wouldn't have a really tough pin, but there is a few shots that I'd just pull the shot a little bit on one hole, and I was on the other side of this ridge, and I 2-putted, fortunately, but it was a tough little putt to get close. And it just depends on where you're hitting. I'm sure she was just hitting it right at the pin, too. But you can't make a mistake. You've got to hit it close or you are going to have a really tough putt.

RHONDA GLENN: Thanks so much. Really appreciate you being here, and great round.

End of FastScripts....

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