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May 15, 2019

Patty Moore

Sally Austin

Southern Pines, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back, everyone. We're here with Sally Austin and Patty Moore, both locals to the Sand Hills, both of whom qualified for this championship out of North Carolina. Welcome to you both.

SALLY AUSTIN: Thank you.

PATTY MOORE: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Sally, we'll start with you. What did it mean to qualify for this championship this year knowing it was going to be played at this golf course?

SALLY AUSTIN: When I found out that they were starting the US Senior Open -- I first I heard it was supposed to be here I don't know how many years ago it was. I was like, if I can still walk and play I really want to play here.

Then it was in Chicago and made that. Really wanted to play here because this is where I grew up with the Bell family helping me with my game and doing so much for me, so playing here means a lot.

THE MODERATOR: Patty, you've played in number a of USGA championships. What is special about this one this week?

PATTY MOORE: This one is on this level. All USGA events are up there, but to be in an Open, I mean, that's phenomenal to me. And to have it be so current -- I mean, just starting up, firing up. So the second one, something I never dreamed I would be playing in.

Now that I'm here I'm going to take it all in. Being able to sleep in my own bed and come out, that makes it even sweeter.

THE MODERATOR: Sally, what has the week been like so far? I know there was a gathering last night and just a lot of camaraderie out on the course.

SALLY AUSTIN: Well, it is my home now; I moved back here in July. So to be able in stay at my house, and a friend of mine, Jane Crafter is staying at my house. See friends that I haven't -- well, I saw them last year, but I hadn't seen some of them in 30 years. It's been really special to be back out here. I was missing these folks. Seeing everybody has been terrific.

Chitchatting every time I go somewhere. You're stopping to talk.


PATTY MOORE: You know, I don't know any of the pros. I know the names and recognize some of the faces, but the fun thing for me is all the amateurs that I've seen here that I've played in the Mid-Am or the U.S. Senior Am or something. There are 30 something of us. I think we're well represented.


Q. Sally, what do you think Peggy Kirk Bell's ultimate legacy is? What comes to mind when someone asks you that?
SALLY AUSTIN: How much time do I have? It is so special and I'll get emotional thinking about this and how much she would've loved being here for this and seeing her friends playing and some of her students, of which I was one.

It would just mean -- when they brought the first Open here she was super excited. I know she's looking down and smiling, so glad that it's here, that I'm one of her students and I'm playing, and that a lot of her friends and other students and people she's mentored are here.

This is her legacy, and this golf course and all that her family has done to keep this alive and bring the Senior Open here, unbelievable. For the USGA to come here, she would be super proud. I just can't even imagine.

Q. What was she like as a teacher?
SALLY AUSTIN: Well, I took from her from to the time I was about 12, and then I -- I learned to play golf from her and I learned to play. As a teacher, she was always listening to you and watching what she would tell and you how would you interpret that, and then she could change and tell you a different way.

But she always wanted you to be a good player and short game was very important to her. As a teacher, I mean, after I got to know her and be here for so, she would just -- I guess she would pick on me a little bit, and at first I thought she didn't like me; then I realized that was her way.

I realized how much she enjoyed seeing me play in these kinds of events, as she would any of her students. As a teacher that things like that are so important to, you want to play well for her. I continue to want to play well for her and all of my other instructors, too. It started for me pretty much right here.

Q. Both of you, there is such a good feeling of camaraderie and the spirit of golf in this event. How do you flip the switch to be the competitor that you need to be when you've got all these good feelings seeing old friends and you're in a place that's home and all the things that are comfortable for you?
PATTY MOORE: I think it's just a mode that you automatically go to. You want to perform well. You want your friends, comrades to perform well. Just want to perform equally as well or maybe just a little bit better.

But I think it's a -- it's special if you do have that ability to go from -- I've noticed a lot hugging and a lot of reunion atmosphere here. I also probably realize that they -- everybody will flip that switch, and then they can go back to being nice and what have you after.

While they're on the golf course, I think all these fine golfers have that gear that they can just move into when they have to.

SALLY AUSTIN: And I agree with what Patty said, but golf being an individual sport, at least for me, of course I would like to play better than everybody else because that means you win. I don't want them to play poorly. I'm just out there trying to play my best.

The nature of golf and the way I was taught to approach it, it is me trying to be the best I can be on a golf course that's as fine as this and it's my home course to want to play well here. The other competitors are kind of -- I just -- once I get out there it's just going to be about me trying to do my best, and then hopefully it'll be better than most. We'll see.

Q. I'll ask both of you, how does this golf course fit your individual games right now?
PATTY MOORE: Well, for me it's very long. (Laughter.) It's not an easy walk. Unfortunately I'm not getting to walk. I get the ADA cart, so I'm very happy not to have to walk.

But the sloping on a lot of the driving holes is pretty severe, and of course the less you carry the distance the less you're going to get out of it. So to fit my eye, the course fits my eye very well. I think the driving areas are very generous.

I think the greens are going to be little demons for everybody to try to perform on. It's a lovely course I think for most golfers. I think everybody goes out and enjoys this course. A lot of straightaways, slight doglegs, nothing too crazy. It's fun.

SALLY AUSTIN: Having played this thousands of times, the greens have never been so fast. But I like them this speed. And it's playing very long. The fairways are lush, and I keep saying I seem to get more mud on my ball than everybody else does, therefore my shots are not rolling.

It's a very long golf course. For me to have to hit long shots into greens that aren't really receptive -- just getting on greens, and then I think I'm okay once you I get on the greens as long as I'm not in some terrible spots.

It's playing differently because the condition and the greens being faster. They were going to be firm. The rye being really lush, it's making it play long with long shots in and it's hard.

Going to be difficult to get it close to the hole. I'm hoping that my knowledge of the greens is going to help me there.

PATTY MOORE: I have to say I play out of Pinehurst Resort and I've played No. 2 many, many times, probably like Sally has played here. I have to say that I know these speeds aren't often what they get to putt on or the resort would have people out there for five-and-a-half-hour rounds which they wouldn't want.

I know personally after playing 2 as many times these greens are just as fast or faster, but they're slopier. There is a lot going on on those greens. I'll be happy to go back and play No. 2. I'll think it's flat, you know.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the changes to Pine Needles with the recent restoration and how the course has evolved in recent years, especially since the last U.S. Women's Open here.
SALLY AUSTIN: It's changed a lot. I knew these greens like the back of my hand. I mean, I could just go -- I didn't have to go out with people that played here. I would just say, this hole over here breaks this way; here breaks that way. You need to leave it short here, long here.

Now, there are so many humps and bumps in the green complexes; nothing is the same. There is a lot of roll-off if you get it a little left. I mean, same green. If you hit it a little too far left it'll roll off left; if you hit it a little too far right, it'll roll off right. Same green.

So you just have to know where the -- I told somebody, now, as different as it is now, used to be able to fly it to the flag. Not anymore. If you hit it to the front you don't really need a hole location sheet. Just hit it to the front or the middle of the green. Some greens you can't even land it on the green with the club I'm hitting in because it won't stay.

So that's all changed completely for me, and reading the greens is -- it's just different. And the speed, it's quicker. So that adds to it, too. Pretty much know where downgrain, downhill is because that's very slick and you need to know where that is. That has not changed.

But the bumps and humps that they've added here, and then the rough, there is really not much rough. Native grasses have changed the look of it a lot. You know, I kind of like grass myself, but I guess native grass is whatever the desert look or whatever it is. It's a great test and it's beautiful. It's just more difficult. It's about four shots more difficult I think.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else? Thank you ladies and best of luck this week.

PATTY MOORE: Thank you.

SALLY AUSTIN: Thank you.

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