July 3, 1998
RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Hollis Stacy has tied the low round of the Championship with a 68, birdied the first two holes, the 10th hole, the 13th hole and had a single bogey. Hollis, you must have felt good out there today. And tell us about the conditions and how that went.
HOLLIS STACY: I felt better today for some reason. I just didn't -- I was flat yesterday. And I didn't have any coffee yesterday, so my caddie goes: I am bringing out a six-pack of diet Coke tomorrow. No, he was teasing. I felt better today. And, I think the fact that it is the first round of the Open and when we teed off late with the conditions as tough as they were, I was defensive in the beginning and I just didn't swing at it as well as I would have liked to. And, after the round yesterday, I went on the practice tee and worked out a couple of things and, you know, just birdied the first couple of holes and, thank God, got that "Cut" thing out of my brain. You always want to play the weekend, especially since I have missed the last two cuts. Since I birdied the first couple of holes, I felt more like I could just play golf and not sweat bullets about the cut. So I just went out and played golf, got that out of my brain. I felt very relaxed after I birdied the first couple of holes.
RHONDA GLENN: How was the golf course this morning as compared to yesterday?
HOLLIS STACY: Well, it played a lot different. It was softer. The greens held and, you know, just was -- I think yesterday's round, too, the tees were moved up a little forward and so that was -- I was a little surprised and maybe I was playing the course a little defensively the first few holes. But, I felt more into a rhythm today after I -- of course after I birdied the first couple of holes.
RHONDA GLENN: Were the tees moved back a little further today?
HOLLIS STACY: They were moved back a little further today, yeah.
RHONDA GLENN: What did you hit on the holes that you birdied into the green and how long was your putt?
HOLLIS STACY: First hole I hit 8-iron to two feet. Second hole, I hit 7-iron to three feet. 10th hole, I hit 7-iron to about five feet. The 13th hole I hit a 9-iron to about 15 feet. So my longest putt was 15 feet.
RHONDA GLENN: How did you wind up bogeying 17?
HOLLIS STACY: I 3-putted No. 17. I hit -- we waited for them to fix the deer prints.
RHONDA GLENN: Deer prints? On the green?
HOLLIS STACY: A deer ran across the green.
RHONDA GLENN: You saw it happen?
HOLLIS STACY: No, it happened two holes in front of -- two groups in front of us. I asked Beth Daniel -- I said: "Obviously he (referring to the deer) wasn't wearing spikeless." So they fixed that and there was a little jam and the beginning green was -- it was kind of in a tough place and it was one of those putts where I didn't want to leave the putt short because it was sloped and fast all that stuff so knocked it by about eight feet, missed it coming back.
RHONDA GLENN: You hit 15 greens in regulation today.
HOLLIS STACY: Very good. That is very good.
RHONDA GLENN: Excellent in the Women's Open.
HOLLIS STACY: Yes. I hit -- I drove it better today and my iron-play was excellent.
RHONDA GLENN: Your putting was better, everything.
HOLLIS STACY: Everything was much better.
RHONDA GLENN: Today you hit 11 fairways, yesterday 9. Today 15 greens, yesterday 9. Today 32 putts, yesterday you had 30. Any questions?
Q. You are playing really good golf this year. I mean, the whole season you have had some real good tournaments. Can you talk about what the catalyst has been and what is the key to all this?
HOLLIS STACY: Well, probably the catalyst, it started when, I think my set of clubs, I think I am playing with a much more -- with a better set of clubs. A friend of mine built this set for me Ed Montgomerie (ph) built it for me. He has worked with players like Watson and Payne Stewart for years and I have known him for years. For five years he has been saying: Hollis, why don't you come into the shop, I will build a set for you. Finally I said: Okay. Coupled with that and hurting my back this year, I started doing stretches and basically started firing up muscles that hadn't been used in a while. Just that -- just a combination of things. Not one-in-particular-thing, but just a couple of things. I have been shooting in the 60s much more.
Q. Are you saying you are more fit?
HOLLIS STACY: Well, my equipment is better and I am stretching and at this age of 44, I am not 24 anymore, where I would walk out onto the tee and just hit balls, one ball and then go to the first tee. I have to stretch for 15 minutes and then I have to hit a bucket of balls, or two buckets and, you know --
RHONDA GLENN: I know.
HOLLIS STACY: This body has been playing for a while, so...
RHONDA GLENN: This is your 29th consecutive Women's Open.
HOLLIS STACY: Yes.
RHONDA GLENN: We are checking that now to find out if it's accurate.
HOLLIS STACY: It is. My first one was the year 1970, the year Donna Caponi won a her second at Muskogee. 70?
HOLLIS STACY: 29 in a row. I'm exhausted. Can I take a nap now?
Q. With 29 Opens; three Open titles, you have played in more Opens than any other golfer that is here in this tournament. What factor do you think that experience will play this weekend?
HOLLIS STACY: I think it will play -- it gives me confidence and I still have to swing and make the putts and all that stuff. But I think it will be a factor. But the girls are playing such great golf. You have got Laura up there and all you need to do is just get her in contention then she focuses and there are so many other great players. I try not to get too excited because I don't want to lose that one-shot-at-a-time-deal. Everybody wants to win so badly and it takes away from what you are trying to do.
Q. Last year Nancy used a calmness during her tournament that propelled her to nearly win it. Do you have that same kind of feeling of going into this one, is that what is helping you a little bit, maybe a --
HOLLIS STACY: No, not really. I just do one day at a time and I really have no routine. I just -- because every day is so different. I think maybe, you know, I grew up in chaos, I grew up in a large family and I think that has been a distinct advantage because everyday is different, every hole is different, every feeling is different. How can anyone be relaxed playing at the Open, I don't understand. I have won three of them. First one I didn't sleep at all and, you know, you just are -- you are excited and you are nervous.
RHONDA GLENN: Continue that thought, the first one you didn't sleep at all. The second one --
HOLLIS STACY: Second one I was having such a bad year that I think maybe I had a couple -- just a couple of interviews and no one expected anything. Then the third year, I had no interviews. It was in 1984 and I remember -- I saw Jerry Potter and I think the fact that we were just crossing paths, he felt like he had asked me a question. So he did ask me -- he did interview me. In fact, Jaime Diaz wrote an article for Sports Illustrated and I never talked to him. No, it was one of those things where in Salem it was unfortunate for Amy because the witch kept following her and I made a come-from-behind victory.
RHONDA GLENN: We remember it well.
Q. When did you hurt your back and how did you do it?
HOLLIS STACY: It was kind of like ham bone connected to this thing. I had knee surgery in November of 1995 and it is amazing how just one little part of your body, if it is out, it affects your entire body. So my right side got really tight and, consequently, my left shoulder got weak and da, da, da, da, da, so it was just from hitting lots of golf balls with my new equipment and playing in cold weather and six-hour lovely flight to Hawaii and lifting up a 40-pound golf bag, so that is how I hurt my back.
Q. Was it in 95 or --
HOLLIS STACY: No, it was February. February. I got that nice appetizer of back pain, so, I am pretty religious about doing my stretches every morning.
Q. This being your 29th Open, could you comment on this course and the fact that it is a new course in the Open circuit and what your thoughts are on it after a couple of rounds.
HOLLIS STACY: I like the course. It is difficult because the fact that the greens are so severe it puts pressure on every aspect of your game. You have to drive the ball well. You have to hit your irons in the spot where, you know, you can make a putt or two putts. So even though everybody says that: "Oh, you have to putt well" - you have to drive the ball well and you have to hit your irons in the right spots. So, fortunately, I did that today.
Q. How is your game different from your last U.S. Open? Talk a little bit about that.
RHONDA GLENN: You mean the last one she won?
HOLLIS STACY: My game, you know, I think -- I was talking to Jan Stephenson, she laughed. She is still mad at me for beating her at Hazeltine, but she says -- she told me that I am -- when I was swinging -- maybe my swing was a little better in Salem than it was in Hazeltine, but it seems like my swing is more solid and the whole golf swing has changed, the theory. I have done the Inverted-K.. We have lived through that. Pick-it-up and pull-it-down, so I think that -- right, you have done that.
RHONDA GLENN: Yeah, square-to-square?
HOLLIS STACY: The shaft into the -- we have all done that. The golf swing has changed and possibly I am a little bit more flatter and, you know, I think grips have gotten a little bit stronger and I think I am swinging at it more solidly like everyone else is swinging at it a little bit more rounder now. So I think I am swinging at it better than -- or same, probably the same, or if not -- I don't know. All I look at those clips and I look at what I am wearing, I go: Oh God, oh God. Don't look at the swing.
Q. You mentioned your age, we didn't, and you mentioned your back problems and yet today's 68 is your lowest round ever in an Open.
HOLLIS STACY: It is?
Q. Yeah, you had 69 three times.
HOLLIS STACY: I shot 68 at Salem last round, didn't I?
Q. 69 Broadmoor, at Atlanta and 69, Salem, fourth round but 68 is your best round ever?
HOLLIS STACY: I should retire. (laughter). No, I feel great. I feel great. It helped, too, that par was 71, so I was squeezing in that last putt in the last hole. I am like -- but, yeah, I feel good. I hit the ball well and was solid and all that stuff.
Q. Are these greens slower than we traditionally see in Opens?
HOLLIS STACY: I think they are not. I think that -- I think last years and the years before, I think the speed was pretty much right around 10. You really can't have them too fast because they are so slopey. When you have this downhill putt and all you see is white, it is like that shine going that way, you are like -- it, is, you know, that is about a 12 or a 13 right there. So you can't really --
Q. That is about right, though?
HOLLIS STACY: The shot, if it's on a downslope. I think they are a good speed. They are 10, 11. Yesterday they were around 11.
Q. Only two women have ever won four U.S. Opens, Betsy Rawls and Mickey Wright. Do you ever foresee down the road that happening?
HOLLIS STACY: I don't know. I -- I sure would love to, but I know there is a hell of a lot of golf between now and Sunday. So I would love it. But, you know, right now I am just happy just to be here making the cut and being in contention, so, I think four -- I think Annika is young enough that she will be winning four and she is such a great player. I think it is possible.
RHONDA GLENN: Any other questions? We are glad that you have not lost your fast ball.
HOLLIS STACY: My fast ball, what is that?
RHONDA GLENN: Congratulations.
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