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June 25, 2001

Dave Stockton


BOB STEVENS: We now welcome 1974 champion Dave Stockton. Also won his PGA at Southern Hills. One of his two PGAs at Southern Hills. 11 Tour wins. 14 Senior wins. Also donated part of his winnings to the Jaycees Foundation, as did Bob Murphy and has been a supporter of the event. Opening thoughts on coming back?

DAVE STOCKTON: Just a lot of pride for new this area, for the Jaycees in general. Between Greensboro, L.A. and Hartford here, the Jaycees organization at all those events really tie the tournament to the community. I think it shows, obviously, for you to hold your 50th celebration here and to make the effort to bring us back. A lot of positive things. Obviously, I've had good vibes here at the Hartford, and it has carried on with my son who has played well also. It was fun driving in last night. One thing about the Senior Tour, you don't get to play the tournaments that you like to play and this would have been one I would have liked to have played more.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVE STOCKTON: '75 was my best year on TOUR. I didn't win any majors but this win here was the third of the year. I beat Snead twice and then beat -- inaudible. This was easier, I think I won by three or four shots. I remember I played with Trevino, but nobody else was a factor. Kind of a fun week for me -- inaudible -- idea of starting the deal for the children was great. I talked to Kathy before the final round. I talked to her during the final round that I wanted to do something -- give something back. Probably the highlight of that week was having President Ford -- at least it was for the media, have President Ford call me in the media tent. I think it was about the first time a president had called a golfer and not even after a major, but obviously, it was a major to people here in Hartford and us, for our third win of the year and they got all excited. It was a fitting end to a great week. Felt really good to win here -- not here, but the other golf course.

BOB STEVENS: Did you find a new amateur partner that day? Have you and Jerry played?

DAVE STOCKTON: We've played before. I played when he was vice-president -- actually a few days before he became President -- I played up at Pleasant Valley before. He had flown all night doing something and it was amazing how the -- he nailed a couple of people, but the guy had flown all night and he -- I remember made about a 50-foot putt and hit a lot of great shots and all he talked about was the -- inaudible -- a couple of them got zapped. But it started a friendship that still lasts. President Ford has been very good to me. I skied in his ski races and played in all golf tournaments he had in Vail in the summertime. One of the perks of being a golfer is the people we meet, like today, for instance, going out and playing in the Pro-Am. I always thought the Pro-Am days were the most important days we played on the Tour. Now the Senior Tour, we play two of them a week. I feel sorry for some of the players that treat those days as, well, I'll just get through this day and I don't get anything out of it. They miss a hell of a lot because these days are special. The people that we meet -- normally we would not even get the chance to talk to.

Q. (Inaudible.) Bringing back all the past champions have you ever experienced anything like that?

DAVE STOCKTON: The PGA, where they invite the past champions where you are entitled to play and that worked real good until the Senior Tour started. For instance, PGA this year is at Atlanta and I'm going to be playing at Park City because I love it up there and they have a tournament. Before the Senior Tour, yes, every year at the PGA Championship, and I'm sure the same is true of the Masters champions; they go to Augusta, just joining the club. Opposite the U.S. Open, I'll never forget 1976 Tony Jacklin and I are trying to qualify for the U.S. Open. He had won at Hazeltine the year that I won the PGA at Southern Hills and the USGA said, you're a great champion, but let's see if you can qualify five years later. Audible when you won a tournament, you were exempt for a lifetime, but the PGA -- inaudible -- we only got a ten-year exemption. So, I won it twice in 16 years. Wait a minute, guys. I didn't think I could win it. But, no, for a tournament that's not a major, that's why I'm here. My hat is off to Hartford and the Jaycees because it has always been a special event and it will continue to be. It's just a class act. It's fun to be back to be a part of it.

BOB STEVENS: I watched you win your Senior Open at Canterbury in '96. Have you been up to Salem?

DAVE STOCKTON: I have not played Salem yet. This was a good scheduling for us to play Boston and right across town to play Salem this week. I have an idea what to expect. It will be a nice test.

Q. (Inaudible)?

DAVE STOCKTON: I was listening to what Murph said. I came out in 65 and actually I played with Charlie at one of the rounds in Greensboro. Greensboro was not a pretty place to play and that was too bad. They had a lot of problems with the liquor and alcohol. In my lifetime I'll never forget behind the 15th hole they had a mountain of beer cans that would hit the ceiling and it was not good. Charlie and his wife, Rose, were tolerant to say the least of some of the stuff that went on. I can't imagine going through what he went through. I listen to the guys that followed him, Brown and Elder and so on and so forth know -- inaudible -- and Charlie handled it with a lot of class. That's all I can say. It was not easy. And Murph also mentioned about Tiger. It is hard to imagine he has no private life. It's just tough and he's handled it with total class. I look and a lot of your champions that are here, I look at how they handled themselves off the golf course more than how they handled themselves on the golf course. Because inside the ropes you are generally okay, but what you say and do after you leave the premises is what kind of what sticks with me or what makes great players or destroys some that could be great.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVE STOCKTON: I think it's awesome. I'm very proud that the best tour in the world is here, and if somebody wants to prove themselves just like the gentlemen that won the U.S. Open here from South Africa, the European Tour has lost out. This guy has an exemption; Goosen is going to be here and play. We have the best Senior Tour in the world. We would blow them away. So consequently they are going to come here and show off for the people around the United States, and I think that says a lot for our organizations and stuff. But, yes, you want to play as a player -- you want to win -- you look back on your career one of the things that is wrong that the media does is at some point in time you have to judge the great players by what tournaments they won, who they beat and what golf course it was played on, and not how much money. Money has got to be completely thrown out at some future date in my mind. I can list that I won on Riviera, Southern Hills, Congressional, Colonial and Fort Worth and the people that I beat at those particular tournaments, and I say I'm a major factor and that's what's good. But they have got to get away from the money. I mean, I still -- I look the, I cringe every time I think Ben Hogan made $220,000 in his lifetime and I'll be darned at whoever finishes third or fourth will pass him on the all-time Money List gets more recognition just because of the amount of money and I think that's totally wrong.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVE STOCKTON: My final year -- my fourth year on the policy board and we've worked really hard to figure out a way and we are still working out a way. That is the way they started it and one of those: If it is not broken, don't try to fix it. We will keep trying to do something, and eventually somebody smarter than I am is going to have to fix it because that's the way they started it.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVE STOCKTON: That's the great thing about Tiger is Tiger has woke some of these people up. I will say the early 70s or something, into the late 70s guys would win eight tournaments and start talking the summer off. Gosh, it's been a great year and that's been wonderful. I think, so what if I won five or six -- yeah, I'm playing there and all the rest of these guys they are going to take time off, they are going to get buried. They can, but if they want to be great, they are going to have to pay for it. I think that's kind of unique and I think that's great for the Tour.

Q. You mentioned Greensboro, what was it like for other players on the Tour -- was he treated as well or did other players talk to him? What do you remember about that?

DAVE STOCKTON: Personally, I never had any problem with Charlie. I thought he was great. He would needle me how good I would putt. Those days I couldn't hit it good, but I could make from anywhere. He always had a laugh and a smile for me and a good work, and I gave it back to him in like kind. I don't think you can find somebody that says -- they really didn't want to look forward to playing with Charlie and of course that's the majority of the guys on TOUR, back even in the 60s. You had -- if you got some guy that really liked slow play or -- they were so few and far between Charlie was just very simple to play with. You knew he was going to hit quality shots, concentrate on the golf, a lot more than any of us had to , and he was a very nice playing companion.

End of FastScripts…

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