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June 29, 2000

Dave Stockton


LES UNGER: It's nice to have Dave Stockton with us with a 66, and he is smiling. And I guess this was welcomed -- you haven't had this season, as far as I looked up, a lot of scores in that level of 66. This is the right place to do it.

DAVE STOCKTON: I had one last week. But then I went straight south, so we will see how I do here. It has been rough. But it was interesting coming back here to Saucon Valley after leading it the first few rounds in '92. As I looked in the book, I shot 67, 66. And if you'd watch me play a practice round yesterday, which I quit at 9 holes, and I played on Tuesday to see the whole course. I am going: "How in the heck did I ever shoot that?" I played well today. It was helpful to come out and see Hubert had shot 65, so you knew a low score was conceivable. The golf course is in phenomenal condition. The greens were good right to the end. There was -- I never saw a spike mark all day, so the greens are in awesome shape, for me, since I'm a good putter, it was a big help. I played well. I didn't have too many adventures. The shot of the day was the shot at 11, which we thought I had holed. They thought I had holed the shot. I hit an 18-degree wood, which replaced my 3-iron, so I could hit it up in the air. I hit it about ten feet right of the hole. I am walking over to my caddie, people are yelling and yelling. All of a sudden they really roared. We thought that I had made it. And ended up being about ten inches from the hole. That led to three birdies in a row on 12, 13 -- 11, 12, 13. But playing with Bruce is also a help. I think we fed off each other. I certainly fed off him, because I made 2-under at the turn. He birdied 9 to go 4-under. And I finally caught him after 13 at 12. And I just got in in time, didn't I? (Referring to the rain.) I think I made him mad when I caught him at 5-under, because obviously, he went right off the charts there at the end. Birdied the first hole, which was, like I said, adventure -- right rough over the trap. Laid up with 18-degree right into a divot. Only divot I was in all day. I have seen these sand-filled divots that I think are really difficult. I hit a great shot to about eight foot; made birdie. I birdied No. 7. I hit a great drive. Again, I was one foot in the intermediate cut. Hit a 5-iron to about 35 feet. That was my longest putt of the day. Made that for birdie. I told you about 11 where I birdied that. On 12, the par 5, I hit a driver, and the same 18-degree down the fairway. Hit a wedge to about twelve feet; made that for birdie. And on 13, I hit a driver, down the right side; and again, the 18-degree, it's a long hole. I had 200 yards to the pin. Hit it about eight feet; made that for birdie. That was it.

Q. The way you guys played, you and Bruce, especially on the back nine, could you have imagined that Saucon Valley would have yielded those many birdies coming in this week?

DAVE STOCKTON: Well, like I said before, I shot it too in '92, I had that many birdies. For the life of me, I couldn't remember how I did it. It was fun playing -- Bruce wasn't making any mistakes. And so you are seeing good shots every hole, whether it be a tee shot or iron shot up by the pin. And it looked relatively simple the way he was making it go. So I kind of fed off him, I believe.

Q. What numbers did you bring in here from 1992? Anything that come to mind?

DAVE STOCKTON: I remember a great start. I remember I was really playing good. I knew the wheels would come off, but I truthfully couldn't remember whether it was third or fourth round. Ended up being the third round when I shot 77. Came back with 70. So I looked at my score, and I was three out of four days on this course the first time under par, which was pretty good. Shooting 280. Obviously, it is no secret to anybody I have not been on the top of my game. I won a small tournament out in Utah with my son David last Tuesday. We won a father-and-son and beat Nicklaus in a playoff, the Nicklauses. And that kind of got me pumped up to finally be positive about something. And I was a pretty happy camper out there. I could not remember the golf course. Only thing I could remember was the 11th green. I did remember the 11th green.

Q. What has been the problem this year?

DAVE STOCKTON: I don't really know. I think probably it is mental, primarily. Physically, I mean I dropped 20-something pounds. I feel very good physically. I just think all the things that have transpired in my life. I am a control freak. I am an organizer. Drive my kids nuts. I think just the toll of kids getting married, having grandchildren, parents deceased -- things go on. And I think it is my focus is away from golf. Rightly so. My life is changing, and I can see why people say once you hit 55 you are not going to play nearly as well. But on the other hand, I can look and see what Trevino did last week and said: Hell, I can do that too.

Q. Is it harder for you to get up for tournaments? I mean, for a tournament like this, it isn't, is it?

DAVE STOCKTON: It's not at all here. No. In fact I was sorry I was playing so bad yesterday. I would like to play the back side again, just to have another practice round. I don't really enjoying playing practice rounds on courses that I play tons of times. But in an Open, something like this, this is a heck of a challenge. No, you get up very easily. I still love the travelling. Cathy hopefully is landing as we speak. She is going to come in tonight as we speak. So she will be out the next three weeks. That alone will make me play better. It is just, you know, I am at a stage in my life when I am out, I am really focused, I want to play. But physical is not my problem, I don't believe.

LES UNGER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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