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July 13, 1997

Dave Stockton


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, David, you were right in the thick of it and probably the two bogeys derailed you a bit.

DAVE STOCKTON: Yeah, they weren't too swift. Had my chances. Had a chance for eagle, I left short at 3. Then birdied 4. Those two birdies got me going. Left a birdie putt short at 5. Then made one at 7. So, I was 3-under the first seven, in good shape. And, then I 3-putted No. 8, misread the putt, and missed it, short one, about three feet, I guess. Then I birdied -- parred 9. Birdied 10. Good birdie at 10 from about six or seven feet, I guess. And 11, I'd say a 12-footer that I missed. And, 12, I had about a 15, 16-footer that I missed. And, then I got a very lucky birdie - I don't know if you could play 13 any worse. I can't figure out why I can't drive it on that hole. I got a giant building with "Ford" right on it. All I got to do is hit it at it and I can't do it. Blow it to the right, goes down the cart path. I tried to get aggressive with my second shot with a 3-wood and I pulled it into the hill. I hit this chip shot that I knew I was okay. I had about a 30-yard chip shot over a mogul. I'm 30 yards from the pin and I can't see it. I hit short of the green, bounced, rolled all the way to the back, came all the time way down, about four foot, made birdie. Then the two holes that Phil is talking about, I pushed my tee shot about five yards farther right than I wanted to on 14 with a driver, trying to be aggressive, and I thought I killed Rosburg. I saw everybody jump, heard this clank and I didn't know what I had hit. I evidently nailed the gallery pole. It bounced back into the middle of fairway - which was good- except I had to hit a 4-wood at that thing. And, I left it to the right, which was sensible but then I had a chip, again, I don't know the last time I hit a chip that I leave 45 feet off line to one side of the hole. I'm trying to funnel it down and it funnels down the wrong side and I 2-putted, made bogey. Then bogeyed the par 3. Just hit it atrocious. I was trying to cut a 4-iron. I hit just a beautiful slice about 40 yards right of the green, over in the hay. And, made a 2-putt -- got it up about 15 foot, made bogey. Had my chances coming in. Had about a 20-footer at 17 -- 16. Just over the edge. Then 17 I hit -- left a wedge short from 80 yards, left it maybe 25 feet short. Then got it up-and-down from the right of the 18th green. So I had a chance for a while. My hat's off to Larry. I mean, it's probably one of the finest final rounds I guess could you image. I didn't get a chance to see any of it, obviously. He never made any mistakes. You know, I'd get close to him, you'd figure, okay, now, well, I'm tied, okay, you keep waiting for something, maybe something might not go right for him. But, he obviously hit every tee, fairway and green. So, more power to him.

Q. What does it say about club pros on this circuit? They've had success before, but here is another example with Gilbert?

DAVE STOCKTON: Well, you know, hats off to him. I mean, that's -- I can't tell you how disappointed I was to see the Detroit paper this morning. I mean, that was -- I'm sure Jack needs more tributes and stuff and he designed a marvelous golf course. But, you know, Jack had his picture and the big story. And, you had a story about Tony Jacklin. You know, and here is Bob Dickson playing really good and Larry Gilbert, it is like they weren't even there. I'll be interested to see what the paper writes tomorrow because he deserves all the credit. I mean, and that's -- you know, you don't care if they're a foreigner, you don't care if they're a club pro. There are a lot of guys out here that can really play. Albus, I can remember he won the year I came out on the SENIOR TOUR. I remember how excited he was and how much it did for him to win here. And, you know, it's -- the same is true for Gilbert. And I think this is another -- it's like Laoretti winning the Open. The club pros are going to sneak up occasionally and do really well. For Larry to do this good in a major championship, you know, my hat's off to Ford, because, you know, this is the best condition I've ever seen this golf course. It's the hardest I've seen it play and yet the greens were very fair, they would hold. And, it's the best field we have assembled. And, Gilbert wins. And, he wins convincingly. So, you know, my hat's off to him. I hope he gets his due.

Q. Is the gap narrower between the former club pros and the guys who played on The TOUR --

DAVE STOCKTON: I think it's narrowed to a certain extent. The people know what the SENIOR TOUR is. They know what it's worth to put the effort into their game - whether it be a foreign player or a club pro, or somebody just hanging on Tour waiting to turn 50 to get to the good life. But it's, you know, a lot of cases club pros have a chance to work on their game, maybe not in tournament golf like a lot of the Touring pros do, but they can flat play. Gilbert showed that today.

Q. At what point, Dave, did you guys kind of concede or did you kind of concede that he -- that you couldn't win the tournament?

DAVE STOCKTON: 18th tee. I mean, I've stood there before and stood on that tee when I was two shots down and won the tournament. I figured three might be a little bit too much -- too much to handle. I hadn't heard any moans and groans, so I figured I wasn't dead when I didn't birdie 17. Obviously after I bogeyed 14 and 15, I wanted -- you know, I figured I had to birdie the last three holes, you know, realistically. I had missed my one at 16. And, I heard Rosburg, as he was commentating about Bob Dickson getting ready to put is shorter putt at 16, that this realistically had to go in, and he was right. You know, but he just played really steady. But I didn't feel like I was out of it 'til I really missed the putt at the par 5, 17. If I would have made that, I would have gone to 12 and Gilbert could have bogeyed it and I could have birdied it.

Q. From the way you talked Thursday morning, your mental state, are you pretty proud that you're able to accomplish this?

DAVE STOCKTON: I'm really excited. I'm very excited. I was not looking forward to coming in here and playing and mentally playing the way I've been the last few weeks. Kind of beat up from the Opens I've played in. I'm very pleased. I mean, I am very, very tickled. I tried my best tonight. I think I learned -- I took a lot out of this week. You know, physically I hit a lot better shots, and still fighting my putting somewhat. But my idea of bad putting is better than most people's, I guess. Mentally I feel a lot better about myself. I told Cathy no matter what happened today, I'm really looking forward to the summer, which I wouldn't have been telling you three weeks ago.


DAVE STOCKTON: Thanks, guys.

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