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July 12, 1997

Dave Stockton


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Run through your day.

DAVE STOCKTON: A lot of fun today. What I worked on in my long game yesterday, when I left you, I think I missed two fairways, only hit about half the greens. But today was much steadier for most of the round. Just real quick. I made four birdies, one bogey. The story was on the front side. I kept hitting it stiff and couldn't make a putt. Hit the first green, almost 3-putted from about 15 foot. Must have put my first putt about seven feet by, and made it. 2, I missed a birdie putt from about six feet. The 3rd hole, from maybe six feet. 4th hole, I 2-putted. 5th hole, I hit it in about four and a half, five foot, missed that one. 6, I missed from about 12 feet. Finally made one at 7 from off the fringe from about 14 feet. 2-putted 8. And then 9, I had about a 15-footer and 2-putted that. Turned 1 under par. Birdied 10. I hit a driver and a wedge about eight feet behind the hole, made that for birdie. 18-foot birdie putt at 11 that I missed. My only bogey today was 12. I put it down in my gulch to the left, we all did. I got it too far, and I couldn't putt it. I was up in the fringe, so I had to flop it on the green, left it short. Missed about a 25-footer. That was my only bogey. Came back and birdied 13. Good tee shot again. Left it right of the green. I would have loved to have Jack there to tell me what kind of shot I was supposed to hit from where I was, because obviously -- in fact, I asked my caddie. I said, "Not only can you tell me what kind of shot I should hit here, but you can tell me what club I should hit," because I had no clue whether to flop it into the series of ridges I had. I put it up on the green maybe 25 feet behind the hole, made the best putt of the day for birdie. Parred 14, hit a tremendous tee shot. Took a chance and hit a driver about three yards short of the hazard. Chickened out. Wasn't about ready to go over the hump where I 4-putted in the ProAm. Left it to the right of the green. Actually made about an eight-feet par-putt. Chipped long, about eight foot, made it for par. Missed the green on the par 3 just to the right, 2-putted from 40 feet. Parred 16 after a terrible tee shot. Snap-hooked it in the left rough. Put it in the front bunker and blasted it about a foot and made par. 17, I birdied, good drive down the middle, 4-wood. Sandwedged to about, I'm going to say, eight feet, seven feet, I guess, which was right after Dickson had holed whatever he hit for an eagle. Then 18 I hit a short drive down the right in the fairway. Just kind of knocked a 3-iron under the tree. Maybe missed the green by eight feet to the right and 2-putted. Anxious to go back out and hit a few shots, but I was very pleased. Talking to Cathy there on the front, just kind of frustrated that I wasn't getting these opportunities. I was having the opportunities, but couldn't make the putts go in the hole. Wasn't that I was really putting bad, I just couldn't get them to go in. She mentioned it didn't look anybody was doing anything either. Really that's what's happened. The greens appeared to me to be faster today than they had the other two days. Witness the 1st hole when I thought I hit a good putt and had a 7-footer for a second putt.

Q. You're in position once again to win the tournament here. You go with the same approach tomorrow that you did today?

DAVE STOCKTON: Well, I'm just really pleased. I'm feeling better every day. My cold is almost gone, my back is feeling better. I love the heat. It's supposed to be warm tomorrow. I have a good game plan for this golf course. The stuff Ronnie has had me working on, I think I've accomplished a lot of it. You know, I'm going to go back out and work a little bit on the putts tonight. I'm very enthusiastic. I like my position, obviously.

Q. When you won the Senior Open last year, you were using a putter that Donna Caponi gave you?


Q. Still using that same putter?

DAVE STOCKTON: No. This is a brand-new putter this week.

Q. What kind is it?

DAVE STOCKTON: Odyssey. Same exact type, same bland grip. I guess that's not a good word to use out here (laughter). Multi-colored grip, I guess. No, Donna's is with me, but I've been fighting with it a little bit. It's in the closet.

Q. With so many players up at the top, do you feel like you have to go make birdies tomorrow?

DAVE STOCKTON: No. I just -- obviously I've made as many birdies on this golf course as probably anybody. I've just got keep playing my games the way I'm doing. I'm going to have to make six or seven birdies tomorrow to win it. With that many people, we should have good scoring conditions tomorrow. Historically, this tournament hasn't been won by somebody shooting a low last round. Usually, of course, the two times I got in there, of course, JC was leading the first time, second time I had a big lead. And you treat the golf course differently. But I don't suspect you're going to have to shoot as low as people think for. This golf course has got teeth.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Anything else?

Q. A lot of changes in it?

DAVE STOCKTON: Yeah. I am very pleased with what they've done. I haven't been affected by them a whole lot. The rough is twice as high as it's ever been, which it should be for a major championship. And I think the cosmetic changes, the bunker at 2 is certainly in play if you hit a bad tee shot. Both guys I played with today hit it right in the lake to the left. Before you had the automatic bailout to the right, and you don't have that anymore. I think that's affected play. I think the tee shot on 9 is difficult now, although I've hit three good ones, bunker sitting there on the left-hand side that kind of guards it. I think the trees on 18, although I hope they put some more kind of from the tee all the way down there so it looks like a stand of trees, you know, along. But I definitely like where they put all -- you can't blow it to the right. When I won in '92, JC just launched it into those hospitality tents, would have been perfect. Could have dropped out and been that big gap up there. No, I think the changes are good. That's probably why somebody hasn't jumped out to a big lead here. Nicklaus got to 11 and something happened to him. I just think this is, by far, the best this golf course has ever played. The greens, like I say, were faster today, I thought. But they still hold the shots. So it's nice. I mean, your ball, usually if you hit a good shot, the ball is going to stop in five or six feet. You can't ask for anything more than that, yet the greens putted fast.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: All right. Sir. Thanks, David.


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