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June 29, 1995

Dave Stockton


LES UNGER: One bogey and birdies; tell us how those were accomplished.

DAVE STOCKTON: I bogeyed number 2 turned out to be my only bogey of the day; 4-wood off the tee; thought I hit a really good shot. It landed a little bit hard. It surprised me, bounced directly past the pin up into the light rough and up against in about one inch into the real thick rough, and I made a really good shot to get it to about five or six feet and then I missed the putt. Birdied number 7. I hit a 7-iron off the tee. About 15 foot to the left of the hole; made that for birdie and hit a 3-wood off of number 8 and hit a 9-iron to about 3 and a half feet; made that for birdie. I will tell you about 2 other holes, I parred 9 and 10 but then on 11, 12 really made my round, 11 I was the only guy in the group that hit the fairway, both Jack and Swampy hit it to the left and I am standing there with this 4-iron -- 4-wood trying to layup. I laid it up straight right into the creek, and dropped out on the right hand side; knocked it on about 12 feet; made it for par. Got up on 12 and hooked it in the left trees, hit the trees coming out; bounced down into the thick rough and hit a 7-iron to about 9 or 10 feet and made that for a par. So you can see why I described those two holes. And then coming in I birdied 14, 16 hit a driver very good off of 14 and pushed a 4-iron to the right and left myself some 35 feet; thing bounced right into the hole; bounced about three times; went right into the hole for birdie. 16, I hit driver in the fairway short, hit a good 3-wood; hit a pitching wedge about 15 feet to the right of the pin and had to go up over a little bitty rise and I knocked it right in. Got it up-and-down out of the bunker at 17 and hit a driver, 2-iron about 2 feet short of the green on 18 and 2-putted for par.

LES UNGER: Overall, I assume you are pretty pleased.

DAVE STOCKTON: Yeah, I putted well, which I think I got to congratulate the USGA. We had 2 guys with us, and I'd always tap down after I finished a hole and there were some that needed tapping down. First two greens, there were a bunch of them, I called it to their attention. They radioed ahead. I guess the guys ahead of us, they started tapping it down because they got immediately better after the second hole. I wish more guys would take the time to do it. It makes it fairer for everybody. I think that is one reason why you are seeing better scores in the afternoon than in the morning. Historically, you think the greens are going to, you know, be better in the morning, but these are soft enough. I think they are spiked up right from the get go, so it was a struggle for us, but I think I played in the best group of the day. We were a total of 7 under for our group. Obviously, I saw some good golf. Graham Marsh who was just in talking to you is hitting the ball extremely well, and he had a very easy 3-under, I don't know how he described it but he played really well.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. Dave, you came in here the other day telling us how bad the greens were going to be. How do you combat that to get in between your ears as far as to putt better, I guess?

DAVE STOCKTON: I just try to stay focused. I mean, literally, I was very distraught after my practice rounds. I didn't think I hit the ball particularly well and you know, I, like anybody else, I had a session yesterday with Debra Graham (ph) who is a psychologist - if you follow the Tour you have heard of her - we sat down some 20, 30 minutes by the time I was getting ready to go out and practice until dark, but by the time we finished talking, I went out and practiced for maybe, I am going to say, 15 minutes maximum and walked off with what I thought was a good mental game plan to play today. Obviously, that entailed being ready for some bad bounces on the greens and so on so forth. But I think I really stayed focused today obviously. I mean, I really did. I was really proud at 10 when I hit -- 11, hit that stupid shot in the water. It didn't even phase me. I just-- lately, that is -- I spent all last week in Atlanta being totally frustrated from the first hole the first day which, boy, you go down to this golf course in this tournament, you are gone down the road tomorrow night. To answer your question, I mean, I just-- I was mentally prepared if it did bounce and I did miss it, it wasn't going to affect me. And I putted very well.

Q. How long have you been working with Debra?

DAVE STOCKTON: She was with me in the Ryder Cup, Kiel. She worked with over half the players there.

Q. You feel like you have a special relationship with this golf course since your game will always be associated with this golf course?

DAVE STOCKTON: Sure. I mean, they have changed it radically. As I came down the hill on 18 they have new bleechers there to the left, obviously, before you get to the green, I was looking across the lake where I turned immediately after holding the winning putt to the people that were across the water there on that little point of land with a little scoreboard and there were like 6 people there today. I was thinking, "boy, I bet on Sunday there will be heck a lot more people sitting there." I have very good memories. I love the changes in the golf course. I think the holes, they have opened up that you can see. I think 6 is one of the greatest changes I have ever seen. From a blind par 4 to a par 5 that you can stand on and see the green when you tee off. In fact, Jack knocked it on today. I don't think anybody in their right mind is going to knock on that. He hit 2 impressive shots right in the middle of the green and I know he is in the right mind.

Q. Ringer shot 68 pretty early today. Are you surprised as good as the scores have been this afternoon that nobody has managed to catch him?

DAVE STOCKTON: I am surprised there -- I will go the other way. I am surprised there is more people that are that close to him. Jack, of course, jumped on me on the putting green this morning, "what did you do telling them I was going to tell the winning score," right, like you guys pestered him into doing -- he didn't like that. I said, "Jack, you always pick the winning score every single time." Then I related the year I played Baltusrol. I had shot 71. I was so proud of that. I felt, man, I am right there and then Nicklaus and, Weiskopf shoot 63; now I am sitting in the hotel; I am in total shock because I have three hours before I am in ecstacy with a 71; now I am in the tank. I am 8 shots behind two guys that I am not going to make them up on. This morning, when I saw this guy shot 4 under, I am going, this was great, because that gave me the incentive that it is possible, right, I went out there; I would have taken anything par or better. I was watching the board. I could see certain guys are under. I think still think par is going to be a very good score. But yeah, I mean, it helped my concentration when I saw that happen, but Jack wasn't all happy, you all put him on the spot. He says, "I do not ever predict." I said, "you do too." This is all before we went off.

Q. Do you know anything about Larry Ringer?

DAVE STOCKTON: No. Just he is fours shots better than he was yesterday - or very opportune time. I gather he is from this area which is phenomenal. That is what the U.S. Open is about. You get a lot of guys and those of you that know me well enough I always root for the underdog. I think that is fantastic.

LES UNGER: He tells us he played this course about 60 times.


LES UNGER: He works about 20 miles away from here, former Navy --

DAVE STOCKTON: Maybe he ought to give us strokes then. He obviously knows it pretty good if he'd shot 4 under.

LES UNGER: Dave, thank you very much at this late hour. Keep it going.

End of FastScripts....

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