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July 24, 1998

Bruce Summerhays


LES UNGER: 71 is turning out to be a pretty good score. At the beginning looked like you were going to do a bit better.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Hopefully I didn't think about that out there. I really didn't that I might be a little lower than 71 coming in. I tried to go shot-to-shot. But, once again, 71, you always look back and say: Wow, it could have been a lot better. But would you take it at the first of the day? You would say: Yes. So, I am not going to brood over those bogeys.

LES UNGER: Just give us an overview of how the day went, please. We have heard a little bit about the last 3, but the first 15.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, first 15, were really good. I hit a ball out of the fairway on 9 to make a bogey. That was the only one I really hit out of the fairway on -- other than No. 1, but the lie was so good I almost knocked it on the green. But, No. 2, I just hit the wrong club. I hit 4-iron instead of 5-iron. It went over the green; didn't get that up-and-down. But I kept making birdies, made a lot of birdies. Made five birdies through 15 holes. Actually had good birdie chances on 12, 13, 14, and 15 -- not 15, but 14. Had three real good birdie chances in a row there. So, it would have been nice to make them. But we are still happy with even par.

LES UNGER: Conditions any different today?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, they were for me. We didn't have quite as much wind out there. Like I mentioned yesterday, I was going to be very happy with 8:30 tee time and it was. It was delightful out there. It was very little wind and it was kind of cool except for maybe the last three, four holes. It got a little bit warmer, but never gets too warm here. It is just beautiful. So, it was just a real pleasant day to play golf.

LES UNGER: Questions.

Q. Just about keeping your confidence up going into tomorrow, that is not a great way to finish the round?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: No, it really isn't. But once again, I am not going to dwell on that particular thing. I hit a bad drive on the last hole, hit shots that I wanted to on 16, 17. I just -- the wind got me on 16 a little bit. Came up right in the middle of -- when I hit it and it through down in the bunker on the right. And, then I just made -- I just didn't hit the right shot into 17, 3-putted. So, you know, I am not going to worry about my ball hitting at all. It is pretty good. That last drive was a little off. I am not nervous about that, but it just came off really funny. But other than that, you know, I am hitting it good so I am just going to continue to hit fairways and try and hit greens.

Q. Could you go over the birdies that you made?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Made birdie on No. 3. That was right after the bogey on No. 2 and like John Jacobs says, he says some birdies are better than others and they are always great right after a bogey. And, he is right. I think that is really good. Then on 6, the par 3, he hit a nice shot in there and made birdie there. I had been having trouble with the par 3s and I did when I came in two on 16, but made it 2 --

Q. How far?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Made 2 on 6. Probably about twelve feet. Then on 8, I made a nice birdie on 8. That is probably about eight or ten feet in there. Then hit it in the rough on 9. And just got it -- actually I was trying to lay-it-up out to the right and it squirted off to the left -- I mean, up by the bunker out there. It squirted off in the -- right there in the first bunker -- before there is a bunker, then a bunker out by the green. I had to hit it out of there. Hit a nice shot to make bogey. Got it up there and just above the hole. And really you don't want to be above the hole on 9; especially today, it is brutal. But I made a bogey there. But then I turned right around and pitched one to about a foot on 10, and that is a tricky little pin. That is -- boy, that is a tricky pin today. But like I think we had 55 to the front and I told William: Well, if I land this 56, we can get it close. And, I did it, landed 56 and went up a foot from the hole to the right. Then I birdied 11. I hit it about 12 -- 15 feet underneath the hole on 11 with my third shot and birdied 11. So we just got going really nicely. And then I had nice birdie putts on 12, 13 and 14, just really -- within -- they were all within 15 feet or less. All of them. And it was nice so we had a good chance there to come in. And then of course the three bogeys in a row. But I lipped it out. I lipped it out on 16 and that would have been nice to have that go down. Once again that would have picked you up a little bit. Just one of those things we came back to even par. That is the way you have to say it, but it is nice to be at even. Somebody will probably go a little bit lower today. I think if you are in the fairway, I think you can score today if you hit it in the fairway.

Q. A couple of guys were talking earlier about the greens seemed to be just holding a little better than yesterday, maybe slightly slower. Did you find that the case?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: It won't be this afternoon, you know. Sure, it held better for us today because we played in the morning. But we played in the afternoon yesterday, but they are going to get hard. They are going to be real firm this afternoon. Looks like the sun is coming out and if the wind picks up at all, it will dry them right out and they will get real fast. I don't know that there -- they are certainly more receptive for us just because we teed up earlier and we had that mist for a while, you know, that fog. Which was good.

Q. You deal with it in northern California, too. Marine layer slows things up until it kind of burns away. Is that the case here?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: I don't know. Second green was the hardest green out there today. I mean, it was so hard, when I went up there and started walking on that second green I said: Oh, my word, said I could have hit two less clubs, it could have landed right on the front to get it to the back. So I don't -- of course we are hitting a little longer iron into that hole too. But still it was very, very firm and that was our second hole of the day and I thought: Oh, my goodness, they haven't put any water on them at all. They probably maybe just sprinkled them a little bit but that marine layer did help, no doubt about it. But, I don't think it is going to help the guys this afternoon at all.

Q. For those of us who are less familiar with your background, could you talk about how it was that you didn't play the regular Tour? Sounds like it was kind of a lifestyle decision, family decision?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: It really was. Basically out of college I got a wonderful job as an assistant down at the Olympic Club and was there for seven years. I played a lot of golf there, but in 1968, two years after I had been at the Olympic Club, I decided to try to get on the Tour and it was -- I tried to qualify; missed it by four strokes and just talked to my wife and said: Hey, let's just forget this. You know, let's just work hard at being a club professional. I said: I can play a lot of golf in the section events, especially in northern California and do well enough. I would play in the Crosby and play in all the little tournaments that they have up there and all the big tournaments that they have up there and get your fill of golf. That is what happened. And we did that. We kept having children and ended up with eight and, you know, my wife is wonderful. She raised them all very nicely, but it was better to have me home, I think, at that particular time. For me it was good, you know, for someone -- I mean, Julius played out there all those years with how many kids? He had at least eight, they are wonderful children; she did very well with them. But for me it was the right decision, but then who knew the SENIOR TOUR was coming along and it did. And that -- once again, that was a family decision, though, we sat down as a family. I asked them, I said: This is -- after consulting with my wife, we asked the children, said: This is what we want to do and this is how we will do it if it is successful and if I am out there and they said: Go for it. And, I did. And, it has been a family activity for us. They are always -- somebody is always with me and my wife is there 99.9%. I think she has missed one event.

Q. I understand only one of the children hasn't caddied for you?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Yeah, my daughter, Shelly. She is here with her family. She is in medical school right now and in her fourth year of medical school. She has never caddied for me. But she is my biggest fan and, you know, she -- when I was a club professional, she was the one that handled all the books and she was right there. She knows more about golf than any of the kids. I mean, she knows exactly what is going on from A to Z, so, it is -- I may have her caddie one of these days just to make it up.

Q. Any regrets as you succeed on this Tour thinking back that maybe you could have been something on the regular Tour, had you tried it?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: No, not one. I really don't have any regrets at all. You know, I am grateful to those that have done that where I didn't do that. Arnold Palmers and Lee Trevinos and the Jack Nicklauss who make this SENIOR TOUR available to a person like me. To come out and be successful at it, I am grateful they decided to do that. It is terrific. They paid a big price for that, I think, you know, it takes a lot of time and effort to be good at anything, and they put the time and effort into it. And I am so happy, when I play with Chi Chi like I had the last two days people just love him and thank goodness, they want to come see Chi Chi; not Bruce Summerhays. I am up at the top of the leaderboard, but still they want to see Chi Chi, and I know that and I understand that. So, I give all the credit to those people that have done this so that I could be here.

Q. When you were at Stanford, were you involved with the recruiting of Tiger or any of that?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: No, I never got that far. I was there in 78, 79 and part of 80, so I didn't.

Q. Oh, I thought I was much later.


Q. Having Chi Chi there, knowing the people are rooting for him, does take some of the pressure off you? Do you function a little better without so much of the attention?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, no, I love the attention. That is fine. I want -- you know, I want the pressure. I want that attention. That is not something I try to avoid or, you know, I want to have that because you have got to play good under that type of situation. You have got to have people rooting for you and yelling for you. There is a few out there that are saying: Go Bruce. But they are also saying: Go Chi Chi. But, no, I don't know that it takes any pressure off because you have to really focus harder when you play with somebody like that because there is a lot more commotion, things are happening, so, you have to focus down and maybe that is better because it does -- it centers you more if you -- if you let it get away from you, you can let all that affect you because there is a lot of stuff going on out there.

Q. When you were coaching college golf, did that give you more time to work on your own game? We have always watched colleges coach, writers always; looked like a pretty good gig to play a lot of golf?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: It was wonderful from the standpoint of coaching. But if you do a job right, you don't have a lot of time right. If you do any job right, you don't have a lot of time. I had enough time to play, but I am out there coaching the kids and being with them, so, I would work on my short game a little bit while they were out playing or something, but I wanted to be there and watch them. One thing we couldn't do when I was a coach, that they can do now, is they allow the coaches to actually go out and coach. They can help the kids on the golf course with yardages or whatever, but you have to be a little careful with that because you can get in the way as a coach too. But I couldn't do that so I had to stay completely out of the situation when they were on the golf course and I thought that was unfortunate. I am glad they have gone the other way because a coach should be able to coach.

LES UNGER: What you are meaning is during the course of an event you can do that?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: During a course of an event you couldn't. Now you can.

Q. You look kind of fit and you have been an iron man. How important are those two elements to somebody who comes on Tour without a lot of exemptions like yourself?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: You better be fit because this is a grind. People think that, you know, they see the Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday or Friday, Saturday, Sunday like most of ours are, they say: Man, oh, man, how good would that be. But they don't see the rest of the week, the Monday through Thursday or whatever. And, we are playing at a minimum six rounds a golf a week because we have to play in one Pro-Am and if you get a practice round in, or you -- what I call your work-round in to get everything worked out for the week, then you are doing it six days a week. So, you know, that is a lot of time. If you do it right, you have got to be fit. It really helps you. So if people coming out here feel you are, you get in great shape at least you will play your best, whatever that is.

Q. How much does this course take out of you? This looks like with the kikuyu grass and the rough and the waiting around, it might be physically taxing?

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Well, I know I am looking for the real low grass to walk on, I know that. I don't want to be out there in that stuff because that is like trudging in the sand on the beach down there, so it would take a tremendous amount out of you. But it is just -- it is the Open. You know mentally it strains you, the whole thing, and physically this course is going to do it because that last pull up 17, 18 then walking up the hill, you know is a good pull.

LES UNGER: Thanks four your time.

BRUCE SUMMERHAYS: Okay, thank you. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts....

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