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July 12, 1997

Karrie Webb


MIKE UNGER: We have with us Karrie Webb, who just fired a 65. And that's the low round for the championship, thus far. If you don't mind, Karrie, just go over your card and tell us about your birdies, bogeys, and the eagle on No. 4.

KARRIE WEBB: On the second, I made bogey. I missed green short right and didn't get up-and-down. I hit a 6-iron in there and hit a bad chip and missed about a 20-foot putt. 3, I hit a wedge to about 12 feet. 4, I hit 3-wood just short of the green, and chipped in. It was probably 2 yards short of the green. 5, I hit 5-iron to about 18 feet. 6, I hit 5-iron to the middle of the green, right on the top of the ridge there and 3-putted.

MIKE UNGER: How far.

KARRIE WEBB: 30 feet.

MIKE UNGER: You missed about a 5-footer or so coming back to the hole.

KARRIE WEBB: It was about eight feet. Then, 11, I hit a sand iron there to about five feet. 12, I hit wedge to 20 feet. 13, I hit wedge to about 18 feet. 17, I hit 8-iron to about 7 feet.

MIKE UNGER: Very good. Before we open up for questions, just a comment here. Three of the birdie putts you rolled in were as the bullfrog was chirping in the background. Did you hear that? And what were your thoughts about that?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, it was pretty ironic, actually, because in the practice round the first day we were on the 12th hole and a bullfrog just let rip with a big croak. I didn't know what it was, because we don't have bullfrogs in Australia. I was looking in the trees, looking up and actually, honestly, I thought it was cow. That was the joke for the day. And everyone was giving me a bit of stick for that. And today on 5, I had a couple of bullfrogs croaking while I was playing, and I made it. So every time I heard them I just seemed to make a putt. On 12, I made one for birdie. On 14, I made about an 8 foot par-putt. So I guess they're good luck today for me.

Q. How long was your chip in on 4?

KARRIE WEBB: It was probably -- I don't know how far the pin is on there, I think the pin is on about 8 yards, so I was probably about 30 feet, so about two yards off.

Q. Did you have any other good saves you haven't mentioned?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I had -- I had a good sand save on 10. That was -- I was in the left trap there. And I hit it to about two feet. And then I had a good save on 14. I was in the right trap and holed about an 8 foot putt. On 16, I was in the left trap and hit it to about three feet and holed that. And then 18, obviously, I was down in the swale there, and left my first shot short and came back to me and got up-and-down and holed about a 6 foot putt there.

Q. When the first one came back, how far back was it -- how far was the second chip to where the second was?

KARRIE WEBB: About two yards in front.

Q. Obviously with the first one there was a danger of doing that. Can you tell us what happened?

KARRIE WEBB: Obviously I didn't want to do what I did, but the first one that I played there was more of just -- I had to allow for more break. And the ball was a little bit in the grass, too, and it sort of pulled it up and obviously it didn't get there. And the second shot was more straight up the hill, and less break.

MIKE UNGER: Did you come back down to a drain? Is that why you dropped?

KARRIE WEBB: I was in one of the drains down there.

Q. What was going through your mind after the first chip? You must have been worried about letting it go.

KARRIE WEBB: Well, yeah. Obviously I didn't want to finish with a bogey, but I was trying -- obviously the second time I had that chip I wasn't going to leave it short. My main concern was not to let it come back to my feet again. And I played a great shot. Then when I was faced with only a 6 footer, that's when I thought, okay, let's not make bogey and finish off -- finish off the round on a good note, not a bad note.

Q. On 18, again, Karrie, two questions: What are you chipping up with? Were you just blading a sand wedge on that second shot?

KARRIE WEBB: No. I had a 5-iron.

Q. On both shots?


Q. And also coming up, did you use a driver off the fairway?

KARRIE WEBB: 3-wood.

Q. You must feel that you've shot yourself into contention here?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, obviously. Now 3-under. I don't know how the ladies are going to play this afternoon. The wind was picking up a lot on the last four holes. If it continues to pick up it's going to be a lot harder than probably what it was for us earlier this morning. And with any luck, should only be three or four shots behind.

Q. Karrie, how distracting was it yesterday and the day before with the large galleries?

KARRIE WEBB: It wasn't really that distracting. I just really didn't get into a groove at all. And I think I was a little shocked. I thought I would be chasing Annika the whole tournament. Obviously she's very disappointed. And yesterday it was disappointing even for me to see her miss the cut. And our whole group really never got anything going. Today I played with Donna Andrews, and she also shot 5-under. So it's good when you're playing alongside someone that's going shot for shot with you, and you sort of carry each other along the way.

Q. What clicked in your game today that didn't the first two days, Karrie?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I bogeyed the second. I was sort of, here we go, not getting off to a good start and struggled the first few holes. And then I went birdie, eagle, birdie. And then it was like, okay, I'm back in the tournament now. And I started hitting some really good shots and trusting my swing. Then I made some putts, as well, which I started just seeing the lines and hitting them exactly where I was reading them.

Q. What's this course like and how do you think it will play today and tomorrow?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, obviously that depends on the weather. I think this morning it didn't -- I can't say it played easy by any factor. I played good golf, but I think it is a little easier when you're hitting good iron shots, because if you can get back into the right part of the green, your putt isn't going to be nearly as hard as what it is if you're on a bad side of the hole. And I did that pretty much all day. And when I wasn't on the right side of the hole I was on the -- I missed it on the best possible side. I didn't really miss it where I was absolutely dead.

Q. Karrie, can you speak of the difficulty of the pin placements today?

KARRIE WEBB: There are some very tough pins out there today. And there's some that don't seem as tough as what they are. I think 12 is the biggest sucker pin, because it looks so easy, and it's only 117 yards to the pin. But for me, that's a pretty decent wedge, and you just miss it a little bit and it spins back, probably spins back into the water. So the sort of pins like that are quite tough, as well. And I think there's still a few tough ones left for tomorrow, though.

Q. You said before the tournament you needed to stay patient this week. But today you must have felt a slight sense of urgency to really have a good round to get into contention?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. Well, like I said yesterday, if I shot six or seven under today that obviously that would put me back into contention. I didn't know if that was going to be possible or not. But I just tried to stay positive and hope that I got off to a good start, because I haven't played the front 9 very well both days. I played the back 9 quite well. I just had to play the front 9 well and turn 2-under, and shot 4-under on the back.

Q. Can you compare this round with others you've played this year?

KARRIE WEBB: I had a good round last week in Toledo. I shot 6-under in the opening round, and obviously the course isn't near as hard as this course. But I think I still came off both rounds with the same positive feeling. I'm very happy with my game.

Q. Can you talk about what you were thinking on the 4th, the chip in? Did you think you could make it, and what was going through your mind?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, actually when we were walking out my caddy, Evan said to me -- I finished short. He said, "I haven't seen a chip in for a while." So when I was over it, sometimes you get a feeling. As soon as it came off the club face it was running straight towards the hole and it went in. I was obviously just trying to get -- hole it, or get close enough so I didn't have to worry about lining up a putt.

Q. Evan said that before you chipped in?


Q. What score is it going to take to win here?

KARRIE WEBB: Obviously again that's going to depend on the weather. But I think -- I don't know if it's being arrogant to say that six or seven under would win. I don't know. I'm not out in the last group today, and I've never been in the last group of the U.S. Open so I don't really know what sort of pressure those players are feeling. But I would say probably 7 under.

Q. Karrie, growing up in Australia, what's the first Women's Open that you paid real close attention to?

KARRIE WEBB: Probably the -- this is probably not a good thing to say, but the one in 1995. We never got any coverage in Australia of the women's Opens. And before I really started paying attention, obviously Jan Stephenson won the U.S. Open, but that was way before I even started playing golf. So -- or even taking it seriously. She probably doesn't like me saying that. Don't print that tomorrow, because I'll hear from her. (Laughter). And so probably in 1995 because I played with Annika in -- Annika had won her first tournament ever as a professional in Australia in '94, so I just watched her progress over that year. And that was probably -- plus I was in Europe, and there was a little bit more coverage.

Q. What are your feelings at the moment to be in contention in the biggest championship in women's golf? Is it relief or excitement or what?

KARRIE WEBB: I don't think it's relief, I think it's excitement. It's just it's a lot of fun to get myself into that position and to play in the biggest tournament for us in front of thousands of people that will be out here watching and on a great golf course.

Q. Are you surprised in just two quick years to be in this position here?

KARRIE WEBB: Obviously I'm very surprised with the progress that my career has taken in the last two and a half years, actually, counting the year I had in Europe. And obviously I hoped one day, when I was a little kid I dreamed of being in the position that I'm in, and it's just probably happened a little quicker than what I ever expected.

Q. Is this being televised at home?

KARRIE WEBB: Actually it's not. And I know my mom is over here and my dad is joining us next week, and dad was very disappointed that it wasn't being televised, not only for his benefit, but I'm sure there's a lot of people in Australia that would like to be watched it.

Q. It's not even on cable?

KARRIE WEBB: No, we have the cable, and dad called into the cable channels and asked why it wasn't being put on, he told them who he was and everything, and he didn't get any response.

Q. Karrie, did you go through the green in two on 18, the last two days also?

KARRIE WEBB: I didn't hear you.

Q. On 18, were you going for the green on your second shot the last two days also?


Q. You were in position to do that all three days now?


Q. Did you make it the last two days?

KARRIE WEBB: No, I didn't hit good shots in. I was on the right side in the rough. I really think that's just as bad as being in that gully. You can't hit it out of the pin into the rough, because if it rolls too far it goes back into the gully. Yesterday I had to hit it long and right to make sure that I sat on the green.

MIKE UNGER: There was a ruling in the group in front of you on 18 and you waited a long time on the fairway. Did that cause you any problems, hitting that second shot?

KARRIE WEBB: Not really. Maybe a little bit, because you've got to sit there and think about it a little bit more, and then you think what is the best place to miss it and stuff like that. And the pace of play today was very fast, too. And that's probably the only thing that you're used to getting up and hitting. But when I was standing back on the fairway I knew that if I wasn't going to hit it on, I would rather be down in that dip, because I'd been to the right and I knew that wasn't good, either.

Q. Given your length, would it maybe be easier to lay up and come in with a full wedge for your third shot?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, yeah, back at the tee the wind was cross heading, and I didn't think I had a chance to get in the position where I had a chance. But I only had 220 to the front, and I think that 220, I can easily get 3-wood, 220. And it's pretty hard just to take a layup, and especially if I pulled it off and hit it on the green and made eagle, then you would be -- then you wouldn't be thinking of laying up.

Q. I just wanted to ask you, last year everything went your way, you won a million dollars. Did you get your line of clothes after that?

KARRIE WEBB: No, that started in '95.

Q. Were you disappointed, though, with your performance at the Open last year, was that on your mind coming in here?

KARRIE WEBB: I wasn't too disappointed. 19th in my first Open. I hit the ball very well last year at the open and didn't make any putts. And I think I learned a big lesson last year that I wasn't very patient. And I think I've taken that with me to year, because I probably didn't play anywhere near as good of golf in the first two rounds as I did the first two rounds last year. But I wasn't patient the first two rounds last year, and was 7 over or 8 over, and just made the cut. I just made the cut yesterday by two shots. I wasn't in any trouble or anything like that.

MIKE UNGER: Karrie, thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow.

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