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July 21, 2002

Dan Quinn

Rick Rhoden

Billy Joe Tolliver


Q. When a guy birdies four out of the first four five, doesn't that make it tough?

RICK RHODEN: I thought he was going to make four in a row. First hole, I thought he made one. He started off hitting the ball great; I started off hitting kind of so-so, but, you know, golf is 18 holes. I expected him to get four or five birdies today, and when you look at it like that, you've got to say, well, maybe he's going to get them all right now; you don't know how golf is. And I expected myself to get four or five. Golf is four and a half hours, not three or four holes.

He was playing awful good, and I just didn't make anything happen all day. I hit the ball a lot better today than I did yesterday. I couldn't make anything go in. I think I 3-putted four times, had four bogeys and I was never -- I was only in trouble one time and that was on the second hole; I had a real hard 2-putt. But after that, I gave away three shots today.

Q. Do you think the hole placements were tougher?

RICK RHODEN: I think the hardest things were the greens. Some were real hard and some were soft. We hit shots into the third green, just chip shots, I've been coming here 12 years and you could hardly hit a ball up to the flag where it was 30 or 40 yards, and Jack and I both hit them by the hole 20 feet. I was shocked.

No. 4 was real hard. Danny hit a shot in front of the green and almost went over it. He hit 6-iron or something in there. And then you'd hit another hole and it would be real soft. One might spin back and the other one might go forward 15 feet. It was tough. And they were all a little different speed. But they were the same for everybody.

Q. Can you talk about when you heard where you were yesterday, the situation Dan had on the 18th hole?

RICK RHODEN: I wasn't there so nothing I could say about it. I didn't see what happened. That's why they have officials. Got everybody together and made a judgment call and that what you've got to live with. That's not sour grapes to me. I didn't even see what happened. I'm sure they did the right thing. Any way, we start off even today. If I play good, I win. He played better; he won. That's the way golf is.

Q. How about the putt on No. 14, that seemed to slow you?

RICK RHODEN: I don't have any idea what happened there. I never hardly ever walk up after my first putt if it's not right next to the hole, tap it in, but I only had a foot. Usually just mark and walk away, but I just walked up -- I didn't even see what happened because I had my head down and I putted, went to pick it up and the next thing I saw was lipped and gone down. I don't know what happened. I don't really know how I could have missed it. Kind of stumped me. I told Jack, it being looked like him on 18 last year. He said, no, he thinks mine was a little further away than his. (Laughter.)

Q. Talk about what happened on 15. Did that feel like it put the pressure back on you?

RICK RHODEN: The killer was 14. That really hurt. I think I would have been, what, three back? I'm not sure and then I make the putt on 15 -- Danny is on cruise control there. I didn't want him to get where he got to 18 where he could hit iron off the tee and that's all he had to do. If he'd have got there a little different situation, maybe only one ahead he'd have had to play the hole a little different especially after I hit a good drive.

But he had the luxury of just putting it out there. He's got, I think, a three-shot lead. He's not going to screw that up no matter what I do. I might get eagle, but he's not going to screw that up.

Q. Are you surprised nobody else really challenged?

RICK RHODEN: The course to me played a lot harder this year. Just played a lot harder. The greens, every day they were different. The first day I think was the fastest, and then today they were just, some with hard and some were soft. It's tough playing. It's always hard for me to putt here. I always have a hard time. Yesterday I made everything but I always feel like I'm struggling here.

Q. Is it the altitude?

RICK RHODEN: I don't think it's the altitude. I'm the same height here and in Florida. (Laughter.)

BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: That was good. I like that one.

Q. Dan, earlier this week you mentioned you'd never seen this course in better condition. You won last year and you won this year, anything good, bad or different from last year to this year as far as any challenges?

DAN QUINN: No. For me, I got off to a bad start Friday. Yesterday, I started thinking about winning, and maybe -- usually you get through the front nine in a couple under, the back nine is where you can really score, and I played it 1-over.

So, I don't know. Like I said, I got to 6 today and I finished at 3. It's a weird lead, to see what happened in the first five holes happen so quickly, to go 5-, 6- or 7-up on Rick; and I saw Billy Joe was four or five back, but it was a weird lead to have.

Q. Was the course tougher than the last few years?

DAN QUINN: I didn't think so, no. I thought the greens, Tuesday and Wednesday were the best I've seen them in 12 years I've been here. Had it not rained on Thursday -- Friday, they were the toughest to putt and carried over a little yesterday, and today they firmed up like Rick said especially the ones like 3 and 13, 15. Those ones where you're -- 10, where your ball takes a big bounce. You're still going to have your spongy greens out there, but the ones that were firm on Tuesday and Wednesday or firm today.

Q. Talk about the first five holes and your club selections?

DAN QUINN: I started out with a driver and 60-degree on 1 to four or five feet. It wad dead downhill, left it short right in the heart of the hole.

Then I left it about three or four inches on 2 with a 3-wood, 60-degree.

Laid up on 3 and hit it up there about ten or 12 feet under the hole. Probably got a break not hitting a great drive because Jack and Rick hit two good shots and then hit chips that just took off like they landed on a highway. So I had a nice uphill putt. They had putts they had to be really careful.

Then I knocked it on in two with a driver and 6-iron and 2-putted for birdie.

And hit an 8-iron to about five feet on 5.

Q. Looking at the leaderboard, what were thinking when you saw what he was doing?

BILLY JOE TOLLIVER: I knew coming in, I was four shots back. I had to make some noise early, and just hope he didn't. You know, those first four holes, you've got a chance to do something.

I start off and get a few birdies early, but you get over to No. 5 and you look up and he does the same thing you did. So you're still where you started the day off.

I had a lot of chances to at least apply a little pressure on him and didn't get anything to fall. He's too good of a player. If you can't put any heat on him where he's sitting there, got a 3-, 4-, 5-shot lead, he's not going to make any mistakes. He makes a couple of bogeys, but he knows he can afford it. He knows he didn't have to be aggressive with anything. You could get a little loose on a couple of shots, but he knew that he could afford to do so.

If I could have -- I missed a 6- or 8-footer on No. 8 to take it 2-under, and now all of a sudden he's got a two-shot lead. You know, maybe that's a little different with 8 and 9 left for him to play, which are pretty difficult holes.

And then I guess 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, I only made one of those birdies, and I had them all in there -- I had them all inside 15 feet and didn't make any of them. If you keep going backwards, you're not going to catch him, that's for sure, because he's not going back up.

Q. Were you able to put yesterday's ending out of your mind or was that still in the back of your head? You were pretty shaken up yesterday.

DAN QUINN: I was a little bit. The ruling, and then just the fact that I really felt that if I'd played a good back nine yesterday, I would have had a 4- or 5-shot lead coming into today, having gotten to 3 with 27 holes to go in the tournament, if I shoot 2- or 3-under on the back I start off the day 5-, or 6-under.

So I was really -- I don't know, I woke up today, watched the British Open, just felt great. I just felt great starting out today. I hit a good drive on 1, which I've hit okay shots on the first hole the first couple of days. I hit a great drive and hit it in there close and missed the putt, but didn't faze me and I played really well, the first five holes, as good as I've ever played.

Had a ton of adrenaline on 6. Hit a good drive and should have hit a pitching wedge, but pulled a 9-iron and made bogey, but at that point I was up four or five shots.

It's kind of weird. I was surprised myself, as I'm sure it surprised everybody else.

Q. You talked on television that you didn't know how to play with a lead; that you had never gone through that before.

DAN QUINN: I went to bed last night thinking that I was going to have to shoot, probably playing with Rick, to shoot a 68, 67, prepare to shoot a 66 if I had to. Teeing off the first hole, trying to get to the 10th hole and making sure I was in a good spot.

So I went 4-under and he went 2-over on the first five holes and I had a 6-up on him. Jack was 1-over, so I went to 7up on him or 8-up on him. And I saw Billy Joe I was still 4- or 5-up on him. Then I just was like, wow. I was sort of prepared for a back nine battle and there was just sort of -- you know, I enjoyed it, but at the same time, I said, "Don't screw it up." There was a couple of times I really had to grab myself.

Q. Are you surprised there were not more lower scores?

DAN QUINN: The course was set up -- for the overall tournament, the course was set up very hard Friday. We had a total 360-degree wind change for the leaders in the middle of the back nine; it was blowing out of the northeast and is switched to the southwest, like it always does. So that was kind of weird.

Yeah, I was surprised. This event over the years, we do all of the stuff we've never done, we want to win it so bad.

So many guys lose their concentration once they can't win. They come here to win, John Elways, Jack Wagner, once he saw he couldn't win, he didn't have the intensity that he normally has. So then you see guys scores kind of go the other way.

But, you know, I found it a little bit -- it was hard to really totally attack. We made less mistakes last year. Rick and I shot pretty -- Rick, Jack and I got on some good birdie rolls, but I this the course is pretty much the same this year.

Q. When did you start playing conservative today? When did you realize you had the big lead, pull out irons instead of drivers anything like that?

DAN QUINN: The 7th hole was the first pin I didn't fire at. I fired at 6, pulled it badly and made a bogey. So then I'm chipping, just chip it on, take your bogey and go because I had a five-shot lead. Didn't try to get cute with the chip and make a double-bogey or something.

9, I hit a 6-iron where I knew I could hit five, but I hit six to get to the front and ended up 3-putting, so that kind of ticked me off.

Played 10, 11, 12 very well. Hit a great drive on 13, and fell asleep on 13 fairway talking about Ernie Els winning the British and all that stuff and made a bogey there.

But then came back with a good birdie on 15 and that's what I felt I was all set.

Q. What about on No. 17, it looked like a fan really bothered you with your swing; one of your hands came off a club?

DAN QUINN: They were having fun out there. So, what are you going to do? Normally it's pretty quiet, but I think they thought the tournament was over. Not so much me; they were just yelling in general. They just got me perfectly and I just hit a total half-skank.

Q. Was it the same kids who picked up your ball?

DAN QUINN: I was wondering that. (Laughter.)

Q. I understand you're giving some of your winning to the Firefighters Scholarship Fund. Did you get a chance to talk to them this week?

DAN QUINN: Yeah, I saw them all after. I sort of had the intention when I heard they were coming. When I won Mario Lemieux's tournament, I gave $20,000 of the $40,000 I won to his foundation; and $10,000 when I won Dan Marino's tournament of the $30,000; and I'm giving $10,000 of the winnings here to the Fire Department of New York. If the NASDAQ was more, I'd give them more than that. (Laughter.)

But it's a great cause. Teary-eyed, we had a great reception with them on Wednesday night. I tip my hat to them. It's great to have them a part of this event and I'm going to go have a couple of beers with them now.

Q. How does it feel to be the first repeat champion? No one's done that before and it's hard to do.

DAN QUINN: It's great. And I did start thinking about it yesterday on the 11th green, when I saw -- Rick started out good, so I was focused and playing my round just trying to shoot a good score well into the 60s. And I saw he made a couple of bogeys went to 1-over, I was 3-under and nobody else was near there, maybe Dick Anderson was, and I started thinking about repeating, and I made two bogeys just like that.

Yesterday I was not able to turn it back on. So I was probably in that predicament again today. I was worried about making some mistakes and can I turn it back on after coming out thinking I had to come out and shoot a round well into the low 60s.

Q. How much were you able to enjoy today?

DAN QUINN: The first part was sort of blurry. I was like in that zone-type thing, just hit all good shots and didn't make any mistakes.

Then I really enjoyed probably the last four or five holes. But once I parred 14, birdied 15, I didn't really feel nervous, even though I hit a bad shot on 17. I hit the face of the club on every shot after that, had good pace on my putts, left myself some tap-ins and that's all I wanted to do.

Q. But any money on yourself this year?

DAN QUINN: I bet on me and Tiger -- 2 to 1. But I did take me and Tiger at 5 to 1; so I get a nice souvenir.

Q. What's your next tournament, celebrity or otherwise?

DAN QUINN: We have one in two weeks in day on, Ohio. Two or three weeks. I play some stuff in Florida; we'll see. I don't know what I'm going to do. There's a little mini-thing do you know in Florida where I live that I sometimes play in. Right now, I'm scheduled to play but I get back on a red-eye tomorrow morning to Fort Lauderdale, probably be a little hung over.

Q. What was your mind set going on 18, what were you thinking about then?

DAN QUINN: You know, I wanted to hit driver and finish strong but I said, this is just stupid. If I hit a 3-iron in the fairway I probably can't make a bogey, and even if I made a bogey Rick would have to make an eagle for me to go to a playoff.

So even though I wish I could have stood up and hit a driver, hit a 7- or 8-iron, 6-iron on the green, I just hit a 3-iron, 6-iron and punched a 60-degree, and once Rick didn't make his eagle, I knew I could just two or 3-putt to win.

It was just a weird thing; it was totally unexpected after five holes to have a five- or six-shot lead, whatever it was. But I'd rather have that than come down tied on the last hole.

End of FastScripts....

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