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April 26, 2006

Dakoda Dowd

Mike Dowd

Kelly Jo Dowd


Q. What's it like with all of the attention from radio, TV?

DAKODA DOWD: This has all been great. I mean, it's been a dream come true, and I just hope that we'll go over there and see my mom tomorrow.

Q. I wonder how much you know about Morgan Pressel's career, and with an experience kind of similar to yours, playing in professional tournaments while she was still an amateur, have you had a chance to meet Morgan?

DAKODA DOWD: I haven't had a chance to really formally meet her yet. But my heart goes out for what she's been through, that's such a hard thing to go through, she's so strong on the golf course and I think I hope that she pulls through.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: Six months turned into like six days, or it went by really fast and I can't wait until tomorrow. I'll be nervous but I can't wait.

Q. Will you be able to sleep tonight?

DAKODA DOWD: Probably.

Q. Has this turned into much more attention than you ever thought it would be, this whole process?

MIKE DOWD: Absolutely. We even had a couple of people ask us, you know, why did you choose to go public with your wife's illness. I said, we didn't make that choice. When Mr. Ginn made the incredibly kind gesture to offer the dream of a lifetime to my wife and daughter went public and then we had to decide, are we going to shy away or stand up. We decided that we wanted to stand up. We wanted to get messages out there.

My wife feels like it's very important to be able to say to women, do your shower exams, get your mammograms, and love each other and persevere through this. We can't kid anybody. This is an extremely difficult thing we're dealing with as a family, but I've got great women, and, you know, we're happy that we're able to get things out there like makingmemories.org. Our community has supported us through this, and people from outside of the country have been contacting us, sheltering us with love through this very difficult time. My wife and my daughter and myself feel like if we can do that for somebody else, if we can, you know, makingmemories.org is just a great organization, they grant wishes to metastatic patients, and Mr. Ginn did that for us and our community has done that for us. So, you know, we just wanted to try to do something positive out of it.

KELLY JO DOWD: I bet that's the last time will be will ask him a question.

Q. How do you go about just focusing on playing golf?

DAKODA DOWD: Even though there's going to be a bunch of cameras around, it's going to be a great day and everything. Once I step on the golf course, I'm totally focused on, okay, I want to do well. So hopefully I can try to focus tomorrow.

Q. You've played on the course a couple of times, what do you think of it?

DAKODA DOWD: It's long and there's a lot of bunkers. I love this course. It's definitely by far the prettiest course I've ever played on. And I'm just really looking forward to playing in the tournament tomorrow.

Q. Out did you get interested in golf?

DAKODA DOWD: When I was about five I saw my dad doing it. So I tried to picking up some golf clubs and it was fun and it just stuck.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: I really like the fact that there was so much competition. You had control over the game. I never thought about this much when I was five, but, I don't know, I like the way that you can control golf. It's all about it's up to you about how good you want to be at it and you can always improve your game. The harder you work, the better you are.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: Well, they had cut down clubs. I just picked it up as a fun thing when I was younger. I didn't worry about all that. It was just so much fun.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: It's been fun. I mean, but it's also my dream. It's crazy that I'm doing something that I love and it's also my dream and I can also maybe one day if I'm fortunate enough to do it as a living when I'm older.

Q. So do you dream about becoming a professional


Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: I do. I want to go to college.

Q. So go to college inaudible?


Q. Inaudible?

KELLY JO DOWD: Oh, good, I get my turn now. Yes, sir.

Q. Inaudible?

KELLY JO DOWD: Whenever I've done practice, every single time I get emotional every single time just talking about it. Out there seeing my daughter swing off the tee box, I think I'm just going to break down. I don't even know how to explain it. This is a dream come true for me and if you've ever had a dream come true for you, you know it's very intention emotions that go along with it. I know that I'll break down, there will be tears of joy and tears of happiness, as well.

Q. Playing with Annika and Paula, how was that and how did you feel that your game compared? Did you learn anything that you want to improve on?

DAKODA DOWD: The one thing I notice about them is their putting is absolutely incredible. They step up to a putt and they just make it, it's like no big deal, a 20 footer and like, okay; I'm like, okay, I'm happy with a 2 putt. I've learned a lot from them. Their attitude when they hit a bad shot, rarely, but when they do, it's just such a great attitude. They are always so positive.

Q. Kelly Jo, what happens, this week, how will your life change?

KELLY JO DOWD: As far as I'm concerned, it's been changed forever, No. 1. How is it going to change? We'll get back to being a normal family, even though we're pretty normal right now, we're happy doing this well, maybe not really normal, but as normal as we can achieve normal.

You know, Dakoda and I will get back to mother/daughter day, which we've missed a few because of media which we're happy to do. As long as we get our message out there about metastatic breast cancer and as long as I can get my message out there about women not waiting, I'll be thrilled. If we can do a little less media, that would be great. As long as it still keeps coming, that's great, too. I hope I said that right. (Laughing).

Q. "Missing mother/daughter day," what exactly do you do?

KELLY JO DOWD: It ranges from anything to listening to music, going music shopping, going clothes stopping, pedicures, manicures, anything that takes money out of dad's pocket, basically is what it amounts to.

MIKE DOWD: Otherwise it's really not mother/daughter day, right?

DAKODA DOWD: It's not the same.

KELLY JO DOWD: Good girl. (Laughter.)

Q. Inaudible?

MIKE DOWD: Yeah, she wrote me a very personal message and I shared that. I did ask that it not be shared; that it just be kept private. Basically, because she could see our relationship, Dakoda was nothing but a daddy's girl up until a couple of years ago and you know it's true, don't even try.

KELLY JO DOWD: Now she's a mama's girl.

MIKE DOWD: It's incredible from a father standpoint, husband's standpoint, watching their relationship blossom. Sometimes from an outsider looking in, it looks like Dakoda and I are just butting heads and going at it all the time. But she's 13, and I'm a cranky old guy, and you know, we love each other to death.

I just wanted to share something private and personal with this reporter and asked that it please remain that way, and it didn't. But it's something special I carry around. So when we're having our hard moments like every parent does with a 13 year old, especially an athlete like this that's so powerful and rambunctious and spirited, I have to pull it out of my wallet to remind me as I'm going away and she's pork chopping me, calling me "Pork chop, Dad, that's what you are."

"Thanks, Honey, I appreciate it." I have to pull out that note and remind myself how she really feels about me.

Q. I have a 13 year old daughter, too my question is, have you always been comfortable conversing in public? You seem very mature for your age.

DAKODA DOWD: Thank you. You might want to ask my friends about that one, I don't know. (Laughter) I tell them just about everything, sometimes stuff they don't even want to hear, but I can't help it. I have to tell somebody. So I just tell them, you know.

KELLY JO DOWD: As far as the media goes, as far as I'm concerned I didn't realize that Dakoda had the natural ability to be able to be so open and speak so well. And I'm very proud of her for that, because until you do it, sometimes it might look easy. Sometimes it isn't easy. But she makes it seem easy like she makes golf look easy and he know it's not easy, either. So I'm very proud of her for what she's done. I rather like it, myself.

MIKE DOWD: My wife is a former model, so she's a ham, sort of gets the ham ability from her.

DAKODA DOWD: First pork chop, then ham

KELLY JO DOWD: Are you hungry, Michael? (Laughter).

Q. Inaudible?

MIKE DOWD: I have no idea. My wife was an athlete. It hurts me to say that because for so many years, I heard cheerleaders are not athletes and she made me realize oh, yes, they are, for any of you former cheerleaders out there. But she was a collegiate cheerleader and I was a college basketball player, so she got athleticism from us. My brother has two remarkably talented softball players. The golf, I have no idea, because I stunk. She was beating me when she was 7 and that pretty much made me put my clubs away.

Q. Where will she go to college?

MIKE DOWD: She's a Chippewa, Central Michigan with the same colors, and I'm a Dole, Florida State (ph).

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: Georgia Bulldog.

Q. That's okay with you?

MIKE DOWD: Absolutely. As long as she's talking college.

Q. There are quite a few other people in the country, in the world having to experience what you've experienced, can you offer any words to anyone in a similar situation?

MIKE DOWD: I'm a social worker by trade. That's what I've been doing for 23 years, so my job has been helping family with crises, and then God lays this on our plate to deal with now. It's so individual and so unique. Just love each other and make the most of every day you have together. Keep your head up, God is great, God is awesome, and you're going to be amazed at how people get you through. You know, we have we would not be where we are today as a family if it wasn't for all of you, who have reached out to us. We have been completely embraced and it's just been overwhelming. Let people come to you, let people help you through it, people's hearts are good.

When you mentioned earlier about Morgan, Morgan's mentioned all the time because she's the phenom. But there's a little Madison in Mitchell, too, and Dakoda played tournaments and they have embraced her. They have walked down the road she's walking down now. She gets humbled when she's got her mother here and we're talking about this and there are these little children inaudible beautiful golfer who is more deserving from a talent standpoint than Dakoda right now sorry, honey. Vickie hurt who was here to qualify do a practice round and she went home and Vickie and Kelly (ph) found out her father passed from a massive stroke. So life is precious and just love each other.

Q. What do you think you're going to shoot tomorrow what's your goal?

DAKODA DOWD: 64 (laughter) on the front nine. So I'm not sure what I'm going to shoot. It's just a great experience. I'm just looking forward to my mom being there and whatever happens, happens.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: I haven't played yet.

Q. What's your best score on this course?

DAKODA DOWD: Like 74. I shot 1 over the other day but that was the front nine.

MIKE DOWD: This is a long and tough track for our kid. This is probably 400 or 500 yards longer than what she's used to and greens that are huge and undulated and speedy. We don't want anybody to get the impression that we think you know, we're not here about that.

DAKODA DOWD: We're just here to have fun.

MIKE DOWD: She does have game, though.

Q. Inaudible?

DAKODA DOWD: Paula Creamer has talked to me about, like, not giving up and stuff; Annika. One of my junior friends, always super supportive, they are all just super supportive. They all tell me, don't give up, I know what you are going through and my friends help me get through this.

End of FastScripts.

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