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July 5, 2006

Allen Doyle


RAND JERRIS: Like to welcome Allen Doyle to the interview room at the Senior Open. He's playing in his 8th United States 2006 U.S. Senior Open this week. He's a two-time member of the American Walker Cup team and played on three American teams in the World Amateur team championship. In addition, he is the defending champion, having captured the 2006 U.S. Senior Open last year at the NCR Club in Ohio. It's been a year since you finished with that remarkable round of 63 that set or tied many USGA championship records. With a year's perspective, can you talk a little bit about that round and what it has meant to you in the past year?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I think it's a round that defines your career kind of. Everywhere I've been in the last year that's a topic, a big topic. And it's one that you are glad to talk about, because it was just such a great day. And so I you try to ride it like crazy and enjoy it.

I had a lot of good rounds out here, but that will be the round that I hope will define me as being a guy that sucked it up when he had a chance and played a great round and won a great championship.

RAND JERRIS: You're obviously a veteran of a lot of USGA championship, these international competitions that you played on a lot of great courses around the world. How would you rank and compare Prairie Dunes with some of the great venues that you played?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I was always a guy that really didn't matter what, really, where I played.

I was brought up on a ratty community golf course that seemed like the greens were never cut and the fairways were never cut and the traps were never raked. And so any place that you I have gotten to beyond that has always been a treat for me.

But then when we played in the USGA events and we got to places where we played the amateurs and where we played the Opens and now we are here at Prairie Dunes, it's just a treat for me to come to those places and kind of think back to where I started playing and how -- I thought many times that I've come a long way.

And maybe that says it best: I look at where I played in the past, where I grew up and where I ended up now and played some of the great golf courses in the world, you know, it's just a treat for me to come to these places.

RAND JERRIS: Thank you. Some questions here, please.

Q. I guess as a follow-up here, knowing from where you've come to this level, do you carry appreciation for what golf has meant in your life, more so than maybe the others?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I hope so. But then I think at times that I don't feel that that's a huge stretch for me. I think it's easier for me, because I was not a junior player that had an instructor and that. I stopped wearing a golf glove when I had to start buying them. As a caddy, you know.

So unless I got given a glove, I didn't wear one. So I think it's easier for me without the pedigree and without having played the TOUR for all those years and come to expect this stuff. I've seen guys on our TOUR that have returned a courtesy car because it wasn't full of gas and bust the volunteers' butt because it wasn't full of gas.

I got here the other day and my car was on empty. I didn't have the nerve to go to anybody and say, Hey, by the way, my car doesn't have any gas in it. Because there was a convenience store right down the block that I pulled in and put gas in it.

So it's an easy thing for me, I think, to feel that way. That I've come from monetarily, my assets when I turned pro weren't very significant, and now they are. And I'm doing the same thing I was doing before then. So to me it doesn't get much better than that.

Q. You were here on May 1st, played a pretty quick round in the morning on media day. Talk about the changes between the course as you've seen it.

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, there's only been one change, and that's the rough, and it's severe now. That's fine. I think too many guys, if they get caught up in how it's set up, but I think it's fine. I hit it straighter than most, so I guess I would think that way.

But the rough is penal. I was fortunate enough to play the U. S. Open this year, and I'm not so sure this isn't worse than the U.S. Open. But that's the only change that I have seen is the severity of the rough.

Q. From what you've seen of Prairie Dunes, how difficult will it be for someone to shoot a 63 on Sunday?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I don't think that it will be any harder than any other place that we play to me, and I could be wrong. I think it's going to all depend on the wind. I think if the wind blows we will have trouble scoring out here. If the wind does not blow, we'll score very well.

But the key is going to be to stay out of that rough. And Jim Thorpe yesterday on 15 or 16, he hit it in the right rough, and I hit a good drive. He hit an -- I think he hit a 3 wood, and I caught one real good. So I was out there a little ways. And as I turned to look, if he was getting ready to hit, he was aiming at me.

And I was -- the hole was this way and he's going this way, just trying to hit it 35, 40 yards. So if the wind blows, these fairways are going to get even harder to hit. But I think that yardage wise, when I say if the wind doesn't blow we'll score very well here. Because if you drive it in the fairway, you're going to have some short irons in your hands and I think that if you're in the fairway, you can score here.

Q. Talk about your experience at the U. S. Open, just barely missed the cut. And you talked at the media day about to be able to play in the U. S. Open and some of the amateur guys that you played with?

ALLEN DOYLE: Yeah, it was great. The only thing that could have come out better would have been I was a shot or two better and made the cut. But for me, I mean it's -- there was an old guy years ago told me that whenever you have the, an E S T, you know, behind your name, it's normally a good thing. And although oldest, you know, maybe old is not that great a thing, but oldest in the field is a pretty neat thing. And my two girls were there and they both caddied. Their husbands were there and the youngest one's husband, they have been married for about a month now, and I got him an instructor badge and so he was inside the ropes on the driving range. And so I mean it was a great experience for all of us. And then it gave me a chance to see some of the guys that I hadn't been with, seen in a while. And I was actually pretty close to a lot of those guys, because we did play on the World Amateur and Walker Cup teams together. So it was neat to see them again and kind of rehash some old times. Notah Begay was there and he actually rode back -- my oldest daughter's husband is the producer of ABC golf, and he rode back on the plane with him from Hartford to Atlanta. And they introduced themselves and they got talking and he said, oh, and he said he was married to my oldest daughter. And he was telling him some stories about when he first went to Sunnehanna, you come in that main room and you see the pictures of the past champions and he sees my picture and name and picture and name and picture and name. And he said, I got to go out and see this guy, to do what he's done on this golf course. And then he saw me and he said, this has got to be the wrong guy. There's no way this guy -- he said, I'll kill him, you know. And I think maybe because I, they see me and they look and they say, what the hell's going on and then maybe they see me play and they have more respect for me, maybe.

So I kind of have a pretty good bond with some of those guys. And both my daughters were taken back a little bit at the reception that I got from all those guys out there that they remembered me still. They have kind of followed me and they're not so shocked any more. But they were thrilled for me. So it was a neat experience just playing.

Q. You talked about the unique swing stance that you have and how you learned it. And how do you think that is going to help you out or hurt you as the case may be this week out here at Prairie Dunes?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I think it will help me because it allows me to hit the ball a little straighter than most. So I'm hoping that's a huge plus and that's what you're going to need to do well here. I said you're going to have to drive it well and putt well. And if you do those two things pretty good, then you're going to have a good week.

Q. I'm just curious, you mentioned that there are, you've seen guys turn back the courtesy cars because it wasn't full of gas. Have you ever said anything to those guys and like, hey, you ought to stop and appreciate what you've got?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I have -- I did the first time or two. And when they look at you like you're new, which I was, and like maybe I hadn't been around long enough to be passing out advice. I do say to the volunteers when something like that happens, not all of us are like this, so, you know, to take it with a grain of salt that there are always, like any segment of society or people, there are some people that no matter what you do for them they're not going to be happy. But I found out early on that unless it's something that's really needed, I mean, if a guy was rude to an individual because of their race or their nationality or their gender, then I think something needs to be said. As far as gassing a vehicle, that's, I said that one time and he attempted to put me in my place and I didn't say anything from there on.

Q. You talked last year after the final round about maybe trying to show Greg Norman a little something and playing with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder, I'm just wondering, when you compete against the guys here, the newcomers who get a lot of attention on this TOUR, how much of a driving force is that for you to maybe compete against the Loren Roberts and those kinds of guys?

ALLEN DOYLE: Oh that's, you know, that's a force for sure. And I think those guys have come to respect the others out here and I would put myself in the others category. That they play a few events and they -- and everybody expects them to dominate and when they don't, and we have heard it from almost every guy, these guys are pretty good. I mean how are you going to beat Dana Quigley last week when he shoots 18 under and shoots 63 on Sunday? You almost can't do it. That doesn't mean we, do we do that every week and every Sunday, no, but they don't either. And they generally, if you can think back to all of them when they have been asked, why haven't you don't better, they say, these guys can play. And that's a good thing maybe for us when you get into your late 50s, I think some people lose track of the, as you get older and you still do pretty good, they don't realize you're getting older. Yet we are. So it's good to -- it's good to have Fred if you think come out and Scott Hoch and Greg Norman, and all these guys and the only thing that I wish that they play more. Because it would be a huge plus for our TOUR. And I do it for selfish and unselfish reasons. I mean it's selfish, the more they play, the probably higher our purses would be. So that's a good thing. And the unselfish is that it's probably more impressive for a Greg Norman to tout how well we play out here versus me. So it does get me fired up and motivated to play and show that we, that the years that we had, good years that we had was not because there was no competition out here, it was because we were good players.

Q. Last year you shot 63 on Sunday, with the wind being the way it is out here, it probably looks like it's going to stay that way, is a 63 in anybody's bag, do you think?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, it always is, because as soon as you say it can't be shot, it will be shot. If the wind stays up pretty good, that becomes less and less likely. But it's like Fred if you think just left here and everybody's going to, is high on Fred if you think, which they should be. But almost on this TOUR probably one more so than the, it seems, maybe the big TOUR with one or two players, you can't take a guy against a field here. Because more than likely if you look back on the past champions, those guys that won were not you picking them against the field. And I kind of look at that like the same way with scoring out there. I think, yeah, if the wind blows fairly decent, it's going to be hard to get to these pins, it's going to be hard to I stay in the fairway. We look at the 17th fairway and you stand on that tee, and you try to find a line to hit on and it almost seems like you can't hit the fairway. So if the wind blows any, then it's going to be hard to do.

RAND JERRIS: Allen, thank you very much for your time, we wish you great success this week.

ALLEN DOYLE: Okay, guy, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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