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July 5, 2006

Dana Quigley


RAND JERRIS: It's a pleasure to welcome Dana Quigley to the interview room this afternoon. Dana is playing in his 10th 2006 U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes. Dana, you've long been known as one of the more accurate and straight hitters out here on the Champions Tour. Can you talk about the importance of driving it straight and finding the fairways this week?

DANA QUIGLEY: Oh, I definitely think is probably more important than any other Senior Open venues. It's horrendous out there at best. It's very, very important. It's going to be very difficult to do it. On top of important to hit it straight, you got to a lot of the fairways angle away from you, and it's going to be very hard to do it.

I spent the last two days I have been meticulously picking out a line. A lot of times you don't see where you need to hit it. And you really have to know this golf course. I think local knowledge will play a tremendous amount of big factor here. I don't know how many players have played it before, but it's extremely hard to pick out the lines out there.

RAND JERRIS: Talk a little bit about your experience here. Is this your first time here? What did you think of the golf course when you came into town?

DANA QUIGLEY: I heard a lot about it before I got here. I guess I don't know what the yardage is. What are we playing about 67 or something?


DANA QUIGLEY: Yeah, 66. When you hear that, you figure, well, you know, you'll be able to lay it up and you don't necessarily have to hit drivers off tees. But I think a lot of most of the holes you have to hit drivers out there to get it, so you can hit it in there at the greens that are very, very undulating. A lot of mounds in the greens. So it's really kind of important that you don't have a lot of long shots into these greens, because you're not going to get the ball very close.

So it's a short course that kind of plays long because you're forced to hit a long shot off the tee, I think. So it's a great challenge. I think it's a beautiful golf course. It's probably not one that I would pick as one of my favorites for me personally. I mean, I think it's a great golf course, but I'm not so sure my type of game fits it.

But a lot of things happen when the flag goes up, and it can change very soon. But my two day impression of it is it's going to be pretty hard for me to shoot a good score here.

RAND JERRIS: Where do you think the scoring opportunities might be out here for you? Are there particular holes that you're looking at?

DANA QUIGLEY: Not really. We have two par 5s. Both of them, if you miss the green, if you go for it and miss the green, five yards one way or the other, you could really be looking at six rather than four. So you have a couple holes you might be able to reach. It's going to take a great shot to hit it to it. I really don't see a lot of holes that I would pick out and say, man, I can make birdie here. Because the greens are tough. Depending upon where you hit your shot and where you guys put the pins, they can be birdie holes or they can be ones that we can't shoot at the pin and go for par.

So you really got to wait until you're in the action to know how you're going to attack each one of these holes. Deep down in all of our minds we know that par is going to be a good score on every hole. So if you can eliminate the mistakes, I think that's probably more important than attacking and making birdies, a lot of birdies. Because I don't think it's going to yield a lot of birdies unless we get calm days.

That doesn't happen here either. So you got to kind of wake up tomorrow morning and see what the conditions are, and then you kind of put your game plan according to that, I think.

RAND JERRIS: Thank you. We'll go out for some questions, please.

Q. From what I understand, the conditions under which you shot 63 last Sunday were pretty similar to the conditions you might see here on the weekend. Do you feel another low score like that is a possibility for you, or is it is the golf course set up that difficult that maybe the whole field might have trouble shooting a 63?

DANA QUIGLEY: I think 63 could possibly could be possible. Calm conditions, if it were if it's windy like they say it's going to get, I don't see I see 67 being a great score out here.

It's a funny thing about being in the so called zone. Last Sunday I have had a lot of players come up to me and tell me what a great round I had last Sunday. Because of the conditions and the zone I was in, I didn't feel any conditions last Sunday. I think I told you guys this at the media or afterwards, that I didn't feel like it played hard at all last Sunday.

All the other players told me how hard it did play. So if you get in that kind of a focus and where you are not looking for, oh, the wind's going to do this and that, I think you can play it. And it takes getting into that frame of mind to do that.

Now, whether like I said before, you don't know if you get into that until the actual day. But I don't see this course yielding very many low scores at all, no.

Q. You said this course does not really suit your game. But you are kind of a low ball hitter right?

DANA QUIGLEY: That's correct.

Q. And that's not

DANA QUIGLEY: Why doesn't it suit my game you mean?

Q. Yeah. I would think with the wind here that that would work to your advantage.

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, with the wind it may, would. It's just hard for me to pick out angles to hit it to some of these fairways. And you know, if you don't hit the fairway you're absolutely promise you, you're absolutely at least a half a shot every time in the fairway. I think you're going to lose if you don't hit it. Because you really do have to wedge out. You don't, I don't want to say the greens are hard to hit if you're in the rough and you can't, it's going to be hard to keep them on the green.

Believe me, we haven't hit it towards the green any time we hit in the rough the last two days. We kind of hit a 50 degree wedge out. So you're not hitting into those kind of shots. So it suits my game, being a wind player, I think, a good wind player, it suits my game in that respect, but man, I've had trouble finding the angle, the line to get it to the fairway. Sometimes you think you hit it on a good line and it goes through the fairway and sometimes you think you hit a good line and it doesn't get to the fairway. So it may change tomorrow, who knows. I'm still working on trying to figure out the golf course, to be honest with you.

Q. Is there anything you can do to maintain that zone or however you want to define it?


Q. The zone that you had last week, that great round Sunday.

DANA QUIGLEY: If we could do that we would all be walking around in that zone. It's one of those things that just happens. It's hard to explain that. I talk to Bob Rotella all the time, a psychologist, and that's where he wants you to be. But it's so hard to get there. And so many things could happen to you on a golf course, miss a short putt, that can change your frame of mind, can change your thinking of the hit a shot off line. There's so many distractions out there that it's very hard to stay in that.

And I swear my round Sunday I don't know if I have ever been more absolutely focused to one shot and every shot like I was last Sunday. I can't recall ever playing a I shot a bunch of low rounds out here on the Champions Tour, but I don't ever recall being in such a frame of mind that nothing outside ever was a factor in any shot. There was never one negative shot. Even up to the last five footer I made for par, which I never thought I would miss. Half the time when you're waiting around to take your turn you're thinking of ways, don't hit it, don't hit it weak, don't hit it left, all this kind of stuff.

And I never once had that kind of thought for 18 holes. And there's no way to turn it back on again tomorrow. You just got to hope it happens to you.

Q. You talked about some of the health problems you had this year and considering that you hadn't won this year, you had some health problems, how special was the round and then the victory?

DANA QUIGLEY: That's a great question. I think probably in the last three months I probably didn't think I would ever win again out here. I think that would be an honest and accurate description of how I felt personally. That coupled with the year I had last year, Player of the Year and all that, I just felt like I didn't have a whole lot more that I could do to ever get to that level again.

So there were a lot of things happening with me, and that might have led to my health problems, who knows. But I was very content with the fact that if this was not going to be. If this was going to be the start of my decline, I was okay with that. And there's a lot of 50 year olds coming out now that have some real pedigrees and real credentials.

And it's going to be tough to compete each week. But if you shoot 18 under, I don't care what their name is, they're going to have a hard time beating you. So it can happen. When you sit around home and think about it, you probably don't feel like it's ever going to come back, but it's just a great example this week that it is possible.

Q. Was there a real low point the first half of the year for you?


Q. Health wise or not?

DANA QUIGLEY: I don't ever beat myself up about bad play or tournaments. I never ever felt down or depress order felt like quitting. I love the game of golf. I love it with every ounce of my body. And I love to compete. So I didn't I was going to accept the fact that maybe I wouldn't be on top. But you know what? I think the fact that my attitude is usually very positive and up beat, that I really didn't get down on that at all, no.

Q. But was there ever a low point health wise at any time when you were talking about your dizzy spells and things like that?

DANA QUIGLEY: Not really. The first thing about the medication and stuff that I take is the fact that I think I'm going to be stuck taking it the rest of my life. I'm not happy about the thought that I was a guy for 58 years I have never had a doctor in my life, let alone take medication. I never taken any medication, never had a doctor, and I finally now have a doctor. I'm going to have to go through some tests in two weeks, and he's going to try to see if he can find something else wrong with me.

And usually I figure if you give doctors enough chances they're going to find something wrong with you. So that's probably the lowest point feeling like I'm probably getting to be an old man, you know. Still can play golf and have a good life at it, but I don't like the thought of taking pills to be honest with you.

RAND JERRIS: Tom Watson was in here a little while ago talking about playing 12 to 15 events a year. You always played a tremendous number of events per year. Is that a reflection of the passion that you feel for the game, or is that just a style that works best for you to consistently be out there?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, I really believe that I've had the success that I've had because I've played every day of my life. I really don't have anything else to do but play golf. If I didn't play in a golf tournament I would be home in West Palm playing golf every day. That's my passion: To play golf.

I mean, I seriously wake up every day of my life knowing I'm going to the golf course and going to play golf. And that's what makes me go. And I think it's helped me a lot. I think that I try to my son didn't play any junior golf. He's now a scratch handicap. He plays for the University of Rhode Island, and he loves hitting balls and putting and then going home.

I said, man, forget hitting balls and stuff. Go out on the golf course and play golf and learn how to play golf. The only way you're going to learn how to hit shots in golf is by playing it. And that's why I go out every day to see if I can learn something new. So I don't have Tom Watson's ability to play 15 events and play well in all of them.

I think it takes me all 30 of them to play well. Plus all the extra time I do in the off season. So it's just different makeups and I don't know what I would do without golf.

Q. You talked about you haven't seen a lot of the Kansas wind this week so far in the practice rounds, but what do you foresee that the Kansas wind could do to this course or what do you think would make it tough out here?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, it would just take more of our shots say the real good ball strikers here might hit 11 fairways out of the 14, I'm guessing. I think 11 fairways would be a good day. If you had 25 mile an hour gusting winds, we might that might knock you back to nine or eight. And every time you're in the rough you are, I think, better than 50 percent to make bogey.

So that's what it will do to the scores. It's not a golf course where you can play the wind and hit a straight hit a shot that the wind will take it. You really got to play the angles, and a lot of times if you're planning on a good gust of wind, you got to start it out over the rough for that wind to break it or bring it.

If it doesn't, or if you overcook it a little bit, you're back on either side of the rough. And believe me, it is treacherous in this rough, absolutely treacherous. I think that Fred Funk and Allen Doyle both said it's a harder rough here than at Winged Foot for The Open a few weeks ago. So it is; it's monster rough, no question about it.

Q. Allen Doyle said something interesting this morning. He was talking about his humble roots in this game, and as and how he likes to be competitive. And he said he has seen guys out here who turn in their courtesy car because it's not full of gas. And he talked about not everybody is like that. I get a feeling you're not one of those guys. I don't know why, but have you noticed things like that that there are some players out here who don't seem to appreciate what they have got?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, it's not a really reflection on their personality, it's a reflection on the lifestyles that most of the great players here now have done nothing but been TOUR pros all their life.

And we are as pampered an athlete as there is possible. They meet us with a car every week, and they don't know any different. Allen Doyle knows different. He's tried to sell three dollar buckets of range balls to try to get three bucks out of someone's jean pocket. That's a whole different thing.

I was a club pro all my life. I was on the other end of it, bending over to make sure my member had a good time when he got to the golf course. So I think we appreciate it more because we haven't done it. And these guy, they're great players out here that have been TOUR pros all their life. Haven't had to deal with that end of it.

It's really not a reflection on whether they're good people or nice guys or take everything for granted, it's really the way their life has been since they have been adults. So it's they expect it because it's that's what's happened to them. That's their style. So it's just like all you guys. Every one has a different background and a different makeup, and what you appreciate may be not what he might appreciate.

But that doesn't I don't think it casts any reflection on you personally, to be honest with you. I think it's just something that you come to expect. We're very pampered, trust me. I mean, I think you all know that. And we appreciate it. Allen and I appreciate it a lot, because we spent most of our lives not like that. Not getting anything really handed to us. We had to really work pretty hard to get what we got. And I think that's why we appreciate it more than a lot of the other guys. They appreciate it, but they just don't show it.

Q. Can you talk about the respect for a guy like Gary Player, who' still playing this game at his age, and with guys like Nicklaus and Palmer and Trevino having pretty much dropped out now, how important is Gary Player to this TOUR?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, Gary's a great friend of mine, a great ambassador to golf, as you all know. To see him come out here and compete and deep down I think Gary thinks he's going to play well here this week and compete and do well. To have that passion at 70, what is he? 60, 67?

Q. 70.

DANA QUIGLEY: 70. I mean, unbelievable that he could still plus travel all the miles he does. This guy's got so much energy it's I think we all marvel at his energy, no question about it. And for him to be the size he is and to stand up to Nicklaus and Palmer in their heyday and won all the Majors that he has, any time he's on the grounds we absolutely love having him around.

He's great to he gives and takes with all the best of them, and I think Arnold is the same way. Whenever Arnold comes he seems to have quit now but every times he shows up, we're we all know that we owe those guys a lot of what we have, no question.

Every time I see Arnold I shake his hand and thank him for doing what he did for golf, and Gary's the same way.

Q. Allen talked this morning about last year winning one at NCR, about going out in the third round and maybe trying to show Greg Norman a little something that an older guy had. Somebody in the upper 50s could still play this game. Do you play that? Do you pay any attention to age out here and guys that are 50 and 51 year olds who are out here on TOUR? Do they gauge you up a little more?

DANA QUIGLEY: Oh, yeah. Well, we all know that they're here and they're coming. And each one that comes is better than the last one that just came. Jay Haas came out last year, and now we got Freddie coming, Scott Hoch coming, and next year it's just a slew of them. And I think that it does, it moves the bar up but still the score relative to par is, if you get it to alike the number I got last week, it doesn't matter who is there. So I think it juices us up to know that there's more great players here. And it's a feather in the cap of mine and Allen Doyle's when we can beat a field full of those guys.

I mean, I welcome them to be here, because I'm still going to try to shoot the score that I need to get to regardless of who it is. But when they happen to be the names underneath you, it certainly does at the end of the day, when we're home in our hotel room, it certainly gives us a lot of pride knowing that these guys were in this field.

I've been out here, I think it's going to be my 10th year. Yes, 10th year. The fields, the competition has gotten I wouldn't know how to put it in numbers, but it's at least, I would say it's at least three times as hard competitive wise as 10 years ago. That's how much it's changed.

It used to be like a 15 under or 14 or a 12, 11, now there's three or four guys at each number, and that shows you the strength of the field now. And now it's, there's just an awful lot of great players here. And at the end of the day, if you finish on topic, like I did last week end, it certainly gives you a tremendous sense of pride to know that you, they were all here and you met them and you beat them. It's a, it does pump you up, yes.

Q. Can you go back 10 years and remember how pumped up you were to join the Champions Tour and the Senior Tour at the time and in your wildest dreams could you believe what you?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, I was scared to death, No. 1. I went to Rotella the first time before the November before I turned pro, turned 50, which was in April, for the PGA Championship. And he talked about the same thing I talked about, you put the numbers up. It doesn't matter who is playing. And the guys, I was scared of Hale and Gill in those days.

They were dominating everyone in any event. And it just, you just got to somehow once the bell rings you got to somehow not put any names to the faces that you're playing with out there. You can't worry about their can't worry about what they have done in golf and what you haven't done in golf.

Ten years ago when I came out, I came out with no status, so I had to Monday qualify. I had to do I never thought I went to the president of my club in December of 1996 I was turning 50 in April of '97 and he says, what are you going to do? And I said I'm going to go out and do some Monday qualifying and if I miss or when I miss, because the rake I think Dave can probably tell you the success rate of Monday qualifiers maybe if you played 20 events you might get in five or something.

I mean it's really low. So I said on the weeks that I miss, I'll come back to the club Monday night and I'll keep the job. I'll keep Mondays we're basically closed anyway, so and this guy said you either got to quit the job or don't do it. So he forced my hand and made me go out and Monday qualify without a job. And I really basically thought I would probably be out a year or two trying to bump around, Monday qualify, and then go back and get a job.

I was perfectly happy being a club pro all my life. Did I ever think this would happen? No. I think to this day the hairs on my arms still stand up talking about it. It's been an unbelievable journey for 10 years. One I could never have ever dreamed of happening. So I just hope it goes another 10.

Q. The 10 years that you had on the TOUR have been very successful. Does the Senior Open still stand out as the thing that you want to try to grab onto and have as one of your things? You closed the sale. Is it one of the goals that you have to try to get that trophy?

DANA QUIGLEY: Yeah, Senior Open is the hardest one. Always the hardest golf courses, the hardest championship to win. Probably the most prestigious. I put the Ford Seniors in there with mine. Love that golf course. And it's all the players and it's all the guys who bump who you try to bump heads against all year long. It's kind of our championship. And the PGA also is another one. I think the I think what the USGA and the PGA, I think what they do is they choose some really, really great golf courses for us to try to play on. If we can play well on the courses that those two events are played on, we know our game is really going pretty strong. So it's, from the time you're a kid from the time you're a club pro, to win a U. S. Open or a 2006 U.S. Senior Open, obviously would probably be the probably be your No. 1 target, I would think, growing up.

RAND JERRIS: Dana, thanks very much for your time this afternoon. We wish you luck this week.

DANA QUIGLEY: Enjoyed it. Hope to see you the rest of the week, boys.

End of FastScripts.

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