June 14, 1996
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN
LES UNGER: John, if you don't mind, a general comment or two and then your birdies and other unusual shots of the day, scores of the day.
JOHN DALY: Okay. It was just another round kind of like yesterday - just hit a lot of fairways, a lot of 0-irons and, you know, it is just -- the golf course is just a golf course that I can't really attack and I am -- I probably won't attack it and it is just a matter of getting the ball on the green. If you make a birdie, that is fine. If not, just try and 2-putt. I am very happy with the way I played the last two days and so... I have never been at a U.S. Open Media Center, so this is the first for me because I have never played worth a shit to get here once. It is kind of nice. (audience laughter)
LES UNGER: Would you clean that up so they can use it?
JOHN DALY: (WAVES TO CAMERA)
LES UNGER: Birdie and saves.
JOHN DALY: I don't even remember. Let me see. Okay. 2: I hit a driver, 6-iron, 2-putted from about 20 feet for birdie. 4: I hit 0-iron, 8-iron; chipped to about six feet and missed it for bogey. 6: I hit a driver 60 degrees about three feet, made birdie. 7: I hit a 3-iron, 8-iron left and 3-putted from off the fringe for bogey. 10: I hit 0-iron, 8-iron to about 35 feet and made it for birdie. Let us see. 15: 0-iron, sand wedge to about twelve feet, made the putt for birdie. I think that was it. I made -- you want the bogeys, too?
LES UNGER: Yes.
JOHN DALY: 9: I hit a 5-iron, 3-putted from about 50 feet. That is it. Good enough for me. Good save on 18, 0-iron, 5-iron, about a 35 yard bunker shot to about a foot and a half.
LES UNGER: Were you ever told by anybody how far your 1-iron goes versus your driver?
JOHN DALY: My iron --
LES UNGER: I am sorry the 0.
JOHN DALY: It is probably about 30, 35 less than my driver.
LES UNGER: Questions.
Q. John, how many times did you actually use a driver?
JOHN DALY: I only hit the driver three times today.
Q. Par fives?
JOHN DALY: 2 and 12; then I missed it on 6.
Q. Are you afraid your driver is going to get some rust on it from inactivity?
JOHN DALY: Probably. It is tough for me because it is not like Augusta where you know you are going to hit driver after driver after driver after driver. I don't get -- if you don't hit at least seven or eight times on the golf course, I most likely am not going to hit it very good because I don't get the good rhythm, and it is very difficult. It is real easy to hit a toe-hook for a pull-hook. That is usually what happens when I only hit a driver about two, three times in a round.
Q. You talked about not having been at a U.S. Open Media Tent prior to this year. What does it do for your confidence now and not at the Open, but in general, and this tournament in particular?
JOHN DALY: Well, I think every player will agree. I think this is the hardest golf course we have played in a long, long time. It is the hardest I have ever played. It feels good. I am playing smarter. I am playing smart golf. I am hitting the 0-iron pretty solid; not real solid, but I am hitting -- hit good enough to get it in the fairway. You know, you don't have to attack a U.S. Open golf course to play very good, and plus, you know, you don't have to shoot real low numbers to be right in there. I am learning. It is just a learning process, and, you know, hopefully go out and hit a lot of fairways and greens tomorrow.
Q. John, is a wet golf course like this going to be your best opportunity in an Open Championship?
JOHN DALY: Pretty much, yeah, but the thing is the fairways aren't going to dry up, but the greens are. They dried up a lot today. They are a lot quicker today. And the thing about hitting off of a wet fairway it is going to give me an opportunity to hit a nice high shot into the green; so, yeah, I think it is a good opportunity for me. If I am going to have a chance, this would be a great week to do it.
Q. John, if you don't mind doing my work for me, can you tell me how your game is similar to Tiger's and how your game is different?
JOHN DALY: I used to attack the ball like Tiger did. He hits everything hard. I still hit everything hard, but you know, I just learned 3-quarter shot maybe two, three years ago, didn't know -- didn't even know how to do it, and I showed that I could do it at the British. I think that is the only thing lacking in Tiger's game. If he could learn a little -- tone it down just a tad, because he hit a lot of shots just right over the flag that he had no chance of getting up and down. You know, maybe trying to work the ball a little bit more. He is just -- he plays just the way I did. It took me four years before I could learn a 3 quarter shot.
Q. Could you please talk about the patience involved in not attacking the course? You have had so much success in doing it, and everybody in the gallery wants to see you go do it. How much patience is involved and how do you develop that?
JOHN DALY: Yesterday was tough because we were out there for five and a half hours. I used to lose my patience when we were out there that long, but I hung in there and kept hitting irons off the tee. Today we had a great pace. It was 45 to 55 minutes shorter round today than it was yesterday, which that means I kind of got in a rhythm. I knew exactly what I was going to do today and it helped. But I am learning in the longer rounds, you say, hey, just wait it out. Just be patient. And especially in major championships. I am still not all the way there yet, but my patience is getting a lot better, and it is just somewhat of -- just an experience thing as time goes on.
Q. John, how many times did you hit driver yesterday and when you are standing on the tee area, are you fighting with yourself or have you --
JOHN DALY: Where the hell is he?
Q. I am over here.
JOHN DALY: Oh. (LAUGHTER)
Q. Do you find yourself that you just made up your mind you are going to hit driver on these holes and zero on --
JOHN DALY: I think today 2, 6 and 12 are going to be the driver driver holes for me and that was it. Greg was happy with it. I was happy with it. Yesterday I tried to hit it on -- I think I only hit it maybe once, once or two times more. I don't remember which holes they were, but you know, I know those three holes I am going to hit driver on. Because 2 of them is a par 5, and 6 is a hole that if I just get it past the bunker, up down the left, I am going to have a shot of getting it on the green, so it is not a bad play.
Q. What is the reason you think for, you know, this new patience you have? Has Fuzzy helped you any with your patience in the game, your relationship with Fuzzy?
JOHN DALY: Fuzzy? He plays quicker than I do so it is kind of hard -- I think just having a 0-iron has helped because it has made it a hell of a lot easier for me to decide what I am going to hit off the tee. You know, so many times I have said, "well, I am just going to hit the driver," said "the heck with it." Next thing you know, I hit a bad shot and I kind of lose my patience. But knowing exactly what to hit off tees is making it so much easier for me, so I think that is keeping my patience going, and it is just a lot easier knowing what you are going to hit off of each hole than trying to say well the 1-iron is not enough and the driver is too much.
Q. A couple of years ago, could you have imagined yourself being in the pressroom, basically going into the weekend in contention for this title, and was there a conscious effort that this was the one major that you really had to maybe work at to become a contender in?
JOHN DALY: Well, I think I have made the cut in the last three Opens and the last one I missed was at Pebble Beach. I was even par with four holes left and bogeyed the last four 4. Still I played Baltusrol. I thought I played it pretty smart. Last year at Shinnecock I played smart, so I think it is just one week out of the year. British Open is pretty much the same although you can hit it left-to-right a little bit more at the British Open. I think for some reason maybe I just concentrate better in Majors like maybe the last two, three years I have. And I think it has helped.
Q. You talked about the patience and the need for that. Now that you are two rounds in, at what point do you determine that you got to be attacking the course?
JOHN DALY: That is the problem. You can't. You can't attack this course. As soon as you do, you are going going to make an X. Prime example was Tiger going at the flag with that 6-iron at 16 yesterday. If he hit a little 3-quarter shot to the left of the green try and make his par, that is just wasn't a pin I wouldn't have gone at two or three years ago. You know, it is just -- you can't attack it. It is just not set up that way. It is a golf course where you just got to play "Nick Faldo golf." You just got to try hit the fairway, try and hit the greens. There is not a better player that does it than Nick Faldo.
Q. Can you talk about the 0-iron? Is there any loft on it? What is it like?
JOHN DALY: It's got about 10 to 12 degree loft.
Q. When you were looking for something to hit other than the driver, did you ever try a 2-wood?
JOHN DALY: I have tried 2-woods. I have tried 3-woods and just, you know, I just never have been a 3-wood-guy. Just always been a long-iron player off the tees that I can't hit driver on.
Q. We can all remember when we were talking about your sobriety; all that, the children, all this maturity. Don't you think with all of these factors that you are a different person when you sit here with us; don't you really think it is a whole total package?
JOHN DALY: Yeah, I think I am just growing up a lot, you know -- As soon as I say that, I am probably going to do something stupid tomorrow. (audience laughter) Yeah, I think so.
LES UNGER: John, hope you have another visit.
JOHN DALY: Thanks.
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