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March 30, 2001

John Daly


MODERATOR: Shot a 3-under par 69. John was gracious enough to come in at the end of the afternoon. Could you talk about your round.

JOHN DALY: I hit the ball really solid. I think I only missed one shot, horrible 6-iron on 8, hit it fat trying to hit it too hard. The pins were -- I knew the TOUR had them put the pins in some high spots in case it rained. They were tough. I mean, they were very, very tough. But all in all, I putted really well, I hit the ball really well. I think all the par 5s I hit in two except for 6, I think I left it on the fringe. 3-putted 4 for par. I mean, it's just one of those rounds that it was very, very solid. I took not as much pressure on myself. I didn't put that much pressure on myself this week. Bay Hill and Players, I knew if I would win one of them, I would probably have a chance to get in next week. This week I'm kind of free-wheeling it, not putting so much pressure. Maybe that's helping.

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. I looked at the leaderboard, looked like you played really solid. Talk about the bogeys on 7 and 8. Could it have been worse or are you glad you got away with only a bogey?

JOHN DALY: I mean, 8 I hit two good shots in there, I hit a good putt. The pin was back right. That green was just fast. I knocked it by about seven feet. "There's been guys that have putted it off the green from where you were." I still made bogey. Hit a good second putt. Did a 360, came out of the hole. You have to expect that when the greens are this fast. But, you know, I hit it pretty solid on that hole. I hit 9-iron in there. Played a nice, safe shot in the middle of the green. Just happened to make a three-putt there. 8, like I say, hit a horrible 6-iron, got cute with a chip. Made a pretty easy bogey. Those were -- I don't even consider 8 playing it bad. That's just the green sort of there. 8 was probably the only hole I could say I really didn't play well. I think I hit 15 or 16 greens, whatever. That's a lot of greens for me. Hit a lot of fairways today, too. It was just a nice, solid round of golf.

Q. You had lots of good scores this season. What has turned it around? What are you hoping for from the rest of the year?

JOHN DALY: Keep doing what I'm doing. I don't spend a lot of time beating balls, but I do spend a lot of time chipping and putting. After I missed the cut at Players, went back to my house there, just worked on the sand wedge, pitching wedge in the backyard on my green. What it does, it slows my swing down. Today I just killed my driver. I took an inch and a half off my driver to hit it a little straighter. It's paying off. I hit a lot of fairways today. I have a nice little cut working, which I've never really done before. I've always been a drawer. I think just working on the short game, hitting a lot of putts, you know, it's keeping my scores somewhat better than they were last year. Still haven't got to that round, you know, 62, 63, which I really feel today it could have been that. You know, just got to wait patiently and hopefully it will happen soon.

Q. How disappointing is it not to be playing next week?

JOHN DALY: It's tough, you know. I haven't played really good enough to really be in the tournament. But, you know, just kind of makes me feel the two majors that I did win don't seem to mean anything to committees and stuff anymore. That hurts. That hurts my ego a little bit. I've always been gracious to the members, people at the Augusta. I've always loved playing there. It's my favorite tournament to play. You know, there's nothing I can do about it. Just got to try to do the best I can this week. You know, hopefully next year I'll be in.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JOHN DALY: What's that?

Q. The Masters committee can only invite non-American players, so they didn't have an option to invite you. What exactly do you mean by that?

JOHN DALY: Oh, they can. The end of that says -- I forget what it said. I read it on the computer last night. They can. They can invite whoever they want. There's a statement in there.

Q. (Inaudible)?

JOHN DALY: It doesn't say that. There's a clause in there that I read that they can still invite really whoever they want. They've left that sort of open. They gave it to Tom Kite, they've given it to Greg Norman. Greg Norman is Australian, but they gave an exemption to Tom Kite one year.

Q. Obviously, if you're reading about it on the computer, it does mean a lot to you to be there next week. What are you going to do during that time?

JOHN DALY: Just go home and practice, get ready for Hilton Head. Haven't been there in a while. Just work on my irons. Just get ready for that tournament.

Q. Had you thought today about it would have been kind of nice if you could still win and get in the tournament, like it used to be?

JOHN DALY: Yeah. A lot of the players, a lot of guys won some tournaments last year. My buddy, Rich Beem, when he won the Kemper, that was always something that was awesome. You win a tournament out here, you know, Augusta gave you an invite. I can sit here and go all around the whole world and ask every kid that wants to play a tour somewhere, ask them where they'd want to play. I guarantee every one of them would say the US PGA TOUR. It's the hardest tour to play. But when you're inviting people to come to tournaments and stuff, it's not -- it's just weird. I mean, you win a tournament on our TOUR, you deserve something, you know. Granted, you get the year exemption on our TOUR, two years, whatever, but that was always something. It was always awesome for you guys to write about a tournament, let's say Atlanta or the tournament before Augusta, I think Davis Love won New Orleans one year to get in the Masters. That's awesome publicity. It's nerve-wracking in a way. You know, it's just -- to me, I don't think it's right. I mean, I think a lot of players will agree. (Inaudible) won a tournament last year. He should be playing in Augusta this year. Doesn't seem like it means that much to win a TOUR event out there, some of the majors anymore. We all gear our games up for the majors. No doubt about it. I just feel our TOUR is strong enough that if you win a golf tournament, you should be able to play I think in all four majors.

Q. To switch to something more positive, you seem like you have one of the biggest if not the biggest galleries. Does that make you feel better? What do you attribute all the extra attention to?

JOHN DALY: The fans have been great, no matter where I've been. It's nice to play decent golf for them for a change. It's been a long time. I've had some spurts last year, some good rounds. But I've been very consistent this year. It's nice to play well for them. They've hung in there, through the ups and downs and stuff. A lot of them relate to what I've been through. A lot of them, you know, I think we kind of have sort of a friendship in that manner. They all relate to what I've been through, and I can relate to them.

Q. Do you feel you're ready to win again?

JOHN DALY: I think so. I mean, you know, I just feel the hard work's going to pay off sooner or later. If it happens, it happens. At least I know I've set myself up to play well. I've worked hard enough that if I get in the hunt, it's been so long, like Honda, I hit the ball really good on Sunday at Honda, just couldn't make anything. But it felt good to be in the hunt. I haven't been in it in a long time. I've got to get myself in that position more in order to feel the heat and get used to it again. It's just been forever since that's happened.

MODERATOR: See if we can wrap it up. Anything else?

Q. Do you think your game is at a stage where you can maybe eliminate some of the wild fluctuations, your consistency is where you want it to be?

JOHN DALY: It's closer. I mean, I think I've never cut my driver off an inch and a half. It was really nice to see. I wish I would have done it last week now (laughter). You know, I'm probably losing 20 yards maybe, 15 yards. When you're hitting it solid and straight, I don't think it really matters. It feels good. Get in the tee box, I feel like I'm going to hit a fairway. Last year, it was just hit it and hope you hit a fairway. It just feels good, you know. Start making a few more putts here and there. It would be great to win again. It really would.

MODERATOR: Why don't we go over the birdies.

JOHN DALY: 1, I hit 3-wood, 8-iron. 2, I hit the flag stick. I didn't make the birdie. If it wouldn't have hit the flag, might have been a little closer. 4, I hit driver, 2-iron. 3-putted 4.

MODERATOR: Birdie on 6.

JOHN DALY: 6, I hit driver, 3-wood up front, putted up to about a foot for birdie. 7 and 8, I bogeyed. Driver, 9-iron into 7. Three-putt. 6-iron on 8, short, short, chip, missed the putt. 10, I hit driver, 3-wood, pin-high in the bunker, got it up and down. Made about a 7- or 8-footer.


JOHN DALY: 16, I hit 7-iron and made about a 40-footer for birdie. Then 18, I hit driver, 3-iron in. Had about 75 feet, 70 feet. 2-putted for birdie.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

JOHN DALY: You got it.

End of FastScripts....

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