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March 4, 1999

Esteban Toledo


ESTEBAN TOLEDO: I think I birdied 16 and 17. 16, I hit a driver and a wedge about twelve feet, made it for birdie. On 17 I made it from likes 25 feet.

JOAN vON THRON: On the front side.


JOAN vON THRON: No. 6 and No. 8.

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Yes, on 6 I hit a driver and sand wedge about five feet, made it for birdie. Then I hit it on 8 and 2-putted for birdie.

JOAN vON THRON: Questions.

Q. Conditions out there, cold windy?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: It was kind of cold in the morning and kind of windy, but it wasn't that easy out there in the morning. I think the ball flies a little shorter and it wasn't that easy the first five, six holes I start kind of off, missed the fairway on 10 right away. I made a 10-footer for par at the first hole and it was kind of tough. But after 15 -- 16th hole I took control. I was hitting it on the fairway, making good putts. I was hitting great shots to the flag from 16 to 18. And then all in the back 9 I hit it pretty well. Kind of helped me because I was putting great. Last four weeks I have been putting something terrible. Almost decided to quit this game, but it is all putting. I made maybe 27 putts and that keep me going for the next three days: Yesterday I was practicing at least five hours on the putting green and that helped me a lot.

Q. Growing up, did you ever imagine your name on the leaderboard at the Doral-Ryder Open?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: I don't look until the last hole at No. 9, but I don't even pay attention about that score, because the scoreboard makes me kind of nervous and I wasn't thinking anything. I just -- I was shooting birdies, I was shooting good shots at the flag and I know if I can get it 5-under, I will be pretty close to the top, so I was surprised when I was 4-under. I was numb 1.

Q. As a child could you imagine this?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: No, no. My dream was to be a boxer not a golfer. Golf is just kind of, you know, second sport to me and I have been in situations like this before. In the Bell South Classic last year I pulled out the last two days, but I don't know, I am not nervous out there. I just play the game one shot at a time and I have been struggling for the last four weeks, but finally I got lucky last week, made the cut and got a little confidence back and I want to keep going the next three days hopefully, because I am expecting a baby any minute, so I might leave. So I don't know hopefully my wife will never call me. But if my wife calls me, I have to go.

Q. Is she in labor are you saying?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: We are expecting a little baby girl any minute. So I took my chance to be here. Last year I missed the cut by, I don't know, I shot 80, 72 and I told my wife I wanted to play the Doral because I have a little match with the golf course, a little rematch and it is a tough golf course, one of the toughest courses I have ever played. I know I could play a little better this year.

Q. Where is your wife right now?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: She is in my house in California, but she is expecting a baby any minute.

Q. Are you withdrawing? You said you are going to see -- are you going to see your wife?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: No, I said, well, if she called me and she is going to deliver, I have got to go.

Q. But she is not in labor?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: No, but any minute. Any minute.

Q. Do you have a pager?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: No, I don't. If she doesn't call me. Somebody will. I have to go.

Q. If you are leading this tournament tomorrow?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: I have to go.

Q. On the 10th hole, you will go?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Yes. I mean what is money, what is life if your wife is in pain? It is more important that I go home and spend time with my wife instead of playing golf up here.

Q. How did you deal with that playing, knowing that she might be --

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: It is very difficult because I never been in that situation before, so, this is my first baby and I am really excited about it and every single day I call home, maybe four, five, six times a day and I have been asking her if she feels okay and she have been saying fine, I am okay, I am in pain, but I will be okay, kind of make me really sad because I mean, here I am playing golf with the best in the world and she is in pain at home. So it is -- it kind of feels sad for her and she has been telling me to hang in there and maybe I will win this week. But I don't really care about winning right now. I just want to make sure my wife is okay, my baby.

Q. When is the last time you talked to her?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Just a few minutes ago. She is okay.

Q. You called her from the locker room?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Yes. Everyday.

Q. Do you feel like no matter what happens you won your little rematch at least?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: You know, my family, it is very important to me 100% and I have to go. I know if I play well tomorrow at least I say: Hey, I made the cut. So it is not going to be official money, but my wife will be more important.

Q. Shooting the 80 last year you came back and got 68. You said you wanted a rematch with this course. Do you feel like you got the upperhand a little bit?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Yeah, you know, last year I finished with a 72 on Friday and it kind of make me feel better before I left this golf course, but I don't know, you know, I -- I am the kind of guy who missed the cut one year and I really want to go back again and play well, that course. It is kind of -- that is the way I am. I like to go out, I don't like to back up for anything.

Q. What is the due date? What is the due date of the baby?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Supposed to be next two days, I think.

Q. Is there a chance that she might tell you just stay there, if it's Saturday and you are leading the tournament three rounds she might just say: Don't come home, stay there; is that a possibility?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: I will give it all to her. I just want her to know that I am there for her and I want to make sure she knows that I am 100% that I want to leave, but for whatever reason she say no, I go whatever she say. I don't want to go home and she goes after me for something that I -- so, we will see what happen. I am real excited about this tournament. I think this tournament is great. The people are just terrific but my family is No. 1.

Q. Did you say you do have a beeper? What if you are out there and how will you know?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: She said she will call up here and they are going to get me. I have a free ticket, so can fly any time I want to. So that is kind of nice.

Q. How did you concentrate on putting together a good round today, if you are worrying about your wife?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Good question. I still don't know. I am in the golf course, I am thinking, oh, my gosh, she is going to call me and she is going to call me and I can't describe this. I guess God is putting me the energy in my mind and brain that, you know, that I hang in there. It is tough. I have been talking to my caddie a lot about my wife and my wife, all 18 holes and it is just very difficult.

Q. Where is California is she?


Q. First name of your wife?


Q. What is the baby's name?

ESTEBAN TOLEDO: Eden Coleen, just like her mother.

End of FastScripts....

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