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June 26, 2001

Dana Quigley


MARTY PARKES: Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to welcome Dana Quigley to the interview area and Dana maybe you could start off by talking about some of the local ties that you have here to the area.

DANA QUIGLEY: Okay. I've probably played more tournaments here than I remember. We played Mass Opens here; we played a bunch of section stuff. To be honest with you, I don't remember it as nice a shape as it is when I played it today. I think it's better than I have ever seen it. So it's going to be kind of fun to go out there and play and in perfect conditions. The New England PGA thing we usually play in the early spring or late fall, if you play in the early spring, the greens and the fairways aren't perfect. You play in the late fall, you have leaves every where from all these trees. So it was -- it's really sensational out there. I was really impressed by the condition of it this morning when I played. If you know, we heard lots of bad reports all year long about how bad the course was. It is way better than I think anyone could have imagined it to be from the reports we heard.

MARTY PARKES: Questions for Dana.

Q. Fans in New England are used to equating your game with Nashawtuc, that's the place they see you every year. How does Salem Country Club lend to your game?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, if today's practice round is any indication, I think I'll be right in there in the action, I think, this week. I played very well today. Any U.S. Open is going to be a driver's golf tournament and I'm driving it pretty straight and I think I only missed a fairway today. So if you keep the ball in the fairway here it's going to play into those kind of guy's hands but not necessarily the straight short hitters, but you need some length too. And the guys like Allen Doyle, Hale Irwin always, good, good long drivers, straight drivers of the golf ball are going to prevail here without a question. I think the scores are going to be low, in my opinion, depending upon where the USGA sets the pins. I think the scores could be low. The course is in that good a shape.

Q. Does it ever get old to be home?


Q. With all the people you've known all over the years, does it ever get old or is it just as exciting as it's ever been?

DANA QUIGLEY: I've only been gone four and a half years. It seems like my entire life I've been gone really. The amount of golf I've played the last four and a half years on the SENIOR TOUR, when you come in for a week like we used to do for Nashawtuc and go, it really went too fast, but I noticed a huge change in these back-to-back weeks where I was home last week, I was at my club, I did a charity event there; I've got to see my family. I went to back to Providence last night and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. That part will never get old and having the two weeks here rather than just the one week rapid fire and get in and get out is going to be, almost I'm summering in New England this year and it's going to be great old times. From just from the marshals on every tee and every green, to the fans out there, to the guys in the locker room, and just everyone, you could just feel them pulling for you because you're back home. If there's any player out here that could get too used to that, then they don't have any feeling left in their bodies. It's the greatest. If you can play well that way, you know, they keep talking about is it a distraction to play at home, and I just can't imagine how it can be a distraction. It's what you want to make out of it. And just being, just having phone calls from my friends and that's not a distraction. It's really going to make me want to play harder and better. I can't imagine this being too much of a distraction at all.

Q. What restaurant?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, we ate at the Venus Dimilo for lobsters. You know that one, Billy. It wasn't up on the hill, an Italian restaurant which we may get to this weekend, but we always went for lobsters when I was home at the club. Probably three or four times a year. So I went and took my family to the Venus and for a change. I got to pay which was pretty cool. It's nice to be able to just have the check sent to you. It's a great thrill, really.

Q. You had a clinic at the club. Is that back at Prestwood?

DANA QUIGLEY: It actually is a whole day charity event for a hospital which is -- it's a child abuse -- Butler Hospital, it's a substance abuse for children program that I've been connected with the last four years since I've been out here. We probably raised probably 70,000 for it.

Q. So you saw all the old members?

DANA QUIGLEY: Saw the members. Some good, some bad. Some that wanted, a lot of the ones that told me I couldn't make it I saw. It's kind of funny how they kind of change paddles in the water, you know now that we knew you could do it and all that kind of stuff. It's really, you know, when you see these people and you think about how they talked before and now after my success, it's just fun to see the change in a lot of people.

Q. You've done just about everything on the Tour except win a major. Obviously winning one would be great, but how much better would it be to win it right here in New England?

DANA QUIGLEY: That gave me goose bumps just even thinking about that.

Obviously it would be the end all, I think, for me. I don't put a lot of -- I don't not put a lot of conscious thought about what my career would be or wouldn't be without a major. I don't do that. Four and a half years ago I was a club pro and never thought of even playing in a tournament, let alone winning a major. So I think I finished second twice last year of the four so I played well in the majors. I don't feel like I'm missing anything in my life not winning a major. Obviously that would be fantastic. I think it's probably something that you feel after you won it rather than before. If you don't win it, you probably would say it's not that important and it's -- there's probably a lot of perks that go along with winning it. And to do it here would -- I may never play another one if I did it here, believe me. This would be the all-time here. The people would be absolutely crazy. It would be fun.

Q. You are a guy that actually thrives on people around you?


Q. Is it harder to play to please people?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, I don't know. I'm the kind of guy that needs an incentive to play. If I could play to make some other people happy like my family and friends, that's -- I think that's just one easier way to get up for the tournament. I, as you know, spent all my life trying to be around people making them laugh and joke with them, I'm that kind of a guy. And I -- for me, personally, the more the merrier. The more people calling me and wondering trying to get tickets and this and that, that's not a distraction at all. It's really kind of fun.

Q. Talk about what it will be like playing with your son in this tournament.

DANA QUIGLEY: My son? In a senior tournament, I don't think that's -- I don't think that can happen.

Q. No, caddying, for you?

DANA QUIGLEY: Oh, caddying for me. Well, he caddied for me in the Nashawtuc last year, this year as well. He's really a caddy now rather than someone just to spend some time with. I mean, he did a fantastic job for me last week. He had me working on my putting stroke. I think that will probably carry over to this week. I'm very psyched about being out there with him and I said this last week, while I'm out there playing, I try to teach him how to play golf. I don't -- because I don't get home ever in the last four and a half years, I haven't been home to really work, you know, he's 16 and his game is starting to turn around. I haven't been home to work, work with him on that so I'm actually showing him how to play tournament golf. I'm telling him what I'm thinking before each shot; what's happening during that shot; what happens after the shot. I try to get him knowing what to expect when the pressure comes on because you really don't know how you're going to act when the heat gets turned on. Just to have that opportunity is more important, believe me, than winning any golf tournament, believe me, anywhere in the world. I wouldn't trade that experience that moment in time for anything.

Q. Do you think that this area, where you know the area growing up, that it's avid about the game of golf. Big crowds every time. Do you think it's special? Do you think it's different than other parts of the country that when somebody likes you comes back you're embraced so warmly by the people in this area?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, I'm going to be a little bit prejudiced on this answer but I think that when you see a lot of players in their parts of the country when we get to them, I feel like I'm totally part of the gallery here and everything. I don't know if it's because some of the top players in the other parts of the country have sort of separated themselves from the mainstream, I don't know how that goes. But I know personally I just -- even the guys on Tour when we're getting close to coming to Boston they say, oh, you're going to have all those crazy people around and screaming and yelling. And I think they -- a lot of the players recognize the fact that every one out here seems to have a good time with me. They know I enjoy giving it back and forth with them during the round. Between holes I talk to every one and we high-five all kinds of crazy stuff up here and I don't see a lot of that in other parts of the country towards their local players. So maybe it's because I bumped around here so many years playing the state tournaments and all kinds of stuff. Classic, we have all kinds of tournaments that we have had all over New England and kind of tournaments where you have fun with the amateurs and the players in it. So I think probably because I was a club pro, I'm a lot closer to that element and I think that's why they kind of welcome me back and they would really love to see me win here.

Q. You play week after week after week. What inside you differentiates this week? What tells you you're at a major?

DANA QUIGLEY: Up until Thursday morning nothing. I can tell you I don't feel anything different with the practice rounds. The course is set up a little bit better. There are better conditions for an U.S. Open, no question about it. There's more people. You can feel that. But as far as the tournament pressure, I won't feel any different until Thursday morning and then the first swing is usually when I got my butterflies out. Or whether it flies straight or whether it flies crooked after that first swing, it's going to be all right. But you know, obviously Sunday you're going to know you're in the U.S. Open if you're in the action. But a lot of the pressure we put on ourselves. It's not -- it's all self-induced all this pressure stuff. If you can keep it calm within yourself, you don't have to fold in a U.S. Open pressure-type situation, you know.

Q. Because it is your home soil and because it is a major would you compare, obviously, you haven't played in a Super Bowl, but do you think the distractions are somewhat of an equivalent of a Super Bowl-type of atmosphere?

DANA QUIGLEY: No, I don't think anyone, I don't think so. There's no distractions for me. I'm dying to hear from people that I haven't heard from in a year or two. It's going to be fun to see people I haven't seen. I'm looking forward to it. For me it's part of being in New England for these two weeks. It's going to be a great thrill to be able to see a lot of people. I have more friends in Boston than I really thought I had. I see lots and lots of people that will be out here for this tournament that I go way back with. You tend to forget that. For me that's really going to be what's going to make this a major week to me is the fact that every one surrounding me is going to be friendly. And it's great. I'm playing with Hale on Thursday and Friday and Doug Tewel, two great players. There's going to be a lot people to watch them, some people to watch me. But by the end of the day I hope I'm going to swing all those fans over to my side. I'm out there trying to please more than just myself, believe me. I'm here for, I feel like I'm playing for all of New England. I have since the day I got out of the store. And to come back and play well in front of them is just, it will never be a distraction for me.

Q. Have you envisioned or can you close your eyes and see yourself winning this thing?

DANA QUIGLEY: No, no. No way. I can't see myself doing that. I've been out here four and a half years, I can't see myself playing on this Tour. Playing to with the success I had. Whatever has happened to me is totally, the last four and a half years has almost been like a blur. I haven't had time to sit back and to think of the success I've had because it gives me goose bumps to even think about it. To envision myself winning a U.S. Open, not in any of my wildest dreams did I dream of this. But I know it's possible because of the way, because of how I've measured up against these guys for the last four and a half years. I know I can beat them and certainly with all the stars in the right line I can do that. But I think back, I think of myself as a U.S. Senior Open champion, it's very hard to picture old local club pro to be up there in that atmosphere.

Q. Were you here in '91, it was a Mass Open then?

DANA QUIGLEY: Yes. I remember John Elliott.

Q. John Elliott had a big brother?

DANA QUIGLEY: That's right.

Q. Did you at that time think, I'm good enough, I know if I keep playing there's golf after all this is over?


Q. You didn't?

DANA QUIGLEY: No. I thought I would --

Q. What did you think of your self then?

DANA QUIGLEY: I thought I would be a club pro, a career club pro the rest of my life, which I was not unhappy with. I got to see my kids a lot. I had a lot of friends. I won a bunch of tournaments, I was kind of like a big fish in a small pond. And that's never something that you get tired of, I don't think. I had a lot of success with the National PGA and the New England PGA and I really had a lot of fun and enjoyed it a lot. I was quite satisfied. When I turned 50 when I was a Monday qualifier, certainly had no, I had no ideas that anything like this could have ever happened to me. I was going to do that year of Monday qualifying, I was going to go to the School in December of that year, and if I didn't get through it I was going to go back and be a club pro. And I think I would have been very happy and satisfied doing that. And that's just, I'm one of the stories that makes the SENIOR TOUR what it is. It's an opportunity for guys like myself and I could give you ten names Allen Doyle, Bruce Fleisher, Ed, I mean, there are just name after name of guys that they probably didn't dream, like I didn't dream about being anything out here. And we just got an opportunity to get in the action. And I don't think you had to play the regular Tour until you were 50 in order to play well from 50 on. We just chose other career directions and we all ended up back here. And I think that it's a plus to us that I think we weren't burned out by the time we got back out here. We, this was all brand new stuff coming to us. Coming to new cities. And I think it excites us to get to a new venue every week. And that's why I think we're still fresh and still able to do it. But I never in those days from '91 on when I played here and lost to John Elliott, I just figured I was just an, it was a second place in a Mass Open and I was happy for the week. I mean, if I went home, if I ever made a two thousand dollar check in those days I mean that was huge. Huge. When I played the year, the winter before I came on the SENIOR TOUR, the winter of '97, yeah, January of '97 the New England National PGA has a whole winter program in Florida and there are 13 events, I won five of them, I think I won like 22 thousand dollars and, by God, I thought I had made more money than you could make in golf and still have fun. I mean it was unbelievable. To come out here. And it's like the Wizard of Oz. You went through a wall and here you are in this whole new world. This is as good as it gets right out here on the SENIOR TOUR. I'll tell you that. If you ever hear anyone talk bad about it, make them, let them go be a club pro for 15 years. They will think they had hit Hollywood. This is the greatest scene ever for golf.

MARTY PARKES: One last question for Dana?

Q. Can you just talk about, in your opinion, what makes Salem such a special course, why maybe this place was chosen and why the people who aren't here who are here regard it in such high esteem?

DANA QUIGLEY: I know being a New Englander we regard it with very high esteem because we don't get to play it very often. Salem does not let you go out there and come off the street. You can hardly find it off the street even with directions. So number one it's very exclusive. It's one of Donald Ross' greatest. When they soup it up for conditions for a U.S. Senior Open they can't possibly get any better. And it's special. I don't know how many majors have ever come to New England? You know better than I. I know no SENIOR event. I don't know about the regular Tour. New England people are golf fanatics, let's face it. Just going back to the '60's when they had the, when they played at Pleasant Valley in the '60's. Anyone know? I don't know. Palmer and Nicklaus and all those guys came. We had crowds at Pleasant Valley that were the best on tour. And I think that New England is really starved for championship golf. And when you get Nicklaus, Trevino, Palmer, Irwin, all the great stars that we all grew up with, if you can get them out here and in one small little Donald Ross area and all for one week, I mean that's what makes it special. And then they throw in a U S Senior Open title to boot to play for, I mean, how can it get any better than that. The fans are dying for it. I just hope we all give them a good show. Because they deserve it.

MARTY PARKS: Dana, thank you and good luck this week.

DANA QUIGLEY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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