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November 20, 2003

Laura Diaz


LAURA DIAZ: (Inaudible) I have been paired with Heather Bowie, my best friend. The first time we were paired together it was a horrendous day for both of us. And the second and third time have been good days for me and I think it's weird because you don't really know -- it's different being out with your best friend than just being out with another person because it is important to me that she play well and it's important to me that I play well. So, I think, now that it was our third time we both went out and tried to have a good time out there; managed to make a few birdies which I don't do very often at this golf course and make a lot of good six-footers for par, which again, I have struggled with here. So it was just an all-around good day.

Q. Did the wind mess with you?

LAURA DIAZ: Well, it's just blowing a lot out there. At times I think you are playing for 20 yards of wind and you are hitting higher clubs just so that you are keeping them lower. This course tends to be that way. I do not ever remember really a calm day here in the two previous years that I've played. So I think you just go out expecting it to blow and if it only blows 5 then you know that's a huge bonus. But today was what really I am used to playing in out here.

Q. You shoot a lot of 69s that are kind of ho-hum. I think this is probably a good 69, isn't it?

LAURA DIAZ: It's a really good 69 for me. I have had to overcome a lot playing here. It's been a hard mental course for me. So today it's big mentally for me even though it's only 3-under par, it feels like it's 9-under par because I was able to really go out there today and stay positive and a lot of that's due to the caddie that I have with me, JC, he caddies for me and he's someone who really loves life and that's really important when you are out there and you are struggling because he's always trying to keep my head up and just "Okay, come on, let's go find it," and you know, putt it and hopefully just make the lowest score that we can. Along with that, I recently red a book called "You'll see it when you believe it," by Wayne Dyer. That's really kind of helped me in my mental aspect of the game - just staying positive.

Q. Tough mental course for you?

LAURA DIAZ: My first year here I think I guess it was the first year we were here, the Tour was here, I think I probably shot the highest round of that year here and again did the same thing last year, it's just been a course that I have struggled with. No particular reason, I don't think, but I haven't been able to play well here. The last day last year I started last day five birdies right out of the box, so....

Q. What is the message in this book?

LAURA DIAZ: Basically that this is a dream. Life is a dream and you are the creator of your dream. That your thoughts are what make you. So obviously if you are thinking positively and you have a really good outlook on things, then that's going to make everything -- your world better. Hopefully you can help make the whole world better; not just your world, but everybody's world. It is kind of like we're all part of this big universe and if we're all positive it kind of is a domino effect. That's probably the main gist of it.

Q. Who recommended it?

LAURA DIAZ: My father had given it to me to read in college. I had read it. It really helped me and then I read it on my way over to Korea three weeks ago and from a whole different perspective and he had given it to me again to read after seeing me playing in Portland and seeing some frustration, he thought it would be a good idea to reread it.

Q. Talk about your year, you had an ankle injury --

LAURA DIAZ: It has been a tough year for me. My ankle is definitely an issue. I am planning on having surgery in December. I think more so the fact that for the last 10 or so years I have worked really hard at my game from the time I got to college to currently and I kind of climbed the ladder and not expecting to really do that and out of nowhere I was 7th on the money list last year. And this year I am barely here. So it's been a real mental challenge for me because I have seen my hard work pay-off and this year it was kind of, well, I can't work as hard because I am in pain with my ankle, and yet I worked as hard as I could despite the pain and I wasn't seeing any of it pay off. So it has been a very draining mental year and then with the physical aspect of the ankle as well.

Q. How do you consider this year, you just write it off as bad circumstances and go from there after the surgery?

LAURA DIAZ: No, I think that every year I have been out here I have learned a lot, whether the first year when I finished in the 60s on the money list and the second year in the 30s and then, you know, my best year being with two wins last year. I think every year it has been a huge learning experience for me. Every year you get to know the courses a little better. Every year you get to feel whether or not you should -- you played too much or you haven't played enough. And when I evaluate my year, at the end of this week, I know that I learned a lot this year. I learned that it's not good to play in pain. It doesn't help. You don't need to play a lot of tournaments to have a successful year and that when you see yourself being so frustrated with the game, you need to really walk away. That's something that I have always had a hard time doing. I love playing golf and I want to play as much as I can. And because of that, I kept pushing myself to play despite negative thoughts in my head or despite pain in my ankle. Even though it's not been one of my better years on the money list, it's been a huge learning experience for me. I think on top of all those things, I have had a lot of caddie issues this year. My caddie of a year and a half left me at the beginning of the year and it took me until the Sybase Championships to be able to have a good caddie again. Not that the caddies that I tried weren't good, but it's a huge personality fit and JC and I really work well together in the personality. I think you spend more time with your caddie almost than you do with your husband. It's a huge part of your game and since JC and I have been together, my mental game has bounced back a little and now more so in the last few weeks because of my book.

Q. When did that relationship begin?

LAURA DIAZ: Sybase, about -- July.

Q. Did you ever come close to shutting it down?


Q. Were people telling you to?

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, my family was trying to tell me -- I mean, my father would never tell me what to do and neither would my husband, but the two people that I look to the most for advice, you know, were telling me a lot, take some time off and I can't -- I couldn't, I couldn't do it. I managed to battle through it and get here. This is a really important tournament. This is what you strive for all year long, you know, you want to be in the top-30 and it's an honor to be able to be here and I couldn't let that go.

Q. How long do you expect to be out with the surgery?

LAURA DIAZ: I meet with Dr. Carey (phonetic) - he is at the Houston Clinic in Columbus, Georgia on the 25th and we're going to talk a lot more about that. When I had talked to him during the season about the surgery he had said two to three months, but there's no guarantees there. It could be longer. Obviously my goal is for sure to return at Nabisco. But if I have learned one thing I have learned that I got to stay off of it to get better and I can't go through another year with this pain.

Q. What is the exact injury?

LAURA DIAZ: It's a torn tendon in my left ankle that's caused the ligament to become a little too loose. Obviously that's not a doctor's report. Those are my words.

MODERATOR: Let's go over the score card.

LAURA DIAZ: I bogeyed the first hole. I hit it in the right bunker off of the tee. I had 122 yards to the pin. I tried to just hit a little 9-iron, came up just a little bit short and then I putted it from where I was and I 3-putted.

I birdied 3 after hitting a 5-wood from the right rough into the front bunker and I made a 9-footer for birdie.

I birdied 6. I was 90 yards and I hit a really bad shot. I had about a 35-footer that went in which I haven't made too many long putts, so that was very nice.

I hit 3-wood into 9 and I hit the green and I 2-putted. I had two 31 yards to the pin. I had about, I don't know, about 25 feet, I guess, for eagle.

I bogeyed 10 from 13 six yards. I tried to hit a 9-iron and I just pulled it into the bunker and didn't hit a good -- I hit a good bunker shot but it kept rolling and I missed probably a 20-footer, I guess, for par.

I hit it three feet on 11. 7-iron from 160.

And I hit it three feet on 16; had 161 yards and I hit 5-iron.

Q. I know it's early, but if you were to play really well this week, how much could that salvage what the year has been like for you?

LAURA DIAZ: My father has always told me that one win beats 100 missed cuts. So my first two wins on the Tour have meant a tremendous amount to me and obviously to be able to end the season with a victory is huge, but like you said, we have only played 18 holes, there's so much golf left to be played and this is the best of women's golf here at this event. So I am just going to keep going out there and trying to not get frustrated for the rest of the time that I am here.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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