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July 5, 2002

Laura Diaz


MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Laura Diaz fired a 72 today, she's tied for the lead at 1 under par, 139, and I notice you didn't hit quite as many fairways, Laura, but your putting was superb, according to your stats that I have here.

LAURA DIAZ: I was able to get the ball up and down a lot today, which is very important, I think, on this golf course, so I didn't hit it as well as I did yesterday, but I got away with it.

Q. All right. You started on the Back 9?


Q. So let's start with your birdies and bogeys there, beginning with number 10, which you birdied.

LAURA DIAZ: I hit a really good 8-iron, and it went over, just over the green, and I chipped it in.

Q. About how long was that chip?

LAURA DIAZ: It was about 10 paces in total, so it was only about 2 paces off the green.

Q. What club?

LAURA DIAZ: 7 wedge.

Q. Bogey on 11?

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, I 3-putted and hit a 9-iron, about pin high right, you know, it was downwind, and I sailed it by, and missed the putt coming back.

Q. About how far was your first putt, would you say?

LAURA DIAZ: Probably about 35 feet.

Q. The next putt?


Q. Okay. And then number 13?

LAURA DIAZ: 13, oh, I hit a bad drive and I couldn't go at the green, so I pitched out with a 9-iron, hit a sand wedge about 30 feet -- it wasn't very good either -- and 2-putted for 5.

And on 15, par 3, I hit a great 5-iron and pitched on the green and then just kept on going. I hit it into the stuff, the junk -- I don't know what you want to call it -- and made 4 .

Next I got it just on the green and had about a -- i don't know, probably 25-footer for par, and left it about a foot short.

Q. Then you birdied 6?

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, I hit it to 6 feet on 6, with a 9-iron from 109 yards. It was into the wind and I made the 6-footer, and then I bogeyed 8, hit a 7-iron from 177 yards. It was dead downwind. It was only 152 to the front, and the wind didn't help me as much as I was hoping it would, and hit on the right side of the green and kicked down into the rough, and I didn't get it up and down.

I missed about, I don't know, 20-footer, I guess, for par.

Q. Overall, are you pleased with your score today?

LAURA DIAZ: Pleased that I made the cut at the U.S. Open. You know, this is my third Open and I've never made a cut, so I'm happy to be playing on the weekend. Not that happy with how I hit it today, but very happy with how my short game was working.

Q. Laura, how big was the chip on the first hole? Certainly that's got to help you get off to a good mental start, if nothing else?

LAURA DIAZ: It was nice. I walked up there and I was a little upset because I hit a good 8-iron and watched it roll and roll and roll, but I got up there and I had a good lie, and a good look at the hole, and felt really good over it, so I was very happy when it went in the bottom of the cup, and it was nice to hear the cheers from the gallery.

MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Laura, obviously it was an emotional day for Nancy Lopez. Can you talk about her, what she means to you as a golfer.

LAURA DIAZ: Nancy has been one of my heroes, idols, ever since I was a little girl. I think I was in 5th grade when I dressed up and acted like her and did a little skit for the class, so she's an incredible human being, not to mention her exceptional talent and skill on the golf course.

She's been able to raise a family and be in the Hall of Fame, two of the goals that I have in my life, so I look up to her a lot. She's just -- she's been everything to this game and women's golf, and I think she'll continue to be, everything despite not playing in so many events.

Q. Any thoughts on sharing the lead with two Hall of Famers -- or future Hall of Famers? Does it mean anything?

LAURA DIAZ: Well, you know, this is a 72-hole event, and there's 36 holes to go, and I think that myself, along with the other 60- or so people who made the cut, feel the same way, so I think that it's great that I've had two solid rounds, and I look forward to the next 36, as I'm sure Annika and Juli and whoever else -- i don't even know who is up there. I assume you're speaking of Juli and Annika.

Q. How about the pairing? We talked about that a little bit earlier. First in would be Annika and Juli, and they would be paired together tomorrow, and it looks like you might be paired -- let's see, you would go ahead of them with Shani?

LAURA DIAZ: You know, I played with Juli and Annika a lot this year. I have not ever, I don't believe, played with Shani, but she's a great person and her caddy is a really nice guy, so I think it will be a really enjoyable day tomorrow.

Q. Can you comment on the par 4s today? They were kind of tough for the field as a whole. Can you comment on how tough they were and which one was the toughest?

LAURA DIAZ: I think the whole golf course is challenging, so I think I'll start by saying that. I can't pick out a specific par 4 that was more difficult than another. But, obviously, I had some bogeys out there, and I believe they were all on par 4s or par 3s, so it just -- it plays long when the wind is blowing in your face, so it just seemed as though we had a lot of holes where we were into the wind, and not as many when we were downwind, so it just makes for a longer day and a day that you've got to grind it out.

Q. What was the skit?

LAURA DIAZ: You had to do like an autobiography, or something of that sort, and I just dressed up in my golf shoes, and golf shorts, or skirt, or something, and shirt, and visor, and went in and basically told all about her life up to that point.

Q. That was what year, did you say?

LAURA DIAZ: Well, it was 5th grade so I don't know what year that is.

Q. You would have been --


Q. What's your best weekend performance in a major? And you seem to be trying to keep this all in perspective. Is that something you've always done or is that something you've come about since winning a couple time on Tour?

LAURA DIAZ: I think I've always kept it in perspective. My father taught me that you can't get down and you can't get up, and you can't count your score card until 18 holes are over with, and then the next 18, and the next 18. My best finish in a major is, I believe, the British and Nabisco. I know I shot 66 on Sunday. Laura Neal [ph] could tell you this better, but 66 on Sunday at the British last year, coming in -- I don't know -- fifth or -- what did I finish at the British? Do you know? Third. Third.

So I've had some good weekends in the majors.

Q. I know we're only 36 holes into this, but when Annika's name is up on the leader board, does that have any different effect on you than any other player in the field?

LAURA DIAZ: Annika's name is on the leader board every single week. No, I think that, you know, Annika is just an unbelievable golfer, and I think I'm pretty used to seeing her name up there.

But the way this game works is that every day is a new day, and every hole is a new hole, so I think that the good thing is we can all feed off of what we've done in the past and let it help us, but we still have to go out every day and prove ourselves.

Q. Laura, even though you talk about missing the cut your first two trips to the U.S. Open, did you enjoy the experience of the Open? And what, if anything, did you take from those two trips?

LAURA DIAZ: Well, the first one I definitely enjoyed; it was at Pumpkin Ridge. I shot 82/69, I believe, and my father caddied for me. 69 was very memorable, and I walked away with a good feeling. My sister and my mother and father were out with me, so that was really nice.

Last year, however, was not an enjoyable Open for me. My mother went in for chest pains my second round, and I choose not to remember it. It was an awful experience for me, and not that it had anything to do with the golf course or USGA, it was just a family event that was a little scary for me, and I try and block it out of my mind. It was also, I believe, the only cut that I missed last year, too, so it wasn't good.

Q. That happened before or after your round?

LAURA DIAZ: During. It was after four holes into my second round.

Q. Is she okay now?

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, she's fine now. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Good. Any other questions? Thank you, Laura, for being so gracious. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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