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May 26, 2002

Laura Diaz



Q. Laura, congratulations.

LAURA DIAZ: Thank you.

Q. How does the second one feel?

LAURA DIAZ: It feels good. I was still as nervous as I was for every other last round, I think, but, you know, it was hard because I didn't really have any idea how the other players were doing, and I heard some of Laura's again so I wasn't sure. So I said to Thad, coming down 18, how are we doing, without having him saying anything is what I wanted, just to say good. I didn't want any specifics. But he said we're doing good. And I don't know he knew what I was talking about. So right before I putted on 18, he said, just so you know, you're sitting really good right now, so don't worry about it. So it was good. It was an intense day. Again, a little frustrating with the putters, not -- I didn't hit it as close today as I had the rest of the week, and I really would have liked to have three, four rounds in the six deep, but I'll take a win any time I can get it.

Q. So did you actually know that you were afforded a 2-putt on that last put to win?

LAURA DIAZ: I did. I saw the scoreboard for the first time all day. As I turned to look at my putt at 18 and I saw I was at 13, and I knew that there was one shot between Rosie and but I didn't know about the rest of the field, how they were doing. And that was the first time I knew where I stood the whole day.

Q. You had, I think, it was on 9, a chip for maybe what, 25, 30 feet. Was that maybe the signature hole of this win today?

LAURA DIAZ: It was definitely a highlight. I was frustrated after a bad tee shot and a few more bad shots to get to the green, and fortunately was able to chip a sandwich in, and it was great. It's always nice to chip one in. You like them better when they're for birdies, but I think they're a little sweeter when they're a safe par.

Q. I wanted to follow up on the chip shot. Watching when that went in, what went through my mind was this is going to be the turning point of the tournament. Just not going from a scoring standpoint saving par, but just from an emotional standpoint, did that give you a lift going from the back nine, thinking I can go out there I still have a lead and I'm still ahead?

LAURA DIAZ: No, because I as I said earlier, I didn't know where I stood. It's always nice to make a four when you're looking at a hard chip shot, and, you know, into a difficult green; but I think that we still have nine holes to play. So I don't think that a tournament is decided until you putt out on the last hole. And I think that was the case here today. Rosie hit a great shot into the green. It didn't happen to grab like mine did, but I gave it a great run at chipping it in, and I just got lucky, really, that my ball stopped and I was able to make birdie on the last hole.

Q. Laura, you said you didn't really pay attention to the scoreboard until the very end. If you had looked at any time and noticed there were three or four other players who were shooting six or seven under par at one point in the day, or coming in short for two, would that have made you that more nervous, knowing there were that many more people knocking on the door?

LAURA DIAZ: No, because going into the day, I knew there were a lot of people trying to make a lot of birdies and win the golf tournament. For me there's no point in knowing how everyone stands until really the last hole, whether or not -- and it's really on the green in that last hole because all I can do is play my golf game. And I was lucky enough to be in a position today, where I had the choice, to make a putt or to 2-putt, and I will always take making a putt to 2-putting. It's a nice feeling to be able to stand on the last green and know that, unless you really mess up, you've won your second golf tournament.

Q. Did you feel at all fortunate today because you said you didn't hit the ball close most of the day. Rosie never got it going either. She couldn't make a move on you.

LAURA DIAZ: Well, I think that as Rosie's called "The Queen of Corning," I think it's always nice that she gave me opportunity -- and opportunity to win this golf tournament. We both seemed to struggle a little bit out there today, but we were both battling really hard. Rosie's a great player and I think both of us were really giving everything we had out there today. It's just -- it's just one those things that I happen to do something just a little bit better.

Q. Yes. This is your second win this season and the perception of the LPGA seems to be the Annika and Karrie show. Do you think you're putting yourself in a position where you should be considered with those names, or make a move where every week you're going to be considered a threat to make win the tournament?

LAURA DIAZ: Karrie and Annika are incredible golfers. Annika is amazing. She has entered the Hall of Fame without even having enough years on tour. That's incredible. Karrie, I'm sure is right up there with her. I think they're in a category on their own. I don't think that I can compare myself to either one of them. I go out every week, and I try and win a golf tournament, and I'm happy that I've got that second win behind me now, and I look forward to getting the next one and achieving my end goal of being in the Hall of Fame.

Q. Would you tell us about your (inaudible).

LAURA DIAZ: Golf bag?

Q. (Inaudible).

LAURA DIAZ: Yes, I have a dog tag. How did you get that information? I have a dog tag that is my mother's father's dog tag from the war. And my mother gave it to my sister to pass her exam, to get into nursing school -- or to become a nurse. And then gave it to me to get through Q school, and I keep it in my bag. And nobody knows about that.

Q. (Inaudible) You mentioned your father out there.

LAURA DIAZ: It means so much to me to be able to have my family with me when I win, because it's something that winning doesn't happen every week and family doesn't come out every week. So to be able to put those two things together is really nice. To be able to win in New York State is incredible as well. My father, I have referred to him in many circumstances as my everything. He's my coach, one of my best friends, my dad, my instructor. He made it possible for me to be in the position that I am in today. My husband has become the other everything. So to have both of my everythings here is really, really nice.

Q. When he was here, your dad, did you work on anything?

LAURA DIAZ: Well I went to see my father Monday in Cooperstown and I practiced in the snow, which is something I've never done. Living in New York State for 18 years, I've never hit balls in the snow; but I did it on Monday. And I had been sick, so we didn't really work on anything on Monday. He came over on Wednesday night and Thursday after I got done playing, we worked a little on my putting, but nothing too intricate or anything, and kind of spent talking, over the phone, about the problems I've been having with putting, just that I haven't made enough putts, really. And his advice is just as always, go out and try and make them. That's all you can do.

Q. You mentioned other family out there and legions. Can you say a little more about that, who they are?

LAURA DIAZ: Well, before I got married, it was called Silas Finatics, and at that time it was just family and really, really close friends. When I got married, we didn't have anything to rhyme Diaz or go with Diaz, and so my best friend, Heather Bowie, which came up with Laura's Legions. The whole thing started because Heather, at NCAA, had shirts that said Boo Crew, so my family wanted to come up with something so they came up with Silas Finatics. So now here we are, Laura's Legions, and it's grown from family and friends to family, friends, and fans. So it's a good group of people, and we just hope it keeps growing.

Q. Getting back to the family. I remember you were doing solidly on the tour, but once you became Laura Diaz things seemed to be going up. Is that just a matter you're maturing as a golfer or has marriage helped you in some way?

LAURA DIAZ: Oh, it's definitely the name change. We joked about it actually at the beginning of last year when I changed my name. That's the name change seemed to suit me. Marriage suits me. I have a incredible husband. He is very supporting and loving, and I'm lucky enough that he is out traveling with me this year. I think the change in golf game is just more experience, becoming more familiar with the golf courses, and becoming more comfortable in the position of playing well, weekend and week-out.

Q. I read a story, might have been last week, about the LPGA and its image, and the women dressing sexy or something, and they mention you in it, in your shorts; and it said you cut your shorts to be shorter. Was that true?

LAURA DIAZ: Yes, because I don't like my shorts up my knee. I think all of us alter our clothes to a degree. I tend to be a little taller, and have a little longer leg than most people, so I do have my shorts altered. But I think that the point of what's being discussed right now is just that the LPGA is working on putting our fans first and focusing on the fact that we are a sports entertainment business and really trying to do everything we can to please our fans because they're the reasons we're able to go after our dreams every week.

Q. But by the same token, it's not like you want to become like the WWF and have people bragging and getting into trash talk. You still are respectable towards each other, golfers are respectful towards each other, and happy when someone does well?

LAURA DIAZ: I hate to say, I don't follow the WWF so I don't know anything about them. But I think on this tour, we have a lot of support. I think we're pretty united as a group, and I think everyone congratulates each other for a win, or for playing well, day in, week out, all those type of things. I think that we're a very strong organization, and that since our summit in Phoenix we've become even stronger.

Q. Did you find Jenny No. 2 (inaudible) to No. 1, now that you've done it?

LAURA DIAZ: I don't really know. It's so soon after. I think that winning any golf tournament, no matter if it's one or 38, I think they're all pretty tough. I think the only difference is you're a little more comfortable in the position. So I think that until I get to that 38 win, I think I'll probably feel the same way I did in Tucson and I did here.

Q. Any more questions? Let's go into your score card real quick.

LAURA DIAZ: Okay. I birdied three, hit 5-iron from 186 yards to six feet. I bogeyed four. I hit a bad tee shot down the right side into the trees. And I hit it again into the trees. Finally got it on the green, and I was on the front edge. So I had about a 40-footer for par, and missed it. Where did my next birdie come? Six, which is -- oh. I hit 9-iron from 129 yards to about six feet on six. I chipped it on nine, which would be a highlight. I know it's not a birdie, but it's still a highlight. Well the pin was 25 on. I was -- it was -- you know, from the angle I was at, maybe 30 feet? And then I birdied 18. Is that it? Yeah. I birdied 18, after hitting 8-iron from 158 yards to six feet.

Q. (Inaudible).

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, because it's a par. So I wouldn't normally talk about it.

LAURA NEAL: Congratulations. Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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