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July 9, 1998

Terry Dill


DAVE SENKO Terry shot a 5-under, 67 today. Tell us about your round today.

TERRY DILL: Well, the first thing I want to say is I can't praise my caddie enough. My caddy's name is Rockwell Hobday, Simon Hobday's half brother. He was reading the putts. We made 7 and I don't believe he misread a putt. I had about 4 that hit the hole and just missed, so, I just want to tell you that I am here today because of my caddie. He has been caddying for me since last October. We have been doing fairly well. But today he was just magnificent. I was stroking it pretty much where I was looking, so I had seven birdies and two bogeys. One of the bogeys was real exciting on the wonderful 14th hole. I hit 6-iron down in the hazard and I could hit it out if I could get it up enough and I hit it in the bank and then it went over. Then I just got out and I had about 20-footer and I made a 20-foot bogey putt which he read perfect there. So, I birdied No. 1. I missed the green at 5.

DAVE SENKO What happened on the first hole?

TERRY DILL: Had a pitching wedge in about four feet. Then I bogeyed 5. I missed the green right and hit a poor pitch. And then 6, I hit a sand wedge about ten feet. And 10, I hit a 7-iron about twelve feet. On the par 5, I hit it in the bunker, I had to lay-up. I hit a sand wedge about five feet. On the next hole, that 14th hole, that is some hole. I pulled my 6-iron and left it in the hazard, got out and made, oh, it was at least a 15, maybe 18-foot par-putt. Then the next hole, hit 5-iron in about four feet which was really a good shot there. Then I knocked it on the 17th hole in 2. Went just over and I had to pitch over the bunker and really hit a really nice pitch to get about five feet from the hole and made that. Last hole hit a 7-iron about 15 feet and I made it. Seven birdies and two bogeys. Nice day.

DAVE SENKO Questions.

Q. According to this book, this is the best round you have ever had here on this golf course?

TERRY DILL: Well, I think the golf course -- they are letting the fairways grow a little longer and so you can kind of get the club on the ball a little better. I think that has made a lot of difference. Of course, it rained the other day so the greens are holding. But I am playing the best golf of my life here at 59 years old.

Q. Why is that? What do you attribute it to?

TERRY DILL: A lot to my caddie because I can't see near as well as I could see and he can read the greens so much better than I can. I am striking the ball well, but when you feel like you are going to make some 10- and 15-foot putts, you can play a little bit more conservative. That is what I have been doing almost all the whole year.

Q. How come Simon doesn't use him?

TERRY DILL: They are just half brothers. They can't get along that well. You have got to know Simon.

Q. How did you hook up with your caddie?

TERRY DILL: Well, I had another caddie who was really a good caddie but couldn't read the greens. So I just decided that if I were going to do any better I had to have a better caddie. This was last year at Indianapolis. I asked about ten people if they knew someone who could read the greens and about four, five said the same fella. Rocky used to play on the European Tour and has been in golf all his life. He has a messed up shoulder and a smashed wrist from an accident and he just can't play. But he wants to be in the game and so I tested him the first week that we went out. I was like reading 9 or 10 putts right and he hit like 15, 16 -- 14, 15, 16. So I just go with him all the time. We get along very well. I am just not out there by myself anymore, which I have had two good caddies before who could read the greens, but they both quit on the Tour. They quit caddying for various reasons.

Q. What is your vision? Do you know what it is?

TERRY DILL: I had a cataract in this eye and I had to have it taken out and had an artificial lens. I see 20/15 but it is more like flatseeing, and I have these little rings with lights. If you talk to anybody that has artificial implants, they are -- like headlights have ring around them, so I can't see shadows like I used to. So my flat vision is good, you know, for reading a sign, but shadow -- like when they do the depth perception charts, I am not too good. I hit it in a tree at Cadillac NFL that was even with the flag and I didn't even see the darn tree. And Rocky said, "Didn't you see that tree?" I said, "No, I thought that was behind the green". I mean, that is just kind of the way it is.

Q. At age 59, you say you are playing better. There has got to be more to it. What else do you attribute it to, got to be ball-striking --

TERRY DILL: A friend of mine named David Ogrin on the other Tour showed me how to play bunkers using three different wedges. I used to be one of worst bunker players on the Tour and I am one of the best now, just in the last year. So when I get to a hole that the bunker is tight I don't want to get in the bunker but I am not worried about getting in the bunker. I got excellent equipment. I could hit the ball further than I have could in my whole life with the clubs I have got. I have got great wedges. I have got great fairway woods, so my equipment is much better. I think my driving average this year is like 275. Last couple years ago it was 287 and when I played before it was 268 or 269. With all this equipment, you can hit it farther and actually some of it you could hit it straighter and with all these wedges you can throw the ball up -- on 17 today, I hit a good drive and a 4-wood, hit on the green and I went just over. There is this bunker that cuts in there. I have got to hit this ball straight up and land on the downslope then not go in the water. You can just look at that slope and looking at this water. I just popped that baby up, hit it down the slope, hit it down about five feet.

Q. What did you use, 60-degree wedge?

TERRY DILL: 61. I practice it a lot. But my friend Ogrin showed me some little ways to use it. He is one of Tom Kite's protogees, so --

Q. Do you think the improvement in equipment is especially a help to seniors?

TERRY DILL: I would say beyond any shadow of a doubt. If you go out on our practice tee, you will see all of the guys trying every new thing that comes out to see if it is any edge. If I went through the technology in my bag, I have a putter that has grooves in the putter, and with grooves in the putter you can have two degrees less loft than with a flat-faced putter which means that the ball starts rolling fully six inches before and the same effect. So that is one thing I have. I have call black ice in my irons. That is a carbide, like sand, and it is a rough finish. Well, when I practice like I will take 24 balls and hit a pattern. Well, like with a 7-iron, my patterns will be like 30 percent tighter with black ice. Doesn't spin anymore, but it -- just the split-misses just don't go off-line as much. Then I have got these long wood shafts this new shaft is like two years old. I am using a 47-inch driver, you know, I can hit it farther than what I do now, but I am trying to keep it in the fairway a little better so I am using a little shorter. Then I have got a cavity back irons which I didn't have which the mis-hits are better. They have a lot of bounce in them. I am using four wedges instead -- I used to use one wedge which has bounce and different kinds of things.

Q. You ought to be ruled illegal.

TERRY DILL: Well, just -- if I were -- most of the kids don't use this because they don't need it. They use steel shafts and regular face -- they use regular what you call "Classic Tour irons" because they hit it right on the sweet spot. The old guys, we hit it all over the club face so we need all the error reduce.

Q. You guys aren't hitting it all over the club face, I don't think.

TERRY DILL: Well, not --

Q. Not today.

TERRY DILL: Your gross motor skills, as opposed to let's say 35 as opposed to 59, are substantially different. You just -- you are not honest if you don't say that. But, with the equipment, by using a lot of this stuff, you add a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit there. Where the really good players, they are not using hardly any high-tech stuff at all. They don't need it because they are pure. But we are doing everything we can to keep on playing. I mean, we are the hope of the world here. I am at 59; shot 67 on that monster out there.

Q. You don't want the USGA to tweak those rulings?

TERRY DILL: No, because it really doesn't help really good players that much. Let me give you an example: If Tiger Woods were to use my driver as opposed to his, he would hit the ball about 15 yards further. But he is also on a one degree margin of error. See, he is going to be out in the trees instead of the edge of the fairway. So he can't afford to hit it any further. That is really the truth. I think he is probably using more lofted wedges but the margin of error with a lofted wedge as to the other wedge, pretty good shot, is pretty slim, you have got to really practice. I hit like a thousand short shots a week, you know, those are easy. You don't have worry about being too old, doing that, it doesn't hurt your joints or anything. Cavity back irons diminish the sweet spot. The really good part of the club when you take the weight from behind it, diminishes the sweet spot as opposed to classic irons. Now, for a good player -- all the good players aren't playing cavity backs. They are playing softer steel where all the weight is right behind the ball. We put that weight all over the place so when you miss it -- I am looking at my face - have hit one there, one there. I used to hit them right there. I am just an old guy.

Q. Back to more important things, do you ever get back to Mule Shoe?

TERRY DILL: No. Last time I was in Mule Shoe was about -- actually it has been almost 25 years. All the old guys I used to know there have all died, when I was a kid.

Q. Is there still a Mule Shoe?

TERRY DILL: Yeah, it is there. It is mainly a Latin American community now. It has all changed. It is a good community there. I am really from Austin, have been there for 25 years that. Is just something out of the past. Actually being a lawyer and saying you are from Mule Shoe doesn't real you give the kind of stance that you want.

Q. That is why you quit acknowledging where you are from?

TERRY DILL: I am Terrence D. Dill, Esq. from Boston.

Q. Mr. Dill did they set up these senior courses or these majors a lot tougher than --

TERRY DILL: Yeah, no question about that.

Q. What is the biggest difference in the way they set up?

TERRY DILL: We are playing this one longer. The only holes that we are playing up from the very back, the first one is No. 11 there is a back tee and if they use that tee then nobody will go up the alternate fairway. So, we play that one up -- you know, like 25 yards and we don't play back on 14. That is enough of a monster anyway from where we play that one, but all the rest we play the tips.

Q. (inaudible)

TERRY DILL: Those flags today were as hard as any you would see on the regular Tour, absolutely as hard. What helped today, it rained the other day; I am assuming they won't put much water on the greens. They will get harder and harder as we go along. That is what they always done. That is classic the way you do a major. You get it drier and drier and drier so it gets more and more difficult. Right now, you throw the ball right at the flag, it will stay there. The course is playing longer because you are not getting any run. We had the rain and the fairways are a little longer. I noticed that -- I am hitting quite a few longer clubs than before. Like hitting 7-irons instead of 6-iron. But, this course definitely -- we played Desert Mountain, another Nicklaus course, we played the tips there on every hole, every single hole. PGA, we play it pretty tough. I think we come up like about 200 yards on that course, as opposed to where they would play the regular Tour.

Q. Is the Senior Open the toughest or are they all?

TERRY DILL: They always do something screwy. They put the rough up where if you hit it in you have to hit a wedge out. We don't do that. Right here in the rough I think is like three-inch rough, so if you get it in you can probably hit an 8-iron or 7-iron out of it. But the Senior Open, man, it will be hay at Riviera. Is that it?

End of FastScripts....

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