home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


July 4, 2007

Allen Doyle


RAND JERRIS: We welcome Allen Doyle to the interview room this morning. He is playing his 9th United States Senior Open at Whistling Straits. He is our 2-time defending champion, having won in 2005 at the NCR Club and last year at Prairie Dunes. Maybe you could start us off with comments about the golf course here at Whistling Straits.
ALLEN DOYLE: I'm no expert on it, and I'm sure you've heard lots of things about it. It's a wonderful place. When you look across the terrain and you see everything that's been done here it's a unique place built by a unique guy and, you know, we've got a unique event here.
So, you know I think everybody is uncertain about how things are going to play out because of the wind and this being the first time that most everybody has come here for an event.
I know I just played the course prior to media day and a lot of the guys hadn't played it at all before they got here. So there's a little bit of the unknown, how it's going to play in the wind, where the USGA is going to set the tees and the pins on the tough holes.
So I think we're all waiting for tomorrow to see how things are going to begin to shake out.
RAND JERRIS: Thinking back to last year we had a thrilling conclusion when you went head-to-head with Tom Watson through the closing holes. What are your fondest recollections?
ALLEN DOYLE: It was a great day for me, it wasn't a great day for Tom. Anytime you get on our tour and you get on major TV that's a big plus for us. And anytime you get -- as soon as you put U.S. in front of -- in front of the title that you're playing for it adds to the overall impact and it's our most prestigious tournament. We were close on that whole back 9 and it's a good feeling when you tour the country after that and people acknowledge what you did and how you did it.
So it was a great day for me. It was a day that I wouldn't say it was vastly different from any of the other days, the way I play the game, because it was an opportunity for me, when we teed off, although it was probably as tough a day of golf as I've ever had, it was an opportunity for me to distinguish myself in a good way. And that's the way I tried to play and it worked out as good as it could have.
And I played extremely well, especially on the back 9 and was able to nip Tom by a couple of shots. But it was just a great day for me.

Q. Allen, you called this a unique event but it seems like you're the one in the unique position. Can you talk about trying to go for a three-peat of the U.S. Open? Those things just aren't done.
ALLEN DOYLE: Well, you know, they aren't done, certainly that adds to the challenge, but there's a reason that it hasn't been done, because it's damn hard to do. And I think more so than last year, last year I was still under the radar. This year it hasn't been that way.
So I've tried to treat it like a normal event, but it's not and I know that. But, again, I'm going to try to use it as an opportunity to maybe do something that no one else has done and it's going to be tough.
Just like the last 9 were -- or the last 8. Because I played good in a couple of the ones I played and other guys won and there is a fine line sometimes between, you know, playing real good and still not winning and even sometimes playing okay and not doing all that good.
But I'll try to approach it the way I have the last 8 that I played in. Hopefully if I play my game, a tough course, where par is an important score sometimes helps me. I'll try to approach it the same way I have approached each and every one of them and see what happens.

Q. This course here, would you say that it was radically different than the two places you won at? How different of a challenge will that be?
ALLEN DOYLE: Radically different, probably, at least that's what it appears at first sight. Like any event when we come to a new course we're a lot more familiar with it and comfortable on Sunday when we leave than on Monday when we get here and I'm sure that will be the case this year.
But in years past, NCR was a tree-line golf course, same with Prairie Dunes -- it wasn't a tree-lined golf course, but it gave you the affect of a tree-lined golf course, I thought, with the old-time stuff around the greens.
So as soon as we got to both of those places it felt that I was familiar with them.
When I came here I didn't have that same feeling. It's exposed to the wind and although I would say I'm a pretty good wind player, wind at 10, 12 miles an hour isn't the same as 20 to 25 miles an hour. So it's something that you're going to have to be patient with. Some of the keys are going to be the same, like patience, but then some of the keys are going to be -- you know, getting some good breaks on some bounces, you know, you always have to have some of those. This place maybe more so than some other places. When you don't get some of those it's going to test your patience, but this, to me, would be a course that, whether it's just me or whether there would be a lot of guys grouped in this that you didn't feel as comfortable when you stepped on the premises as you did, like at Salem Country Club, NCR, Prairie Dunes, some of the other places we've played.

Q. Allen, talk a little bit about how much your life changed that afternoon winning the second U.S. Open. Did your profile raise a little bit? People start noticing you more? Getting more attention in general?
ALLEN DOYLE: Oh, yeah, sure, but I don't think it changed my life any because if you ask most of the guys, they would probably tell you I was the same prior -- same after as I was prior to winning. I always said when they asked that question after any particular year I had, mainly because of the amount of money I had won and I didn't come from money, you know, has this changed you? And I always used to say I hope it changed me for the better.
But it is nice to get around and have people acknowledge what you've done. Even during the year people were yelling, "Go for the three-peat." That's kind of nice.
So it's brought my profile up a little, but it's still the case, you know, when you get on any particular -- whether it be a tour or a league or anything, whoever is hot at the time, you know, the guys that you pay attention to, and rightfully so, and this I guess give us me another opportunity to show maybe what I can still do and build on what I've done.

Q. Allen, you had a reasonably good week last week, how do you feel you are playing now coming into this?
ALLEN DOYLE: Well, you know, it's like anytime. If you talk to me after Boston, but what do you hear people say? You're never as bad as your last bad round, you're never as good as your last great round.
I feel like I'm doing a lot of things pretty good. Last week I didn't drive the ball good, I'm still searching for a driver. I cracked my Adams at the beginning of the year and for the last two months I've been struggling a little bit with my driver but everything else I would say is okay. I seem to be rolling the ball good on the greens. I didn't read them all that great last week, but I felt I rolled the ball very good and I hit some good shots. So I would say if I go to the tee tomorrow and I'm driving it pretty good, my expectations would be like they always are when I come to a Major, the top-10 is a good, good finish, the top-5 is a great finish and anything above that is even better.

Q. Allen, it wasn't that long ago that the TOUR was dreaming up everything they could to get fans to rediscover the Champions Tour, but the guys that have come out the last few years, the Funks, the Jay Haas, what is the impact of that and is a grizzled veteran for it or against it?
ALLEN DOYLE: I'm for it. If certain guys had come at -- had come earlier and I had done the same thing, I would have made a lot more money with the purses going up. So these guys drive the purses, so every player wants to see them out here. So the more of these guys that come and actually play out here -- you know, Greg Norman would have been a huge plus for our tour if he had decided to play.
So any of these guys, Mark O'Meara, Jay Haas playing well, we got Sluman and Cook coming, so the more these guys the merrier. It won't necessarily be a huge plus for me in the next five years if the purses spike up real good, but it will help someone like me, you know, that maybe has a similar background and didn't have a lot of money and -- you know, I feel like I've hit the lotto out here.
So the more these guys we get it's going to drive purses, it will drive attendance and it will make our Tour even better than it is.

Q. Allen, when you consider the fact that you came from humble roots and you have a golf swing that didn't pop out of a textbook, do you feel like fans glom on to you and appreciate that more than they would other players?
ALLEN DOYLE: Oh, yeah, sure you do. The late in life thing and all this kind of stuff, I mean, that does appeal to people and it should.
It appeals to me when you see it happen in other sports. They get a kick out of what I'll do, a lot of times, if there is a good crowd around a certain tee I'll wait and make sure I hit a good drive and then I'll turn to them and say, "I've been trying to stay short of parallel, did I stay short of parallel there?" And they get a big kick out of it and some of them know I was kidding and some of them don't and they'll say, "Oh, no, you weren't anywhere near parallel."
So that's a nice thing. People are going to embrace someone maybe that they can say, well, I swing something like that, or even the guy -- I think guys like myself probably have hurt aspiring professionals more than we've helped because they've probably said, if this guy can do it, I can do it. And as it turns out he can't do it. And there are probably a lot of them in that boat. But the fans seem to identify with that and kinda like it.

Q. Allen, as a two-time Senior Open champion you have more perspective on this than most. Is the Senior Open more of a physical or mental test for the people who are going to be successful?
ALLEN DOYLE: I think it's both now. I think as long as our Tour has carts, when we make the transition from one of our events to a Major you bring the physical into it. It was always a mental, because of the -- the event was different, and it was more pressure on each shot and your patience level had to be higher because, although we have next week, we don't have another Senior Open next week to regroup and play well in.
So anytime -- and as long as we're going to have carts on our Tour I think the physical comes into it and then you come to a place like this and NCR and Prairie Dunes wasn't probably near as physical of a walk as we're going to find out here this week.
This is a pretty good walk out here. I mean, you've got these narrow, winding paths that climb the hill and it doesn't seem like a real steep hill, but if you're doing that 12 holes of the round and you're winded when you get up to the tee then it's not our normal walk.
So, it's always mental in these things, for sure and then on our Tour it becomes physical because of age and carts and when you get to a venue like this which has some pretty good hills in it then it becomes more so.

Q. Allen, you mentioned earlier about the new blood coming in, Jay Haas and Mark O'Meara, guys that boost the purses and raise the profile of the Tour a little bit. Have you come to grips with the fact that maybe you're one those guys, too, that raised the profile when fans come to a tournament that fans come out and say, "I want to watch Allen Doyle play"?
ALLEN DOYLE: I don't think I'm quite there yet or I will ever get there. That's the way sports is, so that's not a bad thing. There are always going to be marquee names and those are the people -- Fuzzy Zoeller, there is only one of those. A lot of guys would like to be like him. I would like to be more like him, I would like to cut up more and be like him, but I can't, for some reason. Probably more so because -- and it's not so much now and I'm not the same guy I was nine years ago, because of what I've accomplished, but when I came out here I was trying to play my butt off and stay out here. And that sometimes doesn't lend you to the easy-going nature as some of the guys who already made it.
But I don't drive this Tour, I have a very little niche, probably, and I'm glad to have that. But this is still a star-driven tour and the guys that had wonderful careers on the big tour, these are guys that are going to carry our Tour.

Q. Allen, I know you have hybrids up through your 5- or 6-iron. Can you comment how much the different equipment has helped Champions Tour guys maybe more so than regular TOUR guys.
ALLEN DOYLE: I think it's helped, there is no question. Those hybrids that I carry have allowed me to attempt shots that I, five years ago, probably wouldn't attempt to make. I'm not so sure it translates into a stroke a round for every round I play, but I think when a guy is playing good, if he's got more shots at his disposal, then he'll play well. If you're not playing well it's probably not going to help you too much.
But the confidence factor is there. If I have shots in the back right now I can make those shots. Or if I have some tough shots out of rough, these clubs work everywhere and they work great. Adams does a great job with us with the knowledge of our rep out here and how he works with us and the clubs they get to us. But the clubs are phenomenal and I think Tom Watson's even carrying a hybrid now, and he's probably as big a purest as we have out here.
They're great clubs and they help -- they've helped me a good deal. I didn't have them in 2001 when I had probably my best year ever out here, but I think as you get a little older they really do help you.

Q. You've spoken about the course a couple times and I'm wondering from what you know of the course at this point what parts of your game do you think could be suited to the way the course is laid out and set up?
ALLEN DOYLE: I'm hoping -- you've got to drive the ball great here, and I'm a good driver of the ball, or I have been, so I hope that's back and in -- and it's a real strength again. And I plan on it being that.
Then you're going to have to be great around the greens. I've got a good short game. You're going to have to drive the ball good here and you're going to have to chip and putt well and I think that's the case in most Opens. Those normally fit my game pretty good.

Q. You called this a star-driven tour. Is it good or why is it good when guys with lower profiles like you or David Edwards win out here?
ALLEN DOYLE: Why is it good when we win out here? I think the case that -- it does not become so hum drum that five guys show up and they're the prohibitive favorites and maybe no one comes out to watch anymore. Anytime you want a successful group, you've got to have -- when the U.S. won the gold medal in '80 in hockey, why was that such a special thing? When the Red Sox won the World Series, why was that such a special thing? When Brian Bateman won on the TOUR last year -- I remember playing with Brian in the 1998 Nike event in Raleigh and he was probably late 20s then and was struggling to get on the TOUR and find himself and ten years later he wins a professional tournament. It just kind of adds to the attraction of watching, adds to the excitement level a little bit. You know, I think i! f you look to last year and you had a Hall of Fame player going against a -- against an upstart or whatever you want to call the guy, it added something to that final week and it's a good, positive thing to have in a league or in competition, and it's exciting.
We have guys out here that can compete and love to compete and can add to the excitement of that week.

Q. How would you compare this course to the Ocean Course?
ALLEN DOYLE: That's a good, good question. When we were talking at lunch yesterday, I don't know how it came up but I said some of us may really want to get back to the Ocean Course. I didn't think I'd ever say that.
But if the wind blows out here, this will play harder than the Ocean Course. Because the Ocean Course, Kiawah had tons of room around the fairways and the greens. It was tough to get up and down for pars, but you weren't going to make bogeys, so maybe a tough par but easy bogey.
You miss them in certain spots around here, you miss to the left of 4, to the left of 17 and they're going to have to send out search parties for guys, maybe.
So it will be -- I would say if the wind blew it would play two or three shots out a day higher probably than at Kiawah, and the scores weren't very good at Kiawah.
RAND JERRIS: Thanks very much for your time and we wish you luck this week.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297