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November 4, 1998

Larry Nelson


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Larry Nelson, your first trip here as a senior player to Myrtle Beach. I don't know if you've ever been here.

LARRY NELSON: I qualified here 25 years ago.

Q. And you built a golf course here.

LARRY NELSON: Spent a lot of time down in Myrtle Beach. Both my sons have played tournaments down here, and we've followed them around and spent a lot of time over at Wild Wing, which is one of the golf courses -- so spent a lot of time in Myrtle Beach. Kind of really watched it grow, I guess, in the last 25 years.

Q. Now --

LARRY NELSON: Would you have been in the same group with Gil and Joe Inman. Same one. Matter of fact -- as a matter of fact, Gil lost the picture of our group -- our graduating class, so I brought it today. I was going to give it to him. But it had Crenshaw and Gary McCord, myself, Gil Morgan and Joe -- I guess -- was Joe in that class?

Q. Well, Gil said yesterday that Joe was in that class.

LARRY NELSON: We were looking at the pictures this morning and I was trying to name out of the 20 -- I think there were 26 guys, 25 guys or something like that, and I knew all of them but two. I couldn't get the names of two guys.

Q. Was that at The Dunes Club?


Q. 25 years ago, '73?


Q. Well, just some thoughts about coming to play in this tournament for the first time and coming back to the Dunes. I don't know if you remember much about the course.

LARRY NELSON: I don't remember anything but the 13th hole. I think that's the par 5 around the lake. And I remember -- when I played here, the 18th hole was a par 5. I remember having to lay up with an 8-iron, and I hit an 8-iron for my third shot. But the other part of the golf course, I really don't remember. Hopefully, when I get out there I'll be able to remember some of the holes. But it's exciting to be playing in this tournament. I got a little bit too late of a start last year to realistically qualify for this tournament. So it's nice to -- to be able to qualify this year. And -- I think it's exciting. Any time you put 31 of the best players in the field, it makes for really a good championship and a good challenge. I think that's the reason why we're all here is to -- because we love to compete.

Q. Have you been out on the course yet?

LARRY NELSON: No. I'll go out -- of course playing the Pro-Am today. But I guess the weather is going to be pretty much the same all week, so this will be a pretty good indication of how the golf course will play.

Q. Heard you say something about the weather. You don't like this kind of cold weather?

LARRY NELSON: I don't mind this weather. I, of course, was raised in the south and really played pretty well in weather that was hot for most people. I seem to do well when other people were kind of getting tired or not enjoying the heat. Cold weather, when I went down to Sarasota this year, the last day was not very nice. It was kind of cold, windy. So I think that over the years I've gotten more accustomed to the cold weather. It's not my favorite situation. Seemed like players like Watson kind of enjoyed the cold winter weather. Of course he was raised in Kansas City. He probably had a lot more of that to play in. It's not my favorite but it seems like I'm getting better in it.

Q. You said your sons have played here in the tournaments. What kind of tournaments are they doing?

LARRY NELSON: My oldest son played this tear drop. He played in many of the Tear Drops. My son is American Junior.

Q. So you come and watch them from the side lines?

LARRY NELSON: Much harder to watch than it is to play.

Q. Larry, first year on the SENIOR TOUR. What's been the biggest surprise to you as far as what you might have expected before you came out?

LARRY NELSON: Probably was more surprised since I started in September '97, and I was probably more surprised those first six tournaments I played in that gave me a really good indication of what this Tour was like and what I need to expect of myself. First six tournaments, I didn't really know what to expect. I don't care who the player is. There is an adjustment period coming out here especially for those guys who have been competitive on the regular tour right up to the time they go on the SENIOR TOUR. There is a certain amount of aggressiveness that you have to have on the regular tour that is -- probably does not do you well here on the SENIOR TOUR. There is more patience involved out here than on the regular tour. Everyone that comes out now on the regular tour, they have to shoot at the flag. It's -- just aim at the hole and you if you play good that week, you do good, and if you don't do good, you wait till the next week. The Senior Tour, their pin placements are a lot more difficult than what I had thought and you just cannot hit it at the hole -- every hole. You can't try to knock it on all the par 5s in two. And that's the -- I think that's what you have to learn. That's where the patience comes in. You feel like you should go out and shoot 67 and all of the sudden you find yourself 2- or 3-over par because of your aggressiveness. And I think everyone who comes out from the regular tour will have that same -- that same problem, same adjustment.

Q. Was that a big adjustment for you?

LARRY NELSON: It was a big adjustment for me because I've always been very aggressive the way I've played. And so -- it has been a little adjustment for me and I don't know that it's -- I don't know that I've totally adjusted yet. But I'm learning, even at 51, I'm learning.

Q. What have they told you about the course as far as some of the changes? I know that 11 is different than when you played it before. Have you talked to Jay or anybody?

LARRY NELSON: I haven't talked to anybody about the golf course. Joe Inman, of course qualified last week and he and I flew home together from the west coast, rode from the airport. He lives about a mile and a half from me and so we were talking about the golf course, just -- neither one of us had any recollection at all of this place. I don't know if it's the intensity, but you just don't remember anything.

Q. I thought he played here a lot. Joe, he used live here?


Q. Maybe he didn't want to tell you.

LARRY NELSON: He didn't want to tell me. That year was the only year where they had played a round and qualified. We played four down at Perdedo Bay and then we had three days off and played four rounds up here. This was one of their -- teach them what the tour is like type of thing. And it was so,, we had to -- like four rounds there, pack up everything and drive up here to Myrtle Beach from Perdedo Bay and get ready for this tournament and it was a pretty intense preparation. But I remember going to the 18th hole, which now doesn't exist, feeling like I had to shoot 77 to qualify and I was 4-over par coming into the 18th hole and I drive it right down the middle of the fairway and I had like 230 to the front of the green. And there was a lake in front of the green and I was sitting there in the middle of the fairway and I remember exactly way was thinking if I try to go for this green in two in knock in the water, I'll never forgive myself. But if I lay it up on the green make par and miss it, well I'll do the best I can do. So I hit two 8-irons, laid it up with an 8-iron, hit another 8-iron to the middle of the green and ended up making it by one.

Q. You mentioned -- you mentioned No. 13. What do you remember about that hole?

LARRY NELSON: I just remember water -- pretty much water everywhere. I guess it's a dogleg right all the way around the lake and I guess there's not too many shots -- I know the first two shots you kind of have to -- the water is in play. The third shot, I don't know that it is. But I remember the green being a little bit elevated. I can remember that hole very clearly because it was one of those holes that could put you out of the tournament. And so it was one of those tournaments where you have to be -- one of those holes where you have to be very careful. The rest of the holes, apparently there was not any that were very traumatic, and it doesn't bring back any vivid memories, I guess.

Q. So you flew back with Joe from California? What was that like in he must have been on -- he probably did not need a plane, did he?

LARRY NELSON: No, Joe is a little hyper anyway. He was just -- he just seemed too appreciative of being out here and won -- having won the last tournament of the year to get in this tournament, he just pretty much said: "I can't believe it. I just can't believe it." And he's done very well. And I think it took him a little while to adjust this because he had not been competitive for awhile. He started playing a little better the second half of the year and I think he just did a remarkable job. I was really proud of him for what he did there in California.

Q. Do you have any contacts you have with Abset and Wild Wing?

LARRY NELSON: Yeah, I still go. Every time I come down here, I'll go by there and see the guys. It's great and I always enjoy going over there. Robert Harper is still the golf director. The owner of this complex is my partner in a couple of other golf courses. I've known him for 20 years.

Q. Is this the first one you did?

LARRY NELSON: It's not the first one I did. The first one I did was actually out in Saipan which is a little island about three hours south of Japan out in middle of the Pacific Ocean. That was probably the -- this one was probably the 10th, maybe. But it's always fun to be back in Myrtle Beach.

PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, anybody got anything else?

LARRY NELSON: Hope we see a lot of you this week.

End of FastScripts....

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