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July 24, 2002

Duffy Waldorf


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Duffy Waldorf to the John Deere Classic pressroom. 51st on the money list, four Top-10 finishes this year. Made 8 of the last 9 cuts including a T -18 at last week's British Open. I think that's probably what most these guys are interested in, that trip over from Scotland, and the great finish last week.

DUFFY WALDORF: Well, it's a little easier trip coming back, at least as far as you get a little more time because you are going -- the clock is going the right way. I am still waiting for my luggage. That would be a positive. I have got my golf clubs, which is good; all my dirty clothes came off; I need some more clean clothes. Anyway it was a great finish for me, a great week, and I got to do a lot of interviews which was something I don't normally get to do. It was kind of fun. And I got to be around the lead most of the time. I got to have one of the wildest rounds of my life probably on Saturday where I turned it around 13 shots from the frontside to the backside. So a lot happened last week and there was never anything normal about last week, at least for the tournament, it was very calm conditions the first day. And pretty calm the second day. Then blew a gale with rain and cold on the third day. Then it was perfect the last day. So you never know, didn't get the normal Scottish weather of a nice 20 mile an hour breeze with cool temperatures, but not freezing, that is also the challenge of playing over there, being ready for the elements.

Q. Surprised to coming back here to -- that it's not that much warmer, or is it significantly warmer?

DUFFY WALDORF: Actually from last Sunday it's not that much warmer here. I mean it was for them. They don't have a day this hot. But they had a very nice day in the mid-70s the last round, so it was short-sleeved weather which they count all the same, if you can wear short sleeves, it is a nice day. Yeah, very surprised. I mean, I was at the Western Open a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty toasty. You kind of expect -- you get about the same. It's not like we are going to go up some big mountain or something, we are not too far from Chicago, so it's great. I hope it stays like this. I could enjoy this cool weather all week.

Q. When is the last time that you have played in conditions that were about that bad last week?

DUFFY WALDORF: I am not sure. I am sure I never played in conditions that bad. I am trying to think if where -- I live in Southern California, I haven't had many days of my life that have been that difficult just to -- like walk around. It was very blustery, kind of one of those blustery days. But then it was pouring rain too. Usually we get one or the other. We get a real windy day or real rainy. To get them both together is very unusual for us in southern Cal, obviously (laughs). The three or four days that it has been like that in my life, I didn't go and play golf, so I didn't have much practice in it.

Q. Final round in Pebble in '92, wind seemed almost comparable?

DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, in fact, well, that was the day that it reminded me the most of, but more in regards to the scoring where the guys early had a significant advantage over the guys that played later. As far as the conditions, they only had one out of three. At Pebble Beach it was windy but it wasn't that cold. It was actually, a warm day and it wasn't raining. At Muirfield we had those other two things, cold and rain which made it a lot more difficult.

Q. How did you get yourself through that round and what did you try to focus on?

DUFFY WALDORF: Well, I was kind of going on a downward spiral on the first frontside. Really the only thing that saved me was a little bit of break in the weather. Start getting better after about the 6th hole. It's kind of -- the rain kind of slowed down. Basically the first five holes I was carrying an umbrella. And the third, fourth and fifth hole were uphill holes and they were into the wind and by the time I gotten through those holes, I was 5-over par, but I was also pretty tired from pushing that umbrella all the way through the wind. It was like -- it was really amazing how hard it was to walk -- just walk up. Not only that, you got your head down, got the umbrella down leaning into this wind, and you don't have any feel for the course. You hear about riding in the cart -- well, you are walking along, you have got to keep looking up so you don't run into anything. You lose your feel for the course and the day. You feel like you are in a survial mode as opposed to just playing golf, which is -- weather just got a little better after six or seven holes and then it kind of kept getting better and I just started getting better too. It was as the weather got better I got better too. It just got a little easier for me.

Q. You had a run of five consecutive birdies on the backside....

DUFFY WALDORF: I turned in 45. Yeah, I bogeyed 10. 10 was playing pretty tough. I didn't reach it with a driver, a 3-wood, par 4. 11 turned me around. Birdied No. 11. And then I birdied 12, par 13, and birdied 14, 15 and 16. So I birdied five out of the six holes to obviously kind of get back in it.

Q. What does that do for your confidence to come through something like that all of a sudden, boom you go --

DUFFY WALDORF: What happens it's kind of like I have confidence that I am a good golfer, you start playing like that, you go, gosh, when am I going to start playing better? It is the kind of round that will set you back for a while. For me I was able to turn it around immediately, so it took the sting of the first nine holes away, and showed that I am still playing well. I just had kind of a bad run of holes.

Q. I guess the normal question that we ask here is what is the state of your game coming into this week? We know the state of your game is excellent, because you just competed in a major. Could you translate what you did there into this course here?

DUFFY WALDORF: I think it would be easier to go to another links course than come here. Just because it's kind of like you got more comfortable as you go over there, and then to come here it's obviously very different golf. It's more target golf. The greens were pretty soft this morning so you could pretty much throw it right at the pin. That's different kind of golf. When you first get to Scotland you are kind of like, wow, boy, the ball really ran there, you hit a nice high wedge and normally it hits, spins back and bounces 15 feet and rolls another five or ten feet. You are like wow, so you are -- get more used to those conditions. So it is always hard to come back and play this type of golf. This is a transition you can make. It's a long tournament, so my goal is just to keep my energy level high and be as well rested as I can and then hopefully adjust to the course as I go and then get better as the tournament goes on. It is a long tournament. I felt that I got better as the tournament went on at Muirfield. I hope to just take the game that I have got and adjust to the course and keep getting better as the tournament goes on.

Q. How difficult is travelling; particularly intercontinental travel in the wake of 911, how have things changed in terms of getting around?

DUFFY WALDORF: It's -- actually it is a little harder to get around the U.S.. Getting around Great Britain wasn't too hard. Their security was I think the normal that it always is. What I have learned is you want to take as few connections as possible on these flights which is sometimes hard to do depending on what airline you want to fly and there's quite often a direct flight to get you pretty close but it may not be the price you want or the airplane you want to fly. Problem I had, I had three planes, yeah, I was on British Airways just to get down to Gatwick; then I flew on Delta over to Cincinnati, and then another connection to Chicago and the bag didn't really make it from the first place. It didn't make it from Edinburgh. Fortunately for me I had three bags. I had my dirty clothes in one. I had all my dirty shirts. I just don't have my pants. Other than that, I am in good shape. It could have been a lot worse. I could have been buying a whole wardrobe over at Walmart, and I only had to buy pants.

Q. Do you pay the -- you kind of sacrifice airlines in terms of price for convenience at this point?

DUFFY WALDORF: What happened last week I knew the price. To go over if you want to go like business class it's like 8,000 bucks to go over there. Then I had -- I have got all these miles, I thought -- I got a free ticket with my miles, so that seemed to make sense at the time.

Q. Terms of getting around the U.S. do you sacrifice price for convenience at this point or fewer connections?

DUFFY WALDORF: Pretty much, oh, yeah, I am lucky I live in L.A., I can usually get -- I get good flights from L.A., and -- but I do have to -- price is important for me when my family is out which they are out the next few weeks because you know, for me if I am travel alone and it's 250 or 400 that may not be a big deal, but multiply that by six and the math isn't too hard. I travel with four kids, my wife and a helper, a nannie, so seven times 400 is a lot more than seven times 250. So it is important when the family is out, the price.

Q. Any secrets to coming back and playing adjusting to the jet lag, the time change anything, some players have said it's too hard the following week to try to be mentally -- how are you handling that and what are you doing to adjust to that?

DUFFY WALDORF: I am finding, this year, especially, really the hardest part about like that really wasn't as much the travel but the tournament, the coming down off a major tournament is always -- you are pretty excited, a lot of adrenaline and you are going hard. And that -- there's kind of a lack -- it's hard to get the energy back up. Today I was pretty flat. That would be, I think, the challenge for the week. As far as the time change, really no excuse there. I had a big time change going over and I was able to adjust to it. I am certainly -- can adjust to it coming back. I think it is more the energy level and getting excitement going. When you are playing any major -- you go to the British Open, it is pretty exciting to play in. Those grand stands, playing the type of course you rarely play, and playing in front of, you know, they get 35, 50,000, a lot of people out there, walking down the 18th hole, it is very exciting to play that type of golf. So that's I think the biggest challenge being excited about playing and getting the energy up.

Q. Was there ever a thought of not coming to this tournament, especially as the tournament over there went along?

DUFFY WALDORF: No. Never really a thought. I kind of made a commitment to come here and I got in the British, I got in on a late spot there at the Western Open and my family, we bought our tickets, we made the plan to come here and really it was harder to -- I don't know, I can't say skip the British Open, the plan for me was to be home that week and I had two birthday parties that week, I have two sons who had their birthdays last week, so I missed both of them. And certainly I just didn't see any reason not to play here. I have skipped this tournament a lot in the past right after the British Open and I didn't have an excuse this year. So I decided to play. I didn't feel it was right to back out at the last minute.

Q. Did you have any travel problems getting here?

DUFFY WALDORF: It was bad. It was real bad. I left -- my story was wasn't very good, left like 6:30 from Edinburgh, but baggage thing was broken. They were late and I had to wait at the counter to get like the thing that takes the bag, the belt was broken. It wasn't moving. So we're all sitting there in line. The line can't move. I sat in line 'til it was like 6:30 and finally it started working again. One of my bags didn't make it on the belt. It must have broke on that last bag. But anyway the flight was delayed quite a bit. Then the guy comes on well we're sorry but we have missed our window, our time slot has gone by because the baggage wasn't working. So we had to wait like an hour there before we could go. Then we get -- the flight over from London was fine to Cincinnati. But Cincinnati to Chicago was just a nightmare to get here on Monday. The flight -- my flight was cancelled but I had a later flight. I got on the earlier flight. That flight left when my original one was supposed to leave but then it was held up because of weather, so -- we actually got I think in the air at like 6 o'clock, supposed to leave at 3, and then but because of these big storms they had to fly around them to the south, so well we were flying around to the south and he didn't know how long it was going to take. He had to land in Kansas City because of gas. I look on the map, we have flown an hour and a half and we weren't any closer. Gone around the storm but there is Chicago way up there. We did get here finally at 9:30 after refueling, and on a flight that was supposed to be here at 4:30. On the road I got a car from Chicago and drove in. I didn't get here 'til one o'clock. Thought I would get here at seven, eight o'clock at night. Didn't work out that way though.

Q. Do you prefer to drive shorter distances?

DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, I mean, if I can -- I mean, honestly if my family is with me it's easier to fly because we can't fit in the car. I mean, we could if we got a big enough van. I don't like to drive anywhere with them more than a couple of hours. They are big. They are big and they don't want to sit down for very long periods of time. So flying is always better with them. On my own though, I don't mind a little drive.

End of FastScripts....

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