June 27, 1999
HARRISON, NEW YORK
DUFFY WALDORF: I guess we are ready.
Q. Buying the champagne tonight?
DUFFY WALDORF: I am pretty exhausted right now. I think a Pepsi to start with would be nice. This crystal would be good. Haven't really thought about it. At least I wouldn't be home -- if I was at home, I'd open up every wine bottle I have, all the most expensive ones. They will just have to wait for when I get back. I do have a couple of bottles picked out though for occasions like this. Since that is only my second one they are still sitting there. I have a 1975 french bottle. I hope that that will be going down.
Q. That doesn't sound like a New York vintage?
DUFFY WALDORF: A New York vintage? I don't have a lot of Long Island wines in my cellar. California, French, Australian, you name it. Oh, golf. Are we going to talk golf today?
LEE PATTERSON: Exciting day for you.
DUFFY WALDORF: First thing I'd like to say I never thought I could make six bogeys and still be in the tournament which is what I did today. The course did play hard, but it also played hard the other days. I was able to escape the bogey-man quite a bit more. Today I did not escape the bogey-man. Fortunately the birdie-man visited too, so, that kind of righted my ship. Never really felt like -- I felt like I was in the tournament but I never felt I could make a move and coming down the stretch I felt good that I was only two shots back with two to go. I knew it was a slim chance, but at least I knew they were birdie opportunities there and after what I had gone through on the backside I bogeyed three holes already, at least I would play some birdie holes and get a shot at some birds. I was very fortunate to make two coming in.
Q. You talked about self-doubt yesterday creeping in. Does it take care of that now?
DUFFY WALDORF: Certainly for today (laughs). Yeah, well, I have been feeling more and more confident, especially since my putting seems to have been working and I think it is just hanging around. I think most guys will tell you longer you can be there and closer you can get, the more you will learn and be prepared next time. I think you go out that way every time whether you are in the lead or a little behind or way behind, you go out there and see what you can do and perform in certain situations. I was glad I was able to have the situation just to perform. I looked at it as adventure, chance to see what I can do. I was tied for the lead going into today, but I looked at the list, I am -- like I am tied for the lead, but it's really not like my tournament to win; there is a whole one of guys that can win. Played my game and I personally thought if I could get a couple under myself it would make it hard for other guys. The course played pretty difficult, looked like no one was able to make a move. That was fortunate for me. I am glad I was 8-under when I started. I didn't have as far to go.
Q. Best finish?
DUFFY WALDORF: I have won one other tournament and that was a different win. I have never, never had a finish like this where I was behind and then just came in and was able to tie for the lead. Most of the tournaments that I have done well in that where I finished second or lost one in a playoff or was right in the lead I have been in the lead and kind of hanging on. Today started in the lead but then instead of just slipping back and finishing 10th, I came back with two birdies and was able to win. It was definitely never had a finish like that.
Q. Junior tournaments or --
DUFFY WALDORF: Junior tournaments, well.
Q. College tournaments or anything like that?
DUFFY WALDORF: Well, things seemed easier in college. You didn't have as many guys to beat. At least that is what I seem to recall. There was -- always seemed like if I was playing well there was maybe three or four guys I had to beat. Playing the Tour is a lot different. Even though you are playing well, you still got maybe 10 or 20 guys in the last round that still have a chance to win, so it is a lot different, a lot more competitive. Junior golf, you know if you are on your game and college golf you know, if you are on your game, you are going to be right there and have a real.
Q. Finish with three straight birdies in a tournament ever?
DUFFY WALDORF: Good question. I don't think I have done anything like that to win. I have done it and won by 6. LaCantera, didn't really do that; just birdied everything there and won by 6. I have never -- I don't think I have ever won a tournament in a playoff and being two behind and coming back just to get to the playoff, I have never done that before. Most of the time if I am birdieing in, I am winning by a lot more.
Q. When you bogeyed 15, seemed like it was an opportunity for you to maybe fade it back a little bit. Were you surprised the way you responded with a good shot on 16 and two birdies on 17 --
DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, I was surprised. It was pretty surprising, but 15 -- I looked at a hard hole. I took the driver out. I was looking to make birdie. I felt only way I can make birdie on the hole was to hit a great drive and maybe have a short iron in. I knew that would bring in the risk of instant bogey which it did. I was happy. I was kind of happy. I played 16. I really struggled on 16 all week. And it would have been a perfect time to try and fire one right at the pin and make another bogey and put myself out of it. But I stayed patient. I made the swing I wanted and didn't get -- I didn't attack it too much. I just made a nice comfortable swing and put it in the middle of the green and actually was fairly happy making par on that hole because I bogeyed it like two times out of three. So felt pretty good even -- I fell two behind -- well, I am thinking I have got a slim chance but at least I have got birdies holes. On 17, well, at I am going to have a wedge in and 18 I have a chance to get it in two. At least I am not playing 11 and 12 and have to birdie them. So there was a bit of optimism going into the last two.
Q. Talk about your bunker shots, the right side and the left side, Dennis was coming in saying the bunkers were sort of inconsistent, you couldn't really judge. Do you find that just as difficult?
DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, I think if you look at the bunker shots I hit all week, if you had like a montage of them all, you would see those, by far, were my two best bunker shots without a doubt. I hadn't -- I got up-and-down two times the first day but that was because I made like a 15-footer and 30-footer for par. The rest, yesterday and Friday, no up-and-downs, and today whatever bunker I was in today I did get it up-and-down. I don't know if I was in any besides those two. I am thinking, well, I am in the bunker; maybe I am due to hit a good one. I kind of let the instinct take over because a long bunker is a shot -- it is one of the hardest shots; you really got to swing hard at it. It is like, well, I mean, to have a chance to win. I know I am going to have to swing a lot harder than I want to do at this; go ahead make a full swing; try to stay level and take the right cut of sand. Really after the first one, I hit the first one so good it surprised me. I was lucky to make par. When I hit the second one I felt a lot better and the second one I felt more confident. That was, I think, even a harder shot because of it being downhill and running away. I hit a nice shot there. I was so happy to see it, even if it was off the green, right up straight up the hill, nice straight uphill putt. I was so happy to see that.
Q. How long did you place those shots, those two?
DUFFY WALDORF: The first one was about 30 yards and second one was 40 to the hole. That was about -- I actually paced them off -- maybe it will help to know how far they are. To kind of take a little time and thought maybe it might help me with how hard I want to hit the shot. Sometimes you forget with the slopes and the terrain, that you do have 40 yards even though it may look downhill or uphill.
Q. Initial birdie on 18 that got you in the playoff, looking on TV, man, that thing must have broke 6 inches the other way --
DUFFY WALDORF: Oh, the putt?
DUFFY WALDORF: I don't know, it looked like an inside left putt. I hit -- it was like about a four, five-foot putt right up the hill with just maybe falling off a touch. I played it -- I think I played it right about the edge or just inside and hit a real nice putt. I think it went right in the center. The second -- the playoff hole, it was a much easier putt because I knew I could 2-putt.
LEE PATTERSON: Distance on that putt?
DUFFY WALDORF: Right off the fringe, I am guessing it was about twelve feet.
Q. Drama of going against a good friend, talk about that, playoff hole....
DUFFY WALDORF: It was fun. It is, hi, how is it going, good to see you; both happy to be here, I would think. It was great to see him there and actually, for some reason, I was happy to see his name on top because I am thinking, well, it would be great to see Dennis win and also a little something in the back of my mind flashed in there at how I had beaten him before in just junior tournaments, the state amateur and how I kind have come from behind to get him a couple of times and I don't know why that flashed in my mind. I thought, well, at least it is Dennis; maybe I would have a chance because I have caught him before. As it turned out I did.
Q. The putt on 17, a little like --
DUFFY WALDORF: Not too hard a putt really, just inside-right putt. I kind of just got it on the edge and it had a little too much speed. I mean, it went in the hole so I am not complaining, but it went in the side.
Q. How far?
DUFFY WALDORF: That was only about a 6-foot putt. Really hit a nice shot there. I don't know if guys were hitting it closer, but standing in this fairway even though it is a downwind, you know you can probably hit it on line but to get the distance right is tough.
Q. How difficult was it for you to stay composed during that, not sort of talk yourself out of it?
DUFFY WALDORF: Well, it wasn't too hard because it was right from the start, I had a battle right from the start. So expending a lot of energy making a lot of bogeys coming back and making birdies, it was kind of a battling kind of day. So I mean, at that point you are, well, here I am; I am still in the game. I am happy just to be here because I have kind of struggled all day.
Q. Did you use the same ball in the playoff as you did --
DUFFY WALDORF: Yes.
Q. The one --
DUFFY WALDORF: I thought that would be a good idea.
Q. Did you say you used it on the three last holes?
DUFFY WALDORF: Last three holes, the same ball; then the playoff used it, four holes. Well, it was a pretty appropriate ball. "It is up to you, New York, New York." NY, NY for short.
Q. New York, New York was on the other side?
DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, "New York, New York" was on one and "It is up to you" was on the other.
Q. How many times would you estimate you guys played each other growing up, amateur, junior golf?
DUFFY WALDORF: A lot. I mean, a lot. We played junior golf tournaments. He was -- I remember my last year of junior golf he was No. 1 junior; I was No. 2 junior in southern California. We played before that. I am talking like from 14 on we have been competing against each other. We played on a Junior Americas Cup team together. We were on the same team; southern California team; went over to Hawaii it was a team event. Competed also in college. He went to San Diego State and we battled in college too. So we have been battling for a long time.
Q. Do you feel any sense of extra support here in New York, with the New York fans; were they warm to you?
DUFFY WALDORF: I have always felt like the fans like me. I am not sure exactly why, I have worn wild shirts; flowered hats. They seem to like me. I don't know why. I like the fans here because they are real loyal fans. I like watching them root for the Knicks or root for the Mets or the Yankees, whoever, they are just such loyal fans. They come out here and they are rooting for, you know, even when you are not doing well, they are like -- they will kick you in the butt when you are not doing well. They mean it, they come from the heart; that is the way people are in New York.
Q. Do you recall anybody saying anything to you out there today?
DUFFY WALDORF: Not really, no, I remember a lot of people you know: Come on Duff let's go Duff, come on, let's go. I was -- that was before I was -- that was all the way around. They were just kind of keeping me going the whole way.
Q. You have won before but how much more prestigious, how much more does this feel like --
DUFFY WALDORF: This one is really great because really I have had -- my last two years have been kind of -- I have just been playing good and not scoring and not getting anything out of my game. And this week was a perfect example of the opposite where I wasn't totally on my game, but I got a lot out of my game. That was a great way to win. The other tournaments that I have either been really close or the one I won in LaCantera, everything, I did great. I had to play like just my best golf to be there. It was nice to struggle around a little bit and still be in contention and then to win, it is just fabulous to be able to pull it out when you are not right on top of your game. So it is real special. It is also special being such a long time between wins and I kind have had a pretty good 1996 but 1997 and 1998 not a lot going on.
Q. Are you two close now? He was off the Tour for a while. Do you guys practice together or have dinner together?
DUFFY WALDORF: Well, I would say we are pretty good friends. I mean, he hasn't been on Tour as much as I have. He kind of has been off in the Nike Tour for quite a while. We don't go out to dinner at all, but we are -- the kids play a little bit, we like -- we see each other. The wives are friends. We aren't at the level where we are going out a lot, but we are very friendly at the golf course and at the hotel and at the pool, whereever we are at.
Q. When friends play off against one another, you don't still usually see the amount of chattiness off the tee that you two had.
DUFFY WALDORF: Let me tell you, it is hard not to chat with Dennis. Dennis is the chatty-cathy (sic). I welcomed it because I wanted to get back into the game a little bit. I was pretty quick turnaround, sign the card, get back, but I was happy to get one in the fairway, but I kind of wanted to get going, and every time I see Dennis, that is usually what we talk about - like appropriate to talk about the course; how it was set up and how it played; how we like the water filled on 11 and how we want the tree out on 12, and, da-da-da, (laughs) --
Q. How were you feeling with two holes to go and down by two; what is --
DUFFY WALDORF: Realistically, I was pretty calm. I was happy I was still in it because I hadn't played that with. I had made six bogeys already, I am thinking, well, at least I got two holes that I felt like if I execute, I can have some good birdie opportunities, so, I was actually pretty happy, pretty calm, and knew I just I had the shot. Just put a 2-iron down the fairway probably get a wedge in just get the right distance with the wedge; then I knew after that, it was a good drive; get something up by the green; if not on the green, and try to get it up-and-down for birdie. It was -- I just was happy that I had birdie holes coming. I had so many bogeys already.
Q. What was your reaction when you made the birdie to win it?
DUFFY WALDORF: Well, I mean, it was -- I felt pretty good. I was just trying to focus on the putt because I knew I had to 2-putt so that made it easier. I just -- I was thinking speed just hit right speed, hit it speed, hit it speed; that is all I thought about. When it went in, it was like I kind of been in shock just finishing birdie, birdie already; even greater shock I didn't even know where I was at.
Q. Cross-handed putting back in April; is that right?
DUFFY WALDORF: At the Players Championship, actually. Where I finished 17th. With an 8 on the last hole. So I putted -- I have been putting really well with the cross-handed.
Q. Is that the first time in your career you have ever gone to it?
DUFFY WALDORF: Yes, never putted cross -- if you want more information, here is an interesting note. I used the clubs that I played with first time this week, new set of clubs Wright IP Offset, write that down. Pretty impressive. The interesting thing about that is the last tournament I won, which I count the team victory with Tom Lehman, I had switched to Zevo irons. I just switched from Zevo to these Wright irons and look, I won. Next week I am going to switch clubs again (laughs) I only win after I switch clubs. That is my problem I just don't switch clubs enough.
Q. Do you always know where you stand in the tournament? Are you looking at leader boards regularly?
DUFFY WALDORF: No, in fact, especially the front side, I didn't feel like -- I started off in the lead; I never felt -- I didn't feel like I had to look at the leaderboard until I needed to. I didn't feel -- I didn't look at the leaderboard until 11th tee; proceeded to go bogey, bogey. I said, well, that didn't do me much good. So I am not a real leaderboard-watcher especially in a hard day, and I start out in the lead, I am thinking I want to go out and shoot 4-under on the front side if I can. I don't really want to think about what the other guys are doing. Then as I get near the end, I check the leaderboard to see where I stand if I need to come back or am I holding on or whatever. So far I have always had to come back. I don't get the luxury of taking the lead into the last three holes very often.
LEE PATTERSON: Very good. Appreciate it.
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