June 30, 1998
RHONDA GLENN: She has had a fabulous year, being the leading American on Tour right now. Donna, have you played the golf course yet?
DONNA ANDREWS: I have not seen the golf course.
RHONDA GLENN: How do you prepare for a Women's Open?
DONNA ANDREWS: I don't do anything very different. For me I will go out there today and see the golf course for the first time. I will warm up before I go out, but I will play just like any other practice round, try to find the best spot in the fairways to approach the greens, try to hit. I will probably hit a lot of putts today. Tomorrow I will concentrate more on chipping from around the greens and just get an overall view, I think, of the golf course for the first couple of days. For me, I don't approach it much differently. The good thing is we get two practice rounds here. Normal tournaments we only get one. We get to see a little bit more of the golf course than we did any other week.
RHONDA GLENN: You won last year, had a good year. You had a spectacular year this year and recently have been up at the top of the money list. What has caused that?
DONNA ANDREWS: I think it was just a matter getting back to my own golf swing. I played great in 1994, got hurt in 95, and I think tried to revamp my golf swing a little bit to try to keep from hurting my back. And in 1996 when I started feeling better, was able to start getting back to the old Donna Andrews golf swing, I think. And now I am stronger. Rehab has really paid off. I think my golf swing is even better now than it was back in 1994.
Q. Back injury, what was the problem and how did you overcome that?
DONNA ANDREWS: Yeah, they told me it was just a pulled muscle. They weren't real sure. Actually I hurt it the fall of 94. I was playing so well I kept playing. In 1995 I spent most of the year rehabbing and didn't really feel like I was pain-free probably 'til midway through 96. It has been about two years now since it has bothered me. It was just a lot of rehab. None of the M.R.I.s or anything showed anything. So I still have to do my stretching every day. I haven't had any trouble now, as I said, for about two years, but I still have to be careful with what I do, and probably don't do as much rehab as I should right now. But if it does start flaring up a little bit, I really gear back on the rehab.
Q. There is a number of longer par 4s on this course. Will you adjust what you carry in your bag or do you stick with the same clubs no matter what the length of the hole?
DONNA ANDREWS: I have to wait until I see it. I know last year I did change -- I put in an extra wood last year; actually took out my 3-wood last year and put in more of a 4-wood. I am pretty happy with the 14 clubs I have in my bag right now. And I feel like I have ones that cover each distance that I would need. I have 9 through 4-iron right now. Then I have a 7-wood, a 5-wood, and a 4-plus which is really a 3-wood. So I pretty much got my yardages covered. Unless it is something that I think I would need, I can't foresee myself changing.
Q. Does the Women's Open generally set up differently than what you see normally on Tour?
DONNA ANDREWS: Just like any Open golf course, the fairways are normally a little tighter, rough is a little longer and greens are little harder. But, you know that coming into an Open. I think that is why I have played well in a lot of the Opens because I tend to hit the ball in the fairways and on the greens. So I will go out there and try to stick to my game plan. Last week I didn't hit as quite as good as I would like to. Had a few errant tee balls last week but I know I need to work on them a little bit because you can't do that on an Open golf course.
Q. The men's Open, they do rotate the courses. Women's Open you come to a new venue. Does it even the playing field at all?
DONNA ANDREWS: I don't think anybody really has an advantage or a disadvantage. We all have the same opportunity to see the golf course. Everybody thought I would have a great advantage when the Women's Open was at Pine Needles and I had played the course before, but the way it sets up during an Open is different from the way it sets up when we normally play it on a day-to-day basis. So I don't think anybody has any advantage. Everybody has the same look at the golf course.
Q. Rosie earlier talked about travelling with her dog. Do you sometimes bring yours?
DONNA ANDREWS: I do. I don't have him here this week. We considered it, but I have two now, a Husky and an Akita. Both of them are about 85 or 90 pounds so it is not quite as easily to travel with. When I can drive to tournaments, I normally take them. The Husky used to fly with me out to California and everything. Now with two, it is a little harder to fit two kennels and two dogs and golf clubs, it gets to be a little bit much when you try to fly with them. Now I only take them out when I had can drive.
Q. What are their names?
DONNA ANDREWS: Derby is the Husky and Zoe is the Akita.
RHONDA GLENN: At least you are not trying to bring your horses out here.
DONNA ANDREWS: I asked two years old I said she is got 4 legs, but they don't let me bring those either.
Q. Alison Nicholas has struggled since winning this tournament. Is there sympathy for her play among the players do you think? Has it been hard on her? Is it a stigma, do you think, that she has had to overcome losing to the Seminole favorite?
DONNA ANDREWS: I don't personally know Alison very well, so I mean I would hate to comment on her well being or her mental attitude. I think Alison is a great player. She has proved it with her play out on our Tour that she is a wonderful player. I think it probably was hard on her, you know, when everybody seemed to be pulling for Nancy, being the Seminole favorite. Alison is the type of player, I don't think she would let that bother her.
Q. How much does winning a U.S. Open Championship mean to you compared to all the other events you have played?
DONNA ANDREWS: Well, I think the Open has always been special. It is "Our tournament." As an American player this, to us, is sort of our tournament that I think we all dream about winning. It is what you talk about as a kid growing up. And, it means a lot to the Europeans to win it, but I think it means even more to an American player to be able to go out and win this tournament.
Q. Does it also add import and meaning to it because it is such a challenge because par is always such a good score?
DONNA ANDREWS: Well, the courses are always tough. That is something we expect when we come to an Open. It challenge all levels of our game. I think you have to be on top of your game in order to win a U.S. Open. I have been in contention a couple of times and even though I didn't win, I had a couple of seconds and a third; I really felt like I was on top of my game to even to finish there. It requires a lot of thinking, concentration. You just can't make mistakes. Other courses you can get away with an errant shot here and there. You can sometimes get away with it. But you can't here. So I think that makes it a more prestigious tournament to win.
RHONDA GLENN: As you probably know from looking at the record book, Donna has either missed the cut or finished second or third in this Championship almost every year. Why that big swing? Is it just a matter of hitting your game when your game is right, this particular week?
DONNA ANDREWS: I think a lot of it is. I try to gear my seasons, you know, so that I am ready to play when I come to the Open. Unfortunately 1995, I wasn't feeling good. I think the year it was in at Pine Needles I had too many other things going on. I don't think I was as focused as I should have been. There is a lot of things when you have a tournament in your hometown, you want it to succeed. So I probably went out of my way, you know, to try to help things run smoothly and do what I could to help promote the tournament. Maybe I wasn't as focused on my game as I should have been. You live and learn. I learned to say no when I need to. It was an important lesson for me to learn.
Q. Obviously Sorenstam is coming in on quite a roll. How does that make you prepare for this and I guess what are your thoughts in the way she is playing right now?
DONNA ANDREWS: I think she is playing great. But it doesn't affect the way I prepare for a tournament. No players do. I go out there and play my game. If I win, I win. If I don't, I don't. But you can't change your game plan just because somebody is either playing good or maybe playing bad. You still got to go out there and play your own game. That is why golf is such an individual sport.
RHONDA GLENN: Do you feel because you are an American with Annika up there and Liselotte every week almost winning that your sudden emergence as leading money winner has given you more public support, more gallery support because you are an American; have you noticed anything like that?
DONNA ANDREWS: I don't think anybody has noticed I am at the top of the money list yet. I sort of snuck up there and nobody was really paying attention. It has sort of been nice because I didn't get a lot of media coverage or anything leading up to becoming leading money winner, so it has sort of has been nice to me. I have quietly snuck my way up there and have played good golf and the other girls are playing great. Unfortunately, I had six good months so far and I will just have to wait and see what the rest of the season brings. You love to be at the top of the money list. I played some great weeks that I finished second these last four, five weeks and played probably the best golf I could have played and even at the Oldsmobile, I lost by 6 and shot 17-under. So, just you are at the top of your game doesn't mean that somebody else might not have a better week than you. You have to go out there and just take what happens.
RHONDA GLENN: You haven't noticed any additional fan support though because you have been the American who is closest to the Swedish players to beating them?
DONNA ANDREWS: I haven't yet. I am sure I will this week. The other tournaments, had my normal fan support out there. The last couple of weeks I have had probably a few more people, but I am sure being here at the U.S. Open, I am sure it will be a lot more Americans out there with me.
RHONDA GLENN: What is the difference in finishing first and second in your game?
DONNA ANDREWS: Really nothing. I just happen to run up an against couple of buzz saws. I played great at Oldsmobile; shot 17-under. I actually had four good weeks in a row; finished second four weeks in a row. I wouldn't change a thing. I felt like I have played well. I didn't really make any mistakes. Had good Sunday rounds. Just somebody else had a better Sunday round.
Q. What is the most important thing that you have learned from any other woman in relation to golf and your game?
DONNA ANDREWS: I would have to say probably that there is more to life than golf. I think Nancy Lopez probably has been my biggest inspiration and it is not just that she has a good golf game, she has a family life and home life and other things that are just as important to her as her golf career. That is the one thing I think I have played better this year because I think because of becoming more of a well-rounded person. I really enjoy my time at home. I enjoy the time with my family, with my dogs, with my horses. And, it has allowed me to get away from the golf game. When I am out here, I am more focused. When I am at home, I am having a lot more fun.
Q. You mentioned before that the Women's Open is the one that every American golfer would like to win. Is there a territorial thing between the American golfers and the foreign golfers in terms of who wins this tournament?
DONNA ANDREWS: I don't think we really look at it that way. We are out here every week. We all play together every week out here. So, it is not like -- I mean, the only time it is U.S. versus Europe is during the Solheim Cup and a lot of people, I think, especially the media, tries to put a -- make it a big issue that it is U.S. versus Europe versus Australia. It is not. We have friends out here that are from everywhere. So it is not, you know, it is you and -- against everybody else. It is not U.S. versus Europe except for the week of the Solheim Cup.
Q. What kind of score do you think it might take?
DONNA ANDREWS: I can't answer that. I haven't seen the golf course yet.
Q. Did you have a sense that this was coming; that you could be in this position or, you know, you would be one of the best players in the world or did it just come -- talk about that.
DONNA ANDREWS: I think I did have a sense. I had a good season in 1993, very good season in 94. Finished fifth on the money list and felt like I was at the top of my game there. But you always know there is room for improvement. I mean, even this year I don't feel like I have played my at quite a few of the tournaments. I didn't feel like I have played my best golf the week I won. That is the way the game goes: You can play your best and not win and not play your best and do win. You have just got to take what you get week-to-week. I think that has been what is important here. I read Davis Love's book and two of the things that I remember was on his list that he made with his father was: You don't have to play your best to win and you have got to be happy at home in order to win out on Tour. And I think those two really hit home for me. And I worked with his father when I was first getting into college and had spent time with him and those things really hit home to me that there are more important things than golf. I think that allows to you to play better out here when your whole life is not based on it.
Q. Players always talk about how important confidence is in being successful. It seems to me that what you are talking about self confidence not only on the course but at home, of being a full person. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about that you have more confidence in yourself and comfortable --
DONNA ANDREWS: For me it is probably more of a comfort level. I have sort of found where I am comfortable with in my life and what is going on with my life. I think the better you play, obviously the more confidence you get out here. I don't think you worry about a bogey here or a bogey there because you have got the confidence that you can go out there and make a couple of birdies. So I think, for me, it is a comfort zone, but it is obviously -- you know, I guess I did read the mental book, golf is a game of confidence and I really think that is true. Golf is a game of confidence and the better you feel about the way you are hitting it, I think the better you play. For me a lot of it is just having fun. I am comfortable on the golf course now having fun regardless of how I play. And, that has been something that -- you know, when I was hurt back in 1995 I wasn't having any fun out there. Not only was I playing poor golf, but it wasn't any fun. That is what I have learned if I can't have fun out there, then I had shouldn't be out there playing.
RHONDA GLENN: Thank you so much. Best of luck this week.
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