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April 26, 1998

Trevor Dodds


LEE PATTERSON: Sir, congratulations.

TREVOR DODDS: Thank you.

LEE PATTERSON: I guess, the best you can, if you can maybe share some of the emotion that is running through you right now.

TREVOR DODDS: Well, right now, emotions are unbelievable. Coming out there today, being three shots back, I get like -- I needed to just go and play as well as I can. And with the conditions being really tough, I figured if I shoot 71, 72, 73, I would be right in there, but I wouldn't really have a chance to win. So I felt like, anything under 70, and I felt 14-under par was the gold number. And, yeah, here I am in the pressroom at 12-under par, so that is great.

Q. Take a picture of the 18th tee and fairway and green and put it in your bedroom or something; four birdies, then the sudden-death playoff?

TREVOR DODDS: Yeah, played that hole in so few shots that I've kind of got to write it down to remember or get a picture. It was great. One less thing as you look back. And I think the way I played No. 16 and the way I played No. 18 were the crucial factors this week because 16 -- I seemed to be in trouble everyday and managed to scrape pars and one birdie. And 18, guess I made a long putt on 18, but, other than that, I played the hole very well.

Q. What are you thinking when he hits the ball -- tee ball in the rough and then you get to go up? Do you put it down the middle and play for par?

TREVOR DODDS: Scott has got a great short game. I felt like I needed to still be aggressive and try and hit my second as close to the hole as possible. I didn't -- I felt like if I backed away then I am much more prone to hit a bad shot. So just -- I was four yards away from where I was in the final round, in the playoffs, so, I had exactly the same club. I wasn't quite as pumped up. I was a little bit more nervous. And, I just -- four yards less, I said, let's play -- hit the same club and same target. I took it on the edge of the tower and said: Hit it; let the wind do what it wants to. I -- When I hit it, I knew I hit it solid and it was going to be just fine.

Q. 8-iron?

TREVOR DODDS: 9-iron. It was 158 to the hole.

Q. Second time through?

TREVOR DODDS: Second time, yeah. Or 159, sorry - when I was -- 18th hole final round, I had 164.

Q. When you were on the range warming up, how much play-by-play were you getting? Did you know Scott got a 30-footer?

TREVOR DODDS: Yeah, Slugger White was on the range with me and they had a CBS crew there, so they kept us informed. I warmed up when Bob Estes was busy putting and then I knew -- then Scott came in and he hit it to 25 feet. I just kept hitting wedges just to stay loose because sitting there, you drive yourself crazy. So, I did that. Then we just drove around.

Q. Did you have any kind of feeling whether he would make it or not or did you think about that?

TREVOR DODDS: I just tried to prepare myself as if I was going to be in a playoff. So, it wasn't going to be too much of a shocker and be very nervous.

Q. With everything that has happened with you in your whole career in Canada and then the last year, did you ever think that this day would come?

TREVOR DODDS: You know, life is funny. The cancer made me -- changed a lot of my approach, a lot about life in the sense that I put golf in the proper place. Golf became the third thing in my life, basically, but that doesn't mean it is - like it is your job; that is where most of my effort goes obviously. But it also changed my view being a lesser priority, but there was a new urgency. I felt this need that I needed to achieve, what I set out to do to glorify my commitments. And basically I just feel like that has helped me. The other thing, going back to Canada and Nike Tour, when you lose your card, you can -- it is very easy -- in 1994, when I lost my card, it would have been very easy to just pack it in and say: That is it. I have been out here eight years and whatever, I have had it. But, I thought about it and prayed a little bit. And, I was just led to continue playing golf. I think I was led to Canada and the Nike for a reason because, before that, I'd never won on Tour. I had -- I won like one or two other pro events overseas and, in Canada, I think I won like seven events in two years. Then, last year, I won on the Nike before I was diagnosed. What it did, I think, is prepare me for an occasion like this so that when I do get a chance to win, I am not going to be overwhelmed like I used to be because I think the biggest thing about winning here is learning to control your emotions down the stretch.

Q. If I may, following up on what you talked about, with everything that has happened in your career, up-and-down, and Qualifying School, has it sunk in yet what this victory means as far as -- to your exemption as far as World Series of Golf, as far as The Masters, as far as what are you (inaudible) --

TREVOR DODDS: I was smiling because I have actually played the World Series through one of the events I have won overseas. But the other reason why I smiled is, yes, I am going to go to The Masters and I promised myself I would never set foot in there until I go there to play in the tournament and I have kept that promise. So, next year, I will be going as a participant and it is going to be great.

Q. Bob Estes was in here earlier and made a comment that it struck him that you and he and Scott were all in contention, college All-Americans in the same era and roughly from the same part of the country. Did that thought occur to you and, second part, how well do you know Bob and was it cool seeing him playing?

TREVOR DODDS: I am really good friends with Bob and Scott, too. And, we played a lot of the same college events. We had pretty much the same schedule and so we are very familiar with each other's games, in that sense. And it is funny, I think we have all taken little detours. We have all had our challenges in life. Scott has. Bob has. I have had mine. Just makes this occasion that much more of a thrill. I am sure -- the more I think about it and in the next few days, I will realize what this means more what this means to me, but I also know that next week, it is a new tournament. I am actually going to take off next week. But, so, it will be good. It will be a nice time for it to sink in. When I come out the next time, I will be ready.

Q. You said golf is your third priority. I assume your health is No. 1. What is number No. 2?

TREVOR DODDS: I would say my faith is my first priority and my family my second. Then golf, which would be my work. And, I think it is very important to have it in that order simply because, without faith, you are nothing. And especially with what I had gone through. I just remembered, after being diagnosed, it was such a shock and I really prayed about it. And, amazingly, about three days later, before surgery, just this peace came over me. I just knew, no matter what happens, everything will be okay. And -- I guess I don't talk about it as much as I should -- but I really feel blessed and, without my faith, without God in my life, without my family, my wife, who has been very instrumental in guiding, in being a part of my life, and our little daughter, just seeing how a child can have faith and just trust what his parents could do, and it is probably pretty overwhelming right now just to think about it all, to put it all into context because my main priority, obviously, today was to try and win the golf tournament. I think I have just got to remember that all the things -- that doesn't necessarily mean that I don't put the most time and effort into golf. It is like anybody else. Your job is what takes the most hours of your day.

Q. It was eleven months ago you were in Raleigh at the Nike thing and you seemed fine. When did the cancer come up? How did you find out about it? How was it diagnosed exactly? What did you have to do to keep all the therapy --

TREVOR DODDS: Was it the week after we played at Richmond? I think it was. And, I just felt a lump. There was no reason to believe it was anything serious. It was like, deep down inside, I knew I had to see a doctor as soon as possible. I was going to play two more weeks; then go home. I played the two weeks and I end up finishing in like top 10. I had to go play the next week because I wasn't eligible to even play the Nike Tour. If I skipped that week, I would have had to go qualify. I mean, this is where I would say God works in mysterious ways because I wasn't going to play the next week. I end up, like I said, finishing like eight or nine that week. I go play the next week and I win the tournament and then I played one more week and I finished third. And, I then go home and on the Tuesday I get in with a doctor and the doctor just said: Look, we have got to get this out as soon as possible; two days later. And, at that point, financially, it wasn't that I was strapped, but if I had to sit out for six months, I would have been in financial difficulty. And, all of a sudden, winning the Nike event and finishing third, I made $60,000; all that pressure was taken away. So, things work in mysterious ways. And then coming back directly after the radiation and going through the tough time -- I didn't touch a club for six weeks after the surgery and the radiation I just -- I -- once again, I just knew that I musn't practice and I musn't touch a club and I musn't do anything to touch my golf swing. I felt like if I go out there and practice and I am not in the physical strength I'd need to be and have the right mindset, I am just going to giving myself bad habits. So I didn't touch a club. I came -- about six months after my radiation was over, I finished fifth on one of the Nike events and pretty much secured my card.

Q. What was the hat-on, hat-off thing today on the putting green, the wind or -- couldn't recognize you half the time?

TREVOR DODDS: Just the wind from behind, left-to-right, and it would push the hat over. Then it would bother me. So I would take it off. I just wear the big brim because it protects me a little more.

Q. Any benefit having played college golf in Texas on a day like this or is that far in the past?

TREVOR DODDS: I think it all adds up. You get used to playing in wind. The wind blew pretty hard today, but it wasn't unplayable and you could still manufacture different shots. The hard part was, you know, 6 through 8 and then the stretch 14 through 17 where you -- it is very hard to recognize where the wind is coming from. That caught me a couple of times and, like, on 17, I felt like I hit a really good shot and it finished in the right-end trap. I was trying to hit it out right a little bit, but it moved the wrong way totally.

Q. What is it like; Sam Snead gives you the trophy and, everything, what is that like?

TREVOR DODDS: That is unbelievable. I will never forget that. It is truly a privilege to have met him and, you know, you look at one of the true heroes and legends of our sport, and to have the privilege and honor of meeting him and have him actually present the trophy to me and be the first recipient of his trophy, is fantastic. And, I will never forget it.

Q. What will you do with $396,000?

TREVOR DODDS: I guess I will spend it. (laughs) No, I don't know. I am sure I will pay tax (laughter).

Q. You will.

TREVOR DODDS: I don't know if you should quote that. But, I am sure I will have things to do with it. I had -- first of all, I will use it for my family and that is a major priority. Some security for them.

Q. Three years ago, you come here and qualified to get into this tournament on a Monday morning with your wife as your caddie, I mean, what is it like now just three years later?

TREVOR DODDS: She is actually a good caddie. She caddied for me before. We did okay. Like I said, it has been an up-and-down career. I just -- if you have been through the nine years that I was through before 1994 -- from 1994 and before that, I kept getting my card and I wouldn't perform up to my expectations or anybody's expectations. I lost my card, like, eight out of nine times during that stretch and -- but I just felt like you got to have the tenacity and the perseverance to just keep going. As long as I felt I had to do this - and this is what I chose to do for my career - this is what I wanted to do. And I just -- I wasn't prepared to let go of that dream just yet. It has paid off.

Q. Was there a reason or reasons that you didn't advance from being a college All-American to a pro star, you know, more quickly?

TREVOR DODDS: It is like - I would have likened it to anything -- we all take different times to blossom, in a sense. I just know, from my college career, I came -- I only became All-American my senior year. There was no reason -- even in my junior year, I didn't even think of turning pro until my senior year until I started playing good and became All-American. Before that, as a junior, I mean, I was more concerned with getting my degree and just trying to get my golf better. It has just within a gradual process. I think the same thing out here happened. Coming out here, I got my card right out of college and, after about three months, I was convinced with the golf swing I had that I would not be able to win at this level, even though I had done perfectly well in college golf. And, in retrospect, it was definitely a mistake. I never blame anybody because it was obviously -- for me it was a suit of trying to get better. Sometimes you get worse. It is just a matter of developing your game 'til the point where you really trust it. And I still have tough times. Just today, it happened that I felt like, even though I wasn't hitting every shot perfect, I just knew that everything would be okay.

Q. I think you told me last summer you had been on the Asian Tour; in Canada. Have you missed any continent?

TREVOR DODDS: I was eligible to play the Asian Tour and I didn't go because my wife -- we had our little daughter that year. I just -- I actually missed the birth playing in South Africa. That I would have been home for, like, four days before I had to go to Asia. I think she would have shot me if I had done that. Anyway, I have played South America, Canada, U.S., played a couple events in Europe. So, I think I have run the gamut. Yeah, I have been everywhere. It is going to be nice being able to play, you know, in the U.S. for the next few seasons at least, so...

Q. Is there one event in Canada that turned things around for you?

TREVOR DODDS: Well, I think my first event I won, I played really well. I believe it was Winnipeg -- I have got to think here; it has been awhile. It was the first tournament and I think it was -- I think I have got it wrong. It was the Alberta Open. I would have to look. The thing that really did it for me in Canada that gave me a lot of confidence was in 1986 I won four tournaments in a five-week stretch which, you know, made the world of difference to me and we were playing on really good golf courses. And, I won convincingly. And, on a couple of events I won coming from behind on the last day. So, it gave me something to draw from. And, what I learned from it is, basically, you have got to really focus on what you are doing that day and I caught myself today on No. 8 looking at the ball and saying: Wow, I am right back in this tournament. When I got to that point, I didn't realize I was tied for the first. And I said: Well, that is fine; I could look at the board, but you are allowed to glance at the board and that is it. You can't start staring at the board and seeing where you are every hole. I think on 15 was the last time I really looked closely and I noticed, at that point, I was one or two shots back and I knew, from there, I just had to do whatever I could to stay in the event.

Q. Do you feel like you had to make the putt on 16 that was a big one, the 20-footer for par; was it?

TREVOR DODDS: It was eight paces, so 24 feet for par. I drove it in the rough. That hole just always has given me trouble. Today I have driven -- hit 3-wood off there everyday, but today with the wind being what it was, I tried to hit driver. I had a torrid lie in the rough. And took -- tried to get a little more out of it with a 7-iron. I should have missed by 7, 8 or 9, but it worked out perfect. I got in that ridge. I said to my caddie: From that position, I had no real chance of getting it close unless I bounced it on the bottom of the valley. At that point I said: Let's play, just try and get on the green and land it short of the hole; let it skip where it has to and try and make the putt. I was very fortunate that Stephen Ames putted before me because if I would have putted first, I would have missed the putt, no doubt about it, because I would have hit it six inches left on my read. And, when I watched Stephen's putt, it stayed there, and I adjusted for it and aimed it left. The ball actually got around the hole and came back in. So, I learned from that.

LEE PATTERSON: Anything else? Go over your birdies real quickly.

TREVOR DODDS: At 2, I hit it, driver, 2-iron. I laid up about 65 yards, I think, short of the flag and wedged up to about twelve feet made a good putt. 4, hit it to about two feet with a 6-iron, the par 3, made that. If 6, I hit 3-wood around the corner, had 106 yards, I think it was - sorry, a little more, maybe about 110, hit sand wedge to about five feet, made that. Then I made a great up-and-down on 7 for par out of the bunker. Then on 9, I hit it in the rough, laid up with a 9-iron. Next shot was a 9-iron onto the green, and I made about a 35-footer for birdie. Then I think 18 was my only other birdie and that I was told nearly holed out, just rolled to about four feet and I made that.

Q. That was 8-iron or 9-iron?

TREVOR DODDS: 9-iron. It was playing pretty good. It was perfect between a 7 and a half and 8-iron under normal conditions, and with the wind, I just knew that if I could hit a 9-iron and try and get it up in the air as high as I could, it would get there.

LEE PATTERSON: This was 164 you said earlier?


LEE PATTERSON: Anything else?

End of FastScripts....

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