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July 7, 2004

Lorie Kane


PAUL ROVNAK: Lorie, thanks for coming in and joining us. I imagine this is a special week for you playing in Canada, your home country. So just tell us what it's like to play in front of the home fans and we'll take questions after that.

LORIE KANE: Well, not quite home, but home country. I was closer to home when we played the U.S. Open.

Well, it's our National Championship, and what can I say, it's going to be a good test of golf. I think the golf course is interesting, generous off the tees, but definitely have to work into the greens; and 18 Canadians playing, so I think it's time one of us wins.

Q. I was talking to Jocelyn earlier today and she said she would cry to see a Canadian up there, maybe she's lonely, how significant would that be and how much is it a factor when you're playing here in your own backyard?

LORIE KANE: Well, we try to not to make it a factor . In fact you need to you learn year after year to deal with the added things that come with playing in your home country.

You ask what the significance would be and I think it would be like Mike Weir winning the Masters. It would mean a whole lot to women's golf and to golf in general to have a Canadian win our Canadian Open, our National Championship.

Having said that, all I know I can do is go out there and do the best that I can. And I've been playing well, the scores may not be showing it, but things are good. And I just need to let it happen, and have fun doing it.

Q. You talked about the added distractions when you come to play here in Canada, the expectations of everybody would love to see the Canadian win on home soil, you've been through it for several years and knowing the expectations and being the big name in terms of Canadian golfers, how hard is it to block out those additional distractions, and the expectation to deliver on Canadian soil?

LORIE KANE: Well, I think in the past, I've probably I think if I need to grade myself, and I can only speak for myself, I would probably give myself a B in managing all of the things that go on with this week. Sometimes you feel like you're being pulled in a lot of directions. I am not somebody that likes to say no. And that can come back to haunt me. If I go back to the last du Maurier we played in Ottawa, I was leading going into Sunday and I ran out of gas because I did everything that I thought I was supposed to do, first of all, to try to help us find a new sponsor for the event; second of all, to all the autographs and sign all the things, I had just won my first tournament the week before.

But then, you know, the year after that I played Angus Glen and I handled myself better. Last year in Vancouver, I handled myself poorly. I let a lot of distractions that I was feeling myself, wanting to win so bad that I couldn't even, you know I could have played left handed I think better than I was playing right handed. And you can't do that.

I was very fortunate yesterday to be in the presence of two of our Olympic athletes Marnie McBean and Cathy Campbell, and Cathy was my partner for the shootout in family day. Cathy said to me, our seventh player, we always talk about the seventh player, and that's the fans and you need to use the fans to the best of your ability.

And so I want to have fun. Meg Mallon last week, she plays the same type of golf I do. I can't be in a Shell and expect to play well. I need my personality to let me play, and that's the smiling, talking, moving through good and bad. Don't get me wrong, I get mad like everybody else does but I have to learn to manage it better and I'm trying very hard to do that and I need to have fun.

So, you know, the expectations that we have, all of us as Canadians want nothing more than to be able to hoist the trophy, so to say, yeah, finally a Canadian won. It's a long way to the finish line and you just have to be patient.

Q. Next year, Glenn Arbor, in the maritimes , one maritimer to another, I'm amazed over the last five years, the number of golf courses popping up around the region, the growth of the sport, especially at the Amateur level. As an Islander, do you keep track of that, and if you do, how does it make you feel in your career to see the evolution of it in your home province and home region?

LORIE KANE: Well, I think it's fabulous. It's really kind of scary to think there's 29 courses in the province of Prince Edward island and we have 29,000 people living there. I am proud the province of Prince Edward Island took hold several years back and developed four good courses that the province. Others have done the same, Nova Scotia, Halifax and Newfoundland, as well, and a lot of us tend to forget Newfoundland, and there are some great golf courses over there.

What that does, it's affordable golf and that allows people, the average, everyday person to have a touch and feel of the game. And the game will grow in our region because of that.

We're still not outpriced, but you're going to play the best golf courses for a great value, now if we could only attract some more interest of our American friends south of the border and up here in upper Canada to come to see Atlantic Canada. And I think what a key is, is that the Bank of Montreal realizing that there is life past Montreal and Quebec and to bring a National Championship like the Bank of Montreal to Halifax speaks volumes about where the tournament is headed and how people feel about that part of the world. I pushed very hard to get them to come to Prince Edward Island, but I guess three hours away is better than not at all.

Q. You said earlier that you're not scoring well, but you are playing well. Can you tell us why the scoring isn't there, if you are playing well?

LORIE KANE: That's a good question. I don't know if I have an answer for that. I drive it well or don't putt well or haven't been. But things are just coming to the.

I think to sum it all up, it's golf. I don't know that you own every one day, or any one day; rather, you can say, I own the whole part of it. , The whole game. And you have to have good misses and you have to be patient, and I don't think that I've been patient enough, but I'm sure I'm working on it.

Q. When you emerged from the pack and sort of became the face of Canadian women's golfer, did you understand what you were signing on for? It's great that you emerged, but is it fair that you have to bear the load and we all ask you the questions about winning; is it fair?

LORIE KANE: Is it fair? Maybe not, but I'm a sports fan, too. I'm the first one to get on the Leafs when they don't win. So is it fair that I can say, you know, that they are not doing something right? It's just about being fans and sport.

Your job is to ask me the tougher questions because that might sell more papers or be better script, better footage for TV.

I'm very proud of what I've accomplished. Did I know what I was signing up for? No. All I knew was that I wanted to be the best that I could be and the things that I have accomplished, have been awesome, the experiences that I have lived, the companies and the people that I have met and represent are all part of that, and I wouldn't change it for the world. So, I'm just looking to get better, and to get back in the winner's circle as soon as possible.

Q. What would it mean to win this one in your home country, just overall?

LORIE KANE: Oh, it would be awesome. I can only imagine what Mike felt when we put on that green jacket and we all know how important that particular tournament is. But to win the Bank of Montreal Canadian Women's Open would be the top of the mountain.

Q. It's been a couple of years since your last victory and you're approaching 40, shall we say.

LORIE KANE: My mother would not be happy with you to hear that. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you feel that perhaps sort of a dry spell has been the result of all of the good young golfers coming up in the women's game, or perhaps a bit of tough luck on your part or what can you attribute that to?

LORIE KANE: First of all, the growth on our tour is fabulous and the excitement of the young players that are coming, let's face it, they are the future. We just had Meg Mallon win the U.S. Open, and that number you said is just that; it's a number.

I don't feel anywhere close to that number and I think my best golf is ahead of me. I was very much a lot older coming out here than most of the young girls are now, and you know, I still think I'm growing. If you want me to give you a golf age, I'm about 25.

Q. 25 in golf years?


Q. Do you still see a sense that the young kids, the young girls and women are embracing the game, getting into the game in Canada?

LORIE KANE: Well, yes and no. I think there's pockets of the country that are doing very good job of getting girls into the game. I think there's areas of the country that need to do a better job.

But it is a game that's very difficult once you get into it to keep young girls in it. It's not like soccer or swimming or basketball or any of the other sports. Golf is a very demanding sport, and you need to practice it and that's how you get better.

It can be frustrating, as we all know, and for little people and young girls, it's hard. But golf is a cool sport now. And you know, if Michelle Wie is the kid that's running around with the torch that says, "Come on, let's keep playing," I think it's great.

Q. You won a Canadian Women's PGA a little while back, and do you think your game is suited for this course?

LORIE KANE: Very much suited, yeah. Well, I'm a good driver of the ball, not that there's a lot of rough out there, but it is target golf into the greens. I'm a good iron player and I've been putting well and I know I'm going to make my share. So I'm going to go out there and just play one shot at a time.

Q. There's a perception out there, everybody follows Annika, she's not here, Grace Park is not here, and there are 18 Canadians here, perhaps this is a good opportunity without there are some elite players, no disrespect to them here, that this may be a good opportunity for a Canadian to rise up?

LORIE KANE: Well, any time Annika is not in the field, yes. (Laughing).

Q. You're joking, aren't you.

LORIE KANE: Yeah, I am. We've had several different new winners this year. The depth of our tour is really strong. You know, you've got Beth Daniel, the defending champion, who is probably the purest ball striker out here. Meg just won last week. You've got a handful of Koreans who are solid young players. Then we've got 18 Canadians that are going to give it the best shot that we possibly can. So to say who is not here and who is here is more important.

Q. You played a practice round yesterday with the twins, obviously that's been a real theme in the game is people coming through quite differently than you did, and Meg mentioned, she was 28 before she got her first win. What's your thought on what it's like playing pro golf when you're 17 or 18 versus maybe coming into it at 25, 26?

LORIE KANE: Again, for myself, I was a child that was raised in sport, but we mean all sports from like, I've gone through my gamut of sports that I've been involved with. Now it seems that kids are taking on one or two sports and then being very focused on one.

The twins, Aree and Naree were raised as golfers. Michelle Wie is being raised as a golfer. Tiger was raised as a golfer and there's nothing wrong with that.

But for myself, I'm really glad that I had an opportunity to play all of the love the game. And they like to be entertainers and they are going to be the future of our tour. For me to have a practice round with them yesterday here was a lot of fun. I was very proud that I could introduce them to Mo Norman, one of the greats here in our country, and they were really excited to meet him and he was really excited to watch them hit the ball.

So, you know, I may be 40, but I'm hanging out with the young ones.

Q. We were talking to Natalie Gulbis earlier about her calendar and the term, Five Points of Celebrity came up, I don't know if it's a shift in direction, but there's a different approach that works here at the LPGA. Can you talk a bit about the marketing of the sport and how it's changed in your tenure with the sport, just your opinion on it, how do you feel about the new direction?

LORIE KANE: I don't think it's a new direction. I think the way I saw it was that Commissioner Votaw just made us aware of things that maybe we were not aware of before. I know for myself, I was, to be interactive, to relate, the appearance, whatever the five points are, I just said, oh, that's how I live, what's the big deal. But, you know what we needed to point that out and our fans are most important people that we have around us, and that's how you generate interest, that's when companies want to become involved.

I think it was great we had that summit, I think in 2000, and it was a wonderful week, weekend of getting us together. Being individual golfers, you sometimes forget that we are a part of the same company, and that our goal is to move the company forward. The best is the PGA TOUR, and we need to take our chunk.

And so by going through what we went through in that summit, I think we all came together with the realization that, yes, this is the right way to go. You know, it's been fun. Natalie is again, a bright future on our tour. She's so personable and she's fun. Let's face it, she's very attractive and guys like to come out and watch her, young guys, old guys, so it's great. I think it's wonderful the way Natalie in particular carries herself.

Q. Is Danny Sharp with you on the bag this week?

LORIE KANE: He certainly is.

Q. There was a rumor floating around earlier this year that you had split; was there anything to that?

LORIE KANE: No, there wasn't. Basically what happened there was, again, my relationship with Aree, Danny just went down simply because he was in Florida to watch her play at the Tour School and played some practice rounds with her. And somehow, she may have been the Korean he was going to caddie for. But there was nothing true to that story. I got a great chuckle out of it when I heard it myself.

We appreciate everything you do, because without telling our story, there is no story, so thanks.

End of FastScripts.

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