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June 4, 1999

Lorie Kane


RHONDA GLENN: Lorie Kane shot 32, 32, 64 today. She is tied for the lead, 10-under par. I'm not sure what your position was before you teed off, but you were not in the lead. Is this the round of your life?

LORIE KANE: I think 64 is a low tournament round. Definitely my best score in a U.S. Open, probably in a major. It's just one of those things. I made one bogey, and the golf gods helped. You know, what else can I say? I had some putts that kind of hung on the edge and then fell in. So, you know, once it leaves your putter, it's out of your control.

RHONDA GLENN: You birdied the first three holes. Let's go over your card if we may.

LORIE KANE: Well, we started off the -- first of all, I should probably start by saying I left more birdie putts short than I did past the hole. Made some really good saves for par last week, yesterday, and only made two birdies. So my approach to today's round was, if I did anything, I was going to be after the hole on my putts. And I hit -- I hit a 9-iron into the 1st hole to about 20 feet, and it was dead in the heart; so I thought, here we go. We're going to be all right today. I birdied the 2nd hole. I went for the green. Just was short of the green. Pitched up with a sand wedge to about four feet. The next hole, par 3, I made a birdie as well. I hit 6-iron. That was a very good pin location, in the back left-hand corner to about five feet. I really had some chances. I made a good save on the next hole. I was through the green and played a good chip, and about an 8-footer to save par. But pretty much all the way through the front nine I had chances for birdies. I birdied 8. I hit a 6-iron to about 15 feet, and that was one of those little dives that just dived on the front edge. Bogey on 11. I hit what I thought was a great tee shot, and I caught the right side of the rough. And then I hit -- thought I hit a great 6-iron. I thought I'd get a jumper lie, and actually hit the bank; and I wasn't in the -- I was just below the bunker and made what I thought was a good chip. And it -- the greens were getting a little firm by that time, and it released on me. But I had a good chance for the putt, and I just hung it on the edge; but followed up again with a birdie. We hit 7 (-iron) into 12, about three feet from the cup. Followed up again on 13, I hit 9-iron to about four feet. 14, I hit 8-iron 15 feet. 15, I was very lucky. I've been playing without a glove, and the grips are getting really slick, and it's -- this heat is amazing. But the driver slipped in my hands; and again, obviously, the powers above helped, because I was about this far (indicating an inch) from the hazard. Pitched it out; got it on the green. Made two putts, and got out of there and said, "Thank you." I had a birdie on 16. I think that's one of the best holes we play out here. That hole is awesome. I hit 7-iron just below the hole. Donna Andrews putted first. Hers dove a little bit, and I was about on the same line; so, I stole a little read from her and made the putt. 17, I hit a great 4-iron to about five feet, and then we finished it out with par on 18.

Q. How far was the putt on 16?

LORIE KANE: On 16, about 15 feet. It was just on the ridge.

Q. Your player, it has not surprised everybody. In fact, your game is bandied about quite a bit as someone to watch, not really as a dark horse, but someone who could win this. So obviously you are playing well enough lately to impress a lot of people. Your thoughts there?

LORIE KANE: Thank you. I just go out every week and try to do the best I can. I think I've been playing better as tournaments go on. We had a good start back a few weeks ago. I finished in a playoff with Rachel Hetherington in Atlanta and came up a little short again. I keep learning from those experiences and try to build on them. Coming to a tournament like this, my goal is to make as many pars as I could, and as a result I've made some birdies. So trying to be very patient. I'm also very fortunate that I have a caddie in Danny Sharp, and he helps me manage myself and not make mistakes. That's his job, and he does it very well. We're having a good time out on this golf course, Old Waverly. The people here in Mississippi should be very proud of this setup.

Q. Lorie, can you tell us a little bit about why you didn't turn professional until, I think, about age 30, four years ago? What took so long?

LORIE KANE: What took so long, well, I was going to school in Canada, and I played internationally for Canada on the World Amateur teams and things like that. So I didn't play college golf. And I wasn't ready, frankly to be out here when I was 20, 21, I was at home living life and learning what it was that I really wanted to do, and was professional golf going to be it. It took some time, but I think it was time well spent. I really don't think that I could have done what I'm doing now at age 20 to 21, and I gave the younger players on our TOUR a lot of credit because it's not easy.

RHONDA GLENN: Maybe you'll tell us about that type of introspection that you were going through at home. Tell us about that a little bit.

LORIE KANE: Well, there's a word I don't know if I've ever heard. (Laughing.) A lot of things. And the biggest was: How am I going to be able to afford to do this. I think that's the biggest thing. You know, the Canadian dollar isn't the greatest, and then to come to your wonderful country to play, there's an exception. So I needed to know that I was committed to win; that's what it was going to take to be out here. I've had a lot of support. I've had a lot of different jobs, and here I am enjoying the greatest life on the LPGA TOUR.

RHONDA GLENN: What have some of your jobs been?

LORIE KANE: Well, I've always been involved in golf. I started in the bag shop when I was like 12 and graduated to the -- I was doing what an assistant pro should have been doing, if we had an assistant pro, but we didn't at our club. I've sold ski wear. I've been a beer representative. That was probably the funnest job. (Laughter.) I don't know. That's about what it's been. Just, you know, average run-of-the-mill jobs to get yourself on TOUR.

RHONDA GLENN: So did you basically finance yourself; pretty much been your own sponsor?

LORIE KANE: No, I can't say that. But what I can say is that I come from the smallest province in Canada. And the capital city is Charlottetown where I'm from. The province is called Prince Edward Island. I have a ton of people back there that have helped me get to where I am, most importantly my family. Without them, I would not be here. And the financial dollars to help me get to where I am, came from a lot of business people at home who knew or believed that I could do this. And I owe a debt of gratitude to about 165,000 people on a small little island northeast of Maine.

RHONDA GLENN: And I think the Canadian dollar, is it about two-for-one now; isn't it?

LORIE KANE: It's not going well. But again, I'm here in your great country earning your American dollar. (Laughter.)

RHONDA GLENN: Good for you.

Q. To hit five birdies on your last seven holes is something else. Did you have a feeling yesterday that that could be a place to find a mark, or that you could pick it up then? Was it just something that came up today that got you through?

LORIE KANE: Well, I think it started on the 1st hole. That's the type of player that I am. If I can get rolling, I'm very comfortable on the front nine as I am on the back nine. I only played 13 holes in the practice rounds. I didn't get to see the back few holes because of the bad weather that came through. My game plan was to come in this week, play nine holes on Monday; play nine holes on Tuesday; and play an 18-hole match with Nancy Lopez and Se Ri Pak on Wednesday. My clubs didn't arrive until Monday late; so the nine holes was out. I still stuck with my game plan because I wanted to get more rest. Played nine holes on Tuesday which was the front behind and unfortunately only played to 13 on Wednesday. But we walked the course, and we were comfortable with it, and it's right in front of you. Yesterday, I made two birdies on what Danny told me was the toughest nine. And so I was thinking about that today when we teed off. I said, "I think I can find at least two birdies out here." And the other three, well, partially God's help, but I guess I had to put it on the green.

RHONDA GLENN: And yet in those five holes that you did not get to play in practice, you are 4-under par. No bogeys. Four birdies.

LORIE KANE: Maybe I won't be playing practice rounds anymore.

Q. Is there a lot of opportunity for golf for girls in your province and your country?

LORIE KANE: A ton. Golf is really growing. I know the Canadian PGA -- I don't know how we can get more young girls playing. I know for myself when I started, I was lucky because my dad introduced me to the game. Not everybody has that luxury. But with great golf programs, the USGA, our Canadian ladies are trying really hard to promote and bring young women into the game. I think with the success that we're having on the LPGA TOUR, as Canadians go, I think that's encouraging for the young girls; and that they may look at us and say: Hey, I might be able to do that, too.

Q. You have seemed to gain a reputation as sort of the next great player, the undiscovered star of the TOUR. Do you look at yourself that way, and is there a pressure to live up to what other players think about you?

LORIE KANE: Well, I'm very fortunate to be playing in the LPGA TOUR in 1999. I believe that I'm very fortunate that I had women come before me that helped make this TOUR what it is. And it is partially my responsibility to help grow it through the next ten years; so that when I leave, I leave something for somebody else. And you know, as far as the respect from other players, I was always taught by my mom and dad to treat people the way you would like to be treated, and that's the way I do things. And I tell you, there's great personalities out here. I enjoy the place that I work. Each week is fun and exciting and great -- 144 young women tee it up every week, and 144 different personalities. And I think it's really neat that we have that in women's sport.

Q. Do you feel pressure, though, to live up to --

LORIE KANE: No. The only pressure is put on by sometimes, you guys, the media, and what's expected. But I'm honest. I'll tell you the way it is, and I'm having a good time, and I think that that's the important thing. You know, we have a sport and an organization that is top-drawer, from the top player to the last player. We put our best foot forward every week and play the best that we can, and that's the most important thing.

Q. You eluded to the financial aspect of when you were thinking whether you would or would not turn pro. Was there ever any question in your mind about your talent and whether you could compete on the next level?

LORIE KANE: Well, I'd be lying to you if I said no. I think that's always something you think: Can I do this; am I able to do this. And yes, once the finances got in place and I knew that I could afford to be out here, not worrying about where I was going to eat, where I was going to stay, then it took the pressure off my game; and I was just able to go out and play. You know, again, a lot of credit to the people who had faith in me. And now I have faith in myself.

Q. You said that coming into the week your goal was to make as many pars as possible, and yet now you're 10-under. Does this have the feel of a U.S. Open to you, or just a regular LPGA TOUR event?

LORIE KANE: Well, you know, it is the U.S. Open. And let's not forget that. But I do try to approach every week the same, and not try to put any more emphasis on one tournament than the other. Now, saying that and coming here and the fanfare, and just the great way that the USGA runs this event, you do. It's different atmosphere. It's not like this every week. That old expression: Be patient at the U.S. Open. Well, that's one part of it. You have to be patient in all of it. And you have to take it as it comes. You know, spending time in here is not something that I had planned. I knew if I played well it would happen, but it wasn't -- it wasn't a planned thing that, yes, I'll be spending 45 minutes with the media after Friday's round.

Q. You said that being a beer representative was your most fun job. What was fun about that, and how does it compare with what you're doing now?

LORIE KANE: Well, I've said -- and I've been quoted as saying -- that I'm in the entertainment business on the LPGA. So I probably would equate that I was in the entertainment business then, too. To try -- you know the goal was to try -- I worked for Mooshead Breweries, which is Canada's oldest independently-owned brewery. The family comes from New Brunswick. It's like home. They are maritimers, and I had to try to convince people to drink our beer, and I found that quite easy to do, because I could speak to people. And, you know, promoting beer was -- came easy, and promoting the LPGA TOUR comes even easier.

Q. You just talked about that this is a U.S. Open and normally you have to be patient. But with the scores what they are, this seems to be a little bit different Open. There's been a lot of talk about how low the scores are. How do you feel about that, and do you feel you have to be aggressive considering the leaderboard?

LORIE KANE: Well, I still think you have to be patient, regardless of what the scoreboard tells you. I think the conditions are going to keep changing. Greens are going to obviously firm up if it stays this hot and we don't get my rain; then it's going to be a different ball game, again. But there is an element of playing aggressively, but a conservative-aggressive, maybe. I'm going to go out and maybe just try and do what I've done over the last couple of days and hit solid golf shots and give myself some chances and not worry about what anybody else is doing.

RHONDA GLENN: This is not the first time you've been in the media room, either. It was Pumpkin Ridge, wasn't it? You were sort of new.

LORIE KANE: That was very new.

RHONDA GLENN: But you handled it very well.

Q. Comparing this to last year, though, with all the low scores and you thought that you know, to make par was your goal, does it feel a little surreal out here to be throwing out 9 birdies?

LORIE KANE: Well, again I think Kelli said yesterday how great the golf course is. And you know, the greens are so pure that you know if you have a chance and you can roll it on the right line, you're going to make something. My first U.S. Open was Pumpkin Ridge. My second U.S. Open was Blackwolf Run, and now I'm here. And I'll be honest in saying that I wasn't quite sure what to expect coming here. I've never been to Mississippi. I didn't know what golf was like in Mississippi. I think we've hit a common mark between Pumpkin Ridge and Blackwolf Run. I don't know if -- maybe someone will go out tomorrow and shoot another 8-under par, but as the weekend progresses, things will change, I think.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on what might win it?

LORIE KANE: I never predict the future. I'm just going to go out and try to make as many birdies as possible.

Q. Is that your mindset for the weekend?

LORIE KANE: You know, I'm not very good at thinking: Well, okay, this golf course, this will be a number that will win. I just know that there's an awful lot of good players on the leaderboard right now, and anything can happen.

End of FastScripts....

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