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June 8, 2000

Duffy Waldorf


JOAN vT ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Duffy Waldorf for joining us here in the interview room. Duffy shot a 5-under 66 for his best round ever here at Westchester Country Club at the Buick Classic.

DUFFY WALDORF: Which is a good thing. Especially since I've even won the tournament before. I guess that means I had a good round.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Why don't we begin with a couple of comments about your round.

DUFFY WALDORF: Well, the thing did I really well today was I put the ball in the fairway. I only missed a couple fairways and I was just in the first cut. So that was a real important key to the round, keeping the ball in the fairway. As you know, the rough is really tough out here. Because of that, I only missed -- I missed a few greens; wasn't too bad off. I only made one bogey. I thought that was the key to my round today was one bogey, and putted really well when I had the opportunities. I made the putts for the most part. Really, everything worked great today. Good driving, good irons and made a lot of putts. No complaints here.

Q. Do you wish they played three or four events a year here?

DUFFY WALDORF: Yeah, I've got, see, this tournament, Buick Classic and maybe the Texas Open. I could probably get a rotation of four tournaments I'd like to play every month. And this would certainly be one of them, it looks like.

Q. A lot of guys have trouble when they come back, expectations, obviously today, you didn't. How do you go about handling those thing?

DUFFY WALDORF: I just listen to the PGA TOUR media guys. And they just say go over here do an interview; go over here do an interview. And I just say do whatever they say. Golf Channel calls: "Okay, what time you need me." Just let them -- let them have me. And then when I get to the course, it's just really nice. I can focus on golf and it's -- and looking forward to going to the course.

Q. What is it about this course that you like so much?

DUFFY WALDORF: Well, the first time I played here, I think I shot about 61, and that was back when I wasn't necessarily driving the ball that straight. And really, the course has -- as my game has gotten better, I've learned to appreciate the course a lot more and it's starting to really play into my strengths of my game, which is driving the ball and position off the tee and hitting good iron shots. And that's kind of the player I've been the last four or five years. So the course really sets up well for me. And the thing I like about it is you have to be very precise on your shots. You've got to hit good lines off the tee and really plan your position on the second shots. It's not always throw it right at the pin. A lot of times, you just play for the middle of the green and play to get a better putt, at it even though you might be farther away. It's really much more of a position course, as opposed to so some of the courses we play where it's drive-it-as-long-as-you-can and take-aim-at-the-pin. You're not always aiming at the pin here.

Q. You mentioned you like this course so much. A lot of similarities between here and Pebble Beach, the type of greens and rough, things like that. I mean, how do you feel going into next week?

DUFFY WALDORF: I think the key really is to be playing well. It certainly helps to be playing well. And then it's a bonus if the course is a good setup for you. And obviously, I'm playing all right, but I felt like I might play better this week. And I did today. Then I got the bonus of the course setting up well for my game. Pebble Beach sets up well for my game. I've struggled in the AT&T there, but I played in the State Amateur, California Amateur about five times there, and did win the tournament once. So Pebble Beach in the summer has always setup really well for my game, too, when it's playing fast. You've got to be obviously very precise off the tee and have good -- have really good accuracy and distance control with your irons, also.

Q. You've never really been a guy that's had a major impact at an Open. Would you be glad to see that at Pebble Beach?

DUFFY WALDORF: I've had a few scares and then I scared myself right out of it in the Open. I think I finished 9th one year and had a 13th at Shinnecock and 9th at Oakmont. And I think at Pebble I was only 1-over par going into the last day when Tom Kite won. And I, of course, went for about 83 and I was right there. So I have some experience in an Open, and I look forward to the Open when it comes up next week. But this is really the challenge this week. And this course, the good thing is that just playing this course gets you ready. Just the thinking and type of shots you've got to hit. This course, really, it's just a great course to play before a U.S. Open.

Q. Do you think we've seen -- if you don't get any more rain -- the course as about as easy it's going to play?

DUFFY WALDORF: I'm going to seriously doubt they put much water on it here on out. If it doesn't rain anymore, it's going to be a tougher course as the week goes on. Especially off -- off the tees, it makes a difference. Little shots that get off, they will run into the rough instead of sticking in the fairway. And then, of course the greens, everything just gets smaller. The greens get smaller. The fairways get smaller when the course gets faster, and I think that's going to happen.

Q. How is this compared to last year, as far as the setup?

DUFFY WALDORF: Interesting thing is last year, I played in the morning on Thursday and the greens were really hard. Unbelievably hard. The guys who played in the afternoon really had it tough. There weren't very many scores. Played very hard. A lot of guys struggled in the afternoon on Thursday. And when I got to the course on Friday you could see some better scoring, and the greens were softer. The greens had been watered. The scoring was actually quite a bit easier on Friday afternoon than it was on Thursday morning. I think it's going to be the exact opposite this year, would be my guess, because good conditions this morning, the greens were holding nice, but I think they are going to get -- they are going to keep getting firmer today. And I think tomorrow they will continue to get firmer.

Q. Why do you think so many of the top players are here this week, as opposed to maybe taking a week off, with the long flight out Sunday or Monday night to next week, as opposed to last week's weak field, relatively speaking?

DUFFY WALDORF: Well, there's a lot of things going on. I think last week, in particular, it is hurt because the Colonial and Memorial are the two weeks before it and I think that kind of hurts the Kemper Open. I think you get a lot of good players here because of the setup. But also, I think a lot of guys are taking a major, trying to take it more as -- make it just more of a regular week, and they prefer maybe to have a week under their belt if they haven't played and get some practice in on this rough and just playing a good, hard course; and not show up to Pebble too soon and be at Pebble too long. Just kind of treat it more as a regular week, as opposed to trying to play every hole six times before the Open comes around.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Let's go through your round. You started at No. 10 and you birdied No. 11.

DUFFY WALDORF: I birdied No. 11. The pin was all the way to the back and I had about a 30-footer. I put a 5-iron on the green from 190 and I made the 30-footer for birdie. Then we go all the way to 18. Hit a good shot there. I had a 140-yard 9-iron and had about six feet and made it for birdie. 18, I went for the green in two and missed it to the right and hit a really, a great chip that hit the pin and went a foot away. So that was another birdie. Then I went all the way to No. 3. I hit a really nice -- I had 140 yards and hit an 8-iron to just about three feet from the hole and made that for birdie. I bogeyed No. 5. I 3-putted. I had a long putt. I had spun my wedge back and had about a 50-foot putt and 3-putted. No. 9, I had about 220 to the hole and hit a 2-iron in there. Really great shot with a 2-iron about 20 feet and made it for eagle.

JOAN vT ALEXANDER: All right. Thank you.

DUFFY WALDORF: You're welcome.

End of FastScripts….

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