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August 28, 2000

James Driscoll


USGA: Okay, we'd like to start. James, first of all, thank you for joining us. Congratulations on a great week. I know it didn't turn out the way you would have liked, but it was championship golf and we congratulate you on your great play. What we'll do first is if you -- whatever you feel more comfortable with, would you like to just open it up to questions or do you want to say something first?

JAMES DRISCOLL: You can just open it up to questions.

Q. Just tee shot off, was it a 5-iron?

JAMES DRISCOLL: 5-iron, yeah. And it was 205 to the hole, a little downwind, and I figured 'cause it was, you know, early morning, the air was kind of heavy, I figured I had to kind of hit it hard. I didn't leave anything in the bag in the swing and it went over the green. I really couldn't believe it. I never would have thought I could have got it back over that green in a million years with that, at that time of day, with that weather.

Q. Was your line pretty good?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Not really. I pushed it a little. That green is pretty forgiving if you're on the right side, it's going to come down a little bit even as wet as it was. I was going middle of the green, trying to draw it and I pushed it a little bit and it flew 208 or 9 yards, I can't believe it.

Q. Was 5-iron what you had in your hands last night too?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Yeah. A perfect iron. Full 5-iron for me is 205. That's exactly what it was to the hole, it has a backstop back there, it was perfect.

Q. Is it any consolation to you that he sank a 30-foot birdie putt on you rather than you having to say you putt that putt and having missed it coming back?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I don't know. I think so. But I mean you lose, you lose. But at the same time, you know, it's a much better way to end it like that, with a 25-footer. It's more exciting. Especially end with a birdie instead of someone making a bogey, that's a much better way to end this tournament.

Q. How difficult was your putt if you had to putt it, that one coming back?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Pretty tough. It was outside the hole about a cup and a half probably.

Q. Can you talk about your plans now? The lure of maybe playing in the Masters, yet I know you want to turn professional.

JAMES DRISCOLL: I don't know. I just can't picture passing up playing at Augusta as an amateur, especially the history of that tournament. You know, being geared toward amateurs for so long, I just think I have to play it as an amateur. I mean I think I'd be stupid not to. But at the same time, it's, you know, it puts basically my plans on hold for a year because Q-School is only once a year. So I'll have to wait till next fall. But a lot can happen in that time; I don't know. I'll probably turn pro right after the Masters. But I'm not sure of that either.

Q. James, you had said last night that you weren't so concerned with the loss of momentum as much as you just wanted to get it over with last night. In hindsight now, how much do you think that was a detriment to you having the momentum altered like that?

JAMES DRISCOLL: It was definitely just different atmosphere this morning. Last night it was, you know, you're in the groove, you're sweating, you're into the match, you've played 30-some holes, 38 holes. There's a certain rhythm you're in. You come out this morning, it's just -- there were less people. The crowd was really into it last night. It was just a totally different environment and a different feeling, you know. I came up on that tee last night and I was pretty -- you know, I was ready to go. I wanted to tell the USGA guys to step to the side so I could just hit it. I wanted to hit that shot. And, you know, this morning I get up there, I play the first two holes to get some sort of rhythm, and then, you know, we're standing on the tee for 10, 15 minutes whatever. But we both had to go through the same thing, so I mean I don't think it affected my shot. I felt like I put a good swing on the ball there.

Q. What was your warmup routine when you got out to the range this morning?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Same. I mean I hit a couple 5-irons, but didn't like pound balls with a 5-iron all morning.

Q. When did you decide to play the first two holes?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Last night I was informed that you're allowed to play as many -- like you're allowed to play the golf course before I guess. It seems like a crazy rule, you can stand up there all morning and hit 5-irons on No. 3 if you wanted to. The rules say that.

Q. Did you ask someone or did they tell you that?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Someone told me that. Steve Scott got in touch with someone who got in touch with me. I guess he knew the rule because of maybe his match with Tiger he found that out. It sounds like a crazy rule to me, that someone can go up there on No. 3 and hit balls all morning.

Q. Did you think of doing that?

JAMES DRISCOLL: No. I mean I think that would be crazy. But, I mean, you probably curse yourself by doing that. You probably hit your one bad shot when you needed to hit a good one. I think it was a good idea to play the first two holes, got my legs going a little bit to walk the two holes and hit the shots. But having to wait the ten minutes before on No. 3 was a little, you know, a little weird. But we both had to go through it so...

Q. What had you done last night?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Just got a bite to eat and went to bed about 11 o'clock.

Q. How did you sleep?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Pretty well. I woke up once in the middle of the night and then woke up again at about 6:30 when my alarm came.

Q. Do you think you would have won it if you had been able to play it last night?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I have no idea. I don't know.

Q. Who won the first two holes this morning?

JAMES DRISCOLL: (Laughing.) I didn't finish them out, kind of hit it on the green and picked it up.

Q. Did you two talk on the driving range this morning?

JAMES DRISCOLL: No, no. We didn't really talk much the whole match. It was kind of strange. I don't know, just neither of us are talkers when we're on the golf course. But usually I'll have one or two, you know, semiconversations in a match and we didn't even have one of those. So it was a little -- we were both into it. You know? We were both kind of pretty focused.

Q. What kind of lie did you have on that chip coming downhill?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I had a pretty good lie. It wasn't sitting down, it was kind of sitting in the middle, you know, wasn't sitting on top, wasn't sitting down. But the grass was kind of going towards my, you know, it was going against the green. But, you know, it was still -- I actually didn't think I hit that bad of a shot. I don't know, it was a lot faster than I thought. I thought kind of being so wet it might not be so fast, but it was.

Q. When did you -- did you watch his putt, did you have a sense it was going in five feet away?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I don't know. I actually wasn't even watching the ball. I was watching him to see what he was doing because, you know, usually you can tell just by watching the guy if he thinks he's made it or not. And he was starting to -- his eyes were getting a little bigger when it was getting near the hole. I was like, "Oh, man, this is going in." It dropped. Yeah, it was a great putt.

Q. James, was there ever a point yesterday with your heroics on 17 or 18 when you thought to yourself, "I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna win it"?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I never really got ahead of myself and said I'm gonna win it, but I definitely had some pretty good vibes going towards the -- in the playoff. I felt good. Winning three holes in a row, I hadn't won -- didn't feel like I won any holes during the 36-hole match, then I won three in a row to end it. I was feeling really good, started to make some putts, my swing was starting to feel pretty good. But I never once said, "I'm gonna win this."

Q. What was it like having your family out there for the entire time? It seemed like they were having a great time.

JAMES DRISCOLL: Yeah, it was great having them here. They each had a bunch of friends with them, too. It seemed like there were 100 people with either family or friends. It was pretty cool. There was a lot of yelling and it was a great atmosphere to play in. You couldn't have asked for any better atmosphere to play a match in, for me. It was great.

Q. Obviously you bought that shirt some time this week -- this morning or...

JAMES DRISCOLL: Actually, my brother bought it last night. I ran out of shirts two days ago. And obviously ran out of shorts, who wears pants on -- it's so humid out. But, yeah, I had to buy one, I bought a red Baltusrol shirt yesterday and a black one for today.

Q. Were you surprised this many people came out at

9 o'clock?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I was, I was. I didn't think the crowd would be near as big as it was. It was pretty impressive.

Q. Does that mean you didn't expect to make it till Sunday? You didn't pack enough shirts?

JAMES DRISCOLL: I don't know. I thought I had packed enough. I don't know. I figured -- I didn't want to jinx myself by packing the perfect number of shirts so I just kind of put a bunch in the bag.

Q. Sportswriters never pack enough shirts either, so don't worry about it.


Q. You said there were a couple of your friend who came up overnight. Can you tell us who they were?

JAMES DRISCOLL: Actually, they're brothers of one of my best friends growing up, Ryan Monahan, his two younger brothers, David and Nicholas, who I haven't seen for probably, you know, years. They came up, they left at about 3 o'clock this morning. Another friend who I saw afterwards, Brendan Buckly, came up, left at 3:30 in the morning with his girlfriend. I can't believe they'd do that for one hole. I'd much rather wake up and watch it on TV than to drive and see one hole. Man, I can't believe they did that.

End of FastScripts….

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