August 4, 2001
Q. You don't look too happy.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I am exhausted, tired, happy and excited.
Q. You have just gone through probably, I have heard many people out in the course after it ended, probably the greatest 37 holes of golf that they have ever seen. Having been through this, you know, having build up a big lead having Nicole tie you up late, going into that 37th hole, the playoff, you must have gone through the hole realm of emotions today?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah, I think I am not going to lie. I played excellent golf. She played wonderful golf too. I made a few mistakes coming in at the end, but you know, I didn't expect that from, myself but I knew I wasn't going to play the perfect round. Everybody is going to make mistakes somehow. And sometime. Unfortunately I made a few of them and it came down to the wire and you know, fortunately for me I came out on the top side.
Q. Looking of course just how even the match was and you look at the number of strokes virtually even and you can probably consider yourself that you have probably played in maybe the greatest U.S. women's Amateur match ever.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I definitely played the greatest golf I have ever played this entire week. To say that that is the greatest USGA match is wonderful. Definitely excited to be a part of it.
Q. Of course, your future plans as far as after this, the plan senior at LSU, any plans beyond here at this point?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: No, I am just going to go back to school and play golf and finish out my senior year and then be amateur again next summer.
Q. You will stay amateur, you are going to take advantage of your exemption to the Women's Open next year?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Definitely that's huge not having to qualify for the U.S. women's Open. Not many people can get an exemption to the Open and for me to have one I am definitely taking advantage of it.
Q. Can you take us through the sequence when your lead started to dwindle. I think it started to dwindle on No. 12 or 13 then it got down to 1-up. Run us through that.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: 13, I hit a good shot in the green, just trickled over. I might have miss-clubbed myself. I hit it solid so basically that's all I can ask for. Just kind of -- just you know, mental mistake on the chip which like I said, you know, that was what my second bogey of the day? So I knew I was going to make a bogey somewhere and on -- then on 16 when I 3-putted, I did get a little nervous there, got it back to even, I think, and but I was still thinking to myself I thought I have two good holes left and they are both very birdie-able holes so I knew I was not out of it by any means.
Q. 18 when she sank that putt you came back, I think you hit like a 5-footer. I watched you, you took the putter slammed it into your bag....
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah, that was like a moment of like, "yes, let us go again. Come on, let's go to the next hole, I am ready." That was just one of those moments.
Q. What is it like knowing as you prepare to strike that putt that this is everything.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Well, I thought to myself you know, I thought to myself on the putt on 18 and I thought to myself on the putt on the 10, you know, I thought this is what you practice for. This is why you play for two hours. This is, you know, this is it. And this is what it is all about.
Q. Was the putt on 18 any tougher than 10 to stay in the match to win the match or about the same?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah, the one on 18 was definitely a little bit tougher just because you know, it was longer, you know, it was dead straight putt, but under the conditions you know, might as well have been a 30-footer right left breaker downhill.
Q. Where do you rank that putt with anything you have ever made? Would that be the putt you remember --
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Probably the one on 18 because the one on 10 was so close, you know, I don't want to say tap-in. It was a tap-in, but at the same time you know, it was a two-footer to win the U.S. Amateur. Wasn't exactly a tap-in. The one on 18 I think is the one that's really key because you know I miss that putt and it is over.
Q. When you look back at this are you likely to say that your clutch putting won this?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah.
Q. In addition to the ones that you you have already talked about. You make two on 14 and 15, seven, eight feet for halves that are vital as well?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Definitely, yes. She made me make the putts. She raised my game to another level today. On like No. 5 she makes birdie first and I have to make birdie. It's a matter of when you have to do something you are going to find a way to do it. When she chipped in on 6 for birdie, you know, I knew I had to make the putt. There's no way around it. So I made it.
Q. How much fun was that stretch, the gallery really got a kick out of it.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: That was good TV, I am sure. I am sure the TV people just loved that one. I mean that was just heck of golf -- that was just great golf.
Q. How about the 4's on 7?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: 7, I mean, 7 is just a tough hole. Par on 7 is, I think it is a great score. It's a long hole. It's into the wind. Not very easy green. And she made a good up-and-down and I made a great up-and-down. I think the whole round we just-- both of us made clutch putts all day.
Q. Is this the best putting rounds that you have ever had in a competitive situation?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I think so just because all -- majority of the putts that I made I had to make, to stay in the hole, or win the hole. I just stepped over it and hit it and felt good.
Q. You seemed to have a great handle on your emotions. Did you not get too high when you got up and it didn't seem like you got too low when things started turning. How did you assess that situation today?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I try not to get -- I got real excited on 6 obviously when I made the putt. I just wanted to run to the next tee, but you know, sprint. But at that point I have to calm myself down because the more excited I get, you know, I just have to calm myself down because too excited for me is not good on the golf course. Like I said, you can't run to the next tee. So-- and then when I got down I just tried to remember you know, even when I was still up I just tried to say to myself, you are still winning this match. You are not 4-down or anything, so, I never was out of it. So that's what I just kept trying to tell myself.
Q. Was the match fun?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah.
Q. -- as you are going through it or is there too much pressure and too much to concentrate onto really enjoy it?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: It definitely was fun. It is the match that everybody wants to play in. Everybody wants to play in a 36 hole match where you are matching birdie for birdie. It was just fun to see both of us have to make clutch putts and make them. There's a lot of matches where you see people make a few of their clutch putts and then miss a few. For the most part both of us neither one of us really missed many putts - I can think of maybe three or four putts that I missed that I really should have made. Maybe not even that many, and I really can't think of -- I can think of a couple of putts that she missed that she should have made. It was a fun match because we both played well. Majority of the holes were won with birdies. It wasn't like, you know, I made a few bogeys, she made a few bogeys, and so neither one of us made very many mistakes.
Q. Have you had a chance to think yet what this means? Do you know thinking about the history of this Championship and the players that have won it, JoAnne Carner five times?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: It hasn't really sunk in really deep yet. When I was sitting at the presentation I was looking at the names on the trophy and the few names I could see I'd saw JoAnne Carner, Wendy Ward, Kelly Kuehne. Those were just the ones on my side.
Q. Patty Berg?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Patty Berg. Just to have my name on the same list as theirs is just, you know, it is just awesome. I don't know -- that's the only way I can explain it. It is just awesome.
Q. When you got in the playoff extra hole you found out you were going to 10. Did you know that you would go to 10 for extra hole?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I had no.
Q. 10 is a hole you did pretty well on this week. Did it click to you that you seemed to have success on. You had one out of two birdies today --
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I have been in a lot of extra hole matches this year, this summer. Like I had 3 of them at the Western; then I had a couple at North South. So I knew that I had it in me to win but it really didn't matter which hole we went to. Going to 10 I was kind of a little nervous because I was in between clubs, there the whole day I ended up taking 7-iron and chokin it down really good and hitting it. But it turned out good.
Q. 12 on the second 18 today, you had only like -- you chipped up when you were off the green just a little bit low. You chipped up real close to the pin. Maybe like a foot and a half. She made you putt it?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah.
Q. Did you expect that?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: At this point in the match.
Q. A foot and a half putt?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: It was a little bit longer, maybe two feet. But that is just kind -- I probably would have made her putt it too just because you want to test the other person. It -- you know they can make it I am sure she knew, I am sure she knew I was going to make it but at the same time you got to test them.
Q. What does this mean to you personally to have climbed the mountain every women's amateur player wants to?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I don't even -- I don't know what to say. I think Kaye Cockerill told me she said, you are one of the players to beat. She said you go -- when people see your name on a player's list they say oh Meredith Duncan, she's the one to beat. I still don't consider myself, you know, like I look at other names, I see Hilary Homeyer, I am saying oh, she's so good. I see other names I am like, oh she's so good, really hasn't sunk in to me that I am good, you know, like -- I should be saying oh, yeah, you know, I can come in here and I can win this, but you know, I don't look at myself as like you know, one of the big names. I do now, I think, but before this I never really thought of myself -- I thought of myself as a good player that could be great. I think I am good now.
Q. Has the summer reinforced that? You had a phenomenal summer.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yes, it has. I will go back to school and I am sure lots of people want to throw me parties or whatever, which is fine, I guess I will have to go, but you know, the summer just really -- this tournament ends a great summer that I have had and it also starts a great fall that hopefully I am have.
Q. At the Senior Open Jack Nicklaus talked about today's player really not knowing how to win. He talked in general terms of amateurs and professionals. I ask you this question because you have had some success and he also said that winning breeds winning. I mean, what are your thoughts on that? Now it seems you know how to win.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah, I think that's definitely true. Once you are -- once you are in the position you know, I had no doubt in my mind that -- when I walk on 17th tee today, I thought to myself there's no way on God's green earth that I am losing this match today. I have been in two finals matches. I am two for two. There's no way I am going to lose this match. When it gets down to that point, you know that you can do it. Does that make sense? There's just no other way around it. You know you can do it. The way I look at it nobody is going to stop me. I am not going to let anybody stop me.
Q. Looked as if Nicole had that same kind of attitude?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: She definitely ---
Q. -- very aggressive, very confident player. I noticed earlier in the match she always does this (pumps fist) when she makes a putt, runs towards the hole. I didn't notice that sort of thing happening to you when you made a putt until later in the match. Is that right? Was that kind of like, okay, I can do it too?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: At the beginning of the match it was still early. We still had umpteen holes left. But once it gone down to clutch, you know, you'd make a putt and it is just instinct, you are like, yes, and like when I made the putt on 6, you know, after she chipped in, like I said, I was just like yes, I probably made some crazy face but I just wanted to run to the next tee and she -- her pumping her fist kind of made me want to do it too just because -- just kind of like: Ha, I can do it too, so, you know, that kind of, yeah, definitely.
Q. As you are playing the 36th hole and you are hitting your second shots, are you consciously trying to get inside her so that you can hit to the green last and know what you have to do? Did that enter into it at all?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: No.
Q. -- or are you playing to a specific yardage?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I was playing to a specific yardage. I was playing to about 115, hit it 117. That is exact yardage that I wanted.
Q. How close did it look to you that she had hit her third shot?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Looked to me like it was about 20 feet. I mean, it looked very makeable from the fairway, but you know, I didn't really have much clue how far exactly it was. Mine didn't look -- to me mine didn't look near as close as it actually was. Mine looked about 15 feet from where I was.
Q. Earlier this week you talked about some inspiration that you had with your grandfather who died earlier this year. When things started getting kind of dicey there, did you kind of call on some of that inspiration again?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Definitely, yeah. I know it is just -- emotions get to you, and you know, the last couple of holes you know, I can -- like looking in the crowd, I see him everywhere and there's a lot of times where I might look in the crowd and see some old man and you know, it might be that he just kind of looks at me and it is like, oh, you know, like it just looks like him. I just -- I know he is watching me and that makes she -- that just puts me at ease.
Q. Did he teach you how to play the game or did he help you in the game in other respects have nothing to do with hitting a golf ball?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Both. Both. He taught me all the fundamentals, you know, he worked with me up until -- he was real sick the last year and a half of his life, so he worked with me on fundamentals up until he was 85. But he also worked with me on how to practice and you know, he always told me you know, the three Ps, practice, preparation and patience, you know, perfect practice makes perfect -- you have to prepare for everything you do, and you have to be patient. What you want is not going to happen right when you want it. You have to be patient for the birdies, and they will start falling. He always told me that, always.
Q. What was his name and what was had his background that he had this golf knowledge?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Orsee Marsalis.
Q. What was his background that he had this much golf knowledge? Was he a pro?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Yeah, I don't even know the years that he played pro. It was a few years and he coached at Centenary College in Shreveport. Actually coached there when he was 81. So coached there when he was 81 'til he was 84. But he also built Barstale (phonetic) Air Force base golf course in Bossier. When he was growing up, he was just one of the kids that caddied for people that were at the random local course and then they would let caddies play on Monday or Saturday mornings or whenever, then he'd take his 3 little clubs and he'd go play. That's how he got into it.
Q. You mentioned patience. Nicole could be a deliberate player taking a lot of time looking at the putt and different shots. Was this a distraction at all?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: No, not really because -- she's not slow by any means. But she does take her time, which is expected in this point in the match. No, I just try to -- while she's doing her thing I just are try to focus on something different and/or think about something different until it is my turn to putt.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I just I knew it was really close.
Q. What was your vertical on that jump there?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: I think it was just over a match box, I am White.
Q. I don't know, pictures didn't look that way. Looked like you had a pretty good jump there.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Did I? All right.
Q. Probably in the paper tomorrow?
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Sweet. Well I used to play basketball, girls always used to tease me. They'd say Meredith, jump over that line. (Laughter).
RHONDA GLENN: I know you are going to be a great champion. Thank you for coming in and spending sometime with us. I think you have been in here more than anybody else since you were the co-medalist.
MEREDITH DUNCAN: Thank you all for supporting women's golf because it is getting out in the public eye. And that's good, I think.
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