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July 13, 1995

Tania Abitbol


LES UNGER: We have got 2 in a row with a 67 which I assume you feel was a very good round today. Is it true that this is your first competitive round in a long period of time?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, it is. Yeah, it is actually the last time I played was September 1994.

LES UNGER: Why is that?

TANIA ABITBOL: Well, my shoulder has been bothering me last year. They told me to go back home; rest for a while, I did. It was still bad. In March they found out the bone was too big so they had to shave it off a little bit. They did that in March.

Q. When did you begin to practice again?

TANIA ABITBOL: Probably like a month ago.

LES UNGER: Let us get rid of a few details here, tell us about your birdies and your par saves, if you can.

TANIA ABITBOL: Okay. 1st hole, that was probably 15 feet away for birdie and I made it.

LES UNGER: What did you hit to the green there?

TANIA ABITBOL: 6-iron. And then the second, God, I don't remember most of these.

LES UNGER: You made a bogey, what happened on the bogey?

TANIA ABITBOL: Hit it on the left, so I had to lay it up.

LES UNGER: On the 3rd hole, you 2-putted there?


LES UNGER: Then you made birdie again.

TANIA ABITBOL: Par 3, yeah, pretty long putt about 25, 30 feet.

Q. What did you hit there?


LES UNGER: Then on 6, you hit, what did you hit to the green and the putt on 6?

TANIA ABITBOL: I don't remember No. 6.


Q. A slight bend to the right elevated green?

TANIA ABITBOL: I think I hit a sand wedge, but I am not quite sure. --

LES UNGER: Then you --

Q. How long was the putt on 6?

TANIA ABITBOL: Maybe 10 feet.

LES UNGER: -- bogey on 7. We will forget the bogey. A birdie on 9.

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, I hit -- let me think -- I only -- par 5, right? I hit a 6-iron into the green, 2-putted. It was a long putt. It was probably 45 feet, 50 feet.

LES UNGER: The first putt was 45 and then how close?

TANIA ABITBOL: Pretty close, about 2 feet.

LES UNGER: And then we have -- you can tell us anything you want because we don't know any different. (LAUGHTER).

TANIA ABITBOL: That is true, you are right.

LES UNGER: 14, you made birdie, 22-foot putt, with what? (kiddingly) -- no. 14.

TANIA ABITBOL: Par. 42 feet away. Number 17, I hit short of the green and then chip like one foot away from the hole. And the last hole, bogey, I hit great 9-iron. I thought it was enough. It wasn't. I didn't chip that well.

LES UNGER: And then on 19? It has to be pleasing and surprising with so little competitive golf to be in the position you are?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, it is, actually. I think it has actually helped me today with -- I mean, I didn't have any pressure out there. I was so happy to be out here, you know, I just hit the ball; find it; hit it again; and everything worked fine.

LES UNGER: Any recollections of how well you played a year ago? You did very well in the Women's Open a year ago.


LES UNGER: Did that give you some encouragement?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, it kind of did, really. I was hoping to do -- actually the same would be great.

Q. One of the gentleman who was walking with you, the rules official, had stated that "boy, she was hitting it so well, she could easily be 6 or 7 under par". Did you feel it was coming pretty easily today?


Q. Go through that a little bit.

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, you know, I hit almost every fairway and especially my irons have been great today. They were all the time around like 15, 20 feet, 10 feet away, you know, like below the green, below the pin and everything, so I could have made a few more birdies, I think, yeah.

Q. Could you just give us a bit more background on that shoulder and when it first started to hurt and precisely what you had to have done with it and going back to Spain?

TANIA ABITBOL: It was like probably started like at the beginning of last year, 1994, you know, in all the season I had to withdraw from 3 tournaments and I would have to ice it every night and every doctor I saw they thought it was tendinitis because the tendons were inflamed, but the cause was that the bone was too big, so they -- the tendons couldn't go through. They would like get inflamed, so that is -- they had to shave the bone a little bit.

LES UNGER: Do you do physical therapy of some sort to rehabilitate your shoulder?

TANIA ABITBOL: I have done for three months. Now I only stretch in the morning and then at night. If it hurts, I just put some ice.

Q. When did you have the surgery done?

TANIA ABITBOL: In March, like the beginning of March.

Q. In this country?

TANIA ABITBOL: No, no, in Spain.

Q. Is that considered major surgery?

TANIA ABITBOL: I guess, yeah, they put me to sleep and everything --- I don't know.

Q. Did you go to the same place that Jose Maria Olazabal had his toes done?


Q. Since then you felt no pain whatsoever?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, I still do. I mean, they told me it is probably going to take like 8 months until I get totally rid of the pain and all that. But I mean, it is okay, I can play. It is fine.

LES UNGER: Does it bother you more on the follow-through?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, probably the follow-through, yeah.

Q. It is your left?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, I am lefthanded, yeah.

Q. But it is the left shoulder?


Q. Is this the first they told you that you could play; is that why you chose this tournament to start playing?

TANIA ABITBOL: They told me I could start practicing again like in the beginning of June, so I mean at least a month I wanted to kind of get ready.

LES UNGER: Are you surprised?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, I am, really. I was hitting the ball really good, but it is not the same hitting in practice rounds than once you are in the tournament.

Q. What did you hit on your approach on 17 that fell short of the green?


Q. Have you been splitting your time between Spain and Dallas or where have you been?

TANIA ABITBOL: No, I have been in Spain for the last ten months. I haven't been over here.

Q. According to the media guide it says you played college golf at the University of South Florida; is that correct?


Q. How much time did you suspend in the United States?

TANIA ABITBOL: When I was in college you mean? Just one year. I came over just for one year just to improve the English and my golf.

Q. What year was that?

TANIA ABITBOL: Woof -- I think '85, something like that. '85, '86.

Q. You weren't there when Jill Briles was there?


Q. You still have a place in Dallas?

TANIA ABITBOL: No. That was rented.

Q. You are still listed in the phone book.


Q. You are still in the phone book.


LES UNGER: Do you know her phone number?

Q. I don't. Would you have an American base when you start playing here regularly?

TANIA ABITBOL: No. No. I bought a house now in Spain, actually and I am just going to come for a month play 3, 4 in a row then go back. I just miss it too much.

LES UNGER: You also going to play in Europe some?

TANIA ABITBOL: Probably a couple. Not too many, though. I rather play here; then go back home and rest.

LES UNGER: Make our money and then go home and spend it, right?


Q. I am just wondering about the times that you are not over here playing, jobs that you have had that kind of interesting to share with us?

TANIA ABITBOL: When I was there you mean?

Q. Or still.

TANIA ABITBOL: I have been teaching. I love to teach, actually, almost more than playing. Yeah.

Q. Do you have anything else on your schedule right now?

TANIA ABITBOL: Yeah, I play next week and then I am going to go back and play the British Open and then come back here for a couple, and I will play a few here.

Q. With the difference in altitude - you obviously work out a lot. Have you noticed the altitude coming from that far away and time adjustment?

TANIA ABITBOL: Not really that much. I am pretty good, you know, just some balls, if you hit them like really high, they fly forever, but, I mean, I am feeling out there pretty good. I am not tired or anything.

LES UNGER: Thank you and continued good luck.

TANIA ABITBOL: Okay, thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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