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June 17, 1999

David Duval


LES UNGER: David, were you at all surprised with your success today? You've had less practice time in the last week or so, I assume, than would be the norm.

DAVID DUVAL: Yes, I have. But it's still the same game. I was not able to practice quite like I would have liked, but at the same time there's times when that's good. And when I got here and did finally hit balls on Tuesday, everything was where I wanted it to be, I felt comfortable. And so I was not concerned at all about that.

LES UNGER: The softness of the course had what kind of impact, would you say.

DAVID DUVAL: Well, obviously it makes the greens a lot more receptive. I guess on the practice days I've been hitting 6 irons into the 16th hole, and now because of the rain the fairways are softer, so the ball is not running, so I had a 4-iron and that was just to the front pin. The greens are more receptive. We're in a position where we're having to hit anywhere from two to three clubs more into the greens now.

LES UNGER: Would you mind taking us through the 18 holes.

DAVID DUVAL: Just my birdies?

LES UNGER: We need clubs. Do you need clubs? Okay.

DAVID DUVAL: The 2nd hole I hit 7-iron about 8 feet away. Apparently, I missed the 7th green, yes. I hit it in the right bunker and knocked it out to about a foot. I missed the 13th green on the left fringe and just had a little easy chip in, and I chipped it down to a foot and a half or two feet. The 14th I left it a little bit short, putted it up through the swale and my ball ended up about three feet away, and I made that. 15th hole I hit 5-iron to about two feet. And 17 I hit 7-iron to ten feet.

LES UNGER: Any par saves?

DAVID DUVAL: I went over those.

LES UNGER: Okay. Questions?

Q. David, when you come out today and after the rains and things, did the course play easier, harder, you talked about the club difference, but from what you were expecting for the first round of the U.S. Open?

DAVID DUVAL: Well, although we had to hit more, if you're hitting the ball well, it probably was playing a little bit easier. But at the same time it seems to me in the past Opens I've played that the golf courses the first day are set up to where if you're playing well you can make some birdies and putt up a 2, 3, 4-under par score. And after that everybody tends to drift backwards a little bit. So all in all I'm obviously very pleased to go out early on a day when there's going to be some scores under par, and to do that.

Q. If you keep driving the ball this well and avoid 3-putts all week, how well does that set you up for chances here?

DAVID DUVAL: It sets me up very well if I can hit it in the fairway and not 3-putt this week. I think I'll be here Sunday night talking to you, too (laughter.) But the challenge is not to 3-putt and to continue to hit it in the fairways.

Q. You and Phil both ended up 3-under, but you had different rounds. He kept getting up-and-down and chipping in and doing lots of things. You were kind of steady, talk a little about the difference between the two.

DAVID DUVAL: You just said it. That's how I try to play. I try not to have to do those types of things. I find it to be less stressful (laughter.) To accomplish that, obviously you have to hit the ball well, and I did that today, so I very much enjoyed the day.

Q. Could you tell us a little detail more on the birdie on 17, how much boost that gives you mentally going into tomorrow?

DAVID DUVAL: It gives me no more boost than the birdie on 2 and the birdie on 15. I don't know. I guess I think a little differently than that. That's just one of the holes out there, and I happened to make birdie on it. It's one of 18 I had to play today.

Q. David, even though the burn is now a nonissue, I notice both fingers are still taped. Any tenderness, sting, any feeling at all?

DAVID DUVAL: There's some tenderness in my fourth finger, but nothing bad.

Q. You mentioned that you thought sometimes it's good not to practice, and I wonder if you think that's what happened last week for you? What did you do?

DAVID DUVAL: I unpacked, worked out some, played with my cat, watched TV. That's what I did. Pretty boring, I guess, but I rather enjoyed it.

Q. David, going into the round today, what would you have been happy with? What were you expecting to get today?

DAVID DUVAL: I had no expectations when I started. Based off of how I played the last two days in the practice, I would have been looking to get under par somewhere. Expectations? I don't like to do that because you might get on a day when you have it really going, and you might not have thought that and it might prevent you from getting even a couple more. But all in all I would have thought based off of that -- I guess it sounds like an expectation. I was playing well to get under par. It was just going out and doing it.

Q. I don't see too much muck on your pants. How wet is it, and did you even hit it in the rough? How bad is it in the rough?

DAVID DUVAL: Yeah, I hit it out of the first cut of the rough on the first hole I hit it right, but I hit it where everybody has been walking in the gallery, so I had a very good lie. And then the other hole I missed a fairway where I hit it -- well, the 4th hole, I did hit it just off the first cut. It wasn't too bad. And then the other ones I was just in the first cut, right off the fairway, so I didn't have to walk around high, wet grass much.

Q. It's not super wet out there, though?

DAVID DUVAL: It's a little bit. I had some mud collect on my ball a couple of times, but it's not real wet, no.

Q. David, going back before the burn, you didn't play much between The Masters and here. What were you doing in those weeks? Snow boarding or chilling out or what basically were you doing in the time you took off?

DAVID DUVAL: A whole lot of nothing, I guess (laughter.) I practiced some and worked out. That's my day. That's my life.

Q. You talked about the course being a little longer, on the par-4s. Was the 4-iron the longest club you had to hit in?

DAVID DUVAL: I believe so. I think 16 I hit 4-iron into the green, and that was the longest. I did hit a 3-iron on the 6th hole, but that wasn't on a 4 par, so, yeah.

Q. David, is there any way to compare the anticipation you had on your first Tour win and the anticipation you had on winning your first Major?

DAVID DUVAL: I think if I had to say, I would say that the anticipation for the first Tour win was greater than the anticipation on the first win in the Major. I think when you go on tour it might be a little bit of, well, maybe you're not quite sure, although I felt pretty confident about it. But as I've continued to excel and win some tournaments. I think it's a matter of time, so I'm not very anxious.

Q. David, I was late getting here, so I hope you haven't been into this. But the great start that you had and Phil, that's great for an Open, because I don't think this course is going to get any easier, and I just wonder your thoughts there.

DAVID DUVAL: I agree. I think it's going to get more difficult as the week progresses.

Q. One more question on the fingers, David, have you put a topical anesthetic?

DAVID DUVAL: I did the first few days.

Q. And if so, what was your touch on the club? Did it affect you at all?

DAVID DUVAL: No, it didn't, because I didn't touch a club until Tuesday of this week from the Friday morning, this past Friday morning when I did it. So there was no effect.

Q. Did Phil try to pull a fast one on the 15th green, was the mark on the ball there?

DAVID DUVAL: He just made a little mistake, so that's all right.

Q. You were frustrated at the Masters that you didn't give yourself a good enough chance to win that, obviously coming off of Sunday night you could tell. What did you learn at the Masters about a Major and can you bring something into here from that experience?

DAVID DUVAL: Well, I believe I told everyone that I felt as if I didn't play well enough. Didn't I say something to that effect? So I guess if there's anything I learned, I needed to play better. It sounds silly, but I played well enough two years ago to win The Masters, but I just didn't quite play well enough to this year at that tournament. You just need to be sharper. Everything else I did that week I think as far as not getting ahead of myself, being patient, I think I did well, but I just didn't quite play well enough.

Q. David, how close is this to being your best round at an Open?

DAVID DUVAL: Purely off of ball-striking it probably is the best round I've had. Based on the situation and circumstances, it's one of the better ones. But I think certainly last year the second round was better, and there might have been some others. I don't recall. Maybe you could even argue every round I played in I guess it was '90, at Medina, you could argue that every round there -- those were probably the four best rounds I had, based off of age and ability. So it's certainly one of the better ones, but I don't think it's the best.

Q. David, what of your game, was there one area you were a little bit disappointed with or felt maybe you need some work on?

DAVID DUVAL: I was pretty pleased with all of it today. I felt like a drove the ball well. I hit my iron shots where I was trying to. The shorter putts I had for birdie, a couple of them looked like they might go in and did, and then I made a few of them. And then the longer putts, I holed up pretty close. So all in all everything was pretty -- I'd be very content to do that for three more days.

Q. You played a couple of holes on Tuesday, I guess, and just the one round on Wednesday, so that's basically the extent of the on-the-course prep for this?

DAVID DUVAL: No, I played a full round Tuesday and Wednesday. I teed off real early Tuesday before anybody was here and played.

Q. How many greens did you hit and how many putts did you have today?

DAVID DUVAL: I missed the 7th green and I missed 13 and 14, so I hit 15 greens. I 1-putted all those holes, so that's -- I made three birdies, so that's six, that leaves 12 holes times two, so I had 30 putts.

Q. What's been your coffee making and drinking status since Friday?

DAVID DUVAL: Continue, same old, same old, just not on gas stoves.

Q. David, you mentioned the putts you left out. What were they, how far?

DAVID DUVAL: On four, I thought it was going in, and that was from 18 feet. And then I had a putt on 6 from about ten or 12 feet that went on the left side, came out the right, not quite 360, but it went 300 degrees. I think that's all.

Q. (Inaudible.)

DAVID DUVAL: We talk about it some. We're good friends.

Q. Going back to the Phil thing. He said even if he's leading he's leaving, to be there for the baby. Some people are saying, yeah if he's leading on Sunday, what's your feeling about that whole philosophy?

DAVID DUVAL: You're asking me to speculate on something that I can't speculate on, I don't know the situation, I don't know how I'd feel or react, so I can't give you an answer.

LES UNGER: Continued good luck, David.

End of FastScripts….

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