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July 23, 1994

Patty Sheehan


LES UNGER: We have been sitting here, so we really haven't heard what happened over the last couple of holes. Perhaps you can start out by filling us in. I think we know you birdied 16. That was your first birdie of the day after 15 pars?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Right. I played a pretty steady round of golf today. Missed the green at 6 and got it up-and-down and missed the green at 13 and 15, got it up-and-down. And then 16, I made about, I don't know, 40 footer, probably for birdie. And real good par at 17. And then 18 I hit a driver, 7-iron, to about 18 feet and made that too. So, it was a round that, you know, I was looking at the pin placement. I said, you know, this is not the day to go for pins. This is a lot of sucker pins out there. And so I didn't -- I didn't go for many pins. I played it safe on a lot of holes. Really wasn't trying to make anything happen. You know, a lot of times when I try to do that I tend to mess up and make mistakes. So I pretty much played it low key and was very patient, and on a couple of holes, up-and-down to save the pars. It was really -- it was really amazing to watch the leader board on the back side. You know, at one point I am eight back. It was pretty amazing. You know, it was kind of one of those rounds that there is not really much to talk about other than it was very steady and when I had to get it up-and-down, I did.

Q. If I told you at the beginning of the day that you would be leading after this round, what would you have said?


Q. Would you have been surprised?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I think I am a little surprised at this point, yeah. But, you know, I think I probably know better than anyone, anything can happen in an Open; so I still can. There is 18 holes left and there is a lot of golf left. So this tournament, by no means, is over. There is a lot of people involved now. Helen let a lot of people back in this tournament.

Q. When you looked at the leader board as you said on the back 9, did you think I got to go out here, play the best I can, Helen has got in, and all of a sudden four holes later you are back in the thick of things. That must be a confidence builder for you?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know. I never give tournaments away. I never say that they have got it won because this golf course is extremely difficult, and given the weather conditions and the pin placements, I just know that disaster is lurking out there. So I really -- I haven't given the tournament -- didn't give it to Helen yet, and you know, with good reason. There is a lot of golf left.

Q. Patty, we all noticed that you weren't making anything happen, just 5 all the ways across and Helen 11, 12, and 13. What does that say about your patience and experience; the fact that you said, I wasn't going to make something because of the golf course and the sucker pins and all that?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I don't know. I guess it means I'm getting to be an old lady or something. I just -- I just don't have the -- I pulled the reins back a lot from my younger days. I used to think well, I have to go out there and make birdie happen, and make things happen, and be aggressive, and I just learned that that doesn't always win tournaments. Playing smart, being patient, hanging in there when you have to, you know, that not getting down on yourself for mistakes. I think that you learn a lot through the years and this is my 18th Open. I have certainly learned an awful lot playing in these tournaments. Golf courses are so difficult and this one especially is longer than, oh, than it was when we first played it. It is playing a little bit differently, but you just learn to not get crazy and, you know, give away the candy store.

Q. Can you commiserate with Helen a little bit? What happens to a player when it starts to slip away as it did with her today?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Oh, there could be a variety of reasons, and I am not sure what happened to Helen. I probably won't go talk to her, you know, I don't think she wants to hear anything from me. But it is not a very good feeling, I can assure you that. It is a very helpless feeling. It is one that you really are not sure what you can do to stop the bleeding, and you know, thank God, you run out of holes and you can go home and sleep and, you know, wander on to a new day.

LES UNGER: Before you ask your question, where did Alfredsson 3-putt from about three feet?

Q. Twice.

LES UNGER: The first time?

Q. Number 9.

LES UNGER: She had about a three foot birdie putt and 3-putted there?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Variety of things that can do it to you. Swing flaws creeping into your game can do it to you. Lack of confidence can do it to you. Health problems can do it to you. It could be anything.

Q. Patty, you talked about patience and experience over the years and you have played in a lot of these Opens. Do you feel that is kind of like a weapon that you have in your arsenal that pays off for you towards the end; nice thing to have in --

PATTY SHEEHAN: I think psychologically it helps me deal with situations. You know, I have probably dealt with the worst loss, you know, 1990, and that taught me a great deal. Certainly taught me that there is a lot more to life than winning U.S. Opens. But -- oh, I lost my train of thought.

Q. In terms of golf, I mean, you know, you are able to kind of just maintain composure when you see other people that you know have whatever mood swings or game swings, whatever.

PATTY SHEEHAN: I guess it helps. I don't know. This is such a funny game and mood swings sometimes can really help you. You know, if you have a bad situation and you make a couple of birdies, boy, that can really propel you into extraordinary greatness. And, you know, I know you guys are trying to find something great to write about and the tournament is not over, so I don't really know what to say to you.

LES UNGER: Sounds like the tournament is just about to begin.


Q. How do you feel you may play tomorrow?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I have no idea, Jerry. I am going to play -- I am going to try to play like I have been playing. I have been playing pretty well, and you know, I can't change my game plan. When I do that, I mess up. And there is no reason for me to do that. I have been successful and, you know, I am either going to win or I am going to lose, so that is the way it is.

Q. Can you compare this course to Oakmont?


Q. The difficulty?


Q. No comparison as far as difficulty is concerned?


Q. Is your game plan the same now than it was --

PATTY SHEEHAN: Pretty much. I don't change my game plan. I go out and I try to play exactly the same every day and it is really boring, but you know, I just -- I am a very small person. I am only 5'3". I don't hit it a mile. I have to be patient. I have to hit it straight, and I have to rely on getting it up-and-down and making a few birdies here and there and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Q. Patty, were you aware of, when you watched the scoreboard at all, that Helen had gotten to 13 under, and did that play into any frustration with your pars?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I did know she was at 13 and I kept plugging along doing what I was trying to do.

Q. Do you remember what the most under par you were in 1990? Did you ever get to 13?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I think I was at 12 at one point.

Q. What was the closest you came to making that bogey today?

PATTY SHEEHAN: I guess I had to make a five footer downhill on 14. That was pretty close.

Q. Missed that green?

PATTY SHEEHAN: No, I hit my shot to the back of the green. The pin is on the front, and I left my putt five feet short; made it.

Q. Birdie putt on 18, was that just straight --

PATTY SHEEHAN: No, it broke to the left about four inches.

Q. How difficult is it to make as many consecutive pars without a birdie or a bogey or something as you had today?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Well, I don't know. It was -- it is as easy to make a par as it is to birdie or bogey. You know, I played pretty well and got it up-and-down. When I did get it up-and-down I had putts of you know, four feet or less. So I was pretty comfortable out there.

Q. Did you see the scoreboard when you walked off 18 did you know?

PATTY SHEEHAN: Yeah, the crowd you know, going Wooooaaa! So I looked up and it went from 8 to 6, so I knew.

Q. If Helen had not had this tough time, would you system go out tomorrow and play the same way or would you try to --

PATTY SHEEHAN: I am sorry I would be real boring to go out and try to play the same way.

End of FastScripts....

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