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November 6, 1996

Lee Trevino


DAVE SENKO: Lee, making your sixth appearance here, maybe just --


DAVE SENKO: In this tournament.


DAVE SENKO: Maybe you can recap your year and talk a little bit about this.

LEE TREVINO: I had a bad year. I had a bad year. Even the win last week doesn't really scratch the itch. In other words, I am still itching a little bit. Hopefully I can carry what I did over last week this week. We played a very difficult golf course as we are going to this week. I played 9 holes here yesterday. Naturally I played the front 9; I didn't play the back 9 since I was only going to play 9, but it is in magnificent condition. This course is in the best condition that I have seen a golf course anywhere around this area. I mean, it is beautiful. It is going to be long, demanding. But I haven't played well all year, no. I have had some problems with my neck and my shoulder, and we just seem to -- funny, how you tend to get to the root of the problem just about the last of the year. We found out what was wrong three weeks ago and we have been working on it. I am pain-free now in playing, and playing pretty good now.

DAVE SENKO: Maybe you can just recap the story about your finish on Sunday, you know, you had finished a couple of groups ahead of Dave Stockton.

LEE TREVINO: Well, I was 5-under after 12 and tied with Dave and everybody else was 3 and I 3-putted 13 and then I bogeyed 18. The old Trevino probably would have would have probably torn the tent down and probably would have cut the ropes as I have gone through them and the whole deal. But since I had played as poorly as I have played all year, it really didn't make that much difference. I mean, second -- tied for second or third was going to be the best finish I have had all year. So I was quite happy with that particular performance. Two years ago I wouldn't have been - I had no idea that Dave Stockton was going to do and no one else did either, what he did because I came in the locker room -- I went to the locker. I put all my stuff up. I had a sheriff deputy that was following me around and I gave him all my golf balls; I gave him my hat; took my shoes. I was fixing to pay the locker room man. I was walking out, grabbed me a bottle of Crystal Light; I was drinking it. Bob Eastwood said to me, " you better not leave." Yet he said, "Stockton just bogeyed 17." So I sit down in the chair and I am watching it and Stockton hi that poor second shot, but that still didn't get me to unlace my shoes or take my golf shoes back out because Stockton being as good as he is with the wedge and a putter, so I watched the third shot and he didn't get it on the green. And I said "oh, hell; here we go again." As I am putting my spikes back on I said, "somebody run down to a police officer because I have got to get three balls back and my hat." I had no balls and a hat. So we ran him down -- the highlight of the whole thing was going to the 10th tee, and Herman had a cart with no - just I said, "you have been outside for 45 minutes, with 400 carts out there; you got one that is dead." (LAUGHTER).

LEE TREVINO: But he said that is the way you have been playing too, you have been dead all year, but that course played difficult, very difficult. I didn't know -- you know, I actually didn't know what to do with that putt. I had a 35 foot putt downhill. Anyone that played that particular course last week could tell you that they didn't want a downhill putt. But that is kind of putt I had like under a tremendous amount of pressure because you can look bad and still get the ball to the hole. But what happens there is Stockton chipped up and he chipped about 20 feet short of the green or short of the flag. David Graham putted, putt ten feet by. Eastwood chipped and went 18 feet by. And I am kind of trying to weigh the situation here and I said even if I don't make this putt we will probably get rid of three guys. But there is no guarantee that Mike Hill can 2-putt that downhiller. I started looking at it and saying you know, if you just get close, par could win this hole because there are 3 guys with three difficult pars already. And even though, I am looking at it, even it one of it makes, all three of them are not going to make, so we are going to get rid of half of the field or one-third of it or whatever, two-thirds and I hit the putt and when it was six feet away I thought it was in. It just caught the left side. Mike Hill's putt actually scared me more after I got home watching it on television than it did from the side. I didn't know how far he had missed the ball left of the hole. It had a lot of speed on it. But that thing was looking awfully good going down there about four, five feet away but it had a lot of speed, a lot of speed. That is it, eh? Now we want to go have breakfast?

Q. You haven't had breakfast yet?

LEE TREVINO: No, I just got through working out in the trailer.

Q. Getting in shape?

LEE TREVINO: No shape. I am 57. I am not getting into no shape.

Q. We haven't asked about low 5-irons?

LEE TREVINO: I want to look like Lum (phonetic) when I finish playing, my boy, I watch him on TV every week talking about basketball and football -- you know who I am talking about? What is his first name? The guy used to be with the Jacksonville paper.

Q. David Lamb.

LEE TREVINO: That is it. (Laughter.) Yeah, I watch him. That is it, I watch him. Every week I watch him. They have a sports program in Florida, I like to watch that.

Q. He was a rookie on the sky riders one year. He left his luggage on the tarmac on the plane. We looked out the window, and we say hey, Lamb, there is some luggage out there and it was his.

LEE TREVINO: (Laughter.) Oh, boy.

Q. He doesn't like a lot of heavy lifting if you could imagine.

LEE TREVINO: He lifts something. You know, he is good with a fork (Laughter.)

Q. Let me ask you about your career. You seemed enthused today and excited, more so than the last time I saw you winning. What does that for you or.....

LEE TREVINO: I don't think so. I think that I am happy. I think my family -- I am just -- I don't know how it can get any better. Even if I wouldn't have won last week, listen, everything comes to an end sooner or later. You are going to get to the point where you don't win anymore. You are going to have to be able to take that like a man. You are going to have to take that just as well as when you took it when you win. No sense being bitter. If people would look what they would be doing if it wasn't for this Senior Tour, they would get on their hands and knees and kiss the ground every week. I mean, what would we would be doing?

Q. You would be working for NBC.

LEE TREVINO: I probably would be teaching somebody. Most of these guys would be at a club teaching or something. Why not be happy? Why not have a good time? I mean, these sponsors are nice enough to come out each and every week and sprinkle $100 bills all over the fairways. You go out there, if you make a birdie or par you get to pick up so many of them and take them home. I mean, this is the greatest things that has ever happened. They were asking me yesterday how a U.S. Senior Open could find a title sponsor. I say have a Pro Am. I mean, there is no rule that says that you can't have a Pro Am in a major Championship. They are looking for a title sponsor, that is how you get one. I mean, nobody is going to put up money for the U.S. Senior Open and going to put up a zillion dollars unless they can bring 300 clients in there to entertain. That is how you do business.

Q. Why do they need a sponsor for that?

LEE TREVINO: I don't know. I was asked the question yesterday.

Q. I thought they made enough money on TV too.

LEE TREVINO: Well, but breaking even, you might as well kiss your sister. You understand what I am saying? I mean, the USGA is there for turf research. They are there for Junior Golf. They run a tremendous amount of amateur tournaments where they make no money. So, you know -- I mean, I don't want to get off this subject, but, I mean -- but they are there to try to make enough money too. They are the golfing - body of golf in this country. I mean, in order to make it profitable I think that they need a title sponsor. That is the question I was asked by the Tour yesterday; I was doing a question and answer thing. I think, why not? Why not? Okay, so you don't have - so don't have the Pro Am on Wednesday; have it on Tuesday. Everybody got to register by 10 o'clock. On Tuesday. So have the Pro Am on Tuesday. They had the Pro Am last at the this year in Tulsa. When did they have the Pro Am? Tuesday.

Q. They have always had one there?

LEE TREVINO: Yeah. I am the one that started the Canadian Open with a Pro Am. I remember when the Canadian Open wanted to be like the U.S. Open and British Open with no -- you know what I am saying? With no Pro Am, and they were having trouble getting money and a title sponsor. I said what do you think we ought to do? I said, have a Pro Am. Well, if the players -- I said, listen, you put enough money the players will be there. They will play 3 Pro Ams (Laughter.) Forget one. They will play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday if the prize money is big enough. But that is just how you do these things. It is a lot of ways of doing it.

Q. You mentioned about your physical problems. You thought you had them figured out. What did they decide?

LEE TREVINO: My problem was that I came back too early, developed the wrong muscles in my neck. After a year of developing the wrong muscles, I had pulled my right shoulderblade up, and then every time I took a swing and went through the ball I went into spasms. I mean, deep spasms in my right shoulder and inside my rib cage. And for the life of me, we could not figure out what was wrong. I went through every test possible. I went from bone scans to CAT scans to MRIs. You name it, I did it. I found out one thing, I don't have any tumors or arthritis because they checked out every bone. I mean, you name it, they couldn't figure it out. I went to the hospital Dr. Jobe; we did all these tests, and we come to find out that they found it in the trailor. I mean, it was right here at my footsteps. The whole time they just said give me a little past history here. Come to find out that a little set up here in the neck in the wrong muscles tighten my shoulder and in my neck and they were pulling the shoulderblade up. So when I extended to go out and get the ball, the shoulderblade was pulling down and the muscles were going into spasms.

Q. Didn't you have some exercising a few months ago. I think at Dearborn you had said that you at that time --

LEE TREVINO: That was the knee.

Q. Okay. But at that point I thought they had figured some other stuff out as well.

LEE TREVINO: That was the knee. What happened is I found - see, I have got a plate in my throat. I got a titanium plate in here and come to find out that I lose range of motion one way or the other and my problem is I had a tremendous amount of range of motion this way, but I had none this way. Which means that when you need the most range of motion to be to your right side because that is when you stay down and your shoulder passes your chin. And you see my range of motion was actually -- my range of motion was actually here, but it was all the way back around here. Well, I don't need that because I have a sharp backswing. So what I needed was range of motion that way, which is there. You see how much more I have got now. So what has happened, is they told me -- they said, "you are going to lose it one way or the other." I said, "well, good. Keep working on this one and forget this one." That is what we have done. So we are doing all this stretching. We put the pressure. We move the shoulder up; we push here and then we move the shoulder back.

Q. You have to work daily on this?

LEE TREVINO: About three times a day. And as long as we can keep the range of motion that way, then I am not going to have any problem through the hitting area and going into these spasms. I mean, I had in L.A. -- I am 4 under after 12, and I can't finish. First round. I mean, those spasms hit and that is it. I was dead. And I went through them all at Napa when they started working on the neck and it started getting a little better, a little better. And I went out Friday maybe had 4, 5 spasms. Saturday, I had maybe one. Sunday none. Even though I shot 75 Sunday, I had no spasms.

Q. Thought your year was done at one point, didn't you?

LEE TREVINO: Napa, yeah, I was so devastated with these things that I told my wife, I said, "I have got to go defend it." I said, "I don't want to go out there, but I have got to defend it." Then I looked at my name. I was 22nd on the money list, and I went and asked one of the officials -- I said, "what is the criteria for playing two Pro Ams in each tournament Wednesday Thursday?" He said, "top 24, doesn't have to do it." I told my wife, I said, "you better enter me in Pensacola." And the year ending tournament I wasn't entered in either one of them. Napa was going to be my last tournament. When I saw that, if I would have won Napa, I probably -- I don't know if I would have played last week or this week. Honestly - saying to you - probably wouldn't have. But now, that I won last week, I have never missed unless I wasn't entered which I think we changed that rule. I remember winning New York one year. I wanted to go to Boston because I had won. I like to keep the string going. And I wasn't entered in Boston because you have to enter the Tuesday take before, and I wasn't able to go up and play.

Q. Did you decide right away after you won that you were going to play this week?

LEE TREVINO: No, no. I decided before I won. But I could have because we do have a rule that if you win a tournament you can enter that Sunday night. You are the only one that can. Everybody else has to enter the Tuesday before. That rule was changed because I brought that up at one of the meetings that I had won New York and I wanted to go to Boston because I wasn't scheduled to play but I would have played and I didn't go because of the rule that you to enter the Tuesday before. But I was trying to protect the top 24. I play in some Wednesday Pro Ams when my Cadillac friends come out and they want to play on Wednesday, I got to come out and play. Key Biscayne, Jerosa (phonetic) and Alex Martin come out and play and naturally NFL I play with Grettenburger (phonetic) the president of cadillac, they come out and we play on Wednesday.

Q. What are your goals for next year? Have you thought about that?

LEE TREVINO: If physically if I do what I want to do this winter which I am going to try to, I think my year will be very good. But I am going to have to take off 20 pounds. If I don't take off the 20 pounds, I will struggle. If I take off the 20 pounds, then I will think I will play -- I think that I will win -- I will -- I think I will win a couple of times next year, maybe 3, and I will go out on the limb; I like to do that. If I lose the weight that I want, I think I will win three times and will win over a million dollars next year. If I don't, then I am just going to eat me some tacos and drink me some Crystal Light and the hell with it. (Laughter.) That is it.

Q. I will send you a big old cake for Christmas then?

LEE TREVINO: I will eat it. I will run the extra mile or something. I did it. Hey, they had three birthdays last week and goddam, I ate cake all three days. (Laughter.) Every time I walked by there I said, I have got to have a piece of that cake. It was Reeves, Gary Player, and Stockton. We had three big cakes, three different days. Boy, I was shuffling that stuff.

Q. Really, that wasn't their birthdays; they just knew that they -- you would eat all that and you couldn't play?

LEE TREVINO: That is right. You put a cake there, I am going to eat it. My poor kids are starving to death for sweets. My wife won't buy them because she knows I will eat them all.

Q. You mentioned the age thing being 57. We have got three guys here that are 60 or better?

LEE TREVINO: Playing very well. Gary, and you got Jimmy Powell and Bob Charles.

Q. So it can be done?

LEE TREVINO: That is what we were kidding Sigel about last week. I don't know if you were there last week. I kept -- Sigel didn't go to Hawaii, so he took Benzinger (phonetic) as the caddy, which is Sigel's caddy, caddying for Bob Charles, and he wins. He was kidding Sigel. I said, " well, I found out one thing: it is not the caddy hurting you." (Laughter.) It is kind of an old joke with he and I.

Q. But that shows that I guess, you know, it used to be thought --

LEE TREVINO: They are all in good shape too.

Q. Yeah, that is true.

LEE TREVINO: You see what I am saying?

Q. 55 used to be the wall.

LEE TREVINO: I still think it is the wall. I still think it is. I don't think -- I don't think they are in the top 10 money winners. It's a wall. Yeah. It is tough. It is a tough one. Once you get 55, it is going a little downhill unless you do something physically to keep you - you understand, to keep you there. But all three of those guys Gary is probably in the best condition than any player out here he, and Bob Charles and then Jimmy Powell is a very, very big man. In other words, you know -- I think that is the thing, the taller that you are; bigger you are, as a senior, the more longevity you are going to have. Short guys like Murph and I we have to battle it, man, everyday. Everyday we battle it. You are ready Murph? I got to go. Thanks, fellows.

End of FastScripts....

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