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U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

July 13, 1995

Jill Briles-Hinton

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

CRAIG SMITH: That is a good day?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Cheers (raising a can of soda.)

CRAIG SMITH: I think that should be a beer.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Court reporter, huh?

LES UNGER: Can't deny anthing that you say, so we have it down (kiddingly). Jill, we happened to open the LPGA book and noticed that in 1984 you were the medalist in the Broadmoor Invitational. So I guess this is familiar stomping grounds for you. Congratulations on a fine Open round. What we would like you to do is please take us through your round; paying special attention to your birdies and I guess you had one bogey and any par saves.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: All right. Lots of par saves.

LES UNGER: Okay.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I put my first drive and I had 8-iron left and had to get up-and-down for par. Made about a 12-footer for par. The next hole, two more bad shots and I got from 15 feet -- I got up-and-down -- I mean, I chipped one; had a 15-foot putt. I made that one. 3rd hole, I hit dead right to chip out. I chip out; hope I don't 3-putt on this green and made 5, so I 2-putted from about 20 feet. Then I started hitting it good. I just missed birdie on 4 and 5. I hit it probably about six feet and missed that putt. That was above -- I was putting away from the mountain. I just tapped it and I just -- too much break. Let us see, No. 6, I don't remember 6. Oh, 6, I got up-and-down. I got 51 yards to the pin and I hit an L-wedge and left it short and get up-and-down there from about, I think, it was like 12 steps, so what is that?

LES UNGER: 30 something feet.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yeah, 30 something feet. I do everything in yards.

Q. How far was the save putt?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: It was 3 feet. On 7, I hit a pretty good drive; hit a 9-iron in; made par. 8, I hit 9-iron. I hit it passed the pin; it comes back; and I make a 2-footer for birdie. Maybe it was 3.

Q. That was your first bird?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: My first bird on No. 8 with a 9-iron. No. 9, I hit a good drive. I have got -- I hit 5-iron in because I had a sidehill lie. I have got about 30 foot eagle putt; I hit 2 feet past to make birdie. Number 10, I just missed birdie. I have got about an 8 -- 24-foot putt; just missioned birdie. 11, I guess up-and-down from 11. I got a 30 foot up-and-down and I hit to three feet and I save a par there. 12 is a par 3. I hit it 4 feet past the hole on my putt and --

LES UNGER: What club?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I hit a 5-iron into number 12 and I got about a 30-foot putt. I hit it four feet past it. That one slides in for a par. On 13, I hit a grip 9-iron -- yeah, 13 I hit a grip 9-iron in to about 15 feet and I make that for birdie. 14, I hit a good drive, I hit a little finesse sand wedge over the green and from about 30 feet again, is 36 feet, that is my up-and-down and I hit it to three feet and made that putt. 15, I hit it to about 12 feet and hit it five feet past the hole and made that putt. 16, I hit an 8-iron and I was short of the green and I have got about a 20 foot up-and-down and I hit it to two feet past the hole and tapped that one in. I didn't tap it in, but I tap the putt and it happened to fall in the hole. On 17, I hit driver, 2-iron. I missed my 2-iron and I have got about 50 yards to the flag; hit a wedge to about 15 feet; and made that one. That was into the mountain, so that was a little bit slower. Then on 18, it was a miracle. It went in the hole. I hit 2-iron, 6-iron. I thought the ball should probably come off the hill I was on, but it stayed there. I just barely touched my putt, four feet left of the hole, maybe 5, I don't remember, but I just tapped it and it trickled in. I thought it was going to stop six feet short of the hole and it kept rolling.

Q. How far was that putt?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: It was about a 21-foot putt.

LES UNGER: So this was an exciting day with a lot of good saves, not a lot of routine pars.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: No, but you could -- I tried to keep it low and away from the mountain. I mean, you don't -- you can hit a perfect shot and 4-putt. So what I tried to do is try to position myself where I am always putting into the mountain, so if I miss the green, I wasn't going to worry about it because I was chipping into the mountain; that is what I try to do, so it wasn't routine, but I missed -- I missed quite a few greens, but I think it was a lot better than putting those 40 foot hilly putts out there.

LES UNGER: Since 1988, you haven't played in an Open. Have you ever been attempting to qualify?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Oh, yes. I have attempted every year, this is -- I almost didn't do it this year. I am like -- because it is -- I try to play in as many U.S. Open tournaments as I can. We qualify normally it is the Monday of JAL -- no -- normally, it is the Monday of an event. We have to go somewhere else and I just -- I almost didn't do it. I am glad I did. It takes -- it takes a lot out of you to -- I should just play better and I wouldn't have to qualify.

Q. You said you missed a good birdie opportunity on 4.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes, I did.

Q. How close was that?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I think that was like 12 feet at the max. I was above -- I was on the right side of the hole. So, I just tapped the putt and --

Q. Just missed?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yeah, it didn't hit the hole, but it just missed.

Q. So, why did you try to qualify in the end, just for obvious reasons?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: It is The Open. And I hate not playing. When I got an opportunity to work, I try.

Q. Did you see this round coming -- playing better lately or just come out of the blue?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: No, it didn't come out of the blue. I have been playing pretty consistent. I missed 4 cuts this year so I think I had made at least 11. Last year I only made 11. I have worked real hard on my short game the last couple of years and it has paid off. I don't have it quite yet. I mean, it still comes and goes, but at least I have an idea of what I need to do, to do it. Before, I had no clue. No, I don't think it was out-of-the-blue round. Sure, it was lucky, I mean, I felt like I could shoot even par out here, but 66 is -- you get lucky; you make some putts and things are going your way.

Q. You only had 22 putts.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Wow! Well, I missed a lot of greens. I did miss a lot of greens. The first -- I missed the first green and I was hoping I could make bogey and I made the putt. After I calmed down after the three holes and, sure, you miss more greens, but I missed them in the right places to get up-and-down to 1-putt.

Q. What was your bogey at?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Number 3.

Q. If this didn't come out of the blue, does it still surprise you to be in this position?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes. It didn't come out of the blue, but it does surprise me to be in this position. But I have also worked hard enough where I am glad I am in this position. I have worked hard enough to be in this position. I have worked real hard on my game and I take my game serious and I am surprised, but I hope I am here more, so it is not a surprise anymore.

Q. On the short game that you talked about, you went to the Pelz School?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes.

Q. When was that and the short game, was it the short game around the green or the short game from 75 yards in?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Everything. It was absolutely everything. It was pulling teeth to get me to go. But my husband talked me into it and I went and I worked pretty much with Tye and Dick in Boca Raton. It was three days of intense short game study. You would have to sit in a room like this and learn a theory. I don't want to learn it. I want to go out and practice. It was important for me to learn the theory before I go out and practice. To sit in the classroom like what you guys are sitting in now, convinced me to putt cross-hand, left-hand-low. I have been putting much better since then.

LES UNGER: Is your scoring average down; do you know the stats on that since your school?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I don't think -- it could be -- I know my short game is better. I have made more cuts this year. I have made only missed 4 and last year at this time I think I had only made 4.

Q. Does Pelz have any theories on playing at a mile high or when the greens go one way and the course goes another. Does he have any theories which apply to this golf course?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: He hasn't filled me in yet. But let us call him and ask him. I don't know.

Q. How much of positive vibes do you have from previous appearances here; did you qualify here once for the Open?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: My first Open I had qualified here.

Q. Does that carry-over in a tournament like this?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes, the people here in Coral Springs are great, and Broadmoor is immaculate. It is just -- you feel like you are at the U.S. Open when you are at the Broadmoor. I mean, it gives you -- what is the word I am looking for?

LES UNGER: Aura.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: There we go. It is the perfect place for a U.S. Open and I have played here and I have always enjoyed the Broadmoor, all the, I call them professional amateurs. They are the ladies like less Lee Shanon and Lucille Rae, and Robin Weiss, they are all here volunteering and I figured they'd know someone to get into this tournament, but I guess they didn't qualify, so they are all here watching and it is coming back to something you are familiar which is nice. Because you are the people that used to beat you like a drum are out cheering you on.

LES UNGER: I will bet you wish you were playing tomorrow morning again?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes, but hay I got a good tee time. I will take 11:50. Thank you for the tee time anyway.

LES UNGER: You're welcome.

Q. When did you do this short game course?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: In November. November I went to it and I have been practicing pretty hard with it and I am stubborn enough when someone tries to help me with my short game, I don't let them; that is just the way I am with my golf swing, so it is -- like it is something I am going to stick with. It is not something that is out of the blue.

Q. Is that when you started cross-handing putting left and low?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes.

Q. Is that something they like you to call left-hand-low now; is that --

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yeah, that is what he calls it. Left-hand-low. Most of us call it cross-hand, but Pelz calls it left-hand-low. The way he explains it, if you were cross-handed you would be like this (Indicating) this is left-hand-low and this is cross-handed, so...

LES UNGER: And if you were lefthanded?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: It would be right-hand low ...

Q. Can you definitely say the things you learn there were applicable here today?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: They are applicable whereever I play. It is just something that I have taken, I have learned and I can use it. Now, I am not going to say that I have got it every time because I haven't -- I don't have it mastered like I want to. I got to hit 10,000 more balls with each shot to get it mastered, but it is coming along and it is getting better and the hard work and all the struggles and up-and-downs I have missed paid off today. It is a round I will never forget.

Q. You said you don't like for people to give you advice on your short game. Did I understand that?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: No, my golf game in general, so -- in other words, I went to the Pelz Short Game School. I have taken in what they said and I am going to do it. I am not going to go fishing around for something else. I am going to stick with what he said. I am going to stick with this theory and do it until I got it down.

Q. My question was did you get it to a point of desperation before you went to the Pelz Short Game School?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Oh, definitely. The shots I hit today, I wouldn't have had a clue. I didn't -- before when I practiced all I did was hit balls. I think that is why I am one of the longer hitters because I just beat balls. I would hit 500 balls a day and a lot of of them were 2-irons, so I developed strength with my hitting but my short game suffered because I think it is the most boring thing in the world to practice, and I had tried to make games with it and now I have certain drills that I do. It is a set drill I have to do it, and learning these drills have helped me in my tournament play.

Q. Do you think par is going to take a beating over the next few days or do you think it is going to be another one of those Opens where there is a couple of good scores on Thursday and then things kind of seem to go back to par as the week goes along?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Seeing this is my third one in twelve years, I can't answer that one. I mean, I have -- it is only my third Open and I am not -- I haven't been in this position very often, so I am not the expert to answer the question. I am just happy to shoot what I shot and play 11:50 tomorrow.

LES UNGER: Isn't that your fourth?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: No, it is only my third. Is it my fourth?

LES UNGER: They got you hear for '86, '87, '88.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Maybe I qualified '86. I qualified for my first Open, I shot 69. I eagled number 3, well number 3 was 18. I shot 69. I got one of the 2 spots. My sister planned her wedding around my amateur golf career, well, The Open happened to be the time of her wedding, and I qualified as an amateur and I turned pro for The Open. Well, made the cut; just couldn't seem to get back to the wedding, so it was my first professional tournament and I missed my sister's wedding. So that was first one. Second one was Baltimore --

LES UNGER: They have got three years.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: And '86, '87 -- wow.

LES UNGER: You even made money.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Wow, how about that? Where was it in '87?

Q. Plainfield.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I played, you know, what, Plainfield I don't -- what course was it?

Q. Plainfield Country Club. Laura Davies won that one. Had you played there you would have remembered it. It went 'til Tuesday.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I don't think I played there. This has been my third Open. It has been such a long time since I have played one.

LES UNGER: Get those LPGA's in here. Any other questions for Jill?

Q. Where did you qualify at this year?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Pittsburgh. I wasn't going to play Atlantic City. I scheduled a week off. I signed up for Pittsburgh; decided to play Atlantic City; had a long drive to Pittsburgh to qualify, but I am glad I went to Pittsburgh instead of Atlantic City.

Q. Are you surprised that there aren't more lower scores today?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Guys, I was lucky. I was extremely lucky. If you hit it in the right place, you can make some putts, but if you don't hit it in the right place, you just try to lag it as close as possible in the hole and if it goes in, it goes in, and I had a 2-footer that I was lagging to the hole on No. 8, I mean, it is -- I thought I'd make it, but still you can't jam it in the back of the hole or you would be in the bunker in the front of the green. It is -- I was lucky, and there could be more scores, lower scores, but you got to respect these greens.

Q. If you watch on TV you see some mighty good players hitting some shots that are mighty bad. Is it a mental thing? Is the course really psyching people out?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I don't know. I didn't see bad shots in my group today. It could be because it is The Open. It is the biggest tournament of the year. I am sure I will feel a little differently tomorrow at 11:50 than I do right now. I will probably sleep on it; think about it; get nervous and...

LES UNGER: You have proved you could have 3 shaky holes and come back so...

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Yes, I have never quit. I am not a quitter, so...

LES UNGER: Well, thank you for coming -- one more.

Q. Yes. Were you nervous this morning?

JILL BRILES-HINTON: I really wasn't nervous. I probably will be nervous tomorrow. I just know the way -- if I did what I did -- if today was Sunday, I would have been terrified probably coming up the final few holes. It is something you got to get over get in the position to get over it, but depending on what day it is, depends on how your emotions react. That is something that everyone needs to work on.

LES UNGER: Okay. Thank you. Continued good luck.

JILL BRILES-HINTON: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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