The 2005 Senior PGA Championship
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An Interview With: Dana Quigley

JULIUS MASON: Dana Quigley, ladies and gentlemen. A top the leaderboard right now at the 66th Senior PGA. Dana, let's get some thoughts on your day today. We'll go through the card and then go to Q&A.

DANA QUIGLEY: Okay, thoughts on the day. When I got paired with Peter Jacobsen I knew that would be a real good match for me. He and I both, I think, are kind of loose type players and we don't really get, I don't think, too wrapped up in what's going on. I think that helps me a lot. I think the fact that we're not going to repair tomorrow is also going to help me for tomorrow's fourth round when we finish the third. So I think it's going to be a good break for me.

JULIUS MASON: Let's just go through your card real quick.

DANA QUIGLEY: I 3-putted the second green. I drove it in the fairway bunker left, hit it out probably 40 feet, 45 feet and 3-putted it. Missed a short one. So that kind of got me a little bit backing up a little early. But then I brought it right back with a birdie on three.

I drove in the left fairway bunker, laid it out with a 5-iron and hit a sand wedge 100 yards, hit my 60 degree to about four feet and made it. And that kind of got me out of the old whoa is me, deal, with a 3-putt, you know, that kind of deal. So it turned my thinking from negative to positive right then. I found out from for me, the best way to get over that stuff is just to come right, bounce back with a birdie and that takes you, switches your whole mind around.

I played all the holes pretty well today.

I birdied 6 is the next one. The par-5. Jake and I both hit a really good drives off the tee and we had like 250 to the front and we both hit it right in front of the green. And I think I chipped it about five feet by the hole. It was really soggy to chip from, kind of a tough chip. And made a nice putt. Maybe that was about an 8-footer now that I think about it. It was longer than five for sure. And ran that in pretty much center cut.

Next hole I hit a beautiful 8-iron in. I was right between 8 and 7, hit a beautiful 8, kind of on that green it's got kind of a false front that's very hard to get it the same distance as the pin and I hit it, it was probably five feet at the hole at one time and it spun back off the green. And I chipped that in, a pretty lucky chip, actually. But I was kind of on a roll there and I was feeling good about it, so I wasn't worried about making a bogey. I was really trying to make that chip, to be honest with you.

Next hole is the 239 yard par-3. I hit a 3-wood in the right back bunker and blasted out to about a foot and a half. And that kind of, that kind of kept the momentum going.

9, I hit just a beautiful 4-iron in there to maybe eight feet and missed the putt. I still really was feeling real positive about my game.

10, I made a pretty normal par, driver 6-iron and then.

11, the PGA kind of fooled us, they moved the tee up. And I don't believe there was anyone in the field that had a practice round probably from that tee. I doubt if we even contemplated that. And I still played it kind of conservatively. I hit driver off the tee and drove it up there pretty nice and then laid up with a 6-iron. I don't know if you guys know the hole, but it's really sharp dogleg and it's very difficult if you went for it. So I laid it up to a 6-iron to 112 yards and I hit my gap wedge in there about four feet behind the hole and made it.

JULIUS MASON: Very good.

DANA QUIGLEY: The last hole before the rain I hit just a beautiful drive and a beautiful 7-iron about I would say about 15 feet and really almost made that putt. It didn't go in, but very very happy.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks?

Q. The last time you played with Peter, or any time you played with Peter, in the last round, how did you do?

DANA QUIGLEY: I actually never played with Peter in the last round. But I won tournaments playing with Fuzzy in the last round, I won tournaments with Colbert in the last round. Generally speaking when I played with guys that are talkative like I am, I have won a bunch of my tournaments from that position with guys that, not the serious type golfers but the kind of guys that really don't get wrapped up in the situation and just go out and probably to enjoy the day. It's a much better feeling for me to have than the serious type.

Q. I was looking back, you had played over 70 events on the PGA TOUR, especially during a period of some from '77 to '82. Can you talk about that and then talk about why you decided not to continue?

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, I think -- well, I was out there for five years. I think I went back to the school three times. I was a pretty solid party kind of guy. I haven't had a drink in 15 years. That's been huge for me. That's been the biggest change in my life. And I just, when I was out there in those days I was very intimidated by all the players. All the top, all the big stars.

I would get to point where I wouldn't even practice on the range next to any of them. I really just didn't think I belonged and I made sure I sabotaged myself with alcohol and staying out at night so that I made sure that I didn't belong.

I think that I think it took on my part a lot of growing up to do to figure out that potentially my game would be good enough to play out here with these guys and Bob Rotella did the rest for me.

Q. Then obviously you came out here I think it was in '97.


Q. What persuaded you to come out here in '97 and, I mean right now I think you made over 11 million dollars on this TOUR?

DANA QUIGLEY: Oh, the hairs on my arm are standing up. Yeah, I just went over 11 last week.

Q. So that passes, Palmer, Nicklaus, career earning wise. I mean, how surprising are you with that kind of ending or not ending, but mid season change?

DANA QUIGLEY: It's, I have to pinch myself still every day. I really haven't had time to reflect on it. I still to this day every round of golf that I play I still can't believe that I'm good enough to compete with these guy, if you could possibly believe that. Bob Rotella absolutely transformed me from being afraid of all these guys to believing in my own self and trusting my own game. And for some reason he flipped a switch in me that I was able to go out there and hit balls along, play against Hale Irwin and guys like that and not be intimidated. I can't tell you what he said or how we did it, but honest to goodness, from when I went, I went to him in November of '96, I turned 50. The PGA of America was a -- I turned 50 on the Monday of the '97 PGA Senior Championship and they gave me an exemption. And that was the start of all this. And to be honest with you, I can't possibly even begin to guess how, why this happened to me or how. I've been certainly blessed by the lord in more ways than one. The family and -- I mean, I just can't say enough that -- I just feel like I'm out here to try to somehow bridge the gap between the players and the gallery and the fans and the marshals. I mean I go out of my way every day of my life not that it's a chore, but to make sure that people around that are supporting us are getting their money's worth. I really, really try to do that. And I just feel like I think that -- I just feel like I've been blessed with success so that I'm able to do that. I feel like that's God's will, really.

Q. When you first went to Quigley -- I'm sorry, when you first went to Rotella, did he have any idea who you were, had he ever heard of you?

DANA QUIGLEY: Yes, he worked with Brad Faxon forever. I was out -- I had been out watching Brad -- he's a Vermont guy. He and my brother play in tournaments together. And I kind of promised him that I would come see him and he had played with me a couple times at my club back in '96, and he couldn't understand why I wasn't on the Regular TOUR in those days. Because I happened to be lucky enough to shoot a few good round with him. I told him I was going to come talk to him. I really didn't know if that would ever change anything. When I came out here in '97 I thought I would play a year or two as a Monday qualifier and then go back to my club job, which I was very happy with. I had a lot of success in the PGA of America tournament schedules and that kind of stuff. New England PGA, I was pretty good there. And I was really happy being kind of a big fish in a small pond, to be honest with you. I never thought this would happen.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the streak?


Q. Everybody --

DANA QUIGLEY: Every day, every day of my life when I wake up the only thing I want to do is play golf. To this day. The only thing I want to do is play golf. When I'm home -- it's well documented when I'm home, I play far more golf than I play on TOUR here. I actually come out here for a little bit of rest because I only get 18 holes a day. But tomorrow we'll get 27, so it will be pretty cool.

But I knew when I started I was going to play every event I was eligible for. I never thought I would be out here eight years still playing every week. Because I didn't know if I would be exempt for that long. It's absolutely a joy for me to come out to the golf course and play. Win, lose, or draw.

I had a chance to win last week, I didn't pull it off. I finished second three weeks ago. I don't feel -- I don't get -- I don't feel down from that, I am actually motivated by the fact that if I mess up on the last hole the last few holes, I'm motivated to get there for the next week, to see if I can somehow figure out how to do it. So now this week I'm going to get hopefully another chance to see how I do coming down the stretch. And that's the beauty of golf, you're always trying to learn something and I still am, really.

Q. This seems like a golf course where it's very hard to get momentum going, because there's so much --

DANA QUIGLEY: Well, pars are momentum out here.

Q. Okay. That's great. You -- but you had that little stretch between 6 actually all the way to 12 where you hit the ball close. How much of a factor was the weather in that kind of thing? Is the golf course playing very soft right now?

DANA QUIGLEY: Golf course is very soft. You're hitting -- I'm sure the PGA would have loved to have had these fairways hard so that the ball runs out of them. But if you get it on line starting off the tee it's going to stay in the fairway. Which is an absolute must hitting to these greens and these pin placements. Greens are good for me because

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