Interview With
Allen Doyle

RAND JERRIS: It's my pleasure to welcome the 26th United States Senior Open champion, Mr. Allen Doyle.

Allen with a 10 under par 247 for the championship. You've obviously played in USGA championships for many years. Can you tell us what it feels like to finally have your name on one of these trophies.

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, you know, not to burst anybody's bubble, but like I said at the presentation, although I've not ever won until today a USGA championship, I kind of felt in a couple of Walker Cups I was an integral part of the team and the World Amateurs I was an integral part of the team, and I felt like a USGA champion, I just didn't have the trophy to prove it. But it's a wonderful feeling. I mean, it's the organization that pretty much everybody grows up looking to and wanting to play in their events.

So to finally be a USGA champion is a wonderful thing.

RAND JERRIS: Would you take a moment and walk us through the clubs and yardages for the birdies on your scorecard.

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I birdied 1. I hit a pretty good drive and a 9 iron into the left front fringe, only had about 15 feet and I chipped it and chipped it in. So we had a pretty good start.

Then on 3, I had 135 with a little downwind, but uphill I hit a pitching wedge about eight feet and made that.

Then on 5, the par 5, I hit it in the middle right bunker, almost holed out, blasted to a couple inches and tapped that in.

On 6, I hit it in the left bunker, hit it out about ten feet and made that.

On No. 7, I had 152 to the hole, hit a little 8 iron about eight, ten feet and made that.

8, I hit an 8 iron, it was 156, I think, hit it about 20 feet past the hole and made that.

I turned 6 under.

Then on 10, I hit it in the front bunker, blasted out about 15 feet short of the hole and made that.

Then on 14, I guess, I hit an L wedge about 81 yards, about 15 feet past the hole, made that.

Q. I believe you started the round today nine strokes back. Did you give yourself a realistic shot coming back? What were your thought processes as you started?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, my thought process was simply go out and play as good a round as I could play. I mean, I won the Senior PGA shooting 64 on Sunday and being eight shots back or something. I mean, so it happens. You just have to put the score up to make it happen. I don't ever go out putting a number on a round before I play because without knowing the conditions, and more often than not, when you put a number in your mind, it becomes harder to shoot that number. So I kind of just go out and play and hope that today would be a day where maybe that a lot of that stuff would happen. I've always felt if you hit the ball pretty good and you weren't getting the putts to go in or the breaks to happen for you that if you kept doing things good that that eventually would happen, you know.

You hope it doesn't happen tomorrow in a Pro Am maybe, and you hope it happens on Sunday, and fortunately for me today, it did.

Q. Could you tell how that swing of yours developed and how you came up with it and why you stuck with it all these years?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, it developed in a low ceiling basement. I was born and raised right outside of Boston. I was a hockey player mainly when I was a kid. And when hockey was over and there was still snow out, I'd go down in the cellar and half swing for hours. I know that sounds odd, but I didn't have anything else to do, and I wasn't an A student so I wasn't doing my homework (laughter). And it worked for me. You know, at that point in time, I just wanted to be the best caddie player at the club.

Then when I was the best caddie I only wanted to be competitive in the state, and it worked for me, so there was no reason to change. I had guys tell me, the assistant pros at the golf course tell me, if you don't change your swing, you'll never amount to anything in this game, and when I see him and I've seen him since then but they were also the guys that I wouldn't take any lessons from because they couldn't beat me anyway. We had an old pro that would tell me, "If a guy can't beat you, don't take a lesson from him because if he was that good a teacher he could teach himself how to play."

Q. How high was that ceiling?

ALLEN DOYLE: It was about a seven foot.

Q. After you posted your number and waited around for seven more groups to finish, were you pretty surprised that you didn't have to go to a playoff to win the thing outright?

ALLEN DOYLE: I'm never surprised. Tuesday I turned 57, so I'd hate to think as I traversed some of the places that I've been and some of the things that I've done, I don't know if anything can surprise me.

You know, but you look at the board at any particular time, and I think I saw Stadler with 13 under, so you figure maybe no matter what I do, I don't have a chance. But then you see someone make that mistake, and then you remember past Opens and stuff where guys have got in and finished and posted a round, and it gets harder and harder out there.

So I was prepared for anything. I mean, certainly I'd be lying when I heard on the putting green that they just said, "Roberts missed and you've won," what am I supposed to do, say, "no, let's go to a playoff anyway"?

You know, that's what I've always done. No one said a word to me this week. No one thought I had a chance. And that's the way it's been from day one, and that doesn't bother me one bit because I prefer it that way. But you have to play every single hole.

You know, I'm sure I played with Greg Norman yesterday, and I mean, I may have tried a little too hard, not to show him what I had or anything, but to show him what some of us guys out here have, that it's a pretty competitive bunch of guys that can play some pretty good golf. You know, I've got some guts. I'm not afraid of anybody because all they can do is beat me, and that's all any of you figure they're going to do anyway, so I haven't lost anything.

So I can come to every tournament I come without anything to lose. I come, I show up. You can't imagine what a wonderful life this is, and it just got better.

Q. Did you think about Johnny Miller's 63 at Oakmont on your own round at the Senior PGA while you were doing what you were doing today?

ALLEN DOYLE: No, they set it up when I went up to the booth and they started talking about it, and that's pretty neat. So when I told them I fooled them again. You know, thank goodness there isn't a set way to do this. Because of that, I'm a beneficiary of it, being out here and not afraid to get beat up sometimes, and believing in yourself and that you can still play.

I played with Erin last Saturday, and we got talking about various things, and I said, "well, I'll probably cut back a little next year," and she was a little bit surprised. She said, "why"? I said, "well, why not, I'm going to be in my late 50s." If I couldn't have made the money I've made and enjoy it I think the only way you can enjoy it is spending it. Why did I work as hard as I did? She said, "Do you think you can't win anymore?" I said, "What are you talking about? You see guys winning every week that you may have thought couldn't win anymore, so why would I think I couldn't win anymore?" She said, "Do you think you can win a major?" I said, "Well, I think I can win a major easier than I can a regular event where power is a little more important."

No, I didn't think about it. Got off on a little tangent there, but I didn't think about it and being reminded, that's some pretty good company to be in.

Q. When you're going ahead and waiting around for the rest of the players to complete their round, talk about the mental approach that you have. I take it you have to go to the practice round to stay in rhythm, but what's the mental approach you have to take in waiting and waiting for players like Loren Roberts and Craig Stadler, who are on the leaderboard, to finish their rounds?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, you just have to know first of all, you just hope you have the chance to get in a playoff. You know, I can't sit around long. I don't know what it's been the last month or so, but when I get through playing, my legs are just killing me.

Yesterday I knew I had to hit balls, and I sat around for a half hour, and I got to the range, and it took me most of the balls I hit I was hitting them fat. I mean, I just had lost all feel. So I said today I'd better get there a little quicker today, I'd better not sit down. I felt pretty good.

But you just have to wait. It's a good position to be in as compared to having already packed your locker, so you just wait and see. You wait to get the word. You hope that they come and tell you be at 10 tee in five minutes. It's even better when they tell you, "He missed his putt, you won."

Q. After that conversation with your daughter, is Erin here today or have you talked

ALLEN DOYLE: No, she's already called. I'm sure she was watching. She doesn't miss anything. She's the one that caddied for me for two and a half years out here, so she knows what goes on. She knows her dad, and she was on the phone and she asked me did I remember talking to her last week, and I said, "No. I thought you claimed that I always tuned you out." (Laughter). So she knows about it.

Q. A lot of guys were saying today that they had trouble with the bunkers, that the bunkers were tough. But you hit some great bunker shots. How did you do it?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, I really don't think I hit especially on 6 and 10, they weren't great bunker shots. You know, the traps would be the only area that I would say this course came up a little short in. They had too much sand in them. I was actually fortunate I did hit it in a bunker on 13, and I hit a terrible shot there. That was the only bunker that I was in that was compacted good, but they had a little too much sand so they were you know you've got to hit them, but then you're saying, don't hit them 30 feet past the hole, then you've got no chance to make par.

So I was a little fortunate today. I hit it pretty good on 6 and 10 where I had relatively tough shots, and I got them fortunately the 10 , 12 foot range where I made the putt.

Q. As the course changed conditions yesterday and today, did you make any adjustments and any key ones at specific times that you remember?

ALLEN DOYLE: No, I'm not I don't know how to put it. I'm not a player that can adjust his game. I've got one I kind of have one game. I can't fade it all that great, and I hit a relatively low ball. I think if you get where you try to hit the ball high or do certain things that you're not good at doing, then it decreases your chances of scoring as well. So I go out there, whether it's good strategy or bad, knowing I have to play my game, and there are times where if the greens got so severely hard, I would have been at a handicap. And that's why you'll hear sometimes a guy like Dana Quigley, a guy like myself say when we come to certain tournaments, if the greens are brick hard, we're maybe out of it before it starts because we're low ball hitters. I don't change anything, I just try to hit the shots that I'm capable of hitting.

I think what that enables me is not to make as many bogeys as some other guys that may want to shape shots and look pretty. I don't out birdie any guys, but they out bogey me maybe, so a shot is a shot. If I don't make bogey and they make more birdies but make more bogeys, then I'm even with them.

Q. Where was that round with your daughter, and did you really use that conversation as some motivation?

ALLEN DOYLE: Well, it was at home. You know, I mean, I never maybe it was subconscious because it took me back a little, because again, she's seen me and she caddied for me in 2001. No one has ever heard me say that I can beat anybody or that I'm better than anybody or I can do this or I can do that, but not too many guys could beat me in 2001 out here. So she's seen me.

So in a way I think when you mention it, I was a little taken aback, and maybe subconsciously I felt that because I have actually probably any number of guys would say the same thing, that I've played better this year than I've scored because I've played with guys that I'll get through playing and they'll beat me by a shot and they've hit it all over the place, hit trees and everything, and I'm knocking it down the middle and not making enough putts. But it took me back maybe a little, but again, just that single thing probably couldn't do it because you have to keep everything in focus, and fortunately I did that this week.

RAND JERRIS: Allen, congratulations and thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts.

 

 


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