Golf Talk Live - Jan Stephenson Transcript Segment 3

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PETER KESSLER
LET'S SEE WHAT KEN WANTS TO ASK YOU. HELLO KEN.

KEN FROM FLORIDA
HOW ARE YOU TODAY, SIR?

PETER KESSLER
HOW ARE YOU, SIR?

KEN FROM FLORIDA
JUST FINE. JAN, HOW ARE YOU?

JAN STEPHENSON
I'M VERY WELL, THANK YOU.

KEN FROM FLORIDA
JAN, WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THE WAY YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING LATELY. WE'RE VERY PROUD OF WHAT A CLASS LADY YOU ARE.

JAN STEPHENSON
THANK YOU.

KEN FROM FLORIDA
UH, I WAS WONDERING, WHAT IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST FACTOR IN THE ELEVATION OF YOUR PLAY IN THE LAST YEAR? I THOUGHT I HAD NOTICED THAT YOU HAD CHANGED CADDIES. I'M NOT SURE IF THAT WAS IT.

BUT IS THERE A SINGLE FACTOR UH, THAT CAUSED YOUR PLAY TO ELEVATE SO MUCH?

JAN STEPHENSON
I GUESS THE SINGLE BIGGEST FACTOR IS PROBABLY THE IMPROVEMENT ON MY PUTTING BECAUSE I WORKED SO HARD UM, WITH MY LONG GAME, AS I SAID, TO CHANGE.

THAT I - I LOOKED AT ALL THE STATISTICS, AND - AND I WAS 156TH AND 151ST ON PUTTING TWO . IN 1970 - 1997 AND 1998. SO I - I'VE REALLY WORKED HARD ON THAT.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT'S BETTER ABOUT IT? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE IT BETTER? IS IT RHYTHM? IS IT MECHANICS?

JAN STEPHENSON
DEFINITELY MECHANICS. I MEAN, I REALLY AM A STUDENT OF THE GAME. I - I'VE ACTUALLY VIDEOTAPED ALL THE TOP PUTTERS FROM TIGER AND KARRIE AND ALL THE TOP PUTTERS.

AND THEN I VIDEOTAPE IT. AND THEN WE SIT DOWN AND WE GO OVER ALL THE COMMON DENOMINATORS. I ACTUALLY CHANGED MY STROKE DRAMATICALLY.

PETER KESSLER
HOW DIFFERENT IS YOUR GAME THAN IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO, SAY? WHAT DO YOU DO DIFFERENTLY ON THE GOLF COURSE? AND WHAT IS THE DISTANCE COMPARISON 20 YEARS AGO VERSUS TODAY?

JAN STEPHENSON
WELL, I HIT IT LONGER NOW THAN I EVER DID WHEN I WAS WINNING. UM, MY SHORT GAME WAS BETTER, BUT I'M ACTUALLY - TECHNICALLY, I'M BETTER NOW.

I HAVE REALLY, REALLY WORKED HARD. TECHNICALLY, I HAVE, BY FAR, A BETTER GOLF GAME.

PETER KESSLER
WHO'S THE BEST PLAYER THAT YOU'VE SEEN IN THE LAST 25 YEARS, FEMALE, THAT YOU'VE PLAYED WITH?

JAN STEPHENSON
OH, IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE. KARRIE'S SO FAR AHEAD. UH, I'VE SEEN - YOU KNOW, MICKEY WRIGHT HAD A BEAUTIFUL SWING. AND NANCY LOPEZ WAS A GREAT PUTTER. AND - AND ANNIKA HAD, YOU KNOW, WAS A WONDERFUL WEDGE PLAYER.

BUT KARRIE HAS IT ALL. I MEAN, SHE'S ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT HAS NO WEAKNESSES. I MEAN, EVERY - EVEN - EVERY TOP PLAYER I'VE EVER SEEN, EVERY HALL OF FAMER, HAD SOME WEAKNESS IN THEIR GAME.

AND KARRIE HAS NONE. I MEAN, SHE'S PRETTY INCREDIBLE.

PETER KESSLER
DOES SHE RESENT IN ANY WAY THE FACT THAT TIGER GETS SO MUCH MORE OF THE PRESS THAN SHE DOES WHEN HER LAST SEASON WAS JUST ABOUT AS IMPRESSIVE AS HIS?

JAN STEPHENSON
I DON'T THINK SO. I THINK THAT TIGER HAS GONE OUT OF HIS WAY TO BE - I MEAN, HE'S FLAMBOYANT. AND HE - AND HE'S A LITTLE MORE PERSONALITY.

HE'S - HE'S FUN - MUCH MORE FUN TO WATCH THAN KARRIE. SO I THINK THAT HE PROBABLY DESERVES MORE.

PETER KESSLER
DO YOU ENCOURAGE HER, AS HER FRIEND NOW, TO BE MORE FUN TO WATCH? OR IS IT REALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER TO BREAK OUT AND ILL ADVISED TO BREAK OUT OF WHAT SHE'S GOT GOING RIGHT NOW?

JAN STEPHENSON
I WOULDN'T - I'D TELL HER NOT TO CHANGE A THING. I MEAN, I WOULD LIKE TO . I'D LIKE TO HAVE HER GOLF GAME. I MEAN, IT . IT'S - IT'S PRETTY INCREDIBLE. AND - AND SHE BETTER NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. IT'S PERFECT.

PETER KESSLER
ARE YOU AT ALL CONCERNED, TO UH PICK UP ON WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT A FEW MINUTES AGO, THE FACT THAT KARRIE AND SOME OF THE OTHERS AREN'T DOING SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU DID THAT ATTRACT FANS AND SPONSORS AND MORE MONEY?

AT SOME POINT, DOESN'T THERE HAVE TO BE THAT KIND OF A CONTRIBUTION FROM THE TOP PLAYERS TO SUSTAIN WHAT YOU AND THE OTHER PEOPLE OF YOUR GENERATION HAVE DONE TO BUILD THE TOUR?

JAN STEPHENSON
WELL, SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO DO IT. I MEAN, NANCY AND I, FELT LIKE IT WAS NOT CAVORTING (???) REQUESTS. AND LIKE TO COME DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS FUN.

I MEAN, AND I LOVE MY FAN MAIL. I MEAN, I READ IT ALL. AND - AND UH, AND - AND I'LL - AND I GET UPSET IF I DON'T HAVE A BOX FULL OF FAN MAIL AT THE TOURNAMENTS AND - AND ALL THESE REQUESTS.

I MEAN, I GET REALLY UPSET IF I DON'T HAVE PEOPLES TO AUTOGRAPH - I MEAN, THINGS TO AUTOGRAPH. I MEAN, I - I LOVE THAT. I - I LIKE THAT SOMEBODY'S ACKNOWLEDGING THAT I'VE - THAT I'VE DONE A GOOD JOB.

SO IT'S JUST A DIFFERENCE IN PERSONALITY. AND THERE'LL BE SOME GIRLS THAT'LL COME ALONG THAT'LL LIKE IT TOO.

PETER KESSLER
HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK DOES SOMEBODY BRING UP YOUR PIN-UP CALENDAR AND . UH, THAT'S STILL IN PRISTINE MINT CONDITION AND ASK YOU TO SIGN THIS THING THAT'S BEEN IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX?

JAN STEPHENSON
YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY.

PETER KESSLER
YES, I WOULD.

JAN STEPHENSON
YOU KNOW, WHAT'S AMAZING IS THAT . (LAUGH)

BUT THEY DO IT FROM GREEN TO TEE THE NEXT - OR IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. AND UH, YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES IT'S PRETTY FUNNY.

BUT THE - THE FUNNIEST IS ALL - OF ALL IS WHEN YOU GO INTO . YOU KNOW, A LOT - QUITE OFTEN THE WOMEN'S LOCKER ROOMS AREN'T BIG ENOUGH WHEN WE PLAY IN THE TOURNAMENTS. SO WE GET TO HAVE THE MEN'S LOCKER ROOM AT THE TOURNAMENTS.

AND YOU'LL HEAR SOMEONE GO, 'JAN, THERE'S ONE IN THE LOCKER.' AND THERE'LL BE SOME - THERE'LL BE STILL ONE IN SOMEBODY'S LOCKER. AND I'LL HAVE TO COME UP AND WRITE SOMETHING DIRTY ON IT, JUST LET - JUST TO LET THEM KNOW. BUT IT'S SO FUNNY.

PETER KESSLER
AND YOU'VE NEVER SAID 'NO' TO SIGNING ONE OF THOSE.

JAN STEPHENSON
(CHUCKLE) NO, ACTUALLY I HAVEN'T.

PETER KESSLER
I HAD A FEELING THAT THAT WAS THE CASE. LET'S TALK TO JOYCE IN OHIO.

JOYCE, CALLER IN OHIO (FEMALE):
HI, THANK YOU FOR TAKING MY CALL.

PETER KESSLER
YOU'RE WELCOME.

JOYCE FROM OHIO
JAN, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A FULL-TIME WOMEN'S SENIOR TOUR FORMED? AND DO YOU THINK IT WILL EVER HAPPEN?

JAN STEPHENSON
WELL, ACTUALLY WE HAVE A SENIORS TOUR, AND WE FINALLY GOT APPROVAL FROM THE LPGA. WE'RE STARTING OURS AT 43 AND OVER. AND WE'RE ALLOWED TO HAVE IT OPPOSITE LIMITED FIELD EVENTS BECAUSE

IT WAS KIND OF - WE WERE REALLY HAVING TO STRUGGLE. WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, SPONSORS WAITING IN THE WINGS. UM, AND WE WANTED TO - TO LET SOME OF THE OLDER PLAYERS, YOU KNOW, THE KATHY WHITWORTH AND JANE BLALOCK AND - AND JOANNE CARNER .

AND NOT TO MENTION THE GIRLS - THERE'S QUITE A FEW GIRLS THAT HAVE RETIRED BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT EXEMPT ANYMORE. AND THERE'S SO MANY GREAT PLAYERS. AND IT'S HARD TO COMPETE WITH THESE YOUNG KIDS.

I MEAN, I HAVE TO WORK REALLY HARD TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE. BUT THEY - THESE GIRLS STILL HAVE WONDERFUL GAMES. AND IT'S NICE TO BE ABLE TO SEE THEM PLAY. BUT THE PROBLEM IS WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO.

NOW, THE LPGA HAVE SAID, 'IF YOU'LL GO 43 AND OVER' `CAUSE THEY - I GUESS, THEY DIDN'T WANT US TO TAKE AN INKSTER OR SOMEBODY AWAY. BUT UM, IT - AND WE'VE - WE ACTUALLY HAVE SOME TOURNAMENTS.

WE HAVE ONE IN GREEN BAY OPPOSITE OF THE WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN. AND UH, WE HAVE A JUNIOR-SENIOR TOURNAMENT AT SHERWOOD IN NOVEMBER. SO WE HAVE ABOUT 4 EVENTS THIS YEAR

AND UH, AT 500 THOUSAND DOLLAR ADVANCED SET, 50 PLAYERS. AND UM, HOPEFULLY WE'RE GONNA HAVE ABOUT 10 NEXT YEAR. SO I'M SAVING MYSELF FOR THOSE TOO.

PETER KESSLER
YOU JUST MENTIONED THE WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN WHICH MAKES ME THINK THAT THE DU MAURIER, THE FOURTH MAJOR, BECAUSE OF ANTI-TOBACCO LEGISLATION MAY NOT BE THE FOURTH MAJOR ANYMORE,

THERE'S TALK THAT THEY MIGHT LEAVE IT AT 3. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THAT OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THEM ADD A FOURTH ONE? AND IF SO, WHAT WOULD PICK TO ADD?

JAN STEPHENSON
I PROBABLY WOULDN'T PRICK - PICK THE BRITISH. I THINK THAT'S TOUGH. UM, I - I THINK TRAVELING OVERSEAS IS - IS REALLY TOUGH WHEN YOU HAVE TO COME RIGHT BACK AND PLAY.

AND IT'S NOT LIKE THE PGA WHERE THEY CAN HAVE SOME OF THE TOP PLAYERS NOT PLAY AND - AND WEAKEN THE FIELD. I MEAN, WE STILL HAVE TO HAVE OUR TOP PLAYERS THERE EVERY WEEK.

AND SO I THINK THAT UNTIL SOMEONE EMERGES THAT'S, YOU KNOW, A SUPERSTAR SPONSOR OR . I'D LIKE TO HAVE CARROT DANGLING. IF THEY COME WITH A LOT OF MONEY, THERE CAN BE A . UH, YOU KNOW UM,

A BIG MAJOR SPONSOR. SO I THINK IT'S FINE AT 3.

PETER KESSLER
THAT'S A PRETTY ATTRACTIVE CARROT. WE'LL TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK. AND AS WE LEAVE, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF HER ON COURSE HIGHLIGHTS OVER HER CAREER.

(GRAPHIC SHOWN:
JAN STEPHENSON
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
2-TIME AUSTRALIAN OPEN WINNER
ONE OF ONLY 5 PLAYERS TO WIN THE LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP, DU MAURIER AND U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
ONLY AUSTRALIAN TO WIN THE U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN )

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