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My Shot Winning the Nissan Open was a big moment for me, as was finally getting to tell my wife about it

March 06, 2000
March 06, 2000

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March 6, 2000

Baseball
Hockey

My Shot Winning the Nissan Open was a big moment for me, as was finally getting to tell my wife about it

When I won at Riviera two weeks ago, the first thing I wanted to
do was call my wife, Cathi. Only I had left my cell phone in the
locker room. My first lesson as a Tour champion: Put your phone
in your golf bag.

This is an article from the March 6, 2000 issue Original Layout

After the check was presented, the speeches made, the people
thanked and the trophy kissed, what I had accomplished began to
sink in. I was now a part of the history and tradition of
Riviera, and my picture would hang in the clubhouse with the
likes of Hogan, Nelson, Snead and Watson.

I wanted to tell Cathi all about it, so I picked up my phone on
the way to the media room and made a few attempts to reach her.
Hard to believe, but the line was busy. I did get through to
Southwest Airlines, however, and change my flight from 6 p.m. to
8 p.m.

I had been to the press tent quite a few times over the years,
and I'd always enjoyed it for two reasons: One, it meant I had
played well; and two, I got to talk, which I like to do. The
problem was that the interviews usually ended with the question,
"Why haven't you won?"

Not anymore. The interview session sped by, and I tried Cathi
again, only this time my phone didn't work. Oh, well, the line
probably would've been busy anyway.

My duties were still not done. I was asked to sign the champions'
book, and I picked a spot next to Nick Faldo's name. My last
official responsibility was to sign a couple hundred posters and
programs while my friends watched and waited with Mr. Dom
Perignon. I tried Cathi again, this time on a land line,
and--surprise!--got a busy signal.

Finally, three hours after the round, I returned to the locker
room, where my caddie, Paul (Pablo) Jungman, was waiting. His
smile was bigger than usual, and I wasn't sure if that was
because of our victory or because of the pyramid of empty beer
cans stacked next to my locker. I was smiling, too, because I
knew that in a few minutes we would be headed to the airport, and
by midnight I would be back in Scottsdale, Ariz., with Cathi and
our four-year-old twins, Conor and Sam.

As our driver pulled away from Riviera, I tried calling home one
more time. Busy, just like my first hours as a champion.

Kirk Triplett, 37, tied for seventh last week in the Tucson Open.

COLOR PHOTO: J.D. CUBAN Triplett left Riviera with his first trophy in 266 starts on Tour.