LAKE ORION, Mich. -- Amy Alcott cracked open the door of her hotel room in Nashville, Tenn., to get her morning newspaper and was surprised to find a man standing there.
"Good luck; hope you win your 30th soon."
Alcott recalled the exchange Friday after a second-round 67, her best round in 22 Opens, vaulted her into second place halfway zTC through the 49th U.S. Women's Open championship at Indianwood Golf and Country Club.
"I opened the door to get the paper [in Nashville, where she was playing in the Sara Lee Classic in May]. I didn't have any clothes on, and I figure it's safe. It's 5:45 in the morning, and here's this guy standing there.
"When he said, 'Hope you win . . .' I said thanks and how did you know it was me. 'Oh,' he said, 'I'd recognize you anywhere.' "
The reference to 30 was to her next victory, which would guarantee entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame. No. 29 was the 1991 Nabisco Dinah Shore, and since then there have been 73 starts without a victory.
The number of times she has had to talk about the Hall of Fame is in the thousands, but, while admitting that she didn't mind talking about it, added, "What bugs me is just opening my door, trying to get a paper, and getting it thrown at me. I mean 5:45
a.m. -- that's the earliest."
The last two years have been her worst on tour since Alcott turned professional in 1975. Still, she appears to be turning it around in 1994. She is 37th on the LPGA money list with $92,717, and a good finish today would ensure her best financial showing in three years.
There have been three top-10 finishes in her last seven events, with a best of fourth at the Minnesota LPGA Classic in St. Paul last month, where she finished four behind.
Citing the past two years, she said: "I think when you don't play well you lose some confidence. So the key is how do you get your confidence back. It's like B. B. King singing, 'The thrill is gone.'
"When you are not playing well, the thrill is gone, so now how do you recreate it? Sometimes just not thinking about it too much.
"Concentrate on getting the ball close rather than the whole game in general. It's easy to shoot 75s and 76s and not be playing badly, but how do you turn them into 69s or 70s?
"I think it's rhythm. It is a tempo you get in, and it is building your confidence back. You can't put the cart before the horse. You have to get your confidence up and start playing well, and then your desire comes back to play more."
l,2 And the Hall of Fame?
"I don't really think about it, don't really talk about it. I let everybody else do it. When I get in position to win on a Sunday afternoon, then I'll say, 'Alcott, you still have to go out and hit all the shots it takes to win, so don't even think about the Hall of Fame.' "
The number of times 63 has been shot in major championships was revised from the original list of 12 to 17 with the addition of five names from the British Open: Isao Aoki, Muirfield, 1980; Paul Broadhurst, St. Andrew's, 1990; Jodie Mudd, Royal Birkdale, 1991; and Nick Faldo and Payne Stewart, Royal St. George's, 1993.
Brendan McKinney of Cockeysville and Miguel Rivera of Joppa will be among the 156 players seeking places in the championship draw of 64 when on-site qualifying for the U.S. Juniors is held Tuesday and Wednesday at Echo Lake CC, Westfield, N.J. . . . There will be 21 players for five available places when sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur is held Tuesday at Columbia CC in Chevy Chase.