AE: What made Carrie change her mind about being out?
RJ: Carrie has never had a problem with being out or coming out with me. It is actually a pretty tough responsibility being a celebrity athlete’s girlfriend, because the celebrity does get a lot of attention â€¦ and a lot of attention gets washed over onto Carrie, and she has to be pretty comfortable with that as well. It’s not always easy all the time, and she does a great job with that.
AE: So she is out there caddying. Had she played golf before? How did you guys meet?
RJ: Carrie and I [had] known each other for about five years before we got together. She is friends of friends of mine up in New York. She is from Syracuse, N.Y., and she is a golfer herself. She’s not a professional golfer. She is a fun-time golfer herself, so when we got together, we had the option â€” knowing that it was going to be my last couple of years on tour â€” that she would come out with me and travel in my RV with me and caddy with me; that way we could spend more time together.
AE: Any complaints from Carrie? Those bags are freakin’ heavy. I don’t think people realize that your golfer’s bags are like 40 pounds.
RJ: Yeah, they are pretty heavy. They get up to about 45 pounds. Especially on rainy days, and you are having to juggle the umbrella and towels and the clubs and the bag and everything all at once, so it can be a tough job, especially for those like Carrie, because she wasn’t a professional caddy when she walked on the bag. She was just learning, and so those things kind of just came with time.
AE: Since you have been out, have you noticed your gallery changing much?
RJ: No, not really. Of course, there have always been a lot of lesbians out watching me, but I haven’t really noticed a change. It’s always good and fun and very welcoming. I feel very lucky to have the fan base that I have all over the country. It’s just been really great to know so many people recognize me and appreciate my golf.
When I came out, I was a little bit scared that my fan base would change a little bit or diminish in some respects, but I never felt that way, and I never saw that in the two years following that [when] I was playing golf. I had a lot of people come up to me and saying that coming-out was really great. It would be old people, young people, straight people, gay people, and that was all very touching.
AE: I asked you that because I looked at pictures of events â€” even the Dinah Shore â€” your gallery still looked like your average golf fan. You know, men in their 40s, slightly overweight guys, whatever, polo shirts on.
RJ: You know, it’s not like we have 10,000 lesbians out there on the golf course.
AE: That is what we imagine.
RJ: Golf fans are golf fans, and I think I appeal to everybody a little bit. I couldn’t say that now I can say, "Wow! I’ve got more lesbians now," but I’m sure I do.
AE: You have played golf with a lot of amazing people over the past 25 years. If you could have the perfect foursome, who would it be?
RJ: Wow, I would have to say Babe Zaharias, Annika Sorenstam, myself and â€¦ hmm. And that fourth person â€” does it have to be a professional golfer?
AE: No, you could bring your girlfriend.
RJ: It would have to be Jack Nicklaus. Or Arnold Palmer. Or Lee Trevino. Put one guy in there.
AE: I interviewed Martina after you came out, and I asked if you had talked to her when you were thinking about coming out, and her reply was, "Why would Rosie do that?" I was thinking, "I would want to call Martina Navratilova if I was an athlete coming out," but she said that you guys had never talked about it.
RJ: We have never met.
AE: I thought you would have met through Olivia.
RJ: No, we haven’t. We have never met; it is really weird.
AE: You are not on the cruises together?
RJ: No, and she is not even with Olivia anymore.