THE MODERATOR: We have Melissa Reid, fresh off her first victory in the LET in the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. She also has a good record in this championship, having won the Smyth trophy for the leading amateur back in 2005. Do you have any memories of that?
MELISSA REID: I do. Pretty good week of qualifying. And then had my eyes out on the back, so it was a really good week.
THE MODERATOR: What does it mean to you you played in this event a couple times as a professional. What does it mean to you to come here for the first time having won an event?
MELISSA REID: I think I’m a very different player to what I was even last year. I feel a lot more comfortable in this kind of arena and feeling really good about this year. I feel like I’m improving all the time. And I feel that my game’s in pretty good shape.
THE MODERATOR: You play early at just after 7am at Birkdale; do you see that as a benefit?
MELISSA REID: Yeah, I do. I think I’ve been very lucky. I think I’ve got really good couple tee times, playing with two very nice people, Ai Miyazato and Karrie Webb. And hopefully I think we’ve got to take advantage of the morning tee times, that’s when the wind is not going to blow as much, she says. But it’s a good opportunity to put a low one in there.
THE MODERATOR: How much golf have you played at Birkdale over the years?
MELISSA REID: Not very much, actually. I’ve been out here a few times. I think the last time I played here I was 14 or 15 in a schools event. But it changed a bit since then. But this morning it’s in super condition.
THE MODERATOR: Anything special that strikes you about the course?
MELISSA REID: Obviously I remember the 17th from when Padraig won. And then 18. It’s just a fantastic course. I think it suits my game quite well. I think in the past couple of British Opens I’ve really paid a little bit too much respect for the course, not been aggressive enough. But this week I feel it suits me and suits the way I drive the ball. Hopefully it puts us in good stead.
THE MODERATOR: In the past, do you think you respected it so much because it was a confidence thing, or was it just the occasional what was it that made you do that?
MELISSA REID: I don’t know. I think my game wasn’t in the best of shape coming into the British Open before. Obviously as an amateur I had nothing to lose. I was winning tournaments. And my confidence is high. Where this year it’s very different.
I’ve won on Tour, and I’ve competed in big tournaments. And even though they’re not great, I still finished top 20 in the tournaments against the best players in the world.
So I certainly feel like my game is moving in the right direction. I feel in myself, physically and mentally, I’m getting stronger. And, like I said, I feel that everything’s kind of getting put into place this week.
THE MODERATOR: Have you set yourself a goal for this week? You obviously sound very confident; to win.
MELISSA REID: To win. It’s not me being I don’t think it’s I don’t think it’s a huge question to ask. I think if I stay patient, and if my mind stays very, very calm, I think I can certainly compete with these girls and I feel like I can also beat them as well.
Q. Have you got much support here this week?
MELISSA REID: Yeah. I’ve got my mom and dad here. A few of my friends from home have come up. And my uncle and my cousin and a lot of my family. And I’m sure people from Derbyshire are going to come up.
They come in about three bus loads, which is awesome. Can hear it on the first tee. It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant being a Brit, especially English playing in the British Open in England. And it’s just a fantastic aura at the British Open. So it’s going to be a cool week.
Q. How has your preparation for this tournament differed from previous years at this tournament?
MELISSA REID: I think I’m a lot calmer in my preparation. I was pretty tired after Tunisia. Took a few days off, which I would have never done last year. And it’s kind of recharged the batteries. Obviously this is a big week. Evian was a big week.
And I’ve got a few big weeks coming up. So I think just all in all my preparation is a bit more mature than the past couple of years. And I just generally feel like I’m maturing as a player, and I am starting to now understand what does work and what does not work for me.
Q. Have you played a practice round prior to this week?
MELISSA REID: I did have one scheduled in. Unfortunately, I didn’t go because of the weather. I thought it was going to be it was supposed to be awful weather but it turned out it didn’t. But no, no, today is the first time I’ve seen the course.
Q. Would you say your preparation is similar to the other tournaments you’ve played this year?
MELISSA REID: Exactly. I think the British Open is a completely separate event from anything else in the calendar. But at the end of the day, I feel my preparation for the tournaments is good, so why not keep the same routine.
And I’ve seen the course this morning. I’m going to have another practice round early tomorrow morning. And I feel then I’ll be ready. I know where the lines are off the tee. And my caddie, Lee, he’s been here a lot of times. He knows all the lines off the tee as well.
Q. Did you [indiscernible] knowing you were going out early, or did you do it beforehand?
MELISSA REID: No, I did it beforehand. It could take up to six hours. So I just wanted to get my work done and have a little bit of peace, really.