MFS Women’s Australian Open
Kingston Heath Golf Club, Melbourne.
Round three leader quotes
Saturday 2nd February 2008
Lindsey Wright 72-72-72=216(-3)
How were the conditions?
Towards the end it was windy. I thought yesterday was worse. It was a little bit gusty towards the end.
How about the greens?
I found the greens to be softer today and probably a little slower. They were breaking more as well.
I came home for Christmas. I was in Dallas until the 23rd of December and then I got home. I’ve got new clubs and I was working with my coach. I spent six weeks more than normal working on my game. I think that was one of the best decisions I made.
What did you work on?
I found at the end of last year, throughout my set, it was really inconsistent. Adams, the clubs I use, are only about 10 minutes from where I live. I popped in and said I wanted to fiddle with some clubs to get more consistency and trajectory. I spent two weeks on it. My wedge play was terrible last year. That was a big thing I have been working on, as well as technique. The wedges I’m using now are the 14s, a Japanese company I believe. And the Adams woods are really good. Fairway woods were another thing that was stressing me out. I’m using hybrids now and I am really pleased with them. Hopefully it continues.
Who is the coach?
Peter Murphy. He is a Victorian guy who lives in Dallas. He is from Victorian Golf Club.
After a good year in America in 2007, do you think you are close to a big win?
Yes, for sure. I think I prove it a bit today, to myself anyway. Generally I come into the weekend after being so tense for the first two days that I am worn out mentally. Today I felt really relaxed. Maybe there were some first tee jitters and again coming down the 18th, but I felt really relaxed.
Are you allowed to think about winning?
Yeah. It is a nice thought but there are still 18 tough holes to play tomorrow. I’ve hit the ball well and I’ve hit it badly to good parts of the course, if that makes any sense. My misses have been good. I’d like to hit more greens tomorrow and make some putts.
After last year, are you better equipped to cope with tomorrow?
Yes. I even felt it today. I felt relaxed, like it is no big deal. This is a different mentality. Generally people are nervous. I am really enjoying it. Mum and Dad and my family are here and being back in Melbourne is a nice feeling. I’m looking forward to playing with Karrie or Shin.
Where do you work with Peter Murphy?
In Dallas, Texas. We both live there. When the season ended last year, in about October. But we are working throughout the year.
Who is on the bag?
Leith Wastle. An old caddie from years ago. He is having this one week.
There are fewer players under par than yesterday and Thursday. Are conditions becoming tougher?
I think the conditions could be a little tougher. You’ve got to consider, too, that there are a lot of younger players and players who are having their first tournament of the year. There is a little anxiety and tension. I think some of the players are a little jittery. It was a little windy and it was slow yesterday so there is probably some fatigue as well.
How were the pin placements?
They are great. I had visions of them being two feet from the back left but they have put the pins in some really generous spots.
Has your game come together quicker than you thought it would?
Yes. I was close last year but my wedge play and fairway woods were terrible. My swing was on and off. It is tightening up, basically, and my mis-hits are not as severe and I’m not hitting many snap hooks left.
Will another round of 72 get it done tomorrow?
It depends on the conditions. I thought someone would come in with a lower score today. Anything under par should do it tomorrow.
You’ve manage to stay under the radar despite a fine year in America. Is this how you prefer it?
Yes. I like to fly under the radar. I would not want all the attention that the other players get. I like to come out and play golf and not fuss around, if that makes any sense. I really doesn’t bother me.
Question about playing the guitar.
I have not played in a while. I do like. I might get back into it this year. I played about four years ago when I was on the Futures Tour and that was one of my best years. That was the most stressful year by far and it was a good de-stresser.
Karrie Webb 72-72-73=217 (-2)
That was an up and down day.
Yes, it was a bit up and down. I started off well then the seven on number four obviously unsettled me a bit. I made the turn at one over when I really should have made it at one under with the two par fives. I had a short birdie putt on the fifth. I had an eight iron in to the eighth. I really should have made the turn better but I played the back nine quite well. I played 18 very ordinary again. It has been three days of grinding away. I hit some real quality shots again and paid the penalty for the ones I missed.
Three under leads. Have they set the course up too tough?
The greens got really firm today. I hit one on 17 that pitched two or three on and went over the back of the green. I don’t know if it typically blows this hard in the afternoon. I think this is kind of windy, even for Melbourne. It is such a tough test and for most of us, it is the first tournament we have played for a while. Adding that to a tough golf course, the scores aren’t going to be real low.
How many years is it since your had a triple bogey in a tournament?
Probably the last tournament I played.
It seems so uncharacteristic of you.
Yes, but it was out of my control. There was a millimetre of sand in a greenside bunker. Where I was standing there was at least five millimetres.
And the club bounced?
Yes. It was a poor tee shot which put me in that position and really, when I walked up there, I was quite happy to be in that greenside bunker. It was a tricky little bunker shot but it was not a difficult shot by any means, if I had sand under my ball. If I had been three feet in a different direction, I would have had plenty of sand. It is tough to explain to people who were watching that it was really out of my control.
Is there any one thing that makes your game up and down?
I think the golf course makes you play up and down. It is a tough test. When you have to be 100 per cent on mentally on every single shot, otherwise you pay a penalty, it tough to do even in the middle of the year when you have 10 or 12 tournaments under your belt. For me, and probably pretty much everyone else in the field, we have not played for a couple of months. It is a tough test.
Are you surprised that there are so few players under par?
I would have thought there would have been a few more. The one thing I have done quite well this week is drive the ball. I have not been in a lot of trouble. You can get into so much trouble out here really quickly if you are not driving well. It seems that the direction the wind is blowing, a dogleg left with the wind blowing hard off the left, you can shape shots against the breeze. And you are hitting to a tight landing area. It is a really tough challenge and for the most part, I have driven well. I have worked hard on learning to shape the ball against the breeze and I have done that quite well this week.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for tomorrow?
I think there are players up there who have not won the Australian Open, and I have. I have experience at winning golf tournaments. I don’t know if that necessarily counts for too much but I know that I have a great chance to win. I have to do what I have been doing for the last few days and avoid the times when I switch off and make a few more putts.
There were 10 players within five shots of the lead. Can they come from that far back?
I guess so. As tough as the course plays, if you really get going with the putter, you can shoot five or six under. So yes, they are in with a chance.
Melissa Reid 73-76-69=218(-1)
You had three birdies in a row followed by two bogeys on the front nine. Is this your usual scoring pattern?
I’m usually pretty consistent. Yesterday, when I missed a couple of short putts, I should not have been any more than level par, really. Today, I hit some bad shots that led to bogeys which you are going to have in a round. I was quite happy with the way I played. I don’t usually go on a consecutive birdie run.
Question about long driving.
I’m not too sure. In Dubai I was averaging 275, 280, which is pretty long. I wouldn’t consider myself a long player. There are a few amateurs who knock it past me by quite a bit.
It was 288.
Was it? That’s nice.
Paul McNamee was saying you only got into the tournament at the last moment. When did you actually find out?
It was Saturday. I was hoping to get an invite a few weeks ago but all the invites had been given away. I booked a flight for the Sunday night to go and do the pre-qualifying. Then I found out on the Saturday that I got in, which was nice.
So you would have come and pre-qualified?
Are you playing in Queensland as well?
Yes, the ANZ Ladies Masters. It has been a good trip.
Have you played down here before?
No, I had never been to Australia. It is my first time here and I’m loving it. It is a lot better than the English weather at present.
You said on television that the course was quite English.
I love this kind of course. I love the heathland style. It is like Sunningdale. I love it. I think it is in stunning condition and great to play.
What do you need to do tomorrow to win?
I am just going to think about each shot at a time. I think that is very important. Today I did that quite well. I didn’t really think about it, which is good. Each shot at a time and the score takes care of itself. That’s the way I’ve been thinking. Last week I got a little ahead of myself and I had a bad first round. That’s why it is important to stay in the present and his that shot at that time.
Did you hit a five iron at the 14th?
Yes. The caddie said to hit it right and it missed by an inch.
Question about Team Faldo.
I was in the Team Faldo. He was fantastic. It was in the late part of my amateur career. He gave a lot of good advice and he is the greatest golfer that England has ever produced. You have to respect the guy and take in everything that he says. I listen to other people as well. All great sports stars seem to have the same aura about them. I try to take a bit from every one, to learn from each one.
What about Laura? Have you been able to speak to her?
Yes, I spoke to her for the first time last week. She has been awesome. She is a really nice girl. She did a fantastic thing for the European Tour. I don’t think she gets enough credit for it. She is a great, great lady. I have always looks to her since I first started playing golf. I think she is fantastic.