Natalie Gulbis 72-69-73-70=284 (-4)
Q. Thanks for joining us and congratulations on becoming a first time winner. You must be thrilled right now.
Gulbis: Thank you. It’s a whirlwind. Wasn’t it great? What an absolutely fantastic ceremony. I’ve seen a lot of champion ceremonies, and I couldn’t believe it. Parachuters and a flag and champagne and my friends out there and a little silver thing flying, the volunteers, American flags. That was great.
Q. Can you take us through the playoff hole?
Gulbis: The playoff hole I hit a really good drive. That’s usually a Par 5 that I cannot reach into. And on 18, because it was into the wind today, and for some reason I hit it about 50 yards further the first time around and about 60 yards further the second time around and only had a rescue in. Pulled it a little bit left, but it usually kicks up that hill and it did. I actually thought I made the putt when I hit it, because I hit the putt exactly how I wanted to hit it. Thankfully did not have very far left.
Q. How long would you say that putt was?
Gulbis: The first putt was about 25 feet, and the second putt was about a foot.
Q. Can we go over the rest of your scorecard?
Gulbis: Sure. I have no idea what I did. Birdie on 1. Birdied the first hole. Didn’t have very far, four or five feet, sand wedge. The 6th hole I had an 8 iron in and made about a 15 footer. The 9th hole I made about a 25 footer, Par 5, with an L wedge. On 14 I bogeyed. I pulled it left. It’s interesting looking at the card, because I felt like I played much better than only shooting a couple under. I kept giving myself chances, and eventually they paid off.
Q. What was in your mind as you’re waiting for the end of the game before the playoff?
Gulbis: Before the playoff I was very upset at myself because I felt like I had given away this tournament. I thought I needed to get to 7 under to win, and I what I end up at, 4? Going in today I never thought that 4 under would have won this tournament. Obviously it was meant to be for me. So I was frustrated because I knew the players that were behind me. I thought there was no chance that they would not I didn’t even think it would get to a playoff. Cristie Kerr and Greg, my caddie, were there. And they kept saying, No, no. You could be in a playoff. You need to get over the fact that you’re so the pissed off and go and practice. They were really good. It’s amazing the people that support you right when you need them. They were great. I went over and putted, because I hadn’t been putting very well. We worked on my putting. Greg was kind of giving my advice and Cristie was holding my head. I went over to the driving range and I was hitting shots over there and still hitting the ball really well, and I was excited because I had to play in a playoff.
Q. What does this mean to you in?
Gulbis: What does it mean? How long do you have? This is my sixth year on tour, and obviously the U.S. has been quite a bit of hype on if I would ever win a tournament. I was really close last year where I lost a playoff, and coincidently it was right after the match play. It was like déjà vu. There was a match play event in the United States. Lost in the first round. Worked really hard on my game. Came over here was hitting the ball well, and these two events I really wanted to play well in. I had been injured for a lot of the season and was way back on the Money List, like 44th, maybe 50th. Probably the lowest I’d ever gotten to. Just tried to stay positive, so that means a lot, that the hard work has paid off. So many great people supporting me in the U.S. from the media to my team to my fans. It’s great.
Q. Was it good to have your mother here?
Gulbis: Having my mom here is really, really special. The last time I was in a playoff she was not here and she was really mad. So this was great to have her over here this week. She’s helped me so much throughout the week and throughout my career, I’m very happy that she was here to see it. She was way more nervous than me. Like I couldn’t look at here because she was biting her nails and wouldn’t drink water. So it was great.
Q. Would you say there was one thing that sort of turned your game around?
Gulbis: Yeah: My back injury.
Q. Clarify that one.
Gulbis: I got hurt two months ago. Had a lower back injury and had to take about a month off. I had to change my golf swing because of my injury. I had to work on my posture and I had to do all the things that I had been working on with my father for about four or five years. We had been working on these same things and they just weren’t happening, and it took an injury. I was kind of thinking this might be a blessing in disguise with the injury, and I kept working on it and working on my posture and I kept hitting it further and all the things I wanted to happen on my golf swing started happening.
Q. Yeah, because I remember when we talked we talked about your fitness a couple years ago. That’s why I was so surprised when you said the injury. Very good.
Gulbis: Thank you.
|Gustafson – one of the leading Europeans|
Sophie Gustafson 69-72-72-73=286 (-2)
Q. Well played but commiserations for the end. Can you just talk about your round?
Gustafson: It was alright but I mean 17 and 18 are birdie holes and I mean I hit the wrong club on 17. It was straight at the pin but it was 12 yards long and I couldn’t get up and down. Then I hit my second shot here (on 18) into the water.
Q. What club did you take on 17?
Gustafson: A gap wedge.
Q. And for your second shot on 18?
Gustafson: A seven wood 216 yards. But I’m looking forward to next week.
Suzann Pettersen 74-72-81-68=295 (+7)
Q. Four-under-par for the day, Suzann. How do you think you’ve played?
Pettersen: I was pretty solid. Played good and just shows that im still in good after a bit of a horror yesterday.
Q. You’re playing St Andrews next week – the ‘home of golf’. Are you looking forward to that?
Pettersen: Yeah. I’m going there with a good feeling – that was my plan for today. I’m really excited going there.
Q. Have you played there before?
Pettersen: Yes, I went there a couple of weeks ago to practice.
Q. Quick word about The Solheim Cup – are you feeling confident?
Pettersen: Yeah, I think our team’s getting stronger and our players are in good form and good shape. Getting good scores and making good birdies. It’s going to be a tight match, but it’s on home turf so it could be good for us.
Becky Brewerton 72-71-82-73=298(+10)
Q. Unlucky on the 18th today with that bogey – tell me about your round in general.
Brewerton: incredibly boring really! 17 pars up until then – not like me at all, really. Usually there are lots of birdies, lots of bogeys. But it was nice. I had an incredibly tough day yesterday so it was nice to find consistency and find my game again. I was hitting them absolutely off the planet yesterday, all over the shop. But I managed to hit a lot of fairways today and give myself a few chances. But it’s a tough course, if you don’t hit the fairways; some of the rough is so severe that you almost have to chip out. I had a couple of shots today that were not more than a foot off the fairway but you just cannot do anything with them. It’s a great course, but punishing if you’re not playing well. Obviously if you’re really struggling like I was yesterday then you can hit hundreds.
Q. Are you looking forward to playing The British Open at St Andrews next week?
Brewerton: Can’t wait. It’s going to be a great week and I’m pleased now to get that final round in and just get my confidence up a bit. I’ll have three days to practice before it starts next week. Hopefully it’ll be good, but obviously it will be totally different (to Evian). It’s really windy, really links-y, it’s a completely different game so it’ll be interesting.
Q. Have you played there before?
Brewerton: I have, yes, in an amateur event. But I think I was about 14 at the time, so I don’t particularly remember much of it. For the ladies to even be there is a miracle, so I think its going to be a fantastic week.
Q. I spoke to (Solheim Cup European Team captain) Helen Alfredsson yesterday and she mentioned your name as one of the people that was playing well.
Brewerton: If I did manage to get in, that would be amazing. I think I have got to have another top-ten finish to qualify for the team and I think that’s the only way really. I have to make sure I get my game together now over the next three weeks and hopefully another decent finish. It would be unbelievable if I was there. It’s difficult because it’s in my mind the whole time. But if you think about it too much it does have an effect on the way you play because you have so many things going on. It’s about striking a balance between not thinking about it too much and having it there as something to drive you on. Obviously, with winning the Ladies English Open, I’ve got a hell of a chance, it’s in my hands. To be in that positions with only three tournaments to go before it’s picked is pretty good. I know if I perform, I’ll be in.
Q. How did it feel coming from winning your first tournament to here?
Brewerton: obviously there were those two weeks off after the English. It was nice, in a way, to let that victory sink in and have time to celebrate it properly. But in another way I wish we just ha a week off. You kind of lose that momentum and the confidence and the totally cloud-nine feeling that I had after I won. It’s like I’m starting again now. It would’ve been nice to have carried on, but obviously the win has given me so much confidence, find my form and carry it on for next season.
Michelle Wie, 73-71-84-76=304 (+16)
Q. You held it together well after a bit of a ropey start?
Wie: Yeah, well, I kept my head together. I just sat down after yesterday at night and early today and said to myself “why I am I playing so bad? I am a better player than this.” It all came down to today and there were a couple of stupid errors out there. I just have to keep the ball in play and use my head more and be patient with myself. Know my limits of my body and know and forgive myself that I am still recovering. I kept my head on today. I was very proud of myself at the end of today, because I kept it together. I had a couple of good driving holes and I pulled it off. I just thought my bunker play was extraordinary this week so I’m just going to take the positives out of this week. I felt like I am really realizing what I have to do to play better and I just have to use my head.
Q. What other positives from this week?
Wie: I feel like I’ve hit a lot of shots in the rough over the last two days and my wrist isn’t hurting as bad which is a very good positive. It stings a little bit after a rough shot, but I can shake it off and it’s not like where a couple of weeks ago at the McDonald’s (LPGA Championship), the (US) Open and at the Ginn (Tribute Hosted by Annika) where it would hurt until I played the next hole. It is not lingering as much as it did, which is really good. I feel a lot stronger and I’m hitting the ball out of the rough a lot harder and solidly out of the rough, which means I’m getting stronger. A couple of the holes today, like the 10th hole, was a really tough driving hole for me, and 12 which I haven’t had a good history on. I hit really solid shots there. Off 18 and off 15 last year I didn’t really have a good driving record on that hole, but I hit the fairway all four times this year so I feel like I’m on the right track. Obviously because I haven’t played much and I haven’t had much experience I’m going to make stupid mistakes. I really I guess sat down with myself and talked to myself (laughter) – that is not how I want to say it…
Q. How did that conversation go? (laughter)
Wie: It was “oh Michelle, why are you playing so bad?” “Oh, ah, I am just playing very stupidly.” I just have to realise what I did four years ago when I first came out on Tour. I made a lot of stupid mistakes. I would play really good rounds and I would play really high rounds. It is a very fine line shooting under par and what I shot yesterday. It is just leaving myself better putts, leaving myself better angles into the greens and using my head more. I feel like if I eliminate the stupid mistakes that I made and keep working on my putting and my game – I feel like it is on the right track, but it is going to come slowly.
Q. Are you feeling confident about next week?
Wie: I am just excited. I’ve never been to St. Andrews. I’ve heard so much about it and I’m just really excited. I heard it’s really cold over there so I’m not excited about that part, but hopefully it won’t rain on us too much.
Q. In terms of your game, are you feeling confidence?
Wie: I am actually. I feel like even though I didn’t play great today I didn’t start off very confidently. Obviously the first hole was very shaky for me. I pulled it into an OB, but I kept it together. On every single driving hole I felt like I pulled it off and it really gave me a lot of confidence. The last couple of holes where I putted I felt like my roll was a lot better on the ball even though my speed was a little bit off. There were a lot more positives. I drained like a 70-foot putt today on number five so I’m just taking a lot of positives out of this round.