We should have interviewed you at the start of the week.
That’s okay. I am happy to be here on Sunday.
You have not played in Melbourne before and you have not played this type or course before?
Actually, I have played at Royal Sydney. That is a great course like this. And I have played in Adelaide in the Queen Sirikit Cup there. I love this course. It is a very challenging course.
You started the day four shots from the lead. What were you thinking?
I did not expect I was going to win today. I told my caddie, Let’s try to get second place. Karrie was three under after four holes. I said, Okay, she is on her own now. We could just play our own game and try to be second. After 12 holes I realised I was only two shots behind. Maybe I should play aggressive and to play smart.
When did you realise that today would be your day?
Last night. I told my friends I was going to play really good today. I don’t know if I am going to win it, but if I can make a putt…I changed my grip on Friday. I got a good feel on the greens. This is a really tough course and you just need to be patient. If you just lose a little focus, it is really bad. I tried to be focused and patient.
Your round yesterday was bogey-free. What clicked with your putter.
I just kept telling myself the ball was going in the hole….Actually, for the last three holes my whole body was shaking. When I stepped up to putt I felt my heart was really fast. I told myself to be relaxed. I told my caddie to be relaxed too. He was kind of nervous. I said, You should relax, it is not a big deal. It helps to stay relaxed.
What makes you nervous? Is it the Australian Open or being in contention?
I think it is winning the tournament. Actually, I won a tournament in Taiwan in January. But my last LPGA win was Corning in April last year, so it has been a while. I am very happy. It is very exciting, the chance to win a tournament. It is really exciting for me.
Will you be back next year?
I will, for sure. I love Australia. I have been here since I as 10 or 11. I went to Brisbane every year. This is actually my second time in the Australian Open. The first time I played at Royal Sydney. I am very happy to be back here to see the fans and friends.
How would you describe your back nine? I would say it was brilliant. You played it in five under.
I really don’t know how I made five under. When I checked the scores, I wondered if I shot seven under today. I just focused on one shot at a time and tried to make the putt. I was not thinking about scores. I forgot I started at two under today.
What does this win mean in Taiwan? Is it an important thing in your career?
I think so. Golf has not been that popular but now it is getting much better.
Will this be in the Taiwan newspapers tomorrow?
Yes, I think so. I hope it is going to be big news.
How does this set up your year?
This is my third year in the States and I feel very relaxed. I feel like I am ready. I want to play my own game. I do not want to think about wanting to win tournaments. I just do my job and the one thing I really want is to enjoy the golf. Before I always said I did not want to do it. This year I feel I can do it. I know how to have fun and enjoy the golf. I have lots of tournaments to play.
You must be disappointed. Does it take you longer to recover (from a win) than it used to?
I did not feel as weary today on the course as I did yesterday. It has been a long four weeks but I am not using that as an excuse. I got off to a really great start. I was feeling pretty good out there until I played a couple of scrappy holes in six and seven and really lost a lot of momentum there. I just did not hit it as good after that, for some reason. I did not trust myself as much as I would have liked. And the putts were just not going in. It was a tough struggle on the back nine.
You backed away from some putts. Was there a lot going on in your mind?
I did not feel as comfortable with the putter in my hand today. There was a bit more noise in my head than there has been. There was not as much trust as there had been on the previous couple of days.
You looked more buggered today.
Really. I did not feel as weary as I did yesterday but just was not hitting the shots.
When you say you were weary, was it physical or mental?
More mentally than physically.
How much have the last three weeks taken out of you?
Like I said, I am not using that as an excuse today. I gave myself a great opportunity after four or five holes. I did not play well enough to keep it going. Seven under is an incredible score around here today. The conditions were kind to us but that was still a phenomenal round. I would have had to play really well to get into a play-off. I did not have my best game today and I paid the penalty for it.
When were you aware that Yani was pushing you?
I saw that she had got to five under so I knew she was having a good round. She played the last seven holes in four under, which is pretty impressive.
She is such a great player. Did you consider her a threat?
Obviously when she was climbing up the board, we knew it wasn’t just out of our group. For a time there it was. I’m not sure what Yani is ranked in the world…sixth, okay. She is capable of shooting that sort of round today. Hats off to her. She was the group in front and she was setting the pace. No one in our group was stepping up
What happened on your third shot on the sixth?
I had a big tuft of grass behind it. I had to hit a low hook and it turned over quicker than I wanted.
Question about momentum and putting.
I think a combination. I bogeyed six and seven but I had a great birdie chance on eight. If that went down, I was right back. I hit a good putt there but it broke more than I thought. It was just one of those things. I did not get enough momentum I was pushing, pushing, pushing the whole way.