Lee-Anne Pace (SA) 71 72 68 (-5) (Won on second play-off hole)
How does it feel to win your fifth title?
Absolutely amazing. I can’t quite believe it. Its very overwhelming. I didn’t expect to win today but I was lucky to get into the play-off and an absolutely amazing feeling.
You birdied the last two holes. At that time, did you think of the win?
After nine holes I looked at the leader board and saw that the leaders were dropping shots. I was level par at that stage and knew that if I could make five or six birdies that I would have a pretty good chance to be up there, so that was the goal, and then I had four holes left and my caddie said, ‘Come on, four in a row and you’re going to be up there and I birdied three out of four, so that proved to be pretty good.”
Did you expect four players in the play-off?
I thought that somebody was going to come in with a six under because the last five holes were quite easy at the front and it played quite short, but no, I never expected it to be four players.
What was the strategy on the 18th?
Yesterday we decided that I could go over the water for my drive. I laid up yesterday but we decided if it was down wind I would definitely go for it. In the actual round I went over it fairly easily and although it cooled down a little bit I was still fairly confident that I would fly it easily and we would have a three-wood into the green. At that stage we were going for the win so every time and back on the tee again, same place.
The first play-off hole, how did you feel after three-putting?
At that stage, because I was second to putt for the birdie, I thought: ‘that’s it, that Christel would make the putt. Three-putting from there, of course I was quite annoyed at myself for doing that but at the same time it was quite a lot slower than when I played the hole earlier. I also had a longer putt, but it was very annoying.
Did you eat crab here?
Yes, I had some crab at the beginning of the week. I had one, quite an experience. I haven’t had it before so it took some time because it was so small but it was delicious.
Are you looking forward to coming back?
I really enjoy playing in China so I will be back to defend both my titles here and in Sanya, and maybe go on a holiday.
Did you have time to check the Suzhou city?
Not this time. Last year we went into the city and also into Shanghai. I really enjoyed it.
How will you celebrate?
Champagne… again! Maybe some crab and some steak. I’m from South Africa so I’m missing the meat, but maybe some crab. I really enjoy the beef noodle soup. That’s my favourite, I think.
Your performance in 2009 was so-so but now this year you have five titles. What is the secret?
I think it was important to get my first win, to push that through, because last year I was close to winning a few times. After that winning became a lot easier because I’ve done it before and I know what it feels like and I handle the nerves a lot better. At the same time my swing is at the point where I can shape the ball and I’m making a lot more birdies than last year. Of course if you’re making a lot of birdies and not making many mistakes, you’re always going to be up there.
Who is your idol?
I think it would be Erni Els. He’s very strong but he’s gracious at the same time. He doesn’t look like he hits it very hard and his demeanour is nice: calm and just gets on with it: very South African.
Do you think this is South Africa’s year, because Oosthuizen won the Open, you had the World Cup and you won five times?
I actually read the other day that there’s a lot more. Erni Els won two times and Charles Schwartzel won twice also. It’s a great year for South African golf: I’m not sure what it is but it’s maybe the way we are. We are a very laid back nation and we get to play golf year-round because we don’t really have a bad winter and we can practise.
When you think of South African golf, you think of Gary Player and Erni Els. What about female golfers?
I think we have a lot of talented players. On the Tour at the moment we have six players and it’s a little unrecognised some times. I think the future for South African women’s golf is looking great.
When you woke up this morning were you feeling lucky?
I wouldn’t say lucky, but I was definitely out to chase the leaders. I thought that it would be a lot deeper than what it was but it was enough.
Twice in the play-off you took on the bunkers and found the green in two shots. Would you agree that fortune favours the brave?
Fortune definitely favoured me. The last shot I hit wasn’t a great shot but luckily it carried onto the green and gave me two putts.
With two wins in China, how do you feel about this country?
I love China. I’m definitely coming back to defend my titles and looking very forward to it.
You are miles ahead on the Henderson Money List. Do you think Laura Davies will have anything to worry about?
Knowing her a little bit, I don’t think she worries about much, but I’m going to try and do the same thing: fairways, greens and see what it brings.
What do you hope this will mean for women’s golf in South Africa?
Hopefully it will get us on the map a little bit more, get some sponsors out there who will give us some tournaments. A South African Open would be great so hopefully that happens.
Hannah Jun 74 69 68 (-5)
How do you feel about the way you played?
Actually, for how well I played I didn’t score that well. I had seven birdies today and I think I missed three or four inside eight feet so it could have been lower but I’ll take it. I missed a birdie putt on 18, from five feet. I missed a 12 footer on 17; I missed a five footer on 16 for par. I just missed a lot!
First time in this position?
No, but first time in China.
What have been your best results?
I had eight top-tens on the Futures Tour this year. I played Futures Tour last year as well and LPGA the year before.
Have you won anything as a pro?
Little stuff, but no. The closest I’ve come was second in the States.
Becky Brewerton 73 71 68 (-4)
What was the key to that fantastic four-under front nine?
Today was strange because it didn’t feel that much different to the first two days. I hit it in a little bit closer but I’ve been hitting it really solid all week. The first two rounds I made two really bad mistakes: three doubles and two on par fives that I could reach. I came off yesterday and I was pretty down after finishing with a seven and just thought I’d start today relaxed, go for every pin, nothing to lose really. It worked well on the front nine. I had a couple of bogeys on the back nine as well and still had some birdies but I three-putted 17 and I had quite a long putt. I’d had mainly short putts all day so it was the first real long putt that I’d had, which was a shame actually, because I could have made par there and had a chance of birdie at the last: that would have put a lot of pressure on the other players. I was slightly disappointed with the finish, because I can reach 18 comfortably and 17, a wedge into a par three, you should be making three there are worst but it’s a good round and I’m happy with it. It’s much better than I have been doing and I didn’t make any big mistakes, so that was good.
Does this give you confidence for Korea?
Definitely. I was speaking to Shane, my caddie, today and he said: ‘I know I say it all the time but you’ve just got to stay patient, because you’re really, really close. A lot of my rounds have been like the first two rounds this week where I’ve played well for 15 or 16 holes and then made a couple of really bad mistakes where it’s cost me doubles and it just ruins the card. I said, you know, that’s probably the only difference that I’ve felt between last year and this year and then, it was nice today to cut those out. Obviously shooting four under gives you confidence so I’m looking forward to next week now as well.
This course is tough, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s pretty tough. I quite enjoy it because it’s a little bit longer than most courses we play and I quite enjoy the long shots. I felt like I had a little bit of an advantage there with my length so I’m hoping next week’s course is going to be long as well.
How did the bug bite affect you?
It’s kind of gone down but it’s a bit bruised. I think it must have been a wasp. I don’t know what it was but I’ve had some tablets last night and they seemed to work. It was so itchy it was ridiculous and it got a bit bruised around my arm.
It did not affect your game?
No, not at all.
Florentyna Parker (-4)
Did you feel like you had a chance to win today?
I didn’t play well so I was too far back but I played well the last few holes and shot two-under, so that was good. I putted poorly, so it was a shame about the last, but I had a really bad lie in a bunker. I was going for birdie on the last, trying to reach the green in two, but it went in the bunker and it was horrendous so I bogeyed that unfortunately. Its fine: I’m not playing my best, so I’m going home now until Dubai.