Maria Hernandez (Spain) 72 69 69 70=280 (-8)
Congratulations, a great finish. How does it feel to win your first professional event?
It was good. I had to finish strong and make birdie on the last couple of holes. I knew I had to finish strong because I was playing pretty good but the putts weren’t falling in. I knew I had to make a couple of birdies coming in.
I think I’m right in saying this is your first Ladies European Tour event as a professional.
Yes. It’s my first one.
Hopefully they will all end like this?
Yes, that will be great.
You hit a great seven-iron into 17 and that got you tied for the lead and then an incredible shot into 18 as well.
I hit a good five-wood in there. I didn’t think I wasn’t going to get there because I hit a little bit far but it was up there on the top of the green and that’s where I wanted to be, so I just tried to make two putts from there.
It’s been a busy two weeks for you. You went to the US Women’s Open qualifying and made it and now here.
It’s been great. I’ve been in the United States and really enjoyed my time. I made a slow start as a professional but I came here and just won so I can’t ask for anything else.
Your caddie has only worked for you during the last round.
They told me I had to have a caddie today so he was on my bag. He was great, very nice and supported me all the way.
What’s coming up?
I’m going to the Netherlands and from the Netherlands flying to the States for five weeks.
What does this win mean to you?
It means so much. I was playing good but I wasn’t scoring well the whole year. I was struggling a lot with my putter but this week after the second round my putter started working and it means everything because I was a little bit down thinking, ‘Oh, maybe I cannot make it as a professional,’ but that’s all I needed.
How was your play today?
It’s been great the entire day. I had to finish strong and I was lucky, I made a couple of birdies coming in to win the tournament.
How did you like the golf course?
The golf course is great. It has been a little bit tough with the greens but it’s a great golf course and we have to play on the right spots on the green and try to play from there.
It’s my first time this year on the Ladies European Tour as a professional. I am very happy. I was not expecting this. I came from the States and I was not playing as great as I was hoping to. I was hitting the ball great but struggling with my short game. This is great and just what I needed.
Is there something you regret?
Every player can think about that but I’m not going to think about my negative things, just think of the good things I did today and the good things I made this week. I just look forward for the next tournament.
What was the toughest part of this tournament?
Probably yesterday when I was two over after five. Today I knew I had to make birdies so that was good to make birdies on 17. The last putt on 18 was, yeah.
Were you nervous on the last two holes?
I was on 17 because I knew I had to make a birdie. I knew I had to hit it close. On 18 I knew I had to put my second shot up there on the ledge. Maybe my last putt I was. The first putt wasn’t very good so, yeah.
Kristie Smith 69 73 67 72=281 (-7)
You must be disappointed but how do you feel about the way you played today.
I’m a little bit bummed obviously not to win but I’ve had a really good year so far and to come second over here is a nice little confidence boost once again. I played okay today, nothing really special. I played pretty average on the front nine and came back home in two under so to shoot level par was okay. I was a bit nervous going out into the round and I held it together pretty well I think.
What was your strategy on the 18th?
I just hit a poor drive and didn’t think it would get down that far near that tree where I had really no shot. I had to hit a wedge over and try to make four the hard way. It’s a bit of a bummer because I’d birdied it in all the other rounds.
You do you think your dad will be proud?
Oh yeah, I’ve just spoken to him and he’s very proud.
What will this mean for next week?
It’s another confidence boost. I’ve heard the course next week’s nice and wide and flat so I’m really looking forward to that.
Laura Davies 70 67 76 69=282 (-6)
Are you satisfied with today?
I was happy with today but yesterday was the ruining of my chance of winning because I was five behind starting the day. I had a chance and if that last putt had just gone in maybe she might not have birdies and you get in a playoff but today was okay.
What happened yesterday?
Just the rain. I started making bogey after bogey after bogey and couldn’t stop. Once the rain came I made eight bogeys in a run of 13 holes.
Is it a hard course?
It was because of the conditions this week. The ball wasn’t running so it played quite long. The rough is very difficult and the bunkering is difficult. There’s a lot of hard stuff out there so eight under is not a bad winning score.
Is it your first time here?
It’s everyone’s first but hopefully not the last. I enjoyed it. I think it’s a lovely layout and the greens are very severe. If they cleaned the greens up a bit hopefully it will be a great championship golf course.
The greens as they are, it’s difficult to have four different pin positions. If they made the greens a bit easier I think it would be a great course. I’d love to come back.
Next week, what is the goal?
Obviously winning. I’ve heard the course is a course I might like: it’s quite flat, quite open. I’ve never been there before so we’ll see.