Laura Davies (England)
Thank you. The rest of the trip has been disappointing, not having one really decent finish. Seventh in the New South Wales Open. Obviously this has made the whole trip fantastic. I have enjoyed it but golf-wise it was a struggle up to when that last putt missed. Fortunately I tapped the next one in. I must admit, I thought I’d blown it. I thought, Tania downwind… I pretty much heard that she had made her putt on 17. I must admit I thought I’d blown it and I am pretty happy to be sitting here now.
What were your thoughts while she was putting?
I’ve had many a player knock putts like that in on me. I thought that was a particularly difficult putt. I never imagined she’d three-putt it. If I was in that situation, I might not have been as bold in going for the first one. She is young and she is going to go for it. That’s what young players do. Luckily for me and unluckily for her, she missed the one coming back. That was a bit of a surprise.
You are not aware that she thought she needed the first one for a play-off?
Oh really? I did not know that. Okay. That makes a lot more sense. Was the board wrong?
She did not look at it.
I never understand the leader board thing, not looking. You have to know where you stand. If she thought she was putting for a play-off, I’m not criticising her in any way, shape or form. I always like to look at the leader board. She is a great young player. I don’t know if she has already won. I’m sure she has because she seems to be very good.
Would it be fair to say you won it at the 14th?
Well, the best shot of the day was at 10. Everyone was bogeying that hole. I hit a two iron and a four iron to about six feet and made it. Obviously, the eagle on 14 was huge. Just as huge was the chip across 15, really, to back up an eagle with a birdie. At the time I did not know I was actually three clear. Ossie Moore was on the course. He told me. I was surprised, I must admit. I did not play two of the last three holes very well. But at 14, if the putt had missed…I don’t think it was going very far past. It was only going to be three or four feet past but it was lovely when it went in.
How far was it, about 40 feet?
It had to be. We actually hit the club that was going to leave us there. We hit the seven iron instead of the six because we were worried if the six went two or three feet too far, it keeps going and you are not even making birdie.
How far in?
We had 211 to the pin, 193 front. All we wanted to do was drop it on the front edge and two-putt.
You left nothing behind with the tee shot.
No. I have been driving it well. The only poor tee shot I’ve hit in two days was on 18. I was disappointed with that. I felt the pressure and they were messing around in front of me. I wanted to get on with it. By the time I came to hit it, it was a very poor effort.
What did you hit?
Three iron. I actually got away with it and hit another bad shot, which was a shame. As it stands now, it really does not matter.
You like a punt. What odds did you give yourself today?
Someone told me I was 16/1. I thought that was a generous price because I knew how well I was hitting it. I did not have a bet myself. If someone had asked me what I thought of 16/1, I would have said, Get some on.
They were offering 250/1 after the second round.
When I went off the course on Friday I was very disappointed to bogey those last three holes. I finished with a three-putt. Knowing how well I was playing, I could not believe I was four over for the tournament. I must admit, I thought I was out of it. It just goes to show, 11 back with two days to play on a hard course like this. On a normal course you would say that is too far back. On a hard course like this, it did nor prove too far.
Will you have a few beers tonight?
I think just a couple.
Can you sum up your feelings? It got pretty tight on the back nine.
The goal was to shoot another 67, to shoot 12 under on the weekend. That’s what we said on Saturday morning. At the time, you say it and you go and shoot 78. But this time it actually happened. I did not think about winning until Ossie said I had a three-shot lead on 16 tee. I was really surprised. The last board I saw was at the back of 13. Someone was at seven and three of them were at six and me at five. It very quickly turned around from a chasing thing. To sit here as a winner is absolutely fabulous. It certainly was not expected on Saturday morning. There was no way I expected to be here.
Do you still get nervous?
Yes. If you don’t, you don’t win, normally. If it does not mean enough to you to get a bit edgy…as I said on 18 tee, having just birdied 17 in such a nice way with three lovely shots, I was a bit excited to get on with it. I did my usually patrolling out around the tee, itching to hit it. That is where the nerves come out with me. The more I’m walking, the more nervous I am, next time you see me. I’m Benny Hill.
Tania Elosegui (Spain)
This has been a wonderful tournament for you. How do you feel?
…I did not practise so much in the winter because the weather was so bad in Spain. I came here to practise and get the rhythm of the tournament. I am really, really happy about this tournament. It is a shame about the last hole.
What happened on the last hole. What was the confusion?
I looked at the leader board on 16 green and saw that I was seven under, so she was tied with me. Then I looked again on the 17th hole and she was eight under. I made my putt for birdie and at that moment I thought we were tied at eight under. At the last I said to myself, Let’s try to make another birdie. The wind was blowing very strong. For my second shot I only had 100 metres to the pin and 80 to the front so I thought wedge was plenty of club. It was downwind, right to left. The wind kind of turned and hit the ball. It did not even fly 81 metres. I was surprised about that. I had my bunker shot and I felt I had to make that putt for par to go to a play-off. I thought Laura was eight under. I really hit it and it went too long. On the second putt I was not really thinking, I have to make this to go to a play-off. I thought, okay, I am second. I was trying to make it but I was not thinking I had to make it to go to the play-off. Then my caddie told me Laura finished seven under. I thought, I can’t believe that.
Would you have hit your first putt differently if you had known?
Yes, of course. It is a completely different situation when you have to make it to go to a play-off or just make it to win or two-putt to go to a play-off.
Whose fault was that?
It was no one’s fault. I did not look at the leader board at 18. I don’t know if it was updated or not. I was almost sure she was going to have a par on 18. It is not a bogey hole, really. I did not look and I did not know.
You have played very consistently over the four days while the others have gone up and down.
Yes. I was very consistent. My bad day was yesterday when I shot two over. I was quite nervous playing with Karrie Webb. Today I was playing pretty good. The first birdies were quite easy, on the second and on the fourth. Then, if you happened to watch on television at the seventh, I had the birdie. The putt went in and that really gave me confidence.
How long was that putt?
It was not very long, maybe seven metres, but a huge down slope.
You almost had to putt away from the hole.
Was the leader board on 18 not updated?
I did not look at the leader board on 18. I looked at 17.
Do you think you might next time?
I always look. It is not the first time that I was there. I don’t look at the beginning of the round, normally. I normally look on the three or four last holes. It really makes a difference if you have to birdie or par.
How long after the round did you caddie tell you Laura had finished at seven under?
Just after I holed my last putt.
Do you wish he had spoken earlier?
Yes, but he did not know. He told me he saw that when he was lining me up for my bogey putt.
When you wake up tomorrow morning, will you be happy that you came second or angry that you were not first?
Both. Like now, I am very, very happy. Another part of myself says, My God, what happened at the last? It is not very…I don’t know the word.
If you had won, would it have been your biggest victory?
For sure. I won on the African Tour but that Tour is not as big as the European Tour.