(Barsebäck, Sweden – August 9, 2007) – Players discuss their opening rounds at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club.
Q. Welcome Minea and congratulation on a great round. How did you feel out there?
Blomqvist: I was just very excited. The practice rounds were very much fun and had a great pro-am yesterday. The course is in a great shape. My coach is caddying this week because I haven’t been playing so good he said the only goal is to see perfect shots this week. I tried to stay with it today. I didn’t hit so good, but my misses were not bad. I had 24 putts today.
Q. What do you think about the course?
Blomqvist: The greens are perfect and the fairways are like carpet. Its very nice to play on. It’s a course that you can see so many different shots. Par-threes are great. It’s fun.
Q.Your coach is caddying for you?
Blomqvist: Yes, I want him to see how I play. Timo Rauhala.
Q. Are you surprised by the scores?
Blomqvist: No, I remember a few years ago when we played here that the scores were high. The course is very tough but there were goods chances today because the wind wasn’t so bad. If you just hit good you can get in a good position.
Q. The posters here say that Annika’s being ‘hunted’ .Have you read that?
Blomqvist: I haven’t even paid attention to it
Q. Do you think you can ‘hunt’ her?
Blomqvist: I have very low expectations you might say. I’m just trying to enjoy it. I am just pleased that my coach is here. Maybe he can get me in the game a little bit. At the moment I hope I can be there on Sunday and have a good chance on Sunday.
Q. Does your coach coach any others?
Blomqvist: He coaches Mikko Ilonen on the (Mens) European Tour and he coaches many touring pros in London.
Blomqvist: Not like that but he has been with the national team a bit so he gives some lessons.
Q. Have I played you scored well this year?
Blomqvist: No I have played quite bad. I have had three weeks at home so I have been practicing and taking it easy. I came out fresh because I haven’t been playing.
Q. Have you improved swing-wise or putting?
Blomqvist: I have had quite a lot of problems with irons, so, yeah, swing and irons.
Q. Are you still playing on the LPGA?
Blomqvist: Yes, I am playing next week in Canada and Portland.
Q. Done any exciting things in Sweden?
Blomqvist: No, not yet, I am just enjoying Malmo city. I got here Tuesday afternoon, so I haven’t had much time. I am here with my parents so it’s very nice.
Q. Are you going straight to Canada?
Blomqvist: I am flying from home to Canada.
Q. Have you seen around Helen Alfredsson around the course today?
Blomqvist: No, but I saw her in the morning. She has been helping and supporting me a lot this year when I have had tough times so are good friends.
Q. You know her from the Junior Solheim Cup.
Q. What has she been helping you with?
Blomqvist: When I was in US and she was there so I stayed with her in her house for a couple of weeks practicing together. She’s been very supportive, even though I haven’t been playing all that well this year.
Q. Are you going to be in the Solheim Cup then?
Blomqvist: It’s a bit early! If I want to be in I have to win the next three events!
Q. What’s your plan to get back playing well again?
Blomqvist: We still have five, six event I can get in and if I play better I can get more. I can really turn my game around. I have been stressing a little bit, not even giving myself a chance to play good. I just tried to get back mentally and then improve my swing a little bit, just getting better every day.
Q. Was today a turnaround?
Blomqvist: Yeah, today at least. I am very happy about today.
This press conference was conducted with the help of a translator
Q. Well done Louise. Great performance. How did you manage to bounce back from last week when you missed the cut?
Stahle: Last week felt very good, but I just couldn’t get it together. But it was fun. I had a big smile on my face all the way around. Only, you don’t feel so good when you play badly. I am glad to be home in Sweden, though. I wanted some revenge after last week – I’m hungry. I have made a good start but there’s a lot to do.
Q. What advantages are there of playing at home?
Stahle: I haven’t played this course so many times. This year, I have been competing in the US. You always feel more confident when you know the greens.
Q. How was your putting?
Stahle: I had 28 putts. A few long and a few good short ones.
Q. Are you surprised by the high scoring?
Stahle: It’s a long course. There are not so many opportunities for wedges. There have been a lot of six and seven irons used.
Q. Do you feel safe playing here?
Stahle: No, I feel a big difference training and the regular tournament. The Pro-Am is very much more relaxed.
Q. Isn’t it interesting that the home players are doing so well?
Stahle: I don’t know, I haven’t seen the scores, but it’s always nice to see.
Q. You had an eagle on the 17th hole. You must have holed your second shot there. What happened?
Schaeffer: I holed my second shot. I had 100 metres to the pin and I played a very good shot. It pitched just five metres short and she went straight in the hole. It’s very good because it’s the second approach shot I’ve holed this season. In Portugal I did the same thing on the fourth hole. It’s the second time this has happened and maybe it’s a sign because I played well in Portugal. I hope so.
Q. Which club did you hit from 100 metres out on the 17th?
Schaeffer: A small pitching wedge. A driver first.
Q. You have a new caddy this week?
Schaeffer: Yes. (John Anderson from Australia). He’s new this week and he’s a good caddy.
Q. You played the back nine, your front nine, very well. What do you think that was?
Schaeffer: My chipping was very good today. The rough is very thick. I was practising this a lot with my caddy before the game and it was very good today. I had a lot of chip and putts for par.
Q. Can you tell us about the birdies?
Schaeffer: The 12th – I played a wedge for my third shot, it was a given. An easy birdie.
The 14 – I missed the green. This was my first chip from the rough and my chip went long. It helped me to learn for the other holes on the course.
The putt on 15 was from 12 feet and 16 was from five feet.
For me it’s very difficult first nine. It’s not the same. It’s wooded and it’s a little bit longer than the first nine. Plus-two for me on the first nine is good. It’s difficult. This is my first time here and I don’t know the course.
Q. What have you done with your time off, over the break?
Schaeffer: I went on holiday to New York in the US with my boyfriend. It was very good. It was my first time in the US.
Q. You didn’t play in the British Open last week, did you?
Schaeffer: (Jade went to Final Qualifying). No. I played good in the Final Qualifying but my first hole in the play-off was very bad. I didn’t play for six hours and then had to play. For the putting, it was very difficult because the grass was very long
Q. Annika, you shot a one-under-par round of 71. How was it today?
Sörenstam: It was a little bit of a rollercoaster. I had a bunch of birdies and a bunch of bogeys. I am not quite as pleased with my game as I could be. I missed several fairways and greens, but I hit some really good shots and putted well. It was a funny day. I made a few birdies (on the back nine) to make it a decent round.
Q. How are your injuries? You have spoke about feeling only 85 per cent in recent weeks.
Sörenstam: I think I’m fine. I do not have an excuse anymore. I am just working on my swing. But I feel good. No excuses.
Q. Are you able to hit your maximum length?
Sörenstam: No. But I feel good. I would not expect 100 percent before October. I feel fine.
Q. Any thoughts on The Solheim Cup?
Sörenstam: I have no idea about how the team’s shaping up. You guys probably know more than I do! Hopefully we’ll have a really good team. The US Team is really good and they have a lot of younger players. I try not to get involved until the last week.
(The rest of the press conference was held in Swedish with the help of a translator)
Q. You missed a simple shot on the fifth. What happened?
Sörenstam: It was just a bad shot.
Q. Was it a mistake?
Sörenstam: You just have to forget about the bad shots.
Q. There are a lot of spectators here at the course. Are you surprised?
Sörenstam: I’m surprised there were so many people out there. It was great to see, especially at 8.20 in the morning when we were teeing off. It is so nice to come home and feel support from everybody.
Q. Do you think you will reach 12- or 13-under-par after four rounds?
Q. Are there any difficulties on the course?
Sörenstam: It was windy, the sea-side holes got very tough and the rough is thicker than before. It is a tough course. They have lengthened a few holes which is tough but it is a fair test for the players.
Q. Can you tell us about your playing partner, Brittany Lincicome, and her round?
Sörenstam: She made a good comeback and she can be either on or off. It was a tough start but she soon got going and did well.
(This press conference was conducted in Swedish with the help of a translator)
Q. Carin, one-under-par. Well done. Tell us about your round.
Koch: It was starting out really steady and I hit a lot of fairways. Towards the end I saved a lot of good pars and in the middle I made three birdies in a row.
Q. How is the course?
Koch: It’s beautiful and the conditions are very nice. It is always nice to play.
Q. Have you found your game?
Koch: I have found out what is causing bad shots and insecurities. I need to be more confident. It is going the right way with the swing. If the swing doesn’t work it is hard to be on top. If I do it a certain way and it works then naturally I feel better.
Q. Do you think you will make the cut?
Koch: I don’t take notice of the cut, but it is not very nice to be free during the weekends. Playing with the kids may seem like a nice idea, it’s sometimes fun…
Q. What happened on the 14th green?
Koch: Me and my husband thought the first putt was quite good, I thought it was going to be quick as it was downhill. But it was a miss-judgement and I tried to forget that quickly.
Q. Who is going to caddy for you at the weekend?
Koch: My husband is going to Phoenix because my son is starting school. Maybe I’ll put up a notice on the notice board!
Q. Are you being serious or are you joking?
Koch: I had a full-time caddy and he should’ve been here and at the Women’s British Open (last week) but he didn’t show up due to miscommunications so my husband caddied.
Q. Would you consider using a member at this club to help you?
Koch: I have not thought about it too much. I will figure something out. I will see what offers I get!