HypoVereinsbank Ladies German Open, presented by Audi
Golfpark Gut Häusern, Munich, Germany
Thursday 29th May 2008
First round interviews
Nina Reis (SWE) 64 (-8)
Welcome Nina, eight under for the round. How did you manage it?
Nina Reis: I hit good shots all day and made some good putts. I never really made any mistakes so that was good.
You had some troubles with your caddie. Can you tell us what happened?
Nina Reis: Well I didn’t have a caddie I just pulled it myself. I’ve been playing on the LPGA for the last few weeks and I had this guy. Sometimes I just feel like it’s nice to be by yourself. You don’t have to listen to anyone or take care of anyone. You can just do what you like so I thought I was going to try that today and I did. I got a little bit tired there and especially on 17 as it is a little bit uphill but otherwise I was fine.
How is this course set-up compared to the LPGA Tour? Is it a lot shorter?
Nina Reis: It’s shorter for sure. This course is in great shape. It’s shorter than the LPGA and the greens are a little bit slower. I wouldn’t say it’s easy because you still have to hit good shots and place the ball.
What happened on the last few holes where you said you felt tired?
Nina Reis: Well I actually finished birdie, birdie on 17 and 18. After the front nine I was four under and my best round is eight under and I wanted to shoot eight under or better. I haven’t been looking at the leader board.
The next best at the moment is five-under.
Nina Reis: I thought the scores were going to be low because there are a few par fives that are really short but still there are some holes that you really have to place the ball where it’s really narrow so you can make bogey easily too.
What is your background Nina? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Nina Reis: Well I’m 28 years old and I’ve been playing on the LPGA for three years but this year I’m non-exempt over there so I’m going to play a little bit there and a little bit here. I’m from Gothenburg, started playing when I was eight years old and turned pro in ’02. I’ve never really played on the Ladies European Tour full time. I played on the Swedish Telia Tour for four years and then I went straight to the LPGA.
Do you practise at home or where the sun shines?
Nina Reis: The last couple of years I’ve been going to Phoenix.
Where are you based?
Nina Reis: Sweden.
Lora Fairclough 66 (-6)
How happy are you with your start to the week?
Lora Fairclough: I’m very pleased. I missed the cut last week and fortunately went home and had a lesson. I was a million miles away from doing what I should have been doing so if you can miss a cut and there’s a good time to do it then it was probably a good time to do it.
What was it?
Lora Fairclough: Well I’ve changed coaches and I’m working on things so it’s a constant battle really.
When did you change coaches?
Lora Fairclough: In January.
Have you moved house as well?
Lora Fairclough: Yes. I’m an honorary Southerner now. I’ve moved to near Worthing.
Who is your coach?
Lora Fairclough: Neil Plimmer at Mid Sussex Golf Club. It’s a big challenge for me to do the things I’m doing.
Have you changed your swing?
Lora Fairclough: It’s not the swing it’s something to do with my stability and my hips downwards. I just didn’t have any basically. I’m trying to improve on that.
Can you continue?
Lora Fairclough: I’ve just missed three cuts in a row so for me it’s such a positive , just that I’m not hitting the ball sideways like I was doing. I’m experienced to know that it’s three days away. I’ve got a long way to go and a tournament was never won on the first day. I like the German Open. I’ve won it once in 1998. I was trying for that car as well on the 15th.
Jade Schaeffer (FRA) 66 (-6)
How did you enjoy playing in the afternoon?
Jade Schaeffer: I think it’s a little bit more difficult than playing in the morning. There was a little bit more wind. I re-discovered my driving because in Switzerland there was some very bad driving. I hit some very long drives today and I had some very short holes today. I had a sand wedge in and it’s not the same play.
How confident are you that you can continue to play like this?
Jade Schaeffer: I want to keep the same mentality. The main objective is to make par and birdies because I want to hit fairways and greens. Today I played very aggressively and today it paid off. I don’t know if it will be the same tomorrow. I think tomorrow I will play very cool and just aim for fairways and greens.
Who is your caddie?
Jade Schaeffer: It is Gerald (Adams). I have a new caddie for this year and I have a good feeling. We are working well together at the moment.
Natalie Booth (ENG) 67 (-5)
A great starting round – how do you feel about the day?
Natalie Booth: Okay. I actually didn’t hit that many greens but I putted well. I only had 23 putts so that helped and when I hit the green I holed it. I bogeyed 16 and 17. I three putted 16 and missed the fairway and green on 17.
Were you thinking about your score?
Natalie Booth: No. I was thinking about lunch actually! I just hit a couple of poor drives and you can’t really hit a poor drive up 17. 16 I just three putted and didn’t give it enough. Other than that I played very solid and just plodded around really. There was nothing amazing. I didn’t hit 18 greens. I think I hit 12 greens and 23 putts so I’m happy but I’ve still got some work to do I think.
What could have been better?
Natalie Booth: I suppose I could have hit more greens. I’m very happy with the way I played. My putting was much better this week. Last week I missed the cut by one and I had 35 putts in the second round so it’s a bit of a difference.
How have you improved?
Natalie Booth: I changed my putter this week because I felt like when I was looking down on my other one I just wasn’t comfortable lining it up so I changed back to my PING putter as opposed to the Odyssey. It’s the Redwood Anser. I worked a lot on the greens because the greens here are slopey and if you’re not near the pins you can three-putt quite easily.
Who is your caddie?
Natalie Booth: I had a local caddie this week called Robin and he was really nice!
What do you like most about the course?
Natalie Booth: The greens are fantastic. They are very smooth and you know that if you hit a good putt its in. The weather is fantastic! It’s a really nice course. Some of the holes are fairly short so you can get a good score going which is nice.
Have you played in Germany before?
Natalie Booth: No, this is the first time.
Did you have any good birdies?
Natalie Booth: I chipped in on the eighth from just off the green on the right hand side. The others were fairly regulation. When I hit it well today I hit it close so I was never more than 15 or 20 feet away for birdie.
Martina Eberl 71 (-1) and Michelle Wie 68 (-4)
Questions are in German in the first part with comments from Martina in English.
Martina Eberl: I was quite pleased with how I started and the front nine was quite good. That’s what I wanted to do, birdying the par fives and being patient. On the back nine I made a bad choice off the tee on number 10, was in the rough and had a bad lie and couldn’t get it up and down from there. Then I had a bogey on three par three as well. I needed more patience because the ball was not dropping into the hole any more. At the end of the day I am happy but I think there was a lot of space left.
My golf is just a little bit down because of all the organising and not sleeping enough. My legs were a little bit tired this morning after yesterday in the pro am because it took five-and-a-half hours. Of course I was a bit tired but I am looking forward to tomorrow and I can have a long sleep in. It’s another day tomorrow. I knew I was going to be busy this week so it’s fine.
Before we get on with the questions, welcome Michelle Wie.
Michelle, how did you enjoy the round? Did you enjoy it?
Michelle Wie: Yes it was a lot of fun. Martina is great, Paula is great. I really enjoyed it out there and I think we did pretty well.
Did you find it short compared to the other courses you have played?
Michelle Wie: I think compared to the courses in America it was a little bit on the shorter side obviously but it’s a good track. The course is in fantastic shape, the greens are rolling really well and it’s a really fun course to play on.
Are you still holding back a little because of your wrist?
Michelle Wie: No; not really anymore. I’m still in the rehab process just really building up to what I had before. It’s definitely on the right track. I don’t feel like I’m holding on.
Are you hitting it as well as you used to?
Michelle Wie: Well I don’t think I’m quite that far yet.
Martina Eberl: On 17, yes!
How did you feel about your round generally today?
Michelle Wie: I felt like I played really well but I felt like I left a couple out there as well, especially on the par fives. I felt like I didn’t really take advantage on the short par fives as much as I could have. I think overall I’m pretty happy with how I played. I played consistently. It just has to get better each and every day.
What will you do to try and improve it tomorrow?
Michelle Wie: I think I need to just get my irons a little bit closer to the hole. All my putts were about 15 feet, 20 feet, 24 feet, so I’ll just try to get it closer to the hole, more birdie opportunities, leave myself easier putts, more fairways and make more putts.
Are you going back to Stanford because there are conflicting reports? Are you taking a break from college?
Michelle Wie: Oh no, that is completely false. I just took a leave of absence this Spring quarter, which I had originally planned on doing before. I’m going to go to college half the year so I’m returning back in September.
What is your main subject?
Michelle Wie: I haven’t figured out what my major is going to be.
This is sort of the start of your come back tour but are you satisfied with the round?
Michelle Wie: I think I shot a pretty good round but I felt I left a lot out there with the par fives and all that. I’m pretty satisfied with the round but I feel like I can do better.
How far was the putt on the par three fourth hole?
Michelle Wie: I think it was about 40 feet.
How did this round compare to Virginia?
Michelle Wie: I felt like when I played in Kingsmill and I played in Michelob, I felt like I was a little bit rusty. I was hitting the ball well and putting well but I just couldn’t get my game on. Today it felt like I was shooting some low scores and there were a couple of opportunities for me to go even lower. Hopefully over the next couple of days I’ll get even better.
You had three birdies in the first five. Was that a start you wanted knowing that this was a tournament on the comeback trail?
Michelle Wie: Of course. I would take another three under par on the first five holes any day.
Was there any disappointment that you didn’t keep it going on the rest of the course?
Michelle Wie: Well like I said, I’m pretty happy with the way I played today. Like I said before, I left a lot out there with the par fives and all that, but you know, looking at my round and looking at the score I’m pretty happy with it. I feel like I’m repeating myself but I feel I can do a lot better over the next couple of days.
You said that you felt welcomed by the other players even though you are competing.
Michelle Wie: Yes. I felt like I have been welcomed really well. I mean, by Martina today and Paula. When I arrived here and saw all the players they were like, “Welcome to the tour and you should come out here more often.” It’s a really great feeling and there are really nice players out here and people out here. It’s been really fun so far.