Annika Sorenstam 66 (-6)
What made the difference on the back nine?
I’m not really sure what happened other than that I made a few putts. I started out with a shaky par but after that I had like five lip outs pretty much. It hit the edge but nothing went in. I was just level par making the turn and I didn’t really feel that great but in a way I felt like it could have been a bit better. All of a sudden, making a nice putt on number two and all of a sudden the ball found the hole on several holes. There is really no difference. It’s just sometimes putts go in and sometimes they don’t.
How good was it to finish with a birdie?
It’s always nice to finish with birdies; to finish on a high note. Today is just Thursday so its great to get off to a good start but you have to stay in the moment. There are three more days, anything can happen but it’s the lowest round I’ve had in a while and its fun.
How did you read it?
It was a little right to left. I had a 54 degrees, I just wanted to land it on top of the ridge and let it trickle down and it did.
Johanna Head 67 (-5)
A five under par on the first day… how does it feel?
It was a good score out there today because of the rain. It was quite tough. I was a little bit disappointed as I was seven-under and bogeyed the last two holes. 17 and 18 are quite hard holes.
Did the wind and rain make it much more difficult?
It does make it difficult because it’s not always raining and then the wind dies. When it was raining it was quite difficult to keep everything dry.
Do you think you will keep your lead at the end of the day?
I think someone else will shoot a low score because the par-fives are reachable.
How happy are you with it?
I’m pretty happy. It’s always nice to have a lead after the first round.
Can you tell us a little more about your round?
It started well, I birdied the first two and the fourth as well so I was three-under after four holes and quite pleased with that. I finished the front nine at five under and then it started raining quite heavily on the back nine. I just kept hitting good shots and had birdie chances on 10 and 11. Number 12 I made birdie and then I had a good opportunity on 13 but missed it. The wind died a bit and the rain stopped and then I made birdie on 16. Unfortunately I bogeyed 17 and 18. Hole 17 was playing very long today. It was 186 to the pin and was playing about 200 yards for my second shot. I made bogey there and bogeyed the last too. Although I’m at five under I’m a little disappointed to be sitting at five-under and not seven-under.
Who is your caddie?
Gary Tilston caddied for me today and last week as well. I took him to the British Open. He caddies for Simon Kahn on the men’s European tour. We hooked up last week because he comes from Sunningdale and I thought it would be good to have him because he knows the course. He had a free week this week because he is caddying in the Swedish Open next week with the men.
What happened last week?
It was really strange because I shot six-under in the first round but on the second day the conditions were very difficult. It was very windy. I think at Sunningdale, you can go out the first day and hit all the fairways and think the course is quite playable. But if you start missing a few drives the course becomes difficult and that’s what happened. I started missing a few drives and I just couldn’t bring it back. I still played very well and that gave me the confidence to come here this week and play solid and the best I can.
What brought you back to Europe from the States?
I’d been over in America all year. I do love it over there but I just need a break. I want to spend some time with my sister so I looked at the schedule and it worked out quite well that if I missed Canada and Portland, I thought it would be a good chance for me to keep playing. After these four weeks I’ve got a week off and then I go back to the States for four tournaments.
What was the main reason?
I travel on my own in America so it gets a little bit lonely. I just want to be around my family. Although it turns out she’s not playing this week.
How is Sam?
She is fine. She actually had tonsillitis and yesterday was the first day she felt better.
Could you talk about your modeling?
I joined the Wilhelmina 7 and basically they are going to promote us and endorse us into the fashion industry. We did photo shoots in Miami which was brilliant fun. Our photo shoots were a little bit different so not golf attire. They were smart, fashionable clothes and bikini shoots. It was fun.
How much will you do of that?
At the moment they are taking things very slowly. The Wilhelmina 7 will come out next year. I know we are going to do Inside Edition which is a gossip show in America. We’ve got a couple of bits on ESPN, who are doing interviews with us. What is so great about it is that all they want to do is play good golf. When we do fashion shoots we can do them in our time off.
How did it come about?
Dieter Esch, who is the owner of Wilhelmina Models, had an idea that he wanted to change the way women’s golf was promoted. He came out in March and looked around the LPGA Tour for players who fitted the criteria he wanted. He wanted girls who were good fun, attractive and had a bit of spark to them. I was lucky enough to be one of them.
Who are the other players?
Minea Blomqvist, Sandra Gal, Michaela Parmlid, Kim Hall, Stacy Prammanasudh and Anna Grzebien.
It’s a totally new concept and we were launched in June.
What sort of impact has the weather had?
It had quite a bit effect from the 10th to the 14th. It was difficult to keep the gloves dry and the wind got up so it was a two club wind.
How is the course?
When you are playing well and holing putts a golf course may seem easy but you’ve still got to hit the shots. Hole 17 certainly is not easy. As you can tell by the scores there aren’t too many people under par.
Was there any secret to it?
I just made sure I committed to every single shot. I just had total commitment. When you’ve got the extreme conditions like this with rain and wind, it’s the only thing you can do. You’ve got to commit and trust yourself.
Can I ask how you made your bogeys?
On 17 I missed the green on the left. I hit a seven-wood. I actually had a five foot putt for par which I just missed. On the 18th I drove it into the water and then hit my next shot onto the green and two putted. It was just from going into the water.
Did you hole any long putts?
My longest birdie putt was about 20 feet on the first. It was actually quite interesting because my ball was just short. The 20 footer was just short of the hole and I thought “How did that stay out?” I walked up to it and thought, “How on earth can that stay out?” and it dropped in. I think God pushed it in; blew it in.”
What can you tell us about yourself?
I love playing in Sweden. I haven’t been here for the last four years. Ten years ago I came second to Annika in this tournament. I think I led that tournament after the first round.
What will you do now?
Stay aggressive and be very committed to my shots.
How do you think women’s golf should be promoter to be attractive to sponsors?
Maybe with this Wilhelmina 7, getting the girls into the fashion industry and into magazines where you don’t normally see golf; maybe that could help. Wilhelmina has got 1200 clients on their books with companies like Chanel, Hugo Boss. If they can promote golf in that industry then we might get different sponsors.
Is Dieter a golfer?
Yes he does play golf.
What was his idea?
He looked at women’s tennis and saw how it was huge. It’s more watched by people than men’s tennis. He looked at golf and thought it needed some sparkle to it. His company has a celebrity division as well and he represents Fergie, Usher, Jessica and Ashley Simpson. He just wants to get into every single area. He’s just taken over the David Leadbetter Academies and is working with IMG as well. He’s bought a golf management company in America too. He just wants to get into the golf business.
Did you speak to Ian Poulter after last week?
I did have a brief conversation with Ian. He is at the PGA this week and he said “Good luck” and I said: “Good luck.”
How has your manager helped you?
I’ve been working with Ian’s manager Paul Dunkley for the last 18 months. He’s been helping me with my golf and scheduling, and a few bits on the golf course too.
Lydia Hall 69 (-3)
Your front nine was a bit of a mixture wasn’t it?
Yes it was. I played fairly solid but there were a few hiccups leaving the ball short because the greens are so soft with the weather. There were just a few hiccups but all in all I played really well.
How were the conditions?
The course is really, really wet but in fairness the greens are drying out quite quickly. It’s in great condition; it’s just a shame about the rain that we’ve had.
How comfortable are you in these conditions?
I don’t mind it because I’m quite an aggressive player so I know I can just hit it at the flags and it will stop because the greens are so soft.
How much are you looking forward to playing in Wales next week?
I’m really looking forward to next week. I’ll be staying at home because I’m only 40 minutes away.