ANZ Ladies Masters
Royal Pines Resort,
Gold Coast,
First round leader quotes

Nikki Garrett 67 (-5)

That’s the sort of start you like, I guess?

It is always good having a start like that. I was pretty relaxed going out there today. I actually think I like a 6.40am tee time. It was really nice and a great way to start a tournament.

How were the course conditions?
The course has held up well after the rain it has had in the last week. It’s not really that wet out there. The greens are perfect and there is a bit of rain out there but it has held up really good.

How difficult has this tournament been, with the reduction in holes?

It’s not too bad. I had to refocus yesterday and couldn’t get into it because I had psyched myself up for yesterday. I did a little bit of refocusing last night. It’s a 54 hole tournament so you’ve got to get out of the blocks really early. It wasn’t too bad and I refocused pretty well.

You had a great start to the year in Europe last year.

Last year was a great start, kind of unexpected. I had a poor start in last year in these two Australian tournaments so I’m trying to turn that around this year.

You had two wins last year. Is that what you expected?

I definitely wanted more wins. After two I wanted more but a couple of things did not go my way. I traveled a lot the last part of the year for Q School and other tournaments overseas. I played well and was hitting it sold but a little bit inconsistent.

I had improved on the year before and it was a good learning experience.

If you think you’re improving every year then that is all you can do, really.

Did you think it was all too easy after your wins last year?

It was a lot harder. After my first two wins I put a lot more pressure on myself so it got harder from that point of view. I started getting the really big groups. I’m not saying I wasn’t in good groups before but I was getting the Laura’s and everything like that in Europe.

What are your goals this year?

My goal this year is to have a consistency throughout the year. It has been a bit up and down. So it’s working hard with my coach.
How did you make your eagle?

I holed my bunker shot from the front left.

Was anyone in your group playing well on the par fives?

There were a few reachable. The third and the ninth are reachable. The others I didn’t find reachable. I didn’t try to put too much pressure on myself on the par 5s I know I couldn’t reach in two. I just took the pars if I could.

What of the early start?

I love early tee-times. When I’m at home I always try to practice before 7 in the morning so it set up really good.

How important were your wins in terms of your career?

The wins were important but the key was just to stay relaxed after that and not to put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t get that much confidence from the win but I’m pretty confident person. It was a good start to last year.

What do you think of the 54 hole event as opposed to 72 holes?

You have to try and be more aggressive because the course is set up pretty good. With the greens being a lot softer you can attack a lot more. There is no moving day, I suppose. The second round is moving day.

Would you rather lead from the front?

I’ve only been in front once in my life, so this is fine by me.

Shani Waugh 68 (-4)

I’d like to welcome Shani Waugh from Bunbury, who finished at four-under. Was there a chance for a birdie at the last?

I hit sand iron to the right of the green so I ended up with about a 25 feet putt for birdie. It probably wasn’t a birdie chance.

Can you talk about the condition of the course?
Yes. The course is shaping up quite well. As you can tell it’s rained but the greens are just like they are normally and there’s just a little bit of water lying around. I thought the course played great and having preferred lies made it seem like the course was in pretty good shape. That was a big advantage I think.

Did you surprise yourself today?
Yes. The past form for the last 12 months and especially the last couple of weeks has been nothing short of rubbish. I’m not sure what I can put today down to. I think I’ve got my friend Desiree caddying for me. I think if you get off to a good start when you’ve been playing professional golf for a few years then a few good feelings come back and I think I’ve just got to stay nice and relaxed.
I’ll go into tomorrow with absolutely no expectations. That’s the way I’ve played my best golf in the past. I guess I shot really good today. I felt quite in control which I haven’t for six months.

When was the last time you got yourself into this position?
Never at this tournament. Probably when I won in Thailand in May of 2005, I think it was. I was in contention in Switzerland after two days. I was in the third last group on Saturday and quickly found myself out of contention after a couple of holes.

Last week wasn’t a very good week. What’s the difference?
I don’t know. I think the golf course last week was world class. I’m not saying that this week’s golf course isn’t world class but we could have played the US Open at Kingston Heath last week and none of the girls would have complained a bit. It was a tough, tough golf course and if you’re not on top of your game it’s going to show that up more than any other golf course I think. I think I played well on Wednesday in the pro am and I had a few good shots. I’ve obviously played this course many times and feel very relaxed now.

What are you doing after this?
Well I’m not saying this will be my last golf tournament but I won’t be going overseas this year. I’m going to stay in Western Australia and open up a golf school in Bunbury and hopefully I’ll teach people some of the stuff I’ve learnt over 17 years.

This performance doesn’t give you any incentive to change does it?

Have you found that husband yet?
No. I’ve given up. He has to come and find me now. I’ll be in Bunbury, Western Australia.

Kristie Smith 68 (-4)

Kristie, four under and you’ve been on medication?
I’ve not been feeling well, I’ve been a bit sick for the last few days. For under today is a bit of a bonus.

It has been a strange week. I’ve been here since Monday but not seen the course until Friday. It’s a bit different.

Was it the flu?
I think it is just the flu, one of my girlfriends who I was rooming with last week had it and I must have caught it from her.

What did your dad tell you?
He told me to concentrate on my practice shots and give it 100 per cent and then I don’t have to hit that many shots out there.

Would you have played yesterday?
Oh yeah, I would have played yesterday. Nothing would have stopped me from playing with Karrie and Amy yesterday. I would have had to be dying not to play with them.
I would have been out here.

Have you played with Karrie before?
It is the first time I’ve played with her in a tournament, but I had a practice round with her last week.

What was today’s experience like?
It was pretty amazing to play with such high profile players and to shoot the score I did playing with them was pretty amazing considering the way I was feeling.

How describe your play?
I left a few out there, a couple of par 5s I can make in two I left out there. I didn’t drive the ball as well as I have done over the last few weeks. But my iron shots and putts were good.

You’ve played the course before?
In 2006 in the Aaron Baddeley finals? But the course was then shorter and they’ve changed the nines around.

What are your plans for the balance of this year? US Tour school but what else?
To make the world cup team and to win the individual event will be a huge goal for me.
Just playing around Australia and internationally with the AIS squad overseas and going to America and competing in the national events and at Q School over there at the end of the year.

Ya-Ni Tseng 68 (-4)

A great round Ya-Ni. Are you happy with the way you played?
Yes. Thanks.

Last year you started 71, 69, 69 and 66. Much better start this year.

I always play better in the last round. Today is a very good start so I feel very comfortable at this tournament.

What so you like about this course?
I like it because it’s not too narrow and I can release my driver. I feel very good on the greens.

You have a LPGA Tour card. What did you do last year?
I played on a couple of sponsor’s invitation and I played on the Asian Tour. I finished 6th in the Canadian Open and made a double bogey on the last hole. That was the first time I lost a lot of money!

Have you got an elbow problem at the moment?

Yes but it’s getting better now. Maybe I practised too much. It hurts when I have speed on the downswing.

Did you change your name?
Ruby was my nickname but now I want to be known as Ya-Ni. It’s easier. One very famous singer is Ya-Ni too.

Do you live in the States?

Yes. I have a house in Palm Springs but it is too boring for me. It is very quiet at night and I cannot go anywhere.

Have you been doing weights? You seem a bit more solid than last year.
I worked out a little bit in Taiwan but I can’t do it too much because of my elbow.

What was the highlight of today?
I don’t know. I just played very steady. I struggled a bit on my first nine holes but came back on my back nine.

Karrie Webb 69 (-3)

There were a few bogeys thrown in there today. Are you reasonably satisfied?

It was a pretty ugly round. I’m happy to be in at 3-under. Three bogeys.

Did you start last year with a 71?
Yes. I’ll be surprised if anyone does much better in the afternoon round because the wind has picked up the last couple of holes. It picked up just before we teed off. You think you’re going to go out there and not have too many elements to deal with but it was definitely different to the usual morning round.

How was it playing?
The greens dried out quickly so that wasn’t much of an issue but it played a touch longer than usual.

You certainly haven’t shot yourself in the foot.
I’ve not shot myself in the foot at all but with the tournament being just three rounds you can’t afford a bad start because then you have a lot of ground to catch up.

What do you attribute it to?
It wasn’t that easy getting up at 4.30 in the morning to go through my routine and get myself ready. It was a bit much for me and would like to spend a bit of time on the range this afternoon and get a couple of putts.

One of my goals this year is to take pride in scoring well on the ugly days. I did that today so I need a few good days after this.

How did you make your bogeys?
I drive it quite poorly today and I was pretty disappointed considering the fairways are doubly wide.

Kingston Heath is a tough golf course playing under the conditions we did and winning takes a little bit out of you .You struggle not to be too flat. I thought having yesterday off might help things but I was sitting around and waiting to start. I’m happy with today but last week takes it out of you mentally more than anything.

Does it usually take a while to get you going?
Yes, it does. I’m not the biggest fan of three round tournaments when they’re scheduled to be three rounds obviously… which this was unavoidable. It couldn’t be helped but this is more of a sprint than a marathon.

What did you think when you rattled off four birdies in a row?
I always feel the front nine is where you can make your score. I turned even and didn’t really play that well on my first nine holes. I thought if I could get to three or four under for the day that wouldn’t be too hard.

The fairways are a bit longer with the rain. Did you notice that?

The course would have been in great condition before the tournament because they have not been cut for almost a week and it still was not that long. I feel disappointed for the greens staff because the course was probably in the best shape it’s been for four or five years.

The greens have definitely improved and if they continue with the work they’ve been doing they’ll be back to what they were ten years ago.