Amanda Blumenherst

Amanda, great round today, 6 under I believe.

Blumenherst: Yes, thank you.

How did find the course out there?

Blumenherst: Very wet, but it was great. Extremely windy but I prefer that. I kind of like it when the conditions are tough and it makes everyone’s game… kind of… it separates the players. You know, you have to hit that drive really solid and also really focus on how the wind is playing and not just hit it up there.

You had a fantastic Amateur career; I presume this is your first tournament as a professional.

Blumenherst: No, actually it is not. I played in Singapore and Thailand the last two weeks.

I see you’re sponsored by Nike.

Blumenherst: Yes.

There’s another amateur American golfer who turned professional who was also sponsored by Nike. He got about 100 million [dollars], did you get anywhere approaching that?

Blumenherst: Not even close. I wish. No, I didn’t, but Nike has taken care of me and it’s great – you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear. There are plenty of things in the closet.

You had a difficult week last week in Singapore, where did this great round come from, did you do any homework, dissect last week’s tournament, come in here totally fresh?

Blumenherst: I didn’t feel very well last week, the entire week. And playing in Thailand was awesome, but it was extremely hot, and I think that kind of wore me down a little bit. And then Singapore was also very warm, and I just felt awful all of last week, but I had a great chance to rest up, especially because our few practice rounds were cancelled, due to rain, so I was really able to just focus on resting and then also staying positive. Because I played so well in Thailand and then I knew that it was right there.

So where were you prior to Thailand – Arizona, or at home?

Blumenherst: I was, I was in Arizona, just practising. I ok a lot of time off during the off-season, which was great, and visited the family in Indiana. So I had a lot of time now to hit the ground running.

Did someone convince you to come down here? You wanted to come down here?

Blumenherst: To Australia? I was really looking forward to playing in a bunch of tournaments this year, especially because we had such a long off season and Q School was the only thing I really had since October until middle of February so it was great having four tournaments in a row, and this, I was really looking forward to playing in Australia in these two events

Did you come to Adelaide in 2008?

Blumenherst: I did, yeah. I was in the world Amateur there. I think we came third, unfortunately. Sweden won, and Spain came second. Though we had a really good comeback, I think we were at the bottom of the pack first day so, we’re proud of that.

You could have turned professional earlier, why did you wait until now?

Blumenherst: Well, I graduated in May. And that was absolutely huge for me. I absolutely loved college, and wanted to get my degree – that was always part of the plan and I loved every single year. So, leaving school and turning pro earlier really was never part of any equation. I wanted to get my diploma.

Because you finished, par 10th in the US Open in ‘06

Blumenherst: Yeah, in my freshman year.

Didn’t you even tamper with the idea then? (of turning pro)

Blumenherst: Yeah. But it’s nice to know that I have something to fall back on and also just the experience of being in college, I wouldn’t trade that for the world, it was unbelievable.

Duke?

Blumenherst: Yes, Duke University.

You cleaned up on the amateur scene. You had an illustrious amateur career. Are you remotely intimidated being on the LPGA? Do you stand there convinced that you can win here this week?

Blumenherst: Amateur golf and professional golf is a lot different. However amateur golf has prepared me so well for this next step, so I really do feel every time I tee up that there’s a chance I can win. It wasn’t an accident that I played well in so many amateur (inaudible) events. There’s some great competition in college events, and junior events, and then amateur events. So, it really did prepare me for this step. But it is definitely a little intimidating, I get first-tee butterflies all of the time.

Do you think you would have been in that mental place, had you turned professional a couple of years earlier?

Blumenherst: I really think that graduating and going for four years has helped me so much, because now I don’t have to think ‘I have to birdie this hole because I don’t have a degree and if golf doesn’t work out then I have nothing to fall back on’. For me it’s a kind of a safety net, so it prepared me. I was player of the year in my freshman year, player of the year in my sophomore year, and player of the year in my junior year. So it was, every time I had those expectations, and that pressure on me. So it prepared me to be out here and face similar expectations.

Amanda, you may be the first round leader. How prepared are you now to handle tomorrow?

Blumenherst: Well, I have been in this situation before, never professionally though. So it’s going to be different. I’m just going to really focus on playing one shot, one hole at a time, not looking at the leader board, or thinking that I need to keep birdying holes. Just playing my game, play consistent.

Tell us what you were most happy with in today’s round.

Blumenherst: My putting. I putted really well and that’s kind of been struggling, really, throughout my entire golf career. So I was able to turn that on. And I’m always a fairly solid ball striker, so I’ve been hitting it close, but now I’m getting the putts so that definitely helps.

Did you read your own greens today, or did you have a caddie?

Blumenherst: My uncle’s my caddie. He caddied for me in the (inaudible) and a few of the US Opens when I was an amateur and so we have a lot of experience together. He also caddied for me at Q school. So, he is a great green reader as well. His name is Bill Blumenherst.

A lot of players, first time off, have a lot of trouble reading the greens, reading breaks and reading grains, obviously it didn’t affect you today, why was that?

Blumenherst: Well, we really noticed during the one practice round that I had, that it doesn’t really break as much as they look like they do. So we really didn’t play any of the putts outside the hole. And that helped quite a bit.

What degree did you get when you graduated?

Blumenherst: History, minored in English and in Theatre.

So if you had to use it what were you going to do with it?

Blumenherst: I absolutely loved school; I’m kind of a dork. I’d actually probably be a schoolteacher. My parents say that I can’t live on a schoolteacher’s budget, which is probably right, so I’m playing golf.

Exactly when did you turn professional, what month?

Blumenherst: The end of May. My first professional event was t the beginning of June.

Katherine Hull

Katherine, well done. You’re only a shot back. You must be happy with the start that you’ve made today.

Hull: Yes, thank you. No bogeys, so that’s always a positive for us. Managed to roll in five birdies, so it was, yeah, pretty good golf.

Studying the yardage, (inaudible)?

Hull: No, I just grabbed my sheet out so I know which holes I birdied, sometimes I can’t remember.

The washout, earlier in the week, did that affect your preparation much?

Hull: Yes and no. I’ve actually changed my plan going into a tournament slightly this year in comparison to previous years, but I was able to make my normal Tuesday practice into yesterday. So, really the only the only thing that changed was not playing the Pro-Am.

How did you find the course out there today?

Hull: The course it actually pretty good, considering the amount rain. It’s only soggy walking off tee boxes and I only had to take, I think, two drops from casual water, so the green staff have obviously done a fantastic job of getting it into a playable condition.

You were on a roll out there, things just clicked into gear.

Hull: Yeah, I hit a wedge close on one, and that was probably felt one of the best swings of the day, so, yeah, I got a little bit more rhythm and momentum from that. I guess I birdied two, and then three is a reachable par five so it was nice to make three in a row and not have to force making birdies out there.

There’s a few players at the top – what’s going to separate the field?

Hull: I think being a resort course and being a little more open and bigger greens, you have to shoot for low rounds, you can’t just shoot three low rounds and one decent round. It’s going to take, obviously, another three scores in the sixties I’d say to win this tournament, weather permitting.

You came here with a feel good approach, obviously from last year, that of course helped you today?

Hull: Yeah, I definitely feel comfortable on this golf course, especially after this year – I’ve got some good memories and good vibes. I’m starting to remember which way the greens break, too, without even having to look at my yardage book, so it definitely helps, even coming in with your approach shots you think, ‘well, it’s coming into the grain, I can actually be a bit more aggressive with this shot because the grain’s going to slow it up faster. So I think, yeah, definitely good memories from last year, which helps.

Are you going to head back to your room, or are you going to head out there and have a bit of a tinker.

Hull: I’m going to have a bit of a tinker a little bit on the range. Then I’ll probably have lunch with my folks, because it’s actually my mum’s birthday today. And then I might do a bit of short game work, then head to the gym, then go out tonight with my family to celebrate with mum.

What your mum’s name?

Hull: Pauline.

You might have missed bumping into Amanda on the college scene over there, do you know much about her, and have you heard anything about her. I know she lead in Q-school which is impressive.

Hull: Yeah, very impressive. I actually played with her in California back in October, I think it was. I think she got a sponsor’s exemption to the CBS (inaudible) tournament. Yeah, very impressed with her game, obviously then and she’s a sweetheart on top of it so it’s nice to see someone out there with some personality and talent and obviously yeah, she played great today.

Would you be able to explain the change in your pre-tournament schedule? You mentioned that earlier. What is it that you’re doing differently?

Hull: Usually on a Tuesday I play 18 holes, and I’m just going to play nine this year and do a bit more work on the range and around the greens and not be spending forever out there on a Tuesday because obviously early stages of the week and I don’t need to be burning myself out on a Tuesday. Wednesday’s also a fairly long day for us anyway with Pr-Am, so I guess it’s just trying to conserve a bit of energy.

So will that make the Pro-Am your practice round?

Hull: No, I’ll still play the nine-hole practice round on Tuesday; I’ll pick the more difficult nine. I’m a big believer in the Pro-Am, to make sure the amateurs are having a good time. I don’t do any charting or anything on the Wednesday in the Pro-Am, I just make sure they’re having a good time.

Is there much difference between the morning start and the afternoon start? Do you go into tomorrow with a different approach at all?

Hull: Sometimes the conditions are a little trickier in the afternoon, but I’ll still approach it in the same way. I’ve still got a game plan, and I’ll just go out there, point A to point B, from there, on you go. I haven’t looked at a weather forecast, I’m guessing it should be slightly be similar to today, slightly breezy. Just stick to the game plan, stick to the process.

Shower or two tomorrow, wet on the weekend. Moderate to heavy rain is the forecast for Saturday. Does the prospect of a three-round tournament tend to enter your mind at all?

Hull: I hope that it’s a four round tournament. Right now the conditions of the course, I think it’s okay. As long as it doesn’t rain too much, I think we’ll play four. But time will tell on that one. But I think the green staff, they know what they’re doing and can get it into playable conditions so it’s just a waiting game, really, but yeah I definitely hope we get four rounds in.

The other day you mentioned that you’re tweaking your swing, five under; I guess it’s coming along ok?

Hull: Well my misses are getting better, yeah. I guess you could say that the swing changes are slowly kicking in.

When talking about your swing, you say that you’re trying to get your hips going (inaudible) to get more distance. Are you finding that you’re getting more distance when you’re least expecting it, is it difficult when you’re playing in the tournament to know your yardages that well, if you are starting to gain more distance?

Hull: Yeah, sometimes when I do sequence my hips correctly, and get it out in the centre of the club-face, it will fly a little further. I’ll say to Vern, my caddie, ‘I all of that one and I can’t hit it any better’ but, you’re actually happy if you are doing that. I guess as long as you’re not flying it into back pins then maybe a nuke every now and then is still going to be all right.

Karrie Webb

Happy with the way you played?

Webb: I’m happy with my final score, I had a bit of a scratchy second nine holes, the front nine, and I felt like I played the first nine holes quite solidly. I didn’t drive so well on the back nine, shooting 200 on the back was quite a feat with the way I hit it.

Karrie, briefly sum up the condition of the course for us?

Webb: Obviously, it’s still very wet, I think it was probably almost better, because today it’s a bit more muddy. So, you know I think the course superintendent and his staff have done an amazing job to get it back in play so, you know, the green’s here are unbelievable how quickly they drain, and how they dry, they were pretty good yesterday even and they putted pretty well today.

What do you think about the possibly of shortening the tournament? Keeping your neck in front all the time?

Webb: Would that happen? Is it supposed to rain again? I thought it was suppose to be good, I don’t know then, I guess I hadn’t even thought about it. Once we teed up today, I was thinking we were playing four rounds. We’ll see how it goes.

Karrie, you said you were a little scratchy out there, what was happening to your swing do think?

Webb: I don’t know, I’ll have to go figure it out on the range, but, yeah just didn’t drive the ball very well. It wasn’t one particular shot, it was left and right so we’ll see what happens.

Karrie, Katherine was saying being a resort course, you really can’t afford having one bad round, would you concur with what she says?

Webb: yes and no. I’ve had a couple of scratchy rounds in the times that I’ve won but it forces you to have a really low one it you don’t have a great first round. So, it’s defiantly better to get a good start and it takes a bit of the pressure off you and if you do shot a low round that really puts you in with a great chance.

You’ve had higher starts than this…

Webb: Yeah, this was probably one of my better start’s in probably five or six years, I think.

Karrie, what’s the logo on your cap please?

Webb: It’s the boxing kangaroo.

Anything commercial or just you wanting to have that?

Webb: Just me wanting to have it there. If you know anyone that wants to put something there, let me know!

Karrie, over the year’s a lot of Australian’s who’ve spent a lot of time in the US have become Americanised but you’ve been very true to your roots…

Webb: Yeah, um, I think, I would be pretty easy too. I think when I first went to the state’s, I got really into being over there, I think I’d grown up dreaming of playing in the State’s so, um, I missed being home because I missed my family, you know, I felt like the States in America were very similar to Australia but the longer the I’ve been away from Australia, the more difference I see between the two countries. And, makes me want to spend more time in Australia and home and I will always miss my family but I miss just being in Australia.

What do you know about Blumenherst?

Webb: Not a lot, I know that she had a fantastic ammeter career, was probably the no.1 amateur for the last couple of years, over there. I don’t know much about her game.

Webb: I haven’t played with her, I’m mean, I’ve seen her hit balls on the range, but that isn’t a good judge on how someone plays the game, so I don’t know much about how she plays.

Karrie, how did you feel about your putting today? Are you happy with it?

Webb: Yeah, very happy with my putting, I felt really good on the greens today.

Given that you say you were scratchy, and got four under, would say it’s ominous for the rest of the field?

Webb: Um, not necessarily. I mean I feel like I got everything out on my round today, so, If I can straighten things out a little bit, I don’t think there’s much to straighten out, I think it was just more, you know, playing in the wind the whole round, I think, you know, you start fighting the wind a little bit and getting a little bit tight in the upper body. I think that’s all it really was. Just got hit some balls and just be a little softer up top and just swing at it a bit more freely.

Christina Kim

Welcome, we were hoping to see you yesterday.

Kim: Thank You. Yes, I know I spent a couple days Perth coming from Singapore and kind of messed up my flight a little bit. I had the minutes mixed up, flight was 11:15 at night, so what, arrive here at 5:40 in the morning and I thought it was 11:50 and I was pushing it a little as it was so I had to stay eight extra hours in Perth. Which actually wasn’t a bad thing because it was absolutely beautiful down there and the weather has been less than ideal here, so practice wise I didn’t’ really miss out on anything.

Did you find anything to do in those eight hours?

Kim: As a matter of fact I did, there was a music festival on in Perth and that was the reason why I flew down on the way over here. The Monday there was this SoundWave festival, which is this huge rock festival that goes all around Australia and they finish their show in Perth on Monday after I think it was a two week tour. So went down there and I know some of the guys in a couple bands and they stayed an extra day anyway so we hung out. Then was up at 5 o’clock in the morning on the way to the airport.

Rumour has it you arrived in a bikini and a pretty flimsy t-shirt?

Kim: No, there was not-shirt. It was a dress, a halter neck. I flew in, I just kind of rolled up, and I landed. Because the weather in Perth was amazing, it felt like it was about 45 degrees with the heat and everything, it was blistering, so I flew out in the dress and I came and hit balls in a dress! It was awesome!

At the end of day, did you see any retiree’s with shorts and sandals and black socks on?

Kim: No, I didn’t really see anybody…I saw a couple people in really long short’s but, no, I was so focused on my golf I couldn’t see anything outside the ropes.

Christina, you are a breath of fresh air in golf, which is full of tradition, what we see, is that who you are everyday of the year?

Kim: Absolutely, I don’t have time in my life to be dishonest. That’s the way I see it, I don’t have the energy to exert to be anything other than who I am. You know, I think that’s one of the reason’s I’m able to get some of the good rounds in my game that I do. Because I’m genuine, I don’t have time to try and be something other than who I am. I understand golf, like you said, tends to be a more reserved game and more traditional if you will but…I can’t change!

In a couple of lines, how would you review you book?

Kim: My book, my book if funnier than all hell and more honest than most people would probably ever expect to be, considering I’m not retired.

Do you mention names?

Kim: I mention a few names, but I’m a pretty friendly, I’m so friendly with most of the players out there that I don’t’ have…you know…I like to think that I’m bright and very happy because of the very fortune and blessed life, that I try and see all the positives in everybody. So, I do mention a few names and I don’t say anything negative by any means.

You have very conservative Korean parents, what do they think of you and your image?

Kim: Comparatively, speaking my parents are not as conservative as some of the other parent’s amongst all the other tours we have in the world. They’ve been in America for almost 30 years, so they are a little bit more liberal, you know they still have very strong Korean roots and I’d like to think that I do as well… but try and hold the rains for only so long and you know, I can’t be tamed I guess.

What is unfulfilled in your playing career? What are those goals you’re still chasing?

Kim: Um, Hitting the perfect shot with every swing. Whether that means I shot 54, 88, if there’s such a thing as hitting a perfect shot every time you know, obviously I could say very stock standard things like winning the major’s, getting in the hall of fame, order of merit, you know, all those sort of things. But for me, it’s just about finding perfection. And perfection is always in the eye of the beholder and no one can define what someone else’s perfection is. So that’s definitely something that’s missing in my career and one thing that I have been missing is coming down under, so I can check that off the bucket list!

Why the decision to come this year?

Kim: Well, you know I’ve known Bob Tuohy and Warren for years and year and I’d always tried to come down here but the timing was always just off, you know, so for me this year, this last year, I sat and had a few drinks with Warren and we chatted about how great it is coming down to Aus and we looked at the schedule, And at the time it was perfectly placed where we were going to go, from Australia to Thailand and Singapore but, you know, the dates all mixed up and whatever so we ended up going Thailand, Singapore and then these two weeks in Aus. It just happened to work out and I was determined, I’ve been to Dubai, I’ve been to Milan, I’ve played a few event’s on the European Tour and I wanted to expand myself as a human being, you know, obviously I’m here to play some great golf and see some beautiful golf courses and interact with the crowds but at the same time I want to immerse myself in the culture and see what you all got!

Why do you wear two pairs of sunglasses?

Kim: Um, there’s a new company that I’m working with, called Pillar Sports, they’ve been catering to the world’s best mark’s men, you know, like the clay disc things with the guns and birds and what not, they’re basically high definition glasses. I switch back and forth, one is from tee to green, and one is for green reading solely. Myself and Kristy Macpherson are part of the team at pillar sports and I really think that there’s been a huge difference in terms of how I view the greens and how I’m able to read putts. Obviously, I didn’t make any today, you know it’s kind of hard, you swear the putt’s going to break and then it’s like, it’s pretty straight. But you know, it’s a project I’m working on and I’m very excited about it. And plus I’ve got eye’s in the back of my head!

How would you rate your game today?

Kim: Today, I hit a lot of quality shots, obviously ‘c’est la vie’ putts. They didn’t drop, simple as that. I think I hit 15 or 16 greens today and just looked like a five year old around the greens. You know, just a few degrees off, you know, it’s something that I’m working on obviously with my game and you know, I’m in a good place right now where the golf course definitely fits my eye very well. It’s just a matter of getting the ball to go, underground!

Do you think having one practice round, seeing what the greens are like; you can repeat that the rest of the week?

Kim: I think day by day the golf courses can always change; the saturation of golf course we’ve encountered day will be nothing like what it is tomorrow afternoon. So, it’ll be a completely different golf course. A lot of the times, you can just go in, and it’s like blind in my opinion because, just because the layout is the same doesn’t necessarily mean the course will play the same by any means. There’s no guarantee the wind is going to be the same again tomorrow and so the golf course I encountered today has nothing to do with the golf course I will play tomorrow.

How often do you just rock up and play a course, sight unseen, like that?

Kim: Not often! I don’t do that very often actually.

You didn’t know where you hitting them off the tee, did you?

Kim: If you’ve got a caddy that’s as good as mine, you know, I trust him with my life. At the same time, golf is golf. A drive is a drive, if you have to hit a drop, ok hit a drop, if have to hit a fade, hit a fade. You know, I came into the town, excuse me, into the area in a very relaxed state, which was kind of nice, you know, there’s a lot less jitters and lot less anxiety. I felt more like an Aussie, if you will, I was very very chilled today.

You made the comment that you like to try and search for the perfect shot out every time, when you put it down, do you just pull the trigger on things? You don’t take too much time over the shot, is that the way you play?

Kim: Yeah, there’s no reason to sit there doodle over a ball. You know, it’s not going anywhere until you make it move, you know, and I’ve played time when I was very very slow around the golf course and that doesn’t necessarily always work and I’m the kind of person that, I’m very much about instinct’s, ok the wind’s dead into be at 24, 25 kilometres, you know, knock it down. So you set up over the ball and just knock it down. I mean, the longer you think, I’m the kind of person that if you sit on something, dwell on something, it kind of manifest’s into something very very ugly.

Does that say something about Christina Kim the person?

Kim: I’m all about impulse. I mean, I’ll buy a ticket to go somewhere in the world just like that. I mean, if I had a big old globe in my house, I would probably take darts and say…right I’m going there this week, you know if I had the choice, at the same time I’m working on that, I’ve got a six month plan where I’m working on that, work on the next step in my life, you know, where I’m going to go off to next, in terms of you know, my residence and so, I’m trying to work on being a little bit more, hedonism is probably something I part take in a bit much.

John Daly was back here a few weeks ago, has written a book and made the comment he might move on a movie, if you went onto a movie, who would be playing you in that do you think?

Kim: God, I couldn’t even fathom that, I wouldn’t let anyone play me, no one can touch me, I don’t’ know, honestly I’m, sadly I like animated movies, so I’m not very good when it comes to actors and actresses..

It would be a good movie though, wouldn’t it?

Kim: It’d be the best!