Simon’s Golf Club, near Helsingør, Denmark
Friday 5th September 2008
Martina Eberl 66 (-7)
How would you sum up today’s performance?
The performance was great. I didn’t start off the way I wanted but I got some birdies going on the back nine. Today was a great experience for me because Annika has always been one of my idols and it has been a dream come true because it’s one of her last tournaments. It’s the last in Europe and being able to play the first two rounds with her, I’m feeling pretty honoured.
How much do you enjoy playing with a crowd?
I love it. I think that is why I work hard. Once you start playing well you have to get used to that. This year in Germany I loved playing with a lot of people around. I am not distracted at all. I love it.
Could you talk us through your back nine?
On 18 I almost reached it in two, Texas wedge putt. 17: had a good drive, five-wood next to the flag and had a very good eagle chance but took the birdie there. On 16, the par four, I pushed my driver a little bit into the rough. I got it on the green and holed a long putt for birdie. Before that, the par-three, I holed about a six or seven metre putt. Before that I missed a one-and-a-half metre birdie putt and I was a little bit annoyed there because I miss read it a little. At the end of the day I’m very happy about my back nine. The holes are not easy but without the wind they were playing a lot easier than the last couple of days.
Was 14 the turning point?
Basically, yes. I birdied nine, hit a huge drive and had a pitching wedge into the green. I birdied that, made a good up and down on ten. I was driving the ball really well today and pretty long so that gave me really short shots into the greens, which helped.
Would you say it helped your game today playing with Annika and the home favourite Iben?
It certainly helped me to get a crowd, because I knew that it was the group that would have the most people walking with them. When it came to the game itself I really tried to focus on my own game. Of course I watched Annika playing a little bit because she used to be one of my idols and still is. I think what she has achieved is great. Game wise, I tried to focus on my own game, which is pretty good at the moment.
Were you able to shut everything else out?
Yes, when it comes to the shots. I have a great caddie on the bag, Paul, and he just helps me. I was surprised I wasn’t nervous at all today. I was excited on the first tee but I said to Paul, “I don’t think I will ever be as nervous as I was on the first tee in Germany.” I don’t want to sound arrogant but you get used to the feeling in your belly about adrenaline and stuff. I really enjoy that feeling and that is good.
Melissa Reid 67 (-6)
What was the key today?
We didn’t really hit it in the trouble. Me and Brian, as usual, tried to make as few mistakes as possible. I hit one bad shot on the first which was my tenth but managed to save a good par from there.
You had a couple of weeks off leading up to this tournament. What have you been doing?
I’ve been practising pretty hard. I had quite an easy week the first week as I only practised on three days. The second week was pretty tough. I had some good practise sessions. I think I needed to figure a few things out. I wasn’t too happy with the way I performed in the British; I wasn’t too happy with the way I performed in the Welsh, so I needed to work on a few things and it was nice to go back home for a little bit as well.
What did you figure out?
I think my state of mind: I screwed up at the British in the way I prepared. I worked pretty hard to prepare well for the Welsh but I didn’t play that great. I tried to work on my swing, putting and all the usual stuff.
How did you prepare badly for the British?
I had a really good practise round with Brian. I wasn’t hitting it great going into the tournament. Basically what me and Lawrence tried to do was fix it. We spent seven hours on the practise ground at Wentworth on Wednesday which isn’t ideal. Instead of that maybe we should have thought about how I was going to shoot a 68. I stood on the first tee on Thursday and I was mentally drained. We made that mistake at Tour school and I am a bit disappointed that we made it again.
have you changed?
I’ve decided to seriously work my arse off in the off weeks, practise really hard and then when I get the tournament it’s all there. It’s just tidying a few things up and getting used to the greens. It’s not a practise week, it’s a tournament. I’ve had to identify that and keep my head pretty clear.
You must be satisfied to be ahead of Annika.
She is my heroine so it is pretty cool but I still want to beat her and win the tournament. If I keep playing like I am I should be okay. I hit it pretty good but not 100 percent so there is still room for improvement there.
Nikki Garrett 68 (-5)
A great round of five-under today. What would you put it down to?
I hit a lot more fairways and I think that’s what it’s down to. I’ve been hitting a lot more fairways over the last couple of weeks and making cuts because of it. I hit fairways and greens and sunk a few putts. I had a nice eagle on the last.
How long was the putt?
It was probably about 40 feet.
I finished birdie, birdie, eagle so obviously I can’t ask for a much better finish. It was a really good day. We had a nice group.
Is this the Nikki of last year coming back?
Maybe, I’m not too sure. It is Tim’s last week, my caddie, so it would be really nice to go out with a bang with him and try and get something back that we know that we can play like. It has been getting there all year but there was something in between. Hopefully I’ll have a good week for Tim.
Have you changed anything?
When I went home for six days I went back to my old driver. I know I can hit it straight. I think mentally I’m in a better place now. I’ve gone back to relaxing on the golf course and not stressing out too much.
When did you go home?
I went home for the week of the English, so the 1st-7th July.
Was the old driver the one you used the last two years?
It was the one I used the last two years. I got the new driver last year in about September and when I hit it well, I hit it well, but when I hit it badly I hit it bad. My coach said: “You’re not taking this back over.” I feel much more comfortable with it. I came over and it’s been improving from Sweden, even from the British.
Who is your coach?
Darren Chivers. He said: “You’re not taking it back so get used to it.”
Who will be your new caddie when Tim (Walsh) leaves?
I’m not sure for Austria but I’ve got a friend coming over for Sweden so that should be a good laugh. I’m going home after Sweden so that will be me for the rest of the year until India and Dubai.
Clare Queen 69 (-4)
A great round and your best in a while. What do you put it down to?
I struck the ball fairly solidly today. I didn’t do much wrong really. I hit 15 greens and birdied three of the five par fives and it was quite important to pick up shots there because it wasn’t too easy to pick up shots in other places on the course. It was good to get those birdies. My putting was pretty solid today so I’m happy.
Can you talk us through your birdies and bogey?
The bogey on 14 was just a three-putt really which was a bit silly. I birdied 15 and got it back and then birdied the two pars fives on 17 and 18. I hit good approach shots in. 17 was only a two foot putt and 18 was about a ten foot putt. I hit a good shot into the first and holed a ten footer for birdie. I missed a birdie putt on the second from about 10 feet and holed a 12 footer on the third. I had other chances coming in but just didn’t make them.
How pleased are you with your form this year?
When you look at it on paper I’m pretty disappointed because I expected more of myself this year. I had a chat with Shane and we just said that I was putting too much pressure on myself. The last few weeks I’ve been a bit more relaxed and much happier. I had a good solid week in Wales and did well last week but didn’t feel I was playing well. It was good to finish 23rd and not feel that I had played well as that is a change from other weeks. I feel like it’s coming together.
Have you changed anything?
I’ve been working on a couple of things in my swing so I have been hitting more golf balls than normal. I think my long game has steadied up a bit. I have never been a fan of hitting balls for hours on the range because I get quite bored but I have been making it a bit more productive. I have been trying to get more out of the time rather than just hitting 100 balls. I have made my practise more effective which has helped.
How does it affect your mind set with Annika playing in the tournament?
She is just someone you want to beat. I think it’s really good having her here because you get a good buzz about the tournament. It was good having her in Sweden as well as it was her last event in Sweden and that was a good week. You always think: “I’d like to finish ahead of her.”
Emma Zackrisson 69 (-4)
What was the key to your round today?
I was patient.
Have you played here before?
What do you think of the course?
I like it. It is fairly straight forward and you can hit your driver on almost every hole.
You are having a great year. Why is that?
I am just so much more relaxed and I am enjoying it a lot more than I was a couple of years before. I was relaxed even before the win as I tried to change my mind set at the beginning of the year.
How were the conditions?
It is windy today. I don’t mind playing in the wind. A little bit of wind I like.