Thank you Nikki for coming in before presentations. Did you feel you had a chance today, when you got within two?
I didn’t really look at the bored to be honest. I thought I was so far behind at the start of the day it wasn’t really on my mind. I knew Yani wasn’t going to shoot over par on this course, so I was really trying to get second place I suppose, or trying to give it a chance.
So you didn’t really feel, in the middle of the round, how close you were?
Not really, it wasn’t really windy out there, and Yani can most likely hit most of the par fives. I wanted to shoot eight under today, and I didn’t think that would be good enough to win, which it’s not, but I was just happy if I could go out and do that.
Do you feel it was good to finish a tournament the way you did today?
Yeah, I quite often have my best rounds on a Sunday, and I don’t know why. Maybe I see the finish line and try and get there I guess. I was happy with today. I’ve played well most of the week and sort of, things just went well today.
What do you think of the form that Yani is in at the moment?
It’s pretty incredible, she certainly dominating. I think this course in particular, really suites her. She shoots sort of long way, and it’s not really narrow, but in saying that, if you’re at the top of your game, you’re going to do well on any course; it doesn’t really matter where you play.
I think this is your best finish in Australia, your best finish here that’s for sure, do you feel good that a tournament like this, could build your profile here. You have a high profile in Japan, not so much here even despite your performances.
Yeah, everyone says to me that I’m the quiet achiever, in Australia, I guess because Japan doesn’t get any coverage. To me it doesn’t really matter, I just want to play good golf and enjoy it, it doesn’t really bother me, how much, I mean it’s nice to have recognition of other people but it’s not the whole reason I play. I play to enjoy golf and to do well in tournaments for me, but it is nice to play in front of an Australian crowd and to have people out there that are encouraging. That’s really nice.
What are your best finishes here and at the Australian Open, can you remember?
My best at the Open is tied for eighth, that as three years ago at Metro. Here I think I’ve finished fifth a couple of times.
The last time we spoke, you said you were very happy playing in Japan at the age you were, and you were content that that is where you would see out your career. Does this say that maybe you’re selling yourself short, that maybe you could go play on the LPGA tour?
I probably could go play on the LPGA if I wanted too, but it’s not something that I’m interested in. I see the Japanese Tour as very strong, with a lot of good players coming through. The golf there is very challenging, I like the lifestyle, I like the people there, I’ve met some amazing people, and I just don’t really want to leave. I just really like it.
You’re not going to New Zealand next week, so when is your next tournament in Japan?
Yeah, the first tournament is the first week in March. I’m going to Thailand for just a photo thing, and then I go home for a week, and then Japan.
How does today and the rest of the week compare with your best form in tournaments, especially the times you’ve won in Japan?
Um. It’s hard to compare because every week, some things are better than others, but I probably haven’t played as well this week as when I’ve won in Japan. It’s really hard to compare it, but I would say the quality of this field was pretty strong, definitely it was equivalent to what we play in Japan. I think the Japanese tour is very underestimated, to win there you have to play very good golf, and I think because it doesn’t get much coverage, it doesn’t get the recognition it should.
How do you see the world rankings going, obviously we’ve seen Yani go from five to one, how do you see it in terms of players – is it shuffling the deck chairs?
It seems like it at the moment, because it’s so close. There are five players that are so close in points that you could have one win one week and jump to the top and another one win and they might lead. So it makes it interesting. I think the world ranking is good, because it brings all the tours together. I would like it if the majors were a bit more based on the rankings, because then I could get into a few more majors, but that might happen in the future, I don’t know.
What about the rest of the field, you said there are five or six girls, but there is clearly not that much difference, I don’t know what you’re ranked at the moment, but if you look at it from an Australian point of view, Webb and Hull in the top 15, there is obviously not that much difference there either.
I think I’m at 45. To be honest, I don’t really study the world rankings, so I can’t really answer, I don’t know. Hopefully it’s not that far, I can climb up!
What ranking do you need to be to get into the majors?
I don’t know that either, I just know I can’t get in (laughs). Well I haven’t been in the top 50 until recently, so there was no chance of me getting in. I can get into the Evian, but I know in Japan, I have to be top five on the money list at about four weeks before the British Open is played, and the US Open, I think you have to be top two or three on the money list for last year. So it’s hard to get into from Japan, but it’s something I would like to do though. It’s definitely a goal to play a few more majors; I’ve only played one.
What was that?
I played the British Open about five years ago.