Katherine, a win and a second from here in the last two starts, must have some special memories for you here.
Yeah, I’ve played here a fair bit as a junior, so I’ve got some good memories from back in the nineties, and certainly the last two years have been good results, so I’m looking forward to this week, and hope I come out with one better then last year.
You played reasonably well last week. How’s your form coming into this?
Ah it’s a bit better, I kind of figured out some things with my golf swing yesterday and hopefully the timing will be a bit better this week, because it was of last week, which was why I struggled so much. It happens, its golf, so definitely looking forward to this weekend.
Just recently you’ve played the Moss Vale pro- am, followed by Mount Broughton pro-am. Both 36 holes, and you only made one bogie in those 36 holes. When you come into the centre of things, it does coincide with the arrival of your fitness trainer from the States in time for the NSW Women’s Open.
I did push it to hard, in the week that my trainer was here, which did affect my performance at NSW. I was only feeling probably around 50 per cent on the Friday round, and then maybe 70 per cent on the Saturday and barely 80 per cent on the Sunday, so in terms of feeling great about my game, that NSW one was really my best week, my attitude was ok that week, it was just a matter of getting the ball in the hole, kind of a Laura Davies approach, it doesn’t matter how it looks or how it feels, just get it done. Canberra I felt physically ok, but I just couldn’t get anything going.
Just swinging at it big?
Yeah, I guess because I hadn’t hit as many balls as I normally do, so I didn’t feel as prepared. So yeah, just tune for long enough balls, and then last week, my attitude got the better of me. So looking to rectify that this week.
You’ve finished top 10 in your past three events, but you haven’t really been in contention have you?
No I wouldn’t say so at all. I mean 6 behind, you can do it, but its not where you want to be going into the last round.
Yeah, well its not going to happen very often these days, when you’ve got fields as strong as they are. There’s more talent out here, more girls can win, which means you got to be in a better position going into Sunday if you want a chance at winning.
What’s the name of your fitness trainer?
Were you surprised at how well you played at Moss Vale and the other tournaments?
A little bit. Just because I go about five days of practice at home in Noosa before I went down. The thing is, I play my best golf when I’m having fun, laughing and smiling, and any fun, and in the Pro Ams it’s typically what I do. I came to direct to take the attention of the amateurs, give them some tips. There’s always something going on, whether reading one of their putts or telling them where to line up. It’s like I need a distraction to take my mind of my game until its my turn to hit. And then last week, I got myself into a little bubble, I wasn’t even talking to my caddie as much as I usually do and, um it just kind of snowballed. I think the more fun I can try and have on the golf course, the better I can play. That is going to be one of my goals this week.
Do you ever remind yourself of that, bring yourself back to that, to make yourself more relaxed between shots?
Yeah definitely, because I do have a very intense personality. I would consider myself very competitive, I my expectations I put a lot of pressure on myself. So the simpler I can keep it, the more joking around the better, because then I can get out of that serious mode and play. I mean it is a game, so you can’t make it business, or as much as we work at it, at the end of the day, you go out there and try and do it, and play your best golf.
You said that your attitude got the better of you, some of the things I saw, was a bit of a temper. At one stage you slammed your club into the ground, whacked the bag. Have you done that very often much lately, or was that just a throw back.
No I haven’t done it, nearly as much as what I did last week. That’s going to be a one off, I am not planning on repeating that at all, because ah, I actually got a DVD copy of it, to see Thursdays round. I mean its not pretty, its not the example I want to set. It doesn’t help my golf.
Do you think you got some things out of your system?
I hope so! Yeah. I think I got some answers in the last few days, but its always going to be a working progress, for me anyway I know that, its just part of my personality that I have a little fire in my belly.
Were you disappointed with yourself when you saw that footage?
Yeah, more then anything because it lingers. As much as I like to say I get over stuff in five seconds, I think sometimes it’s like, I’m like a kettle, and this boiling point just keeps on going past, so as much as I try to get it out, ultimately sometimes it does carry on to long
Do you set high expectations for yourself when you’re at home or do you see your time here at home, as an opportunity to get ready for the States?
I try to treat every tournament pretty much the same, I just have to go into it as prepared as possible and just do my best. I don’t think I put any more pressure on myself when I’m in Australia performing. Yeah I don’t really look at it. I just go out and try and do the best I can and see what happens.
And what about this year in the States? What are your goals?
The goal is to finish top five on the LPGA money list. I’m not to concerned with the world rankings because I think that system is a little skewy, but yeah top five is the ultimate goal for the end of the year.
What about in terms of winning, you’ve won tournaments in the past couple of years, do you want to be known as a player that can win more tournaments in a year?
Yeah absolutely, as hard as it is to take it one week at a time, if you can finish, if you can get yourself in there, then you have more chance of winning. Top ten I suppose every week would probably be the best ultimate goal in order to get to the top five by the end of the year, and obviously if you can do that, you’re going to have some chances to win tournaments.
Do you feel like you’re close, do you see yourself as that player being in the top five consistently week after week?
Yeah I do feel I’m close. Last year I think, taught me a lot about what I got to do in my off weeks and then how I got to be more fresh around tournament time, and play lots of big tournaments in a row. So I’m going to be implementing that this year, and I think I’m going to get some good results because of it.
Do you see much of the Korean girls, I know they’re not very old, but they seem to have this calm courtesy and so determined and confident about where they’re going with their golf. Do you learn from that, or take anything from that?
Yeah I think there is something to it for sure. But there are even some Europeans that you look at as players, and they are very level headed and very determined to make as many birdies as they can, so yeah you know I have a bit more of a bigger personality, so I can’t try and be super quiet because that is kind of suppressing who I am, but at the same time I obviously can’t get to carried away.
Karrie always comes into this very successfully, do you ever consider her a special case of this event, or do you just see her as part of the field?
I mean there is 150… 144 players this week. I mean you expect her to be up there just because she does have such a good record here and she might be having a rough week with her timing. So you never know, its not like you’ve got your eyes on just that one player, there is another 143 other girls out here that I am competing against. So you just go out there and take one day at a time, and hopefully at the end of it you’re the one that’s holding the trophy.
How’d you go out there today?
Not too bad actually, made some birdies and I feel good about going into tomorrow.
Yeah I made quite a few good ones out there, which was nice. I guess the green is a bit slower then it was last week. So I just have to tell myself to be a bit more aggressive tomorrow.
And how many birdies did you make?
Ooo, I don’t know, maybe 5 or 6 at least.
Did you win the Pro Am?
Ah No… we had 98 and I think 109 won the pro am.
Yani was able to run away from the Commonwealth, which is obviously a very different golf course, than this. What you saw out there today, is 16-18 under what you’re going to need to win it this week?
I think so yeah, I mean this golf course is wide open, you can’t really get into a whole lot of trouble. And the greens are relatively flat, which makes the putting a bit easier to rig so, I mean I think you’re going to see similar scores to the last couple of years. Make a lot of birdies and a lot of numbers in the sixties.
You’ve seen Yani play in close range, what do you think has been her step up in the past 15 months?
Ah, I’ve only played with her a couple of times, so I don’t know what the key for her has been, but I know her game is very solid. She is a great ball striker, and actually I played with her last year at the Aussie Open, and obviously last Thursday and Friday, and her putting stroke has improved, so, at least that’s one change that I’ve noticed, but all round she is just very solid.