This is where we expect you to be. Do you feel you played well today?
I felt like I played really solidly today. I hit a couple of loose iron shots but tee to green was very solid. Three birdies and no bogeys.
Laura said she hoped to be out in the last group with you and Giulia tomorrow and it should be fun. She also said she was a bit scrappy and she has to improve her game tomorrow, but you never know.
I think it will be fun. She is very capable of shooting a low number and so are a number of other players.
You had a fantastic week last week. Do you have good feelings about tomorrow?
Yes. I am playing really solidly. Today there were some pins that you should not try to get to. I think the course will be set up just as challenging tomorrow. It is a bit more of a thinker’s course than last week. You really have to have a game plan and stick to it.
Are you thinking about winning the Open-Masters double again?
I have to win tomorrow before I can do that. I still have 18 holes left. Hopefully I still have some golf left in me.
Do you feel like you are at the end of a long run? Do you have any fight left?
Oh yes, I think so. I’m surprised that some of my best golf has come after such a long lay-off. This is the first time in many years that I have played four in a row. I feel I have a good one left in me.
You said you were pretty tired.
Yes. I have been tired all week. I had a lull through the middle, not that I got myself into any trouble. At 14 I hit a poor iron shot and a poor bunker shot and gave myself a kick in the pants. I told myself to stop feeling sorry for myself because I was a little bit tired. In finished off well.
You held it together beautifully and you’re in a marvellous position… Laura Davies said she was very scrappy but managed to get it all together, how was your game?
My game was not my A-game today. I had to work really hard and I did. I had a couple of holes where I played some good shots, made good pars, and that kept me going for a little bit. Then I made some bad swings so I paid the consequences and that’s it.
You are in the lead and playing with Laura and Karrie.
It’s going to be great fun. I love Laura Davies, she’s wonderful. And she’s quick in golf. I mean Karrie, there’s going to be a lot of people following her so it’s good.
You fist-pumped after a couple of key putts.
I’ve been working really hard on my putting and that was always the thing that kept me away from situations like this. So now that I can hole putts, I know that I put myself in good shape for the
Did you talk to the course today?
I tried but I wasn’t hitting it where he was pointing at. He was like, ‘I told you here’, so I had to kind of take different ways.
Did you do any handstands today?
This morning I did quite a lot and on the golf course I just hide behind the trees and did a few. It’s embarrassing but…
You should do one in the middle of the 18th.
Okay, if I win tomorrow I’ll do it.
How are you going to approach tomorrow, try and not get distracted by the crowds?
I love the crowd. The crowd does not distract at all. The crowd is supportive and the crowd is there for you so. If you get distracted, you try to run away from it and you really can’t when you have 200-300
people around so you’ve got to be with them. I’m going to try to enjoy my last day in Australia and be with the crowd and try to play great golf for them.”
You said you would sleep easily if you were one or two shots behind going into the final round. You’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight?
Absolutely. I have not played particularly well but I got the ball around….Yes, I’ll wake up tomorrow morning to a challenge.
Ca n you walk us through from 11 to 13?
I don’t think we have the time. Eleven was a good tee shot and a nice wedge but the wind held it in the air too long and it went over the back. That was a 20-footer.
Twelve is just a hard hole and we decided at the start of the day to hit driver or two iron off the tee. We hit two iron off the tee which was always going to leave a two iron second shot in the front bunker. It was probably a 25-yard shot and in that went. It was obviously a massive bonus. Then I pulled my drive to the left and hit one of the best two irons of my life to 20 feet and two-putted for birdie. Then on 14 I hit a good three iron and a wedge to about 15 feet. There were four very different birdies. It was nice to do it.
Were your putts on 11 and 14 downhill?
Yes. You have to be careful with them. That is the golf course. If you are off the fairway, you are going to be in trouble. If you are just off the green, it is not easy. Fairways and greens in the first round, I found the whole golf course was pretty easy. There were no dramas. For the last two days, plenty of dramas.
When you holed your bunker shot you raised your arms in the air. It seemed you were thinking, at last, something has gone in.
Absolutely not. I had just holed a putt from off the green. I got up and down from four out of five bunkers on the front nine for par. I putted really well and my short game has been really good this week. This is the sort of week I love to have.
How many points would you give yourself out of 10 for that two iron you hit?
I reckon a 10.
Greg Norman would say he was in awe of himself.
I am never in awe of myself, I can assure you of that. It was right on the limit of the two iron. I think it landed eight inches over the bunker. We could not find the pitch mark. We were trying to get in the front bunker. We did not think it would actually carry onto the green. We thought we were going to make birdie anyway. We nearly made eagle. It was a good putt.
What was the yardage?
I had 220 to carry the bunkers. I hit it 221.
Have you ever had a round with so many brilliant recovery shots?
That’s how I play normally. I’m not saying I am brilliant. I am saying I am normally in the shit. That is the way I have always played my golf. I play conservative when I think it is best. Like 16, for instance. I hit it in the water but it was the right shot to hit. I was just three yards too far left. I aimed at that big tree on the corner. It only hit one leaf but that was enough to take the sting out of it. Then I hit a two iron 245 on 15. It made it an easy bogey rather than having to struggle for a bogey.
Did you tell your caddie you would cut the corner?
It would have been the cheekiest par ever if I’d holed that putt on 16. That would have been amazing.
Are you looking forward to tomorrow?
Not if I play like that. If I play like I did on Thursday it will be great fun. It will be fun anyway. It looks like I’ll be playing with Webbie and Giulia. Who knows? You can’t predict who is going to win in that group. Anyone could have a good round. It happened to me last year. Maybe I can do it again. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Who will be your main opposition?
Webbie. I’ve nothing against Giulia but she has won, what, five Aussie Opens? And seven Masters.