Seven time champion, Karrie Webb. So far we have a five-way tie for the lead. It’s a very exciting start to the tournament.
Yeah, I’m glad I’m one of the five. I think it’s my best first round for a few years, so it’s nice to get off to a good start.
Wasn’t looking that way after a bit of a slow start?
Yeah, it was a bit of mixed bag. I had a couple of poor iron swings there, which cost me a couple of bogies, but no I played pretty solidly in my last nine holes, and gave myself a lot more opportunities.
Did you have a chance at the last?
Yeah, I three-putted for par. But I was about 70 feet away.
How far was the third putt?
About a seven or eight feet, I guess.
How was the putting?
It was good. I was actually disappointed, that I didn’t put a good stroke on that last putt, but I putted really well today.
You spent a lot of time on the practice green yesterday, didn’t you?
Yeah, quite a bit. It was quite busy on the putting green, so I probably didn’t get to do as much as I liked. It’s just what I’ve been doing the past couple of years, spending a lot of time on my putting.
What gets you into the groove here?
Obviously I have a lot of confidence on the golf course, and I know I’m capable of shooting good scores. I think that is always a great feeling and it relaxes you a little bit. You know there are birdies out there. You just have to go out there and get them.
The rest of the field knows you’re around now, don’t they?
Yeah, it’s nice to not have to make up ground after the first round, and that my name is up there on the leader board. There are three rounds to go but it’s a good start.
Some of the greens look very bald and patchy. Is that going to be an issue towards the end of the week?
It will just depend on whether we get any showers, I guess. I think they had a lot of rain here in December and January, and a couple of weeks where they didn’t cut them. So when they did cut them, they burnt them is what I’ve heard. You know, they cut them too low too quick. I think that’s the patchiness you see. They actually putted alright today. I think they picked up speed over night, they didn’t have too much rain, and the wind dried them out today.
What about the conditions overall?
I think the course is in pretty good shape. I wasn’t expecting it to be in such good shape because I know how much rain they’ve had down here. I wasn’t expecting it to be this dry. The fairways are in as good a shape as they normally are.
With such a large field of players, what will make the difference at the end of the week?
Putting I guess, you know just making the putt. Seeing today, it was quite calm until the last four or five holes. You have to shoot five or six under to keep up with the pace. I think when I made the turn, somebody was already at five under.
What was realistically par today?
The par fives didn’t play any shorter than they normally do. It’s not often that we will play 10 or 12 holes with barely any wind. For me, it was almost as if I lost concentration. Normally you need to focus on where the wind is coming from and what sort of flight you’re going to fly the ball. I’ve very rarely ever played the course like that. You know I found myself making sure I’m focused on what I am doing.
Perhaps you will get some wind in the afternoon and that will make you focus?
Yeah, well the last nine holes it picked up to normal. And that’s when I turned at one under, and I was like, ‘I’m going to have to have a good last nine holes because I will be playing in the afternoon tomorrow and with the wind’.
What do you think about Sunday, what kind of score do you think you’ll need to win?
It’s really hard to predict. I don’t like setting numbers, just because if someone had a set 20 under last year, they would’ve lost by six. I don’t like setting numbers, but I’m going to have to be shooting in the 60s, that would be my prediction.
Yani is at five under, does that make a difference to you?
I think it was a pretty easy five under for her today. I think she also hit a few loose shots and she made a few bogies as well. I expect her to be in the mix on the weekend, but you know you don’t look at just one person: there are plenty of people up here that can shoot low scores.
Yani said the other day, since she started, she has watched you putt, watched your tempo and style, and tries to copy you, what do you think of that?
Well that is obviously a nice compliment. It makes me feel old too, because she was probably about eight when she first started watching me. Yani is a lovely girl and a very calm kid and its nice to hear that she has learnt from me I guess, you know, I hope she doesn’t learn too much for my sake. She’s definitely going to be around for many years, and going to be quite successful I would think.
You’ve done a lot of work since last Sunday, are you going to give yourself the afternoon off?
I’m going to do a little bit this afternoon. I’m not going to kill myself like I have the past couple of days, but still, my swing was better today, but there is still some fine tuning that needs to be done.
Did you see your grandmother out there at all?
Yep she was out there. On a buggy, so I could see her.
Wendell has come and dropped some tickets of for you.
Oh really, that’s good. My sister and brother and law are down, and a few other friends from north Queensland so it should be a good night.