Q. Ladies and gentlemen, we have Lorena Ochoa in the interview area. She’s scored her second successive 73 for a total of 213, 6 under par and a six stroke lead over Linda Wessberg Congratulations, and how do you feel about that round today?
Ochoa: Thank you. Hello, everybody. It was a great day. It was when I got here, first of all in the morning before I had breakfast, I saw the trees just blowing really hard, and I thought, “It’s going to be a tough day at the golf course.” First start hitting balls on the range, thinking something around par should be a great round and we just try to plan our day and hopefully make enough pars and be up there. You know, I couldn’t be more pleased. It was a really tough day but I just managed to control my shots and I actually was close to finishing 1 under par. It was one of my best rounds in my golf career. I really enjoyed it. It was a great time out there with my caddie today and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.
Q. What is it that you enjoy about playing in windy conditions like that?
Ochoa: Really it’s just a mental game. It’s really tough. You finish pretty tired. It gets to you so much; it consumes you. And I guess you feel twice as good when you give yourself a birdie opportunity. It’s like, wow, we’re actually playing for birdie. I guess everything is the attitude, and, you know, I’m very happy the way I’m playing. I’m able to manage the trajectory even with the tough wind, and it’s been good.
Q. Can we do the birdies and bogeys, please?
Ochoa: On the third hole, I hit a 50 degree wedge maybe a 100 yards and maybe a little short, 20 feet and made that for birdie. On No. 5, I tried to hit the green on two with a 3 wood just short from the left side and I putted at that pin for birdie. 7, I hit the green in two with a 9 iron and I was long, maybe 30 foot feet – it was into the wind, I leave it short maybe 35 feet and I missed that for par. Then No. 12, I just tried to punch a 50 degree again, maybe 70 yards at the pin for birdie. On 13, I missed my second shot with an 8 iron, 140 yards to the right and I leave it in the bunker, get it out about 15 feet and 2 putt for bogey. And then 16, I hit the green I didn’t hit the green. I hit a 4 iron 200 yards and I hit it long on the left side and I had the bunker in between; so I just chipped a sand wedge to the right side and maybe 20 feet and made two putts for bogey.
Q. How pleased are you with your position?
Ochoa: Well, I think you know, I’m just I couldn’t ask for a better position. It’s always good to be in the lead, but in this tournament under par and having the lead going into tomorrow, I’m just, you know, really happy. That’s what I wanted to do at the beginning of the week, early on Monday and Tuesday just, you know, give myself a good chance on Sunday and I have it. So I’m going to take advantage of that.
Q. Any changes you have made since Thursday, same strategy?
Ochoa: I have to say yes because on Thursday it was just perfect. I didn’t make any bogeys, I didn’t hit in any bunkers. No, I wouldn’t change my round on Thursday.
Q. Will you be nervous tomorrow?
Ochoa: I think so. I mean, you know, we are humans and just playing at St. Andrews and trying to win a major, of course, it putts the pressure but I think in a good way. So, I think I’m prepared. You know, I’m ready to do it and I don’t want to talk too much, I don’t want to say anything, I just want to go out tomorrow and play my round like any other day and enjoy myself and enjoy every step and I’m ready to do it.
Q. You look very relaxed out there today with your caddie; you looked like you were getting along very well.
Ochoa: It’s easy to get along when you’re doing good. For sure he’s been great, not only this week, but for me just he’s a great guy and he’s from England and he understands how to play in these conditions and this type of golf course. He’s in great health and we enjoy ourselves very much on the course.
Q. What is his name?
Ochoa: Dave Brooker.
Q. How long has he been on the bag for you?
Ochoa: A little over a year.
Q. Have you ever played with Linda before?
Ochoa: Maybe the year I can’t remember. Maybe even I don’t know, when I played college, maybe some amateur. I remember her name and I know her to say hi and I know her very well. But I can’t remember if I’ve played with her.
Q. How will you approach tomorrow?
Ochoa: Well, I have a six shot lead so tomorrow I’m just going to come and I’m not going to pay attention to other players and just play my own game and try to play aggressive and make some birdies. I think once you try to start doing something different, you get in trouble. I just want to play my own game and hopefully I can win, you know, maybe by more.
Q. Are you surprised that you’re the player to beat tomorrow and not Annika?
Ochoa: No, anything can happen. I see the players that played early today had an advantage today with respect to the scores in the morning. We’ll see.
Q. Did you have any trouble with the long putts today?
Ochoa: No, I didn’t have trouble. Like I said, two times I was over a hundred feet and I would not call that it’s just you are hitting something, trying to put it close to the hole. Sometimes I told Dave, if you putt it like a 3 putt because it’s going to be bad for my for my stats. It’s too long. I putt good. I was very good with the speed. I give myself birdie chance. I just put it close and I had like a long putt to make coming back. I think that’s the key, just to be a little bit more relaxed and just try to putt it close.
Q. Do you think you will sleep well tonight for tomorrow?
Ochoa: Yes, for sure, very well.
Q. Have you had a six shot lead before on a Sunday?
Ochoa: I have before, maybe my rookie year in a different situation. Right now I’m okay, and I’m going to maybe I’ll have the same dinner as yesterday. It worked, same breakfast. (Laughing).
Q. Did you ever dream of winning at
Ochoa: Did I ever dream of?
Q. That you might one day be standing at St. Andrews winning the British Open?
Ochoa: I dream of winning majors but never St. Andrews. It wasn’t in our minds. Like it was impossible to come here and play a tournament. But you know, once they made the decision and we knew from the LPGA that we were coming here, I just thought it would be very special for a Mexican to win the tournament, so I’m trying hard.
Q. Do you practise in the wind much?
Ochoa: Not much. Usually before the season starts in January, I go down to the beach and maybe for a week try to do a lot of shots with the wind. Because we play in Hawaii, which we have a lot of wind, too. I’m not used to the cold weather, but that’s two things. I don’t even know how the weather looks tomorrow.
Ochoa: Windier? Okay. (Laughter). When play started on Friday, you’re like hopefully I get a good break but now it’s the same for everybody. Doesn’t make any difference much we are all playing at the same time and same conditions for everybody.
Q. Have you ever held a six shot lead?
Ochoa: I don’t think so. Not in professional golf, no.
Q. What’s the
Ochoa: I think so, maybe you can check on that, but yes.
Q. There a lot of sports that you said it was very mental today. You do a lot of other sports that challenge you and put you in that position, can you talk about how that might help you and how it does help you?
Ochoa: Well, I think, one, it’s just physically to be strong. I think like in any other sport, it really helps in your body. Two, what I like is the challenge, more mental. I would put the example from the half marathons, I like to train for those. Even on the Tour, I try to think we are running in a marathon and we are just training. Really, you can go really, really far. It’s hard to explain but it helps me to just know how far I can go and never to give up and just to keep going and be tough. Even if you feel good, just to be tough and keep it going. In a way, we can relate that to golf. It’s just always be strong and have a mind set that you can do it and that you want to make it.
Q. Is there anything that you learned from a point of view of the men’s British Open this year, did you watch any of it?
Ochoa: I didn’t. I only watched last two holes and the playoff. When we were in New York. So, I didn’t.
Q. What is tomorrow going to mean will it be the most important win of your career?
Ochoa: Yes, you can put it that way, that’s good. Mm hmm. (Laughter).