ANZ Ladies Masters
Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
7-10 February 2008
Pre Tournament Interviews
Defending champion Karrie Webb (Australia)
Shin of Korea she has been following you Karrie – can she get you this week?
KARRIE WEBB: Oh definitely, she’s definitely got the talent. Obviously she showed that by how impressive she played last week. Shooting 67 on Sunday was no mean feat on that golf course
How do you rate your final round on Sunday in terms of your career?
KARRIE WEBB: Well as far as the way I played I guess I have had quite a few Sundays like that shooting 6 under but doing it on that golf course obviously was little bit easier but as far as finishes go it hasn’t been too many that I have played that I have looked at the leader board and known that I have got not that many holes left and still need to pick up a couple of shots so I guess that was the most exciting thing for me was that I was able to switch it on when I needed to and make those couple of birdies and even have a putt to win it in regulation.
Attracted incredible attention in Melbourne with crowds and publicity even a story in the paper today to get rid of the grand prix and have women’s Australian open instead.
KARRIE WEBB: Oh really that is good news.
Karrie, Greg Norman said after he won twice he was in awe of himself, were you in awe of yourself after last Sunday?
KARRIE WEBB: Not really, I know I have the capability of doing it. I think I was asked the question how do you do it. I don’t have the answer to how because if I did have I would tap into that source everytime I played so it is definitely a great feeling to know you do have that just whether or not its meant to happen and you are meant to play those shots.The first time I was there I was trying to be down the left side of the fairway and the first time I was there it stayed just in the fairway and gave me a clear shot. It really opened up the pin position and I didn’t try to hit it in the rough, the next few times, I just wanted to be down that side just knew it was that much more of an easier iron shot and then I hit three iron shots exactly the same line they started on. The last one hung in a bit more and didn’t fade away from the pin as much.
So you weren’t in awe of yourself?
KARRIE WEBB: I don’t know if I can use those words about myself, but definitely very excited about how things finished.
Two days on now, what do you look back on last Sunday, what positives, the way you putted, the swing held up, the mind held up?
KARRIE WEBB: When I got on 15 green on Sunday, I was actually quite surprised that I was two shots behind I hadn’t heard like tons of cheers. I thought at worst I was going to be 1 shot behind. When I saw I was two and the fact that I had made a really great par on 14 was sort of hit home of how close I had been to probably not even having a chance at all. But when I saw that on the leaderboard I said to myself, well you have got this putt then give yourself three more good chances then if you can get two it would be tough to get two on the last three holes but if you can there is a playoff and if there’s not then I was really happy with everything I had done for the week as far as not really knowing, felt good physically, my swing was good, putting was fine, but I had been putting on north qld greens up until that week and hadn’t been under pressure for a couple of months and you really don’t know what to expect as how your game is going to show up and mentally as well. As much as I was quite critical on myself a couple of the mental let downs before Sunday, overall I said on 15 green if you don’t win, you have played well, I was already 4 under for the day it is not like you would have lost, someone has just played better than you, so from there I didn’t put any pressure on myself to win just to go and try to do it. Overall I was very happy how things were. My swing has improved tremendously over the last few years, last week was no exception there. Mentally I did a lot of good work with Noel Blundell last week to which hopefully will be good keys to key into the rest of the year when the going gets a little bit tougher.
Karrie I read comments from Ian Triggs saying you are more relaxed this year. It that true and how is it affecting your game?
KARRIE WEBB: I guess so probably a little bit. I had quite a long break and I have been back in Australia for most of it so I probably am a little bit I think at the beginning of 2006 I had fairly low expectations of myself because I hadn’t played well in 2005 then I had one my best years of my career in 2006 and won both tournaments here and then the expectations rose really high and I was a couple of top tens away from being number 1 in the world again at that point and I think that I just got back to the old habits I used to get into when I was putting pressure on myself and being a little bit too one minded as far as golf was concerned and not enjoying the process and just enjoying my life away from golf and as the results continued not to be very impressive as far as I was concerned I started to enjoy it less, so by the end of the year it was to the point that I just didn’t want to see the golf clubs. I knew that is that continued for the next couple of years I would probably be done. So I really had to look at the way, I feel I can still play for at least 5 or 6 years at least and still be very competitive, but I’m not going to do it in the mind set that I did it last year because I don’t really like myself as a person when I am like that. That’s probably why I am a little bit more relaxed. I have had such a great break too. It is easier to come back fresh and of course you are really relaxes when you win the first tournament for the year. Just trying to get back to the mind set that I was at the beginning of 06 where I said I just want to enjoy my golf and enjoy the process of the hard work what it is hopefully going to bring.
Why do you keep coming back to this event which you have always been a very strong supporter of. You have stayed true to this event as you could be playing anywhere in the world?
As much as early on in my career I felt that it was two of the most pressure packed weeks for me especially before I won in Australia. They were two very big weeks for me. I have had years when I have contemplated not playing in Australia but ultimately 1, as I have gotten older I relish the chance to play in Australia as it is the only time in my schedule that I actually have a home crowd and definitely felt that on Sunday. Coming down the stretch and when you feel that it makes it so rewarding to come home because you never get to feel that so much when you are overseas. That’s mainly the main reason because I know how important it is to both tournaments that I play and guess I feel it is my responsibility. I don’t think that we will have a full blooded schedule over here but if we want young Australian girls to aspire to be the best that they can be and to be successful overseas we still have to have a couple of these events that are run successfully every year to encourage them to come out and get to see professional golf in real life and hopefully say well that is what I want to be when I grow up.
How does your win on Sunday, does it change your approach coming into this week? Obviously being relaxed.
KARRIE WEBB: I guess so, it makes it easier today to not worry about finding some place to practice. I know my game is pretty good. Look forward to hopefully getting on the course tomorrow but also knowing that if we don’t see the course until we tee it up, I’ve played well here for so many years and played here so many years, that I don’t think there will be much adjusting to get used to.
Tell us about the wet weather, is that going to be a factor at all?
KARRIE WEBB: For sure, it is going to be, depending on whether the forecasters are right or wrong or how much rain we are going to get this week. It could be lots of sitting around and waiting to be ready to play and there is always the you’re not sure how you are going to turn up on the course mentally after sitting around just waiting sometimes you sort of lose your focus of what you are there for when you are not getting your normal days work in.
Coming here you have won this event 6 times previously, does this sort of add a bit of pressure or do you come in more relaxed knowing that you have done it so many times before, is there pressure to perform again?
KARRIE WEBB: I don’t think there is any additional pressure to perform here. Obviously I love Royal Pines and I love playing in this tournament. I have my whole family down here again and just looking forward to getting out there. Hopefully have a chance to win but I think I will enjoy this week more than anything especially after starting the way I did last week and hopefully give myself another chance to win this week.
The greens last week were very difficult how is that different from this course?
KARRIE WEBB: These greens are some of the flattest greens that you will play on. One of the biggest keys is not to over read these greens. Having not putted on them, it will depend on how much grain is in the greens. I know they have had quite the wet season on the Gold Coast so I would tend to say the greens will be a little bit slower and a bit grainier than they normally are so that will be the biggest challenge.
You mentioned before about enjoying 2006. You talk a lot about that. Last year when you were struggling were you were able to tell yourself I need to enjoy this more or was it very difficult to be able to adopt that mind set, obviously you were trying to do that
KARRIE WEBB: Yes, I kept saying it was easy to enjoy good golf, not so easy to enjoy bad golf. It was just a really frustrating year because I was always so close and Triggsy would come over and say you are really close you are really close, yet there are only so many times you can say you are really close and when you are not putting the results together it just got frustrating and the more I felt I was close and the results were not coming, the more you want to see the results, so by the end of the year I was just really tired of beating myself up and worn down from that. That is probably the biggest thing, I know I will always be pretty hard on myself but not to the extent of where I am hurting myself as a person, by telling myself how crap I am, so I can stop doing that.
How close were you Karrie, did you discuss with family and friends about giving the game away?
KARRIE WEBB: Oh no, I’m not that close. I just know that I wouldn’t tolerate that from myself for too much longer especially wouldn’t do it for a long period of time, I wanted to play for another 5 or 6 years at least. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t enjoying it and I wasn’t enjoying it last year, so just got to change a few ways that I think and try to be less of a perfectionist.
Did that desire to change your mental outlook have a lot to do with deciding to come to qld for xmas and stay rather than going to Florida then back again. In your break what sort of balance between golfing activities and non golfing activities did you have?
KARRIE WEBB: Been wanting to spend more time in Australia. Never owned a place in Australia. As much as I love my parents I couldn’t spend more than a few weeks living with them. I’m sure they will be happy I’ve said that. Also real estate market going through roof in Townsville so thought I would try and get in while I could afford to. My sisters have little girls, so wanted them to know who I was, perfect timing; schedule worked out that way. I practiced little bit before xmas, day here or there, up until 3 weeks before Australian open then I practiced every day. Had 8 weeks off bar 6 days.
When you are in full practice range, what is the balance between playing and hitting balls?
KARRIE WEBB: North Queensland was a bit like this when I started to try and practice, getting flooded up there. I didn’t play a lot of on course golf, travelled to Brisbane on two occasions to work with Ian. Played little bit at the willows golf course, only course that was semi playable.
Ai Miyazato (Japan)
2 years now on LPGA Circuit, yet to have a win are you that far away in getting closer?
AI MIYAZATO: I think getting closer, but I have bit of trouble with my driver end of last year but I am still working on it and still have a chance this year.
What sort of trouble, left or right?
AI MIYAZATO: Right
What were the main adjustments you had to make playing on the LPGA Tour?
AI MIYAZATO: To work on my English
Your English is so much better than 2 years ago?
AI MIYAZATO: Thank you but still need practice
Where have you come from to here, come from the states?
AI MIYAZATO: Came from the States.
Do you have a house in the States?
AI MIYAZATO: Yes, Newport Beach
What have you been doing over past 2 weeks in preparing for the coming season?
AI MIYAZATO: Practised in Arizona and have practiced a lot over there. Bit of training there
Why Arizona….Is your coach over there?
AI MIYAZATO: Yes my coach is over there.
Who is your coach?
AI MIYAZATO: Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott.
What are your expectations this week?
AI MIYAZATO: First really happy to be back here. Looking forward to this week. Really looking forward to playing with Karrie Webb again. Also a lot of Japanese people live here on the gold coast.
Do you still walk around the streets of Tokyo where people say “Ai Miyazato”?
AI MIYAZATO: Sometimes.
Is your photograph on billboards/posters?
AI MIYAZATO: I don’t get to see very many of billboards as I am not in Japan most of the time, but maybe at the airport.
How do you sign your autograph?
AI MIYAZATO: Ai 54
Can you explain what Ai 54 is?
AI MIYAZATO: Vision 54…philosophy is birdie every hole.
Other than Annika and you who else does your coach coach?
AI MIYAZATO: Suzann Pettersen and Alana Sharpe. A Canadian.
In Sydney today one of your fellow countrymen is attempting to qualify for the British Open a 16 year old. Have you met him?
AI MIYAZATO: No never met him before
Have you heard of him?
AI MIYAZATO: Yes of course
Do you stay in close contact with your brothers?
AI MIYAZATO: Yes I do, we are very close and try to stay in contact by phone
What do you think about not being able to practice when the range in closed.
AI MIYAZATO: I obviously want to practice and try to when I can.
Talk a little about the end of the season on LPGA. Did you start to feel pressure to win from people of Japan?
AI MIYAZATO: After finishing runner up in HSBC Match play championship, I started to believe I was very close to winning; I put a little more pressure on myself.
Melissa Reid (England)
Melissa, you had a good amateur career. Can you tell us some of the highlights from your career as an amateur?
MELISSA REID: Yes, certainly. I think The Curtis Cup was a huge highlight. It was a shame that we didn’t win but that was awesome. It’s always great being part of a team event.
Where did they play that?
MELISSA REID: Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Then I would say playing in the British Open as an amateur was an awesome experience as well.
Did you make the cut?
MELISSA REID: Yes I came 16th. Leading amateur. British strokeplay was the last one I won. I won three tournaments last year.
Where did you win the British strokeplay?
MELISSA REID: I won it at Conway in Wales.
When was the decision taken to turn pro?
MELISSA REID: I was going to stay amateur for another year to play in the Curtis Cup at St Andrews because I thought that would be really special. I weighed up all the pros and cons and thought it’s a 3-day event. Is it worth staying amateur for a three day event? I decided to turn pro and it just felt right. It was about September time I thought I would turn so I went to Tour School and didn’t do too great but still felt ready to turn professional.
What playing category do you have?
MELISSA REID: I’ll get certain invites through the tour but it’s not a full card. I’m hoping to get as many invites as I can through my management company. I’ve been lucky enough to get one in Dubai and then three here and then hopefully I’ll get more now after my results.
I’m a member of the Tour though.
Kingston Heath was a big test. What were your impressions of the course?
MELISSA REID: I loved it from the minute I got there. I thought it was a very English course, a heath land course, and that’s my favourite style of course. So I was quite glad to get there. It was one of those courses that if you don’t hit the right shot you’d walk off with a double if you got too greedy. Whenever I did hit bad shots I got away and made par or at worse a bogey. You can make a bogey a couple of times but no more than that really.
Contrast that to this week, this is a very different course, more of a target golf course. Have you heard much about this course?
MELISSA REID: Not really. I only arrived here last night because I had to stay in Melbourne for another day but I have a caddie who has been here eight times and he knows the course here pretty well. We are not allowed to practise so I am going to have to figure something out so that I am prepared for the tournament whether it is a two day, three day or four day event.
Where do you go after here?
MELISSA REID: I am going home for a few weeks and I’m hoping to see what invite I got next. I’m hoping for the Spanish or the Scottish to be my next event. Late April, early May.
What do you do between now and then? Do you have another job?
MELISSA REID: No, no. I’ve been a full time golfer for two years. I’m pretty dedicated to what I do so I don’t have much time for anything else.
Do you have many sponsors?
MELISSA REID: Yes, I’m sponsored by Haart which is a big estate agency in England. They’ve been very, very good to me. Financially they’ve been awesome which is great for a rookie and great for any professional golfer really.
Any other professional golfers from Derby?
MELISSA REID: Not that I can think of. We’ve got a few girls that are on Tour from Derby: Liza Walters and Fame More but none that have won a tournament.
How did you get involved with the game?
MELISSA REID: I used to be a big football player and then when I was 11 I couldn’t play with the boys any more so I needed to think of a different sport. I didn’t enjoy playing with the girls as much. I decided to take up golf. My parents play golf and one of my brothers play golf.
Is he a pro?
MELISSA REID: No, no, no. He’s a very good natural player. It’s annoys me.
Is he a single marker?
MELISSA REID: No, he’s got a family.
No, I said single marker – handicap!
MELISSA REID: He’s off about six so he’s pretty good.
After a good amateur career there is a level of expectation. What would your goals be in the next 12 months?
MELISSA REID: Realistically, I obviously want to win tournaments. I’ve got my goals set pretty high. It’s not really results that I’m looking for. It’s the way I am on the golf course and the way I am as a golfer that I really look at. I’ve done quite a lot of work over the winter and I’m already seeing improvements. I’d love to win a tournament or two; three or four or five; as many as I can win really.
Are you impatient to get on the LPGA Tour?
MELISSA REID: I am pretty impatient. I am definitely going to go to the LPGA Tour School at the end of the year. If you want to play against the best players in the world, then they are there.
What is mum’s name?
MELISSA REID: Joy.
Any players as a young girl that you looked at and thought I want to incorporate some of their style into my game?
MELISSA REID: I think that all great sports people have an aura about them and I try to take a bit from all of them. I try to take a bit from Federer, a bit from Woods. When I was growing up I did look up to Laura Davies so it’s pretty cool now that I’m playing with her.
Have you had much to do with her?
MELISSA REID: Not really. I met her for the first time two weeks ago in Sydney. She says hi to me which means quite a lot to me. She’s a really nice girl and if she were to ask me a few questions she’d be happy to answer them.
Where did you finish in the New South Wales Open?
MELISSA REID: Fifth. I’m enjoying the country.
I don’t want to be sexist but your shorts were very short last week at Kingston Heath weren’t they?
MELISSA REID: They’re my long ones actually. (Laughs). I got a few comments.
MELISSA REID: Good comments. Some of the girls gave me a bit of stick but they wear short shorts as well.
Do you know you’re the European number one at the moment?
MELISSA REID: Yes, somebody told me.
Does that mean anything?
MELISSA REID: Not really. It’s the first tournament of the year isn’t it? If I was number one at the end of the year then I’d be pretty happy. I just need to keep finishing top three!