How special is it to be playing the Carta Si Ladies Italian Open?
It’s very, very special because I’m in my own country and everybody is very involved in the tournament, myself as well. I really want it to be a nice event for Italy because they have made a big effort to make this event possible. I would love this tournament to be special for everybody: me first, but then for all the other players. I think the fact that we are here in here in Damiani in Milan centre: it’s making Italy a bit more special for the other girls.
Of course I would like to play well because everybody is very supportive. I think we will have a few more people watching if the Italians are playing well.
What would consider playing well?
Considering the results from this year of course I would like to win the tournament. I am not saying it’s going to be easy because there are a lot of good players playing in the tournament. I am going to have to fight for it.
How can you summarise your season?
I think that it has been a great year for me and the best year I’ve ever had. Winning two tournaments in a row was very special. It was the first time that an Italian won two tournaments in a row and the first time that an Italian played in The Solheim Cup. It’s a record year for me and I’m very, very happy about the way I’ve played and the way I was on the course. I enjoyed myself very much and honestly I’ve had a great year.
I think the enjoyment was part of the reason I had good results but I’ve had some very good practise and a very good winter. I’ve worked hard for it and it’s nice to see something happening for which you’ve worked so hard.
What will you do between now and Dubai?
I’m very keen on having rest. It’s been a long season with lots of tournaments and big tournaments which is very demanding in terms of energy. Solheim Cup is very demanding.
Why do you choose to stay in Europe next year?
I enjoyed very much my American experiences, the US Open a few years ago and The Solheim Cup this year but I’m not really keen on basing my life there. I think if you want to play on the LPGA you need to find a house there and you really need to live there. I’m not very keen on living there. I’m happy living here and I think that happiness is the first thing in life. For me, of course I’m going to be less rich staying here, but money is not everything and the quality of life for me, for European people is better. Of course if you’re born in the US, then of course you are playing the US Tour and you are happy with that but if you are from Europe it’s far from home.
Have you played Le Rovedine course before?
Only once, one month ago for the first time. It is not a course I know well but we are used to playing courses that we’ve never been on before. It’s a special tournament but it’s not that different from the others in the end. I’m trying to do the same thing I do usually such as practising, playing and Shaun is walking the course.
It’s a pretty course. It’s pretty narrow and I think you have to be accurate. It is in good condition. They have been working very hard on the course in the last month so hopefully it is going to be in good condition.
What are your hopes for the tournament?
I had a week off and got time to rest and recover from all the travelling of the previous month. I’ve done some good work and I’m really looking forward to the tournament. I think it’s in a special city and I’m looking forward to doing a good job.
How have you been preparing?
Andreas has been helping me and we’ve been doing some work on the range to get the feelings back. After so much playing you lose the feeling a bit so it’s good to have a few days on the range, working on the basics and the putting and resting. We really needed it.
What are your thoughts on playing in Italy?
I think it’s great that we have the time to have a tournament in a famous city so we can have a look around the cathedral, and to see all the city has, not only the golf course.
What will you do after this week?
I’ll probably be packing because I’m planning on travelling to the Asian tournaments. I’ll be doing some more work. I haven’t spent too many weeks at home and I’ll be spending time with my family and friends which is very important to me.
How confident are you in your game?
I’m feeling very confident because I’ve had great results. I’m improving after each tournament and I’m able to spot different things that I have to improve on. I’m really confident.
How are you enjoying your trip to Italy?
It’s early in the week but so far it’s been absolutely fantastic. Being able to come a few days early and visit, I spent Friday evening in Milan and went to Florence and Rome for a quick trip, just being able to immerse myself in the culture. It’s been fantastic. The history, the culture, the architecture, of all the buildings, it drips with culture and it’s just beautiful. I would love to retire here, in Italy when I’m done.
Where would you live?
I don’t care! Probably Milan or Rome. I didn’t spend as much time in Florence. It’s a beautiful region but I would need a little bit more bite to the city. I haven’t visited Venice yet but I plan on making an annual trip here, I’m excited to say, whether or not there’s golf involved.
Are you excited about the golf too?
Absolutely! I’ve never been to Italy before and so I’m very excited to see what the golf course is going to be like come tournament time and seeing all the great golfers that they have here in Europe and maybe seeing what some of the passionate Italian spectators are like.
How is your form at present?
I’ve had a very decent run since the British Open, having not won yet but it would be great to have an international title put under my belt. I’m feeling good about the game. The ball is going forward and I can find it most of the time. It’s about the small victories. I’m just here to come in and play as well as I can. If I walk off with the trophy I’ll be happy and if I walk off dead last I’ll be able to take something from it and learn from it. I’m expecting some great competition with some fantastic players. I’m very much looking forward to it.