You must have good memories of this place.
LISA HALL: Yes, absolutely. It seems like only yesterday. I was playing the course today and remembered a lot of the shots that I hit in the last round last year. It feels great to come back.
Q. Do you have a good feeling about the course?
LISA HALL: The course is in great shape. I think all of the players are saying it’s in the best shape it has been for many years. The greens are great; the fairways are excellent and it’s in great shape.
Q. Did you have a big party last year?
LISA HALL: No, not a big party. We had quite a big night here on the Sunday and flew home on the Monday. I had a lot of congratulations from people I hadn’t heard from for a long time, so that was nice.
Q. Did you have a good finish on the (New Star) Money List?
LISA HALL: It was ninth, I think. It was a good steady year. This week a year ago was magical almost, how it ended up. I didn’t quite capture that magic another time. I was close to playing some good golf at a number of tournaments but I didn’t put it all together in the way that I did this week a year ago.
Q. Have you ever successfully defended a title?
LISA HALL: I did win the Florida Open back to back but I wouldn’t call that a big tournament. I defended at Denmark this year and finished top 20. I won in Northern Ireland but we didn’t actually play there again. It isn’t like I’ve been a prolific winner that I’ve had a lot of opportunities to defend but it’s nice to come back to somewhere where you have good memories. A year in anyone’s life let alone a golfing life is a long time. I have to appreciate the time that I had last year and have no expectations or thoughts of trying to reproduce that. It’s a question of playing this week and seeing how I play.
Q. Did the win change your goals for the rest of the year?
LISA HALL: I think a little bit. I certainly led the money list for quite some time. To be honest I just saw it as being that week and not thinking that I would be able to reproduce what happened that week. There was a sense of increased confidence to some degree but it was a magical week and then you move on.
Q. Are you a different golfer now?
LISA HALL: I wouldn’t say that I am any different. I have my name on this trophy. I’m a year wiser. I just enjoy competing and would love to win more. I would certainly love the chance to win and to be in contention on Sunday would be great, to have another go. If anything from last year I was disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to win more often but I didn’t leave here thinking that everything was going to be easy: it was just a great experience. It didn’t change me in any other way.
Q. Are you a realist then?
LISA HALL: As opposed to a dreamer?Maybe I’m just experienced.
Q. Have you ever considered returning to the LPGA, since you live in the States?
LISA HALL: No, not really. Having had a period of time where I didn’t play – I came back in 2006 and then I won a couple of tournaments in 2007 – perhaps I thought a little bit about it because I was playing well but I was pretty quick to say no. I’m enjoying playing in Europe and I’m enjoying playing the golf I am playing. I didn’t feel the need to have to play on the LPGA.
Q. Where do you live when you’re not in the States?
LISA HALL: We rent a house in England. My husband is a golf instructor in Florida and his off-season is the summer so he is able to do some trans-Atlantic travelling.
Q. How would you rate these greens compared with what you see in Europe?
LISA HALL: I would say the greens are putting as well as any this week. There is some Bermuda which we don’t have very much in Europe except in maybe Southern Spain and so I think the Bermuda is different for the European players. As far as the quality and the maintenance of the course, it is very good. I think there are courses that we play are more demanding off the tee and greens with more undulation but as far as the quality of the golf course, it is as good as any that we play.
Q. How do you assess you game compared to what it was coming into this event last year?
LISA HALL: Last year we played the Open the week before and I played pretty well. I think I was top 20 or something. I was close to playing well. This year I haven’t played since Dubai so I’ve got no idea.
Q. Which players do you see as your main challengers?
LISA HALL: I think it is a very strong field. There is a combination of major winners and some young players. It is probably the strongest field they have had at this tournament which is a credit to the tournament I think.
Q. When did you arrive in Australia?
LISA HALL: I arrived on Monday. I woke up at half past three this morning so a little bit jet lagged. I think when you tee it up on Thursday you find out how you’re really playing.
Q. Thank you for coming in and congratulations on the win last week. What do you think of Royal Pines?
GWLADYS NOCERA: It’s really nice. It’s in great condition – the greens are perfect. I haven’t seen them this good for a really long time.
Q. Coming off the win last week, how do you rate your chances here?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Winning one tournament doesn’t mean much when you come to another one.
I’m playing well and I’m hitting the ball well. We will see – I will do my best. I won last week and I’m proud of that but it’s a pretty good field. I’m not making plans; I’m just going to play my game.
Q. Nothing went right for you in the final round at Oatlands Golf Club did it?
GWLADYS NOCERA: No, not really. I arrived from Europe on Monday and practised Tuesday and Wednesday. I played the tournament and Saturday was like 43 degrees. I was skiing two weeks before. I think the heat and the travelling just hit me on Sunday. I thought just finish the round and move on because there is no point in fighting.
Q. You are 33 years old and seem to get better every season. What is the magic?
GWLADYS NOCERA: I don’t know really. I just try. I have a good coach and sports psychologist. When I achieve something they say now I have to work on something else. I just keep working.
Q. You’ve been very successful the last two years. Any plans to try the LPGA Tour?
GWLADYS NOCERA: No.
Q. Do you like Europe?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Yes. I am happy here. I get asked this question a lot. I am happy in Europe. The tour is getting better. We have more tournaments. We lost a few this year but I think everybody understands why. Now my next goal is to play well in the majors and to show everybody that the European Tour is strong.
Q. What is your best finish in a major?
GWLADYS NOCERA: I think I finished 16th at the British Open a few years ago.
Q. Do you get to play in many LPGA events as the winner on the LET?
GWLADYS NOCERA: This year I will play in the HSBC in Singapore, the Kraft Nabisco and the US Open. Its three tournaments. Even if you finish first on the LET money list you have to go to pre-qualifying on the LPGA.
Q. Why do you stay in Europe?
GWLADYS NOCERA: I like where I am. I started from nothing, I started from scratch with nothing in my pocket; I owned nothing. If I had not played on the European Tour to start with I would not have been able to play golf. I studied in the US and I wanted to turn pro right after school on the Futures Tour but I didn’t have any money so I couldn’t. I want back to Europe and I had some sponsors who were helping me in France. That’s the way I have to be, that’s the way my life is. My coach is there and we work together. I haven’t reached a point where I have to go to the US.
Q. Do you see it in the future?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Maybe. I don’t know.
Q. Last week in New Zealand, what was the problem?
KATHERINE HULL: Just a couple of bad swings and I didn’t make it on the weekend. A bit frustrating but that’s golf.
Q. You’ve been in contention the past two weeks and haven’t quite come up with the goods.
KATHERINE HULL: I’ve been the bridesmaid two weeks in a row so I guess maybe this week will be my turn. The golf course is looking great so I’m looking forward to it.
Q. You’ve got the preliminaries out of the way. These are the big ones, aren’t they?
KATHERINE HULL: Yes. I guess in terms of strength of field and prize money these two are big but New South Wales was a great tournament and playing in New Zealand was awesome too. It was a nice way to start the year and a good stepping stone into these tournaments.
Q. did your year go better than you anticipated?
KATHERINE HULL: It went better than expected. My goal was to finish top 30 on the money list and I finished 30thso it was better than expected. I had never doubted my talent but I was lazy for four years. It was a bit of a wake-up call. I put in some hard work and I played well.
Q. There could be an interesting show down between you and Karrie. Do you see yourselves having a head to head battle this week?
KATHERINE HULL: I would say Aussies probably do think about that sort of thing more. I would love to challenge Karrie. It’s nice to be put in the same category as her and to challenge her because she’s been the best player in Australian golf. To achieve what she’s achieved at such a young age is amazing. Inaudible…
KATHERINE HULL: We need a few more Aussies to fly the flag and we’re away.
Q. Would you say that last year your confidence wasn’t quite what it is now because of your results?
KATHERINE HULL: Yes. The end of last season was a huge confidence boost for me. I’ve got bigger goals this year. I’m not going to say that beating Karrie is my ultimate goal because that’s not why I’m out here playing for. My goal is to win as many golf tournaments as possible and Karrie has also got the same goal. I think this week she will be back with a vengeance. The thing is you can only be as good as you can be and sometimes in golf your career week is finishing second to someone else’s career week, that’s just the way it goes.
Karrie is the one to beat this week and with all the experience that she has she is going to be there come Sunday.
Q. A lot of sports people can compete almost overnight. Do you think that happened with you?
KATHERINE HULL: Not really. It was definitely a confidence thing in Canada and towards the last part of the season. It’s a process and things don’t really happen overnight. You can’t just pin point one thing. In out game, even though it’s an individual sport, there are so many factors that come into it. It really is a team effort. I probably didn’t have the right team of people around me for a few years but things have started to click and its working well.
Q. Was there anything that made you realise you needed to crank it up a bit?
KATHERINE HULL: I give a lot of credit to my coach Ian McRae because he asked me the question back in 2007, “Do you want to win golf tournaments or do you just want to keep on doing what you’re doing?” That was a big wake up call. It got me thinking about what I needed to do to win golf tournaments. I give him a lot of credit for that.
Q. Were you going through the motions?
KATHERINE HULL: I didn’t have any direction or challenging goals. I didn’t work hard because I wasn’t pushing myself. I think the key for any player, any number one, is asking themselves what they can do to get better. Annika was a classic case. She worked harder than anyone else and it’s always the same way. To be successful you have to have every piece of the pie in that order.
Q. When you won you came from six shots behind. Is it now a matter of winning when you are ahead?
KATHERINE HULL: I think the key is getting yourself into contention. The more you do that the more you get comfortable with it, being one shot behind or with a one shot lead, whatever.
Q. I am thinking about the last two weeks when you have been in contention.
KATHERINE HULL: You can’t do anything differently if you are behind or ahead. You go out with the same game plan, or at least I do. I can’t force it. Gwladys played fantastic on Sunday and she deserved to win. It’s golf. I think for me if I try to force it then that is when things go bad. It’s good to get in that position not forcing it.
Q. Would Webb and Hull have a nice ring about it on Sunday afternoon, do you think?
KATHERINE HULL: It sounds good to me. I am sure there are probably a few people that would like to see that show down so bring it on.