Maria Hjorth (Sweden)
I think the course is playing short so I didn’t hit one driver out there today. I just hit rescues and a lot of four-irons actually. I think that was the key and to just keep the ball in play. I putted pretty good and putted well and made a few putts. I think the key is to play smart off the tees.
Coming here, what was your expectation for this week?
I played well last week but didn’t get much out of my tournament. I felt confident this week and I know if I trust myself and trust my game I can be up there. I will see how far it can take me. I’m just very happy to have started with a good round.
Does it feel any different playing in Europe compared with the States?
A little bit different. I don’t put as much pressure on myself when I come out here and play. I feel a little bit more relaxed. I feel like even if I make a bogey I can make up for it. Over in America I just put more pressure on myself. If I make a couple of bogeys all of a sudden I just start pushing and pushing. It goes downhill then rather than making birdies and I think that makes a big difference.
How did you make your solitary bogey?
I actually hit two good shots. I hit three-wood off the tee and went for the green. The lie was a little bit right of the green. The lie was kind of weird. It was sitting on a bit of turf so I knew that it was going to come out pretty hard. You can’t go long on that hole but I was long and three putted so it wasn’t really a big disaster but I just had a bad third shot.
What was the highlight?
There were a few. I had a lot of birdies today. It was a nice last hole. I was between clubs and the wind was swirling a bit. I was between a nine and a good wedge. The wind dropped a bit so I hit a good wedge to three inches. It was good to hit it really close.
Are you happy with your game?
I am. I’m very happy with my game I just need to trust myself a little bit more and the scores will come.
Gwladys Nocera (France)
Another good round for you Gwladys. What was the key today?
The keys… I hit the ball really well and then my putting was good. I made the putts I had to make. I just made two mistakes and made two bogeys.
How do you feel about your position?
It’s the first round and there are three to go. There are a lot of shots to be played so I’m not thinking about it.
How do you feel about your game compared to last week?
My game is going well so the only thing I’m thinking about is getting ready for next week and being ready to play my best next week.
How are you preparing?
I’m just trying to be better than last year but that’s it. It’s another tournament and I want to take it as a normal one.
What did you do before the AIB Ladies Irish Open?
I went to the US Open. Then I had to take a week off so I went to Biarritz and did some surfing to do something other than golf. It was fun.
Martina Eberl (Germany)
You continued your good form from last week. What went well today?
Staying patient. This is a tricky course and the driver doesn’t play a big role because you only hit it three or four times. I think it’s a very technical course and I have a great caddie. He was great with the clubs. I was lucky the putts dropped as well.
You know, it doesn’t play that short because you can’t hit driver often off the tee. If you hit a rescue five off the tee then you still have wedges, nines and eight irons into the green so it’s playing as it would if you hit driver.
You were one of the few players in the afternoon to score well in the afternoon. Do you think it was tougher this afternoon?
Definitely. I think the afternoon is always tougher and to have a one tee start is not very advantageous. I’m playing at 10.15 tomorrow so I’m still going to catch the wind. The unfortunate side of the draw will always catch the wind.
How much wind was there?
When I started it was almost a two club wind. It calmed down on the back nine. Now it’s seven o’clock and the locals told me it would die down after 5 o’clock. It did.
Becky Brewerton (Wales)
Great round, how would you sum it up?
I played really, really good. Probably the best I’ve played overall in a round this year so very happy.
I was feeling pretty relaxed this week. We’ve decided it’s going to be a long season so we’ll take it a bit easier this week. I haven’t done as much practise and long sessions as the other weeks and it seems to have worked because I felt quite fresh today. I’ve toned it down a bit.
Will you do that more often?
I don’t know. I think it was a long day getting here and the hot conditions. Having played the pro-am yesterday and with it being scorching hot you know you can’t do too much. I think it’s quite a good idea not to do too much.
What are you most looking forward to about the next few weeks?
Obviously Evian and the British Open as well. I can’t wait for that. I’m really looking forward to Sunningdale and this is the part where you get the bigger tournaments. Hopefully I’ll just get in form for them.
Carmen Alonso (Spain)
Carmen, a great score. How did you do it?
I played so great from the tee box and I think on this golf course getting the ball on the fairway is not easy but the rough is bad.
If you are on the fairway you can make a good score. My putting was very good today.
How did you make your birdies?
I started with a birdie on the first hole and then I made birdie on hole-four. At the first I hit rescue and pitching wedge to three metres and put the ball in the hole.
How far did you hit your rescue?
My rescue 235 metres but downhill. Normally I hit 200-210 metres with a rescue. I hit the pitching wedge from three metres. On hole number four I hit a good three wood and I had pitching wedge again. Six metres from the hole and a good putt. I hit my three wood 247 metres. I hit some great shots today and my ball is fast. This course, without wind, is really short. I had a birdie at the fifth where I hit a nine iron to four metres. I made birdie at the ninth. I hit a really good driver but I was in the rough. I put the ball like 100 metres, pitching wedge, four metres, in. My putting was too good today.
Have you been working on your putting?
Yes. I practised straight back and straight through and slow and don’t look at the ball. Reeve, Laurette Maritz’s coach helped me a bit. I changed my putter from last year. Now I have the long putter and I have more confidence with that.
When did you start with it?
Eight months ago.
How did a good week last week help your confidence?
I had such a good week last week. Cecilie Lundgreen was my caddie and I had so much confidence. My mum is here today and I played great.
How about your birdies on the back nine?
I made birdie on the 10th hole. I hit three-wood, 52 and I had a one metre putt. Then I had birdie on 15. I hit a good nine iron to four metres. I made bogey on 13 with three putts from eight metres. I parred the last three.
How long are you hitting your driver these days?
Like, 270 metres more or less. I think it’s a little bit longer than last year because I did more in the gym and it’s straighter. The last weeks I hit 12 fairways and I think that is good for my score. If you are on the fairway you can make some good shots. I hit 12 fairways and 15 greens today.
What have you been doing in the gym?
Last year I did weights but only in slow motion. Now I am doing weights but fast. I have changed the person who works with me in the gym. The swing is not slow, you have to be with explosion, quick, and now my ball is straighter and longer.
How many weights do you lift?
For pectoral, like 45 kilos, fast. I have worked so much harder this year because I don’t have a full card. I have to work. My goal for this year is go step by step and have fun.