ABN AMRO Ladies Open, Eindhovensche Golf, the Netherlands.
Friday 6th June 2008
Gwladys Nocera (FRANCE) 67 (-5)
Gwladys, a great start to the defense of your title.
Yes, it’s good. I didn’t play well on the front nine but I had a good eagle on nine which got me closer to the leader board. I missed a few short putts but five-under is good. I know I can do better.
Do you feel you are playing as well as last year?
I think I am playing close to it. I will give it my best and we’ll see.
The eagle on nine was a boost. What do you think is the key to playing this course well?
I think you have to drive the ball well and I didn’t drive the ball well on the last seven holes. I don’t even know if I reached a single fairway. I think the key point is the driving and then we can all hit the good shots into the green. I’m going to have to work a little bit on my driving a putting.
The rough is much higher this year. Did that make it harder?
Yes. If you are not on the fairway you are in big, big rough. You cannot reach the green so you have to hit a really good third shot to make a par.
What are your hopes for the weekend?
I’m going to try to play better. Of course I would like to win but in order to win I have to stay with what I’m doing and hit shot after shot.
Were you satisfied with your round?
I wasn’t satisfied at the beginning. I hit my driver poorly so I had to fight to make pars. On nine I made a nice eagle putt which put to three-under.
How does this course suit your game?
There are some pretty long holes so you have to hit the ball far, which is good for me. You have some nice irons shots to hit into the green. I like this type of course. We have quite a few like this at home so I just feel comfortable here.
There are a few French players behind you. Do you know if they are inspired by you?
I don’t know. Jade is in her second year on tour and is a really good player. She hits the ball pretty far. Cassandra is a good player and so is Anne-Lise. They played really well today but a tournament is over three rounds so we’ll see on Sunday.
What is the secret for the French players?
We like to come to Holland, we feel welcome here and the course suits us.
Jade Schaeffer (FRANCE) 67 (-5)
Welcome Jade Schaeffer from France who had a five-under 67 today. Jade: how do you feel about your day today?
Today I had a good feeling with the course. I had seven pars on the first seven holes and I was so impatient. I was saying to myself: “Where are the birdies?” I missed all the birdie putts. On the eighth I hit my ball to just one metre and hit it in the hole so I thought: “Okay, now it starts.”
At the ninth hole, it was so good. My objective is take one shot by one shot. I hit such a good drive on the fairway and very long. I had a five-iron for the second shot, so good. I played the shot with a little bit of draw with a good kick and finished six metres. Now I said to myself, “Mmm, maybe eagle, I don’t know!” I made the putt and I was lucky because it was just on the right side and fell in the hole: very good. Hole ten was my first hole with a chip and a putt and it’s so strange because you play eagle and you have a bad thing in your head. Okay, I said: “chip and one putt and go to the next tee.” I played good and a par. On the 15th hole I had a birdie with a five-iron, the same at the ninth to the green. I missed the putt. My ball lipped out for eagle and it was bad luck but fine. I am happy because I birdied the ninth hole and my back nine was good. I am happy.
How long was your drive on the ninth hole?
I think it was about 251 metres. It was good because it was a very undulating fairway and my ball pitched and rolled about 10 metres. For me it is a short par five but not for all girls and it’s an advantage for me.
Are you one of the longest hitters on the tour?
The last year it was 270 yard average and now I think it is less because I want my drives straighter.
How are you feeling about your position overall?
I’m very happy because it is similar as last week on the first day. Now I want another second day. I told you I wanted to play easy on the second day last week and tomorrow I will attack more. I don’t want to play defensively like last week. Last week I played very well the first day. I think it’s so bad because I played plus one last week because I hit 16 greens in regulation and I missed all of the putts: Two putts on every hole.
You won a putting contest earlier in the week?
Yes! It’s very good for my head. I had a good partner, it wasn’t just me. I have my coach here for this week and he encouraged me with my putting. Maybe I hit more putts in.
Is you coach still Olivier Leglise, the same as Gwladys Nocera’s?
Yes I have Olivier Leglise and the other one is Stephane Morgue, who is my mental coach. Olivier is for the technical side.
You won some KLM air tickets in the putting competition. Where will you go with them?
Yes. I called my boyfriend and said: “I think I can go on holiday with you.” It’s free and easy! I looked on the internet and maybe I will go to Italy. It’s not very far and I think very romantic with my boyfriend.
Will you be the eighth French player to win this event?
Maybe me! I don’t want to say I will win now because it is the same as last week. I played good on the first day and the second day and the third day but the last day is so important. Maybe it will be me or maybe another French girl.
You shot 67 today but 66 in the first round last week and today you said you missed a lot of putts. Is it possible to shoot lower tomorrow?
I don’t think it’s possible to compare the scores because it’s not the same course, I don’t have the same clubs to play the course. I think it’s more difficult here and I would prefer to play five-under here. I don’t want to criticize the German course but it was very short and it was a putting challenge in Germany. Here you have trees and if you play bad you will have a bad score. If you play well you will recompense. You can’t compare them.
Rebecca Coakley (IRELAND) 68 (-4)
Rebecca, a good round and you seem to be coming into form now. Would you agree with that?
Yes, it’s starting to come together. In Germany, I hit the ball alright but just didn’t score. Today I hit the ball good for the first nine and then a little average on the back nine but held it together and made a few birdies.
How do you find this course?
I like this course because I think it doesn’t suit just one type of shot. You’ve got to work the ball both ways to score around here. I can hit the ball left to right or right to left so you can use your imagination a bit more and it gives you a few more options.
How do you feel about your form considering we are only a few weeks away from the AIB Ladies’ Irish Open?
I guess it’s a good feeling to shoot some low numbers before that. I’ll keep working on what I’m doing and hope it all comes together.
Are there any weeks that you’re looking forward to?
Well I’d like to play well in some of the bigger events and earn some more money! That’s what I’ve set my goal for. In previous years I’ve done well at the beginning of the season and then in the middle of the season when we have the bigger events I’ve played very average. I missed the cut in them all except Wales. That was the goal this year: to make sure that didn’t happen.
Do you know why?
I played in everything for the last three years. By the time you get to the middle of the year you’ve played in 10 or 11 events and you’re wondering why you didn’t play well. It’s pretty obvious when you think about it: you’re just tired. I think the most I’ll play this year is five or six in a row and that only means taking two events off so it’s not too bad.
Melissa Reid (ENGLAND) 68 (-4)
You had a lot of birdies today. What was the key?
I think the last couple of weeks my mind hasn’t been totally focused on my golf. Now that’s been sorted and today I was just concentrating on one shot at a time and it was good. I quite enjoyed it out there today.
What goes through your mind when you miss a few cuts in a row?
Well like I said, my mind wasn’t completely on it which was completely my fault and something I’ve learnt from. It’s not nice to miss cuts but you’ve just got to play your way through it. You’ve got to get back on the horse as soon as possible. That’s what I wanted to do this week and I really wanted to prove myself this week.
What made the difference? Anything technical or was it just a mental thing?
Just personal reasons really.
How do you find the course as it’s the first time you’ve played here?
It’s good. I see it as an English sort of course. I think it’s very much like The Berkshire in England and I just love courses like this. It’s good. You’ve got to shape it off the tee on a couple of holes and it’s a really good test of golf.
You seem to have had some low rounds. Do you think you can improve this week?
Yes, definitely. There are two more rounds to go and there are plenty of birdies out there. I’ve just got to focus on one shot at a time and do the best I can really.
Were you hitting it stiff on all of your birdies?
No. I have been putting pretty badly over the last couple of weeks and I’ve sorted out my putting. I hit a couple close but took my birdie chances when I got them.
You made two mistakes.
I had a three putt on the 13th and then on the seventh I hit a bad drive. I meant to fade it and ended up drawing it. I just hit a poor second and just missed my par putt. You’ve just got to make the least mistakes and two wasn’t too bad.
How would you summarise your position?
You can’t win it on the first day but I’ve definitely putting myself up there gives me a good chance for the next couple of days. Hopefully I can improve on my score each day, which would be nice.