MFS Women’s Australian Open
Kingston Heath GC, Melbourne, Australia
31st Jan-3rd Feb 2008
Round one leader interviews
Thursday 31st January 2008
Katherine Hull 71 (-2)
That could have been spectacular without the setback?
KATHERINE HULL: Overall I was pretty happy with it. It was not picture perfect for ball striking. I was a little disappointed on the seventh. Today is the first day of the tournament. If I can put three good rounds together, hopefully I will be holding up the trophy at the end of the week.
It looked on TV like you almost chipped in on seven for birdie and you walked off with a double.
KATHERINE HULL: I got a little carried away with the line and forgot about the speed of the par putt. I actually rolled it three feet past and put a bad stroke on the second. That’s golf. My putter was actually the best club in my bag today. I’ll take that confidence into tomorrow.
How many times have you played with Karrie?
KATHERINE HULL: Only a couple. I think we played at the Masters twice before.
How did you find the conditions?
KATHERINE HULL: They were pretty tough. We were changing our rain jackets, on and off, every second hole and it was up and down with the umbrella. It was not that enjoyable in the weather but the golf course is fantastic and I had a good laugh with my caddie. You have to grind it out on a day like today.
Do you find it a lot tougher playing in the wet?
KATHERINE HULL: It is a lot tougher. I don’t wear a glove usually. My grips were quite wet so I had to put on a rain glove. It is a totally different feel for me but it was the only way I was going to keep my hands on the glove. It actually worked all right but I’d much prefer to play without a glove at all.
Why is that?
KATHERINE HULL: I have never worn a glove. It is a better feel for me without one.
What is a rain glove?
KATHERINE HULL: They are made with a material that works better if you keep it really wet. I was wiping my jacket, trying to get them as wet as possible. But this wets the grip as well and when you put it back in the back, it wets the other grips. Any my towel got wet today. It was nice on the last few holes when it stopped raining and I could somewhat dry the clubs. Dawn Fraser gave me a dry towel on the seventh hole. That helped.
You’ve had four years in America. Where is you game now?
KATHERINE HULL: The first couple of years on the tour were great learning experiences for me. I did not have any set goals. I started working with a new coach at the beginning of last year so last year was really a rebuilding year. Overall, I was pretty happy with it. This year a top 30 is my goal and hopefully I can win an event.
Who is your coach?
KATHERINE HULL: Steve McRae in Wollongong. He is caddying for me this week.
Did he change your swing?
KATHERINE HULL: We have been working on getting it more on plane and doing a lot of short game work as well. I have probably made more with him in the last year than the previous few years combined. It is refreshing to work with a coach who has actually played professionally. We work on some mental strategies too. I’m enjoying working at this stage.
Tell us a bit about your trip to Africa.
KATHERINE HULL: That was life changing. Betsy King, an LPGA Hall of Famer, went there in 2006. I have known her from Bible studies on tour. When she said they were going to take another group in October I put my hand up. I had sponsored a child through World Vision. I like the organisation so I decided to go. It changes your perspective of poverty. There is so much desperation and need but at the same time there is inspiration and hope.
Have you met the boy you sponsor?
KATHERINE HULL: I sponsor three now. I got to meet one of them. That was an emotional part of the trip for me. When I met him he wrapped his arms around me. He was 10 years old and knee high to a grasshopper. When we left I burst into tears. I knew what he was going back to and what I was going back to. It was heart-breaking but I am very glad that I got to meet him and know he has a chance to break out of that poverty cycle.
Does it make wet grips seem insignificant?
KATHERINE HULL: It does. It is almost motivation for me. Through World Vision you can actually build schools. One of my goals this year is to build a school there. It is a little extra incentive to play good.
Not many athletes are willing to stand up and admit they do Bible studies.
KATHERINE HULL: There is a fine line between pushing it down people’s throats. I’d rather just walk the walk. I do talk the talk sometimes but rather my actions spoke for me.