Alison Walshe (USA)
Karrie has just bogeyed and you are sharing the lead.
That is good news, I guess.
Golf Australia gave you an invitation to play?
Yes. I want to thank them so much. I was here a few months ago in Adelaide and to come back to Australia is a great opportunity.
Are you seeing the golf course for the first time?
Yes. This is my first time in Melbourne and first time at this golf course. It is a great track.
How did you go in Adelaide?
We came in third as a team and I finished, I believe, sixth. We were in trouble on the first day but we made a great comeback.
You shot 77 on the first day. Did you get the windy conditions in the afternoon?
I played at 1.30 in the afternoon on Thursday. Those first six holes were the windiest conditions I have played in. I have played over in the UK. It was pretty bad. I held it together. I double bogeyed the last hole which left a bad taste. I obviously came back these last two days, which is good.
Is this the first time you have been in the lead of a pro tournament?
Yes. It is only my second tournament as a pro. I played last week at the ANZ. It is a good start so far.
Did you play the US Open as an amateur?
Yes, I did. Last summer.
How did you go last week?
Last week I made the cut and shot 79 on the last day. I don’t know where I finished. It may be around 50th. I was up there and then on the last day I struggled and fell back.
Do you have to pinch yourself to believe what is happening?
It is nice. I have to learn to be patient.
Did it cross your mind that you might lead?
I saw it (the leader board) for the first time on 16. I was surprised. It was not too windy on the front nine. I was surprised that a lot of the other players had not scored well on the back. I hope I can hold on.
Are you originally from Boston?
I was born in Ireland. I moved to the States when I was about five and grew up in Boston. I graduated from the University of Arizona last year.
Is that Phil Mickelson’s school?
No, he is Arizona State, our rival.
Did you make any changes in your game today?
Nothing. On the first day the wind made it so much tougher. The last two days, obviously, there have been scores. I was hitting it great the first day. It’s just that you lose a couple here and there with that wind.
Did you bring a caddie with you?
He is actually local. I arranged him through a University of Arizona guy who uses him on the Nationwide Tour. I called him up and he has been great. I used him last week at the ANZ as well. His name is Jason Shortall. Short and tall. It is kind of weird.
Do you allow yourself to start thinking about winning?
You always want to win. It is definitely what I will be shooting for tomorrow. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself and shoot myself out of it. I want to be steady, start off tomorrow morning and be patient and let the shots come when they come.
Did you lead many tournaments as an amateur?
Yes. I won some tournaments. I have had the opportunity to be in this position, which is great. I think it helps me. The amateur competition is so strong now. It is almost the same competition coming after you.
Will you seek any advice before you hit off with Karrie Webb tomorrow?
That would be cool. I would love to be in the last group with someone like her. She is a legend.
Did you think that Australia would play such a big part in your career?
I never thought I would be here twice in a couple of months. The World Amateur was a huge goal of mine. I never even thought twice about this tournament until I had been here in Adelaide. I really enjoy it out here. Again, I am so pleased to be invited back.
How much money did you make last week?
I did not think I earned anything, I finished so badly. My Mum said it was something like 700 Euros, but there was tax. It was pretty bad.
Was that your first cheque?
Beth Allen (USA)
How do you feel to be so close to the leader?
It’s fun. It’s really fun. Everything is going well. I’m happy. I started off well and then in the middle I probably got a little shaky but then I got back in it. I’m happy with it.
How did you make your eagle?
I hit a three-wood on the green to about 20 feet from 223 yards.
How pleased with your play?
I guess today wasn’t the best day really. I probably played better on Thursday and yesterday but I guess it’s coming together. I’ve been playing well since Spain and just had a couple of bad holes. I’m not making as many mistakes.
Have you been in this situation before?
On the Futures Tour once. I think I tied fifth in Denmark but that was quite a way back I think. I came second and lost by two I think.
How will you approach tomorrow?
Just the same. Adam is caddying for me for the first time and he’s doing really well. He’s keeping me calm and we’re having fun.
Tania Elosegui (Spain)
How do you assess your round?
I’m quite pleased. I didn’t have a very good start with a double on the first because I think I was quite nervous and I pulled my driver. I tried to hit a long iron and went in the bunker again so took a double. I recovered with a birdie on the second and then all the putts were short and I didn’t quite putt well today. I wasn’t reading the putts well.
Why were the scores higher this afternoon?
Maybe the pins were a little bit tougher today and I think everybody keeps trying too hard to make birdies. This golf course is not very easy to make birdies so you get frustrated. If you make a bogey you have to stay patient otherwise the bogeys keep coming.
What do you need to do to win?
Keep my focus and stay in the present and the putts will drop. I am very happy because I didn’t expect this but once you are up there you want more so I will try my best tomorrow.
Laura Davies (England)
You have shot 74, 76 67. Is that correct?
Yes. Very consistent, as usual.
Someone walking with you said you hit your irons beautifully.
I know it sounds odd but I’ve hit it fantastic all week. Yesterday I played really great golf and bogeyed four of the first five holes and did not hit one bad shot. The course is so good. We hit into the bunker, we ran through the green, I had a three-putt. That is the sort of golf course it is.
Karrie said that it was just a matter of inches.
Do you think the course has caught a lot of you out?
I don’t think it has caught anyone out. We know it is tough. We know precision is the word. I am hitting it well. I am hitting a lot of fairways and then I hit what I thought was a good shot and it is in the bunker. You know it is there. It is one thing knowing it is there and another combating it. Yesterday, for whatever reason, I started with four bogeys and finished with three bogeys and had all the birdies in the middle and there was no difference in my swing for the 18 holes. That’s just what great championship courses do to you.
Your eagle at 15, did you hit it close?
Yes, I’d just lipped out on 14. I hit two lovely shots in there. It was in for all money but it horseshoed. I was pretty disgusted with that. This one was right in the middle.
About 20 feet. This week I have done everything in groups. I had four birdies from five through eight and then I hit a lovely shank up nine. I’ve birdied five, six, seven and eight and thinking I can turn in five under if I get another birdie and I shanked it. Where I was after the shank was dead. That was always going to be a bogey. Then I three-putted 10 and then came back with birdie, birdie, eagle. When I get on a run it seems hard to get off it.
How do you stay calm after a shank?
A shank is always a problem because you’ve got to stand over the very next shot. My next shot was an eight iron into 10 and I left it 30 to 40 feet short. You don’t know if it is your swing or because of other things. I ended up three-putting. It basically cost me three shots. The wedge into nine was a perfect number. We should have been knocking it close, not 30 feet right of the pin. It was a good shank, though.
Did you think your run was over when you had those bad holes?
When I three-putted 10 and I had an eight iron at the 11th tee, I thought, Here we go again. I did not think I was playing a very good round, for whatever reason. I went in the bunker and got up and down with a 20-foot par putt. That got me thinking, Well, come one. I was not thinking of giving up, but I’d had a bad run after birdies on five through eight. I could have birdied one through four as well. It really was good stuff.
Were holes 12 through 17 with your driver as well as you have hit it for some time?
No. I drove it great the first day. Then I hit it really well yesterday. The difference today was that I hit a lot of drivers. I thought I had to make something happen. If you are hitting seven irons in to these greens it is a lot easier than hitting wedges. That was the plan, to hit driver where I could. You can’t hit driver at 16, 17 or 18. They are not long enough.
How long have you been using the natural tee?
About 20 years.
Have you given up tees completely?
There is one hole in Austria I hit driver off the 18th. You could land a 747 there. It is pretty wide, that fairway. I think it is the only one I need a tee on.
Is this the number you thought you had to shoot to get back into it?
We were joking and saying nine under this morning in the players’ lounge. I am three off it. It was a pretty good effort to get there. It just depends now whether Karrie or one of the others gets to nine or 10 under.
Is the wind getting up?
Not really. It is disappointing. I keep looking out the window, hoping for a bit of wind. Having said that, the last five or six holes, the putts were just sliding by. The greens are really crisping up. Perhaps a few putting problems will help.
Did you go to the football last night?
I went. It is a crazy game, isn’t it? The crowd was superb. They were good fun to watch. The game itself is brilliant. They are true athletes. They run that pitch for an hour and whatever it is. It is incredible that they can keep going like that. They have a huge area to cover.
Was sit your first time?
First time. I enjoyed it.
You are two under. You could possibly be leading at the end of the day.
If it really started to blow. I don’t think it is going to happen. I think it will stay quite calm. I don’t know the girl who is leading. She is obviously pretty good. They will probably get to seven, eight, nine. Having said that, if I can shoot another good round tomorrow in similar conditions…You just don’t know in this game.
You said last year you were very fond of Kingston Heath. How do you like this one?
I think this is a better course. I think the bunkering around here is the best I have ever seen. Royal Lytham is very good but the way the bunkers cut into the greens…Yesterday I drove into four fairway bunkers on par fives and I hit pretty good tee shots on all of them. If you are not exactly right, you get into trouble. But they are fair. In some links course bunkers, you go in and you come out sideways or backwards. You never get any of that. It is a top course.