Q. Good round today. What was your take on that round?
Annika: I think I’m in a little better mood today than I was yesterday. I think I’m playing steady golf. I had several chances. Today was better scoring. You always feel better when you finish today up with a birdie. Yesterday was a tough finish. I’m getting better slowly, but surely.
Q. What percent are you at right now?
Annika: It is tough to tell. I would say about 85 percent probably. The way I feel and the way I hit. There are times when I feel like I’m hitting 100 percent and there are times when I feel like I’m not 100 percent. It is tough to tell, but it is obvious that I am rusty and I need to play and kind of get in the tournament mode. I wouldn’t say I’m out of place at times, but it’s been a while since I’ve really played. The U.S. Open was such a weird week. I didn’t finish 18 holes until Sunday, which was my first 18 holes. Think about that. That was four weeks ago. It’s getting there.
Q. Any pain?
Q. What do you do after you get off the course?
Annika: Yeah, I ice a little bit when I get back just to keep inflammation down. I feel fine. I think it’s just a matter of playing and continuing with exercises. It is a long process. I don’t think I can rush it. Playing 18 holes and warming up, that is six hours right there. That is all I can really handle at one time.
Q. Are you trying not to get frustrated out there?
Annika: Yeah. Terry (McNamara) reminds me constantly “stay patient, stay patient.” I’m like “well I’m ready to go low” and he goes “well you have got to play.” And to think about it, I’ve only played seven tournaments since December. One a month. I’m hitting some good shots at times, but I know I’m not there yet.
Q. What about next week at St. Andrews?
Annika: Yeah and then I have Sweden. I’m just enjoying the sunshine there and enjoying the heat. I will take it as it comes. It is actually good for me. St. Andrews is St. Andrews and I’m looking for it.
Q. You have put two great rounds together so far, can you start by talking about how you played today?
Diana: I think I played quite solidly. I hit the ball well. I don’t know how many greens I hit. I think maybe 15 or 16, and holed a few putts. But overall, I struck it well and pretty pleased.
Q. Can you just talk about your season and how it’s been going?
Diana: It’s been going pretty well. Usually I’m a pretty slow starter, and being that it’s July and I think I’m 60th or so on the (LPGA Official) Money List, I was actually kind of happy with how I’ve been playing. I think I could be playing better. It’s just about holing putts and sometimes you just don’t hole them every week. But overall, I’m pretty pleased with the year so far.
Q. Did you play here last year?
Diana: No, this is my first time.
Q. How is it living up to your expectations?
Diana: It’s fantastic. I’m having a great time. I’ve been to France twice before to play amateur golf when I was in college. I’m originally from New Jersey in America, and we have this thing called the Fred Cup where the League of Paris plays the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association. So I played over here twice, once in Versailles, and I think St Germain. So, I quite enjoy it. I’ve got to work on my French, though.
Q. The Fred Cup?
Diana: Yeah, after Fred Joyeuse (ph) the jeweler.
Q. How many cigarettes do you allow yourself playing is, and what’s the impact of cigarettes?
Diana: No one’s supposed to know about that. (laughing) it kind of just depends. Obviously I don’t smoke on the short holes. It just relaxes me. Besides golf, it’s probably my favorite thing to do, which is really, really bad. I know I need to quit but I enjoy it so much, and walking on the golf course and smoking, I quite like, but I hate obviously when you’re playing well, I will not be smoking quite as much because I really don’t like how it looks. But it does relax me. It’s bad, though. I try not to do it in front of the kids.
Q. Does the fact that there is a cut in this tournament make a difference in your strategy at all?
Diana: Being that it’s my first time over here, I knew there was a cut, but it really doesn’t make a difference. My goal during my usually the second round and every round is to keep staying aggressive and give yourself lots of opportunities to make birdies. I played the (HSBC Women’s World) Match Play (Championship) last week, and I did lose in the first round to the eventual winner. But I played quite solid, so it’s given me a little different perspective for stroke play after just playing match play. I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I felt like if I could just carry that over, I would do better, and I think I have.
Q. Do you think you’ll be nervous tomorrow?
Diana: I’ll definitely be nervous, yeah. I’m nervous now. I hope I can sleep. I hope I can eat.
Q. Will you smoke more if you’re nervous?
Diana: I do but I’ll smoke all night probably. Laughing).
Q. Do you look at the leaderboard going around?
Diana: I looked at it once today going to No. 10, and I was like, “Whoa, don’t look at it,” and I got instantly really, really nervous and made some swirly swings. So I opted not to look at it until I holed my last putt on 18 just to see what everybody was doing and I still really don’t have any idea. I think Jin Joo Hong was at the same score but she still had 18 to play.
Q. Will you look at it tomorrow?
Diana: I’m not going to look at it, it makes me too nervous. When I’m not playing well, I’ll look at it to see how everybody else is doing. But when I’m playing well, I’m not going to look at it.
Q. When was the last time you were in contention after 36 holes?
Diana: That’s a good question. I finished Top 10 at the Corning Classic this year in New York which was in May, but I really wasn’t in contention at the start of the last round because I was I shot 65 the last round to finish in the Top 10. So I honestly can’t remember. Sometime last year, end of last year sometime. I don’t know, Thailand, Hee Won (Han) had like a six shot lead so we really were all playing for second, so it’s different.
Q. What do you put this down to, this run of form?
Diana: It’s quite it’s quite I don’t know. What do I attribute playing well? I don’t know. I think I’m accustomed to playing well and getting myself into contention. It’s just really holding momentum swings when you need to, like on No. 14, I had missed the green on the par 3 down the hill; I can remember that hole. I sank about a 12 footer for par, and that keeps your round going and your confidence going, even though I didn’t make quite a good swing on the tee, I still was able to keep myself going. And I think that really the key to any round generally, I strike the ball pretty solid and hit a lot of greens, but it’s just making some key putts when you need to.
Q. Where do you say you’re from? You were born in New Jersey but it says you live in South Carolina.
Diana: Yeah, that’s wrong. I live in Florida but I’m originally from New Jersey.
Q. So you’re always from New Jersey then?
DIANA D’ALESSIO: Yeah, I’m born and raised in New Jersey.
Jin Joo Hong
Q. Thank you for joining us. You are also currently at 7 under and tied for the lead. Can you just talk about your round today and how you played?
Jin: The shots were like very unstable, but the short game and the putting was pretty good for today. So that’s why I made a lot of par saves and when I had a chance to birdie, I made those.
Q. How do you feel going into this weekend with the lead?
Jin: It’s the first tournament I’m leading this year and I’m pretty happy about it.
My shots today were really unstable so I want to make it right and I want to play on the weekend really, really well and I want to do the right things on the weekend and make things happen.
Q. You won the KOLON-Hana Bank Championship last year in Korea to become an LPGA member. Do you think the experience you gained with that win last year will help you hear this weekend?
Jin: It’s not the same but I’m using the experience from when I won. It’s different from Korea and here, so I just have to make adjustments on it. I want to do well, yeah.
Q. Are you feeling nervous at all about going into tomorrow being co leader?
Jin: Not yet. I actually don’t recognize the nerves and everything. I was kind of nervous yesterday because I was at third, but now I’m fine with it