RICOH Women’s British Open
Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club
Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England
July 31, 2009
Catriona Matthew, 74-67=141 (-3)
Hole 3, 419-yard, par 4: bogey
Hole 4, 371-yard, par 4: birdie
Hole 7, 542-yard, par 5: bogey
Hole 8, 389-yard, par 4: bogey
Hole 11, 487-yard, par 5: eagle – rescue to six feet
Hole 12, 160-yard, par 3: hole-in-one – 8-iron
Hole 13, 340-yard, par 4: birdie – 7-iron to 10 feet
Hole 15, 464-yard, par 5: birdie – 3-wood to 20 yards, chipped close
Hole 16, 343-yard, par 4: birdie – gap wedge from 100 yards
Hole 18, 386-yard, par 4: birdie – wedge to 10 feet
COLIN CALLENDER: Catriona Matthew just had a 67 for a 3 under par total of 141, and currently sharing the lead in the championship. That was a great round. How do you feel about it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yes, delighted with it. Obviously didn’t start too well, 2 over, but obviously turned it around coming back in. So I’m very pleased.
Q. Have you ever had a burst like that where you were 7 under?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: No, I don’t think I’ve ever had two eagles in a row. No, that’s a first.
Q. Is this your best nine hole score?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, about 7 under. I think 7 under would be my lowest.
Q. Not trying to diminish it in any way, but the wind changed today. How did that change the back nine compared to yesterday?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: The back nine played a lot easier. The front nine was into the wind probably more going out and the back nine played more downwind. So yeah, I mean, it definitely played easier today, the back nine.
Q. Given the reputation of Lytham’s back nine, would you rate that the best back nine of your career?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, one of them, certainly. I mean, any time you shoot 7 under, it’s got to be one of your best ones. They are saying it played a lot easier the back nine today than yesterday. A little change in wind direction can make a huge difference on links courses but you’ve still got to hit the shots.
Yeah I had chances. Unfortunately 17 missed probably about a 6 footer for par. Improved on that hole from yesterday. So not too bad.
Q. How soon did you get back into practicing after?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Probably five weeks after.
Q. And how easy has it been to get back into the swing of it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Well, it’s been fairly easy really. Yeah, I started back practicing and I was hitting it really pretty well. Played quite a lot of golf when I was at home just to try to get back into the swing of playing on a golf course.
I was probably nervous my first round last week, but it was nice to get four rounds in and I feel like I’m getting back into it now.
Q. You’ve played a lot of links golf as an amateur and had a pretty good record. Do you have any idea why up till now you’ve struggled when the Open has been on links courses?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I’ve been awful since I turned pro. I don’t know, maybe this time I’ve been home practicing, so I’ve probably been playing more links golf. So I’m sure that probably helped this time. But even though I could, forget how when I played it seems like.
Q. Is your baby with you at the moment? I don’t mean under the desk.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, they are both here.
Q. Just wondering about sleep deprivation.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Well, my mom’s here, so unfortunately she’s the one getting up and doing all of that. We’ve been doing quite well. I think she’ll be ready for a break. She’s had her for two weeks, last week and this week. She’ll be catching up on her sleep next week.
Q. Superwoman, this incredible round ten weeks after birth, do you feel like that?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Not really, no. I found it was a lot easier time. I felt as though I recovered a lot more quickly. The birth was slightly easier this time than the first time around. No, I mean, it doesn’t take you too long to get back into it I don’t think.
Q. Can you just quickly run through the putts on the last nine?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: One on 10, I hit a terrible shot into the bunker. That kind of kept my round going, actually, was holing that putt on 10. (Counting putts) That’s unusual for me.
The third, I hit 3 wood off the tee and then had a poor rescue into the green, which I just pulled a little bit and hit a fairly decent chip up to about six feet and missed that one.
4, I hit 3 rescue off the tee and then an 8 iron on to the green and probably holed about a 25 footer there for birdie.
Then 7, I put my second shot in the rough and then kind of just pulled it left my third shot and then chipped on and missed the putt.
8, I hit a terrible second shot into the bunker on the right and played out and 2 putted.
Q. Taking the baby break
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I came back from Katie and finished second and third and then second. I started too late.
Q. I don’t think I read what type of night this fire drama you had last week
CATRIONA MATTHEW: It was about 10.30 it started. I was in bed and my husband was on the balcony on the computer and I thought it was raining and I shouted out, “Oh, it’s heavy rain out.”
And he came in and said, “What on earth are you talking about?
“It just got louder and louder and eventually went and opened the door and it was just flames and smoke outside the door.
Q. Was it scary at the time?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Oh, very scary, yeah. We were just kind of thankful we were on our own. If we had all been there we would have been asleep; we would have been just exhausted then. Yeah, very fortunate it was just the two of us.
Q. Just wondering what sort of dialogue was going on between you and your husband on the back nine as you’re on this stretch. Were you talking much?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Not a whole lot to be honest. I don’t speak a whole lot when I’m out there playing. So, yeah, I’m not really saying too much. Just kind of discussing the clubs and different things.
He was obviously pleased and quite delighted at the eagle and hole in one. Yeah, I think you’ve just got to try you don’t want to get too kind of caught up in those two holes. You still have some two holes to come up with. I finished pretty badly yesterday, so still had to hit a lot of good shots coming in.
Q. Can you run through how you got out last week at the hotel?
Was it all straightforward and did you get all your stuff out with you?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: No, we didn’t get much stuff. We got maybe about a third of our clothes and that. In fact, Cristie Kerr got me some LACOSTE clothes last week so that was very nice of her. We just literally went out the door and said there was a fire. I just leapt out of bed and ran out. He forgot to put his shoes on and he got his foot burnt. Yeah, we kind of panicked.
Q. Where were you?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: We were on the first floor. We had a balcony on the first floor but the door is kind of on the level, and then we kind of ran around shouting fire and other people got out. Amy (Yang), they had to jump out of their balcony. I think she threw their mattresses and then jumped.
Q. Did you go back?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: They got us into another hotel.
Q. Is that new, what you’re wearing?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: No. This was the only jersey I had left that didn’t get burnt.
Q. You used to be renowned for your consistency. How do you explain this sort of metamorphosis into Helen Alfredsson? At one stage you’re 4 over and then suddenly, you have this amazing run.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I felt I had not played too badly on the way out but it’s just this kind of course. You can kind of hit not too bad of a shot but you get in the bunker or in the rough, and then it’s a bogey before you know it.
Yeah, obviously I just hit some really good shots coming in. I was obviously lucky to make the two eagles. I could have hit a good shot into 11 and still made birdie and maybe birdie on 12, but you need a bit of luck every so often. I’ll take it.
Q. You seem very relaxed out on the course. I was there with you when you lost a ball on 17 yesterday. There were no histrionics, you were kind of very pragmatic. And I was there when you had the hole in one and the eagle. Is that a deliberate policy or are you just generally a very calm and relaxed person?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Well, no, I don’t know about that. I’m trying not to get too annoyed if I hit bad shots. It’s only been my second tournament back. I probably haven’t gotten into that mode of being too annoyed yet. Yeah, I am definitely trying to make an effort to try and not let myself get too annoyed.
Q. When you were at St. Andrews you got yourself in good position at halfway, three rounds, was it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I was doing pretty well, yeah.
Q. Do you learn from what happened then?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I think you do. Obviously a lot just depends on the weather. I’m not sure what the forecast is or how windy it’s going to be.
Yeah, this is definitely a course you’ve just got to be able to go out and be very patient and just try to keep it out of the bunkers and keep it out of the rough. I’d rather have a longer shot into the green than maybe go with driver and pull it or push it and you’re in the bunker and then you’re struggling from there. So I would rather just lay back. And if I keep putting well, I feel like I’m swinging well.
Q. What did you learn from St. Andrews?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I didn’t play very well I think the third day in the wind. The wind kind of blew me off course a little bit. Yeah, I think you do learn from those things, learn to probably hang in there a bit better and stay more patient.
Q. How far from the green was the lost ball yesterday on 17?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Oh, a long way. It was a terrible second shot. I was trying to hit it over on 17 you hit it kind of over the rubbish and I caught it a bit thin and just played straight into a hill. No doubt about it being lost. We had about, I don’t know, about 80 yards in front of me, 100 yards.
Q. So you hit your fourth shot, presumably you were near where you hit your second?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, and I hit a really good next shot, too. I made a good six in the end.
CALLENDER: Have you plans to play more in Europe or will you be going back to the LPGA Tour?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I’m going to go back and play I think I can only play ten events until the end of the year, so I’ll probably go back and play a few on the LPGA. Maybe play Dubai maybe at the end of the year. Just need to kind of look at the schedule and pick and choose. Taking maternity this year, I can only play ten after having the baby. So I’ll have to see which ones I’m going to pick.
Giulia Sergas, 74-67=141 (-3)
Hole 11, 487-yard, par 5: birdie – rescue club to green, 2-putt
Hole 13, 340-yard, par 4: birdie – 9-iron to 3 feet
Hole 14, 420-yard, par 4: birdie – pitching wedge to 2 feet
Hole 15, 464-yard, par 5: birdie – 3-wood to green, chip and putt
Hole 16, 343-yard, par 4: birdie – 54-degree wedge to 10 feet
COLIN CALLENDER: We have Giulia Sergas in the interview area, a 67 for’s total of 141 minus three tied for the lead. Congratulations. What do you feel about your round today?
GIULIA SERGAS: My round was great. I played good from No. 1 on. And my driver was straight. My irons were in the middle and some putts went in.
COLIN CALLENDER: Your caddie at the end, I believe, said that you could have been better having had a couple of lip outs on the front nine and also a horseshoe; is that correct?
GIULIA SERGAS: I think I did pretty good. And it can always be better. So I’m happy.
Q. How much easier did you find today’s wind than yesterday’s?
GIULIA SERGAS: It was easier, definitely easier. Even though the first nine holes were downwind yesterday, you could have hit a perfect shot and just fly the green. Less wind, definitely. It was definitely less wind. No matter of the direction but it was easier.
Q. Where do you live in the U.S.?
GIULIA SERGAS: California. Sounds great.
Q. How long have you lived over there?
GIULIA SERGAS: Three years.
Q. Why did you decide to base yourself in California?
GIULIA SERGAS: Because it’s beautiful.
Q. And not Florida, which is golfing territory?
GIULIA SERGAS: It’s ugly. (Laughter) No, I should not say that because I never lived there. I love California because it remind me of Italy more than Florida. There is mountains and big ocean, nice cities, San Diego. I love it.
Q. San Diego is where you’re based?
GIULIA SERGAS: No. I’m based in Palm Springs.
Q. I was wondering when you first played a course like this and what you thought of it then, this type of golf?
GIULIA SERGAS: I was young. I grew up in Europe, so when I was an amateur, we used to play links golf course all summer long.
I always enjoyed it, because they have personality, and they are definitely not boring and you have to you know, you have to accept you can get a bad bounce as a good one. And you still have to strike it as good as you can.
If you don’t play aggressive on these kind of courses, they are going to eat you up alive. Even though you are in an unlucky situation, you still have to be aggressive and go for it.
Q. Have you tried to calculate what you might need to qualify for the Solheim Cup?
GIULIA SERGAS: No. No, I don’t.
Q. Impossible to work it out.
GIULIA SERGAS: It is impossible. And as I said before, it was a big motivation since I started playing golf.
So if I make it, I’m going to be happy, but you know, it’s something I cannot really control. It’s somebody else’s decision because I don’t play in Europe. I have a good team spirit but we’ll see.
Q. By that, do you mean that you won’t give the captain any trouble if you are on the team; you’ll be a good team member?
GIULIA SERGAS: Who knows, probably. I mean, I don’t know. Definitely I’m going to give my best, as I always do. You really can’t tell. You know, you really can’t tell. You also have to consider how the group of the 12 girls mingle together. You have to take in consideration too many things and it’s not just about how you’re scoring. It is about how you’re doing on the golf course, but there’s so many other components.