Q. 5 under par through your first eight holes, what was the key to that success? LYDIA HALL: I just played really solid. Tee to green was really, really good. Approach shots within 15 feet on the front nine. It just played really solid and the putts, got them rolling. I was really pleased.
Q. A couple bogeys around the turn. How proud of yourself to make some birdies on the end to really put the round back on track? LYDIA HALL: I made a couple of mistakes on 9 and 10 with a 3 putt on 10 but I just refocussed and gained concentration and moved onto 11 and made a good putt. Just kept in there, really be to be honest.
Q. Any sense coming into this week that it was going to be a special one? LYDIA HALL: I felt confident for the last I’ve been home for ten weeks. I didn’t go to Asia, so I’ve been working really hard on fitness and with my coach, and, yeah, things have been going really, really good. I was looking forward to this week.
Q. Your best finish which everybody on Tour so far is sixth, do you fancy going a lot better this weekend? LYDIA HALL: We just have to see how it goes this weekend. Just going to take one step at a time and one shot at a time and hopefully, who knows what can happen on the weekend.
Q. What would it mean to win this or a top two or three finish for your confidence or your game? LYDIA HALL: It would be huge, but I’m not looking that far ahead to be honest. I’m going to go to the range and focus on a few things I’m not happy with today and then we are going to work on tomorrow. I’m just taking one step at a time and not even looking to Saturday at moment.
Q. On the range; what are things you can do to improve from today to yesterday? LYDIA HALL: I just want to work on some putting. I pulled a couple of putts today and holding a few shots, as well. But I’m pleased today; really can’t knock myself too much. Really happy the last couple of days, and yeah, I’m just looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow.
Q. Anna, any round without a bogey is a good one; how good was that one? ANNA NORDQVIST: I thought it was really solid. I’m really happy. I had a lot of opportunities out there. I didn’t make a ton of them but I took advantage of a couple so I’m really happy with the day.
Q. How much does this golf course examine the different aspects of the game? ANNA NORDQVIST: I think it’s every part of your game. The rough is pretty thick there, so you can’t really get the ball very high off the ground so you definitely want to hit the fairways and if you miss the greens, it can leave you with some tricky putts.
Q. The greens look as though they are getting firmer so might be more difficult to get near the flag; is that how it felt to you? ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, especially the more the day went on. This morning they were soft and you could take advantage of that a little bit, and especially with the wind here.
Q. Great position going into the weekend. How excited about your prospects? ANNA NORDQVIST: It’s the best position you can possibly be in so far, so not sure how far the afternoon wave is, but I’m just happy with my game and going to keep doing what I’m doing and I look forward to a fun weekend.
Q. In terms of the conditions compared to yesterday, what was the difference out there for you? ANNA NORDQVIST: I played pretty much the same. I played good yesterday. I played good today. Today I made four birdies today and four birdies yesterday, and yesterday I had two bogeys. So it wasn’t much difference. Still a lot of good opportunities and look forward to make a couple this weekend.
Q. What would you like to see better about your game or things you would like to do differently? It’s a pretty packed leaderboard. What do you need to do to extend your lead? ANNA NORDQVIST: I just need to go out there and try to shoot as low as I can. You can make a lot of birdies on this course. So just sharpen up my wedges a little bit and I’ll be good. Just try to make birdies.
Q. You said you had a lot of missed opportunities. You had some pars that should have been birdies today? ANNA NORDQVIST: I thought I had a couple good looks and hit a couple good putts.
Q. So the putting was if you had to look at it, maybe the putting was what let you down a little bit? ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I thought I hit a couple of good putts that didn’t go in, I hit a couple short on the line and they are not going to go in, so hopefully I can give myself a couple better opportunities tomorrow.
Q. A little disappointed to finish with two bogeys but overall how pleased are you with your first two days? IBEN TINNING: I’m very pleased. I have not played a tournament since mid October, so I’m pretty happy with that. Obviously to finish off with two bogeys is not very nice but that’s golf.
Q. You have announced this going to be your last event; how do you feel that this big part of your life is no longer going to be part of it? IBEN TINNING: I’m all right with it to be honest. I’ve known it for years. I’m not saying that I don’t feel anything out there and I’m definitely going for more pins than I normally would, because why be a chicken the last event. So I’m all right with it. It might get worse on Sunday, I don’t know.
Q. If you won, would you reconsider? IBEN TINNING: No. No. I’m too injured. It’s not possible. There’s pain in my hip and it hurts every time I walk, so it’s not really an option, unless I get absolutely fit all of a sudden.
Q. In terms of winning what, would it mean to win in your final tournament? IBEN TINNING: Obviously that would be great. That would be un-describable.
Q. Maria, another great round of level par 72 today. How do you assess the round? MARIA VERCHENOVA: Well, you know, just I was playing well. And I wasn’t quite finishing it, and it’s just I didn’t put as well as yesterday. So I’m a little bit disappointed but overall I just played well.
Q. You started really well with two birdies on the 13th and the 14th, were you feeling good about the round at that point? MARIA VERCHENOVA: Yeah, it was long putts, and obviously it gave me confidence. But then I felt back and just falling back and forwards all the time.
Q. What sort of tripped you up? You had a couple of bogeys coming in. What were the highs and the lows? MARIA VERCHENOVA: Hard to say. I mean, you know, it’s just one of those days when you just kind of up and down, you feel happy and then you go back and I was trying to stay positive, even like having a bogey and keep going.
Q. So 4 under par is still right up there, how are you feeling for the next two rounds? MARIA VERCHENOVA: You know, first round really gave me confidence and today I played well, so hopefully I’ll keep hitting balls like I’m hitting now and go even lower.
Q. And how does it feel to be playing in the sunshine in Dubai? MARIA VERCHENOVA: Awesome. I mean, last week we played really under tough conditions and it was really cold and I really enjoyed that.
Q. You’re confident for the next two days? MARIA VERCHENOVA: Yeah, I’m hitting the ball good. I’m putting well and I’m confident, so, yeah.
Q. How would you assess the round from yesterday? LAURA DAVIES: I didn’t play well again today and just the timing is all out, I don’t know. And then I was going at 2 under, considering how I played, was good. And then made the triple on 17, was all stuck in the palm three and had to drop it, and plugs when you drop it in that sand. Triple; tournament is over now, just playing for fun. Hopefully made the cut. Should have done; I think four is okay.
Q. You think four should get you there? LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, Johnny said it was three yesterday, so it will probably be five. The weather is pretty good today. Maybe come down one.
Q. So on 17, was the drive LAURA DAVIES: I hit a shocking tee shot, pulled a 2 iron left out of the bank and just for once, I decided I’d play safe, just knock it back in the fairway; and instead of going for a really difficult 3 iron, low 3 iron off the hill, and I played safe and knocked it in the top of the palm tree.
Q. So your second shot went into the palm tree? LAURA DAVIES: Went into the palm tree, took the drop, plugged it, short for four, on for five, thought I made the six which I suppose at the end of the day isn’t that big of a deal but at the time it was. So triples are horrible.
Q. When you’re tired, does it affect your mental performance? LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, I knew we were in trouble yesterday. I said to Johnny when I saw him at the car when we got picked up, we were in trouble, I just knew it because I had no energy whatsoever. It was a long journey anyway, and to be woken up like that was a shame really. No one’s fault but one of those things.
Q. Did you get a better night’s sleep? LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, because it was a long day, I did the clinic early and shootout late so I didn’t get home until the 8.30. I was asleep by 8 .35 and woke on my alarm at half five this morning. But the damage was done yesterday as regards to winning the Money List and winning the tournament. Just one of those things. Glad to have made the cut because you don’t want to miss the cut. Missed the cut in America and missed the cut here; so it was important to make a good putt at the last.
Q. Is it nice to have the rest of the afternoon to recuperate? LAURA DAVIES: Well, doesn’t matter now. The tournament is over for me as far as I’m concerned. It’s now just a matter of playing and trying to get a couple of really good under par rounds on the weekend. But as far winning, which is what we came here, second place is what we came here to try and do, or win it obviously would be better but a minimum of second, and it’s not going to happen so obviously disappointed.
Q. When you said before the start of the tournament that you might play more tournaments in America, considering how you have felt this weekend, is that still the objective? LAURA DAVIES: Well, yeah, you want to do well in America, ultimately. You want to do well in Europe obviously. This is my home tour, but if I could play a few more in America and a few less over here, that might work out better for me, and that’s what I’ll probably try and do. But who knows. I might look at the schedules when they come out and decide, no, I want to play more in Europe again because I really enjoyed Europe this year. Disappointing finish but I have enjoyed the whole year, great tournaments and had lots of wins, which makes it much nicer. But at the moment it’s looking like more in America but who knows.
Q. And Lee Anne, a word on her? LAURA DAVIES: She’s going to win the Money List. She’s won more money than me and imagine she’ll have a decent round today and go clear and win the Money List in style now so good luck to her. She’s had a great year.
Q. You said this has been a good year for yourself. How would you rate it on other years? LAURA DAVIES: For pure wins it’s probably one of the better years. I think I had ten in ’96 and six in ’95 or something like that, but this is probably the third most wins I’ve had in a year. I’m not complaining. I’m disappointed at the moment, but when I look back on the year I’ll say, yeah, it’s a good year. I played nine tournaments less than Lee Anne. If I played a few more over here, maybe I would have been closer over here and it wouldn’t have been just a first or second finish. But that’s what you do. You take your chances when you do and I didn’t play enough maybe.
Q. Do you regret the fact that you didn’t play enough? LAURA DAVIES: Absolutely. If I could have changed that, missing those two in China and instead going to Malaysia and a different tournament in China, I would and she won both of those, that was a huge turning point and fair play to her. She knew I wasn’t there and went and won a couple. Ultimately you are watching the other players and you do know what you need to do. She did what she had to do. I came back in India; it wasn’t enough.
Q. Why did you not go to China? LAURA DAVIES: Well, I was invited to a ridiculous well, not ridiculous; a really fun tournament in China the same week, so I went to that because it was fun. And the week before, I was in the LPGA tournament in Malaysia and it was a billion degrees. My caddie fainted and I had a local for a day and that didn’t work out. The last two months have been a struggle to be honest.
Q. What do you make of the youngsters on the Tour, like the 15 year olds? Do you think that’s a tender age to start? LAURA DAVIES: That’s young obviously but I always say if you’re good enough and your parents are making sure your schooling is done and not doing too much, then why not? Because you never quite know how it’s going to pan out. When I was a junior, some of the best players didn’t make it as pros, so she’s making it as a pro already so why not give it a go. I didn’t start playing until I was 14, turned pro at 21.
Q. Do you think 15 is a tender age; you have to manage it correctly? LAURA DAVIES: I think the parents have to take responsibility and I think they do. She doesn’t play a huge amount of tournaments. Her dad caddies for her most of the time. Yeah, I think they are doing a good job with it. And as long as she wants to play; if they are pushing her to play I’m not saying they are, but if she wants to play and she wants to compete, why not, as long as it’s regulated by the parent.
Q. Do you think there’s a fair burnout for players that start at 15? LAURA DAVIES: Oh, I’d say so. By the time she’s, what, 25, she’ll have been on Tour ten years and might be thinking, Christ, what’s this all about, I want a normal life. Because it is weird travelling around the world week in, week out. You’re never in the same place more than two weeks on the trot, and you know, she might get fed up with it, who knows, she might not.
Q. Any advice in terms of how to manage it, how to avoid that burnout? LAURA DAVIES: Don’t stand on the range every day practising and when you’re home for a week, have a week off. You don’t have to just be playing golf all the time just because you’re a professional golfer and that would be my biggest tip to any of these youngsters because they wear me out just watching them.
Q. What is it about her game (Alexis Thompson)? LAURA DAVIES: I haven’t played with her. I’ve seen her on the range and know she hits it a long way. I’ve never been paired with her but from what I hear, she hits it superb. She obviously hits it very good.
Q. Is there a danger of, like Michelle Wie, she’s 21 and she looks to have some really bad injuries? LAURA DAVIES: That’s the trouble, isn’t it, when you’re practising so hard and you’re that young and you’re still going. I’m no doctor or chiropractor, but I assume that’s when you’re doing the damage to your body and she’s 21 with a really bad back from what I can make out. Doesn’t sound good. She can afford the time off to get it right over the years, then she’ll be fine. But if she’s one of the players that’s going to play 30 tournaments a year with a bad back, you can’t do it.