Anna Nordqvist plays her approach shot to the 18th green
That was a beautiful round. Just one dropped shot at the 16th which was early enough in the round but otherwise, lots of red numbers. I had a really good day and played really solid golf. I gave myself a lot of opportunities out there.
You must be pleased with how you’re playing at the moment and a very good recovery after two rounds at the Ricoh British Open. You’re very strong at the moment as well. Absolutely. I feel my game is good. I thought I hit the ball pretty good at the Ricoh but I finished 11 over so it’s a funny game. Now I’m eight under after two rounds. I’ve been working hard and everything is getting together.
Does this course suit you? Yes, I think so. I like to play aggressive and I feel like you can fire at the pins here.
You’re now tied for the lead. What do you think it going to happen tomorrow. There are a lot of Swedes up there so it’s going to be very competitive. I know. It’s fun to see a lot of Swedes up there. There are probably going to be a lot of low scores this afternoon as well. I’m just going to try my best and go as low as I can and see where I end up tomorrow.
Here in Ireland, are you enjoying the atmosphere? Absolutely. This is my first time in Ireland. I’m really impressed and obviously I would love to come back here next year. The people are really nice and it’s been a really good tournament so far.
Do you think this will be a good Solheim Cup venue? Absolutely, I think so.
This must give you a lot of confidence? Coming out here early this morning I was ready to go. You’ve just got to go out there and play aggressive and that’s what I did today.
Are you making the most of the par fives? You can reach three of them, the par fives, if you hit a really good drive. You can lay up but you can manage if you go for them. I think there’s a lot of good holes where you can be aggressive and end up with a birdie. It was fun. I’m hitting the ball good at the moment and I’m comfortable with my putter. Just bring it on!
How much would it mean to win this? It would mean a lot. I’m just trying to take one day at a time. Obviously winning on The Solheim Cup track would give me great confidence. Just being out here is a great inspiration and gives me great motivation to work hard to be out here next year as well.
You were playing the last two days with a young amateur, Danielle McVeigh. What did you think of her? I know Danielle from before because we played a lot of amateur golf together. It brings back good memories from the good old amateur days. I feel old now but just two years ago I played amateur golf. She is a very good player and I’m very impressed with her short game. She has a bright future ahead of her.
You and Pernilla are part of Team Annika. Obviously she is going to be the assistant coach. Just knowing that she supports you wherever you are and she’s always there if you have any questions. She’s been a really good support and obviously both Pernilla and I have been doing good so far this week. I found last year I got thrown right in it when I won a major in my fifth start. She’s been a huge support to help me continue improving and how to handle everything, like media, and everything else. There is no-one better to ask.
How do you focus and stay away from distractions? That’s been a journey this year but I’ve learned a lot. Obviously there have been moments where I could have handled it better but I’m trying to learn on what I can do better and on what I can control and focus on my own game.
A wonderful 66. How did you feel out there? I played really well today. I played great yesterday as well but I couldn’t get the putts in the hole. Today I got them to drop, so it was good.
How are you enjoying this Jack Nicklaus design at Killeen Castle? I think it’s a great golf course. You really have to place the ball off the tee to be on the right position on the greens on the right side. They are very undulated greens and it suits me well.
As far as it being a Solheim Cup venue for that, do you think it’s a good course for that? I think it’s a good course. I would probably prefer more links course to favour the Europeans a bit more but I think this is a great course and it’s a very nice place and great clubhouse and great everything around it, so it’s a great place.
Are you excited at the prospect of making the team? I played in 2007 at Halmstad and I thought that that was one of the greatest weeks I’ve ever had on the golf course, so hopefully, you never know, but it’s a bonus.
do you think of this Nicklaus design? I think it’s a great course. I was a little bit surprised when I got here because I was so sure it was going to be a links course. It suits me well, tricky greens and you have to hit good shots into the right positions.
With so many Swedes up there at the top of the leader board, what is it about the Swedes in Ireland this week? You know, we probably just like this crappy weather. It suits us well I guess. We are pretty good ball strikers, all three of us, and good putters.
You’re one of the good ball strikers, aren’t you? Right now I’m hitting the ball really well. I’ve been struggling a bit this season but it feels like it’s coming closer and you really need it here at this golf course.
You played in the 2007 match. Would that be a help? It’s nice to have been here but for me playing in The Solheim 2007 was a great experience but as for next year it’s just going to be a bonus. It’s hard to have that as a goal. It’s just a bonus if that happens.
Is that because The Solheim Cup is a bit out of reach at the moment or just because it’s such a big event? It is a big event but you can’t control what the other players are doing. The points system is double next year, I think. I think coming up to the tournament you get twice as many points as you did the year before so it’s hard.
You know how to win. I’ve won three times on the European Tour but I’m just going to stick to my game plan. I know there’s a really good field out there and half the field hasn’t even started yet. We’ll see whatever happens.
Why are the Swedes doing well? We’re used to this type of weather. It’s windy, it’s not very warm and you have to have a lot of layers on. We’re patient people and you have to have a lot of patience on this course.
Well done today on your round of 66 with six birdies. You said it felt easy. What was the best part of your game? I think it was really steady. I didn’t miss many fairways or many greens. I made a lot of birdie putts and most of them were within close range too.
What do you think of the course? It’s a great course and I think it suits my game well. It’s pretty wide fairways and some long holes but some reachable par fives, so I think it suits my game well.
Why so many Swedes up there today? I think maybe it’s a course that suits us, I know Maria Hjorth is long off the tee and Anna is really steady with her iron game and Linda is really long. That’s probably a good reason. I hit it pretty far so I can take advantage of some of the reachable par fives and some of the par fours. I can attack them a little bit better.
What is your average drive? Around 260.
Is it quite wet out there today? It is quite wet. I played in some rain yesterday afternoon so I don’t think it was more wet today.
What is Team Annika? After Annika retired she decided she wanted to support a couple of rookies, or younger professionals. Then she picked me and Anna Nordqvist, the two of us are Team Annika. When you are younger you play a lot for a team and when you turn pro you’re off a lot on your own. We’re trying to spread the word and we have a website about it. Having the support of Annika, that’s the best mentor that you can have and having the network that she built up in her years, we can use that too, so I’ve been practising at her academy in Florida a bit.
Obviously it suits you here. It’s a course that suits my game well and it felt like all the pieces came together today.
How did you play, because the course has been hit with a lot of rain, so it’s playing long. You’re a long hitter, so that helps. Absolutely. I can attack some of the par fives and longer par fours are not quite as long for me. I think a lot of the Swedes are a little but longer than average, don’t ask me why, but I think that helps. I guess we just like it here in Ireland.
You are part of a small team, Team Annika. What does that do? It was an honour to get picked for that team and have her support and her back up. She works as a mentor for me and of course that’s a huge help.
What sort of mentoring? Is she on the end of the phone? No, not all the time, but an email here and there. I can always call her whenever I want to and she said whenever I have questions don’t hesitate to call her.
What sort of questions? I think it’s a lot about, this is my rookie year in America and on the European Tour so a lot of the questions are about how, not so much the golf part of it works, but sponsors, caddies, agents and everything that’s around the game of golf.
You’re a rookie, so this is important. Exactly. That’s why Annika decided to start this team to help some younger players in the beginning.
You’re in a very good position going into the final round. If I keep playing just like I did today, I think tomorrow can be an exciting day for sure.
Annika knew how to win, sounds like a few words might be of help ahead of tomorrow. I might need some good words from her going out tomorrow.
How do you feel it went? It was good for a lot of holes and went slowly downhill from there on. It’s gotten a wee bit tougher out there and the wind’s getting up. We got a shower there for three holes, but that’s it. That’s golf, anyway. I’d say we might scrap in there and get another crack and the course tomorrow.
What were your ambitions going into it? There’s a world class here this week and today I was playing with Laura and Katherine so I just to do as best we could and if we made the cut, we made the cut. There’s a good crowd out there and it’s good to have people from all over Ireland come out to support. It was good the last few days and it’s something you don’t do every day.