Melissa Reid (England)
How were the conditions today?
It was holding up pretty good, actually. We were lucky that the fairways weren’t flooding as much as we thought and the guys did a good job keeping the greens dry so it was good.
How did you play your last few holes?
I birdied the last two. I made a bad swing on 16. I blocked my utility off the tee and as the rough is quite wet it is pretty tough to get a long iron to it. I hit it short of the green, thought I hit a good chip but it just skidded on and missed the putt. Fortunately I birdied the last two.
Do you have a new coach?
I’m working with a guy called Dave Ridley. I still see Lawrence but not on the coach side of it really. He is still a huge part of my golf. He is based at Coxmoor, which is 30 minutes away from my house. It’s really convenient. I’ve just moved out of my house and am living with a couple of friends in Loughborough. It’s much easier for me to get down south.
What are you working on in your game?
I talked to Dave and I just said that I wanted him to take me to the next level. There were a few things in my swing that I didn’t like. I wanted more consistency. I was very handsy before and if my timing was on I was puring everything but if not then I was struggling to get a good strike. Now I feel that this new technique is a lot better, using my body. It’s working okay. It’s the first time I’ve used it so it’s doing alright.
What have you been doing lately?
Since Thailand I had a couple of weeks off and only did three or four days practise. I spent a lot of time with my friends, which was nice, friends and family. I kicked back into the training after that. I went away for a week to Portugal but that’s pretty much it. I’ve moved out and that’s quite a big thing. We got the house on the 1st May but we don’t actually have any furniture. I got my bed on Saturday.
Any other comments about your round?
I’d like to say that Paul did a really good job today. A day like today completely emphasises how important a caddie is. He helped me and did a fantastic job so a massive thank-you to him.
Karen Lunn (Australia)
It wasn’t that bad, actually. It was steady rain all day but it wasn’t really bad enough to affect your golf. I mean, the course was playing a bit longer and the rough was pretty wet so you needed to hit the fairways but it wasn’t as bad as it probably looked.
Out in 33, that must be wonderful .
Was I? I played well. I didn’t really play well yesterday; I just had 34 putts and didn’t make a thing. Today I made the putts you should make and a couple more. I played well. 29 putts today as opposed to 34 putts yesterday and that was the difference.
Do you feel you benefited from going out reasonably early?
Yes. I think when you play here you always have to make your score early while the greens are good. They are fantastic greens but they’re definitely better in the morning and today they probably will get a little bit bumpy as the day wears on with all the rain. I mean, definitely, you have to make your score early.
I think it’s fair to say you’ve played on tour more than five years. Do still get as excited at the start of each campaign?
Yeah, I do. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I love competing and I’ve always said I wouldn’t be out here if I didn’t think I could be competitive. At the end of last year I started to play well again and put a few good rounds together. It’s nice to put one together early in the year.
New players come on tour each year. How is that for you and do you study new faces?
Of course you do, you take notice. Every year there is a bit of hype around some of the new rookies so you tend to watch them practise and see what they’re like. It’s interesting for me, obviously, being the Chairman of the tour, to see the talent coming through, because that’s what we need. They are the future of the tour.
You are very patriotic. You get players coming through from Australia like Nikki Garrett and Frances Bondad. Do you take pride in their performances and hope for the future?
Definitely. We’ve got some great amateurs in Australia who will probably turn pro in the next couple of years as well so there are some players to watch. There are some great players coming through. I think Nikki is going to have a great year this year. She’s had a couple of slightly disappointing years by her standards and I think we will see her play really well this year as she did in Spain a few weeks ago.
The tour is in its 31st year now. How much stronger is it than when you first started?
It is. We’ve seen some amazing ups and downs and I think the tour is in the best position it’s ever been in. We’ve got a lot of tournaments and a lot of quality tournaments like this event here. It’s great to be a part of that and great to see the tour thriving as it should be.
The travelling doesn’t get you down?
Yes. It does. That’s the hardest bit. You travel a lot; you understand how tiring and frustrating it can be. Travelling is not as easy as it was 20 years ago. You have to be in the airport three hours before and go through security checks more. You do it because you love what you do. I still love competing and they’ll probably have to throw me off the tour one day.
Like I said, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could do it. Some people ask me, “How much longer do you think you’re going to play?” Well, I’ll play as long as I think I can compete. When these kids start knocking it by me I’ll know it’s time to give up.
You’ve come in today. Will you watch out for what might happen this afternoon?
Obviously when there’s been as much rain as there has been today, and the course is quite wet, it’s still playable but you are a bit concerned that the round might be cancelled; but that’s in the lap of the gods. It’s certainly still playable at the moment. I’ve gone out there and played as well as I can and that’s all I can do. I’ll rest up this afternoon and get ready for the weekend.
Still a chance of a win?
Yeah, I mean, why not? If you can shoot 67 on this golf course, you know, why not? I finished third in China last year and it took Annika and a good Chinese player to finish ahead of me. I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself. There are a lot of great players on tour and a lot that have won recently so whether or not I can beat them, all I can do is go out and do my best and hope that’s good enough.