Karen Stupples, 65-70-70-64=269 (-19)
Scorecard: Hole #1, 485-yard par-5; eagle – driver, 5-iron to 15 feet Hole #2, 475-yard par 5; albatross – driver, 5-iron in hole from 205 yards Hole #6, 386-yard par 4; bogey – three putt Hole #10, 459-yard par 5; birdie- 7-wood to 20 yards, chip to 5 feet Hole #11, 322-yard par 4: birdie – 58-degree wedge to one foot Hole #12, 416-yard par 4; bogey – driver, right bunker, no up and down Hole #15, 210-yard par 3; birdie – 7-wood to 30 feet Hole #16, 410-yard par 4; birdie – 5-iron to 7 feet Hole #17, 428-yard par 4; birdie – 7-iron to 40 feet
Congratulations, Karen, on your first major championship win and your second LPGA win. With this win you’re the first British player to win a major championship since Alison Nicholas won the 1997 U.S. Women’s Open. Your 19-under total ties the major championship record set by Dottie Pepper at the 1999 Kraft Nabisco and ties the Weetabix Women’s British Open record set by Karrie Webb in 1997. You had an amazing start with an eagle and an albatross, and you birdied three of the last four holes to close with a final round 64. Open with comments about your start.
KAREN STUPPLES: I knew I needed to get off to a good start today. I was really anticipating just birdie, birdie something like that would have done quite nicely. But then when I hit a good shot in at the first, I thought, well, let’s see if we can make this and get off to a good start; and, of course, the putt went in. On the second it just was a nice yardage for me to hit and it was just right on line all the way. Unfortunately I didn’t see it go in the hole, but the cheer from the crowd was absolutely unbelievable and really could not come at a better time. The fans just made me really feel good about what I was doing out there. When it went in, you think, “Well, today could be my day.” It was just one of those fantastic feelings that meant I could enjoy the rest of the day. Whatever way it turned out, I felt like it was going to turn out okay regardless.
Q. Any nerves at all starting the day? There were times when you looked a little tentative? KAREN STUPPLES: Yeah, I was a little tentative. I think it was some from yesterday creeping into today’s round because I was trying to be too precise. I knew it was important for me to try and keep the pressure on Rachel and to make sure that I was in the lead, and I think that I just tried to be too perfect again instead of just trusting that everything was going to be fine. But, you know, it all worked out okay.
Q. Coming off the 11th green, the scoreboard boys said to you “Come on, Karen.” How did you deal with the expectations? KAREN STUPPLES: I didn’t actually feel it was expectation. I just felt I was going to enjoy the day regardless. If Rachel had played better and had beaten me because she had scored better, then there’s not an awful lot I can do about that. All I was trying to do was just to be as much under par as I could be. The scoreboard guy yesterday, he wanted a golf ball from me; I didn’t have one to give him last night but I may just give him one then. No, it was okay. I really didn’t feel that. I felt more supported, more supported than I did expectations.
Q. No sense in getting ahead of yourself? KAREN STUPPLES: No, not really no.
Q. Standing on the 15th tee, you had a one shot lead at the moment. What did you feel your putt went in on 15? KAREN STUPPLES: Well, you know, I knew that when that went in, all of a sudden I had a three shot lead, but then it was down to Rachel to try and catch up. I had not really made too many mistakes over the tournament and I felt like I was really hitting the ball very well today with my irons and that I would have plenty of other opportunities as the round went on. I was just really enjoying being out there today. It was just a fantastic atmosphere and I enjoyed playing with Cristie very much today. You know, having the lead was good. I could relax a little bit and play my game and let everybody else do what they have got to do.
Q. Was there a point when Rachel was within a shot feeling nervous? KAREN STUPPLES: All of a sudden I did actually get really nervous on the tee because Rachel had a good shot on 12, and I was one shot in the lead again and I knew that she had parred 13 and had a good opportunity for birdie coming up at 14. I thought, you know, just got to hang in here.
The more I waited, the more nervous I got. The pace was perfect all day. It was perfect. I could play at my own pace; it was wonderful. But then all of a sudden, to have to wait was, ooohhh, the thoughts were just racing through my mind again. I got away with a bit of a squirrely shot on that one. I didn’t strike it particularly well and it just managed to fade back on to the fringe of the green very nicely for me. But the putt was just unbelievable to go in. I was just I was so pumped up. I was just so happy, excited, I just couldn’t believe it.
Q. How did it feel to have a five-shot lead standing on the 18th tee? KAREN STUPPLES: Just unbelievable. I had a four shot lead standing on the 18th tee in Tucson, what better way to do it, to enjoy the crowds coming up 18, just to be in that moment was just more than I could ever have imagined.
Q. Did you start thinking about your incredible journey in golf as you were coming up 18? KAREN STUPPLES: I was just enjoying at the moment. Afterwards, afterwards when you sit down and you think about everything that’s gone on and everything that’s happened, yeah, it runs through my mind. Especially to have my parents here this week was very, very special because they weren’t there for my first tour win. They had to wait to see it till Tuesday on the TV. To be here live and in person was really very special.
Q. How do you feel to have won the British Open Championship and Laura Davies has not? KAREN STUPPLES: That’s quite mind blowing, really. And it’s something that you dream about that you didn’t know if it’s ever going to happen. That’s just unbelievable.
Q. Did you think about how somewhere in the crowd there was a little girl watching you looking up to you? KAREN STUPPLES: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Because every time I watch Laura play, it was always very startling to me and to watch them win tournaments. I was definitely seeing that. Especially, you know, where I’ve come from and all that I’ve been through, it just shows you that you should never give up. You should always keep fighting for your dreams because you just never know what’s going to happen. I think if you work hard enough and try hard enough, good things will happen for you.
Q. Any thoughts of playing more in Europe next year for the Solheim Cup? KAREN STUPPLES: I think definitely it will be easier for me to do that next year. Right now, I’m just a regular Tour member and I have to honor my commitments there first. Next year I’ll join as an international member to be able to come back and play. I’m sure my points are looking pretty good right now.
Q. Big plans to celebrate tonight? KAREN STUPPLES: Oh, definitely. I’m supposed to fly out tomorrow but I might have to change that. Supposed to fly up to Toledo tomorrow but I really don’t want to get on that plane right now, so I think I might try and delay that till maybe Wednesday.
Q. Do you feel very much English still even though you have lived in the states for years now? KAREN STUPPLES: Very much so, very much. There’s so much that I miss about home. But I enjoy my life in the States. I feel very lucky in that I almost have two homes. My life in the States. But then when I’m home, it’s just unbelievable because my family and all of the little things I miss. I miss when I go to the supermarket and I miss the smell of washing powder and bread, Weetabix. I had actually some Weetabix this week. It’s just little things, even the smell of shampoos are slightly different.
Q. How do you think this win will change you as a person? KAREN STUPPLES: I really feel that it shouldn’t really change me as a person. I think it might open up a few more doors for me, but as a person I don’t think I’ll change any.
Q. You are going to donate some of your prize earnings to junior golf in Kent? KAREN STUPPLES: Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to make a donation to them, keep them going. There have been some very good golfers coming in recently, the Evian Masters, some really good players coming up front Kent. I hopefully it will inspire some more, not just from Kent but all over Great Britain.
Q. Did you ever think this is where you would be when you first started? KAREN STUPPLES: There was a definite point where I made my first cut in America and I thought, okay, this is where we start now. And it just seemed like everything was really hard and unfamiliar and all of these players were so good and had won lot of tournaments. And here I was just a little girl from Dover trying to make her way. Once I had made my cut and trying to find my feet, it really turned around for me. The first one was in Austin, Texas, my first year on TOUR.
Q. How long was the 5 iron on 16? KAREN STUPPLES: It was 170 yards.
Q. Coming into 17, was that when you knew you had the tournament in hand? KAREN STUPPLES: Absolutely, once the putt went in, I thought, this could be it. Because you never know what is going to happen. Rachel could hole out; stranger things could happen, like what happened to me on the second. Once that went in, I thought, this could be it. It was marvelous. Fantastic feeling being able to walk up 18 knowing that I had won the British Open.
Q. Is this the tournament that means the most to you? KAREN STUPPLES: For me, yes, definitely. It’s what I grew up watching as a young girl. This is all that I had been exposed to, really, growing up. I wasn’t really exposed to the LPGA very much. It was just…it was just unbelievable, unbelievable.