Thursday pre-tournament interviews
ActewAGL Canberra Classic, Royal Canberra Golf Club, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Thursday 8th February 2018
Quick quote from Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia
You won the Pro-Am this morning. Your game is obviously on form.
I had a good team and it was perfect weather, not too hot, so I was happy with today and the way I played.
What do you think of the course?
I think it’s in amazing condition. The greens are big and that’s their protection. The fairways are lovely and its nice to play as we have such a good golf course here.
The weather is quite different.
I think it’s snowing in England right now, so its quite different. I enjoyed Melbourne last week and this week, I hear that the wind can get up in the afternoon, so I’m happy I played in the morning today.
You are still only 21, so how proud are you of your achievements to date?
To win the Order of Merit last year was one of the biggest things for me and I was so happy when I finally did, as it was a long year. I try to set my own goals and not think about other people’s too much and focus on my own golf and its going well.
Your caddie, Harry, is your boyfriend. How does that work?
It makes things less lonely because when you go to dinner and you travel you’re not on your own. He knows when I get stressed and he helps.
What do you make of Australia?
I’m playing three weeks in Australia and I always love coming here. I was looking forward to coming to Canberra. I want to do well this week, that’s for sure.
What are your thoughts on the field?
There are a lot of good players this week so whoever’s going to win will have to be on their game. I will focus on my game and see what happens.
Women’s golf is really taking off.
I think having events like this is massive for women’s golf. The more we can have it on TV and promote it, the better. It’s definitely on the rise and every year it’s improving, so the more events like this, the better.
What one word would you use to describe Royal Canberra?
What would you do to celebrate if you won this week?
I don’t really celebrate. I don’t like alcohol, so I’d probably just go shopping or eat my favourite foods.
Rumour has it that you like a McDonalds.
Well after you play golf for five hours you’re starving. I usually get a chicken burger and a cheese burger as well, so two meals.
How’s it to be back in Canberra?
We're really glad to be back here actually. I missed it so I’m glad getting back and seeing all the sites and taking in the golf course. We played the ActewAGL Canberra Classic here before we played the Aussie Open in 2013 actually, so I've got to get some extra memories from those couple of years and I played well in the Aussie Open here, so I like the course and it’s nice to be back and playing in Australia again.
How is the course?
The course is in great shape. I really like the changes and I think it's definitely playable and we will see some low numbers out there. There's a lot of reachable par fives and good birdie opportunities, so we'll see some good scoring for sure.
How is your game?
I'm sure it’s coming with a couple of things on my side, working with a new coach at the end of 2015. The feeling was kicking in last year and then I went back to being a kid with my putting. I got way too technical in 2016 and decided, you know I've always been a good putter, by just by looking and feeling it and in 2017 I had a much better year and it was it was fun again. Hopefully more of the same in 2018. It was there I think. When you have a win and then I was contending in a major, that gets the competitive juices going even more and you get hungry to have more success, so I think I honestly think my best golf is ahead of me and so long as I stay healthy and inspired about my tournament schedule, I think I can have another great five or so years out here. Well we're always looking for wins but it is getting harder and harder and definitely the level of competition has increased dramatically even in the last five years. I'm one of veterans but I think that experience can help me out and as long as I stay sharp and healthy I should be able to compete for a few more years.
How is women’s golf growing in Australia?
Well our Aussie tour is great but it is so small so it's neat that we have companies like ActewAGL step up and want to support the Aussie tour and I think we've got one of the best fields ever for a three day event here.
It’s so nice to see that the girls get support for golf down here and whether it be inspiring the next generation or just raising awareness for golf, which I think is the big passion of ours, when companies want to invest in women’s golf it's very admirable and nice to see ActewAGL really get behind women's sports and I think it's only going to continue to excel. So it’s great they want to partner with us and hopefully it's a good experience for them too.
The last time I was in Canberra was for the 2013 Australian Open and I’ve played in the Canberra Open a few times before, at least four times and it’s a place I really like.
I’m hitting it okay, but you’ve got to get out there and put the scores on the doors to be in a good position on Sunday, but I’m happy with my swing, which is the main thing.
This year we have five big events in Australia and a lot of Pro-Ams which is good, so things are going well. We want it to be bigger and better, because things are really moving forward.
I think the main contenders are Minjee Lee and Ji-Yai Shin and if you finish ahead of them, you’re probably going to win, but there are a lot of other good players here too.
Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia
What does this event mean for Canberra?
Canberra is crying out for elite sports events to be here. It has got the most marvellous facilities. Royal Canberra is one of the best golf courses in Australia and it is really graced by being able to have elite sports people, in this case the ladies, come here for a very keenly fought tournament. Canberra will be abuzz this weekend with the ladies’ event being here, the ActewAGL Canberra Classic.
Are you a keen golfer?
Keen but rotten.
photo Getty Images