Date: February 12, 2013
Author: Golf Australia

Jessica Korda Press Conference transcript

KATHIE SHEARER: Jess, thank you for coming in today. Defending champion at the Australian Open, how does that sound? JESSICA KORDA: That sounds really cool, yeah. It’s really exciting to be here this week. It’s a little different defending on a different golf course and a completely different venue, but it s exciting. It’s something new and I m really enjoying it. Q. Jessica, 12 months as Australian Open champion, were you greeted in the States as Jessica Korda Australian Open champion or anything like that? JESSICA KORDA: No, I actually didn t but I was glad that the 2012 urkey wasn t there anymore. But no, nothing. Q. Nothing like that? JESSICA KORDA: No, nothing like that. Q. No recognition at all for what you did down here at Royal Melbourne last year? JESSICA KORDA: Not on the first tee. There were recognitions, but not on the first tee. Q. Did the golf channel ever catch up with you, the President s Cup the year before, and they were enthusiastic about Royal Melbourne. You won at Royal Melbourne. Did they have a chat to you about that in the States? JESSICA KORDA: No. Q. They re missing out, aren t they? JESSICA KORDA: I won here and then we didn t pretty much start our season for another month and a half. There were other winners in that month span. I got a lot of attention. I did a lot of media but it kind of fizzled out, which was nice for me, because I was able to keep going and keep concentrating on what I needed to do and keep learning and getting better. So the spotlight really wasn t put on me but it s okay because I got one more year kind of to learn. I m just really happy to be back. Q. Do you have the same caddie from Royal Melbourne this week again, Simon Clark? JESSICA KORDA: No, Simon Clark s actually caddying for Christie Smith. This year I have my caddie, Jason Gilroyed. He’s been caddying for me since April last year. Q. Spell his surname please? JESSICA KORDA: G-I-L-O – I don t know – O-I-E-D, or E-D. Q. No wonder I asked you. JESSICA KORDA: There are a lot of– Q. Jessica, you said at Royal Pines that you were going to take last week off and go and play some golf in Melbourne at the courses down there. Did you do that? JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, I played Metropolitan, Victoria and Royal Melbourne. Q. What was the purpose of that, because you got so excited about what you saw last year? JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, you know, we don t get to see a lot kind of when we travel. Everybody s like, did you play this golf course when you were there? You should play this and I say, I just played one golf course. I only played Royal Melbourne. Actually, the Open s supposed to be in Victoria next year, so a good thing to go look at it and Metropolitan s a high rating golf course. It was just cool to see something else, not just like one golf course every day; kind of be a tourist a little bit. Q. Jessica, have you had much chance to practice here at Royal Canberra yet or is it all new to you? JESSICA KORDA: No, I actually played here last year. So I m pretty familiar with the golf course. This was my first event last year, so I played 14 holes yesterday. I played nine holes this morning and I m in the Pro-Am tomorrow afternoon. Q. Is it an easy golf course to play or is it hard? JESSICA KORDA: No golf course you play is an easy golf course. It’s very narrow off the tee, the greens are pretty bouncy and when you re coming in, so you need to pick the right clubs. Certain greens bounce a little more depending on how much sunlight they ve gotten, because it s very tree lined here. Once you go into the trees it s really tough to come out. There s a lot of bunkers out on the golf course. It’s a tough course and it s a really fun track to play. Q. Does it take an added importance with the alignment with the US tour, how the kick off is coming in now? JESSICA KORDA: I mean, for me because I play on the US tour it s like coming back to school. The first day of school you see all your friends back. It’s nice to kind of see everybody again. I m really kind of just used to seeing them on a week to week basis; so not really. Q. As defending champion do you feel any pressure at all? Do you feel as though you re going to be hunted this week a little bit? JESSICA KORDA: No, because like I said, it s just a lot of fun to experience the whole defending champion thing. I ve never done it before. I m really enjoying it actually. It’s a new venue. There s a not of news this week. If it was Royal Melbourne it would probably be a different story, but it is Royal Canberra this week and I feel like it s just a tournament that I hopefully can contend in. Q. Do you feel because it s in Canberra and not Melbourne that there is less pressure on yourself? JESSICA KORDA: I wouldn t say less pressure, you always want to do well, even as defending champion. I think I m going to have a lot of eyes on me regardless, just the last name, what my Dad s accomplished as well. So there s always eyes on me in Australia more than in the US. But I don t think so. I think it s only the pressure that you put on yourself is only what you feel, because when you re on the golf course, nothing else matters. Q. How have you handled trying to get away from what your Dad has achieved on the tennis court? JESSICA KORDA: Well he played tennis, I play golf. For me it s a little easier. Nothing he’s accomplished I can accomplish because it s a different sport. So there s not that pressure there of oh, my Dad won this, I need to win that or the comparisons. The only comparison you can make is my Dad was world no. 2 and I would like to kind of beat that. Q. Obviously you talked about it sort of feels like the first day back at school. What have you made of Lydia Ko, the way she’s really burst onto the scene in the last 12 months? JESSICA KORDA: I ve known Lydia for a year and a half now and I m just amazed. My sister s one year younger than she is, so to see the difference between Lydia and my little sister it s great. She’s so composed, she’s not only a great player but she’s such a good girl. She’s humble. She’s really, really nice and the fact that she’s won just proves how good she is. You win once it s okay, you ve won once. You win twice and you re like, oh wow and she won. It’s not like it was given to her, she actually on the LPGA tournament in Canada and now she’s done it again in New Zealand; which is amazing for her because I know that she was a little nervous about it and anxious to play. So I m really happy for her. Q. Jess, last year after winning the Australian Open, you must have had higher expectations for the remainder of the year. Did you and if so, did you fulfil those expectations? JESSICA KORDA: I wouldn t think I had high expectations from being on tour my first year, having high expectations, I ve learned that that s just not a good thing to do. My goal for last year was learn what I can do to be better. What does it take to play out here and win or contend or move yourself up through the rankings, move yourself up on the money list and all these different things. I d say that I did. I moved myself up from what I made in my rankings and also the purses and what I ve made; definitely kind of reached what I wanted. Still a lot, a lot of things that I would like to do and I didn t, but I think I had an all right last year for a second year. I got a win. I had a top 10. I would have liked to have played a lot better, definitely, but it s all about learning. I m 19 for two more weeks and I m going to enjoy that. Q. What did you learn? JESSICA KORDA: I learned to kind of survive out here you have to have a good short game and you have to be consistent. The whole thing is consistency and I was really lacking that last year. I would play one good round; one bad round; one good one, one bad round. You need to be consistent. Q. To minimise the damage if you re playing badly? JESSICA KORDA: Yes. Q. Does your father beat you at golf? JESSICA KORDA: Oh no. He has no chance. Q. When did you first beat him at golf? JESSICA KORDA: I think I was 10. We played a golf course in Czech Republic and I beat my Dad by a couple of strokes and I was really proud of myself. It’s been all downhill for him since then. Q. Jessica, a 6 way play off last year, do you expect it to be as tight this year or do you think there are one or two stand-outs? JESSICA KORDA: I m not sure. I actually answered that question earlier today. It’s the first end of the season, so you don&apost know what everybody s game is. It’s a little bit easier to kind of look at that mid-year/end of year kind of thing. But this is a first official season starter so you don&apost know who s going to be hot this week. Q. Who do you expect the players to be to beat? JESSICA KORDA: You re always looking at it, I think Yanni and Stacey, they ve always been playing well. Yanni, I think she’s won the Australian Open twice or three times in a row. Yanni s the world number 1, she’s always the one to look at. I like to choose myself on this. But it s really anybody s tournament. It’s the first tournament of the season, so you don&apost know what everybody s been doing in the off season. Q. You ve put one tournament under your belt this year? JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, I started in Gold Coast, Royal Pines. Q. You said you played the front nine this morning. Do you think the course sort of suits your style of game? JESSICA KORDA: Yes, definitely. You kind of have to be able to shape your driver off the tee if you want to cut the corner a little bit. There are some holes where you need to be dead straight. I feel like I have those shots in my bag. It’s just putting everything together. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how well you re hitting it; it s how well you re putting. If you can get the ball in the hole, that s how you win a golf tournament. Q. Just finally, is there any time to sightsee in Canberra while you re here or is it just purely focused on golf? JESSICA KORDA: I just came back from a luncheon at the Parliament so I got to see that; that was really cool. That s about it. KATHIE SHEARER: Let s thank Jessica for being here and I hope we speak to you every day. JESSICA KORDA: Thank you.A