Date: February 20, 2015
Author: Golf Australia

Lydia Ko – Friday transcript

Q: Lydia, another good round today. You had the same score as yesterday. Was it as good as yesterday or was it better than yesterday?

A: “I don’t know. I think I hit the ball better yesterday but then on the back nine, I kind of got myself together and tried to give myself some opportunities. I was really close on a lot of them, just they didn’t drop. I think I had one more bogey than yesterday. It’s good to come off with one or two bogeys at the end of the day around this track.”

Q: And how do you feel? You had a bit of a cough yesterday. Did you feel better today?

A: “I feel definitely much better. I wasn’t coughing that much out there so I haven’t forgotten that I’ve got a cold.”

Q: Karrie said yesterday that she expected the course to get more difficult with each passing day. Did you notice any difference today from yesterday? And what sort of stragety changes do you make if it does get firmer and faster?

A: “Just playing in the morning, I guess than made the first couple of holes less firm than yesterday. As the day goes, the greens get firmer and firmer and just the sun bakes the greens out. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to get difficult. I mean, maybe if I played today in the afternoon and yesterday in the afternoon, I would have noticed that it would be a little firmer than it was yesterday but I think it’s gradually going to get drier and drier. I mean, it’s meant to be around the thirties in the celsius so I’m pretty sure it’s going to get firmer as the week goes.”

Q: Lydia, could you talk us through your eagle on 15, yardage and style of shot and all that sort of thing?

A: “I made an eagle on 14 yesterday and then I was angry that I came off with a par today. I felt like it was a hole that I could easily come off with a birdie. I was kind of angry and that kind of anger led me to hit a aggressive drive on the 15th and I was on the left edge of the fairway and I had 136 or something like that and I said ‘eight could be a little long’, so I decided to puch a nine iron and it landed just left of the pin and the mound kind of feeded it right to the hole.”

Q: Did you hit a hybrid into that hole yesterday? What’s the difference? Nine-iron versus hybrid today.

A: “Yeah I hit a hybrid yesterday and that one was my five hybrid and I hit a low one chasing. I hit my driver so I had at least 40 yards less to the front of the green than yesterday. I think that kind of made the difference. Easily, if you hit a driver, you can be blocked out by the trees on the left and right so I kind of played it a little safely but because I was so upset from the hole before, I was like ‘ok, I’m hitting driver’, and it was a good choice.”

Q: Do you like the style of golf at Royal Melbourne? Because I think some of the players don’t; it’s difference to what they play most weeks in America. Do you like the style of golf? Do you feel it suits you?

A: “Yeah, I like it. I think having played these kind of sandbelt courses before as an amateur is definitely helping me to play when we come over. We definitely don’t get any of these kind of courses over in the States. I think every course is special in a way but, especially out here, it kind of makes you think a little bit more and try and be smart. I was talking to David Leadbetter yesterday and he was like ‘ok, Lydia, play smart’, and I think that’s the big key around here.”

Q: Lydia, are you longer off the tee this time around from last year?

A: “I actually have a new driver, I changed at the start of this year. It’s the Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Diamond. I used to use the Callaway [X2 Hot] and when I changed my golf ball to the Callaway ball and it was a really good combination between this driver and the new ball and I think I’ve increased maybe in five yards and five yards might sound small, but I’m still increasing yardage so I definitely think I’m hitting it a little longer than this time last year. I’ve been working hard trying to activate the important muscles with my trainer.”

Q: David Leadbeter told you to play smart. You just said before that you played angry on the top of the 15th tee there and probably did well down the 17th after another bogey. Does it fluctuate more that it appears visually? Do you get angry? Do you play angry?

A: “I get angry. But then sometimes my anger is good because, like in Ocala (at the Coates Golf Championship), I slammed by putter after three-putting two holes in a row and then I made five birdies in a row so, I mean, it’s a good thing, not too overly aggressive, but I think a little bit of anger is good because it just kind of lets the steam out. Sometimes I’ve had experiences where I’ve kind of packed it in. It’s definitely not helping me because I’m still mumbling, ‘oh, you’re an idiot’, or whatever. But I think you really have to be patient out here. My caddie Jason said ‘you have to try and not get frustrated around the course’.

Q: How valuable is Jason to you? Is he proving super valuable to you today?

A: “He’s a Melbourne person, he’s a local guy. He’s had a lot of experience and he’s had a lot of experience around these kind of tracks. When I’m angry, he’s kind of keeping me back, trying to go as planned. I think that’s been really important because any other course, you might get a little bit aggressive and you’re fine but here you can get a bad bounce and you might end up hitting a really hard shot.”

Q: Off the 18th tee, hitting left down the first fairway, was it Jason’s actual decision or was it your decision? Have you done that before?

A: “I didn’t do it last time I was here in 2012. I don’t even know if I had the distance to carry the trees but, this year in the practice round, Jason said if they tuck the pin right, it might be a good idea to hit down the first fairway. The pin wasn’t very right but it was still a good angle to come from the left side. I kind of pushed it a little bit but I gave myself a pretty good angle in there.”

Q: What would be a winning score do you think?

A: “I’m not really sure. I think it all depends on how the wind is going to be this afternoon. I think the course is better than what I expected. It’s a pretty tough track and some holes, when you’re coming up with a par, it’s a good score. I’m really not sure. If it’s two digits (under par), it will be a pretty impressive winning score.”

Q: You pulled your second into the third just above the bunker and played the flop shot. How often do you play that shot? You looked super happy with that one.

A: “I pulled my nine-iron and I looked at it and I was like ‘I don’t even know if I’m lucky that I’m not in the bunker or I’m not lucky that I don’t have a stance’. I was trying to cut it and it was meant to go right and like kind of feed down but I hit it the perfect distance where it just carried the bunker and just fed down. That was pretty tough and I don’t think that I get to play those very often, especially because around the bunkers, it’s cut very tight and most of the times it runs into the bunker around here. Everywhere, even on the green, is tough here. You kind of need to stick it close. 

Q: You can’t practise that shot very often. You must have to rely on your hands there?

A: “Yeah, I try not to practise those but this week is proably the week where I’ll have more of those flop shots because you’ve got shots where you have to hit over bunkers or over mounds. I mean, it’s tough off tight lies but luckily I was in that kind of rough so that made it a little easier.”