Q: Katherine, a great day. But you’re playing well, second last week flowed on to this week. Own clubs, own clothes, you’re cruising.
A: “This week’s definitely been easier preparation than last week. Three good rounds so far and very happy to be in contention.”
Q: A 70 today, do you think you left any shots out there?
A: “I’m very happy with it. It’s not easy to make birdies out there and I made six today and I’m still kind of a little puzzled as to how. I know I made two long putts, so they’re just bonuses. I think that was probably as good as it was going to get today.
Q: Katherine, you’ve always been renowned as a good putter. It just looked like you were going to make everything.
A: “The front nine, I really struggled with the speed and I guess I just figured it out on the back nine so it was nice. But even the par putt on 17, I was just over it and (thinking) ‘ok, just put a good stroke on it and if it goes in, great’. That’s all you can do. Stroked it well on the back nine so I’m pretty happy.”
Q: Every round, it seems like you fought pretty well. Have you sensed that fight within yourself to come up with something when you need it?
A: “Yes. I think you know, this week, you’re going to make bogeys. It’s just a tough golf course and they’re inevitable. My mindset all week has been just grind it out. I certainly didn’t expect to make as many birides as I did today. I played with Ariya Jutanugarn on Thursday and Friday and she made seven birdies on Thursday and I didn’t know how she did it. That mindset is just kind of helping me get through and you know it’s going to be a grind out here from start to finish. There’s not a tee shot you stand up on and say, ‘ok, this is an easy hole’.
Q: And more important tomorrow?
A: “Yeah very much so. The golf course probably played a little firmer today than the last two days and I’m sure it will be the same tomorrow and a couple of the greens are getting rather baked out so it’ll be just as tough tomorrow and you’ll have to stay really patient and grind it out until the end.”
Q: I saw the ground staff out watering the second green after all the groups had gone through today. Do you think the greens were getting borderline too firm and fast and just too difficult?
A: “The speed of them is ok. They’re certainly the firmest greens that we’ll play on all year. There were some holes that you could see your footprints, which we never see that. There was probably a couple of (holes) that they’re going to have to pay a bit more attention to tonight. They’ll be fine for tomorrow but certainly it felt like they maybe put a little bit of water on a couple of the greens. Number five, the par-three, that felt a lot softer today than the last two days so a couple we did notice that they were a lot firmer and faster.”
Q: So you’re saying some of the greens today were firmer than others?
A: “Yeah I felt so.”
Q: Katherine, when you’ve made two birdies on the trot, when you stand over the third birdie putt, does your confidence grow a lot?
A: “Yeah kind of. I always try and track a line to the hole. That’s what I’ve done since I was a kid. For the first two birdies I made in a row on the back nine, the first one was from 23 feet, so that was kind of a bonus. To be honest, I think I forgot about making it and I made a good run at eagle but just missed and then I only had a six footer for my third birdie in a row so that was a bit easier than the previous two. The 35-footer that I made on 16 was a bonus. You don’t expect those to go in.”
Q: Would that have been the straighest of your putts that went in?
A: “No, actually that one probably broke more than the 15 footer. It was probably the most break of the four that I made. It was about three feet out.
Q: When you talk about grinding. Does it feel like a major?
A: “Pretty much. In fact, my caddie and I were talking about how much it reminds us of Pinehurst in terms of the dry rough and the whispy grass around the greens and the run offs and certainly the firmness of the greens. It does feel like a major yes.”
Q: It’s been a while since your last tournament win. Did you feel like you maybe did enough last week to get a win? And did you approach this tournament knowing you could contend heavily?
A: “Last week, the middle two rounds weren’t that great and to win these days, you’ve obviously got to make four good rounds. Su Oh definitely deserved to win last week, she played really well and I just didn’t make enough birdies. That’s just kind of how it goes. But I was happy with how I struck the ball on Sunday and I felt like I brought that confidence into this week. When you’re playing a golf course as difficult as this, you kind of don’t really have any expectations, other than you’ve just got to keep your head down and fight until the last hole. Tomorrow I won’t probably think too much about it other than playing one shot at a time. I know that’s really clique but around here, you have to stay totally in the moment because every shot is demanding.”
Q: You had a glint in your eye sitting next to the Patricia Bridges Bowl, what would that mean to you to actually lift that up tomorrow?
A: “I’d be very honoured. I actually had the pleasure of travelling on an Australian team in 2002 to Malaysia to play the (World Amateur Teams Championship) and Patricia made the trip and she’s just an incredible lady. I’d be delighted to hoist the trophy and certainly proud to fly the flag for Australia tomorrow.”