Date: February 20, 2015
Author: Golf Australia

Lydia Ko – Thursday transcript

Q: Your eagle on 14, how long was the eagle putt?

A: “It was about 36 feet. It was like the only putt that went in today.”

Q: A marvellous start to the tournament, you must be really pleased. Late in the afternoon and an early start tomorrow.

A: “It’s definitely good to start off well here. It’s definitely a tough course. I really tried to stay patient. I didn’t hole that many putts, but I didn’t make that many mistakes with it either. I think that’s very important, you know. With just the blink of an eye, you’re like six feet by and it’s very tough. I tried to grab the birdie opportunites, especially on the holes where I could get on for two on the par-fives, tried to come off with at least a birdie.”

Q: Do you prefer an afternoon round one/morning round two start?

A: “I don’t mind what I get, it’s just what the LPGA has done with the computer. What can you do about it. Sometimes it’s good to start off in the morning because you have a nice afternoon to just relax.”

Q: Lydia, it’s been suggested that you may not have felt 100 per cent well towards the end of the round. Is that right?

A: “Yeah, I’ve been having a cold for the last week, but, you know, it’s just a cough. It’s warm out there and you’re walking up the hill and I’m coughing and it doesn’t make it easy to do the whole round but it’s something I’ve just got to play with.”

Q: It didn’t affect your score?

A: “I don’t think so. When I’m in the shot, I’m more concentrated about it. It’s more when I’m walking from my ball or from the tee shot onwards. I don’t think it affected my play. I won’t blame it at least.”

Q: What happened on 13? It looked like you had a bad lie in the rough.

A: “It wasn’t the most fantastic lie but I hit it fat so I wouldn’t blame the rough for it. I just got a little too late and I hit it a couple of inches behind the ball. Just leaving it short of that green is really the worst place, you really don’t have that many options to go and be close and have a putt for par so, really, my miss should have been long, my fourth shot. It’s a tough green, it’s front-to-back and it’s one of the greens where it was really dried up, so hopefully they’ll put some more water on it and I’ll be able to stop it tomorrow.”

Q: Was the course tougher as the day went on and, if it is, what do you think the winning score is going to be later in the week?

A: “Today I tried to leave myself uphill putts and I left them short. It’s not that great when you’re above the hole because sometimes I get too tentative and I leave it short and I have another donwhill putt or I kind of run it by. I think it was a little drier compared to yesterday but this is what Royal Melbourne is like. But the nice, short, cut grass in front of it kind of allows us to run the ball up a little bit.”

Q: Lydia, what iron did you hit on the sixth into the green?

A: “Nine iron.”

Q: How do you handle the frustration when those birdie opportunities don’t quite sink?

A: “If it was any other course than these sandbelt courses, I would get frustrated if I left it short, but here, I’m like, ‘thank god I didn’t run it three feet by’. It’s, in a way, you’re playing quite safe but that’s creating the pars and making pars out here, you’re not losing shots. I mean it is frustrating sometimes when you leave it right short of the hole but, you know, you’ve just got to think about the come back putt also.”

Q: Is it more about not going at pins this week?

A: “I’m sure they’re going to have some pin positions where some are going to be accessible and then some we are going to have to play safe, like 18, it’s not a pin where we can all be very aggressive about. We all know that the green is firm, so even when I’m hitting a nine iron, I’m trying to pitch it at least 10 yards short of the pin. Last week, I was trying to get it past the pin so it would spin back. There’s definitely a different course management plan but, like I said before, this is what Royal Melbourne is like. We don’t play many of these tournaments so we might be lacking a little bit in experience, but it’s really great that we get to play an amazing course like this.”