|The 2011 Kraft Nabisco Champion discusses her ambitions for the Gold Coast RACV Ladies Masters and her 2012 season.
Welcome back, Stacy. You must be looking forward to this year after a fantastic year last year.
I am, I am, I had a really good year last year. I got things started of on a good foot here in Australia and I’m just excited to be here.
Would be a highlight going head to head with Yani at beginning of year and then again later?
Yeah, the last two rounds of this tournament last year really helped prepare for the rounds of the Kraft, knowing I could play with Yani and kind of hang with her. I just have some good positive memories here.
Was the lake smelly when you jumped in?
Um, no, I don’t remember too much, but I don’t think it was too bad.
Did you forget to bring anything packing this year?
No. I think I pretty much brought everything. I forgot my adapters, but that’s about it.
You should probably give yourself some more time to pack.
I know I should, I don’t normally do that.
I was following you on Twitter: you had 3 hours to go, and still hadn’t started packing.
Yeah, you try to give yourself time and that just never seems to work out.
Who do you see as the danger in this tournament?
I don’t know, obviously Lexi is playing really well and a lot of the girls from the European Tour come here, Mel Reid, I don’t know. It’s pretty wide open. I thought Yani was going to come back and defend, but with her not here, it opens it up a bit more.
What do you know about Lydia Ko had a win here last week at fourteen?
Yeah that is pretty impressive, I know when I was fourteen I wasn’t even close to winning a professional event. It’s pretty impressive so hopefully she can continue to play golf and not really think about it.
At the other end of the age group, Laura Davies, at the function last night, she gave that nice little speech. It means a lot to the other players. What’s your take on her and what she is still doing now?
I think Laura has been great for the game; she goes out there, I mean you don’t see her beating balls everyday, but she goes out there and contends most weeks. Still hangs around and plays even though she’s getting a bit older, which you don’t see in a lot of players now. I think she has done a lot for the European Tour in general and for the game of golf.
Late last year you had a flood of new sponsors….. Did the win last year generate that?
I think the year in general last year really helped, moved up into the top ten into the world and it just kind of opened up the doors for some new sponsors for me.
Haven’t run out yet?
No, No still have some room.
The Kraft was a good first LPGA win.
Yeah it was really nice to get that first win, not only to get the first win out of the way but beating number one in the world, and being a Major, getting it all out of the way at once.
Obviously you’re feeling very comfortable out there, mixing it with the so called big girls.
The last couple of years, especially at the end of 2009, I really gained a lot experience playing with the last few groups, just kind of learning what people do when they win. That has really helped me in the last year.
$1.3million in prize money last year. Did you splash out?
No, I actually bought a house right before the Kraft, so that didn’t really help that. But I’m not really one that spends a lot of money so.
Where’s that in Florida?
Would you have built a different one, if you waited until after the Kraft?
No, I did some extra upgrades, which I probably wouldn’t have done before the Kraft, but I don’t know. We aren’t really home enough anyway, so I don’t really need a big house.
What have you been doing the last few weeks, well since you last played?
Well I took three weeks off; I didn’t touch a club, which I really needed. The last four weeks got back into working, working with my coach.
As far as the course goes, did you get to have a good look at it?
Yeah I went and walked around it yesterday and had a look at a few holes. The greens actually look really good. Which out here, you just have to make some birdies and make your putts. The greens are looking good, and I think it really has dried out a lot of the last few days, but I’ll see more this afternoon.
You’ve made 22 cuts out of 23 tournaments, two top finishes in Majors and a Major win: did you surprise yourself at all last year with that?
I think I started off well winning the Kraft and that whole summer after winning was so busy and just kind of caught up with me, and I really had to pinch myself and say I’m in the top ten, I’m contending. I don’t know, I think the momentum and just everything that was going on, I don’t think I realised what I was doing. But I just got more comfortable with my game and doing everything we have to do at tournaments and just more confident in general.
It’s a big year to back up for you; are the goals higher?
Yeah I mean my goals is to put myself in contention every week, but that is always my goal, and that isn’t going to change, but the most important thing is to not compare this year to last year. Its going to be different, I don’t know, I’m just going to try and not compare myself to it and do the best I can.
Is there a feeling that Yani has just gone to a different level to other players?
Yeah, especially at the end of the last year, we had a run of tournaments in Asia, and I think in three weeks she won two and was runner up in the other. It really motivated me this off-season to work hard and to find the little things to make myself better.
Are you glad Yani isn’t here this week?
I don’t know, I like to compete against her. I like to compete against number one every week.
Thoughts on what you think someone will have to shoot this week?
I don’t know I think the winning scores are twenty-five or thirty under every year. You just have to go out there and play and not think about the score.
The Kraft win last year and your results last year were obviously good; you were just below elite level last year, how hard was it in the LPGA tour to attract sponsors?
A lot of it is hard, because we don’t get a lot of exposure on TV like the men do. And so not many people are seeing our product, so companies are a lot more hesitant. I just see that golf takes care of everything, so that’s what I try to do.
Did you find after the Kraft that offers started on coming?
They still had to work things out; even after I won my agents kept telling me to keep going and to keep playing. The more you’re on TV the more exposure you have. So they just keep telling me to keep playing good golf.