|Caroline Masson from Germany is lying in second place on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit. Here she discusses her season and the year-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
BETHAN CUTLER: We welcome Caroline Masson from Germany, ranked second on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit. Great to see you back here in Dubai. Can you talk about talking how it feels to be back?
CAROLINE MASSON: Last year, I was really disappointed I got injured in September and couldn't play for a few months and couldn't come here. But it's great to be back here and it's great memories. I played my first year in 2010 and had a great week here. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to playing again.
Q. Congratulations on your LPGA Tour card. Given that, how are you looking forward to this week now?
CAROLINE MASSON: It's great, it's kind of a bonus. I had a great year. I was injured last year. I didn't know, you know, if I could play as well as I did before. I didn't know what was going to happen.
So yeah, I got my LPGA card for next year which is great. I was going to Q‑School hoping for the card but it's just a tough week and I didn't expect anything and I was really happy I could actually do it.
You know, this week is just about having fun and enjoying this great tournament, the great weather, and I think everybody is just really happy to be here and be able to play this great golf course.
Q. You have to finish in the top three to win; are you aware of that?
CAROLINE MASSON: I didn't know it was top three to be honest. I know I have to play really well to catch Carlota. I know she had a great year. She's a great player. I knew when she was coming out on Tour that she's going to play great because she always was a great player as an amateur as well.
You know, it's fine with me. I had a great year. I'm happy with what I accomplished so far, and if I can pull off a top three this week, you know, I'll be even more happy. But I don't think I have a lot of pressure. I can just go out and have fun with her and Michelle tomorrow and just see what happens.
Q. How would it end your year? What would it mean to you if you were to get the Order of Merit?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, you won the Order of Merit, it's great, you've been the best Player of the Year. As I said my expectations weren't too high this year.
I had a few more chances to win which I couldn't do but maybe this week when expectations are low, you just go out and have fun. We'll see, but yeah, it would be a great accomplishment no, question, but as I say, Carlota has played well and she deserves to win, as well. I think we are going to have a good battle out there.
Q. Seems to be a friendly rivalry. How do you get on off the course?
CAROLINE MASSON: Carlota and I? Yeah, really well. We are good friends. We know each other for a long time. We played each other in amateur tournaments and match play, everything. She's a great golfer, really nice girl, always fair and it's fun to play with her.
So I can't change what she did. She played great, and I'm happy with my season, as well. It just comes down to this tournament. I think there's a lot of money out there, so anything can happen. But I definitely need a good week this week to catch her, which is fine. We'll see.
Q. Do you think seeing what happened on Sun City on Sunday, Martin winning, does that give you an inspiration ‑‑
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I actually do. It was funny because like a similar thing happened when Marcel Siem won on The European Tour this year in France. I was home watching him. I was to happy for him because he's such a great guy and he's a great player and I know him a bit and the next week I came out to South Africa and won.
It's always an inspiration and it's always nice to see germ players win. Obviously there are not that many on the Tour, but also a good friend of mine made his card at Q‑School, a great amateur, as well. It's a good week for germ an golf this week, and we are all working on playing out on Tour.
Q. You put yourself under no pressure at all; is that just for the media or is that the best way to be?
CAROLINE MASSON: No, what can I say, I got in last night, I had a tough week last week, five rounds of golf and practice rounds and stuff.
Here, it's fine, what can I say. Of course I want to play well, as soon as you get out there, I'm going to try my best and play as good as I can, and I'll be angry about bad shots. But all I can do is play my game. I can't influence what everyone else does, but just get out, yeah, and really have fun and enjoy this.
Q. What do you say your style is, perhaps to Carlota's ‑‑ how does your style compare?
CAROLINE MASSON: Absolutely different. She hits it a long, long way. She is a really aggressive player and I think I'm kind of more like a consistent player, make a lot of pars, don't make too many mistakes. Very different but ‑‑ we get along, but we'll have fun out there so that will be nice.
Q. Despite having somebody like Bernhard Langer that you followed as an idol, why do you think Germany has not produced that many golfers?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's strange, because I think there are many good amateurs. In all of the amateur competitions we actually did really well. I just think the mentality is different. Germans may not want to take the risk; not many girls, and guys, as well, want to turn pro and take the risk, not knowing what's going to happen, how it turns out with the money and everything.
So it's kind of strange but I think that changed a little bit and everyone is working harder. And they are going to get better and I think in a few years, there are going to be more players out on Tour winning, yeah.
Q. What has been the effect of Martin becoming the world No. 1?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, the unfortunately the effect was not too big to be honest. It's still a small sport in Germany. You don't see any of it in the media, on TV or anything. I think Martin was trying to get out there and make golf a little more popular but it's just really difficult.
You know, we just need more guys like him playing that well and guys like Marcel Siem. He's a funny guy, you know, if people meet him, they love him, because he's very normal and outgoing. We need more like him to just go out and show people golf is not that ‑‑ it was really a neat sport before. It's quite expensive and it changed a little bit, and we just need to go out and show people everyone can do it, everyone can try and make it more popular.
Q. I was going to ask you, obviously you have your LPGA card, but winning the Order of Merit, would that give you confidence next year, heading over to America? How confident will you be regardless of whether you win or finish runner‑up going over to America next year?
CAROLINE MASSON: I'm going to try to be confident anyways, I don't think it makes a big difference if I win the Money List or not. I've still had a great year.
I mean, it's the next step. It's going to be difficult. I think many European players have problems getting used to the courses and everything on the LPGA, so I'm going to try to make that a little better hopefully and just go out and just play, and, yeah, just hope that you can play well there.
It's going to be difficult. It's important to get off to a good start, to get into tournaments, and then we'll see. I don't know.
Q. What tournaments are you going to play?
CAROLINE MASSON: The schedules are not out yet ‑‑ I didn't think about it too much. I was just concerned, I'm going to play Q‑School and see what happens and then I can worry about that later. Solheim Cup is going to be next year so that's a huge goal for me.
Like right now, I have a pretty good chance to qualify, so that's definitely a reason to play a few tournaments on the LET, as well. I'll just see how many I get in on the LPGA, see how I can combine, and as I said, the Solheim Cup is a huge goal and I want to keep my card on the LPGA, so I have to play quite a lot over there. Yeah, just going to try to combine both and hope it works out.
Q. Obviously there's quite a few LPGA players, Shanshan Feng and South Korean girls, how much are you looking forward to the competition?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's a great chance again. I think it doesn't happen very often playing on the LET. It's just a few tournaments where you can really play with the best in the world actually. So it's another great chance to see where you are. I think there are many, many good golfers on the LET would can beat the girls from the LPGA, as well. So I think this week we'll just show how good we are.