|Interviews with Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacey Keating and Karrie Webb after their second rounds at RACV Royal Pines.|
| LET Rookie Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand
Second round interviews from the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters
ARIYA JUTANUGARN (-10)
Q. ARIYA it was a wonderful round of 65 today.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: It was a very good round. Today my putting helped me a lot but I still missed some at three feet.
Q. I was just speaking to your caddie, and he said that a lot of your short puts were just sitting in the hole, so today could of gone another way.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Sometimes I putt to short. I think it is going to be better.
Q. You are only 17 years of age, and you join in the lead a 16 year old Australian. The youngsters are proving this not so tough.
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: You know, the course is a little tough for me, because I didn't have a practice round the first day, this is just my second round, anybody has a chance to win.
Q. Is it hard to play a golf course without having a practice round?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: Yes it, it is very hard, but I am lucky to have a good caddy, he tell me the way to go.
Q. The golf course has had a lot of rain, is the condition ok?
ARIYA JUTANUGARN: The golf course is really nice, it has rained a lot, but it is still really good.
STACEY KEATING (-9)
KATHIE SHEARER: Stace, a great end to a great day and a couple of rounds with Karrie. Just talk us through that?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah, it was obviously nice. I had a good back nine. I got off to a scratchy start but I seemed like I straightened things out and I holed some great putts on the back nine, so yeah, it really helped obviously.
Q. How pivotal was that putt on 11, it seemed like it really got you going this afternoon?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah it did, because I wasn’t hitting it well, I wasn’t hitting it close like on the front nine, so I didn’t give myself many chances, but then I holed a good putt on 11 and then on 12 as well, quite of length, so yeah, I think it just gave me a bit of momentum for the rest of the nine.
Q. When Karrie said yesterday that you’d spoken to her and said how excited you were about playing with her these last two days, has it been a positive experience?
STACEY KEATING: Clearly.
Q. On the same score but in terms of playing with someone that is your idol, has that a been a good thing for your game?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah absolutely, I’ve never been so nervous on the first tee yesterday but I think I calmed down today and I thoroughly enjoyed the two days; yeah, absolutely.
Q. What group are you in tomorrow, do you know?
STACEY KEATING: No idea.
Q. Could it be Karrie? Where did they finish? It’s the last in.
STACEY KEATING: Oh well, fingers crossed for three days then.
Q. Would you prefer to play with Karrie in that group?
STACEY KEATING: Of course, any chance to get to watch her yeah. She did some great stuff out there today, so it was great.
Q. You’re obviously not intimidated by her?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah, I think I am.
Q. Would that be a factor tomorrow?
STACEY KEATING: Hopefully these two days have helped me calm down, especially yesterday, playing well with her, I think that definitely helped calm me down, but I’m always nervous when I see her swing a golf club.
Q. Stacey, the leader is a 16 year old amateur. We asked Karrie about her and perhaps she was being modest, because she said she doesn’t feel like she has anything to fear, but could you sort of maybe give us your opinions? How would a 16 year old be feeling knowing that she’s got Karrie Webb bearing down on her in the final day of the Tournament?
STACEY KEATING: I don’t think I’d like it, that’s for sure. Wow, 16, that’s 10 years younger than me. I mean good for her, obviously she’s playing very well. What did she shoot today? Yeah, very, very nice. Obviously she’s playing well. Yeah, I know her quite well actually. So yeah, good for her and I hope she can keep it up tomorrow.
Q. Stacey, is tomorrow going to be a matter of whoever comes out hottest first? There are nine players within three shots of the lead?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah, it’s quite bunched up, isn’t it? I’m glad I’m in the mix and I feel I have a chance going into the last day, which is always something I aim for. As long as I’m contending, I’m happy. I think the front nine is the toughest of the two and so hopefully if I can get through the front nine and then make some birdies on the back.
Q. Stacey, I guess part of the feel good factor today is that yesterday you went and played with Karrie for the first time competitively and yet you proved yourself. Was that part of it, you went out there today thinking well, I’ve played with her and I’ve played well, so there’s no fear factor there anymore?
STACEY KEATING: No, I don’t think so, I think I’ll always be very nervous playing with Karrie. I just have a lot of respect for her I guess. Obviously I was pleased I played well playing with her. I just kept telling myself I’ve played with her so many times, having practice rounds and everything, so I just kept telling myself that.
Q. You and Karrie have very similar putting grips?
STACEY KEATING: Do we?
Q. Maybe from the reverse angle, obviously you don’t have any part of your hand crossed.
STACEY KEATING: Sure, maybe just reverse grip but it’s not something I’ve tried to copy anyway.
Q. I just wondered if that was any influence there?
STACEY KEATING: No it wasn’t.
Q. Was it just your putting today do you think that really got you rolling?
STACEY KEATING: Yeah definitely. I still didn’t feel like I was striking it that well out there. I didn’t feel I hit it close enough but I was still able to hole some good putts. That’s just what keeps you in a good round I guess, to be able to keep it going. I wasn’t knocking the pins out, I’ll be the first to admit that and still wasn’t that confident off the tee and I did some different things. Like I decided to lay off on 15, didn’t take driver and just played it as a three shotter and still made birdies; so I’m happy to do it that way if I have to.
Q. I just wanted to ask you about your confidence as a result of having won these two tournaments last year, coming into this Australian season did you think, well, I’ve won two tournaments on the European tour, why can’t I win an Australian tournament? Where was your thinking at with the confidence of those two wins?
STACEY KEATING: I haven’t really thought too much about it. I don’t feel like I’ve played that well in Australia before this Summer, so it was obviously something I wanted to do and hopefully I can keep it going tomorrow and the rest of the Summer. But yeah, I guess confidence in golf obviously helps a lot and that’s something I’m rolling on at the minute, so hopefully I can keep that going.
Q. Stacey, is your approach in the final round any different to the first two days here?
STACEY KEATING: No, definitely not. Hopefully I’ll get some sleep and just do exactly the same warm up. No, I’ll keep it exactly the same. I’ll be interested to see who I’m paired with, but yeah.
Q. I guess the one approach where you did have a fairly close birdie putt was 16 and it lipped out on you. You looked sort of put off slight at that, but you obviously managed to get your concentration back very quickly.
STACEY KEATING: Yeah, I think I was just a bit thrown there because I thought it was in, I’d already started walking and then it sort of took a hop to the right and it did a full horse shoe. It was half a birdie I guess. No. It was a good putt but it lipped out, so you can’t get too mad at yourself for that.
KARRIE WEBB (-8)
KATHIE SHEARER: A great round today and I suppose the question is, can you do it tomorrow?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I hope so. I felt pretty good. I got off to a great start, which was good. There was a little lull there through the middle but a nice finish. Two shots behind. When I teed off 10 under was leading, so I thought if I could get within three or four of that I’d have a good shot tomorrow. So 66, I’m really happy with that.
KATHIE SHEARER: Great birdie on the last.
KARRIE WEBB: Thank you.
Q. Familiar feelings Karrie?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, it’s a nice position to be in. The start I got off to today, that’s a familiar feeling, I’ve gotten off to a start like that once or twice, so it sort of settled me in and I knew I felt good enough to put a good number up there today, so 66 I’m very pleased with that.
Q. You’re chasing two teenagers, Karrie, one an amateur and the other obviously a very, very exciting player from Thailand who you obviously know a little bit about.
KARRIE WEBB: A little bit, yes.
Q. What are your thoughts about that? Obvious they’re going to feel the pressure.
KARRIE WEBB: Yes, I mean obviously - I don't know the other leader, but the young girl from Thailand I played with a little bit and obviously extremely talented. I don’t think she’ll fear much tomorrow; that’s what you get for being a teenager I think, right, you just go out there and do it and when someone’s half your age (laughs) it’s hard to believe I think.
I’m looking forward to - I’m happy with where my game’s at. I don’t think I’ve felt this good at the start of the year for a while. Even though I’ve won at the start of the year within the last three or four years, I actually really felt ready this week. I didn’t really feel like I’d have to dust off any rust or anything. So, happy with the first two rounds and looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. When Su-Hyun spoke this morning, she said she wanted to take advantage of the - really there was no wind this morning, how tough was it for you this afternoon because it looked as though at various stages it was a little bit tougher than what the morning groups endured?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah probably but I’ve played the course with those conditions before and that breeze. It didn’t get too gusty. I think it was forecast to get a little bit windier than it did. It actually kept things a little more pleasant. I think it would have been quite hot this afternoon if it didn’t blow.
But I managed it nicely and hit some good iron shots out there and made a few putts today.
Q. Karrie tell us, without pre-empting anything, what success here at Royal Pines would mean to you for the year? You’ve been there before, you’ve done it all before, what’s it going to mean for 2013 for Karrie?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I think just the way I’ve started; it’s a really positive step forward for me. I think whether I win or not tomorrow I’m going to take a lot of good things away with me and look forward to the Australian Open and then go on from there. Like I said, I’ve got many memories here and it would be nice to add another one if I have a good round tomorrow.
Q. You’ve won this event seven times. If you win it an eighth time tomorrow you actually equal Sam Snead’s record of eight tour events; something that no other golfer has done. Is that in the back of your mind? Is it something that you have thought about?
KARRIE WEBB: I didn’t even know, you guys inform me of that stuff all the time. Yeah, well that would definitely be something if I could equal that.
Q. Karrie, you mentioned the beauty of youth is that you don’t have to fear anyone. Do you really think a 16 year old can go up against a player who she said this morning was her idol and not be nervous?
KARRIE WEBB: I’m sure there’d be nerves. I think 16 year old nerves are very different to a 25 or a 30 or a 38 year old’s nerves. Lydia Ko won one of our biggest events last year in the US or in Canada, she won the Canadian Open. I think the young girls are proving to everyone every year that there is a small percentage of girls that are ready at that age, but the ones that are, are really impressive.
Q. Is there a feeling that you want to prove to these young girls that you’re still the top dog and they’ve got to earn their stripes?
KARRIE WEBB: I don’t really feel that I have to prove that but I’d really like to have a run at the end of my career. I really feel like I’m capable of doing that and not because I’m 38 and wanting to prove it to someone, I really feel that I’m in a good spot with my career and my life and I’d just really like to take advantage of whatever golf I choose to play for the remainder.
Q. Karrie, can you recall what it was like when you were a teenager when you were just starting out and what are some of the things that these girls are going to be experiencing tomorrow in the final round?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I wasn’t 16 and in the final round, I was 16 and playing my first Australian Masters at Palm Meadows. I know I was leading amateur and I sat next to Meg Mallon and thought all my Christmases had come at once, and Meg’s actually a really good friend of mine now. So it’s a pretty funny story between us.
You know, I can’t fathom being that ready at that age to play at a professional level. So I don't know what’s going through their mind. I was on a, I don't know a two or three handicap and close shot around par I was playing well. I don't know what goes through their minds.
Q. Karrie do you think it’s different, obviously you broke through quite young as well, but do you think it’s different these days and if it is, what do you think is making it different, that there are more of these young kids who are able to compete at the highest level?
KARRIE WEBB: I think there are quite a few things. I think technology obviously has helped young girls be capable of playing golf but I think golf instruction. A lot of girls, that’s the only sport that they play and it’s treated like a full time job at a young age. I think that’s what makes them ready as well and going to tuition. I think there is a number of great coaches out there and there’s a lot of different technology they have access to to teach; yeah, so they’re ahead of the curve.
Q. Karrie, it’s interesting that we’re talking about this age gap of 20 years between you and Su-Hyun. I think it’s just the beauty of this game though, isn’t it, it’s just the longevity of it. We’re talking about potentially you being an aged veteran but there’s still a lot more golf in you left, isn’t there?
KARRIE WEBB: Yes, I believe so. I feel like women get asked the question at 38 about being a veteran or maybe past my prime. I made the comment last year that you wouldn’t ask Phil Mickelson that when he was 38. I think he’d only won one or two of his six majors or five majors that he’s won. Vijay Singh has won more events in his forties than he did in his twenties or thirties. But men don’t get asked that question as often as I feel that women do and that I’ve answered in the last couple of years.