Welcome back Katherine Hull! Do you enjoy coming back here?
It’s always nice to be able to play a tournament in your home state and this is always one of my favourite tournaments so I’m glad to be back.
67 on Sunday must have been pretty hard.
It was nice because there were no bogies so whenever you eliminate your mistakes it’s definitely a good feeling and the putter was definitely working. I think I hit the ball better on Saturday but obviously made more birdies on Sunday so it was nice.
After such a long layoff you wouldn’t be expecting much after a long break?
The cobwebs are off now so it’s a matter of going out there now and the next two weeks and playing with confidence. Friday I was very rusty so was glad to get that out of the way and the weekend was a really nice confidence boost going into these next two weeks.
How much would you want to win the Australian Open?
Its probably the highest thing on my to do list in terms of golf so it would be nice, especially this year, with the field as strong as it is and playing such a great golf course.
Have you played Royal Melbourne before?
No this is my first time which is unusual considering its one of the best in Australia, if not the best. I’m in the same boat as Laura Davies for instance – she’s been coming down here for 20-odd years so it will be nice for all of us to finally get a crack at it.
There’s no Karrie Webb this week so is it one less to worry about?
She has dominated here for sure so its one less we have to worry about and look out for this week. It’s a shame she’s not here, she has her reasons, but it will be better for all of us in terms of our chances of winning.
It was a tough year last year, having the break, but have you done anything that’s helped result in your last finish?
No, I really only started practicing around the 10th January so only two weeks of prep. I just wanted a break and wanted to start this year off fresh and a with clean slate, so nothing flash. I’ve worked with Steve my coach at Pelican Waters and did some stuff at Noosa Springs, which was nice, but it was a quagmire there even.
I guess he was up there as he was also working with some Korean girls who were also staying at the Sunshine Coast. Was that the reason he was in the region or did he come up to specifically spend some time with you?
He figured out a deal to work with Pelican Waters with a couple of Asian players so it was just a bonus that I live around an hour away so it was nice.
Looking back on the season what are your thoughts on how you ended.
I’m glad its over. It was funny as I’m good friends with Kristie McPherson and she and her caddy back in October in Taiwan said she had a rough year as well – she said that after looking at Verne thought they were going to be the ones who wanted this year over the fastest - but I think she then though we do. It was a rough year, I had some personal struggles and a back injury on top of it. I definitely learned a lot from last year but am happy I can start this year afresh.
In March we were at the Founders Cup and Verne said to me, “Kat, why don’t you just take the rest of the year off, go home.” You know it’s going to be a rough ride when your caddy says that to you in March.
In retrospect maybe you should have come home?
In hindsight it probably would have been the best thing for me but that’s not my personality, I’m kind of a bull in a china shop sometimes and try to charge through it. It wasn’t great but I got through it.
Was it more personal problems or was it you game?
More personal problems. When you struggle off the course it’s really hard to get motivated to even practice and play, and then the back injury didn’t help either.
Will 2012 be your come back year?
The goal is to get back in the top 20. I think I can get top 10 but its all going to depend upon how my back is. Recovery wise I think I know what I need to do to stay healthy throughout the year but definitely a couple of wins would be nice. One would be great but multiple would be even better.
Is your back alright now?
It feels good right now. My trainer and I completely changed my off-season program and I’m not doing a whole lot of strength training right now, as I have to get some more balance in my body. Golf is really what gets me as its such a goofy move and all the travel doesn’t help either, but like I said I’ve got a good handle on it now so its just a matter of being disciplined about the recovery work.
Is it anything to do with overworking to get fit or the golf swing or a combination of too much?
Probably a combination of things and then the travel as well – its not just one thing.
Does that get better or is it a matter of maintenance for you?
I don’t have much fluid in L4 and L5 so that wont ever improve so it’s just a matter of me being mindful of it.
Have you been able to put those personal issues behind you?
The personal issues are pretty much behind me so I’m totally focussed on this year and looking forward to it.