Interviews with the leading players in the team and individual formats after the first round.
Diana Luna (Italy) 66 (-6)
You had an eagle and seven birdies. Tonnes, huh?
Yes a lot.
What did you have for breakfast?
Some pancakes, some bread, jam, as usual.
Was it good conditions to shoot a low score?
Yes; I think so. The course is playing good and the flags were fine: not too difficult today, so I think it was a good day to play low. My start was very slow. I had two bogeys in the first two par fives, which was a little disappointing of course, because I made six on a par five without any funny shots. A stupid six: I missed one very short putt on the first par five and then I made a very bad chip at the second so two very stupid bogeys, but then I holed a rescue the hole after so that put me back in play.
That was the turning point?
Yes, I think so, because after that I started playing really good golf and hitting many shots very close. I had two birdies and then another one very, very close. I was playing really close to the pins and that’s why I’ve made many, many birdies.
Most of the putts were very long.
Yes, most of them. I holed a very, very long bogey putt at 14 because I messed up a little bit with my second shot and then a bad chip and then another bad chip. I had ten metres for bogey and I holed it, which was the longest putt of the day and then honestly I was very, very close, always within three or four metres, I mean, very close to the pin.
The conditions are very pleasant.
Yes. We hope for nice weather and we hope that it dries up a little bit more. I think we are going to have a great weekend because the weather is very pleasant and it’s not that hot. It’s not cold, so it’s really nice to play and the course is getting better and better without rain and the conditions are getting better and it’s really nice.
In your group, Candie is playing well.
Yes, she’s doing well. Caroline, she’s playing really well as well. It’s a nice group. I think I have been lucky with the group I have been picked with and I’m very happy, they are very pleasant and we’ve had a nice 18 holes: very relaxed.
You played in Australia as well already. Today, did you expect to be on top of the leader board?
You always go for it, of course. I was playing well in Australia a few weeks ago and I finished second so I had very good scores as well. I’m in a good moment. I think I’m playing solid golf and I’m looking to be high in the leader board, hopefully.
Was that on the Gold Coast?
What distance did you hit the rescue club?
165 metres, or something like that.
You have had a lot of hole in ones before.
Today I have been risking it very, very much. On hole number ten, I was like that (gestures a metre). On the other par three, number 13, I was even closer and just tapped it in.
What is your partner shooting?
Minus one. We are minus seven.
Talk about the team format.
I think with stroke play anything can happen, because when you play best ball, then you basically count on birdies but when you play in this stroke play format, both players really need to keep focused because one bad hole from one player can really mess up everything and it can go very quickly so, if two players make birdies on one hole and the other two players make one bogey and one double bogey for example it’s five shots in one hole and it can go very quickly. It’s more important for the first couple of days to be close. It’s not important to be first or second. If you are not too far away I think anything can happen.
You have your own caddie with you this week?
My husband is caddying for me this week, which is a little unusual. I normally have a professional caddie with me but this week we decided to go out with my husband. He’s a golf teacher, a golf coach, I mean and he is on my bag this week. It was very nice, very pleasant of course, because he used to caddie for me a few years ago and now we decided that he is doing his job and I am doing mine but it’s nice sometimes to have him on the bag again and we are really enjoying.
He is your regular coach?
He is not my coach. He helps me, but he helps my coach and well and he is not my coach.
Does he give you any tips?
He does give me some tips but he is not my only coach because we think that it’s too much, husband and coach and everything. I have another coach which used to be his coach when he was playing. He knows very well the system and the methods that he used.
Was he a touring pro?
No, he always taught.
Beth Allen (USA) 67 (-5)
How pleased were you with your round considering you had seven birdies?
I bogeyed 16 and 17, which was a bummer, but I kind of got unlucky on 16 because there was mud all over my ball and then I just hit a decent shot and didn’t get up and down. On 17 I also hit a pretty good shot and just stayed on the green for a minute and then rolled down the side. I almost holed my chip and then lipped out for par, so I was kind of bummed. But I played well. I’ve been playing well, so I wasn’t really surprised but it’s nice to have a little bit of confidence anyway.
What was the mentality?
I was pretty relaxed. I hit it pretty close and I feel pretty comfortable on these greens. I kept holing putts. I only had 27 putts so I sort of was just chillin’. I was surprised when I got to 12 and I was leading, but I wasn’t really nervous. I noticed but it didn’t make a big difference. I was just relaxed and the greens are so soft that it’s pretty accessible to get close and especially on the front there are three par fives.
Are they reachable?
No. I only reached one par five and that was 12. One of the other ones was reachable but I couldn’t go for it. I don’t know. I just felt pretty comfortable on these greens.
Is it harder this afternoon in this wind?
I think so, because we haven’t really had much wind yesterday. I didn’t notice it in the pro am. It’s pretty long to begin with and when you’re messing around it makes it a little bit more difficult. I’m out at eight in the morning tomorrow so I’m happy about that to have a good start in the afternoon.
How do you feel about representing the USA?
I have my California ball marker because me and Hannah are both from California and I’m kind of from San Diego so it’s pretty funny that we’re both representing the USA in a European Tour event in China. It’s wild! It’s fun to have a team event. I’ve never really got to represent my country in anything golf related so I’m stoked, it’s cool.
Are you patriotic?
I’m proud of where I’m from but I’m not over zealous.
Why are you only sort of from San Diego?
I was born north of L.A. and moved down there after college. While I was at college my parents moved down there so when I was 18 and on I’ve on and off lived in San Diego. I’ve known Hannah since she was 16 because she practises at Torrey Pines too.
Beth also said that she is originally from Santa Barbara, but parents moved to San Diego when she was 18.
Today is the one year anniversary of her kidney donation to her brother.
Since donating her kidney one year ago she has lost 15 pounds (one stone) in weight and she stopped smoking and feels better than ever.
Rebecca Codd (Ireland) 67 (-5)
Are you satisfied with your start to the tournament?
I was really happy with it because I got a bit unlucky on my second hole. I got a muddy ball from the semi-rough on the left and I struck it good and it just went sideways into the hazard so I made bogey there and that was the only bad hole of the day so I was really happy with how I played.
What was the target going out?
It was really hard to have a target because playing the practice round and the Pro Am, I thought, if you shoot level par it would be a great score, but it was good that they moved a couple of the tees forward; it meant that you were hitting more realistic irons into those greens. I didn’t really hava a target at the beginning of the day.
Do you enjoy Asia?
I guess I’m used to the Asian lifestyle and the food doesn’t bother me as much as it does probably a lot of the other girls. I like coming to Asia.
How long were you on the Japan LPGA?
I played just a year. I didn’t have full status, just conditional status, but I played for a year maybe in 2004.
How are you approaching the weekend?
If I can strike the ball like I did today for the weekend I would be really happy but you’ve just got to take each day as it comes. You just don’t know with golf, so you’ve just got to keep plugging away and make some putts.
Do you have any goals for the season?
I’ve got a few goals. I’m working hard on my swing so it’s work in progress. I have the same coach. Probably the only difference over the last couple of years is I’ve been doing some biomechanics work and it makes life a lot easier because you know why you can’t get certain positions where you spend hours on the range and can’t figure out why you can’t do it. That tells you, you’re body isn’t able to do certain things. I find that aspect really quite interesting. The guy I do it with is Ryan Lumsden. He is based in Melbourne but Scottish but he travels a lot with the bio with national teams in Europe, European Tour players and he’s travelling a lot and I get to see him when he’s in Europe.
Anne-Lise Caudal (France) 67 (-5)
You had six birdies and a bogie today. Are the conditions out on course perfect?
It was pretty good out there this morning. We didn’t have any wind to start with. There was a bit more wind later and it made it hard. It wasn’t easy because there was a cross wind which made it difficult to judge my shots.
How did your putting go?
My putting was really good today and I had 28 putts in total.
How playable were the greens today?
They weren’t too fast. I think they will get faster everyday as they dry out as it’s a bit warmer today. They were a bit faster today than they were for the practice round yesterday.
Did you get the score you were expecting out there today?
Not really because it’s my first tournament of the year. I had a long break after playing in Dubai in December due to a wrist injury and I had 7 weeks off.
I had two months rehab and went to the gym every day to get stronger. Last night I was a bit nervous, I had been hitting balls for two months, however its different practicing to actually competing in a tournament. I was definitely not expecting to hit 5 under today.
What is your strategy for the next few days?
I’m going to keep the same strategy as today. I was pretty relaxed today on the course and really enjoyed just being out there.
How do you feel about the long holes here?
Some of the holes play long but its good having to deal with that sort of hole sometimes.
Is this the first time you have played in China and when was your first professional tournament?
I played in Sanya last year but I missed the cut and finished 12th or 13th. My first tournament was in Portugal in 2008.”
Feng Shan Shan (China) 66 (-6)
Q: Do you expect to have a performance like today?
A: The course condition is much better than in the practice round. Distance isn’t a problem. I used the short irons to the greens. For par 5s, I need two or three shots to make the green which gives me a good birdie opportunity.
Q: How is your putting today?
A: I have put into a few, but there were few that I couldn’t hold. The ball just hit the edge and rolled around.
Q: The players in your group are playing quite well. What do you think?
A: I prefer to play with strong players because it is my motivation to play better if they play well.
Liying Ye (China) 68 (-4)
Q: How was your performance today?
A: I had a steady performance today using the rescue and one wood. On the green, I hit pretty close to the holes, I hit it maybe five yards away from the holes several times. However I didn’t have much luck with the puts, which I found difficult to judge the distance so the ball always stopped just next to the hole. This happened a few times today as well. I wanted to get more birdies with my good form so not to rely on Shanshan. Generally I didn’t have any mistakes today.
Q: How different is the course today compare with the practice round?
A: It feels very different. I didn’t feel any distance playing the practice rounds so there were big differences on the remaining yardage.
Candie Kung (Chinese Taipei) 67 (-5)
How did you do today?
I thought that I played pretty well today and I was hitting the ball pretty hard. I’ve been playing well for the past few weeks but the difference today was that I was making the putts.”
How well can you putt here?
With the weather on my side I can putt within 15-feet, the birdies I’ve had are around 12-feet.
Have you and Amy played together before?
We played together about 12-years ago at the World Amateur Team Championships.
How have you found the format at the WLC?
It’s good to have a new format and another category for teams. There is a trophy for the team event but at the end of the day we will play our own game, add up the scores and see what happens.
Amy Hung (Chinese Taipei) 69 (-3)
How did you go today?
I had a pretty solid round today. The only bogey I made was when I missed a little 2-footer. I actually had a new set of irons and it’s only the second time I’ve ever played with them.