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Final round interviews from the Lalla Meryem Cup

Sunday 25th March 2012

Karen Lunn (event winner)

How does it feel?

It hasn’t really sunk in yet, I don’t think. It was so tight out there today. I never let myself get ahead of myself and think about winning until really I birdied 15, 16 and then I started to get nervous so it’s a relief and a great thrill to win again.

You seemed to turn on the style at the right time, just after you finished the opening nine, didn’t you.

Yeah. The front nine was a bit dodgy really and I hit a lot of loose shots which I haven’t done a lot this week. I made a couple of birdies and kept myself in there. All I wanted to do today was have a chance going into the back nine. I made a couple of really good birdies; hit some wedges close on ten and 11 and then made a couple of bombs on 12 and 15 which I haven’t been doing and that’s all the difference was today. I holed some putts and I haven’t been doing that. That’s what you have to do. Marianne played great, I mean she hung with me all day and it could have gone either way but she had a good chance on 14 to go one ahead at that point and it could have been two ahead because I had a tricky little putt for par so that was probably the turning point, I guess.

Overall what does it mean to get your hands on another LET trophy?

Oh, it’s amazing. Especially the older you get, you never know if you’ll ever get to this point again, so just relief. I’ve worked really hard this year and I’ve been playing some good golf so it’s nice to get the rewards.

Another trophy earlier on in the year in Australia, what’s made the difference?

I changed a couple of things after Dubai. I wasn’t happy with the way I was striking the ball and changed a couple of things in my swing. Really, I worked hard on my short game the last couple of weeks in England. I was with five layers on but it was obviously worth it. I’ve been playing really well tee to green all year; I just haven’t been making the putts, averaging 31, 32 putts, which doesn’t cut it at that level. Today I had 31 putts and that was all the difference.

You must be feeling positive about the season.

This means I hopefully get to play in the Evian Masters, British Open, so it changes everything. It takes the pressure off early in the year. Obviously then you re-assess your goals. To win was a goal and I’ve done that a couple of times this year so hopefully re-assess and play well in the bigger events at the end of the year. This is a great event and I’m thrilled to be here.

Talk us through your monster putts.

The 15th was probably 35 feet. 16 was eight feet. 12 was longer, about 50 feet.

This is a special place as well.

To be a guest of the royal family anywhere is quite special in itself but obviously the golf courses, the hotel, everything about this event is first class and to be here with the men’s European Tour is really special. It’s a wonderful event and all the girls love being part of it.

Tell us about what you’ve managed to achieve here.

Today was a very tight day, actually. We got to the turn and I think there were seven or eight players within two shots of the lead so it was game on for anyone. I just managed to play the back nine really well and made some putts and that’s what you have to do. I haven’t been making the putts but this week I did and managed to sneak over the line.

You make it sound so simple.

Trust me, it’s not simple. It’s simple now. It’s very nerve wracking. No matter how many times you win, everyone is very difficult. I never actually got nervous today until I got in front after 15. It was kind of, it’s mine to win or lose now: that gave me a two shot cushion. That actually puts the pressure back on you all day to be in contention or thereabouts and I was like, it’s up to me now. I hit some really good shots coming down the stretch so I’m proud of the way I finished.

You’ve had your photograph taken with Michael Hoey who gets a very ornate golden dagger. I take it under your arm is something special as well.

It’s a little clutch purse. It’s absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure I have anywhere suitable to take it in the upcoming weeks or months but it’s very special. When you win, winning is lovely to have the trophy and the money but to have these little gifts as well is a nice touch.

It looks silver with golf inlay and a jewel on there. It looks very special.

Tandi Cuningham

Is it a feeling of satisfaction or disappointment that you were so close in the end?

Satisfaction. More satisfaction than disappointment. I gave it the best that I had and knew I had to make at least two more birdies coming in, so nine under, a good total for four rounds, but well done to Karen: she played really well.

What do you feel made the difference just falling a couple of shots short?

A couple of mistakes here and there and a couple of missed putts that I think in the end did cost me two or three shots but I rather look at the shots that I hit well because as much as I missed a couple I made some really good putts and I had an unbelievable shot on the 12th hole today, so those are the ones I’m going to focus on but I know what I need to work on going forward.

Tell us about the 12th.

The 12th: I had 169 to the flag, breeze coming in off the right, so for me it was a gripped down two-iron that I actually just smothered a bit. I pulled it a little bit left and the flag is tight left so I had a monstrous chip on a down slope with no green to work with that I had to land short, kind of scuttle it down there and I was hoping to have a ten-footer at best return for par and I knocked it in, so fantastic: I was happy with that.

Obviously a good start to the year and something you can work from.

Absolutely. I came out here with the mindset this week that I want a top five. I want to give myself a good chance to have a good start to the year and just keep that process day in, day out. It got me to today so I’ll keep doing it.

What do you work on?

Next will be Scotland, that’s the next event, so carry on the way I’ve been training and carry on practising and keep that good mindset of enjoying golf more and loving the game.

Marianne Skarpnord

How do you feel about your final round performance?

To be honest with you I felt I played okay today. I hit a couple of bad shots but I played alright. I didn’t make a lot of putts and Karen made putts from everywhere on the back nine, so I couldn’t do anything, to be honest with you. I just had to play my game and try and do my best. She holed putts and there was nothing I could do.

This is your best finish for some time.

I had a couple of second places in 2010. Best finish in over a year.

Will you take confidence into the rest of the season?

I have to say that I felt like a proper loser when I walked off the 18th green but of course I’m happy with second place and I would have taken it on Monday.


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