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An interview with Melissa Reid at Royal Liverpool

Ladies and gentlemen, we have Melissa Reid with us now.  She's had an up‑and‑down year but arrives here after a fantastic win in Prague, so that in that sense you must be coming in here with a lot of confidence.

            MELISSA REID:  Yes and no, really.  Like I really I haven't felt as I should done this year, obviously with circumstances.  But I still that I should have really played a bit better than what I have.

            Yeah, I had a good practise session today.  So yeah, I'm actually feeling pretty good about tomorrow.

What are your initial thoughts on the golf course and the conditions?

            MELISSA REID:  It's pretty brutal.  Not going to beat around the bush here.  It's a great golf course.  Obviously it's dependent on the wind.  The weather forecast suggests the wind is going to be pretty severe the next few days.  It's just a matter of keeping your head strong and accept that if you finish level par going into the turn, you're going to have a pretty decent lead to be honest.  So that's what I mean, you just have to get your head on and bogeys ‑‑ you just have to keep the doubles and triples off the card.

We have had the top British girls in here today; do you think the weather conditions might favour them slightly?

            MELISSA REID:  We say this every year, but the girls now are so good that it doesn't really matter what nationality.  Like the Koreans, for example, Yani has been winning and she's not British, the British Open.

            A few of the Americans I think will struggle to keep the ball down and a few of the Koreans ‑‑ this is probably the longest I've seen a golf course for a ladies event, so I think the Koreans might struggle a little bit just reaching the actual par 4s.  But no, I mean, I think obviously everyone here is a great player and delighted to be here and the majority of the player here are sharp.

I read in one of the papers this morning that you'll have a lot of friends here; how many are you expecting?

            MELISSA REID:  A few of my friends are coming out at the weekend and so hopefully I'll make it to them.  My dad may come out tomorrow, and one of my sisters who has not seen me play golf before is going to come out Friday with my other sister and my brother, as well.  So quite a few.

Q.  The says they are that's not seen golf before, is she like think to embarrass you?  Does she know where to stand, what to do?

            MELISSA REID:  She knows like pretty much about golf.   She's just never seen me play.  So yeah, it will be interesting for her and hear what she has to say.

            Q.  What clubs do you have in the bag?  Are you making any changes, long irons going in and fairway woods coming out?

            MELISSA REID:  No, I've not made too many changes.  I actually changed my rescue recently.  I had a graphite shaft in it and I've now put a steel shaft in it, and I have a little bit of a smaller head just to keep it a little bit lower; whereas my other rescue is a bit high, which is perfect for the States and for normal events.  I just have a bit of a stronger shaft just to keep the ball a bit lower.

            Q.  Do you think you'll be able to take some inspiration from Tiger's win here so shortly after he lost one of his parents?

            MELISSA REID:  You know, it's funny, obviously it's been a difficult year but you know, I don't know whether it's going to be this week but something good has to happen to me this year and hopefully it's this week.  I just feel like whatever it is, whether it's personal or golf, I just feel like I keep getting things thrown at me and I keep having to kind of like battle on and battle on; everything just seems a bit of an effort.

            So hopefully this week ‑‑ like I said, really good session today and worked really well with Johnny, and Dave, my coach, he's back there.  And hopefully this week can be the turning point in the year and something good will happen.  It's bound to happen and I just hope it is this week.

            Q.  Is Dave with you all week?

            MELISSA REID:  Yeah, Dave Ridley.  He's behind you.  Yeah.  He's right behind you, he's here all week.

            Q.  What does golf need to do to take advantage of the ground swell of support of popularity that women got during the Olympic Games?

            MELISSA REID:  You know, it's funny, I think we have got some great personalities in the game of golf.  I think that the Creamer, Gulbis, Wie, hopefully myself, there are personalities in the game, and it's a Catch 22, especially in Europe really where we need more money to get the facilities, yet we need the facilities to get more money.  So it's kind of a losing situation.

            But I think it's getting better, and I actually think that the Olympics in 2016 is actually going to do golf a lot of good.  It's obviously not going to be our main event like athletics and stuff, but I think the showcase of an Olympic Games is going to do the game of women's golf, I hope it's going to be a huge success.

            Q.  Five or six years ago, maybe more than that, I arranged for yourself and for Carly and for Henni to play at the BMW Pro‑Am, prior to the BMW event at Wentworth.  You played that day with The Ryder Cup captain.  I wonder whether José Maria has been on the phone to you to find out any tips for his upcoming duty as The Ryder Cup Captain?

            MELISSA REID:  I think he's fine (laughs).  Yeah, it was a good day, good fun.  Carly and Henni, they are all doing well now, so yeah, it's funny how things turn out.

            Q.  Just to follow, why does golf need to be in the Olympics even when it has four, five majors, anyway, to showcase it?

            MELISSA REID:  I don't know.  I think that, you know, a lot of people do watch the Olympic Games and you know, I think it's like women's football.  I think that the Olympic Games is a great opportunity to show the world how good women's football is.  It's come such a long way in five or six years.

            I feel the same with golf really, especially in Europe, we have got fantastic draw in Europe, but we just haven't got the money and that's all it is.  I think so many people tune in to the Olympic Games that I really do feel that it's going to do British golf, European golf, a lot, a lot of good I think.

            Q.  It's been a pretty consistent year for you this year, do you put it down to anything in particular?

            MELISSA REID:  I would say it's not really been a great year golf‑wise, I don't want to putt it down to circumstances but it's been quite hard, some days have been harder than others.  My mind, just 12 months ago, I was very, very happy, my family were all healthy.  I had my own house, I had my own dog, and now everything, it's literally flipped.  My entire life, really, three months ago went a complete 180.

            So you know, I just feel that it's probably the head, I probably have a lot more on my mind than I would normally when I play.  Obviously I think about a lot of things other than probably the shot that I'm hitting which isn't ideal.

            But I think that is what was so amazing in Prague really and what I was so proud of myself for was that every single shot, I literally took every single ounce of energy just to take on that shot and something pretty special happened that week.

            But yeah, it's not getting a bit easier, it's only getting a bit harder but it will get easier and I'm just hoping that ‑‑ like I said, I'm hoping that something good is going to happen this year and not, I'm going to make damn sure that 2013 is going to be a good year.

            Q.  You said that you with like to play on both tours next year.  How much of a challenge is that going to be?

            MELISSA REID:  I don't think it's going to be a massive challenge.  I think that with the scheduling nowadays, you can play both tours.  I love playing in Europe.  It's where, you know, I would say my home is, and I love all of the girls and the whole European Tour is an amazing tour.  We just don't have the money and the sponsorship that we need to be on the same level as the LPGA.

            So obviously I want to challenge myself and be on the LPGA, but I will always come back to Europe.  I'll always play six events a year.  It's where I grew up and where I feel like a really grew up playing and where I have my roots, so I'll always come back to Europe no matter what I do.

            Q.  Obviously Prague was a magnificent victory given the circumstances, but how important were your and family in golf to you at that time?

            MELISSA REID:  If I'm honest, I didn't really want to come back that early.  Looking back, I think, you know, if I could have done things differently, I would have had a lot more time off than I did.   To be honest, I should have gone on holiday and I should have taken time off ‑‑ because I generally do love the game of golf, if someone asked me whether I practised, if it would be just for an hour or four or five hours a day, it's another distraction.

            If you sit at home, all I would ever think about was my mom and being around my family and stuff, we are all there for each other but it's a very, very horrible thing to happen.  You know, playing Prague and coming back from winning actually put a smile on our faces.  You know, coming back on the Sunday night and my mom's ‑‑ inaudible ‑‑ on a Wednesday, and it was just strange to smile at such an awful time but if I would have done it again, I probably would have played like U.S. Open, Evian and this.  I would have definitely taken a bit more time off just to take time off and just get healthy again.  I feel like I've kind of been trying to look after everybody else instead of myself a little bit.

            Q.  And Hoylake, have you played here before or how well have you done here before in other events?

            MELISSA REID:  I played it as an amateur, just as GB&I training.  We played against the men here but it was so windy we had to quit after about four holes; I don't know where they get that from.  I played here a few weeks ago, me and my caddie and Dave all came out and played it.  It was flat calm pretty much which was great and got to see it.

            Then played Monday and played Tuesday and today, so you know, I think you need to look at a course once really and then you kind of get an idea of what it's about.  So I was really pleased that I managed to come out here a month or so ago and get that preparation done then so I knew which shots to work on, etc.

            Q.  Are there any standout holes for you from what you've seen?

            MELISSA REID:  Every hole is tough.  There's not really a hole where you're saying, all right, there's a birdie opportunity.  I think you definitely are going to be tired after every single round because of the amount of focus that you have to putt into every shot.  Especially with the forecast that they are predicting, it's going to be interesting.  But I personally love it, because you have to shape shots and it gives me a little bit more focus so I'm looking forward to it to be honest.

            Q.  Are you hoping for poor weather?

            MELISSA REID:  This is such a strong field, the majority of the players can play, but some of the girls obviously can't, some of the girls literally only play high shots, they don't play low shots.

            So with the amount of rescues they have in their golf bag they will struggle to keep it down and like I said it's playing very long.  So obviously the players that can manipulate shots a little bit will have a huge advantage here.


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