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In conversation with defending champion Frances Bondad
Defending champion Frances Bondad at Yalong Bay Golf Club in 2011

Frances Bondad has returned to the scene of her first Ladies European Tour victory at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, Hainan, China, for the third edition of the Sanya Ladies Open. Here the 24-year-old Australian reminisces and discusses her hopes for 2012.

Describe your memories of your maiden victory of the Sanya Ladies Open.

I just remember being behind all day. I honestly wasn’t expecting to win because Vicki was playing so solid all day. My memories are playing steady and being happy with second place. I was very surprised. I couldn’t believe it happened.

Are you looking forward to returning to Yalong Bay Golf Club?

Yes, I am. I’m looking forward to hopefully defending my title. I’m not in the best form at the moment but I love that course and every day is a new day so you never know what is going to happen and I’m looking forward to it.

Describe the golf course.

There are some long holes but it’s pretty straightforward. The greens are pretty grainy because it’s in a tropical climate. Big greens, wide fairways: you’ve just got to hit them in the right spots. Placement is very important on that course.

What’s happening in your game right now?

I honestly don’t know. I think it’s more of a mental issue. I think since behind DQ'ed from Evian, that really affected me. I’m over it now but it took me a while to get over it and I think now it’s just about enjoying myself again.

What happened?

I played the Pro Am the day before and I just assumed that I wasn’t going to be in the Wednesday Pro AM. I just didn’t check. I couldn’t get over the fact that it was so preventable. That really destroyed me. I was looking forward to it all year since winning Sanya and it meant a lot to me to play in it.

How are you going to approach the Sanya Ladies Open?

At the moment I’m not in form and I just want to enjoy myself again on the golf course. I haven’t been home since Austria so I’m itching to get home. I’m going to play the best I can but I’m not expecting anything. Mentally I’m a bit tired, especially playing (LPGA) Q-School.

You are going to Final Stage LPGA Qualifying School, so is this your last tournament of the season?

This is my last LET event (of 2012) so we’ll see if I get through to the LPGA.

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