What Veronica Zorzi, Holly Clyburn, Ashleigh Simon, Nikki Garrett, Carlota Ciganda, Jing Yan, Bree Arthur and Charley Hull said after their first rounds at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club.
Veronica Zorzi 65 (-7)
Yes. Seven birdies, no bogeys, very solid round. I hit 17 greens and 29 putts so happy with my game.
Last week you struggled with a finger injury.
Now it’s better. It’s almost normal.
What was the problem?
I don’t know really. The doctor told me I maybe broke my capillary, so it just became dark, but then with the ice and the rest, it’s almost normal.
Does this course suit your game?
I like this course. I think it’s good for a good hitter and I feel comfortable here.
Anything about your game in particular?
I wanted to stay really focused on the present. I said to myself at the start of this tournament, take it shot by shot. I’m very focused on what I want to do. That was my key thought for today.
How were the conditions out there?
Playing conditions were good and we had sunshine so it was better than yesterday. There was a little bit of wind, but not too strong, so the conditions were good.
What do you think of Suzhou?
I like Suzhou. I have been here already four times. I know the course pretty well and I like the course so I’m happy to have a good score here.
Holly Clyburn 65 (-7)
Could you give us the highlights of your game?
Seven birdies, all down to my putting. I putted very well today and off the tee I wasn’t great but I fought all the way and from the fairway in I was great and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow.
Any negative aspects in your game?
My driver was not great but I just kept focused on it off the tee and kept my confidence high and tried as much as possible to get it out of my system. I got away with a lot and I just played well from fairway in really.
How many putts?
25 putts. It’s probably the best I’ve putted for a while and it gave me so much confidence.
Is it your best round this year?
This year, yes.
Ashleigh Simon 65 (-7)
Describe your day.
Today I hit it really good. I think I hit 15 greens and had 24 putts as well. Obviously you have to roll the putts in and that was the difference today compared to last week. I felt I hit it just as good last week but today it was really good.
How were your mid iron shots?
Everything seemed on song today and I felt really in rhythm. I tried to keep my tempo the same and I had the same thought on every swing. That’s why I was able to hit a lot of good shots out there.
What about the conditions?
There was a little wind out there this afternoon which made us think a little more than we might have had to this morning but overall the course is playing really good and the greens are really receptive so you can hit it straight at the pin.
Do you like this course?
I love this golf course.
I birdied 17 and 18 and had two chances on 15 and 16 as well so I think I could have had two or three more but I’m pretty happy with that round.
It was a good game with Holly?
We both birdied the last two holes. It was great the whole day. We fed off each other and when she made one I made one or vice versa. We got one right after each other. It was fun for the boys as well.
Did you depend a lot on your caddie?
Yes, especially on the greens. We read the putts together and he gives me the numbers and they are spot on the same club so it’s a good combination.
Nikki Garrett 66 (-6)
What were the highlights of your round?
I hit my iron shots pretty close today so I had a 15 or 20 footer on the ninth and that was the longest putt all day so I hit my irons pretty nicely.
I missed a few putts but I didn’t get angry or frustrated or anything. I knew that if I kept hitting it close a few would drop and I was lucky they did, so an all round solid day.
My irons were really good and I had a nice rhythm out there so didn’t really feel anything could go wrong.
This season has been my worst season by far. It’s nice we’ve got a few more tournaments to redeem myself for the rest of the season but that’s golf. I’m looking to finish on a high.
Carlota Ciganda 67 (-5)
Describe your game today.
I felt very comfortable on the course and I am very happy with my round. I made five birdies and 13 pars and finished with a birdie on 18.
I made good putts on one and four. I was hitting lots of fairways and greens and giving myself lots of chances.
I just tried to stay in the present all the time and try to enjoy. I feel lucky to be playing here so it was fun. I was hitting good shots and talking to my caddie so we had a great day.
I’m playing good and I think if I keep playing like this I will have a chance on Sunday. I know it’s not going to be easy because there are so many good players out there and the scores are going to be low. I will hit good shots out there and we’ll see what happens.
I mean, this is my sixth week in a row and I have been playing a lot so I haven’t been thinking of much, just staying in the present and hitting good shots and enjoying this golf course.
I think five under is pretty good and if I do that the next two days, no matter if I win or not, I will be very happy. It’s a good start for the tournament.
Jin Yang 67 (-5)
How satisfied are you with your score?
I think today I handled the greens really well because last week the greens were a bit tougher for me. I didn’t do so well on the greens which led to my score being not too great for three days. I think my long game is pretty good this week and last week as well so I’ll just keep going with that and improving my short game to make more birdies.
(Won the Girls’ British Amateur Matchplay and British Ladies’ Stroke play – dad previously commentator for ESPN).
Hopes going forward?
For this tournament I would just like to play well and maintain my consistency for the three rounds and see how I go from there, because there are lots of great players here and I will do my best to see how it goes. I’m still finishing school. After this tournament I have to go back and I’ve got math exam so focusing on that and then after school there will be holidays and I will take some time off to practice my game. After that, I’m not sure yet.
Bree Arthur 68 (-4)
Describe the highlights of your round.
Tee to green I was pretty solid. I only missed one fairway and had 23 putts today so that really helped. I dropped on 17, but played the back nine first so it was my eighth.
It helped that my short game was on fire: only 23 putts.
Conditions were very good, there was a slight breeze and not too hot, not too cold. Conditions were quite easy, I think. The course is playing good and the greens are nice, so definitely my putting was the best part of my game.
I had two chip-ins in a row, so that helped, on 11 and 12, at the beginning so that helped to kick start my round.
You had an early start… what will you do now?
Probably go to the gym and then the spa. I was up at 5am. I took a photo on the range this morning in the dark saying ‘can anyone guess what time it is?’ It was 5.45am. I probably got light around 6.20am. It was hard because the flood lights, on the range, you got the shadow of your club so you couldn’t see the ball. It was weird. I was hitting a few shanks and a few fat so I thought, ‘This could be interesting!’
Charley Hull 70 (-2)
How do you feel about your visit to China?
This is my second week in China and it would be good to get a win under my belt in my first season on tour. I think the golf course is really good and the greens are rolling pretty pure.
Are you satisfied with your round?
I’m happy with my performance today. I missed two very, very short putts, which is unlike me and a bit silly to be honest. I think it was alright out there.
You are the youngest player. What have you learned from the older generation?
I was playing with Lee-Anne today. She’s one of my favourite players to watch and I always learn a lot off Lee-Anne because she’s experienced and she’s won three times this year already. I definitely like playing with Lee-Anne.
What do you think of Suzhou?
I think it’s a very nice area. I like the golf course. I think it’s very pretty, the sights are good and I’m comfortable in the hotel this week. It’s very clean and got everything that I want, especially on the TV, so I’m watching movies every night.
This week, do you feel you have a chance to hold the trophy?
I’d like to, definitely. One shot at a time and it’s coming to the end of the season now where I’m working on a lot of stuff on my game, so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself because I’m working for next year, but it would mean a lot if I got a W this week.