RICOH Women's British Open Wednesdsay Notes and Interviews

RICOH
Photo Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images

Michelle Wie of the USA the 2014 US Open Champion practices her putting in front of (left to right) Laura Davies of England, Paula Creamer of the USA, Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Charley Hull of England and Rikako Morita of Japan in the tournament opening picture on the 18th green as a preview for the 2014 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale Golf Club on July 7, 2014 in Southport, England.

RICOH Women’s British Open
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Southport, England
Wednesday Pre-Tournament Notes
July 9, 2014

Lydia Ko, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 12
Charley Hull, Rolex Rankings No. 32
Laura Davies, Rolex Rankings No. 203

Special Announcement from RICOH, Charley Hull and Paula Creamer

The first two majors of the 2014 LPGA season were won by Americans. Will that trend continue this week at the RICOH Women’s British Open?

That certainly is a big question as the third major of the year kicks off on Thursday at Royal Birkdale. The famed venue will provide a difficult test for the 144 players in the field as they try to become the LPGA’s latest major champion.

Americans Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie each broke through to win their first major championships at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open respectively. But there will be plenty of other talented players vying to host the trophy on the 18th green on Sunday afternoon.

Last year at St. Andrews, Inbee Park attempted to become the first player in the modern era to win a grand slam after capturing the first three majors of the 2013 season. Park fell short of accomplishing that feat but now she returns to England to try to capture the RICOH Women’s British Open for the first time.

Among those who will be challenging Park this week are Rolex Rankings No. 1 Stacy Lewis and No. 2 Lydia Ko. Lewis captured her second major championship at last year’s RICOH Women’s British Open, which was held on the Old Course at St. Andrews. The 17-year-old Ko is still seeking her first major championship win, although she came close at last year’s Evian Championship when she finished runner-up to Suzann Pettersen.

FROM ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT
Last year, Inbee Park arrived at the RICOH Women’s British Open having won three consecutive major championships and with the attention of the world on her. This year, although she hasn’t quite seen the same success, she is still the World No. 3 with eight top-ten finishes including a win at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in June.

“Last year I felt a lot of pressure and I felt like I need to do something, but this year is still like normal tournament.” Park said of the difference between years. “So definitely this is the tournament that I really want to win, but it just doesn’t feel as much pressure as last year. So I feel a lot more relaxed.”

Over the course of the year, Park said it was her putting that has kept her out of the winner’s circle as much as 2013.

“I think my ball striking has been better than last year and I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.” Park said. “But putting has been the difference this year. I really try to go back to my last year’s stroke and try to see the rhythm and the stroke.”

Park’s putting is something that almost any golfer would be envious of. She ranks second on the LPGA Tour with a 29.06 putting average this season, behind only Christine Song at 29.00.

A LOT LEFT TO PLAY FOR
At 50 years young Dame Laura Davies finds herself with the distinct honor of being the oldest player in the field this week - only because Juli Inkster is not - but she still feels like she has a lot of fight left in her.

“The enthusiasm is still there.” Davies said. “In my mind I’m good enough. I’m sure a lot of people don’t think I’m good enough, but as long as you still believe yourself you can win. If I can hole some putts and I can just sort some aspects of the game out and take the pressure off the long game, who knows.”

It’s the hope of winning another tournament that keeps Davies going.

“I’ve not given up the on the chances of winning this week.” Davies said. “I’m not saying this week and I’m not saying next week, but I’ve not given up on the chance of winning tournaments in the future. You’re as young as you want to feel basically.”

With 20 career wins, including a 1986 Women’s Open championship at Birkdale, she is able to trust herself and accept her performance, whatever it may be. Through it all, you won’t find her practicing from dawn to dusk during tournament week.

“It either works or it doesn’t work and that’s just my personality.” Davies said. “I never second guess myself. If I blow a tournament with an aggressive shot, then that’s the way it was. I won a lot of tournaments because of that aggressive way of playing.”

In her 30th RICOH Women’s British Open appearance, it would be something to once again find Dame Laura Davies in the winner circle.

NOT THINKING ABOUT RANKINGS
Lydia Ko may be the No. 2 ranked player in the world, but the 17-year old golfer has remained grounded despite her early success. It could be because she still has all the worries of a typical 17-year old—turning in homework, graduating from high school and choosing which university to attend.

Between all that, she is also chasing her first Major championship and the No. 1 ranking.

“It’s great to be world No. 2, but I never really think about my rankings when I’m playing or when I’m around.” Ko said. “I just feel like another golfer or another professional that’s just playing and having lots of fun and going out to win. I mean, rankings, they are great. Stacy is doing really well at the moment and so are the other players, so I try not to think about the rankings and if I get a chance to be world No. 1, that’s great. “

This time around, Ko is approaching her first Major championship differently than she did her first time around. It includes not putting so much pressure on herself.

“I’m trying to think of every tournament as just being another tournament, because last year when I thought about all the majors, oh, this is a major, I need to play well, you need to play well in majors.” Ko said of “That’s why I didn’t play as good as I wanted to and that’s kind of putting pressure on myself.”

If Ko wins this week, she becomes the youngest ever winner at the RICOH Women’s British Open, with the previous record held by Jiyai Shin at 20 years, 3 months and 6 days in 2008.

A major championship is something that will probably look good on any college application.

BACK IN ACTION
Paula Creamer had to withdraw from the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship two weeks ago due to an infection in her thumb. While it was an unfortunate injury, Creamer has battled much worse things with the same thumb having undergone surgery on it a few years back. This time the problem with her thumb was much less severe but she didn’t want to take any chances.

“It was just one of those decisions that it was unfortunate because I love that tournament and I love that course and I hate withdrawing,” Creamer said. “I think I’ve only done it a handful of times in ten years and it’s one of the hardest things you have to do. Once again, you have to listen to your body and I want to be prepared for this week, as well.”

Creamer said that she hit balls only a couple times last week as she prepared for this week’s RICOH Women’s British Open. She was able to get in two full rounds of 18 holes the last two days she was home and is hopeful that the thumb will hold up just fine this week.

“I think it’s a blessing that it’s so green out here,” Creamer said of the Royal Birkdale course. “If it was firm and rock hard, I would be a little bit more pre cautious with things. But it does feel better and I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. I’ve been doing a lot of the treatment that I have to do for it, and the physio has been helping me. Sometimes that’s just what’s going to happen. Doctors have told me that it might flare up and everybody has those injuries when you do have surgery, and it’s just stopping it right away and not letting it progress.”

2016 RICOH WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN SITE ANNOUNCED
Today at the RICOH Women’s British Open, the Woburn Golf Club located at Little Brickhill, near Milton Keynes in England was announced as the site of the 2016 RICOH Women’s British Open. Woburn has hosted the Championship on nine occasions at the Duke’s Course, but it will be the Marquess Course that will host the 2016 Championship.

Ricoh ambassadors Charley Hull and Paula Creamer were joined by Simon Sasaki, Corporate Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer at Ricoh Company Ltd. in making the announcment in the media center.

“I’m thrilled to announce that the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open will take place at my home golf course, Woburn on the Marquess Course. “ Charley Hull, a Woburn Golf Club member announced. “And it will be the 10th time Woburn has hosted the Women’s British Open. I can’t wait for it to be there. It should be an honest honor to play at my home golf course in a major and I’m lucky, I’m really lucky.”

Paula Creamer has not played the course but is excited for Charley Hull to give her some tips.

“I know there’s a lot of fans in that area and we’ll be really looking forward to that. “ Creamer said. “So it will be good and hopefully you can give me some pointers before I get out there.”

NO. 1 SCENARIOS
Stacy Lewis will remain the Rolex Rankings No. 1 player if she finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd-or-better at the RICOH Women’s British Open. If Lydia Ko wins this week, she will take over the No. 1 ranking as long as Stacy finishes in a 4-way tie for 2nd or worse.

ROOKIES IN THE FIELD
There are seven LPGA rookies in the field this week in Amy Anderson, Stacy Keating, Joanna Klatten, Lydia Ko, Mirim Lee, Xi Yu Lin, Line Videl. The last rookie to win a major was Anna Nordqvist at the 2009 LPGA Championship at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Making me putt out when I’ve hit a bad first putt. I should be given it -- now I’m a Dame -- that should be simple. 2-putt maximum.”
-Dame Laura Davies joking about what rule she is not fond of and would like to be changed

TV SCHEDULE
ESPN2 will be televising the tournament this week in the United States. Below are the air times during the RICOH Women’s British Open.

July 10
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
July 11
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
July 12
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
July 13
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

*All times listed are U.S. Eastern time

 

Lydia Ko, Rolex Rankings No. 2

COLIN  CALLANDER:  We have Lydia Ko here with the interview area. Leading amateur last year and subsequently turned professional and won on the LPGA Tour.  There's been a lot going on in your life recently.
LYDIA KO:
  Yeah, I turned pro and I'm playing on the LPGA Tour full‑time, so I guess a lot of changes.
             
CALLANDER:   How different is it playing as a professional from playing as an amateur?  Does it feel different to you?
LYDIA KO:
  I think the biggest difference is playing full‑time and playing three or four weeks in a row and managing the schedule and not over doing or underdog, so I've been having lots of fun.
           
CALLANDER:  This week you've had your first chance to see Royal Birkdale.  What are your thoughts about the course?
LYDIA KO:
  It's a true links, right by the water and lots of long grass and tight fairways, so it's going to be a test in all areas for bunker shots and long game also.
             
CALLANDER:   How do you feel you're playing coming into this championship?
LYDIA KO:
  I think I'm playing well.  I played well in Arkansas.  That was my last tournament.  I'm coming in with confidence and hopefully I'll enjoy the week.

Q.  Last year I think at this time you still had a school essay to finish.  Did you ever finish it?
LYDIA KO:
  Yeah, I managed to get all my exams done and I passed.  So that's always good.  I'm still in high school.  It's my last year this year.

Q.  Are you actually attending it this year?
LYDIA KO: 
I live in Orlando now so it's hard for me to go back.  But talking to some of my teachers, trying to do the most I can while not being at school.

Q.  Are you doing things online?
LYDIA KO: 
I still take photography again, so it's a lot of like portfolio work and I actually had to interview one of the photographers that came out to the tournament.  It was fun being the interviewing, not the person that was being interviewed.

Q.  And where was that?
LYDIA KO:
  Kingsmill Championship.

Q.  And where you get some kind of certificate at the end?
LYDIA KO:
  It's part of the course work we have to do.  I still haven't handed it in yet.
             
CALLANDER:  Is that something you intend to finish, you want to finish?
LYDIA KO:
  Yeah, I want to graduate high school and then go to university afterwards.

Q.  Has there been one aspect from the transition to amateur to professional ranks that you found hardest, and is there one thing that you noticed in the last year that is a big improvement in your game?
LYDIA KO:
  Yeah, I guess just being away and even if I have an off‑week, I'm going back to Orlando where I see a lot of golfers again, and I don't know that many people outside.  I think I definitely miss New Zealand and that was kind of one of the hard things.  But my family, my parents are over here, so it's been okay.
           
I've been enjoying it and I wouldn't say it was really hard to make that kind of transition.

Q.  Where do you think you'll go to university?  Have you chosen one?
LYDIA KO:
  I haven't chosen it yet.  I'm not too sure.

Q.  Do you have a time line for when you would like to go to school in terms of college?
LYDIA KO: 
I mean, New Zealand, we normally graduate around I think September, November, I'm not exactly sure.  But I think earliest I could possibly go back to New Zealand is maybe September.  So to me I'm just concentrating on high school and getting it all finished and then worry about what's going to go on with university and all that.  Because I can go to university at any age really but with high school, you've got to do it at that time.

Q.  In terms of earlier in the year, we talked about David talking to you about burnout and trying to avoid that.  Can you talk about what you do in an off‑week, last week you had some time off; how do you balance having some fun?
LYDIA KO: 
I had a couple of days off, travel days, again, it's not oh where I'm totally resting and I do get tired after traveling for a couple hours.  But no, I don't like to go out and do things, and most of the time I'll stay home and watch TV and just lay around in the bed I think.
             
CALLANDER:   Your decision to go to university, was that influenced in any way by what Michelle Wie did?
LYDIA KO:
  Well, I've always wanted to go to university.  I mean, she graduated from Stanford and everything, which is pretty awesome because not many players do that, and especially at a school like Stanford.
           
Yeah, I think she does have a little influence.  I've always wanted to attend university.

Q.  Can you just talk about your preparation for this week, when you arrived, how many practise rounds you played, whether you're going to be using any different clubs, maybe putting some longer irons in the bag?
LYDIA KO: 
I played a couple practise rounds.  I played last week where I probably got the worst weather where it was raining and windy.  I got to experience what it was like if it was raining a lot.  It's been windy the last couple days.  I've been getting these different types of weather and trying to learn more about the course, as it is my first time here.  Ass week goes on, hopefully I'll learn more about it.
           
Hopefully I'm prepared for what's coming up tomorrow.

Q.  You said you played last week.  When did you get here?
LYDIA KO:
  I got in on Thursday night and I played Friday.  That's the only day I played.

Q.  Is that normal for you to arrive so early?
LYDIA KO:
  I sort of was jet‑lagged and I had friends in London and we visited them and just came over.  Thought I might as well get used to the weather over here than if I'm resting anyway.

Q.  Did you play golf in London?
LYDIA KO:
  No, I didn't.  We just saw our friends.

Q.  And you've said the reason you switched to work coach was you don't want somebody who is on the road would you.  David is here with you, do you chat with him about your golf swing or do you just stay away?
LYDIA KO: 
He was checking my swing today.  Neither one of my coaches had saw it in a couple weeks, so it's good to get David to check my swing and see if it was okay, and the response was okay.  That's good.  I asked some questions about hitting a lot of shots and all the different types of shots we need to hit out here because high shots into the wind, they are not going to be working as well as they would be.

Q.   You've shown yourself to be comfortable playing links golf; how does Birkdale compare to other links that you've played?
LYDIA KO: 
Liverpool and Hoylake, I remember a lot of rain, especially the last 36 holes was probably insane.  I don't remember much of the course anymore apart from the rain.
           
It was fun because it was my first British Open and last year at St. Andrews, they had some double fairways, so even if you were a little wayward, you could kind of get away with it.  But here if you're not in the fairway, you're in the bunker or the deep rough.  So it's going to be tough and I definitely need to hit a lot of fairways to give myself opportunities.

Q.  Laura was in earlier and saying the youngsters work so hard and do so much, she wonders how long you'll be playing.  Do you think you'll still be playing when you're 50?
LYDIA KO:
  When I'm 50?  (Laughter).  There's my answer.  No, I don't think I would want to play until I'm 50.  Maybe when I'm 30 I'll want to play until I'm 35 and I think that's probably what's going to happen.
           
Yeah, no, I'm just going to enjoy the moment and this year has gone by really fast.  So I think it's going to be like that for a while.  And hopefully I'm not playing until I'm 50.

Q.  Doing photography and things like that, are you looking at a media career after golf?
LYDIA KO:
  Yeah, maybe.  When I think about what I would be doing if I wasn't playing golf, I don't really know exactly, because I'm so passionate about playing and that.  I mean, it would be pretty awesome if I'm standing on there and not here for once.  But I really don't know.  I think there are a lot of fun aspects about media.

Q.  I was just wondering how being so young, how comfortable you are now on the Tour, and are there moments where you still feel ‑‑ whether being so young shows up and you realise the pros have been doing this for a little bit longer and things like that.
LYDIA KO: 
No, I don't feel like I'm so young because I'm not the first one that came out here as a 17‑year‑old.  I mean, Lexi turned pro when she was 15 and I think she was on the Tour when she was 17, 18, also.  It's really good for me that I'm not the first one and that there are other players that have been like that, like Michelle and Paula and Lexi.
           
In that aspect, I'm very lucky to kind of be there and I'm very fortunate to be playing on the Tour as a 17‑year‑old.  I don't feel too young, after meeting Lucy at the U.S. Open, she is six years younger than me and made me feel old.  It's good to know that I'm not the youngest one out here.

Q.  How badly do you want to win a major championship?
LYDIA KO: 
I'm trying to think of every tournament as just being another tournament, because last year when I thought about all the majors, oh, this is a major, I need to play well, you need to play well in majors.  That's why I didn't play as good as I wanted to and that's kind of putting pressure on myself.
           
So this year, I'm trying to like think of it as just another tournament and having fun, and every major is different.  There is different parts to it, so just going to have fun but if that moment comes, I'd be happy to hold a major trophy.

Q.  Is there more of a cool factor that you're ranked No. 2 in the world or is it more of you really want to be No. 1?  Where do you stand on that?
LYDIA KO: 
I mean, it's great to be world No. 2, but I never really think about my rankings when I'm playing or when I'm around.  I just feel like another golfer or another professional that's just playing and having lots of fun and going out to win.  I mean, rankings, they are great.
           
Stacy is doing really well at the moment and so are the other players, so I try not to think about the rankings and if I get a chance to be world No. 1, that's great.

Q.  Did it amaze you to see someone so young and do you think she should be out there or not?
LYDIA KO: 
Yeah, I think she shot 78, 78, and I mean, I think those two scores are pretty good.  I mean, it's a tough course, Pinehurst, and you can get yourself on the wrong side of the green and it's going to be tough, and triples and doubles, they can come just like that.
           
Yes, I think she played pretty awesome breaking 80, and I definitely had a tough time out there.  You know, she's playing well, so she really deserves to be in that position.

Q.  Do you think she's going to be pulled this way and that with people saying, you need to be playing full‑time and come to this tournament and that tournament; will she have a lot of temptation put in her way?
LYDIA KO: 
I'm not too sure.  Obviously there is going to be a lot of spotlight on her and I think she's just got to be just her and just be herself and I'm sure she'll do really well.

Q.  Since you turned professional and you've got lot of money now, what's the best thing you've bought?
LYDIA KO:
  Best thing I've bought, I don't know.  I don't think it's the best thing I've bought, just like after my first win in San Francisco, you get a Rolex for winning, for being a first‑time winner on the Tour.  I decided to get my dad that watch.
           
So it's kind of cool to be able to present it to my dad, a nice Rolex watch which I probably wouldn't buy.  It's such a precious and very expensive watch.  Just being able to look at it, it's a piece of artwork and to be able to give that to my dad, I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

 

Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 3

COLIN CALLANDER:  Talk about the golf course, quite tough in the wind?
INBEE PARK: 
First day I really played in the wind today, because the last couple days, I played, it wasn't that windy.  I think this is more like what we'll get the rest of the week.  We played here in 2010.  It was a bit easier than this I think because the rough wasn't up, this year the rough is quite thick and high.
           
The fairways here are not wide.  You definitely need to hit the fairways to score around this golf course.  Around the greens it's really tough to putt a wedge on it because the ground is so form and high‑lofted clubs, it's really tough to hit.  Yeah, avoid the fairway bunkers.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:  Last year you arrived at St. Andrews chasing a fourth consecutive major and you definitely got the worst of the weather.  Is that something that you have to accept when you're over here in this country?
INBEE PARK: 
Yeah, I think so.  Most of the time, probably two or three days out of the four days, we get the wind and the rain.  Yeah we expect the cold and the rain and the wind when we come here.  I think there is really ‑‑ this is a tournament where you really have to be on the right side of the draw, also.  I think it's a bit of luck, because you could play in 30 miles per hour wind or ten miles per hour wind because it's such a big difference.  Last year, I got the worst side of the draw.  But hopefully I get a little bit luckier.  You've just got to play in the wind.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   Given the amazing thing you were trying to achieve 12 months ago, it must be difficult to accept that you were basically just unlucky.
INBEE PARK: 
Yeah, you've just got to get that.  I think every tournament, it has a little bit of luck and everything like that, but this week with the weather, you've just got to get a little bit more luckier.  Yeah, just hopefully a little better luck this time.

Q.  How does this compare to other championship venues that you've played?
INBEE PARK: 
I think it's really different.  The course type is totally different to what we play.  We never really ‑‑ last tournament we played was really soft and this tournament, everything is just so firm and just running.  Yeah, but I played many British Opens before, and you kind of get used to, the course, it looks really similar, and every course in the British Open, the courses we play, it looks really similar.  It's almost tough to remember like which hole is which, because it looks ‑‑ I played here maybe ten times this golf course, but sometimes think, oh, was there a bunker there, and there's courses, like difficult, hard to remember.
           
Something different and I think it's something really fun.  You definitely need experience to play this golf course.

Q.  Just for the British Open, do you think this could be the most difficult you've seen?
INBEE PARK: 
Fairway width‑wise, I think this is one of the narrowest fairways we'll play in past years.  And because of the rough here, I think it's going to be playing quite tough.  Last time we played here, we didn't have any rough.  And usually the British Open, we have wide fairways, but this is a different story, and, yeah, definitely if you're not in the fairway, it's big trouble there.

Q.  Would you like to have any idea of a winning score?
INBEE PARK:
  Last time we played was 11‑under.  I think under par will be a good score.  If the wind picks up and everything like that, then obviously they could be very difficult to shoot under par.  But like today maybe a couple under winning score.

Q.  Compared with last year, when you couldn't hardly move without somebody surrounding you, do you like the atmosphere better this year or would you rather be just like it was last year?
INBEE PARK:
  Results‑wise, I would want some attention like last year because that means I won three majors in a row.  This is more relaxing and this is a little bit more relaxing than last year.  So it feels like nothing really special like last year.  Last year I felt like ‑‑ I felt a lot of pressure and I felt like I need to do something, but this year is still like normal tournament.  Obviously this is a tournament I really waited for all year, and this is my last major championship to win for the Grand Slam.
           
So definitely this is the tournament that I really want to win, but it just doesn't feel as much pressure as last year.  So I feel a lot more relaxed.

Q.  In your recent victory, you credited YouTube with rediscovering your putting stroke.  Has that maintained the improvement?
INBEE PARK:
  Yeah, I think my ball‑striking has been better than last year and I'm really happy with the way I'm playing.  But putting has been the difference this year.  I really try to go back to my last year's stroke and try to see the rhythm and the stroke.
           
Yeah, I think and I felt it coming back in Canada when I won, but after that for a couple weeks I didn't really putt well.  But I feel like I'm rolling the ball better, but not going in.  I can't really control.  Just put a good stroke on it, put a good rolling on it and that's all I can do.  It's better than hitting the ball everywhere, that's for sure.

Q.  Whose idea was YouTube?
INBEE PARK:
  It was mine and my fiancé's idea to try to see what was wrong.

Q.  Did you go back to Korea last year ‑‑ the Ferrari?
INBEE PARK:
  Yeah, I like to move because the time change, I like to move to a west side, but when you go east side, I really have trouble getting used to time.  So actually stopping in Korea and coming here, I'm perfectly adapted to the time, so I feel good.

Q.  I'm sorry.  I don't know the Ferrari story.
INBEE PARK: 
Last year I got sponsored by Ferrari Korea, FMK, and I got to driver a Ferrari for a year, maybe longer.  I think I will probably renew my contract this year, hopefully.

Q.  On your putting, do you keep the same putter forever or do you switch?
INBEE PARK:
  I like switching but I really like to stay the same style of the head.  I'm actually trying a different putter this week.  We'll see what happens.

Q.  Are you going to use the new putter in competition?
INBEE PARK:
  Yeah.


Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 12

COLIN CALLANDER:  What are your thoughts on the golf course?
PAULA CREAMER:
  It's playing difficult.  The rough, I don't think I've ever played a British Open with this much rough or been penalised with this much rough, if you do hit it outside the fairways by five yards, you can't just go up and hit it again.
           
You have to definitely think about the next shot, and it's going to put a premium on hitting fairways.  We have been lucky with the weather.  It's been great, but kind of scares me wondering what it's going to be like coming in the next four days.  I truly love this golf course.  I think you have to be able to hit every shot here.  Great par 4s, great first couple holes that you start out of the gate and the golf course kind of gives you some opportunity to make some birdies and then you have got your two par 5s finishing up.
           
Just the layout of it all, truly it's one of the most beautiful ones, just with the rolling hills, everything about it.  I really do like this golf course.  It's going to play hard and I like that. 
           
COLIN CALLANDER:  You've played here a couple of times and had some success, I think 15th and a 21st.
PAULA CREAMER: 
I don't really remember.  I remember I shot 65 the last day the first time I played here but I do have some good memories.  This is my first British Open was here.  So it's nice to come back and now it's my third here.  That's crazy.

Q.  We had Laura in earlier talking about playing at 50 years of age.  Have you thought that far ahead?
PAULA CREAMER: 
Well, obviously yes, I want to play the game as long as I can and be competitive.  There's obviously other personal things in my life, like having a family and kids, as well.  It hasn't been for the last couple of years that people started asking me about that.
           
Before it was just, you don't ask somebody when you're going to have kids; now I'm getting married and now people are like, how much longer are you playing.  I'm like, what, I'm only 27.
           
But I do, I truly have such a passion for this game, I want to be in control of the day that I do step away from it.  I don't know, I don't have a time line.  I think what Laura and what Juli Inkster have done with their career and being such an ambassador for the game of golf is incredible.  Is it speaks volumes that it's really those two that are out on Tour doing that.  The way they conduct themselves and the fact that they are still so competitive, is something that if I can do that, sure, I will.
           
But I do want to have a family and I do want to have kids, and it's hard to try to be the No. 1 player in the world and to balance out that other personal side.  But when that time comes, we'll have to figure it out.  But right now, like I said, I love what I'm doing and that passion, and I can be out here till then, then I will, just grinding away.  I'll push my dad in a wheelchair to come out and watch me; he'll be out there watching, and I think that's neat.

Q.  Can you just talk about, you withdraw from Arkansas.  How is the thumb and have you been able to practise much?
PAULA CREAMER: 
I didn't get to practise much when I was home.  I had an infection in my thumb and then my thumb from when I had surgery, just kind of blew up basically, was swollen.  I saw a couple of my doctors and called my surgeon, and you know, it was just one of those decisions that it was unfortunate because I love that tournament and I love that course and I hate withdrawing.  I think I just don't like it.  I think I've only done it a handful of times in ten years and it's one of the hardest things you have to do.  Once again, you have to listen to your body and I want to be prepared for this week, as well.
           
I only hit balls a couple times last week, but I played 18 holes the last two days, and I think it's a blessing that it's so green out here.  If it was firm and rock hard, I would be a little bit more pre cautious with things.
           
But it does feel better and I don't think it's going to be an issue.  I've been doing a lot of the treatment that I have to do for it, and the physio has been helping me.  Sometimes that's just what's going to happen.  Doctors have told me that it might flare up and everybody has those injuries when you do have surgery, and it's just stopping it right away and not letting it progressing.

Q.  Laura Davies was also saying the practise of caddies lining up putts from behind should be outlawed.  What's your feeling on that one?
PAULA CREAMER:
  I line myself up.  I played my first eight years on Tour having Colin line me up on every shot.  I think it is what it is; it's a rule, we all go by it.  In junior golf, you line yourself up, there's no reason why.  But if you have a caddie and you use them however you want to, that's fine, as well.  But if it becomes a rule, then it is a rule.

Q.  Why did you change?
PAULA CREAMER: 
Why?  I was ‑‑ especially in these kind of conditions, how could you ever really line somebody up when you're aiming 30, 40 yards left or right, hitting knock‑down shots and this and that.  It's much more of a feel thing.  One less thing that you have to really worry about, if someone does, it's a confidence thing, hitting good or whatnot.
           
But for me I needed to take control of my own game.  I was getting a little bit too dependent on Colin and I wanted to just do it myself and get more confidence on that way.  U.S. Open, he lined me up a couple times and for the most part I do line myself up on every shot.  So either way.

Q.  You say about having a family and play golf, so what do you think about Catriona Matthew?
PAULA CREAMER:
  Talk about ‑‑ she's so focused, determined, but she's such an awesome mom.  You follow her on Twitter and she has her little girls painting their nails and showing all the different colors.
           
I think the relationship between her and Graeme is what makes that.  It's a family.  Graeme doesn't come out quite as much anymore.  He stays home with the kids. But with Skype and technology these days are such a great thing, and she says she wouldn't know how to do without that, and I always see her talking to her kids as much as she can.
           
Once again, that respect for them to have that balance, you know, a lot of it, she has said to me is through trial and error.  Of course, there's not a book to say how to do it but listening to them and their stories, it can be done for sure.  It's just when you have to realise that sometimes golf is not going to be your priority, I think that's the biggest thing.  And her family is that.

Q.  And when are you getting married?
PAULA CREAMER:
  December.

Q.  Is there a day in December or the whole month or what?
PAULA CREAMER:
  The whole month of December.

Q.  Is there a day?
PAULA CREAMER:
  There is a day but I'm not going to say.

Q.  Someone earlier in the week talked about the bunkers being one thing but the thickness of the grass making the landing areas seem even tighter than usual.  Wonder if you can comment on that and also what day you're getting married.
PAULA CREAMER: 
The whole month of December.  It's one big party every day.
           
The bunkers, when you come over here, it's always just to hit it out, advance sideways, whatnot.  But the biggest punishment would be the rough, for sure.  I would rather be hitting on the green‑side rather than miss it with the rough on some of these holes.  The windier it's going to get, the harder, but if there was no wind like yesterday, it plays much longer.  You can't take advantage of the par 5s as well as you can when it's windy so it's kind of ‑‑ the numbers on the scorecard, pars or whatnot, don't really mean anything.  To me it's just kind of there's some holes that four or five ‑‑ today, No. 2, playing that into the wind ‑‑ I think the penalty ‑‑ there wasn't really even much wind but that was early morning.
           
I remember in the afternoons on the other days, there was 5‑woods, 3‑woods, people were laying up short of that bunker one of the toughest starting two holes we ever really play at the British Open.  It's like hello, welcome.  After that, you kind of get into the heart of the course.

Q.  In the eight or nine years, can you talk about what you've learned ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:
  I don't know what it is about links golf or the wind or the rain, but I love it.  I have that mentality that it's going to be hard, it's going to be windy.  I expect it has a lot to do with my coach who is from Newcastle.  My caddie is English, as well.
           
It's just nice being able to have two guys that have grown up and played golf and taught me that mentality of just keep on going, keep plugging around, different shots.  I think you very much have to be a feel player in these kinds of positions.  It's too hard to be mechanics and numbers and this and that.  You stand there and on the paper it might say, it's an 8‑iron but you're hitting a 6‑iron.
           
I've learned a lot about, I think the most I've learned was probably from Lytham, just being able to place yourself around the golf course.

Q.  How much of a difference is the climate to the way you play in the U.K. to elsewhere?
PAULA CREAMER:
  The last several tournaments, it's been so hot.  Like you're sitting in a sauna.  So it's actually very refreshing to come out.  Today I see everybody in shorts and a tee shirt and I think I have four shirts on right now.
           
So I'm not quite used to this type of weather.  It does play a big factor.  You still have to be able to move in the clothes you wear and whatnot.  But I will take this sunshine and wind any day.  It's nasty here when it rains and it's so cold, but I do ‑‑ when you're over here, and I think I've overcome that you can't be covered the whole time.

Q.  If you look back, I guess I reference the Curtis Cup and even through junior golf, could you see the cycles changing and was there any evidence changing and what has allowed it to take shape this year?
PAULA CREAMER: 
For a while there, we were constantly questioned, why are we not at the top, why are we not at the top.  I think all of us, I can really only speak for myself, just worked harder.  We weren't at the top.  Nobody was really dominating.
           
There was ‑‑ you have a couple players play well and I've been pretty consistent throughout my career, but still haven't really had that American person that was dominating.  Still, Stacy has been playing really well and Michelle has been playing really well.  We all have been.  It was a matter time.  I think Solheim cup has helped us a lot, too, realising that we need to keep practising and get better.
           
Funny how a team event is such an impact on an individual sport.  But it really has played a big part, I know for myself, I don't like to lose.  We've lost the last two and it's been hard.  I don't like that and I'm trying to get better, not only for that, but for myself and it's kind of a little bit of a wake‑up call in a sense I think with everybody.  You know, you can't control what other people do.  You can only control yourself.  I feel like proactively we have all kicked it up a notch and it shows.

Q.  (Inaudible.).
PAULA CREAMER:
  We never lost at home ‑‑ that's something I'm never forget.  We never lost at home and then we did.  But they played well.  What are you going to do?  They played well.  They played great.  They played harder than we did and we got beat.
           
But when we look at it, I think our team and our dynamics is just, for a while, it was all of our veterans that were playing and the young ones were slowly coming in and now we have been on a couple teams together.  When we go to Germany, it will be a different team, too.  Just how much we relate with each other.  We've been there, and we don't want to lose again.
           
But that whole mentality has taken over into our own individual games as well.  Even Lexi, that was her first one, and I want her to feel what it feels like to win, as well, because there's nothing cooler than holding that Solheim Cup trophy.

Charley Hull, Rolex Rankings No. 32

COLIN CALLANDER:   Lots of rough out there.  Is it to your liking?
CHARLEY HULL: 
Yeah, I like it.  If the weather stays like this and the wind keeps up, I think it will be great, because the spectators will come out, and we'll have the toughness of the links golf course, which I think will be fantastic.  The greens are awesome and I like the bunkers, as well.  The greens, if you get a good lie ‑‑ just the whole atmosphere is great. 
           

COLIN CALLANDER:   You've played a couple of majors over the years.  Does a major feel completely different to any other week on Tour?  Or do you try to pretend in a way it's the same sort of tournament.
CHARLEY HULL: 
I try and keep it the same but you kind of approach it a little bit more ‑‑ more higher, because it's a major obviously, and I really like the majors.  They are a lot of fun.  It's a different bit of pressure to them.
           
But no, I really enjoyed them so far.  I've played in a few but I haven't yet played in all the majors.  This is my third time playing the British Open.  So I kind of know what to expect from this event.

Q.  Where did you play with Morgan Pressel in the Pro‑Am?
CHARLEY HULL: 
That was at Lytham.

Q.  Did you think you might be playing in this or what did you learn from that?
CHARLEY HULL
:  I don't know, I just kind of expected I would be playing it in the future.  You know, she actually like told me when I hit a good shot and made birdie, like told me to wave to the crowd, which is a lot of fun.  I was just like this small little kid and she told me how to play chip‑and‑runs, as well.  I think I was 1‑under through five holes when I played with her.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   What age did you actually decide you wanted to turn pro?
CHARLEY HULL: 
Because I've been playing for so long, I thought it was normal, I would turn pro.  But I never really kind of ‑‑ a decision to turn pro.  Just happened, I played in quite a few events a couple years ago that made me decide.  Just sort of a blur really.

Q.  What's your plans for next season?  Are you going to go to America?
CHARLEY HULL: 
Yeah, well, I'm trying to play in as many invites as I can in America.  I'm allowed six invites and if I do well, I will have enough ‑‑ I think I can get enough money.  Hopefully I will go through Q‑School anyway and if not try to get on the LPGA Tour because I really enjoy out there.  It's great out there.  It's where the best players in the world are and that's where I want to be.

Q.  What part of being a professional is better than you anticipated?  You're probably going to say winning.  What, if anything, don't you like about the professional way of life?
CHARLEY HULL: 
I enjoy all of it really.  It's only my second year as a pro, so I am ‑‑ I haven't really had the downs of it yet.  But I really enjoyed playing for England with all of my friends.  I was thinking about it the other day.
           
I actually played in an amateur here, I think it was the Royal Birkdale Scratch I think it was, and having a good time with my friend Kelly and Amy, as amateurs we used to play and we used to play in the home internationals, we played that, as well.  You miss stuff like that.  But playing for money is a lot better.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:  Laura Davies was in here talking about playing pro golf at age 50.  Can you imagine doing that?
CHARLEY HULL:
  That's a bit in the future, but yeah.

Q.  The issue of getting caddies to line up putts, she thinks it should be out slide.  What's your outlook?
CHARLEY HULL:
  My caddie carries my bag and gives me a few lines but he never lines me up.  I think golf should be that way to be honest because, you know, there's only a certain amount that caddies can do but that's the way I like it anyway.

Q.  Does it irritate you when you're playing with people who slow things down by doing that?
CHARLEY HULL:
  You know, I don't mind it a lot.  Unless it's ridiculously slow.  I haven't actually played with that many players that have done that.  But I suppose it can be a bit annoying.

Q.  Following in your discussions about next year, the future, have you ever played Trump Turnberry where this will be next year?
CHARLEY HULL: 
Yeah, I played Turnberry when I was nine years old.  It was an amateur event there.  I think it was called the Health Perception Championship.  Actually the winner of it got to play in the Pro‑Am with Morgan Pressel, so I won that.  I beat this like 30‑year‑old lady.  I won that in a playoff.  I remember actually it was that windy, I got blew away by the wind because I was really light and my dad had to pick me up.  That was really funny.

Q.  Have you ever played Gleneagles where the Ryder Cup is going to be?
CHARLEY HULL:
  No, I've never played there before.  I've always wanted to but I've never had the chance..


Laura Davies, Rolex Rankings No. 203

COLIN CALLANDER:  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to welcome Dame Laura Davies here, winner of the 1986 Ricoh Women's British Open here at Birkdale. Are you used to being called Dame Laura?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  There's been various versions from my friends but I haven't necessarily used myself.  It's obviously an unbelievable thing to happen to a golfer, to be awarded like this, is quite extraordinary, but I don't think you'll ever get used to people calling you Dame.
           
It's weird really in many ways, but it's the best thing that's ever happened in my career.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:  How long did you know you were going to get the award?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  About five or six weeks before on the Saturday morning, in the post ‑‑ I was in the house on my own ‑‑ well, the dog was there, but he didn't pay much interest.  I rang my brother straightaway.  It said in capitals "don't tell anybody," but in two seconds I broke that rule and my mum and stepdad came home from shopping and told them and that was it.  Couldn't telling anyone for six weeks and it was quite difficult.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   Do you have any vivid memories here at Birkdale.
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
Yeah, '86, I shot ‑‑ I had a thing up on my wall where the scorer writes after everybody comes in and I managed to get a copy of that.
           
16‑under, a five‑shot victory.  I can't remember who finished second.  But at the time, it seemed easy, but I've not won one since.  Just one of those things.  It was the perfect week, I played great and beat a really strong field.  There were a good few Americans over at the time.  It wasn't obviously the elevated status it is now, but even then in those days, the British Women's Open was the big one.

Q.  We understand you're a big Liverpool fan, so we have to ask you the question, if it comes to winning the Women's British Open again or Liverpool at long last in the League Championship, what would it be?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Toughest question I've ever had.  I would have to say at the moment to win the Ricoh because I'm here but ask me that question next May and I'll say Liverpool to win the championship.

Q.  In 1976 here at The Open, Seve Ballesteros burst on to the golf scene.  In '78 again here at Birkdale, Nick Faldo was at an early stage in his career, won his first four‑round championship, the Colgate PGA, and then in '86, early start in your professional career, you won the Women's Open.  Do you think as a new member of Birkdale, that it's reasonable to describe the course as a launchpad for a great career?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Well, you real those names and I can check one more in Justin Rose, he was 17 when he holed that chip, I don't know where he finished but he was high up in The Open.  So there's another career that was kind of launched at that stage.
           
But yeah, it's been great for me and obviously all the other names you've said.  It's just a great course to come to.  I was talking to you earlier.  I think it's a very fair links course.  Some are not fair but this one gives you a chance to use your driver a bit.  You don't have to worry all the time about the fairway pot bunkers, although they are there and you have to maneuver yourself around some of them, so I think this has always been a very fair test.

Q.  It's been well documented that you're the oldest player in the field this week ‑‑
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Only because Juli is not here.
Q.  Because Juli is not here.  So how old do you feel?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  About 21.  Still feel the same.  I mean, I have a bad heel at the moment so I'm walking like a 50‑year‑old, probably a 60‑year‑old.  But yeah, the enthusiasm is still there.  In my mind I'm good enough.  I'm sure a lot of people don't think I'm good enough, but as long as you still believe yourself you can win.  If I can hole some putts and I can just sort some aspects of the game out and take the pressure off the long game, who knows.
           
I've not given up the on the chances of winning this week.  I'm not saying this week and I'm not saying next week, but I've not given up on the chance of winning tournaments in the future.  You're as young as you want to feel basically.

Q.  Juli said last month that she's glad she's not 20 and starting all over again and her point was how much of a job it's become.  You used to be able to turn up on Monday, and now people are showing up Sunday, practicing, grinding.  With that in mind what is your take on that?  Would you like to be 20, 21 and starting all over again?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Absolutely and I'd do it exactly the same way I did it 30 years ago.  I understand the pressure of these girls to get out here and practise 14 hours a week but the longevity is never going to be there.  I think that's why Juli and Lorie Kane and a few of the older players have lasted ‑‑ I know Juli does practise a lot but she does it sensibly.
           
Yeah, I think you can still do it the old way if you want to be successful.  Look at Juli, she was one‑shot leading The Open, well, two shots, whatever it was.
           
But that just shows, although she might not have the fire and enthusiasm she used to have, she's still got the game and that says something about her approach and my approach and lore I's approach.

Q.  What's the most you practise during a tournament week?
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
I never did.  It either works or it doesn't work and that's just my personality.  I never second guess myself.  If I blow a tournament with an aggressive shot, then that's the way it was.
           
So I won a lot of tournaments because of that aggressive way of playing, and you could ‑‑ some people I'm sure think it's raise I.  When I'm playing badly you'll see me on the driving range.  So the less you see me on the driving range, the better you know I'm playing.  And at the moment you see me on the putting green because that's the part that's the struggle.
           
You have to find your own formula.  At the moment, I think because of Tiger, everybody who comes out has nutritionalists and coaches and mind coaches and that's just modern golf and that's just the way it is for these girls.  I seriously doubt whether they will be playing into their 40s and certainly 50s.

Q.  Is it down to peer pressure that most of them feel they ought to be out on the range all the time?
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
I don't know.  Just feels like sometimes it seems like they are practicing because they think they should practise and maybe that's the way it is.
           
I mean, perhaps that's the way forward but certainly for my generation and Juli's generation, there's a lot of practise but there's a lot of fun, as well.  Possibly not quite as much fun as it used to be but I'm sure they are enjoying it.  They play unbelievable golf.
           
Doesn't matter who you are paired with on Tour anymore.  They are all really good players, great putters and it's fun to see.  I must admit I'm glad I'm still playing because it's fun to see the Lexi Thompsons hit now and Michelle Wie and she's back on top of the world basically.  I think she's fulfilling her potential and it's great to see that.

Q.  How did you do your heel?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Just walking, isn't it.  I can't even pronounce it, it's really painful, that's all I know.

Q.  Not a straightforward footballing injury?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  No, that was the Achilles a couple of years ago at the Evian.  That was my last injury.  This one is just wear and tear.

Q.  You said that you don't think players will be going into their 40s and 50s?
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
I don't really know what burnout means but I just think they will be fed up with it because when you spend every week, even when they have a week off, you can understand, they are all practising and playing.
           
I think eventually it becomes a job and it's never been a job for me.  It's always been great fun, really one of the luckiest people in the world to play a game that I love, and obviously been fortunate enough to win a lot of events.
           
But that's always been the side of it.  It's never been, oh, I've got to go and practise now,  I have to go and do this.  It's always been, I want to go and practise, I want to go and do this.  I think possibly that's why the careers are going to become a bit shorter.  It's great, because while they are all playing, they are playing so well; why wouldn't you do it.  If you're achieving those heights so young and early, why not go for it.  Hopefully Michelle Wie will be playing when she's 50 and that will be great for the game.

Q.  As well as you know this course, if you could speak to the conditions and the thickness of it and how that adds to the difficulties.
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Well, I just said I think it's one of the fairest courses.  The bunkering can be a problem.  Like I said, if you pick the wrong line, you're just going to have to lob it out and take your bogey.
           
But the fairways are wide enough where you can't complain if you get a horrible lie in the rough because if you go in the long stuff, there will be lots of marshals out there, it will be hard to even find the balls.  Yesterday in the Pro‑Am people were missing fairways by a couple of feet and we couldn't find the ball.
           
Yeah, hit it straight, you don't really have to hit it massively long but keep it in play and you've got a low number out there.  The greens, the edges of the greens, the chipping areas, are just flawless.  I think the scoring could be good but there are going to be some big numbers imagine.
           
There will be a lot of 2‑irons out there, a few drivers and obviously the par 5s are all reachable which is great.  17 and 18 usually go downwind which is going to give on Sunday hopefully a massive finish, because you can have big seven‑shot swings on those holes.  Yeah, it's going to be great.  My golf membership's here now so I can dig the course up.

Q.  Can you elaborate on what exactly you're working on in your putting stroke?  Is it technical or more visualization on the greens?
DAME LAURA DAVIES
:  On the putting green, and they had some computer stuff out there yesterday and we worked out that my alignment was wrong.  He said line up to the centre of the hole, it was a dead‑straight putt and I was four degree off.  I just made a little adjustment in my grip and I managed to get that on average a lot less than I was.
           
So hopefully the putts that I've been missing just on the edges the last couple of years has been because my alignment's been wrong.  Only time will tell but it's something to work on.  I think pace is my biggest problem.  I don't know if you lose your feel as you get older possibly, I don't know.
           
But that's something we are working on and hopefully we will start seeing the results because it really is holding me back.  It's so frustrating, Saturday and Sunday last week down in Buckinghamshire, I had 37 and 38 putts which is giving 15, 20 shots away on the weekend which is ludicrous.  I think I had seven 3‑putts.  Yeah, it's a real problem but it's my problem to solve.

Q.  What do you remember about your first 1980 Open and what is a highlight that you can recall?
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
Well, obviously the win in '86 has to be the highlight because it's the only time I got the trophy.  But 1980, I was a 17‑year‑old, or I would have been 19 and an amateur, and I can't remember, we stayed in a house somewhere, Mum and stepdad and brother was up here, probably caddying for me.
           
I do remember Martha winning it and I have no idea where I finished.  I think I made the cut ‑‑ oh, I missed the cut.  I'm rubbish.  There you go.  I shot 72‑88, and have absolutely no recollection of the week at all.  (Laughter).

Q.  What brought you the greatest joy in golf when you were in your 20s and what annoyed you in your 20s about the game and now is there a change?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  The only thing that's ever really annoyed me about golf is internal out‑of‑bounds.  I never understand it because the course designer doesn't do a good enough job where you can cut a corner so they stake a white stake in and that's something that's really irritated me, and the joy of trying to win, it's the same at 20 as it is now.
           
I feel like if I put it together I can have a chance this week and that for me is the best part of being a professional golfer.  Obviously it might not happen but at least if you bounce up onto that first tee Thursday morning really nervous, which is a sign that you fancy your chances ‑‑ you know it's not over and I've still got that fun side of it.

Q.  Have you ever not cared?  
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  The lowest point probably was about seven or eight years ago at Nabisco when I was playing so badly when I actually thought, I can't do it anymore and I that the 84 in the second round, missed the cut by a mile and flew home not very happy, probably the worst I ever felt, but two weeks later there I was.

Q.  Lastly when you mentioned the internal stakes, do you have an opinion on the caddie ‑‑
DAME LAURA DAVIES: 
It shouldn't be allowed.  It's a basic part of any golf, alignment.  You're not allowed to get a grip that's perfectly set for you and just wedge your hands into a molded grip, so why should you have someone allowed to stand behind you and tell you where to aim?  I don't understand the USGA and the R&A haven't sussed that one out yet because it just seems basic.  And it slows the game down.

Q.  While you're in that mode, what other rules do you not approve of?
DAME LAURA DAVIES:
  Making me putt out when I’ve hit a bad first putt. I should be given it -- now I’m a Dame -- that should be simple. 2-putt maximum.
COLIN CALLANDER:  Dame Laura, thank you very much for your time and hope the putts drop this week.

 

Special Announcement from RICOH, Charley Hull and Paula Creamer

COLIN CALLANDER:  We have Charley Hull, Ricoh Ambassador.  Next to Charley is Paula Creamer, Ricoh Ambassador, in the middle of the table we have Simon Sasaki, Corporate Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Ricoh Company Ltd.  We have a gentleman called Jason O'Malley. We have Shona Malcolm, CEO of LGU.  Can I start by asking Charley to make an announcement, please.
CHARLEY HULL: 
I'm thrilled to announce that the 2016 Ricoh Women's British Open will take place at my home golf course, Woburn on the Marquess Course.  And it will be the 10th time Woburn has hosted the Women's British Open.  I can't wait for it to be there.  It should be an honest honour to play at my home golf course in a major and I'm lucky, I'm really lucky.
           
PAULA CREAMER:  I'm really looking forward to it.  I have not played but from what I hear it's an incredible golf course, tree‑lined, a little bit different than this week but it's always nice to be able to come to this area and play different types of golf.
           
I know there's a lot of fans in that area and we'll be really looking forward to that.  So it will be good and hopefully you can give me some pointers before I get out there.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   Obviously this championship is very often played on a links course; will it be different for the week do you think?
PAULA CREAMER:
  No, not really.  The moment you step off the plane, you know that you're here for Ricoh Women's British Open.  It doesn't need to be howling right‑to‑left to know you're playing in a British Open.  I think obviously these are golf courses in the last six or seven years have been incredible and this is just going to add to it, we have winners like Sherri Steinhauer and players that have always played well at the British Open.  Doesn't matter that it's not quite at a links golf course.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:  Jason, you must be delighted.
JASON O'MALLEY:
  Yeah, we are absolutely delighted.  We have staged the event nine times previously.  It will be the first time that it will come to Woburn as a major championship, and we will have obviously a field assembled that is second to none.  From the owner ‑‑ through the club itself, the team, the membership, we are absolutely thrilled.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   You actually hosted The Open Championship qualifying the other day.  I was amazed to find there was over three how people watching.
CHARLEY HULL:
  Yeah, just over 2 1/2 thousand.  The R&A were expecting between 500 and 750.  When we staged The Seniors Tour event in the end of August every year, our crowds are north of 20,000, and the average gate on The Seniors Tour is around 6,000 for the U.K.   As Paula said, we have a lot of fans in the area that want to watch live golf and we are thrilled that we will be at the Marquess in 2016.
           
COLIN CALLANDER:   Could you give us your thoughts for playing the championship at Woburn?
SHONA MALCOLM:
  I'm really looking forward to going to Woburn ‑‑ we have so much shared history between the championship and the club, and it's going to be really special to return there in 2016, which is the 40th anniversary of the Ricoh Women's British Open but also the 40th anniversary of the opening of Woburn golf club so quite a nice story there.
           
Championship committee has demonstrated its commitment to taking this championship to the best golf courses, and this is just another one in a really good round that we have had up until now.  A return to Woburn does continue this practise.
           
The Marquess Course is a new departure for us, and we expect it to provide really big challenges for the players, and as Jason said, you are taking the championship to the south of England for the first time in quite some time so really looking forward to having the big crowds and working with you.

Q.  Perhaps the general manager could say why it's such a good area for fans; is it anything to do with Ian Poulter or it pre dates him, doesn't it, really?
JASON O'MALLEY: 
It does pre date him and it pre dates me at Woburn.  I understand the last time that we had the Women's British Open there, we had a traffic problem on the  M1.  The cars were queued that far out of the club.  I hope we have the same problems in 2016 and we have huge galleries.
           
The location of our club is perfect for commuting to, so that's going to draw a crowd and I think personally within Britain at the moment ‑‑ I think the numbers will be terrific.

Q.  So what will you do about the M1?
JASON O'MALLEY:
  Someone else can sort the M1.  I'll just be looking after the golf course if that's all right.

Q.  How much did having Charley and Ian at the club, how much of that was an impetus to get the championship back?
JASON O'MALLEY:
  Yeah, I think we are so proud of Charley and our association that we have this, the history; I've been a member for a number of years, obviously our association with Ian is terrific, as well.  We have such a great tournament history.  We are over 50 professional golf events in 38 years at would he bush.
           
We are really proud of that and we celebrate an awful lot but we are focused on making sure it not just tournament history.  We want to make sure we have tournaments in our future and to have something of this size and calibre to stage a major championship at the club is thrilling really.

 

 

 

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Davies, Laura, Creamer, Paula, Ko, Lydia, Park, Inbee, Ricoh Women's British Open [+]

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