August 8, 2003

             2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur

             Gladwyne, Pennsylvania

 

An Interview with:

 

JANE PARK

 

  RHONDA GLENN : First of all, we are desperately seeking people for your Curtis Cup team, are you a citizen of the U.S. ?

  JANE PARK : Heck, yeah.

  RHONDA GLENN : That's good to know. We got that out of the way.

  JANE PARK : Do I have a chance?

  RHONDA GLENN : Did you make the cut in The Open .

  JANE PARK : Yes, I did, I got 30th.

  RHONDA GLENN : What an up and down match that was?

  JANE PARK : Oh, my gosh. I thought I was going to die.

 

  Q. What was your overall impressions of the match, how did it rank in what you played in?

  JANE PARK : Becky is a defending champion. Defending champions aren't very easy to beat. I got off to an early start. I made like a 70-footer on the first hole to make a birdie and she made like a 15-footer for birdie. So I was like, wow, this match is going to be tough.

 

  Q. Did you say a 70-footer?

  JANE PARK : A 70-footer. The pin was on the left and my ball was the middle to the right.

 

  Q. It was long?

  JANE PARK : I saw you at the U.S. Girl's two years ago.

 

  Q. Last year and this year. Then you birdied No. 2, how long was that?

  JANE PARK : A four-footer downhill, too.

 

  Q. You birdied No. 8.

  JANE PARK : This is not going well.

 

  Q. It's going perfectly. You are a breath of fresh air, Jane . No. 8 you made a birdie, how long was that putt?

  JANE PARK : What's No. 8?

 

  Q. 368 yard par-4. You had about a six-footer short of the green?

  JANE PARK : Yes.

 

  Q. More about this up and down match. That is pretty wearing on an old person like yourself, isn't it?

  JANE PARK : An old person like myself?

 

  Q. It's got to be hard on your nerves when you go back and forth, 1-up, even, one down.

  JANE PARK : She is a tough player. I really had nothing to lose. She is turning pro and I still have the amateur until I graduate from college. So I took it easy.

 

  Q. You were taken back to all square twice on No. 13 and No. 16?

  JANE PARK : When I got to all square I got a little shaky, but I just sucked it up and made a par and she made bogey unfortunately. So it was a tough match.

 

  Q. Have you been down any match this week yet?

  JANE PARK : No. I don't know, tomorrow is a tough one. I went head-to-head with her last week.

 

  Q. Paula ?

  JANE PARK : Yes.

 

  Q. You beat her?

  JANE PARK : Yes.

 

  Q. Have you ever played her strictly Match Play ?

  JANE PARK : No.

 

  Q. Head-to-head situations?

  JANE PARK : No, never. This will probably be the first time. It's like the biggest Match Play tournament in the world for amateurs. How wonderful is that?

 

  Q. Did you play in the last group with Paula last week at the Betsy Ross ?

  JANE PARK : Yes, I did. I was 8-under. She was 6-under going to the last day. My total was 11-under and she shot 7-under. She is one tough cookie.

 

  Q. She was at 7-under and then made 15-under?

  JANE PARK : No, no.

 

  Q. She finished 7-under for the championship?

  JANE PARK : For the championship, yes.

 

  Q. You were 11-under?

  JANE PARK : Yes, she is tough.

 

  Q. Can you describe the summer you had. You get to The Open and you make the cut, you get to the third round, you lose to the girl that wins it, now you are here at the semifinals of the Women's Amateur , you won the Betsy Ross , one of the bigger events on the Junior Circuit , what's the summer been like for you? This is quite a roll.

A. I got off to a slow start but I didn't really worry about it because there is a lot of tournaments yet. And I won one which was last week and that really gave me a jump start. I was hitting the ball well. I'm still hitting the ball well. I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far this summer.

  At The Open I could have made so many more putts. I missed probably 12 birdie putts win 5, six feet. The greens were tricky, they were fast.

 

  Q. What's changed since then?

  JANE PARK : My dad fixed my putting stroke.

 

  Q. What did he change?

  JANE PARK : He put the ball a little bit more back in my stance. I have a tendency to open up the putter blade after I hit the ball. If I put a little more back I square it through impact. That helped me.

 

  Q. What is your dad's name?

  JANE PARK : Byung, B Y U N G Park.

 

  Q. Is he your caddy this week?

  JANE PARK : No. My caddy is my cousin, Jung Park , J U N G.

 

  Q. Did you expect to play as well as you had this summer? Did you think you were ready to have a roll like you had?

  JANE PARK : No. I didn't really expect anything. I struggled throughout the year during the school year. Practice didn't go very well but during the summer I got some more practice in and got into the tournament mode so I'm just more relaxed now. I come a long way this summer. I'm proud of what I've done and we'll just see what happens the next few days.

 

  Q. What's been the biggest thing for you this summer, you mentioned you were fixing your putting stroke, is there any part of your game that you noticed has taken a major leap?

  JANE PARK : My iron shots. My iron shots. Last week at the Betsy Ross , when I won the first day I shot a 65. It was just like magic. I stand up to the ball, hit the ball, four feet. It was pretty awesome. And my iron shots have drastically improved. Putting has gotten better. Chipping slowly getting better.

 

  Q. Did making the cut at The Open give you that much more of a boost of confidence, to come here? I'm not sure if this course is set up as hard as Pumpkin Ridge for Girl's Junior , but does it make playing at this level a little more easier, the pressures? Obviously she going through that experience, making the cut.

  JANE PARK : At The Open I really didn't have any pressure at all because I had nothing to lose. It was my first one. I'm 16. Annika is in the field. You know what she can do. I mean I just thought the odds of me winning are one in a bazillion. So I just went there and had a good time. I stayed focused throughout the round but I had a lot of fun, too. I didn't get caught up in anything. I just went there and I played my heart out and it was the best time I ever had.

 

  Q. Who were you paired with?

  JANE PARK : I was paired with Kirsty Taylor from England and Michelle Bell . I don't know where she is from.

 

  Q. Florida?

  JANE PARK : Right.

 

  Q. And the third round?

  JANE PARK : I know her name.

 

  Q. I'm just wondering if you played with anybody famous?

  JANE PARK : No, I didn't. The last day I played with Annette DeLuca . She is a big girl. She hits it far.

 

  Q. How far do you hit it off the tee?

  JANE PARK : My average at The Open was 260 but that's because the fairways were like rock hard.

 

  Q. How far do you think you are hitting it here?

  JANE PARK : Fairways are soft, I'm probably getting -- I get no roll at all. I get back spin on my drives. It's not good. I think I'm probably carrying it 240 at the most.

 

  Q. Jane , you look so calm out there, are you really that calm or nervous inside and you just don't show it?

  JANE PARK : I guess you could say I'm nervous but I got my whole career ahead of me. If I don't win then it's not the end of the world. I just think whatever happens, happens. I would like to win but if it doesn't happen then God didn't want it to happen.

 

  Q. Also on 16 she made a birdie there and the match was back to all square, what were you thinking walking to the 17th tee, were you getting a little nervous or still in control of your game?

  JANE PARK : I was in control. I just said to myself, I love this next hole. I stayed calm. The next hole, number 17, is not a birdie hole. It's really, really hard to get a birdie on that hole. I almost did on the second day of stroke play but I missed it. It's really hard to birdie 17 and 18. So I just thought, you know, par in. If she makes par too then we will just have a playoff. I just stayed cool.

 

  Q. It sounds easy, is it?

  JANE PARK : No, not at all, not at all. My heart was still racing, but you know.

 

  Q. Would you be in a comfort zone playing someone like Paula who you play week in and week out in tournaments, championships, there is a lot of college kids. Here we are at the semifinals and there is 3 juniors?

  JANE PARK : Really.

 

  Q. Do you feel comfortable playing someone your own age at this stage of the championship?

  JANE PARK : Not at all. No matter how old they are. I don't care if he they are like 50 or 10. They can still beat me. I don't think of Paula as -- scratch that. I didn't say that. Paula is tough. She is not easy. Not easy. Tomorrow's match, it's up in the air. Nobody has an advantage. It's tough. I really don't know what's going to happen. We will just have to wait.

 

  Q. Neither of you have ever been this far at the Women's Amateur ?

  JANE PARK : I don't know. Is this her first amateur?

 

  Q. She played last year, made the first round and lost.

  JANE PARK : Okay.

 

  Q. Is this your first amateur?

  JANE PARK : Yes.

 

  Q. How do you like it compared to the junior tournaments?

  JANE PARK : I like this one better.

 

  Q. Why is that?

  JANE PARK : I don't know. I guess more competition. Not that juniors doesn't have competition. I don't know, you get treated more like a pro here. Almost like The Open .

 

  Q. Winning at Betsy Ross last week and playing in The Open , how does that help you going into this week?

  JANE PARK : I know all I have to do is just trust my game. I have been playing well. Last week was awesome for me. If I just stick to my guns then, you know, I don't know. Anything can happen.

 

  Q. Any other questions? Jane , thank you very much. Congratulations.

  JANE PARK : Thank you.

  Fastscripts by ASAP Sports....

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

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