August 7, 2003

             2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur

             Gladwyne , Pennsylvania

 

An Interview with:

 

VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN

 

  BETH MURRISON : Virada Nirapathpongporn , congratulations. You have had a fairly quick round today. Tell us a little about your game right now.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Well, I played better this afternoon. I think it's good for me to start hitting the shots that I'm capable of because this morning it was just hard to -- I don't know, actually, you know what, I felt like it's been a while since Match Play , since the last Match Play probably maybe a month and a half ago.

  But I think I'm happy where my game is going and like you said it's nice to get it done early. I was out there thinking there is no mercy in this. You just go. You are 1-up, you go 2-up, 3, 4. And in both matches, this morning, I was 4-up after 10. And I think 5-up. Did I go 5-up?

  BETH MURRISON I think that you did.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I was 5-up with 5 to go this morning. And then, I'm sorry  -- I don't know what happened. I lost one hole, so I have to go on to the next hole, you know. So this afternoon I'm 5-up with 6 to go. I'm sorry, I'm 5-up with 6 to go. I'm going to win this next hole so I could just finish it, but I lost the hole. So here we go again.

  But then I managed to win the next hole so it was 5 and 4 but it's nice.

  BETH MURRISON : What is working well for you in your game right now.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Focus, that's really my goal coming here. I know what I want to do and I really want to stay with it. I know it's going to be a long weekend. I got to go through several things to get to my ultimate goal and got to take it one step at a time. And it's easy to  -- when it's a long road, it's easy to just get sidetracked but I really wanted to stay focused and really go to what I come here for.

 

  Q. Did the problems with the weather on Monday and Tuesday, did that throw you off at all?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes, getting on and off the course. But actually I was one of the lucky ones, I really didn't have to get on and off too many times. But I did, too. I think that it just made this week seem like a little longer because you're here at the course from morning until late and one day I didn't play golf and I sat right outside here for 4 hours. It's not like you can go get your mind off of it. You are just sitting here in the back of your mind, you just go through this, running out your energy.

 

  Q. Didn't you want to eventually play Michelle and it's not going to happen now?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : You know, whoever, really, yes.

 

  Q. Were you surprised?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I didn't know until I just finished my match. My caddy said she lost. It's Match Play and we all know it's pretty unpredictable.

 

  Q. What do you know? You are a veteran college player, you have been through this format, you know exactly what you got to do, how tough the week is, think back to when you were her age, what do you know now that she still has got to learn but it will help you this week?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I think she's got a lot of experience already playing with crowds all the time. And I think that's great for her. It's going to be great dealings with crowds. Her focus will be good because she has dealt with that many times. I think she just needs some time to mature.

  Me, going through college, I'm glad I made that decision to go through 3 years, but next year, I think that really gives me time to develop and grow in every aspect.

  For her, she has got four or five years before she turns 18. She is going to be a great player.

 

  Q. We talked about the focus, knowing how long this week is going to be, what's left? I mean in the process, mentally, where are you in terms of keeping your energy? You're pacing yourself, winning a big match in the morning, and being down and losing to somebody you should beat in the afternoon. There is a question in there somewhere. I'm not sure where it is.

  (Laughter). The pacing, I guess.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes, that's one of the keys to this kind of, you know, long week. You got to pace yourself and prepare yourself until Sunday. Pace it and see how you want to practice. See how you want to  -- like where you want to energize yourself. If you keep pacing yourself you are going to be fine for the week.

 

  Q. How do you feel about the way you were playing coming into this week? You played at the Women's Open this year, obviously you got to the finals of the Pub links, were you happy playing the way you were playing coming in here?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes, I really have been working like on my mental side. I think my game has developed, has come a long way technically. I know I have it. I just need to work on some things mentally. And it also comes with experience.

 

  Q. How do you work on the mental side? What do you try to do to develop that and sharpen it aside from theoretically just playing in golf tournaments, or is that the only way to do it?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Just keep telling myself, you know, believing in myself. It's not easy. We all know that. I have come to realize that the higher level you get is more and more mentally. I think my ball strike as far as short game and everything, I have got it. I can play with the big girls. I just need to start believing so I can execute the shot that I can because when you are not really focused you are not really confident. You just play less than what you can do.

  I just really want to focus, so I can see how good I can really be.

  BETH MURRISON : All done. Thanks very much. Good luck tomorrow.

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