August 9, 2003

             2003 U.S. Women’s Amateur

             Gladwyne, Pennsylvania

 

An Interview with:

 

VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN

 

 

  Q. The first hole you were in the left rough, what did you hit?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : To the green a little pitching wedge. I had about 90 yards but the rough was pretty thick so I was giving myself about 95 or so.

 

  Q. You chipped six feet, missed the putt?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. No. 2, the fairway, what did you hit and how far away were you?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 130 yards to the hole. It was less than that but with the uphill and the back pin and all of that.

 

  Q. What did you hit?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I hit a 9 way short.

 

  Q. You were on the green but way short?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 3, what was the fairway wood you hit?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 7.

 

  Q. 7-wood from how far?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 326.

 

  Q. The next shot I have you hit it about 145?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Just about.

 

  Q. What did you hit?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : A little 7.

 

  Q. 20 feet?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 4, was that a fairway wood again, was that a 7-wood, that's a par-4?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes, I think it is a 7-wood. It as 7-wood.

 

  Q. That was 191?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 185.

 

  Q. You were 25 feet, 2-putted?

  5, par-3, you were about 20 feet, made the birdie putt, good putt.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 6?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Driver, 3-wood and a little chip.

 

  Q. And she conceded your birdie?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 7, let's see, tee shot hits a bank?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I hit a 4-iron.

 

  Q. A 4-iron, and what was your yardage?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 177.

 

  Q. You were the same place on that hole yesterday, right?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I was a little higher.

 

  Q. You went over the green again?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 7?

 

  Q. On No.  7.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 7, no.

 

  Q. Hold on. 8, left rough off the tee?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. It was kind of deep, buried?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I couldn't get to the green so I just wanted to get it out and get it as close to the green as possible so I took a 4-iron ahead. I had actually 200 to the flag. So I left myself another 30 yards. The reason why I went with the 4-iron is because I knew I could get up and down.

 

  Q. That is when your ball was buried in the grass?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 9 you hit a fairway wood?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 5-wood.

 

  Q. From how far?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : About 205?

 

  Q. 10.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 10, driver and 175, and I hit a 4-iron.

 

  Q. That's three times you hit that 4-iron. 11, what did you hit?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 5-iron.

 

  Q. 12?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Driver, 7-wood and a pitching wedge from about 95 yards.

 

  Q. 13?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Driver and a little 8-iron about 135.

 

  Q. That's the hole I was thinking about when I said the same place yesterday.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. 14, ten feet above the hole?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : A driver and 7-wood from about 190.

 

  Q. 15?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 15, 200 yard 7-wood.

 

  Q. 6?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Driver, 9-iron from 123.

 

  Q. 17?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Driver, 5-iron from 179.

 

  Q. Great.

  RHONDA GLENN : Now you have done your homework. You turned it all in, you got an A.

   Virada , you are where you wanted to be, you wanted to get to the finals, what's next?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Not exactly where I want to be but on my way. But I know there is more task left to be done, to be accomplished and still going.

  RHONDA GLENN : So you are not taking time to glory in this match at all?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN: Yes, I mean each match, I got -- after the match I just sit down and really think, you know, just look back and see what I've done and learn from the mistakes that I did, not to do it again in the future and also look back to see what I did well to try to keep doing that, and then before the night is over I'm done. I'm ready to go to the next match.

  After I look back, I'm content, and I go to tomorrow thinking what I want to do.

  RHONDA GLENN : I know you are going out to practice after you finish your interviews, what will you be working on?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Eat lunch first.

  RHONDA GLENN : Eat lunch first okay. What will you be working on, what will be your approach?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Pretty much the same thing I have been doing all every day. After the last two days I didn't hit the ball much after because I had 2 matches each day. I was tired. But I think today I will get a nice break. But this is what I do every day, you know, a golf tournament. I play the 18 holes and then have some lunch and go hit balls and chip, putt and get my game ready for tomorrow.

  RHONDA GLENN : You sound a little tired right now, I'm sure you will be okay with an afternoon rest.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Do I sound tired?

  RHONDA GLENN : Yes, you do.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I don't feel that tired. Maybe I am. Maybe it will hit me later. Right now adrenaline is still going. A good night's sleep tonight and I'll be ready to go.

 

  Q. Were you feeling comfortable when you started, because you hooked your first shot in the rough and you bogeyed number two?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes, I can honestly tell you that I was quite comfortable. I didn't really feel like I was ready to go even though I kept telling myself, go, let's go, let's go. But for some reason I just wasn't quite ready, but then I, you know, I'm a fighter and I know what I wanted to do. I'm like you can't look back and, you know, like getting all mad about what you just did wrong. I just have to refocus and get back to myself, my game. Finally, right about the 8th hole I think I was.

 

  Q. I was going to ask you about 4, that putt jiggled in, the next hole you birdied, you made a nice birdie putt on 5. You got a conceded birdie of and you birdied 7, the putt on 4 was maybe the kind of kick in that --

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : No, I didn't wait until that putt to go in to get me comfortable. Losing the first hole, losing the 2nd hole, okay, halved the third hole, it's par, but she just kind of gave it to me basically. And then 4 the rain was coming down hard and she already made her putt and I still have about, you know, eight feet to go and I am already 2 down. I was never 2 down before the whole time. But I think what I did the best there, I think that was the key, you know. The rain, when it came down hard right before I was about to get up to my second putt, but I'm like stay calm. Don't let the rain get you down, whatever, get you down, so just stay calm and make this putt and we will go from there.

 

  Q. The putt jiggled around?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I hit it great. I hit exactly what I wanted.

  RHONDA GLENN : Did it go in?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : 360.

 

  Q. You said you will think about your mistakes, is there anything strategically different? I mean you played this course a number of times now. You have a certain set way to play it, is there anything that you want to change for tomorrow?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : No, no just stay consistent as I have been. This course is a tough course. I think we all see that there is not a lot of birdies that is going to win, just the one that stays. I think I was very consistent. If I'm in trouble I try my best to get my par.

 

  Q. Have you played Jane in Match Play ?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : No, I have not.

 

  Q. It's a 36-hole final tomorrow, you have been through this once with Michelle , it was a tight match, a lot of birdies, do you approach a 36-hole differently, knowing you may be one or 2 down, I think you were 4-up, the mental differences, the longer match, 36 holes versus 18 holes, the pacing of it, it's a lot.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I was asked this question earlier but I don't think I have to pace myself. Let's keep it all square or let's be 2-up at the turn or something. I think you just have to go at it. If you go up you are going to go 2, 3, 4, 5 and finish as quick as you can.

 

  Q. You went to the quarter finals in this tournament the last couple of years, how much of a better golfer are you in the past year?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : The last couple of years at Duke I think has really taught me a lot of things and developed my game. I'm almost done and look forward to the next step. I think I learned a lot the last 3 years. So my game is in better shape.

 

  Q. Is it your plan to go up to the next step after college, to leave amateurs to go pro?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Pro.

 

  Q. Will this be the third time you are in this tournament?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Third time.

 

  Q. Since it will be the last.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : It will be the last, I think, unless something else comes up. I know what I want to do. There are a lot of things out of my control, I know that. So I can't worry about those things. I just have to keep doing -- just stay with the things that I can control.

 

  Q. You are going into your senior year at Duke?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

 

  Q. Finishing the quarter finals the last two years did that give you extra focus coming in this year, you have been knocking on the door?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I think I know what it takes to stay right to the very last match. The first year especially. I think I really got tired and wasn't ready to go again by the quarter final round and I just lost because mentally I was out, and physically too, and I kind of did the same thing last year. And I think getting to the finals at The Trans in 2001 against Lorena , gave me confidence that I could do it and also just kind of teach me what it takes to get through all of that and then the match with Michelle , so you know.

  RHONDA GLENN : You have already played 7 rounds of golf this week, you played 9 rounds at the Women's Am Public Links , and your endurance has been quite remarkable.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I think it's 9 already including 2 practice rounds.

  RHONDA GLENN : That's right, 11.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I played 2 practice rounds and nine holes before that.

  RHONDA GLENN : 9 and a half rounds of golf, you already played right in a row, have you done anything as far as conditioning or anything because you have shown great endurance.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I work out regularly. I think that is helping. I think the mental toughness comes from experience, you know. I have done this a couple of times so I know what it takes.

  RHONDA GLENN : Do you work with a sports psychologist at all?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : My coach is my sports psychologist.

  RHONDA GLENN : At Duke?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : My coach, my dad, my friends. Then there is a special sports psychologist I do talk to every once in a while when I do need to.

  RHONDA GLENN : When was the last time you talked to him?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : In the spring.

 

  Q. Who is that?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Dr. Larry Eimers , E I M E R S.

 

  Q. Is he at Duke?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : He is at Duke.

 

  Q. What does your work out regimen entail, how much do you run, do you know how much you lift?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I run about three times a week and about 3 miles. 3 or 4 times a week. And I lift three times a week. But this summer traveling so much, playing so much, I had to tone it down.

  RHONDA GLENN : Have you run at all this week?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : No. Run up these hills is enough. I mean I would have liked to keep it going. But something like this, it takes -- once I get on the TOUR all I will be doing is playing golf and I want to make sure I get my work out in, too, but I just need to get out there and see how the life is and get adjusted. I'm trying to balance both.

 

  Q. Virada, you are 21, compared to everyone else, are you trying to teach these young players a lesson?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Teach them a lesson? I'm sure they will learn their lessons however it comes out. Really, I don't really -- I just want to do my own thing. That's good enough for me.

 

  Q. How much does your age, your maturity, your experience, how much does that help you going into a final tomorrow against a player that is only 16?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I really don't know her so I don't know what kind of experience she has had, but obviously to get to this far she has to be pretty tough.

  My caddy does know her pretty well. He says she is good.

 

  Q. She made the cut at The Open , 30th?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Yes.

  RHONDA GLENN : How hard is it to be really sharp for tomorrow, how hard is that after you played so much, match after match?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : It's going to be tough. I don't know. I think I'm ready, you know, physically mentally. So just keep playing my game and I will be sharp.

 

  Q. Do you feel like it's your time? So close in the Women's Amateurs, do you think maybe you are there?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I don't want to think that way because that is kind of getting ahead of myself. When I sale it's my due, that means somebody else is going to do the job, but I don't want that. I want myself to do the job. It's going to come from me.

 

  Q. After you hit some balls you have a lot of the day left, will you go do something that can clear your head or will you think about the match; how will you spend the rest of the day and night?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : I'm just going to really relax. It depends. Sometimes when I am not really sure what I want to do that I tend to think about it a lot and sometimes that takes a lot out of you. I think I am pretty clear on what I want to do tomorrow. So I can see myself relaxed this afternoon. Maybe just get a little, before I go to bed, just make sure that I still have it. A good night's sleep and let's go.

 

  Q. Since you have been so close, and you did win NCAA's last year, would you feel your amateur career wouldn't be complete without winning tomorrow?

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : It would be very nice to have that on my list of things of accomplishments, but like I said earlier, there are a lot of things out of my control and sometimes you do get what you want. And sometimes you don't.

  I can't really just think this is life or death, you know. Really I just want to do my best and I will accept everything, whatever comes out.

  RHONDA GLENN : Any other questions? Thank you very much, Virada.

  VIRADA NIRAPATHPONGPORN : Thank you.

  Fastscripts by ASAP Sports....

 

 

 

 

  

 

  

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