An Interview With Maru Martinez

RHONDA GLENN: Ladies and gentlemen, Maru Martinez, runner up at the 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur. I know you're a little bit emotional and I bet Morgan is, too. It was a tough battle out there. Where did you feel like it maybe started to slip away?

MARU MARTINEZ: I tried not to think that way. Definitely on 16, 17 and 18 I started to play not to not play well, and I noticed that it was like my body wasn't responding the way I wanted it to. So I think it's that I was probably tired, because I just tried the same thing but nothing went right.

RHONDA GLENN: What were your thoughts at lunch, on the break, to try to regroup?

MARU MARTINEZ: Well, I thought it was going to be good for me to take a break. I thought it was probably that I was tired and I needed to rest a little bit. I mean, when I came out on the second round, I came out with the best thoughts. 4 down is nothing, you know, you can make four birdies and come back, but it never happened.

RHONDA GLENN: You made a lot of friends this week, even though you didn't make all the birdies you wanted to.

MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I did, and that was great.

Q. Can you talk about, Morgan was just firing lasers all day, what is that like as an opponent when you know that she's going to knock the ball within ten feet of the hole?

MARU MARTINEZ: Well, I knew it was going to be that way, but I wasn't scared because I was playing that way, too. I didn't feel like I couldn't do it myself. I knew if I had played well, it was going to be a tough match because she's a great player. But I didn't give myself a chance today, and she played well. She played her game just like she had been playing this week.

So I wasn't intimidated at all. I knew it was going to be that way from the first moment I knew I was playing against her today.

Q. Was there a point on that front nine where you started to depressed a little bit, because when it starts to get to 5, 6, 7, you hit the ball in the water on par 5?

MARU MARTINEZ: I just had to laugh, (laughter), because I didn't do that the whole week. And like I said, it was like my body wasn't responding the way I wanted it to. I can't tell you what happened. It was I didn't feel it was my routine or my mindset. It just happened. Golf is like that sometimes.

RHONDA GLENN: Some observers said they felt that you were pressing on the third nine. You talk about pressing, I think swinging a little harder, trying to force it?

MARU MARTINEZ: I was trying to get it back to kind of push myself in the back and say, hey, come on, just wake up and let's start playing some golf. I couldn't; I mean, there was nothing I could do today.

RHONDA GLENN: Unfortunately I didn't get to see every hole, but I did see Morgan in the bunker on 9. Was that the only shot in the bunker today?

MARU MARTINEZ: I think so. She played very well today.

RHONDA GLENN: And you were not in any bunkers, were you?

MARU MARTINEZ: No. No, she made up and down, though oh, no, she didn't.

RHONDA GLENN: And you managed to avoid the famous double digit club of which I'm a member and Carol Semple Thompson is a member and Tony Wiesner is a member, that's when you lose like 11 & 10.

MARU MARTINEZ: Well, I'm glad. (Laughter).

Q. What was your dad telling you to encourage you?

MARU MARTINEZ: Just keep going, keep trying, you can do it, believe in yourself. I did. I tried. You know, it's tough when you're out there and your game is not is not good. You know, it's just like, what should you do, you can't really work on your swing or anything. I didn't feel like my swing was wrong today. I just couldn't do it. I just, I don't know, it was weird.

RHONDA GLENN: After the rain, the clubs that you were hitting, your approach shots into the greens on the second 18, were those clubs longer than the clubs you used this morning when it was dry?

MARU MARTINEZ: Yes. The course was a little bit wet today, and I had longer shots into the greens today. Yeah, definitely the second 18 holes, or the second nine were longer, played longer than in the morning.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you hit quite a few fairway woods on the second 18?

MARU MARTINEZ: No. On 9, I did, on 6 I did.

RHONDA GLENN: Long irons in?

MARU MARTINEZ: Yeah, it was playing longer.

Q. Did you notice your teammates with all of the face paint today?

MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, of course. I really appreciate them being here. Like I said, the support has been amazing and that's really incredible. It's the first time I feel that it was the first time in the finals of a championship like this. It's really exciting and I can't wait until I get to the LPGA Tour. I love it.

Q. Were you familiar with the whole Rudy thing?

RHONDA GLENN: That's like the boxer, Rudy Martinez.

Q. Did you know what that was all about?

MARU MARTINEZ: They called me everybody. They give me a new nickname every week. (Laughter). We have such a great team and it's really fun to be a part of Auburn.

Q. Do you know the Rudy character, the "Rudy" movie from Notre Dame; he's an undersized football player that gets to play the game?

MARU MARTINEZ: No. Actually Coach invented that one. I don't know if she was talking about the movie or not.

RHONDA GLENN: Did you get nervous at any point today?

MARU MARTINEZ: I was nervous this morning.

RHONDA GLENN: Teeing off?

MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, but it was normal. It wasn't anything I think I this is a good experience for me. Like you said, you know, the first time I was in the semifinals was three years ago and I lost. I think being in the finals is a completely different thing and it's great. It feels great and I think it's going to be good for me in the n future because I've learned a lot from this round. Now I know what I have to work on.

RHONDA GLENN: What's your next event?

MARU MARTINEZ: College. I'm going to take a break, spend time with my family, have one week off, one week ask a half before I start school again. So looking forward to it.

Q. You're in the Open next year.

MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I am. That's great. I've been alternate, I've tried to qualify for three years, for the past three years. The first two years I lost in the playoff for the last spot. This year I missed it by a shot.

RHONDA GLENN: Will we see you at next year's Women's Amateur?

MARU MARTINEZ: I don't know. I hope so, yes. I think I will still be an amateur at that time.

Q. What do you see down the road for Morgan, for her career?

MARU MARTINEZ: Oh, she's a great player. I think everybody has a different path and she's working hard. She's doing it all. That's what everybody has to do, you know. I think she's a good example because she's so young and such a good player. So I really I'm sure she's going to have a lot of great things along her career.

RHONDA GLENN: Maru, you're very small of stature but you've got a huge heart, and we congratulate and hope to see you again soon. Thank you.

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U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

TICKETS – Admission and parking for all seven days of the championship are free of charge.

WHO CAN PLAY? – The U.S. Women’s Amateur is open to female amateurs who have USGA Handicap Indexes not exceeding 5.4. Entries closed June 15.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – Jane Park, 18, or Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will defend the title she won in 2004.

THE FIELD – The 2005 field will include seven Georgia players. They are Laura Coble of Augusta, Jackie Beers of Bonaire, Alina Lee of Evans, Kyu Ri Ban of Duluth, Dori Carter of Valdosta, Diana Ramage of Fayetteville and Margaret Shirley of Roswell.

TELEVISION COVERAGE – Match-play rounds will be telecast on The Golf Channel Aug. 3-7 from 4-6 p.m., EDT.

OTHER PROMINENT PAST CHAMPIONS – Patty Berg, 1938; Betty Jameson, 1939, 1940; Babe Didrickson Zaharias, 1946; Louise Suggs, 1947; Beth Daniel, 1975, 1977; Juli Simpson (Inkster), 1980, 1981, 1982; Pat Hurst, 1990; Kelli Kuehne, 1995, 1996; Grace Park, 1998; Dorothy Delasin, 1999.

CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE CONDITIONS – The following mowing heights will be used for the championship: fairways 1/2"; tees 7/16"; collars 1/4". Putting greens will be prepared so that they are firm and fast; to measure approximately 11 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter. Intermediate rough: 1", width approximately 72" along fairways, width approximately 30" wide around putting greens. Primary rough: 2 1/4".

FUTURE WOMEN’S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP SITES – The 2006 U. S. Women’s Amateur will be conducted at Pumpkin Ridge G.C., North Plains, Ore., Aug. 7 – 13.

MEDIA CONTACT – The Media Center for the U.S. Women’s Amateur will be located in the main clubhouse at Ansley Golf Club. Rhonda Glenn and Beth Murrison will be the USGA staff members on site. The Media Center phone numbers are (678)639-7488 and (678)639-7494.

 

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