An Interview With Maru Martinez
RHONDA GLENN: You had four birdies today, and I'm sure you know better than anyone else it will take a lot of birdies tomorrow to beat your opponent.
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I know. However, I'm just going to try to play my game. I know if I play well, I can make a lot of birdies.
RHONDA GLENN: You've proven that on this course. You had 30 the other day, seven birdies.
MARU MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think I've had 22 birdies so far in match play.
I'm pretty confident in my game right now, I've been working very hard, especially on my putting, and it's just a matter of, you know, making putts tomorrow. Hopefully they will go in.
RHONDA GLENN: Your four birdies today, what are the distances? On No. 4 you made a birdie on the par 5.
MARU MARTINEZ: Yeah, it was close. It was probably five feet.
RHONDA GLENN: No. 6, the long par 4?
MARU MARTINEZ: It was probably like a 12-footer.
RHONDA GLENN: What did you hit in?
MARU MARTINEZ: I hit 5-wood.
RHONDA GLENN: No. 9?
MARU MARTINEZ: No. 9 was about 15-footer.
RHONDA GLENN: And No. 13?
MARU MARTINEZ: 13, she conceded it, but it was very close, it was around ten feet, yeah.
Q. You seem pretty much like the same kinds of players in many respects because you don't give up and you're relentless players; that should make for a fun match?
MARU MARTINEZ: You can never give up in golf. That's all I can really say. I think successful people never give up, not only in golf, but in life. And that's what you've got to do always no matter how bad things are, how tough the day is, if you keep trying, then all your work is going to pay off.
Q. Have you ever played 36 holes in a match?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I have. We have a South American tournament that is match play, and we play 36 holes each day and it's four days. So I have experience in that. It's pretty tough.
Q. Four different rounds, you play four different opponents 36 holes a day?
MARU MARTINEZ: Well, it's kind of interesting because it's against countries. So if you play two matches in the morning against one country, one against the other, so you're playing two matches. And then in the afternoon -- in the morning is doubles and then the afternoon is singles.
Q. So it's kind of like the Ryder Cup.
MARU MARTINEZ: It's a very exciting tournament. I think I've gotten much of my match-play experience there.
Q. So what's the name of that tournament?
MARU MARTINEZ: It's the South American Amateur Championship.
RHONDA GLENN: Do you train at all? Do you do any aerobic type exercises or any kind of weights or anything like that?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I like to run. We do weight training at school. So I've been training with my strength and conditioning coach. We do that three or four times a week.
RHONDA GLENN: So how long have you been training like that?
MARU MARTINEZ: I would say since I entered college. I didn't really do anything before college.
RHONDA GLENN: So that should help you with the rest of the match.
MARU MARTINEZ: I'm sure it's going to be so exciting tomorrow that I won't even notice that it's going to be 36.
Q. How often do you go home?
MARU MARTINEZ: If I'm lucky, twice a year.
Q. And how often does your dad come over or your mom?
MARU MARTINEZ: They try to come as much as they can. My mother and my brother usually come to visit once and my father sometimes twice.
RHONDA GLENN: They picked a really good week to come.
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes. Since it was here in Atlanta, it was kind of close for them to come. They were really excited to come.
RHONDA GLENN: Does it inspire you to have your family around?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes.
RHONDA GLENN: How does it help you?
MARU MARTINEZ: I don't know, it's just you can feel the support from them. It's really great.
Q. What's the flight from Caracas?
MARU MARTINEZ: To Atlanta? It's probably like 5 1/2 hours. It's closer than Europe.
Q. You mentioned earlier in the week about how you've worked a lot on your patience, you weren't always a patient player, but now you've gotten better at that since college. In a 36-hole day, how does that help you from not getting discouraged if you get behind?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I'm a very emotive player, and I've had to learn that balance between being patient, and, you know, not getting ahead of yourself and not being too patient and actually not doing anything about the situation.
Sometimes you've got to change your mind-set on everything on the course, and that's what I've learned the most through college. So you go through tough times and sometimes you don't even have time to practice. You have to test and then you get to the tournament and you've got to be mentally ready. You know, if your golf is not as good as you want it to be, then you'd better be ready mentally to handle it. So I think it's been a great, great school for me these three years.
RHONDA GLENN: You have a lot of support here, you have a good-sized gallery today and all of the Spanish‑speaking members of the green crew move around from hill to hill and you've got your Auburn friends here; does that help you?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes, I love the crowd. They have been great, especially my Auburn friends, it's really nice that they are here. Again, I feel their support. It makes a difference because, you know, they give you so much positive energy. It's really great.
RHONDA GLENN: Did you hear them shouting?
Q. How is your play this week being played at home to the press, is it getting much notoriety?
MARU MARTINEZ: I don't know, actually. I know I received a call this morning from one of my close friends from home. He is a member of the Venezuelan Federation. He called me and wished me good luck, so I know they are keeping up with me.
Q. What's his name?
MARU MARTINEZ: Charlie Guerra.
Q. What kind of famous athletes come out of Venezuela, baseball players?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yeah, we ever a lot of baseball players here. Other than that, we're not very big in sports. I think our strength is the oil industry at home.
Q. Oil industry?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes.
Q. Is Omar Vizquel from Venezuela?
MARU MARTINEZ: Yes.
RHONDA GLENN: Thank you.FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...
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.