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Transcript Of Interview With Finalist Azahara Munoz

BETH MURRISON:  Thank you for joining us again today.  Congratulations on your semifinal victory.  Can you talk a little bit about how you felt during the match?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I felt pretty good from the beginning.  I hit really good shots.  I was hitting the ball really good.

              BETH MURRISON:  How well would you say you're playing right now.  Are you playing better than ever, how would you say you're playing?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't know better than ever, but I'm hitting the ball pretty solid and my putt is working.

 

              Q.  There's another player in the field that's hitting it solid, Amanda Blumenherst.  Are you prepared at all for this?  Is there something you're going to do different or just do the same thing?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Keep doing like I'm doing and see what happens.

 

              Q.  Do you know Amanda, have you played much with her?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I've never played match play with her, but I've played a lot of metal rounds.

              BETH MURRISON:  Did your victory at the NCAAs give you more confidence in things like this?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah, it did.

              BETH MURRISON:  How so?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, it made me believe in myself, that I can win.  My game is the same, the same as before, but I never won before, and after that I was confident.

 

              Q.  How much, not to belabor on it, but how much harder was playing today's match, given who you were playing with?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  It was really hard because, I mean, she's my best friend.  It was really weird, you know.  But I guess it is what it is.  We couldn't change who I was playing.

 

              Q.  Did you eventually get feeling at all like it was an ordinary match or did you ever try to put out of your mind this is Belen?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Of course I tried.  If I couldn't do it I couldn't play.  So I just had in mind that she was another person and that's it.

 

              Q.  How do you feel you played on the front nine?  It seemed like you were very consistent throughout the front nine.  Were you feeling pretty calm with your game or just fairways and greens?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Exactly.  The pins were really tough today, so most of the time I just went for the middle of the green.  And that's what I did, like fairway, green and two putts most of the time.

 

              Q.  Do you anticipate tomorrow that you might have to be a little bit more aggressive, given, obviously, Belen is a good player, too, but given Amanda, her track record, the way she's been playing match play?  Do you feel like you're going to have to press a little bit more and be a little more aggressive, what's the strategy?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I will see tomorrow.  I'll start and see how it goes.  Today I was never down, so I didn't really need to go for it.  I did once, and I almost went in the water, so never again.

 

              Q.  Is that one of the differences between match play and say the NCAA Championship, where you know there are a bunch of good players behind you who you know are going to go low, do you have to be more aggressive in stroke play like that or does it change at all?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Normally in a stroke play everybody is more conservative, you know.  Because in match play if I hit in the, I don't know. Iif I'm in the rough I'm going to go for it, because if I go in the water I lose the hole, but I don't do a triple or something like that.  It depends on who you senior playing with.  If Amanda is birdieing every hole I'm going to have to go for it.  If she's playing like me, I'm going to have to do what I'm doing.

 

              Q.  During the NCAA tournament did you have a different mindset where you felt like you had to make some birdies?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, yeah, I did, actually.  Well, I was behind in the NCAA, so, yeah, I had to go for it.

 

              Q.  Would you feel more pressure having to play for your team or having to play for yourself in a situation like tomorrow?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  For my team.

 

              Q.  Why?  Just because...

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Because, I mean, if I lose, myself, I just, you know, it's just me the one who losses.  But even though, if I'm playing No. 1 on my team or whatever, if I had a bogey on the last hole and we lose by one, I'm going to feel really bad, you know?

 

              Q.  Did you have a goal for yourself coming into the championship?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No.  I never really set goals.  Just go every day.

              BETH MURRISON:  Have you ever played in a 36 hole match before?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, no.  I never.  I mean in the Europeans you play foursome and then singles, but never the same person.

 

 

 
Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Eugene Country Club will be set at 6,484 (stroke play) / 6,516 (match play) yards, par 72.

ARCHITECT: Opened in 1926, the course was designed by H. Chandler Egan. In 1967, Robert Trent Jones Sr. reversed the routing of the original Egan design (i.e., No. 18 tee essentially became the first tee, etc.).

COURSE SET-UP –
Fairways – Cut to ˝ inch
Tees and collars of greens – Cut to 3/8 inch
Putting greens – Prepared to be firm and fast to measure approximately 11 to 11 1/2 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Intermediate rough – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide along fairways
Primary rough – Cut to 2 ˝ to 3 inches
Player courtesy walks – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide
The championship setup results in a USGA Course Rating™ of 78.1 and a Slope Rating® of 144

FORMAT: The Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: Entries for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur closed on June 18. There were 960 entries received for the 2008 championship, just shy of the record 969 entries received for the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

 

 
 

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