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Transcript Of Interview With Runner-Up Azahara Munoz

DAVID SHEFTER:  We have 2008 Women's Amateur runner up Azahara Munoz with us.

              Tough day out there today, obviously.  Give us your emotions about what you're thinking about now, after a really tough and really well played match.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, I mean I'm happy because I played good, but obviously I'm sad because I lost.  I gave my best, and that's all I could do.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  It seemed like one of the big turning points in the match was 13, par‑5, you were in the bunker in two, and she's in the trees.  Talk about what that happened in the bunker shot.  What were you trying to do?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't know.  Actually I don't know I had a similar shot on my second day on No. 8, and I did the same thing, and I was thinking about that.  I think it was my second match.  I don't know, I just hit it thin.

 

              Q.  Were you surprised that she got off to kind of a slow start and you built an early lead?  Were you surprised by that or were you thinking, this is going to be a long day?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  That I was up or that she was down? That she was going to come back?

 

              Q.  That she was going to come back?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Oh, no, I knew that (laughter).

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Talk a little bit about holes 5 and 6 in the afternoon round, where you had that unbelievable chip in from 50 feet, almost, downhill lie, I think you were 2 up at the time.  Then you go to the next hole and miss the 3-footer.  Talk about the momentum switch, the emotions.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't know, someone's phone rang.  And that's not their fault, it's mine.  But I was thinking about that instead of focusing on my putt.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  That took you out of it a little bit?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  It's not their fault.  I just walked away.  I don't know.

 

              Q.  You've played in a lot of big tournaments before, where does this rank for you as far as difficulty of a final match or exhausting?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, exhausting, I play more exhausting ones.  The European team tournaments are worse.  But as far as everything together, this is the best one.

 

              Q.  What club did you use to chip in on 5 on the back?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  58 degree wedge.

 

              Q.  When you saw the lie on nine were you thinking it was kind of a funky little stance there for you.  Would you have been happy with a par?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Oh, yeah.  For sure.

 

              Q.  Was that kind of a pleasant surprise to see that go in?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Uh-huh.

 

              Q.  On the 17, the last hole, there, did you think that you had holed that putt?  The reaction, I think, was very surprised that it didn't go in when it lipped out.  Did you think it was going in?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Was it a little too firm or did you just misread it?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  It lipped out really bad, so this much to the right and it was going in (indicating), I don't know, maybe too firm, I don't know.

 

              Q.  In the morning round when she came out bogey, bogey, bogey, and you went up 2 after 3, and you had said that you felt that she would come back, did you really think that  to get 3 up would let her seize the match and then control it?  Because she didn't.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I had thirteen holes yet, you can't, you can't say 3 up on that.  I was 2 up all the way, and I lost on the 35th.  Unless you are 3 up with five to go, you kind of, you know.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  What did you find out about yourself this week, obviously you're NCAA Champion, you're a national champion in your own right.  What things did you see over the course of the week that you really gained from, took it to another level?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't know.  Well, today I didn't... I was putting really well all the way with pressure.  I was really comfortable with that.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Feel pretty good about going to your last college season?  Does this get you jump started or no?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah, I think it is a good thing.

 

              Q.  In your home country with the prominence of your country men, Rafael Nadal in tennis, how popular is women's golf and especially women's amateur golf in Spain?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Not very.

 

              Q.  No?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No.  Other people play golf, but not really.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Are there more and more juniors coming up?  You obviously had Seve and then there was Jose Maria and Miguel and now Sergio, are there more young women taking up the game?  Do you see a trend?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I think the best generation is ours, Carlota, Belen, Maria.  A couple of good players are coming up, but I think there is going to be a gap now.  Hopefully I'm wrong.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Why do you think that?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Because, I mean, there are not very good players coming up.  Players that are now like 15 and 16 aren't that great.  But I don't know the little ones.  So I cannot talk about those.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Is the game expensive or are there are a lot of public golf courses or is it pretty much an elite, country club-type game?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Did you say expensive?

 

              Q.  Yes?

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Is it expensive like it is here in our public golf courses in the States?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  It depends. My golf club paid for me for anything since I was 8.  I'm lucky.  But some people have to pay for everything.  Yeah, it's kind of expensive to be a member, though.

 

              Q.  Did if make it any easier having your friends there afterwards?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

 

              Q.  Did you notice the flag when you were playing?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.  I was laughing when I saw it (laughter).

 

              Q.  Did you know that they were going to bring it or that they were going to have one?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Did you do anything to relax last night?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, we went to dinner and then they went to this party of my host family, but I didn't go (laughter).

 

              Q.  Did you feel in control out there at all ever?  You obviously had the lead for a long while.  Did you feel comfortable, did you feel like you had control of the match ever?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I mean I didn't feel I was in control of it but I felt really comfortable.

 

              Q.  Was there ever a point in your mind where you knew that you were playing quite well and that her game was just a little off to where you were concerned for when she would find her game, as she did in the afternoon?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, because she was playing, I mean she didn't play that great, but she had ups and downs from everywhere.  She played like that all day.  She made pars, pars, pars, and when she hit the green she made birdie.  She played really good.  I don't think she played that great, but she had a good score.  She save everything.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  The way you three played this week, you've got to feel pretty good about going to Australia in October.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  What do you feel like your chances are?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't want to think about anything, because I don't want to be disappointed.  Obviously we have a good team.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Spain has never won, have they?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Three times.  The team captain, she won it twice.  I don't know if someone else won it.

 

              Q.  So you never entertained thoughts of winning, because you didn't want to be disappointed if you didn't win?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I mean I thought if I could win and stuff, but I don't go to Australia thinking, oh, I'm going to win, then what are the chances of winning?  They're way higher of not winning.  So I don't know, I never want to have really high expectations, because I don't know, you get disappointed.

 

              Q.  What are you studying the Arizona?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Psychology (laughter).

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Not a bad major for a golfer.

 

              Q.  How did your play today versus how you played against Belen yesterday?  Yesterday it seemed like you were really consistent and made a lot of pars.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  But I think I shot lower today.  I don't know.  So yesterday I shot even yesterday.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  You were even on the first 18 and you were 2 under [in the afternoon].

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  1‑under, I think.  I played the same, but I don't know, yesterday I made way more putts.  But I shot the same.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  You only had one bogey in the afternoon, and that was on the par 5.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  You've seen Amanda play before, how good did she play today versus the times you've seen her in stroke play?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, I've seen her play better than today, worse than today.  But she played really solid.

 

              Q.  Yesterday after your semifinal round Kay Cockerill from Golf Channel was interviewed to kind of handicap today's match and she said that after the emotion of defeating her best friend, 4 and 3, Munoz is not going to be letting up on gas one bit.  She's not going to be intimidated.  Amanda won't be, either.

              Did you ever think at any point today that you might possibly getting into Amanda's head a little bit or that you had an opportunity to get an emotional edge on her?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Well, I don't know.  You have to ask her.  But I was up all the way, but I don't think she did, because she's, how you say, like a cold person, you say that, like really...

 

              Q.  Steely?

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Focused?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't think she really cares.  She can be five down and win it.  So I don't think you can really get into her mind.

 

              Q.  Did you feel anymore nerves towards the end?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, same.  I was kind of nervous all day.

 

              Q.  What about fitness, in the final nine.  You had said that you had never played 36 before?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, I did.  No, I played 36 a lot, but I just didn't play 36 against the same person.

 

              Q.  Did you still feel pretty strong physically in the last nine?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

 

              Q.  Did you notice the gallery, how many people were out there?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah, a lot.

 

              Q.  Did that affect you?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No, I like it.  They were really nice.  Yeah, it was good.

 

              Q.  On the 16th hole, the second round, there, you know when you had that chip shot, I didn't get the see the lie.  Was it a good lie?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  It was kind of the grass was, I don't know, kind of against it.

 

              Q.  So checked up a little faster than you thought it was going to?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  The green was like going up and then straight and I didn't want to bounce it too far, but ‑‑ and I bounced it too short.  I just bounced it in the uphill.

 

              Q.  Is that one of the bigger crowds you've played in front of?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

 

              Q.  Probably the biggest?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah.

 

              Q.  This being an Olympic year and with the competition in this tournament, would you like to see the International Olympic Committee put women's golf into the Olympics?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Women's and men.  We have to go together.  Yeah.  I mean it would be cool.  But I don't know who's going to play, if they're going to let professionals play or just amateurs, I don't know.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  As you know, you're exempted to the Women's Open, provided you stay amateur.  Is that your plan?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I am?

              DAVID SHEFTER:  Both finalists are exempt.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I thought it was just if you win.  Cool.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  You going to stay amateur?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I am going to stay amateur until Q-School.  I'm going to play amateur all summer.

              DAVID SHEFTER:  We'll see you at the Open next year.

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Who knew?

 

              Q.  Are you playing the Amateur, too, next year yeah?

              AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Pretty sure, if nothing happens.

 

 

 
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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