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Interview With U.S. Women's Amateur Finalist Jennifer Song

BETH MURRISON:  Can you talk about your match today and getting off to another good start.

            JENNIFER SONG:  Today was really tough.  Tiffany was playing very solidly.  Her shots were, you know, very straight and to me, it seemed like she would never make any mistakes.

            So I had to go through all of this emotional, mental and physical stress, like I had to be patient and tell myself that, you know, 'Jennifer, keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine.'

            BETH MURRISON:  How do you feel going into the final of another USGA Championship this season?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I am so excited.  It's just that, you know, being given this chance to play in the finals is just a great honor for me.

            Q.  It was very hot out there today.  Was that a factor at all?

            JENNIFER SONG:  It was really hot, but today was really windy so, that kind of reduced the humidity.  It was really nice out there, and the breeze was blowing really hard.  I think Tiffany and I were both having trouble measuring the wind direction, and it was really tough out there.

            Q.  So the wind was kind of playing havoc with your club selection?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Yeah.  And plus, the greens were really firm, and it was faster than any other days.

            Q.  Was there a point in the match where you felt like things turned?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I really think it was on No. 12.  Tiffany, she hit her third shot first, and she stuck it, like it was a 3‑footer, and mine was like behind the green and I had a downhill slice putt and I told myself, "Jennifer, you have the right line, so just get the speed right."  

            I had the perfect speed and it just drained in, so I was really happy about that.  I think that was an important hole.

            Q.  How long do you think that was?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I think it was like 18 feet.

            Q.  You talk about how well Tiffany played; what were the things that you did well today?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I was hitting my driver way better than any other days.  Like yesterday and the day before, I had some driver shots where it just popped high, really high, and you know, it was like a pitching shot with a driver, and I was having trouble with my driver.  But today, I just told myself:  'Jennifer, think that there isn't a ball in front of you and just swing freely. '

Q.         Looking back to the WAPL, which has been a tougher road to the final?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Honestly I think both were really hard.  Both events are really prestigious and a lot of competitive players are out here to win.  So it was a hard trip getting up here.

            Q.  What do you expect tomorrow, 36 holes instead of 18 and everything is on the line; can you just talk about what goes through your head?

            JENNIFER SONG:  First thing, I think I need to keep my physical, physically I need to keep myself hydrated.  It's really humid out here.  That's the first thing.

            And tomorrow, I'm just going to play one at a time and eliminate every other thing that comes into my head except golf.

            So I really need to focus on just my shots and tell myself that it is against the golf course, not the opponent, and probably I'll have a good outcome.

            Q.  Do you know much about Jennifer at all?

            JENNIFER SONG:  No, I've never met her before.  I saw her this morning.  I had never introduced myself to her. 

            Q.  You mentioned your focus, speaking to Tiffany after you beat her, she said that she was struck by the level of your focus; like girls can focus but you take it up to a whole new level.  Where does that come from?  Is that something that you practice, something that you work on with anybody?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Well, I've never thought that any other player would think that way.  I don't know, I've never practiced that before.  I think maybe it's Bob Rotella's power.  He just really keeps me focused all the time.  He really helps me to stay positive.

            When I'm kind of shaky and stuff, I kind of pray inside, saying, "God, take this fear away from me."    I'm not smiling at all.  That's why other players probably think I'm focused but inside I'm really weak, too, sometimes.

            Q.  Did you listen to Rotella this morning?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Yes.  I started from track 9 today, but it was a different subject that I didn't really need, so I changed it to 16.

            Q.  What was 16?

            JENNIFER SONG:  It's just, it talks about like Adam Scott on his championship.  He put his shot left of the hazard and, then he popped it on the green and made a great up‑and‑down to win the tournament.  And those things just gives me like confidence that you could eliminate those butterfly feelings and play well.  So that gave me a lot of confidence.

            Q.  What's the most fun thing about golf for you?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Putting.  Because putting is the most important thing in golf.  Like other players would say it really ends the hole.  You're in a different undulation and you're trying to get this little ball in the hole, so it's really nice.

            Q.  Have you putted well this week?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I think I putted best when I was playing with my USC player, Lizette Salas.  I was just draining all my balls from on the fringe and I was making some long putts.  But I think overall, I have good it touch and feelings right now.

            Q.  Do you know how many putts you had today?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I don't know.  I didn't count.

            Q.  Have you spoken to Lizette?

            JENNIFER SONG:  No.  I think she was kind of sad after.  Probably she'll open up to me when school starts.

            Q.  Is it possible to get too cluttered in your mind with all of these swing thoughts of Bob Rotella in terms of can you over process?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I never think of my swing when I'm out playing in tournaments.  I just go with what I have right now and stick to it.

            Q.  What do you think about between shots?

            JENNIFER SONG:  Between shots, if I think about something I'll just think about my tempo and rhythm and that's basically all.

            Q.  What have you done for lack of better words, kill time at night to get your mind away from golf?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I like to watch movies on TV.  Yesterday I watched "Shooter" on TNT channel.  It was extreme.  I'm like, oh, my gosh, that's so fun.  On the other side of the bed, my mom kind of, when Americans say English real fast, she can't understand well, so she's asking me, "What is going on?"

            "Mom, I can't do two things at one time."    It was really fun.  And my dad was fast asleep.

            Q.  That was on at 10:30.  What were you still doing up?

            JENNIFER SONG:  I slept at 10:30.

            BETH MURRISON:  Thank you very much.  Congratulations again and we look forward to tomorrow.

 

 

 
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: Old Warson Country Club will play at 6,422/6,468 yards and par of 35-36—71.

ARCHITECT: Old Warson Country Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1954.

COURSE SET-UP –The USGA Course Rating® for the Women’s Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club is 78.1 and USGA Slope Rating® is 140.

Tees and fairways, height of grass – 7/16 inch

Collars, height of grass – 0.2 inch

Putting greens, speed – 11.5-12 feet on USGA Stimpmeter

Intermediate Rough – 1.25 inches (3 feet width)

Primary Rough – 3 inches

FORMAT: The U.S. 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 PLAY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is open to female amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: A total of 955 contestants entered the 2009 championship. The record of 969 was set in 2006.

 

 
 

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