home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 17, 2014

Laura Davies


MIKE TROSTEL: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome back to the 69th U.S. Open here at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. We're pleased to be joined by Laura Davies, it's her 26th U.S. Open appearance, a champion in 1987 at Plainfield Country Club. The all-time points leader in Solheim Cup history, 20 LPGA victories, 45 European Tour victories in her career, a four time Major winner, and qualified for this championship shooting a 36 hole total of 147 in Ponte Vedra Beach to get in this field. You've had so much success in your pro career, what drives you to still compete? You're now one of the veterans out here, certainly, what drives you to still compete and be here and play in a U.S. Open?

LAURA DAVIES: You just got to be here and see this golf course. It's exciting to play it, it's different, it's not the sort of golf I've played before in America, I don't think. Just to be up against the best players in the world, it's as simple as that, that's why I love doing it. I'm still hitting it well, could do with holing a few more putts but I'm sure everyone's said that all day long. But that's the way the game is. I want to keep trying to compete at the top level.

MIKE TROSTEL: One of the veterans out here playing in your 26th U.S. Open, we have a 11-year-old in the field this week, Lucy Li, what advice would you give her being out here for her first one, being a part of this national stage for the first time?

LAURA DAVIES: Well, what advice can you give a 11-year-old, really? It's extraordinary. I haven't actually seen her hit yet. I'm not sure how far she hits it. And this course, I don't know which one she qualified on, but I imagine this course is going to be a really long course for an 11 year old. But I'm also imagining her short game must be unbelievable. So that might give her a chance at making the cut, because I think for a 11 year old making the cut would be a huge achievement. So that's probably what she's trying to do. But you never know with these kids, she's probably trying to win it, for all I know.

MIKE TROSTEL: Open it up for questions.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the situation leading up to this week about speculation what the course was going to be like with the conditions after the men. Were you on either side of the fence on that coming into this? And now that you've had a chance to get out there on it, what are your thoughts and your take on the condition of the course?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, first of all, the course is in great shape. They have obviously chucked a lot of water on the greens since Sunday from when the guys finished. They're receptive. I didn't have one shot bounce crazy off the back of the green. They were hitting and stopping. But I think we all thought that it should have been the other way around. I think we all felt we should have come her first and then the guys should have been here. But I think that the USGA have got it spot on. Because they have turned the course around in a day, incredibly, and gone from a Sunday of a U.S. Open to having it play really fair at the moment. I'm sure by next Sunday it will be hard and bouncy and we are all going to be complaining like we always do. But I think for the logistics of the whole thing, I think they got it spot on.

Q. I'm curious about your strategy for attack for the championship. We heard Bubba Watson say he was going to leave the driver in the bag a fair bit, lay back was his words and go in with longer irons. Phil Mickelson kind of had the opposite approach, I'm going to be aggressive off the tee, and then come in high and soft as my approach. Do you have a theory of attack for this week?
LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, because I watched so much of it. It looked like the guys, especially obviously Martin played better than anybody, but he seemed to be coming in with less club. He was in the rough areas quite a few times, but he was probably only going in with 8- and 9-iron. Where some of the other guys trying to hit those 5-irons in were struggling to keep it on the green. So as strategy, apart from I think we're going to hit an iron off 1, 3, 7 and I think there was one more out there, can't remember, on the back nine somewhere. But basically it's going to be driver all the way and just if we're in the rough, be well down in the rough. And hope you don't get one of those -- if you get in one of those tufts we have said take your medicine, take your bogey, try not to make a double anywhere, but be aggressive and give yourself a chance to win it.

Q. How good does it feel to you to go through qualifying and be able to stand here today and say, I am. I can do this?
LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, it's fabulous. I've tried twice before and I missed out both times. I didn't even complete 36 holes. I had a plane to catch and I was about 16 over, and I said to hell with this and went home the first time. And then did really poorly the second time. But this time I was at a course that really suited my game. I had about eight 3-putts over the two rounds, but just managed to hold on for a spot. Because there's no score boards out there, you don't really know how you're doing. So I kind of limped in, I bogeyed three of the last four and I was very disappointed walking off the 18th and an official said came up and said congratulations. I nearly fell over. I thought I had blown it again but it was some tough putting for all the players that day and I just held on. So now we are here and on a course that I really like.

Q. Along those lines, the last couple of years did you watch a lot of the Open and how much did you miss it?
LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, I do, I'm a sports fan. If there's a golf tournament on, I wish I was in, then I watch it. I watched the Nabisco earlier in the year when Lexi won. And the first Open I missed was when Paula Creamer won down there at Oakmont. And, yeah, I always watch it, because I'm a sports fan and a lot of my mates are out there playing and you just want to see it. But you want to be playing, you don't want to be watching. And although I'm 50 now I still want to be playing.

Q. Curious to know your thoughts about just how much the women's game has changed since you won in '87?
LAURA DAVIES: Oh, there's no comparison, really. The age has come down, all the best players in those days were the older players. The 30 to 40 year olds. The Pat Bradleys, Beth Daniels. Now the best players are the younger players. I think it's quite marked. They're very athletic, Lexi and Jessica Korda, although Lydia is not big, she still hits at it and gets after it and hits it. I played with Minjee Lee from Australia today. And her club head speed is amazing. There's nothing of her but she really hits it properly. And I think that's the biggest difference. I think that's why people want to watch the women play now, because it's more dynamic.

Q. I wonder if over the years you've had, and this is the hometown of Peggy Kirk Bell, I wonder if you've had any encounters with her or particular memories of what she's done for the game?
LAURA DAVIES: Oh, no, not really. Nothing over the years. But obviously I'm aware of all the stuff that she's done, but I can't think of anything we have done together. But, yeah, her influence in these parts and in the women's game has been great.

Q. A lot of players have remarked of amazement of Lucy did to qualify. But just before you, Stacy Lewis actually was not a fan of the idea of a 11 year old playing here because it could disrupt the development of her golf, where she said if you play in the Women's Open at 11 where do you go from there? And she feels like if she was a parent of an 11 year old she wouldn't even let them try to qualify.
LAURA DAVIES: Well, I mean, you know Lexi Thompson played the Open, I think, as a 12 year old. I think Morgan Pressel played it as a really young girl. They both won Major championships. So look, if you're good enough, you're old enough. Or young enough. Whichever way you look at it. If you can play the golf and you can qualify, then have a go. What's the worst that can happen? She shoots a million this week and everyone says, wasn't it great she was here? So I don't think anything bad can come out of it, because she's too young to worry about the pressure. I imagine she wouldn't have any pressure on her because she's just having fun, she's got a week off school, it's perfect.

Q. You've obviously played golf all over the world. The course that you see, that you saw today, what does it remind you of in terms of other courses and do you feel experienced in this type of play and the native areas, etcetera?
LAURA DAVIES: Yeah, well I mean it's the way it is now from -- I played at -- we were just discussing that, about 1996 when we were here at Pine Needles. And I just came down here with a couple of friends and my cousin Mathew who was caddieing for me and but it bears no resemblance now. It almost plays like a links course, but it's a bit more positional than a links course. It's not pot bunkers you're trying to get clear of. There are bunkers out there, but you can certainly go away from them. So although it's got a linksy feel, it's a bit of everything, really. You got the trees, although they're quite well off the fairway. It sets up great, it sets up well for the short hitters. You can just hit it down the middle and hit their precision shots and try and run it up the green like a linksy style. And it also sets up for the longer hitters who can try and land the ball on the green soft and get it to check up that way. So I think everyone has a chance around here and it's a really fair test.

Q. You said you practiced today with Minjee Lee, the highest ranked Women's Amateur in the world right now. Could you expand on what you saw in her game and what your impressions were?
LAURA DAVIES: Well I play a lot down in Australia and I've been aware of her for about three or four years now because they always tend to pair me with the young amateurs when I play in New South Wales Open, the Vic Open and stuff like that. So I played a lot with Minjee during competition. And all she's ever done has impressed me. She's getting longer and longer off the tee, she's getting bigger and stronger and first time I played with her I think she was 15. Obviously didn't hit it that far, but now she's got the full game and a good head. There's a good example of letting a youngster play in the top level events when you are really young, because she's coming through in leaps and bounds and I think she's going to be one for the future, for sure.

Q. Could you help a few of us out with the Dame Laura Davies story and what it means?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, five weeks ago I got a letter from the Palace and I actually thought it was going to be tickets for Wimbledon because they always -- they invite people like myself to go in the Royal box. So there was a day when a lot of sports people get invited. So I was thinking where am I going to be that week and I opened the letter and then obviously read it and it said you can't tell anybody and do you accept it? Is what they're saying to you. And obviously people do say no to it, God only knows why, but they do. But I had it signed and back in the letter box within about three minutes, I think. I ran up the road with my dog, we posted the letter and we went back and then started -- I phoned my brother, because like I said, you can't tell anyone, but I told my brother, my mom and my step dad, so they knew straight away and then I've been trying to resist telling people for the last five weeks. It was difficult.

Q. What does it mean to you?
LAURA DAVIES: It's just a great honor. I didn't -- I got the M.B.E. in 1987 after I won the U.S. Open and the C.B.E. in 1996, which is -- I always thought you only got one upgrade basically. But I got the double bump so I'm in first class now, so it's lovely. But, yeah, I said I think the Sky cameras came to my house the other day and I don't think there's any tournament I could win now that can beat this honor because its something that's given to you over a 30-year career. And I mean it's amazing. Sir Nick Faldo for all he's done. And then now I'm the first woman to get the Dame is what they call it. So, yeah, it's nice.

MIKE TROSTEL: Very good, quite an honor. Laura Davies, thank you very much.

LAURA DAVIES: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297