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June 18, 2014

Jessica Korda


MIKE TROSTEL: Welcome to the 2014 U.S. Women's Open here at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. It's a pleasure to welcome Jessica Korda here to the media center. Jessica off to a great start in 2014 already with two victories at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in January and the Airbus LPGA Classic in May. You were the runner up in the 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur in Charlotte, just a couple of hours up the road, and a member of the 2010 USA Curtis Cup team. She's making her 7th U.S. Open appearance, with a best finish, a tie for 7th, last year at Sebonack. We were talking about playing the course, how warm it is, but it's a different kind of course than you normally play. What's your strategy for going out there this week?

JESSICA KORDA: You know, it's such a tough course, I think it's one of the toughest U.S. Open courses I've ever played. It's just keeping the ball in the right spots at all times. You might hit a perfect shot and it might roll off the green, you never know. But I think a good attitude into this week and staying positive and calm and just taking what you get really is going to be the key out here.

MIKE TROSTEL: And talking about the heat, how important is conserving energy, drinking water, what are the things you have to do to stay cool out there?

JESSICA KORDA: We actually got some towels out on the golf course yesterday, at the end of the day. And apparently it's only supposed to get hotter. So those sun umbrellas will be out this week and loads and loads of water and electrolytes and staying in the shade as much as possible all week.

Q. We saw you in the crowds on Sunday. How much did you pay attention to the U.S. Open both before you got here and while you were here onsite during the championship?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I thought that I could do a lot of homework also watching TV and stuff, but that went all out the window by the time I got here. Because on TV you don't see anything. You don't see the fairways are undulated, how undulated the greens are, how big the runoffs are. You don't see any of that on TV. So you don't really know what to prepare for, especially I've never been here before. But Sunday was actually kind of helpful, because I saw how the guys were playing a couple of the holes, if they were bouncing it in, where they were putting from, where they were chipping from. Definitely it's going to be different for us. But you get good ideas and you can try what they tried and see if that worked for you, too.

Q. Did you get any advice from any of the male players?
JESSICA KORDA: I talked to a couple of the players, but, obviously, Rickie had a great attitude coming into the week and even during the weekend. I saw him right as he was about to go off into the first tee and he was just very calm and very positive about everything. Even on the golf course, he was still calm and positive, which is amazing, because this golf course can really eat you up. Justin Thomas told me to stick to one shot around the greens and just commit to it and find something I like. Once you find something you like, it's going to be easier to play around with it.

MIKE TROSTEL: You're off to a great start this year, already with two wins. How hungry are you for that first Major Championship victory?

JESSICA KORDA: It's a U.S. Open. This is kind of the first taste of professional golf that I had. And this is one tournament that I really want to win. But I'm not looking at it as any other tournament. I'm not going to prepare for it any more or any less. I think the less pressure you put on yourself the better. It's just another week. And you try and win every week out here. But it is tough. The girls are good.

Q. Juli Inkster announced this is going to be her last U.S. Open. What has she meant to you and to the sport?
JESSICA KORDA: I didn't hear who?

Q. Juli Inkster.
JESSICA KORDA: I heard that this is going to be her last U.S. Open and I saw her on the range and I asked her if she was kidding. She's like, absolutely not. You have a couple to catch up to me. She's been a huge inspiration. The fact that she's the Solheim Cup captain, too, makes everybody work that much harder to be on the team. She's a huge inspiration, she's been out here for such a long time, and she's such a great lady to be around.

Q. Are there any aspects of the way the course is laid out that is good for your game? Is there anything that's really not good for your game?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I like that the golf course is long. I'm a long hitter and so -- and I hit my iron shots high. But I can also hit them low. So if I need to run them up there it's fine. The greens are definitely undulated, so you've always got to hit it into the right spot, because you never know if you're going to catch one of those runoffs. I wouldn't really say that it doesn't fit my game. The bunkers are great, so if it rolls into a bunker, I'm pretty satisfied with that. Putting off the greens is fine, as well.

Q. Did you find the course too hard, too dry today?
JESSICA KORDA: Today? No, I think every day I play it I get more used to it. The first day I was really tired. I played 18 holes and you really have to pay attention to every single detail. You hit into the green and you think you hit a great shot and all of a sudden it wouldn't be on the green anymore, and you wouldn't understand why, because you hit a great shot. Same thing with the fairways, you think you hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway, and you might not have the perfect lie. So, it was just a lot of getting used to. But every day it's been getting better and better.

MIKE TROSTEL: And this is a very unique course in the sense that there's no rough. First U.S. Women's Open with no rough. They have the native areas, the sand, the wire grass. Hopefully, you didn't find it too much in your practice round. But when you did find it, how was the ball reacting coming out of it?

JESSICA KORDA: Every time it's different. If you have a good lie, obviously -- the sand in -- in certain areas it's packed, so it's an easier shot. In certain areas it's more sandy, so you have to play it more like a bunker shot. You have to assess where the ball is. You might have one of those bushes right in front of your ball, and there's no way. You've got to just take your punishment and go with it.

Q. Do you think it's going to be an advantage to play in the morning instead of in the afternoon?
JESSICA KORDA: In the morning I think the greens might be a little softer and obviously the weather is going to be cooler than in the afternoon. But everybody's got to play morning and afternoon, so it's not really going to be too much of an advantage.

MIKE TROSTEL: Jessica Korda, thank you very much. 7:51 off the first tee on Thursday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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