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June 19, 2014

Catherine O'Donnell


Q. General assessment of what you saw out there?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: She's way better than I was expecting. She's a great player. She hits it out there farther than I was expecting to. She hit it by me twice, I wasn't really happy about that. But, no, she's -- I mean she's a joy to play with, too. Couldn't have been nicer. Very intelligent girl. And Jess and I just had a great time playing with her today.

Q. What do you talk about with a 11 year old?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Let's see, what did we talk about? We talked about her siblings. Her brother goes to Princeton. We talked about -- oh, Harry Potter. And she doesn't really like Harry Potter too much, I don't think she's quite old enough. But she likes Jesse Jackson and that Divergent, the book Divergent, so we talked about some fantasy books and movies.

Q. What were you expecting?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: I was expecting her not to be able to hit it as far. And I thought she would struggle because she couldn't hit it as far. She still did struggle on a couple of the holes, because she can't get there, can't carry the 3-wood as far. But overall she slings it out there really, really nicely. And her 3-wood and 5-wood or whatever she's hitting is right at the pin every time. And seems to be the right distance, too.

Q. Did you find her composure remarkable?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Yeah, she was out there having a great time. She's sitting on the ground, having a snack or waiting -- like I struggled on the back nine because we waited ten minutes on every shot. And I'm such a rhythm player, that it's hard for me. And she was like, all right, this is great, another stroll in the park kind of thing. And just chitchatted with us all day. We really did have a really good time today.

Q. Her birdie on 5, was the first time she kind of acknowledged the crowd a little bit.
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Yeah, you could totally tell -- and we kind of got in a real, real big crowd once we got around 4 or 5, kind of where that area is. Once she made that birdie on 5, you could tell she was getting pumped up. And then she had a good shot in there on 6. She played great on the back nine. She was six or seven over on three holes or something. But after that she played awesome.

Q. Several dozen people there, even at the start of the day.

Q. What was that like, just playing in front of that crowd?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: I was nervous on the first tee, because there were a lot of cameras and everything like that. But after that it was just kind of everything was the same, to be honest. There's a lot of clicking going on, a lot of movement, but nothing that was too bad.

Q. Seeing her shots and not knowing about her, was it an adult game, adult shots?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Oh, yeah. I mean, she can put some spin on the ball that I didn't think she would be able to. Some of the bunker shots that she hit were fantastic. She'll tell you, she's like, I've got to go work on my bunker shots, and I don't think she does. But, yeah, if you it didn't know that she was -- she looks 11. She doesn't talk 11 and she doesn't hit the ball like she's 11.

Q. The pitch on the 8th hole?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Yeah, I was making my own mess. But, yeah, she had a little more green to work with. Give her that shot again and she can't do that another 50 times, probably.

Q. You're the only Tar Heel represented out here.
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: I'm proud to be the only Tar Heel out here, that's okay. I had a really big group following me today, all my coaches and some of my former teammates were out here. And I felt a huge amount of support, that was really nice.

Q. Were you talking to her about the Tar Heels?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: I did a little bit. She doesn't know anything about college or anything like that.

Q. You can't even recruit her.
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: No, she's too young to be recruited. We had a coach in our -- as a caddie in our group, and he's like, I can talk to her because she's too young. I'm thinking about offering her a scholarship -- no. I don't think she'll take it.

Q. Somebody had to be paired with her. Seems like you really embraced it.
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Oh, yeah. I was really looking forward to it, just to see -- I was just interested to see how she was going to play, to be honest with you. Once we played the first couple of holes, I knew it was going to be a fun day. It would have been interesting to see if she got out there and she was really struggling out there, that may have been difficult to play with. It wasn't like that, at all. It was like playing with another pro.

Q. How do you think the course played compared --
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: Compared to the practice rounds? They moved the tees up on us, let's see, 10, 11, 12. I mean, I think it played considerably easier today than it has the past three days before this. The greens were definitely more receptive this morning, as well.

Q. You don't think she'll make it to college?
CATHERINE O'DONNELL: I mean, that's a question you'll have to ask her. But if I had the talent she has already, probably not.

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