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JTBC FOUNDERS CUP


March 19, 2015


Sophia Popov


PHOENIX, ARIZONA

MATT HAAS:テつ 6‑under round 66.テつ Last player into the field and found out on Friday, pretty interesting story around that.テつ Would you mind sharing it?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Well, actually, I was in the hospital pretty much until Sunday going into Monday and yeah, I was kind of laying there on the IV stuck.テつ
And I more or less just wanted to cut it off and leave, which I did.テつ But yeah, I was battling a serious‑‑ rather serious infection and Type A flu.テつ I only through in Tuesday night or Tuesday afternoon, so I didn't play a practice round on the back nine.
So yeah, that kind of looked a little unfamiliar today.テつ But other than that, that was pretty much it.テつ That was my last week.

Q.テつ How did you get sick and how long were you in the hospital?テつ What was going on?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I got sick more or less a while ago, probably two weeks ago I was in the hospital together probably seven days, around six nights, yeah, going on Sunday.テつ I didn't actually touch a golf club for almost ten days, maybe even a little more.テつ I just tried to play somewhere at the beginning when I wasn't feeling that great.テつ I kind of went to the range and I was on hole 1 and I felt like I was going to drop dead that moment, and I said, we've got to go to the hospital.
Then they took pretty good care of me, though.テつ Just kind of antibiotics weren't working, so, yeah, it was like more or less a ten‑day to two‑week thing.テつ At some point I got ‑‑テつ yeah, Friday I got into the field and then I got the e‑mail saying you're in and I was like, great.
That's when I decided I've got to go and I'm going to leave‑‑ the flu was gone so I'm feeling better in that sense.テつ I'm just kind of waiting for the rest of the antibiotics to kick in but they are doing their job I think.テつ I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I did even two days ago.

Q.テつ What hospital were you?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ In Naples, Florida.テつ Sort of far away.

Q.テつ Was this last Sunday you were out?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Yeah, this Sunday.テつ I only got here Tuesday afternoon.

Q.テつ And six days‑‑
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ So when you get the call on Friday, you're in the hospital at that point.テつ Are you thinking, there's no way I'm going to play, or you thinking you're going to play no matter what?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ At first I thought, I can't play.テつ I said, I was about to call my agent and say, you know what, there's no way.テつ But I was kind of feeling better going into Friday, and then the doctor said, yeah, no, you're not going anywhere.テつ Tough luck pretty much.テつ He wasn't really sympathizing with me a lot.テつ He's pretty mean.テつ But I thought, you know, how I felt, I was like, I think I could give this a shot.
I said, I have to see how I feel by Sunday, Monday and that's how I decided.テつ Sunday, I was still in the hospital and then they had me go home and get another infusion outside of the hospital and then I said, you know what, we're going to fly Tuesday.テつ This was after I already rebooked my flight a million times.テつ I said, that's it, we're going, and I feel okay.

Q.テつ How many holes did you play Wednesday?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I played nine holes Tuesday afternoon from like four to six.テつ And then I didn't play anything on Wednesday.テつ I kind of walked out with the Pro‑Am group and just with one of my friends with Jay and just kind of walked along for the back nine with her because she kind of hits it similar.
So I kind of got a little bit of a look at how it's going to play approximately.

Q.テつ Are you on any oral antibiotics or anything now?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Yes, unfortunately for another six days I think.

Q.テつ Some of us don't know a whole lot about you, you sound like you're from Germany, California, which is near Santa Cruz.
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I'm cheating a little.テつ My mom is American and my dad is German.テつ I was born in the States but I moved to Germany when I was five.テつ I lived in Germany ever since and I went to college when I was 17.テつ I went to USC.テつ So I am kind of California, but I would consider myself more German though.

Q.テつ The flu, is it an infection?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Personally I don't really want to go into any big detail but I was fighting off an infection and then Type A flu came at the same time because my whole system was just kind of down.テつ I was kind of battling both at the same time, whereas the flu was going on for already three, four days.テつ I think I brought that from Germany.テつ That was going around apparently.テつ That was going on at the same time but kind of got rid of that by Friday, Saturday.
I admittedly feel a lot better since yesterday morning, I would say.テつ Definitely I feel antibiotics are kicking in.テつ They are pretty strong.テつ So yeah, but I think all in all, I'm a lot better.

Q.テつ Do you think there were so few expectations because you were sick may have led to the round today?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Absolutely, I definitely think that plays a factor in the whole thing.テつ I kind of went in and just said, you know what, we are going to, it's not like an exam and you're like, let's wing it.テつ But you kind of go in and just say, try to hit the shots you're able to, kind of trust the game that you had before you got sick, and then just kind of see what happens.
In the practice round, I already felt like, oh, I was actually making some good shots.テつ I just had to trust myself and my game.

Q.テつ And you said you had brought it from Germany.テつ When were you over?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I came over to the States two weeks ago to Naples first.

Q.テつ You had a really impressive bunker shot on I believe it was 14.テつ Can you just take me through what you were looking at when you were hitting that shot?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ It was actually kind of funny.テつ I was on a par 3 and I was kind of rushing, trying to get a yardage there.テつ I hit it over to the left but I didn't really know where it went and then I just see the guy in the back going, just showing his hands going like that the whole time.テつ I'm like, what, is it that far away from the bushes?テつ And you know, you kind of don't know what's going on, so I get up there and it's kind of that close to the edge of the bunker, and I had like basically the whole bunker to go and I was short‑sided, and I just‑‑ I don't know, I got in there.テつ I felt pretty confident about the shot itself.テつ I like the longer bunker shots and I just said, okay, you've got to, you don't have a big area to land this.テつ So just make sure it lands in the fringe and then it will roll up there.テつ Just had to trust my bunker game.

Q.テつ And the putt coming back, it wasn't that easy.
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I had another 6‑, 7‑footer coming back.テつ That one, actually I was lucky, kind of saw with the bunker shot what that was going to do.テつ It kind of broke the other way around from what you think it would, and I talked to my caddie and I said, I think that's going the other way and it actually did.テつ I made that putt and I was so glad to get out of there with a par.

Q.テつ You're a duel citizen?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Yes.

Q.テつ How does that work for Solheim Cup?テつ Do you even know?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ I haven't really thought about it.テつ I know that‑‑ I played the Junior Solheim Cup for Europe, and I consider myself German.テつ So I think that would be European, but I haven't really looked into the whole situation.テつ Didn't feel like I was in the position to yet; but if it ever becomes an issue.
MATT HAAS:テつ I see you're kind of contingency in the back.テつ What does it mean to you to have them here, especially with what you've been through leading up to this event.
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ A lot actually.テつ My mom flew in from Germany when she heard I was really sick, and she said she came a week earlier than she was supposed to.テつ She wasn't‑‑ were you supposed to be here?テつ I don't think so.テつ I think she was supposed to come like midway through the week, yesterday or today.テつ And she actually flew to Florida and helped me take care of a lot of things there and get me out of there, really.
And then I had my boyfriend with me the whole time.テつ He was always there all two weeks just wanting to practice and having to kind of take care of me a little.テつ So no, I was really lucky in that sense.テつ I had them with me and I had family there.テつ That just makes it a lot easier and a lot more comfortable to be here, not by myself.

Q.テつ What does your father do, and was that a factor in why you were born here and you moved over there?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Yeah, it was a work‑‑ he's German but we actually lived in Boston or my parents lived in Boston for ten years and it was job‑related yesterday to go back.テつ He works kind of in the car industry, and so it was a job, kind of for‑‑ yeah, he does like audio stuff, I don't even know.
But yeah, he had to go back for his job in'97.

Q.テつ Do you recommend this hospitalization as a way to prepare and get on the leaderboard?
SOPHIA POPOV:テつ Absolutely.テつ I can recommend that, just make it more like two weeks, not ten days.テつ No, definitely not.テつ I hope everyone stays healthy here because I don't wish that on anyone.テつ But lowers expectations a little.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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